A recreational vehicle, commonly abbreviated as RV, is a vehicle that is fitted with the basic facilities and amenities available in a typical house. Such amenities may include a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area but can be as elaborate as the owner wishes them to be. Generally, an RV may be a trailer (stationary) or motorized, and common examples include truck campers, camper vans, and motorhomes.
If you wish to buy an RV from a private seller or are selling one yourself, you will need to protect your interests by documenting the transaction. Read on to find out how you can do that through a document called an RV Bill of Sale.
What Is Recreational Vehicle (RV) Bill of Sale?
A Recreational Vehicle (RV) Bill of Sale Form is a formal document that records the transaction between a seller and buyer involving an RV. It confirms that the parties exchanged the vehicle for money or trade and, as such, acts as a receipt for the trade. To be considered valid, an RV Bill of Sale must include the buyer and seller’s names and mailing addresses, the sale price and payment method, and the RV description, among other details.
When Do You Need a Recreational Vehicle (RV) Bill of Sale?
A Recreational Vehicle (RV) Bill of Sale must be present any time a seller and buyer trade an RV for payment. It acts as a legal sale document or receipt that documents the transaction and change of ownership of the vehicle. In turn, a buyer can use it to apply for a title for the RV, and a buyer can use it to escape future liability for a legal issue, as it proves they no longer own the RV. Essentially, this means that you need an RV Bill of Sale when buying or selling an RV.
Process of Selling a Recreational Vehicle (RV)
Step 1: Prepare the RV for Sale
Prepare your RV by having it cleaned and repaired. Doing so will allow you to take good pictures, which you can post as advertisements. Depending on your budget, you can hire professional cleaners and photographers or clean and take pictures of the RV yourself.
Step 2: Settle of a Selling Price
Decide on a selling price for your RV by doing market research or getting it appraised by a local dealer. Make sure to compare your price with the market price or other local sellers.
Step 3: Find a Method of Sale
Determine whether you will sell your RV online, through local or advertisement, or to a dealer. Depending on your decision, advertise your RV on the relevant platforms, e.g., eBay or the local newspaper.
Step 4: Negotiate with a Potential Buyer
When a potential buyer contacts you, they will likely have a price in mind for the RV. Discuss the RV’s condition and need for repairs or inspection, then settle on an agreeable selling price.
Step 5: Complete the Transaction
As the seller, bring the RV, registration documents, and certificate of title to the closing. The buyer will bring the funds either through cash, cashier’s check, certified check, or money order. They might even wire the money – it will all depend on your agreement.
Step 6: Sign the Bill of Sale
Once these are exchanged, complete the transaction by filling in and signing the RV Bill of Sale. Check the buyer’s government-issued ID to ensure they are who they claim to be.
How to Write an RV Bill of Sale
Step 1: Supply the Transaction Details
Define the transaction by filling in the following information:
- The buyer’s name and mailing address.
- The seller’s name and mailing address.
- The effective date
- The total amount to be paid to the seller by the buyer
- The payment method
Step 2: Identify the RV
From the RV’s paperwork, indicate the vehicle’s make, model, color, year, body type, trim, license plate number, registration number, and VIN. Describe the condition of sale as either including warranty or as is. If the RV includes a warranty, supply the warranty details.
Step 3: Sign the Bill of Sale
Depending on your state’s laws, have a witness, two witnesses, or a notary be present during the signing of the bill of sale. All present parties should sign and date next to their name.
Step 4: Notarize the Bill of Sale
This step is only mandatory in states like Ohio, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Montana, and New Hampshire. If your State requires that a Bill of Sale be notarized, find a Notary Public and sign a copy of the document in their presence, then get it notarized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get an RV title with a bill of sale?
Yes. A Bill of Sale is a required document in many states when applying for a title after purchasing an RV. That said, you will also need to present other documents such as your ID and proof of residence.
Can an RV bill of sale be handwritten?
Yes. If you cannot acquire the state-provided Bill of Sale form, you can handwrite one as long as it is legible and contains all the necessary elements of a Bill of Sale.
Is an RV bill of sale required in Florida?
Yes. Florida legally requires that buyers and sellers complete a DMV Bill of Sale form for any transaction involving a motor vehicle in the State.
Should I buy an RV with a lien?
It is advisable not to buy an RV with a lien with it, as you could be transferring the lien to yourself, which could make you liable to pay it. If you do, however, you should sign a lien release form.
The Recreational Vehicle (RV) Bill of Sale is a formal and efficient way to keep track of a transaction and change of ownership involving an RV vehicle. It can help the buyer register for a title, apply for insurance, and include the vehicle costs in their tax forms. Similarly, it can clear the seller of any liability if the RV is ever involved in a legal matter, as it proves they no longer own the RV.