Last Updated on March 16, 2023 by Jessica Lauren Vine
Learning how to buy a used RV from a private party can make your life easier when trying to work with a private seller. They might not know the best way to sell their RV, how to create a bill of sale, or how to get the best price for their RV like an RV dealership would.
In fact, some people don’t even care to get a good price out of their RV. Some people just want to get rid of their old RV and possibly get a new RV or just have the RV out of their hair. If you’re looking for the best deal, then looking on RV Trader, Facebook Marketplace, a Facebook group, or even Craigslist can be great places for you to find RVs that will not only be a good deal but also be exactly what you need for your family.
Some people don’t think buying an RV from a private party seller is the best idea, but that’s only if you don’t know how to do an RV inspection. In fact, you can even hire an RV inspector to look at the RV before you head out living the RV lifestyle as the proud new owner of an RV.
Before you ride off into the sunset, let’s talk a little bit more about how a private sale of an RV will go, how to get a fair price that is lower than the asking price, and what you can expect as you set out to purchase your new rig—or at least—your new-to-you rig.
The First Thing to Do When You Buy a Used RV from a Private Party
To get started with how to buy a used RV from a private party, these are important tips.
Before you try to make an RV purchase from a private party, it’s a good idea to ensure that it’s not a scam. Before you move on to the next step, you need to make sure the person is real. There are a lot of scams online that will try to get you when you’re looking for a new rig. They will say they need earnest money and ask you to use a certain escrow service but beware if you don’t know of the escrow service. You might put your money in and find out that the person is gone with your money, and there was no RV all of this time.
Figure Out Your Budget
Before you start trying to buy an RV, one of the most important steps is to figure out how much RV you can buy. No one wants to deal with a prospective buyer that shops out of their price range. If you have cash, that’s great but if you don’t, it’s best to know how much you can spend before you start reaching out to private sellers.
You can get preapproval on an RV loan and this will make the sales process much easier. If you know how much you can afford and you’re up against other potential buyers, it will be a lot easier to get the seller to go with your offer.
Never Buy a Used RV Without Seeing It
This is super important when it comes to how to buy a used RV from a private party.
If you buy a new RV without seeing it, that’s one thing. The RV dealership doesn’t want to become a negative talking point in the RV industry. However, private parties don’t really care if you don’t like the condition of the RV after they get your money. You might have to do major repairs and there is not a single thing you can do about it because you already bought it.
Keep in mind that you could get someone else to check it out for you. If you have a trusted RV inspector near you, then you could have them talk to the current owner and get them to go back and check it out. They will look to see if there are any mechanical issues or other important things to look out for before you buy the RV.
You should definitely check to make sure the RV has a clean title. RVs without clean titles are worth a lot less money and you might be able to get a much lower price if you find out the RV’s title isn’t clean. However, some people might not want to get an RV without a clean title, even if it is a great deal.
Ask Questions about Common Problems
Learning about these common problems and if the RV has any is key to how to buy a used RV from a private party.
Even before you get an RV inspector to come to look at the RV, you should ask questions about water damage, accidents, or other problems. There is no harm in asking lots of questions, especially if this is your first RV. Many RV owners know how confusing it can be when you’re buying your first RV.
Make sure you have a good feeling about the people you’re buying from. Never discount yourself when you feel a little weird about the people trying to sell you the RV. If they don’t want you to do your due diligence so you can make an informed decision, that’s a major red flag. Buying an RV takes a lot of money and you shouldn’t do it all willy-nilly.
Draft the Bill of Sale or Get Them to Draft the Bill of Sale & Get the Title
Someone needs to draw up a simple bill of sale so the deal can go through. Make sure all the numbers are right on the bill of sale so it’s easy to move forward with the transaction. You should get them to sign the title so you can easily do a title transfer and get it put in your name back in your state.
Once you have this taken care of, you won’t need to deal with the RV seller again.
If you have RV payments, you pay them to the bank that you took the loan out from, not the original RV owner. They will want their money upfront, so you either pay cash or you pay using RV loans. Whatever the case, the private individual shouldn’t set up a payment plan because that’s just asking for trouble.
You can give them the money through a cashier’s check and that will make everyone feel much better. Some people also opt to use third party escrow services to make sure the cash goes through and you are able to get your RV.
How to Buy a Used RV from a Private Party – Frequently Asked Questions
There are a few other questions you might have when you’re trying to figure out how to buy a used RV from a private party and I’ll cover those here.
How do I avoid getting scammed when buying a used RV?
Make sure to look at the RV before you buy it and also have an RV inspector come to look it to make sure there aren’t any major problems with it.
Do I have to pay taxes on my RV when buying it from a private seller?
Yes. Your state will still expect you to pay taxes on your RV when you go to register it.
What should you not consider when buying an RV?
You shouldn’t worry about the RV interior decorations too much. You can always remodel the inside of the RV how you like it.
How to Buy a Used RV from a Private Party – Conclusion
The whole process is as simple as that, and you’ll be able to have the RV you’ve always wanted. A lot of times, you can find the floor plans you want at a much better deal than you’ll be able to get at an RV dealership. In fact, a particular model might be gone now because the manufacturer replaced them with new RV models.
Buying from a private seller can help you open up your RV buying options so you can get the best deal possible.
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