Selling RVs should not be more complicated than selling a used car. Unfortunately, the process can be tricky if the RV has a lien. So, learning how to sell a camper with a lien is essential for motorhome owners who want to dispose of their recreational vehicles without breaking any law.
This guide helps you sell an RV with a lien on it without worrying about potential legal action from the buyer. Let’s start.
Ways to Sell a Camper With a Lien
Selling an RV with a loan attached can be tricky and complex. However, we identified five steps to help you navigate treacherous waters and send your RV to its next owner without legal issues.
Step 1. Determine the RV’s true value
Selling an RV that you still owe money on starts by determining its “fair market value.” And since it has a lien, the RV’s value is “lower” than fully-paid units.
Pricing your RV lower than the second-hand RV market average guarantees faster selling but increases the risk of a financial loss. On the other hand, selling a camper higher than current market values can net you better sales, but you’ll never know when a buyer will come.
You have several options to determine the RV’s market value when you decide to sell an RV that is financed.
- Use an online price guide to determine your camper’s “current market value.” For example, D. Power has an impressive resource for checking an RV’s value based on type, brand, model, and series.
- Analyze the camper’s mileage, location, mechanical condition, and other information impacting its value.
- Check online RV sellers to see how much they price their vehicles. Note to compare your camper to another with the exact brand, year, and model.
Step 2. Consider the loan when determining the RV’s asking price
Your RV’s fair market value IS not its asking price. Everything depends on other factors, including how much money you still owe on the RV. Hence, you must compare these two values to determine the most appropriate asking price.
- Compare the debt amount to the camper’s fair market value.
- You can guarantee a neat profit if the FMV is higher than the RV debt.
- On the other hand, you’ll incur a loss if the RV debt is higher or equal to the FMV.
- Consider the buyer’s perspective. Most buyers negotiate the asking price.
Step 3. Sell the RV
You have several options to sell a trailer with a lien on it. Regardless of method, owners must be upfront with the RV’s financial status as having a lien. Buyers and “resellers” must be aware of this fact.
Sell to a private buyer
Selling a camper with a lien privately is one of the best ways to ensure a handsome return on your RV. Unfortunately, the selling process can be more taxing and complicated.
- Create a compelling ad for your used camper.
- Publish the ad on RV-specific online buy-and-sell platforms. Alternatively, post it on general e-commerce sites (i.e., Craigslist and eBay).
- Be ready to answer questions, especially about the RV’s lien.
- Be patient because selling on the private market takes time.
Consider second-hand RV dealerships.
A more convenient method of ridding a camper with a lien is selling or trading it at a second-hand dealership. Unfortunately, the principal drawback is the profit might be less than if you sell the RV yourself to an individual.
- Look for RV dealerships accepting second-hand units, especially those with liens.
- Study their requirements and compare the rates.
- Consider trading your RV for a brand-new camper if you want to upgrade or downgrade.
- Consign the camper.
This method is similar to selling the RV to a second-hand dealership, except the consignor will only pay you if they sell the RV.
Regardless, the trick is ideal for RV owners too busy with business and other daily activities. It’s also suitable for campers with low lien values and those who don’t mind not getting a substantial profit.
- Research dealerships that accept RV consignment, especially units with existing liens.
- Consider consigning the camper to a consignment specialist.
- Choose the consignor with the best offer.
Step 4. Use an escrow service to secure the deal
Most buyers don’t want an RV with “strings attached,” although some might be willing to shoulder the loan. However, the latter would often reduce the RV price to account for the debt. Still, uncertainty is high in such transactions. And that’s why an escrow account matters.
- Choose an escrow service to make the transaction more secure for you and the buyer. Ideally, you will want an escrow with reasonable rates.
- The buyer deposits the RV payment to the escrow account while you work on repaying the loan.
You can contact the lender or RV financing institution to learn how to repay the loan. Some RV owners opt for bridge financing, while others secure RV debt forgiveness.
Step 5. Complete the sale
Closing the deal differs from completing the sale. Some buyers might still back out from a presumably “closed deal,” especially with the weight of a lien. Completing the sale requires getting paid for the RV sold and transferring its ownership to the buyer.
- Secure all necessary RV-related documents, including ownership, registration, bill of sale, and the “lien release card.” The last document proves you already paid the RV’s lien, cleaning its title and ready to transfer the vehicle to the new owner.
- If the buyer is willing to assume the RV debt, the seller must prepare an RV bill of sale with lien.
- Contact the buyer and arrange a meeting to consummate the sale and transfer RV ownership.
Interestingly, you’ll never worry about these steps if you sell the vehicle via a dealership. They will take care of the transfer camper ownership with lien process by assuming the debt.
We found this video by Matt’s RV Reviews especially beneficial in helping owners sell their campers at the best prices. Although it doesn’t focus on RVs with existing liens, the tips and tricks apply.
How to sell a camper with a lien is nearly identical to selling a fully-paid RV. Sellers only need to be transparent about the recreational vehicle’s financing status and communicate this effectively to potential buyers.
Although selling the camper on the private market yields the best returns, it can be tedious and uncertain. Hence, owners must reflect on which they value more – profit or convenience? Regardless of the selling method, the seller’s integrity and honesty will be at the heart of the transaction.
I have dedicated countless hours to exploring every nook and corner of the world. Ten years living in an RV may seem long, but time seems to fly by when I’m doing what I love with the person I love. So, if you want to run away from the busy lifestyle to embrace nature, I’m your guy.