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-   -   How does one buy a used RV from a private seller? (https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/how-does-one-buy-a-used-rv-from-a-private-seller-542381.html)

sartor 07-01-2021 03:28 PM

We had a "dilemma" when we purchased a 2012 Newmar Canyon Star back in 2016 from a private seller. We were in NC, seller was in VA (about 4 hours away). Seller was very "nervous," and didn't want to let the RV go unless/until he had the cash in his bank account and was able to "put his hands on it" (all kinds of horror stories about bogus certified checks and such, and even "wires" would not "release the funds" for a day or two). And we were nervous, not wanting to carry close to $100K in cash, and not wanting to hand somebody that kind of cash without taking the RV away with us. And didn't want to wait a couple of days for things to clear and such.

After much back and forth, I came up with a solution: asked the seller what bank he used: SunTrust. So I went down to the local SunTrust in NC and opened my own account (so same bank). I then moved the $100K from my "normal" bank account into my SunTrust account. Then a week or so later when we went to get the RV, we went to his SunTrust branch, teller *directly* moved the money from my SunTrust account into his SunTrust account (so he could "touch" the money), and I drove off with my RV and the title. Win-win!

deblas 07-01-2021 03:46 PM

Did someone already mention an Escrow service? If so, I missed it.
Remove the "trust" element and protect the buyer and the seller....something like this:

https://www.escrow.com/

Good luck!

BruceDeville 07-01-2021 03:48 PM

Buying
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dejus (Post 5802329)
I've been spending way too much time searching RV Trader for used DPs. It seems most of the listings I like are from private sellers (as opposed to dealers).

We're in the process of selling our house, and will buy the RV from the profit -- probably one around $300k in value.

.

First the title part:
Just like buying or selling any vehicle. Some states require the documents to be notorized, check your state and sellers state regulations.


House & RV part: these things, especially good ones, don't last so don't dally around. If it looks good on paper and the seller sounds legit on the (actual phone call) phone, go look at it.

Now the seller knows your serious. Inspect to you ability, test drive. If you like it, make an offer contingent on a professional inspection. You did contact a professional inspector ahead of that could come on short notice

If the deal starts to smell at anypoint, run like hell.

NEVER - transfer cash blindly, NEVER.

JerryP 07-01-2021 03:58 PM

Paying or getting paid.
 
I have done this buying and selling an RV. I bank at a bank that has branches everywhere. I drive or fly to the city that has the RV and meet the owner at a local branch of my bank. He watches me request a cashiers check and watches them print it out. He signs over the Title and we leave. I usually call the branch bank in advance to let them know what Iím going to do. I sold my Winnebago View to a couple from California 2 days ago in this manner. It still might be a good idea to do the title check as described in a previous post.
Regards Jerry

Jimbo88 07-01-2021 04:02 PM

Buying from a private party
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dejus (Post 5802329)
I've been spending way too much time searching RV Trader for used DPs. It seems most of the listings I like are from private sellers (as opposed to dealers).

We're in the process of selling our house, and will buy the RV from the profit -- probably one around $300k in value.

But I was wondering what the logistics of that would be. Assuming we find a great-looking motorhome somewhere (we're looking nationwide, as there's bupkis in the Portland area), then what? Contact the seller, find out more info, and reserve it somehow?

We'd want to get it professionally inspected; hopefully we can find a nearby inspector that can see it in a timely fashion.

If it checks out, we'd drive or fly to the RV, take a look ourselves, pay in some way, get the title assigned to us, then drive it home.

But I'm unclear on (a) how we'd reserve it (no point in getting it inspected and flying out there if they sell to someone else in the meantime), (b) how we'd pay for it (cashiers check, I guess), (c) how the title would get assigned, and (d) other aspects I'm forgetting or not aware of.

When buying a house, we have a buyer's real estate agent to hold our hands. I kinda wish there were a buyer's RV agent... I guess a dealer is kinda like that, though they don't have the buyer's interest at heart. I've read several stories of nice experiences buying from private sellers, but the details are a mystery to me.

There is a lot to consider when buying from a private party. Here's how I bought my 2008 Holiday Rambler Endeavor.
1) I called and discussed the unit with the owner.
2) I asked for more photos. And especially if there was any rust, paint issues, chips or other damage. To inspected when I arrive.
3) I called back and we agreed on a price. We agreed on a down payment along with a sales agreement stating the cost, down payment and inspection. If I did not buy the unit all funds would be returned.
HERES WERE YOU BOTH NEED TO FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH EACH OTHER IF YOU ARE NOT IN THE SAME STATE.
4) The coach was 500 miles from our home. I asked him to have it inspected at his nearest dealer and I would reimburse him for the cost. I told him to email me the invoice and I would pay the cost if or not I buy the unit.
5) If you are dealing with large sums of money (100, 200, or $300,000 you both need to discuss how payment is done. I used a cashiers check in his name. Remember if you see the coach and its not what he described you can always take the check back to your bank and return the funds to your account.
6) I was lucky on my title work. the coach was paid off and he signed the title over to me when I handed him the check. Make sure you get a bill of sale with the coach name, serial number (verify before you hand over the check), date of sale, and the sellers information and drivers license information.
One other way to buy is to find a local RV dealer and have him do the transaction and paperwork. The cost may be minimal. That way you have a third party holding all the funds and paperwork until every thing clears if it is financed.

Best of luck! :cool:

friendly rv 07-01-2021 04:13 PM

buying MH
 
I thought answers you got was good. I would like to add my 2 cents. The greatest distance I ever went was 10 hours, but would go farther for the right MH. When ever I paid a large sum for a MH I always expected the seller to cooperate with my requests, such as, being able to ask any questions I wanted to, asking the seller to take pics the way I wanted to see, such as, close up or back off, or different angles. Next if I wanted to see it the seller had to assure me that he wouldn't sell it after I was on my way (most rv folks are decent people and I never had a problem with that). A long conversation with seller is for sure, needed. I expected the seller to have the MH ready for my inspection with the refrig level and on and cold, propane to try all appliances, hot water heater on, water tank with enough water to test on lines, tv's on, lights on, etc. I would check year of tires, try levelers, fan vents, test everything, stand in the shower, lay on the bed, everything. Then get MH ready for rd test and make sure to take it on a highway. I always deal in cash no matter what the price and I inspect the title and his driver license and signature match. Well there my 2 cents and thank you for asking.

dosxx 07-01-2021 04:31 PM

Wire transfer is the best way! As someone else said, cashiers checks are dubious until they clear. We sold a 5th wheel and the buyer wired the money. Was in our bank account 2 hours after he left to say he was going to the bank!

RevnRef 07-01-2021 04:43 PM

Escrow service
 
Here is a way to assure both parties are on the up and up. Use an escrow service:
https://www.rvt.com/rvlinks/rvescrow.php

Realgusto 07-01-2021 04:46 PM

We were looking for a cream puff used Fifth Wheel. We talked to wholesalers across the country that would take a deposit to hold and they had inspectors they could recommend. They could also have delivered to us in the Portland area for a cost of $2,500 - $5,000 depending on where it was. It turned out we found exactly what we wanted from a local wholesaler and love it. If you are in the Portland, Or area Check out Portland RV Wholesale in Oregon City. We were very pleased with them and their professionalism including taking it back a week later to fix a slide issue. They stood behind it 100% and took care of the issue.

TucsonTom 07-01-2021 05:56 PM

Buying a privately owned coach
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jondrew55 (Post 5802519)
I sold my DP privately. The buyer essentially paid off the bank (and I paid the bank the difference :( ). Itís a bit worrisome, but we developed a relationship with the buyers and in the end there was an element of trust involved. They also were taking a loan to buy the coach, so that made it a bit less risky for me.

I must however give one bit of advice, I actually prefer buying a used RV from a reputable dealer. I know Iím paying more, but a good dealer will inspect and repair the major items, usually provide a limited warranty, but most of all you get service preference from them. Getting any RV serviced these days is tough. The best I could do was get 6 weeks on my travel trailer from my dealer to get some bugs worked out. They wonít even make appointments is you have not bought from them. Just another thing to consider. Iím sure there are independent RV repair shops, but Iíve had spotty success with them.

I decided to buy my 2010 Tiffin Phaeton from LaMesa in Tucson. I paid over $8000 in sales taxes. I paid $1000 for the transaction fee, despite paying cash! It was not thoroughly inspected! They cleaned it up and changed the oil. Period. I left the lot with a broken fuel sending unit/ float. I found the replacement part in the belly. It took 3 weeks of constant phone calls, etc to get the dealer to agree to install the float. I had to repair the Norcold refrigerator 7 months after purchase. That was $2600. Iíve had numerous minor issues as well.
So, my point is, a dealer isnít going to guarantee you a foolproof buying experience. I wish I had purchased a coach privately. Just from the jump, it would have saved me $9000.

MartinGale 07-01-2021 06:06 PM

Open a Bank Account at Sellerís Bank - Wire Money to Your Account
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crasher (Post 5803381)
If I were wanting to buy from a private party, I would want several pictures and a long conversation with the owner. From that, if I liked what I had seen Ö I wrote a check and she signed over the title to me. Trust on both sides.

We traveled from Texas to Arkansas to look at 2 different DPs. After seeing both and going for a test ride, I made an offer to the seller of the second MH and sealed the deal with a cash deposit. We drew up a simple sales contract that stated a short time frame to complete the deal. My bank, did not have branches in Arkansas so I opened a checking account at his bank. I called my investment holder and had funds transferred to MY new local account. The next day, the seller met us at the bank with the MH. I had a Certified Bank Check drawn payable to the seller. He tendered the clear title and I gave him the check he had just watched his bank cut. Pretty safe for both of us.

You can insert an inspection anywhere in this type of transaction without a lot of work. I strongly recommend having a dealer of the chassis manufacturer inspect for you. A repair of the transmission or engine will cost a lot more than a new water heater or refrigerator. The real money is in the chassis. You should be able to test the house equipment yourself. If you are not competent to do your own inspection, I would question the wisdom of spending $300k on a MH.

Good luck. I hope your transaction goes as easily as ours did.

donr103 07-01-2021 06:27 PM

You need to set aside 20% for repairs and modifications.. and with this everything else going up and shops taking 6 months to get into.. realize that you are not going to be happy just driving off and living in it.. all fluids need change unless you got recpt.. . In hand.. ask for them.. and get the date and manufacturer of each tire.. tires will look good but are out of date soo. They need changed every 5 to 6 yrs.. and if they don't match then there can be a problem.. and detailed p icts of underneath.. along with what all the above mentioned.. good luck and let us know what you did.. before you buy.. I would suggest that you read the forum on chassis and manufacturer.. to educate yourself on what goes wrong. And read up on tires.. you will see what I mean.. the members here that labored tireless here to post information and tips.. oh.. and ask about accessory.. see if they throw anything things in..

NeilV 07-01-2021 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TucsonTom (Post 5814743)
I decided to buy my 2010 Tiffin Phaeton from LaMesa in Tucson. I paid over $8000 in sales taxes. I paid $1000 for the transaction fee, despite paying cash! It was not thoroughly inspected! They cleaned it up and changed the oil. Period. I left the lot with a broken fuel sending unit/ float. I found the replacement part in the belly. It took 3 weeks of constant phone calls, etc to get the dealer to agree to install the float. I had to repair the Norcold refrigerator 7 months after purchase. That was $2600. Iíve had numerous minor issues as well.
So, my point is, a dealer isnít going to guarantee you a foolproof buying experience. I wish I had purchased a coach privately. Just from the jump, it would have saved me $9000.

You would still be responsible for the sales tax even on a private sale of a large ticket item in some/many jurisdictions. On a private sale some DMV offices will add the sales tax to the registration process to make it easier for you.

NeilV 07-01-2021 07:33 PM

I see many trying to sell at retail book value on a private sale however retail book value is for a vehicle with some sort of basic warranty purchased from a licensed retailer. Private sale should not be anywhere close to book value retail price when the purchase is not from a retailer but from a private party.

You have to be careful with private parties who are upside down in their loans too. If they are upside down on the loan what are the chances that they have also gotten behind in routine maintenance?

Yes you can sue a private seller afterwards however they need to have the resources to make you whole so its of little benefit to sue someone who has no tangible assets.

Bottom line you have to inspect more that just the vehicle and its title which adds to the cost of doing business with a private party.


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