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-   -   How does one buy a used RV from a private seller? (

redrhinino 07-01-2021 10:21 PM

We found a rig we liked in Virginia. (We live in Texas)
Sent a $1000 check made out to the seller to a local certified RV inspector. He gave it to the seller immediately after discussing the inspection results with me over the phone. After I received the fluids analysis and the final inspection report, we finished negotiations. Drove to VA, personally checked out the rig, & had the bank wire the money to the sellers.

Next day, on the road.

augerdogger 07-01-2021 10:47 PM

When I buy a used RV I hire an inspector for a top to bottom inspection before I look at it, if the seller doesn't agree to a 3rd party inspection I cross it off the list. If it passes I fly out to look at it, if my SO doesn't accompany me then I invite her to join me before a decision is made. We both nod in approval or we walk. Yes this may seem to be an expensive process but look at what you purchase will cost. My latest adventure was an '05 Prevost conversion that the seller was asking $500k, he refused the inspection process because he owned a trucking company and knew it was in excellent condition, thank you we walked. My biggest headaches has been RV's that we bought new.

rarebear.nm 07-01-2021 11:02 PM

This spring we both sold a Winnebago MH and bought a used Coach House MH.

The sale was done as a private sale. After distant review of the RV the buyer signed a Buyer's Agreement and made a deposit via PayPal. We still had a loan on the unit and the buyer was taking out a loan. You may get into an issue of dry and wet states, not booze, in reference to waiting periods for payments to clear. Even for wire transfers. Understand what will be involved. Some banks will not transfer amounts from a loan via wire transfer but require a paper check. The seller's bank will have it's own waiting period before releasing the title and any profits to the seller. In our case the title went from our bank directly to the buyer's bank. I signed a limited power of attorney for a title escrow agency to sign the title to release it. Neither me or the buyer every saw the title in this process.

Our state laws require that I remove the license plates at time of sale. Thus the buyer does not have plates for their return trip home. They do have a Buyer's Agreement and a Bill of Sale if they are stopped by a LEO.

As for buying a used MH, we knew exactly what we wanted, make model and options. Coach House RVs are pretty rare in the western US, our home is in New Mexico. We had waited about 18 months for the right deal to appear on RVTrader. We moved on it that day. We had missed out on other great deals three times by as little as two hours. One time while we were talking to a salesperson over the phone to place a deposit another couple had walked in and placed a cash deposit on the RV. Point is that many RVs are moving very quickly, within hours of posting. Just have all of your ducks in order and be ready to move quickly.

rv2b 07-02-2021 12:40 AM

We are buying through Pop RV. They are a broker. They are amazing. We couldn't have done it without them. They have walked us through every step and have been constantly in contact. I give them high praises.

eroyceus 07-02-2021 07:10 AM


Originally Posted by gorgeguy (Post 5802983)
A wire transfer is good but I am under the impression it has to be originated at the buyers bank and if you are some distance away, that might be difficult. I sold a travel trailer and got a bank draft, but only copied the title and give a bill of sale until the funds were actually in the bank.

Not really, most banks these days accept verified instructions over the phone or by internet. If the Seller claims not to receive the wire, ,then you can recall it. But there is no other "buyer protection" just like a cashier's check.

FredV 07-02-2021 07:53 AM

Don't trust that dealers will inspect and repair defects in the units in their inventory. They usually will perform an inspection and repair only the glaring issues. Dealers count on selling an extended warranty to the buyer to take care of any other issues that may show up. If the buyer refuses the extended warranty, there usually is enough profit in the deal to take care of any problem areas.

gjbales 07-02-2021 01:36 PM


Originally Posted by Massparanoia (Post 5802369)
All your points you would negotiate with the seller. Think of it like buying a house.

A) The seller is probably going to want some sort of deposit to essentially take it off the market while you have it inspected. You're probably going to want to agree on a price prior to this, contingent on the inspection.

B) Again, negotiate with the seller. Wire transfer, cashiers check, crypto etc.

C) When you complete the sale, the seller gives you the signed title, you take it to your local DMV and register it, give uncle sam his piece, and head back to your new RV with plates in hand and drive it home.

Ditto on Massparanoia's comments, with one addendum. Sometimes the seller might not have a good, clean title in their hands at the time of the sale. They possibly could have it financed and the lending institution has the title as collateral. A bill of sale will be sufficient to have when taking possession of the RV and the title, with any lien being released, should be sent to the buyer in a couple of months (banks aren't swift on these things).:)

Rev. Roy 07-02-2021 06:56 PM

I admit I am really hesitant to buy from a private seller without doing a lot of homework. I ask for pictures of the RV along with one of the title showing they own it. If they say it's an estate settlement, I ask for a picture of the tax release (court authorization) showing they have the right to sell. Scammers operate that way. I ask for the VIN number to run a Carfax on in. I also run it through to see if it was sold at an auction. I have seen vehicles being sold with a clean title that had been salvage titled that had been rebuilt and the title was "scrubbed", illegal in most states. I follow the Biblical principle, ”be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves."

dbteam 07-03-2021 07:30 AM

To the OP, we were in your shoes last year - we did it
My wife and I are now on our second Newmar DS. Both were bought from private parties after total frustration attempting to purchase from dealer. In this current market you have to be more aggressive. Good deals/values sell REALLY FAST (24 hours fast) because "cherry" DP's are being sought out by dealers who will pay within 24 hours. I scoured RVT and RVTRADER daily for about 4 months until our unit popped up. I emailed the seller with an offer, he countered, then I called him on the phone. I like what I heard so wired 10K to his account ref vin/NBuild #. subject to our inspection and if needed a professional inspector to arrive while we were there. Next call to the airlines for 2 tickets. Had balance transferred to same bank seller and buyer both had accounts in. We saw it, smelled new, still had tags on the furniture. Seller and Buyer went to local bank. Seller got balance, buyer got signed over title, all done in presence of notary, ID's verified and exchanged. Note: while I was there 2 dealers called attempting to buy our coach for 5k more. Good for us, seller had integrity. Here's some thing a private individual can do. Before sending money, exchange DL's. From that you can pay for a criminal background check. This should be clear. Also, find out what line of work your seller is in. If He/She has a cool band they take on the road, chances are that coach is going to have all kinds of wear. If they are living in it, not a positive for us. You can do it. It's a little more nerve racking but for us after two purchases in 5 years, both went very smooth.

gorgeguy 07-03-2021 10:15 AM

It is interesting hearing about how hot the market is. I put my '02 Allegro

Bus on the market (also listed in the classified section) a couple of weeks ago priced below NADA average price and have yet to have anyone look at it. I thought a clean well maintained coach would be in demand in the $50K price range. I guess being 80 miles from a large city might have something to do with it.

momcat 07-03-2021 09:24 PM

how to buy RV
I have bought 3 rvs, and will only buy from a private owner. When the deal is made, I drive my toad to pick it up, and just tow the toad home. The longest drive I had was to Cape Coral Fl. from Tennessee. It was really fun too. MOMCAT

momcat 07-04-2021 07:42 AM

buying used
When I buy from a private party and there is a lein at a bank.... I do my paying at the bank, and get a bill of sell from the banker as well as the seller. Then the bank has always mailed me the title, not the seller. This is no different than buying a car, except for the distance to make the deal. Can be a PITA. MOMCAT

AnywhereEric 07-05-2021 10:06 AM

I bought a 2004, 38ft Holiday rambler DP. 3 years ago.
It was purchased from an older couple that basically wintered in Florida.
They were awesome. 60k miles BTW.
They let me drive it and keep it for the weekend to get it inspected.

The couple and I just seemed to hit it off.

It is old, and I've put in a few bucks. Would I do it again?

amosnandy 07-05-2021 04:03 PM

$100 bills has always worked for me.

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