How to Buy an RV from A Private Seller on Craigslist?
Buying an RV is not an easy task to accomplish. It’s almost like buying a new house. You’re going to be spending a lot of your foreseeable future (if you use it properly) in this mobile home and a lot of thought should go into it before you sign the dotted line. Buying your RV off craigslist from a private seller is a great idea. The process is a little more involved compared to the dealership and this is very helpful to the customer. If you’re lucky it usually ends up being smooth and painless, and you’ll end up with a wonderful RV at the end of it all.
Research, Then Buy
The first step is to decide what kind of RV you want to buy, whether it is a Class A, campervan or fifth wheel. There are various facebook groups that can help you with finding a good RV online. One of the more famous groups is fulltime families. Keep your eye on this group as people put their RVs on sale here from time to time. If a listing comes up that piques your interest, do some research on that particular model and contact the seller directly. You’ll have quite a few options online, so speak to multiple people before you decide. If everything works out, you’ll be the proud owner of a brand-new RV!
Tips for Research
Narrow Down Your Choices
Ask yourself what the requirements are of the RV you’re looking to buy. What square footage would you like? How often will you use the RV? How many baths will you need? The answer to these questions will help you zero in your preferred model.
Always Compare Prices
There are various resources and pricing guides online that will give you an idea of how much an RV should cost. Once you’ve narrowed down your brand and model, start figuring it out what it’s worth.
Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
Negotiation is a huge part of the process. Since you’re buying from a private seller, the value of the product is not fixed. You should use this opportunity to get the best possible price. Try to make sure both sides get a fair deal and walk away happy.
First, you have to apply for a loan and get it approved from the bank. Many banks will offer the application and pre-approval process online, which makes it quite easy to apply for loans with different banks if need be. Once you have been pre-approved, the bank will ask for the details of the RV (make, model, VIN), details of the seller etc. They might also ask for a front and back photo of the RV title confirming the owner’s name. They will then determine the fair value of the RV and compare with your purchase price. You are usually given a 10% addition on the SP to cover additional tax and title fees. Once you add in the appropriate tax and title fees you will end up with your final loan amount.
Tips for Financing
Choose You Bank
Go with a bank you’re used to dealing with, one that you already know and trust. If you’re bank provide RV loans, look around to compare rates and terms and conditions carefully before you proceed.
Apply for Loan
If you’re dealing with your own bank, they’ll already have all your information and that should make the process a lot easier. Be prepared as you will be asked for personal and financial information, as well as how you will use the RV etc. The more details you know about the RV the better. You’ll come out looking well informed and prepared and that’s never a bad thing.
Get that Money
Your bank should send you the cheque once everything has been processed and approved. Plan and work ahead of schedule so that the cheque can be delivered to you before the pickup/delivery of the RV. Without the cheque, you’ll go back home empty-handed and nobody wants that.
Inspection and Receiving
On the date of delivery, the seller should allow you to inspect the vehicle. Also, ask for a walkthrough just so you know everything about your new car. You should be given a bill of sale from the DMV. Sign the bill of sale and the title and your transaction are complete. This bill of sale can be used to register your new RV.
Tips for Inspecting
Follow your gut
Make sure you do a thorough inspection of the RV before making the purchase. Check for mold, cracks or body and water damage. Ask how it was stored and whether it’s been winterized, when it was last repaired and why etc. Find a reputable RV inspection service or bring it to Camping World if that’s an option.
Make sure you get Insurance
Not all auto insurance companies are willing to insure RVs, so don’t assume that you will be ready to insure it. Also make sure you have your insurance in place before you transfer the ownership of the RV, as the seller’s policy will not cover you.
Register the RV
Call the DMV ahead of time and get a list of everything you’ll need to register the vehicle. There’s nothing worse than remembering you forgot something while you’re standing in line, and then having to go back home to get it.
If you follow these steps, your experience should be quite painless and enjoyable. If you’re lucky you can end up having an amazing private seller experience and meet some wonderful people. This may not be the case every time, but we’ve heard some lovely stories of people sharing a love for travel and the joy of being off the road. If you’re apprehensive about buying an RV on craigslist, don’t be. It could be the best decision of your life.
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