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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.
Y'all have fun in "Fantasy Land".
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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
2006 Lexington 255DS
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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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Old 08-31-2015, 12:51 PM   #11
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Ask for a full vin number.
Check it on car fax

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Old 08-31-2015, 12:53 PM   #12
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I have a beautiful 40' custom built yacht for sale.If you can send me $1000 I can arrange to have my captain bring it back from south america to look at!I can send pics for $100 each.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:03 PM   #13
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Will you accept my stolen credit card for payment?
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:07 PM   #14
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We bought our motorhome on E-bay. After speaking with the person by phone, he gave us a purchase price, which we then came to an agreement on. We made a verbal agreement, and asked for more photos - only 5 were on e-bay. We had also done research on the selling price of meany of these Lexingtons. The next day the owner sent us 72 photos! WE liked the look of the unit, made arrangements to travel to his home (you would have to meet somewhere - and make it very public!!) with a cashiers check. Upon inspection and driving (our insurance covers us no matter whose vehicle we drive) we paid the man and drove off, with the arrangement that we would camp close the first night and contact them with any questions. We had no issues, and drove our baby home. We have loved it since. Lucky? A little, just do your homework and know your values. Meeting at an RV dealer and paying for an inspection is a great idea, if the owner is honest he should have no issues with that. And he should have an asking price.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:22 PM   #15
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X 2. Funny how something that may be legit just sounds off. Be sure to meet at a very public location if you decide to go with this one.

Phil, Heather & Olaf the Boxer
Ontario Canada
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:10 PM   #16
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Thank you all--we are definitely thinking this could be a scam or at the very least it is getting too difficult to spend much more time pursuing it. (also not worth the $$ to figure out how to go meet him)--He has listed the VIN on RV trader (so if we decide we care enough we can run that) and he does have an asking price--$47,500 but via email is asking for an offer (IF we made an offer it would definitely be lower than that asking price). I don't know if it is free and clear but at this point it probably doesn't matter as I doubt we will pursue this. Based on all of the responses here, I am assuming that if we decide to purchase used from any private owner we should be able to expect not only a test drive but also to see/inspect the motorhome prior to making an offer. I understand that buying a used motorhome is very different from buying a used car and since this is our first time with this type of purchase I just wanted to check with all of you to be sure we are realistic in our expectations. Basically, I think that if we are willing to make the effort, take the time and the $$ to travel anywhere to see a used motorhome that should convince the owner/seller that we are operating in good faith and serious enough to consider at least trying to reach a deal fair to both parties and I mainly just wanted to check to see if that is the general consensus out there--(it seems to be!). So thank you all so much for your helpful answers!
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:29 PM   #17
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I sold my Class A and provided the seller with all my maintenance records, had an emission test and a safety check done on it before the purchase. My insurance provides for occasional driver so I let the buyer drive the motorhome, but I was present during this test drive. We negotiated a price and I transferred the ownership, with the buyer present, at the licence bureau. As far as I know, he is still enjoying his Class A. Now having said this, there are unscrupulous people out there who will try and scam you just as there are honest people who have decided to give up the RV life or are upgrading. View every deal carefully, check into the seller, ask for a VIN and run it to see if there are any problems or liens. If they will not give you a VIN, walk away. I would buy from a local rather than this wanderer no matter what price he is asking. I once saw a great deal on Craig's List and sent an email asking for info. They stated it was stored in a warehouse and they were going back to Asia. They would forward me all the info and pictures. Of course they were at the other end of the country. When I asked them for the warehouse number as I would have my nephew check it out as he happens to live in the area, I never heard from them again. The ad was taken off Craig's List when I advised them that this was a scam. Buyer Beware. Everyone is not a crook or scam artist but also not everyone is honest. There are a lot of great deals out there. Be patient.
Marcel & Jenne
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:30 PM   #18
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Actually, buying a used MH is almost exactly the same as buying a used car.

Its hard to make an offer on something based on photos and a description. When we bought our first MH, It was in Albuquerque NM, I was in Ohio.

I had the owner send me a copy of the title and about 100 photos of everything I could think of.

I sent him a PayPal for $100 non-refundable to hold the vehicle for me for 1 week so I could get an airline ticket.

If I decided to not show up or call off the deal, the $100 was his. He was welcome to let other people look and drive the MH but I had first rights.

If I showed up and the MH wasn't as shown in the photos or title, I could call off the deal and he had to give me my money back.

There is still a lot of trust in this kind of transaction. On a high price MH I would use an Escrow service.

We use these when we buy airplanes. Everything is deposited in escrow, when all the conditions of escrow are met, they release the title and funds.

Good Sam had a little writeup, but I'm getting error when I try to goto that page.. Make sure you use a reputable firm, do NOT send ANYONE any money, you will lose it.

Look at this one - Escrow services for RVs


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Old 08-31-2015, 02:32 PM   #19
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Purchase used motorhome

I have a 2007 Georgetown 338SE for sale in Southeast Michigan . Near Ann Arbor! Would be glad to talk with you.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:03 PM   #20
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TOTAL SCAM!!!!! Run like hell!!

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