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Old 12-03-2020, 05:06 PM   #1
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Another question from a newbie

I'm looking at a Class A diesel pusher at a sales lot. They buy their RV's from auctions and I'm a little leery of that.

Before I buy any RV I'll have it inspected by a certified inspector, but he's only looking at what is in front of him.

Is there any way that I can do a search using the VIN to find out the history of the RV?
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:21 PM   #2
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You should start with a Car Fax. Then youíll know if itís been in an accident. Make sure it would have a clean title. Iím sure others will chime in with their thoughts.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:49 PM   #3
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Thanks Toni. I didn't realize CarFax covered RV's. My biggest fear is that the RV might have been through a hurricane or flood and was damaged then cleaned up and put on the market.

Mike
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:59 PM   #4
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Since you're buying retail, do they not have a warranty period? If the lot wont back up their inventory with some kind of guarantee, it might be wise to change sales lots. They stand to make a few bucks so have them drive the RV to your mechanic. You'll pick up the tab for the inspection but it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper than getting stuck with a potential problem. If you don’t get any assurance, then don't buy from them. This shouldn't be anything else but a 2-way agreement to purchase.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:44 PM   #5
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Jeff, that's part of the "fear" i have with dealing with that place. They said they buy them at auction, know nothing about prior owners, prior service, etc. They did say their coaches have clear titles, but I doubt RV titles have the same restrictions that cars do. As an example, a car that has been through a flood or hurricane and was totaled by the insurance company has a "Branded Title" and it must show why the title is branded.

I don't believe that RV's have that same level of protection.

As to the comment about taking it to a local shop to have it inspected, I doubt a local shop would be able/willing to spend the same amount of time a certified inspector would, and the closest inspector is about 4.5 hours away. Not impossible, but certainly not an easy thing to get done.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:59 PM   #6
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Most things bought at market either have problem or they have been repo-ed. If it was a repo you can pretty well expect that it was not taken care of. Unless you can "steal it" and are prepared to spend money assuring it's right, I would avoid buying from an auction. BTW a Car Fax will show if it has been in a flood if there was a claim to the insurance company.
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:07 AM   #7
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I completely agree re Car-Fax, and have used them many times (but not for RVs). Still, I think you might be taking an awfully large risk buying an unknown, so unless you're getting it at a steal, I'd approach it with a whole bunch of caution. Remember that if you're heading out on a trip, that baby is what is going to provide you with your shelter. Eyes wide open... good luck!
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate that you took the time to respond to my questions.

In my work life I was a professionally trained hostage negotiator and, unlike most people I LOVE to negotiate with car dealers and other merchants. Ten years ago when we bought the boat we are now selling I negotiated with the selling boat dealer for 3 months before we came to terms. I think it pi$$ed them off that I kept the negotiations going for so long but in the end they came almost down to my "steal it" price.

If I were to buy from this outfit I definitely would have a Level 2 Certified RV Inspector come over to inspect it before I even started to talk dollars with the seller.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Mike
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:31 AM   #9
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Check your own state's licensing bureau, but I know that in many states RV titles are treated just like auto titles, and so an RV that has been totaled by an insurer is given a salvage title.
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:11 PM   #10
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Bobby, thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-05-2020, 09:02 PM   #11
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Look at chassis for telltale major rust/ corrosion
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