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Old 07-18-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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How to Handle a Private Sale?

As you can see by our "name" we're not Sunline owners, we're Sunline "wannabes". To that end, my husband and I will most likely be looking at a 20' Sunline Solaris, FSBO, this weekend and may make an offer. While we have done our share of dealing with dealers for cars, we've never done a "big" purchase by private sale. So, for those of you who have bought your TTs by private sale, how did you do it, i.e., did you buy it outright and tow it home the same day; if you didn't, did you make a deposit on it and if so what's the "safest" way to guarantee that the person won't just walk off with the deposit, etc.? (We're in PA and we know about tax, title, and registration & have checked out a few tax & tage places near the seller, just in case.) Any advice about handling a private sale will be helpful and greatly appreciated.

P.S. - We are also "RV virgins," we want to buy a smallish, well-built, used TT to see if we like the lifestyle. After doing some research it seems like a Sunline would fit the bill.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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Out Story

We were wannabes at one time, so welcome to the club. We went to RV shows and dealers and came up with what we really wanted in a trailer and what size we wanted and like you we decided that Sunline was for us. We found a 2005 Sunline T1950 on Craigslist in Detroit MI and we live in Missouri. So over a period of 3 weeks we worked with the seller by phone, with pictures, and he even sent us a video of the trailer. We really felt like this was the trailer for us and we agreed on a price so we headed to Detroit. In Jan of 2009 my brother (who owns a travel trailer) and I headed to Detroit and met with the seller and checked out the trailer. We gave him a cashiers check and he gave us the title which he signed. We also had him fill out a bill of sale for the State of MO. We hooked onto the trailer and pulled it back to MO. We have really enjoyed the trailer. We have pulled it over 13000 miles and stayed in it 132 nights. So go for it and enjoy the trailer.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for your story & a ?

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Originally Posted by MOKID View Post
We were wannabes at one time, so welcome to the club. We went to RV shows and dealers and came up with what we really wanted in a trailer and what size we wanted and like you we decided that Sunline was for us. We found a 2005 Sunline T1950 on Craigslist in Detroit MI and we live in Missouri. So over a period of 3 weeks we worked with the seller by phone, with pictures, and he even sent us a video of the trailer. We really felt like this was the trailer for us and we agreed on a price so we headed to Detroit. In Jan of 2009 my brother (who owns a travel trailer) and I headed to Detroit and met with the seller and checked out the trailer. We gave him a cashiers check and he gave us the title which he signed. We also had him fill out a bill of sale for the State of MO. We hooked onto the trailer and pulled it back to MO. We have really enjoyed the trailer. We have pulled it over 13000 miles and stayed in it 132 nights. So go for it and enjoy the trailer.
Jim,
Thanks for telling your story. Wow, MO to MI, that's a first trip! Your seller sounded very cooperative, what a blessing. We've talked with the seller 3 times and she has sent us both inside and outside pixs of the trailer. We're at the point of having to see it in person with our Sunline inspection list (downloaded from this site) in hand. Fortunately, the seller is only a little over 2 hours away. If we understood correctly, in PA all title transfers have to be witnessed by a notary public and the 6% sales tax paid at that time with a corresponding bill of sale. We figured we might as well get the tax, title, registration, & license plate done all at the same time but didn't know if that was necessary. Also didn't know whether we could tow it home w/o license and registration.

Another question for you: the Solaris we are looking at is a T1950 and our TV is a 2012 F150 5.0L V8 (w/ tow package, trailer brake, 3.73 rear axle). What kind of hitch do you use? We have read the SOC thread/file on hitches but since your TV-TT is almost identical to what we may have, I was wondering what hitch you use and whether you are happy with it? Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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I go look at trailer, if I decide I want it, I leave a few hundred dollar deposit and leave with a bill of sale/receipt for deposit. Then I come back either same day or next day with cash (or cashier's check), give it to seller, seller signs over title, then I leave with signed title and trailer.
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:57 AM   #5
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I have the seller go with me to the DMV, or wherever titles are registered, with title in his hand and cash in mine. We sign and transfer the title so I know it is a good title and in my name. Once title is in my name I place cash in his hand. That is how I buy and sell.

The reason I do my transaction at the DMV is because I sold a mobile home and handed the signed title over to the buyer. After ten years the third buyer of that mobile home contacted me. The title was still in my name. Two other sellers of that home didn't bother to transfer the title to their name. It happens with titled property so be sure that the title is a clear title with no liens against it and that the person selling the title has the right to sell it. Possession might be nine tenths of the law but getting to court to prove it can make that one tenth seem like a mountain.

Good luck with your purchase.

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Old 07-19-2012, 05:47 AM   #6
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We have sold several vehicles and trailers in PA. What we usually do is go with the seller to "The Notary Shop" here in Sinking Spring. (In case you're in our area which is not totally unlikely given we're very near where Sunlines were made, and there are tons of them around here) A place like that will handle everything including transfer of title, tax, and tags. You don't need an apointment and the charge is minimal. Our buyers have always brought cash or a bank check with them and taken the vehicle that day. If you decide not to buy you can always redeposit the bank check to your own account. A big issue for you is being a newby do you have the truck set up to tow? This is not an insignificant expense, and you want to have the propper set up for the trailer you end up buying. We have the Reese Dual Cam.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:57 AM   #7
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Sunline Fan,
Thank you for your reply. If, upon looking at the Solaris up-close-and-personal, we decide that we want it, we thought we'd put a deposit down and set up a later time to get title-registration, etc., w/ the seller. A bill of sale receipt for the deposit would make me feel a little better about leaving a deposit until the transaction could be finished. Appreciate the advice. Also, if you are the one who downloaded all the Sunline brochures to this site, thanks so much! They have been very helpful for us "wannabes".

Jim-Bev,
Thanks for your reply too. PA has "tax, tag & title shops" for this kind of transaction; it is my understanding that in PA you have to have the title transfer witnessed by a notary & the state sales tax paid to the notary at that time w/ a bill of sale as proof. Both you and Sunline Fan recommend handing over the money/check at the tax, tag, and title place after the title has been signed over to us. That sounds like a good idea - your reply makes it clear why. Thanks!

Tweety/Pam and Steve,
Thanks for the advice. (We sent you a private message, please let us know if you get it.) RE: towing - We have an '12 F-150 5.0L V8 w/ tow package including brake control. We are leaning toward getting a Reese 600# trunnion bar WD hitch w/ dual cam anti-sway, which is what was recommended by Reese when we gave them the stats of the TT-TV. As newbies, the price of the hitch set-up makes us swallow hard but we want as little sway as possible so... any reassurance that this is the right thing to do (as compared to just getting a standard hitch for $250.) is also greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
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We pull the trailer with a 2006 F 150 Heavy Duty 1/2 ton, 5.4 L engine and 3.73 rear end. We use a WD hitch and a Friction Sway Bar. I weighed the trailer loaded and ready to go with all of our gear and it weighed 4100 lbs. I usually drive no more than 65 mph and it pulls the trailer great. Other than pulling the engine down you can hardly tell it is back there and you have to watch you speed. Hope this helps.

We use to pull it with an 2000 Expedition which had a smaller V8 and 200000 miles on it and it was a struggle at times.

Yes, when we went to Detroit it was a 650 mile trip one way but we were pretty sure that we would be pulling the trailer home.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabes View Post
Also, if you are the one who downloaded all the Sunline brochures to this site, thanks so much! They have been very helpful for us "wannabes".
That I am! You're very welcome.

Another thing I thought about mentioning, learn about titles in your state if you don't know already. Before you leave a deposit, ask to see the title. When you see it, make sure there are no secured parties listed (aka a loan outstanding), and if there is, make sure they have the proper letters/documentation attached to confirm they are paid off/free and clear.

Also, I don't know other states too well, but at least in Michigan, a green color title is clear with no salvage/scrap/rebuilt brandings. That's not the case in all states, but you should know what is good in PA. In MI, I believe orange is salvage, red might be rebuilt, and I'm not sure what scrap is, if it's even printed. There's a lot of trailers out there that should have salvage titles based on damage they've had in the past, so if you see a rebuilt title, you don't necessarily have to panic. But the selling price should reflect such title situations.

Lastly, even though it's obvious, check to make sure the title is in the seller's name. If it's in a deceased relative's name, you will definitely need to take them to the DMV with you so they can show the proper death paperwork so the DMV can process it without the signature on the title. If it's still a previous owner, then the right way to do it is for the seller to take it and get it in his name so he can sign it to you, but if he won't agree to that, you can always risk trying to sign it to yourself from a previous previous owner's title.
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:49 PM   #10
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Jim,
Your hitch info is definitely helpful. We are leaning toward a Reese WD hitch/dual cam anti-sway. I want to be able to drive too and don't want to be white-knuckling it down the highway b/c of sway. (By the way, is Lord Bentley a dog, a cat, or an English nobleman who happens to live with you?) Thanks again!

Sunline Fan,
Thanks for title info. In PA, clean titles are green w/ a dark blue border. By researching I know there PA has a "reconstructed" title, which is MI's "rebuilt" title, and also a salvage title but don't know if the titles are different colors (which is a good idea). At the bottom of the title is a space for the name of the lienholder so we will be sure to check that as well as checking out whether the title is in the current owner's name. With all the other things we've asked the current owner, we haven't asked about clear title. Fortunately, she is able to contact the original owner just in case. Thanks for the advice and please let us know if you think of anything else.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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Lord Bentley is a 5 year old Beagle that pretty much has it made.

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Old 07-21-2012, 11:03 AM   #12
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Lord Bentley

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Lord Bentley is a 5 year old Beagle that pretty much has it made.

They're the best kind!
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:57 PM   #13
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Still a couple of wannabes...

The "Wannabes" went to see a '03 Sunline Solaris T1950, private sale, asking price $4800, today. From the pixs the owner had emailed us and conversations we had with her, we thought we might make an offer after we looked it over. Unfortunately, the soft spot which she had told us about in front of the toilet turned out to extend under both the shower and the bed. My husband and I don't mind some repairs on a used TT, however, moving the bed and bathroom to replace flooring would be a little much for us. So, we remain "the Wannabes."

We were, however, fortunate because an SOC member was kind and gracious in meeting a couple of wannabes/newbies at the seller's house today to go over the T1950 with us. We learned a lot from her and are very appreciative of all her help.

If anyone has more advice about private sales, please continue to post. We're still in the market.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:17 PM   #14
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We just bought a 1991 Star Ray with the same issue. We are in the process of our repairs. It is a lot of work. We call it a diamond in the ruff. We know once we have the repaid done, there will be no more leaks. Good luck, you will find something just right for you.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:13 PM   #15
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We just bought a 1991 Star Ray with the same issue. We are in the process of our repairs. It is a lot of work. We call it a diamond in the ruff. We know once we have the repaid done, there will be no more leaks. Good luck, you will find something just right for you.
lapo1968,
Thanks for your reply and for the encouragement - really thought that we'd be making an offer on the Sunline we saw on Sunday so were disappointed after realizing the extent of the water damage. Will you be posting pixs of your repairs?
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