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Hidden Dangers of Buying or Selling an RV

Published on April 28th, 2022 by Peggy Dent
This post was updated on May 19th, 2022

Using the private market (peer-to-peer marketplace) for either buying or selling an RV will most likely result in the very best possible deals. But peer-to-peer selling does have some pitfalls and hidden dangers. The more you know about these stumbling blocks the better. Only then are you are prepared to overcome the difficulties and safely transact your business. 

Avoid these Dangers of Buying or Selling an RV

Happily, there are industry professionals who specialize in assisting private RV buyers and sellers.  They make the whole process faster, safer, and less stressful, but before we introduce these professionals you should know what the dangers are when using the peer-to-peer market.

RV Seller Pitfalls

If you decide to sell your RV to a private party and handle all the details of this process yourself these are a few of the challenges, pitfalls, or dangers, you could encounter.

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  • Incorrect valuation of your RV for the current market
  • Poor quality ads that do not showcase your RV
  • Misusing your advertising budget in the wrong publications
  • Miscalculating the impact of distance between the buyers and sellers
  • Prepping and safely showing the RV to buyers
  • When to wait or move on, when buyers are seeking financing
  • Avoiding scammers and con-men posing as buyers

RV Buyer Pitfalls

Sellers are not the only ones dealing with dangers and pitfalls. RV buyers may also have difficulties to manage when shopping for a used RV in the private marketplace. 

  • The distance between the buyer and seller makes the process more difficult
  • Hands-on RV inspection, safety and logistically difficult
  • Finding a local inspector to examine the RV
  • Searching for and securing financing
  • Avoiding scammers and conmen posing as sellers
for sale sign exemplifies hidden dangers of buying or selling an RV
Putting a sign in the window and parking on a busy street will probably not attract enough attention to effectively sell your used RV in the private marketplace. People search on-line national databases to find the RV that best fits their camping needs.

RV Sales Advertising

Gone are the days when it was sufficient to hang a For Sale sign in the window of your RV and park it on a busy street. To be effective, RV sellers need to prep their RV, take excellent photos, and then create accurate and compelling ads for national digital publications to reach the broadest market. But creating great advertising takes practice, something most peer-to-peer RV sellers don’t have.

Distance Increases the Dangers of Buying or Selling an RV

When there’s a large distance between the seller and buyer it complicates communications, and it’s harder for buyers to evaluate the RV’s condition.  The greater the distance the more complicated it becomes.

If a buyer is hundreds or thousands of miles away from the seller, traveling to the RV’s location to inspect it can be logistically difficult and costly. But just relying on photos and a written description may not accurately depict the real condition of the RV. A written description provided by the seller is generally not enough information for a purchasing decision. Therefore, the distance between the seller and buyer is a real barrier to completing the sale.

A black, red and white class A motorhome with slide out
Many high-end used RVs are sold every year in the peer-to-peer marketplace.

Prepping and Showing an RV

To create compelling ads and to overcome the distance challenge, sellers need to carefully prepare their RV for sale, then document its condition with a well written description, supported by comprehensive, high-quality photographs. What is stated and shown in the ad, must accurately reflect the real condition of the RV. Anything less than total candor could be perceived by the buyer as deceptive. Otherwise it could terminate the sales process.

RV Financing – The Most Challenging Pitfall

In a perfect world, buyers would show-up with a sack full of cash and sellers would have a bill of sale and the title, ready to sign over to the buyer.

But in the real world it’s much more complex than that. Some RV sales could involve the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  A buyer is not going to show-up in the seller’s driveway with 3,000 or 4,000 $100 dollar bills to buy their Dutch Star or Entegra motorhome. Additionally, with a transaction of this magnitude, the seller will probably not have possession of the title.

a class A RV with a handicap lift door passes another class A RV.
Like two ships that pass in the night. Both Class A RVs are reflected in the other rigs high gloss finish.

Peer-to-Peer RV Sales Often Involve Two Lenders

In reality, most RV sales involve financing and many peer-to-peer RV sales may have two lenders involved in the transaction. At the time of the sale, the seller may have a loan on the RV. The buyer may need to secure a new loan for the purchase. A down payment needs to happen. The seller’s loan needs paying off. The buyer’s lender will need the RV title to secure the new loan.

When two private parties (with two different lenders) come together, the RV ownership transfer process often gets convoluted. Add to all these financial issues, the transfer of existing long-term warranty protection or the purchase of a new long-term warranty plan, and the financial aspects of a peer-to-peer RV sale can be overwhelming. 

This is the point in the peer-to-peer RV sale when con-men show their true colors. The seller or buyer can get scammed out of their property or money. Personal checks, fraudulent cashier’s checks, counterfeit money, no title because the seller doesn’t own the RV, or there are other people or entities involved in the RV ownership who are not willing to sign off on the sale.  Con-men are creative and they find different ways to steal.  

Scams are always changing, so there will always be some risk in buying and selling in the private marketplace. Everyone needs to know the dangers and do their due diligence.  

a class A motorhome altered to black and white line art would make a poor ad when selling an RV in the private market
Reduce your risks when buying or selling in the private marketplace by using professionals like
National Vehicle.

A Better Way to Take Advantage of the Private Marketplace

Buying or selling an RV in the private marketplace does not need to dangerous. Everyday National Vehicle assists RV buyers and sellers. It’s their passion and their mission to assist people in the For-Sale-By-Owner RV market. They are involved in the process, from the inception through the final delivery of the RV.

National Vehicle partners with buyers and sellers to provide industry know-how and expertise.

They start the relationship by providing free RV valuations for sellers.

Then (for a nominal fee) they do all the following for buyers and sellers.

  • create compelling ads with photos and an accurate description of the RV
  • place ads in all the places where people typically search for RVs
  • facilitate negotiations
  • provide sellers with a series of insightful how-to tips throughout the process
  • help buyers secure an independent vehicle inspection, when needed
  • assist buyers to obtain financing and/or long-term warranty protection
  • advise buyers how to arrange the payoff of existing loans
  • help both parties safely transfer funds to the seller’s bank account
  • advise seller how to create a bill of sale and how to transfer the RV title
  • they can even arrange for delivery of the RV to the buyer, if needed
a small used Airstream travel trailer
Do your due diligence when buying or selling an RV in the private marketplace to avoid hidden dangers.

National Vehicle’s carefully designed process opens the door to the private market environment, where both parties receive all the benefits of private sales, without undue risk.  If you are ready to sell or buy an RV today, then contact National Vehicle to get the ball rolling.

RV Valuation

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This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy here.

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