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Old 08-30-2015, 08:51 AM   #1
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Questions re buying used MH from a private owner

Hi there--My husband and I are looking at purchasing our first motorhome--probably a class C and have a question about the typical process involved in buying from a private seller--especially one who does not live in the same area as us. For example, we saw what looked like a good option for us on RV Trader. The seller is currently using the motorhome on an extended trip, at the end of which he and his wife are returning to Australia and they will need to sell the motorhome. Since he is traveling, he is obviously not in one place. We have only communicated via email. He wants an offer (this would be sight un-seen) in order to interrupt his plans enough to meet us somewhere so we can make the purchase. The motorhome is a 2015 but he has put on a lot of miles (20,000) on this extended trip for 9 months. He tells us that it is in excellent condition, etc. etc. When I mentioned a test drive, he told me his insurance does not allow anyone but him to drive the motorhome. I told him this was a dealbreaker for us so now he is checking with his insurance provider. Whether or not we do this particular deal (it is not looking good) it raises some questions for us about what is typically involved when you purchase from a private seller, particularly if we need to travel to where-ever the motor home is. Should we expect to have to make some sort of offer (hopefully it could be at least contingent on a positive inspection) sight-unseen in order to see a potential purchase? Also, is it reasonable to expect to drive the motorhome as part of the inspection? It would be simpler if we found one in our area but it seems that it is likely that we may have to travel to find the one we want! Buying from a dealer seems simpler, but I do not want to rule out buying from a private seller either--any thoughts or experience regarding this would be really helpful! Thank you--

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Old 08-30-2015, 08:53 AM   #2
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Sounds kinda "scammy" to me...


I'm a little too truthful, I guess.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:01 AM   #3
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Your own insurance would probably cover you on the test drive. Check with your insurance company. I would not go forward without driving first, just my opinion. Also there are lots of units for sale, both private and dealer. Good luck
Jerry. Vietnam vet.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:52 PM   #4
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Does he have a clear title. Will he e-mail you a copy of it.

What is the VIN # (do a carfacx, even though it won't tell you a lot)

Send a lot of photos.

Will seller take $100 non-refundable to hold vehicle while you make travel accommodations. (non-refundable only if vehicle is as reported and you decide to walk away)

How will the deal be handled - i.e. I hand you cash, you hand me the title we transfer title at the local DMV.

DO NOT send any money to anyone. you will get burned
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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If he wants to sell it he's going to have to be reasonable. Dealing from a distance is certainly more difficult but not impossible. WRT driving the unit, I'd make arrangements similar to a boat survey process. When the buyer pays for a survey, the seller normally agrees to make the boat available at a place and time certain for the actual survey, even having, for example, the boat launched out of winterization for the sea trial. The buyer often puts up a deposit stating he will buy the boat for a pre-negotiated price, unless it fails the survey or sea trial. You have to put everything in writing, but a certain amount of trust and effort is required on both sides.
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Old 08-30-2015, 05:58 PM   #6
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Careful , he may be going back to Nigeria were his father is a prince !
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:35 PM   #7
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All of the above seems like sound advice. Another possible is to find an RV dealer near where the MH is and pay for an inspection (and also have them do a title check). You may be wasting a few hundred but it will reduce your risk of buying. Also 20k miles is not much on a modern engine, the major "wear" issue for most MHs is age.

Good luck
Bill & Renee from Novi, Michigan
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:23 PM   #8
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2015 with 20000 miles Good question IS IT FREE AND CLEAR where is it regestered?? somewhere that title may be trusted to show lien holder. IF, giving the benefit of a doubt this guy came to america on a long holiday and bought NEW, he is likely going to be very unhappy with likely RESALE VALUE as we all know a lot of value goes out the window when you drive off the lot.. ANd who the hell offers something forsale strictly MAKE ME AN OFFER surelly he has a price If only a place to start negotiations. But a foreigner may not understand US insurance law that usually covers other licensed drivers BE CAREFUL AND GOOD LUCK
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:39 PM   #9
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My first thought is this a scam! If I am wrong, then make sure the title is free and clear. Next would be to take it to a dealer and have them perform an inspection on it. You may have to pay for this but worth it in my opinion. Get the VIN run some checks and have him send pics!

If he is legit and wants to make a sale he is going to have to be accommodating......
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:44 PM   #10
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I agree this sounds like a scam. I've had this type of thing happen on Craigslist where they can never seem to meet with you anywhere, but want a certified check sent. You do say it's on rv trader, but I would think scammers branch out to many places. I'd be very careful!

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