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Old 12-26-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
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Location: Middleboro, MA
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logistics of a long distance purchase

For those of you who have bought long distance, particularly form private sellers, how did you go about inspections, license plates, insurance, payment to seller, etc.? We're flying 1800 miles to look at and hopefully purchase a coach, and are heading straight back home (hopefully in our new to us rv) so we can start packing for our x country trip.

We're trying to figure out the logistics of doing this in the most efficient manner. Since it's not a dealer, there's a bit more to it. If the owner doesn't have the title (can't remember right now whether he does or not, as we spoke with several different owners ) how do we work that all out?

We'd like to spend as little time there as possible, though the owner promised to spend as much time as we liked showing us through the coach.


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Old 12-26-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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We did this several years ago.

1. You should be able to purchase a temp tag from your local vehicle licensing authority. You will need the VIN & a description, maybe more.
2. With the same info your should be able to get an insurance rider to get you home.
3. A title must be available if you are financing. If a lender is holding the title, you should arrange to go to the lender & arrange payment. If necessary you could use the services of an escrow company to handle the transaction. You should not allow any money to transfer to the owner until you have or your finance co has a clear title.
4. You should also arrange for roadside assistance membership for your trip home. Coach Net is the preferred company.
5. You should be aware if any special drivers license requirements are in effect in your home state. If there is, go get the endorsement as soon as you can.
6. You will be in an unfamiliar vehicle so make sure you have a couple of reliable flashlights.
7. Plan to stop each travel day before dark. I recommend Flying J truck stops or Walmart. If stopping at campgrounds it's even mort important to be stopped & set up by dark.

Good luck and safe travels.

Steve Ownby
Full time since 2007
2003 Monaco Signature
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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If possible/practical pack the essentials such as bedding, pots/pans, kitchenware, and so forth in boxes and have them ready to UPS to the coaches location. If you buy, you can have the items sent overnight to you for the trip home. You can buy food after you've made the purchase.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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I handled it similar to purchasing a sticks and brick house. Struck a deal, contingent upon satisfactory inspections (at my expense). Had inspections done on the chassis and house. Found a couple things wrong - options were seller fix or renegotiate price, or walk away. After all was satisfactory I flew to the coach and did my final acceptance inspection and finalized the deal.

As for the money part it depends on if the seller has the title or a loan against the coach. If title in hand, easy - hand over the money and walk away with the title. If a loan you have to pay it off. Sometimes the lender is local and will have the title on hand and you can do all right there and then, else you have to handle remotely and/or wait for the title to come to you. In the case of the latter a bill of sale will usually get you home, then registered and temp plates.

Talk to each states DMV, the bank(s), etc. to learn your requirements and options. AAA's registration service can be a good source of info.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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Des Moines to Atlanta

We bought our last one long distance. We had the seller send us pictures, descriptions, VIN number. Then talked to the factory to see if there were any issues I should look at, and they gave me a few items that had a history of going bad on that particular year and model.

We had a firm price agreed on. I sent $1,000 as a down payment with the understanding that if it was not exactly as described or the pictures showed, I was going to get back on the airplane and fly home. If I accepted, the balance of the money would be wired with my phone call to my bank. Once his bank acknowledged they had the money, he signed over the title. My insurance agent was aware we were looking, and a phone call to him took care of insurance.

It was exactly as described. We knew it was exactly what we wanted. We drove it home without incident. The secret was having everything, every detail worked out before we left home....
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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I've done this twice, last time was about a year ago. Talked and looked at pictures until I felt comfortable with the deal. I wired a deposit with the same stipulation that if I didn't purchase I could get my money back. We flew there and they actually picked us up with the Motorhome and they drove back to their home and then we looked it over and drove it ourselves. We then drove to his bank and we had the money wired and soon as it cleared we shook hands and camped all the way home. No surprises at all for either of us, we were happy and they were too !

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