Buyer Tips: Tips For People Buying An RV From A Private Owner

This information is specific to Lorain County and surrounding areas.Buying a used RV from a private owner may work well for you. There are more available and prices may be lower. However, be very cautious, there are a lot of scams and bad deals.

How to find them:

  • Local news paper classified ads. The best ones are in the Plain Dealer, the Chronicle Telegram and the Medina Gazette. Weekends are best.
  • On the internet. The best sites change almost daily. Use a search engine like Google to find several. The internet is a wonderful asset, but be very careful. We have received a lot of reports of internet scams involving RVs. These scams include phony titles, misrepresentation, flooded RVs, hidden damage and hidden charges. Protect yourself by making sure the seller is real and buy close to home so you can carefully inspect the RV. Walk away if things don't seem right.
  • RV Trader call 877 872 3373 to find out where you can get a copy.

When to buy:

  • Nada Online, www.nadaguides.com.
    • Be aware of the limitations of this site. The information is up to 6 months old and is averaged for the entire country. Further, because of the large number of brands, many book values are based on only a few actual sales. For these reasons, yours may be worth a lot more or less. You may call us for a free evaluation. Since any price given without seeing the RV, is at best a guess, we also give free verbal evaluations on any RV brought to us.
  • Call local dealers and ask for prices on similar RVs they have in stock.
    • Most dealers ask about 10% more than they expect to get.
  • Avoid off-brand RVs.
    • If you do not recognize the brand, look it up on the internet.
  • Inspect the RV.
    • Condition is very important. Look carefully for leaks which you can spot as stains or soft spots on the ceiling, floor or walls. On the outside of fiberglass skinned units, look for bulges or soft spots which indicate a delamination
    • Ask how long it has been since the RV was last used. RVs that have been sitting for a long time often have problems that the owner is not aware of.
    • Flood damage. There have been a lot of RVs involved in floods and once flooded, they are very difficult to repair. Inspect the floor area carefully for mud and silt.
  • Guarantees.
    • Does the RV have any warranty left? Most extended service contracts can be transferred. Most private owners will not be willing to put a warranty on the RV. They should be willing to have all the appliances working when you pick it up and show you how everything works.
    • Our service department can check over RVs and provide guarantees. Call for details and pricing.

How to pay for:

  • Cash, Most sellers will want a bank check. The best place to conclude your deal is at a bank The banker can make sure the title is valid, guarantee your payment to the seller and do the notary work. Unfortunately, there are not many bankers who will do this so call first. We offer the same service for $75.00.
  • Finance, check with your bank or credit union. Do shop rates. We can help you get bank financing. Our rates are often less since we send millions of dollars of financing to area banks and credit unions.
  • Precautions. Be sure the seller is a real person with a real address. Get his address and phone number, check out both on the internet. Be sure you get a real and clear title. Compare the VIN on the title to the RV. Lately, there have been a lot of scams involving phony bank checks so sellers are being very cautious.



Feel free to call me for advice any time.
Bob Moore