How To Sell Your RV Without Getting Scammed

Sharing is caring!

Thanks for your support! If you make a purchase using our links in this article, we may make a commission. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure here.

Selling your RV can sometimes be a real chore, especially if you are working with an RV dealer. So, to get a good price, many RV owners prefer to sell their own RV. This has its own challenges, and you need to know how to sell your RV without getting scammed.

RV dealers don’t always offer you the best price, particularly if you are not trading in your RV. This is one of the main reasons people choose to sell their RV privately.

With more people privately selling their RVs, the number of reported scams encountered by private sellers is increasing. Now, more than ever, it’s important to be cautious when selling anything.

Can You Get Scammed When You Sell An RV?

No matter how careful you are, at some point in time, you may encounter a scammer or predatory buyer. Unfortunately, there seems to be more and more of these types of people in the world.

Online marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are a haven for scammers. When you are putting your RV on these online selling platforms, you have to be very careful.

You also have to keep in mind that scammers are getting smarter all the time. What might have been safe yesterday may not be safe today.

We are hearing about more and more people who have been scammed when selling their RV. Thankfully, we have also heard about lots of people who have avoided being scammed simply by trusting their gut.

Keep in mind many of these people are professional scammers and they know all the tricks.

Current Scams To Watch Out For When Selling Your RV

When you are selling your RV there are a number of ways that people can scam you. Most of the time, the scams revolve around acquiring your RV without paying you. However, these types of scams are not the only ones out there.

Illegitimate types of payment are the most common way that people get scammed when they sell their RV. Bad checks and wire transfers that fail for insufficient funds are the most common way that people are scammed. It is also a scam that has been around for many years.

Today, scammers also like to provide invalid bank information. As with the short check or wire transfer problem, if you have been given a fake bank account for a wire transfer, you are not going to get your money.

A new scam that has been hitting online selling platforms is the “pick-up with deposit”. The way this scam works is that the buyer provides a deposit that is a portion of the advertised sale price.

The promise is that they will provide the full amount later, once the title is received. The problem is that when the title is received these buyers don’t pay the rest of the agreed-upon price. And the chances are good you will never see or hear from these people again. 

People like to be trusting especially to what seems like an honest friendly fellow RVer. If you get scammed, however, your trusting nature isn’t going to help you.

There are also lots of fake ads on online marketspaces with people who claim to be looking to buy an RV. Many times, these people are thieves or have some other reason for wanting your information.

They are rarely legitimate and most often will result in some sort of negative impact on your finances.

How To Sell Your RV Without Getting Scammed

How to sell your RV without getting scammed - meet the buyers

Now that we have made the idea of privately selling your RV seem really scary, we want to give you some tips and tricks to safely sell your RV. The majority of transactions are legit, however, better safe than sorry.

Sure there are lots of scammers out there, and when it comes to selling your own items through an online space, you really need to be weary, and smart. If you are new to selling your own RV or vehicle, we have put together a list of steps you should take to be safe.

1. Meet With Buyers

The first thing that you should always do to avoid being scammed is to meet the buyers in person. This tells a potential buyer that you are real, and it gives you assurance that you are selling your RV to a known individual. Making purchases online from a store and from a private individual are two very different things.

Never sell your RV or any other item to a person that you cannot see, or that has not planned to see the item before the sale. One of the main reasons online scams are so prevalent is anonymity.

Also, make sure that you are careful about where you meet a potential buyer. If you do not feel comfortable with that individual knowing where your home is, find a safe public space.

We like to use busy store parking lots. Many busy parking lots have security cameras that can be a good safety measure if you encounter an unsafe person.

Another good rule of thumb is to conduct your transaction or meet during the day. Meeting a person in a parking lot, or even in your driveway at night is never a good idea. 

2. Don’t Release The RV Until After The Transfer Of Funds

If you have found a seller that seems legitimate, don’t let your guard down. Some scammers will provide a fake check, a forged cashier’s check, or a non-existent account number for a wire transfer.

If you hand over your RV before the funds have cleared your bank, you are probably not going to get your RV or the money back. Only release your RV and sign over the title when the money for the sale is safely tucked in your bank account.

To avoid this situation altogether, cash-only sales are really the best way to go. If a buyer is really interested in your RV, they will come with certified payment. Cashier’s checks are as good as cash since the money is transferred to the bank from the buyer’s account.

If you want to accept a cashier’s check, before handing over the title and RV, call the issuing bank and ask them to confirm the issuance of the cashier’s check. They will be able to confirm that a cashier’s check is legitimate with just a few questions.

Although not as common as they once were, counterfeit bills are still out there. This presents one issue with accepting cash. Having a lot of cash in your possession until it’s deposited presents issues as well.

Meeting a bank allows you to have the money checked and deposited right away.

3. Complete A Bill Of Sale

A bill of sale can help avoid getting scammed when selling an RV

A bill of sale is a good way to record the sale transaction. A good bill of sale will include the sale price, the date of sale, and the names and addresses of the buying and selling parties.

A person who is a sincere buyer will not have an issue with providing you with their contact information and address for record on a bill of sale. In fact, a bill of sale is a good measure of protection for both the buyer and the seller. 

In many states, the transfer of title cannot be accomplished without a bill of sale. Make sure that you carefully read the requirements for transfer of title in your particular state. This will save you and the buyer from a headache down the road. 

4. Have The Buyer Sign The Title And Bill Of Sale In Person

This goes back to the idea of selling your RV in person, instead of to an unknown identity behind a computer screen. Scammers who are looking to get a lot from you can claim that they never received a title and demand their money back.

If you are face to face with the buyer when you sign the title over, they cannot claim that they did not receive it, or that they were not the person that signed the title. You may also want them to sign the bill of sale. This is a way of acknowledging that the price that the RV was sold for was agreed upon by both parties.

We recommend that you make a copy of the signed bill of sale and title for your records. If that is not possible, take a picture of the title and bill of sale with your cell phone. Either way, you will have a copy of both documents, just in case there is a dispute.

5. Disclose All Issues And Accidents

One way that scammers get more from you than you bargained for is to claim that you sold them a damaged or broken RV. In these instances, scammers will try to return the RV demanding payment for costs for repairs or damages.

They may also attempt to sue you for failing to disclose a problem. In this case, you could end up paying a lot of money in legal costs. 

Being fully transparent about the condition of your RV is important to a potential buyer. For a small fee, you can get a CarFax report on your RV, and provide it to the potential buyer.

You can also have an RV dealer or repair shop do a complete evaluation of the RV. They can provide a report of the condition and upcoming repair needs.

This allows you to be upfront with an honest buyer and keep the predatory buyers from taking advantage of you. RVs have problems and most buyers will be understanding of minor issues.

6. Use A Trusted Third Party Like An RV Dealer

Should You Use A Consignment To Sell Your RV?

If you just don’t feel comfortable selling your RV on your own, there are options that will allow you to get a fair price. RV dealers will happily buy your RV.

Keep in mind that when you use a dealer, they are buying at a price that allows them to make a profit. When you use a dealer, you may get a better price if you trade in your RV for a new one, instead of selling.

Some dealers and brokers may help you sell your RV under a consignment model. In this type of sale, you tell the dealer or broker how much you want to sell your RV for. They will sell the RV for you, handle the transfer of title and funds, and take an agreed-upon commission from the sale.

This can be a good middle-of-the-road option between private sales and selling to a dealer. Make sure that you do your research on brokers and dealers that will sell consignment before jumping in.

One last thought about avoiding scammers; test driving an RV is a legitimate request. How you prefer to handle this is up to you. If you feel comfortable, you may want to ride with the buyer so they cannot steal the RV during the test drive. 

You may not want to ride along and if so, you can ask for a deposit, or hold their driver’s license and credit card as insurance. If they do not agree to either of these options, they are probably not a person you want to continue to work with.

Should You Use A Consignment To Sell Your RV?

Consignment is becoming a more popular way for people to sell items of all shapes and sizes. It allows you to use a “middleman” to sell your RV so you do not have to worry about the hassle.

Consignment has been used for many years for things like clothing or furniture. It has become a more popular way to sell large items like cars and RVs.

Pros to selling an RV on consignment

There are some pros and cons to selling your RV through consignment. On the positive side, a professional deals with the hassles of selling your RV. You don’t have to worry about parking lots or strangers coming to your house.

It also protects you from the potential for scams that rely on fake banks or insufficient funds. If a scammer uses these techniques with a dealer or broker selling on consignment, they can make a claim on their insurance, which will cover the loss from the scam.

When it comes to dealers, they can sell your RV without getting scammed more easily than you can.

Besides better protection and little hassle on your part, dealers and brokers have a larger audience of potential buyers. If you have been struggling to sell your RV, this may be an ideal way to move forward.

Cons of selling an RV on consignment

First, you will have to pay a commission to the dealer or broker. This is usually based on the purchase price.

It means less money in your pocket, but it may be a small price to pay to let someone else deal with the hassle. The other downfall of selling through consignment is that you cannot use your RV while it is for sale. 

Frequently you will have to leave the RV with the dealer or broker. This allows them to open the RV up for interested buyers to view and drive.

If you are just looking to sell your RV with no intention of buying another in the immediate future, this may be OK. Consignment is a great way to sell your RV without getting scammed.

For more info about selling your RV on consignment, check out our article called How Does RV Consignment Really Work?

Pro Tip:

If you are looking to sell your RV without the hassle of meeting prospective buyers and possible scammers, then selling your RV on consignment may be a great choice. Some dealers will even allow you to try to sell your rig yourself while it is on consignment.

One of the best ways to find a great dealer is through our partners at GoRollick. Just enter your RV info and Go Rollick will have local dealers call you to help sell your RV for top dollar.

Is Now A Good Time To Sell Your RV?

The RV market is pretty crazy right now. It is better than it was a few years ago, but there are still challenges to buying an RV. Manufacturers are catching up, however, there are still some waits for certain RVs.

Many people who are looking to buy an RV are considering the purchase of a used RV. This is good news for sellers as any well-priced cared-for RVs sell quickly.

You can also get a better sale price right now for your used RV since the inventory of new, and in some places, used RVs is so low. Sites like RV Trader are a good place to compare new and used RV prices in your area

Final Thoughts: How To Sell Your RV Without Getting Scammed

Selling your RV doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Sure, there are horror stories out there, but they are few and far between. That doesn’t mean that you should let your guard down, however.

What it really boils down to is being smart and using your common sense. And maybe a little bit of your intuition. Remember, no matter how legitimate a potential buyer may seem, if it doesn’t feel right for you, there is probably something not completely legitimate.

If you don’t want to take the risk of being scammed, work with your local RV dealer or broker. They can help you sell your RV in the safest way possible by taking on the risk.

While the scams are real and do happen to good people, using your gut and taking some basic precautions should help you sell your RV without getting scammed.

Related Reading:

How To Sell Your RV For Top Dollar

Best Place To Sell Your RV Fast

How To Buy A Used RV From A Private Seller: In Or Out Of State

How Much Can You Negotiate On A Travel Trailer To Get A Great Price?

Jason Gass – Author and Part Time RVer

Jason Gass is a full-time freelance writer and part-time RVer whose goal is to share great stories around a campfire with good friends.

When he’s not working, he spends most of his time camping, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment