To sell your RV, you will need the vehicle title, bill of sale and maintenance records. Make sure the title is clear and in your name. The bill of sale contains the details of the transaction. Depending on where you live, you may need additional documents, so check the local regulations.
Let’s face it, selling a used motorhome can be stressful. I remember selling my 2011 Tiffin Allegro Open Road motorhome to a dealer who found it on RVTrader, an online classifieds site for buying and selling RVs.
Selling my RV was pretty straightforward, but I soon realized that many RV owners have trouble getting the right paperwork when they plan to sell their vehicle.
I’ve created this quick guide to walk you through all the necessary documents you should prepare and have when you want to sell a motorhome.
Keep in mind that most of the required paperwork will depend on your location, so I go over all the important aspects in this article. I recommend you read it to the end.
Necessary paperwork for the handover when selling a motorhome – overview
In the following table I have listed the basic, necessary paperwork required for the handover to the new owner. These documents are required regardless of your location:
|Required paperwork||What this means||Why you need it|
|Title or registration of the vehicle||Proves that you are the legal owner of the motorhome||You must sign it over to the buyer.|
|A contract of sale||Serves as proof of the sale. It contains the sales price, the date of purchase and the names and addresses of the buyer and seller.||To legally secure the transaction.|
|Maintenance logs||Here you will find details of the maintenance and repair work that has been carried out since the motorhome was purchased.||This gives the buyer confidence in the condition of your motorhome.|
|Release from liability||This form is an official notification to the Federal Motor Transport Authority of your federal state that you have sold the vehicle.||It protects you if the new owner is involved in an accident or receives a traffic ticket before he has registered the motorhome in his name.|
Did you already know?
- In some states, such as California, RV owners must present a smog certificate when selling their vehicle if the vehicle is more than four years old.
- The smog certificate includes a smog check in which several parts of the motorhome’s emissions and pollution control systems are checked.
Below you can find out more about these necessary documents and how you can obtain them when selling your motorhome.
The title or registration of the motorhome
The motorhome title is a legal document that proves ownership of the vehicle. If you cannot find it, you may have to apply for a replacement at the registration office.
The ARV title usually contains the vehicle identification number (VIN), year, make and model of the vehicle, owner information, mileage, title number and date of issue.
It may also contain details of the lienholder as well as the buyer and seller and must be notarized for validation. The format and content of the title may vary depending on the jurisdiction.
Contract of sale
Another necessary piece of paperwork that needs to be prepared is the purchase contract. It serves as proof of a transaction between you and the buyer. A contract of sale for a mobile home should contain the following information:
- Price and terms (e.g. payment method and conditions).
- Vehicle description (make, model, year of manufacture, vehicle identification number (VIN) and other relevant details to identify the motorhome).
- Seller and buyer details (names, addresses and contact information of you and the buyer).
- Date of sale.
- Signatures of the seller and the buyer.
You can find templates for sales contracts on the Internet or at the Federal Motor Transport Authority in your country or a corresponding authority. These templates are often tailored to the specific requirements of your state or jurisdiction.
- Make copies of the signed purchase agreement for yourself and the buyer. It is good practice to keep transaction records for your protection.
- Check with your local DMV to see if you are required to submit a copy of the bill of sale to the DMV or other appropriate authority as part of the vehicle transfer process.
RV maintenance documents
Maintenance records provide potential buyers with proof that you have taken good care of your motorhome. This document can therefore increase their confidence in the condition of the vehicle and reduce concerns about hidden problems.
Maintenance records are an easy way to gain a prospective buyer’s confidence in your used motorhome. When creating your maintenance log, you should include the dates of any maintenance or repairs you’ve performed, as well as the details of any work done, such as oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, repairs or upgrades.
To increase credibility, add the name and contact details of the service provider or mechanic who carried out the work.
You must also state the mileage of the motorhome for each service. If you have used any materials in the maintenance or repair, you should highlight these in the document along with the cost.
If you do not have a maintenance record for your motorhome, collect any existing maintenance records, receipts or invoices for your motorhome. These may be from previous maintenance visits or repairs.
Alternatively, you can also contact your mechanics, motorhome dealers or service centers where you have had maintenance or repairs carried out. They can provide you with copies of the records they have on file.
- I did a lot of the maintenance work on my ’11 Tiffin Allegro Open Road myself. When I went to sell it, I documented the dates, work done, parts used, and other pertinent details that sufficed as my maintenance records. So if you have done more yourself, you can use this example as a guide.
Release of liability
If you are selling your motorhome, a release of liability is important because it protects you from legal problems that may arise after the sale.
I have heard of cases where new motorhome owners get involved in an accident, have to pay fines or engage in illegal activities after selling the motorhome and then try to hold the seller responsible.
This is where a release of liability document comes into play. This allows you to make it clear to the Federal Motor Transport Authority in your country that you are not responsible for such incidents or problems after the sale.
The details of a typical release of liability for the sale of an RV include the full names and contact information of you and the buyer, a description of your RV, including the make, model, year and vehicle number, and the date of sale or transfer of ownership.
At the bottom of the document is a declaration stating that the seller releases all liability for the motorhome from the date of sale. The document is then sealed with the signatures of the buyer and seller and the date of signature.
You can create a release of liability document or use an online template. Make sure that it contains all the necessary information mentioned above.
Depending on the jurisdiction, you may need to submit a copy of this document to your local DMV or similar agency to officially notify them of the sale and transfer of ownership.
It’s normal to get distracted with flashy photos and sales copy to sell your motorhome on online platforms. You may even forget to prepare the necessary paperwork to make the transaction possible.
To ensure a smooth selling process, you need to familiarize yourself with the local DMV regulations for selling used vehicles, as they vary from state to state.
The general documents you need to prepare regardless of location are the vehicle title or registration, bill of sale, maintenance records and liability waiver.
If you are looking to sell your used motorhome, you may find my recent article helpful, in which I have carefully documented the best places to sell a used motorhome or camper for a good price.
Frequently asked questions
What paperwork do I need to sell my motorhome for cash?
To sell your motorhome for cash, you will need the motorhome title, which should be in your name and free of liens, a bill of sale documenting the sale with details of the buyer and seller, and a maintenance record showing the history of your motorhome. You will also need to prepare a release of liability to protect you from future problems and provide a valid ID.
How to sell a caravan privately?
Selling a caravan privately means selling the caravan directly to another person without involving a dealer. To do this successfully, you should thoroughly clean and inspect the vehicle to increase its appeal and value.
Then look around the market to determine a fair price. Take high-quality photos of the caravan that highlight its best features and condition. Include your contact information and indicate whether you are willing to negotiate.
Post this information in online classifieds like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and RV-specific websites like RVTrader or forums like iRV2 Forums.
Where can I sell my RV quickly?
Use online platforms like RVTrader, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to sell your RV quickly. Price it competitively, provide detailed photos and descriptions, and respond promptly to inquiries.