Thursday, January 20, 2011

Buying a motorhome from an individual…

backup cameraBuying a motorhome is difficult enough without making it even more difficult. What I am saying is that buying a motorhome from an individual complicates things more than buying from a dealer. What makes it more complicated simply boils down to money and trust.  You are dealing with a lot of money in a motorhome transaction and it is necessary to extend a certain amount of trust.

I will share what is going on with this transaction. We are looking to buy a motorhome from a married couple who are giving up fulltiming and retiring to the sticks and bricks lifestyle. They have a lien on the motorhome and are upside down in their loan. So how does one make this work? I had some ideas of my own but I went to my trusted bank and got the experts opinion.

roadmasterNow what made this deal convenient is his loan is at the same major bank as my bank account is so the transaction was going to easier as a result. My bank basically said that the process should go like this to protect me:


1. Obtain a Bill of Sale from the seller.

2. The seller should first pay the difference between our agreed upon sales price and the balance of the loan

3. The seller pays off their part of the loan and my bank will verify the remaining payoff of the loan which should be the agreed upon sales price (less earnest money)

4.I will then write a check from my bank to pay off the remainder of the sellers loan. The bank will provide photocopies of both checks from the seller and the buyer.

5.I will take possession of the motorhome and the deal is mostly done.

6. The seller will receive the title in 5-7 days and when they do they will mail the title signed by them to me.

So we plan to do all of this in one day at a bank between where they live and where we live.  We will each write our checks and they will turn the motorhome over to us. They suggested that I start my insurance on RV the day of this transaction. After I get the title I can take the bill of sale and the title to our local tax office and get the motorhome registered in our state.

Now you know why I don’t want to jinx it…. thought these details might help others in this situation…


  1. We sure hope things go well and it sounds like it should. Good Luck

  2. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! :)

  3. Glad you are dealing with the same bank...definitely makes it easier. Good luck!!

  4. Thanks for the info - in case I need it when I buy mine. You must be SO excited!

  5. Sounds like using the bank to do the transaction offers some peace of mind. Good Luck!

  6. Thanks for the update. Fingers are crossed!

  7. You're right, using the same bank (how lucky is that!) do make this transaction so much easier!

    Good luck and can't wait to see photos of the RV once you own it!

  8. Thanks for the update....I still CAN'T WAIT to find out what you chose to buy and how you finally found it. Upside down means they are going to have to use some of their own money to pay off the loan along with what you pay them. Feel sorry for them but happy for you!

    We bought ours from an individual too and it was much more of a hassle than a dealer. We originally thought we got a better deal but being the newbys that we were, there were things discovered later that he surely knew and a couple of flat out untruths. We got taken a bit of a ride. BUT she's still perfect for us and we love her. Don't think much of him at this point though.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  9. Somehow I think you would be better at this than some buyers. You've been doing your homework for some time, and it seems to me you like to be careful about details.

    No preowned rig is going to be perfect. I figure when our time comes to buy we will have a sizable slush fund to fix things after taking possession.

    Buying from an individual is like buying from a for sale by owner house. With no middle man you have to trust and keep your eyes open.

    But then with a middle man you have one more person to be wary of!

    Hope all will go as you wish. Will you be ale to buy extended warrantees on it? Reading about all the repairs people have on even the best rigs I'm beginning to think warrantees are the way to go.

    Just another insurance to pay and hope you don't need it!

  10. Looks like ou have all ur bases covered! I'm sure everhing will go smoohl based on wha ou have bulle poined ou. So, wih ha said, ou don' need luck...ou've go skill :)

  11. Using the same bank should make this all go smoothly... and hope the seller has the cash on hand to make up the difference on what he owes at the bank. That might be the only snafu, to be sure he comes up with his part.

    We bought from a consignment through a dealer, but had to wait about 4-5 weeks to get the title from the seller after he finally paid off what he owed and got the lien off the title. Nowadays most folks would not want that wait, but we had to trust him and he followed through as promised in writing.

    But we were sure to not get *too attached* in case for some reason he didn't supply the title and we would have gone to court to fix it if need be.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  12. Thanks for this post - we are in the middle of the same thing. It really is about trust. The people we are buying from are also upside down and we are currently waiting for their payment to hit before the loan paperwork is shipped out. We are also working with both accounts at the same bank which seems to be helping. Here's hoping your purchase goes well & we also can't wait to announce our rig! :-)

  13. Hope everything goes well and you will soon be the proud owner of a MH. We bought from a private individual and they had to be patient with us while we got our loan (paid that off after the house sold - love being debt-free). It is definitely about trust. I'm so excited for you - always enjoy reading about future full-timers.