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Old 07-22-2010, 07:56 AM   #1
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Title Help Needed...

Well, like the heading saids. I need help with a title. I am looking to buy this 1971 motor home that I posted in this thread (Front Wheel Drive Motor home). Front Wheel Drive Unit... .It's at an RV repair shop. The owner of the repair shop doesn't have much time to live. His best friend is working on the motor homes that they can find who the owners are and getting them out before he passes away. The family is already fighting over the land. My coach has been sitting there for about 3 years. The repairman has been in and out and we were not able to catch him. Well the best friend we will call Bob installed a new tank in my coach just for the cost of the tank because it was sitting for so long the tank rotted through. Which brings me to the one I want. Well I asked about the 1971 coach. Bob asked the repairman Mike about it. Mike said that the coach has been there for about 30 some years. It has motor issues and it's owner passed a way years ago. Mike can not remember the owners name or address. Bob, has worked there for about 25 years helping his best friend and remembers the coach sitting there all that time. I looked inside and it's in pretty good shape. Now to get to my point. In Delaware, you have to have a title or they won't even talk to you. The only way I see it is to find a state that did not title motor homes in the 70's and try to find someone to give me a notarized bill of sale with the vin and all of the motor homes info on it. The process in Delaware will take about four months to do and Mike doesn't have that much time. Plus I must make an attempt to contact the owner which I don't know who he was and he is now gone (dead). Not sure how I can say that politely. Anyhow, can you folks help me or put me in the right direction. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I know that someone on here must have had the same issue with any type of antique auto...
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:53 PM   #2
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I'm no lawyer, but I'm sure there are a few on this forum. That said, I have handled fleets for some years here in Texas and I'm pretty confident that Delaware, like Texas, must have a process for securing a salvage title, and that's what you are looking at here.

I can assure you that no matter how good this unit might look to you, if it's really been sitting there for as long as you say, you are not acquiring a low cost motorhome, you are acquiring a PROJECT and if it actually does take four months to clear title, that's four months you will definitely have to get this puppy in shape - you'll probably have more time that that.

Assuming it doesn't run, and maybe it does, you need to work on getting it out of there with a tow truck to some place where you can work on this project. That doesn't require a title, just a few bucks. But if you are not experienced in this type of rehab, you might have somebody who is look at it first to see if it's even worth the effort. JMO

I understand your concern about paying some bucks to this guy who is soon to be passing on and then finding out later that the other fella, who apparently owned this unit, has a family who wants it back. That's why you want a title. Here in Texas, the shop owner could easily file out a form with the Sec of State and quickly (within two weeks) get a title issued just by claiming a mechanics lien on the unit for "unpaid repair costs". Then he would be free to dispose of the unit. The last time we did that on an old pick-up truck that had been abandoned in our shop yard, it cost $5.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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The only thing I can offer is maybe you can get the VIN off the unit and take it to the DMV. Perhaps, if you explain the situation to the clerk you're dealing with, they might give you the name and address of the person who holds the title. That would at least be a place to start.
I'm going to agree with deaton, I've rebuilt a travel trailer that was about the same vintage, it hadn't been setting for 30 years either and it was a nightmare once I got started on it.
Your project would be even worse than mine was, because you have to get the drivetrain running, and whatever other mechanical problems it has fixed in addition to whatever water damage it has in the coach.
It's an interesting find, that's for sure, I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to these types of projects, and I think I would have to walk away from this one.
Either way, hope you have good luck!
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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Thank you all so far for the replies. I want to start off saying that yes this unit will at least need a motor. The heads and intake are off and yes it's been sitting un-ran for 30 some years. This coach was under a car port on black to for most of it's time. About two years ago it was pushed to it's current spot where you see it in the pictures now. As for trying to get a hold of the family, I am pretty sure they would not want it back. However, if they do that would be great! I love the winne we have but I don't want to see this Tiara get scrapped. I would love to see this thing saved. If anyone of you folks have interest in it, please let me know. The repair guy wants 400 for it. If not, I will continue with trying to get a title. Now as for the repairman getting the title. The steps I explained for getting one is the same steps he would have to take. It's the same paperwork and such as I would be acting as the lien holder. I'm just @ a dead end. I will try the DMV again with the Vin and maybe even go in there and talk to them in person. I am having trouble looking up the Vin on the computer though. I'm not sure I have the correct number. All I have is the model and serial of the coach. I am told that the serial number would be the Vin. It's only 9 characters long. It's telling me I need 17. So I guess I will do a bit more research on this matter to verify I have the correct info for the Vin...
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:40 PM   #5
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If it's an early 70's model, it should have a 13 digit VIN somewhere on it. I couldn't begin to tell you where to look, but it's bound to be on there somewhere.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:59 PM   #6
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Hmmm, ok Phobos I will look harder for it. Thanks...
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:13 PM   #7
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Try looking on the front frame horns behind the wheels. On a lot of vehicles that age the VIN is engraved on the frame or on the firewall.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #8
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Deleware's process sounds a little more involved than Michigan's, but very similar.

CHAPTER 40. RIGHTS AND TITLE TO ABANDONED PERSONAL PROPERTY

Looks like there's a 20 day waiting period for any person to claim rights to it once you get the paperwork filed.

And you'll have to research VINs a bit, 1970 was about when they started being required. If it's a 1969 you may be able to use any number you can find. But you'd have to reaearch that....
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:22 PM   #9
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Eaasy way.........

Get a bill of sale from whomever, go to Ga, rent a motel and register it there. No title required, only the bill of sale and it doesnt matter what state. go back home and take the Ga info and transfer it to a title in Your home state.

There............Now what u gonna do?
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:10 AM   #10
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Mick, sounds way to easy. The closest state I heard that it was that easy was Alabama. Ga. is about a 12 to 14 hour drive south for me. Much closer then Alabama though...
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:25 AM   #11
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I do not know about Ala, but I do KNOW about Ga. If any vehicle is over 25 yrs old, and one I bought was, they did not have a title and Ga actually frowns on titles after 25 years, I took the bill of sale down, used a motel mailing address, then put in a change of address to my home address, transferred the title to me at that motel address, bought a 72 hr temporary license plate and drove the sucker home. About 4 weeks later, I received the Ga papers, no title, took it to the dmv and got a new title , registration etc.
Its a pita, but it works .
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