When buying a pop-up camper, some hurdles and hoops must be jumped through before driving away with your new vacation spot. If you purchase an older camper, does it need a title or “pink slip”? Where can you find the VIN on the camper?
How to get a title for a pop-up camper? The steps for getting a title for your pop-up are:
- Find the VIN on the camper.
- Get a bill of sale from the owner.
- Visit the DMV for registration.
- Store the title with precious documents.
Buying a pop-up can be frustrating and entail hours of phone calls and money out of your wallet. This isn’t even taking into account repairs and upgrades. No worries! Soak in the following article and learn everything you need to know about your pop-up’s title
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Getting a Title for your Pop-Up Camper
A pop-up camper one of the smallest campers that you can buy. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be spacious and provide the escape from the grind that we all desperately need.
They are often traded or sold second-hand or third hand and should not be driven away until there is a bill of sale.
You may think that having title and plates for your towing vehicle covers what you are towing. Not true.
You need a title for the camper to prove that it’s yours and to get the required license plates. Fortunately, this is all pretty easy to do.
1. Find the VIN on the Camper
Like every other recreational vehicle or standard car, the pop-up will have a VIN that identifies it.
A VIN is a Vehicle Identification Number that was placed on it by the manufacturer. This number will be on all the original paperwork and will give you extra information like the year model.
In some states removing the VIN will incur a severe fine or loss of property.
- The main area that most pop-up’s place their VIN’s is on the tongue of the trailer. It is a reliable spot that doesn’t have anything to obscure it and won’t be upgraded. As older campers degrade, they could undergo renovations or upgrades that could make the owner needlessly throw away vital information.
- The number could be on a tiny plate attached to the frame or etched into the body. If there have been upgrades to the camper, make sure that they have not removed the VIN. Depending on the age and upkeep, you might have to use a solvent or cleanser to make the number visible on the plate. The number is essential for registration and title transfer.
2. Get a Bill of Sale from the Owner
Every time you buy something from an individual, they must draw up a bill of sale. A statement of sale will have the names of the parties, description of the camper, and the VIN on it.
If these are missing, you will not be able to register the pop-up with the DMV.
Think of a bill of sale as a receipt for the camper. If there is an accident before you can register it, you can use the bill to show the authorities that you are in the registration process.
Sometimes this will be allowed for things like purchasing insurance as well.
Both parties must sign the title. If both parties don’t sign the title, it will raise suspicion and could not be accepted by the DMV or insurance agency.
The signatures show that both parties agreed to the sale and transfer of the title to another owner.
3. Visit the DMV for Registration
One of the least exciting parts of getting a new pop-up is having to go to the DMV for registration. The DMV is known (fairly or not) for red tape and endless lines fronted by grumpy clerks.
Going into one of these offices can take all your strength and patience. Or you might have a great experience. It all depends on the day and the person.
The best thing to ensure your experience is a good one is to have your information ready in hand. Taking a look online at what will be needed and where you should go to register to make things even more accessible.
In some states, there could also be a portal that allows you to process your title online.
Once you get to the window, they will have you fill out a form shifting ownership over to you.
This form shouldn’t take long but will come with a fee that could be upwards of $20. The title transfer fee could be waived for Veterans or could not exist depending on the state. Be prepared for the DMV to win in the end.
4. Store the Title with Precious Documents
In a couple of weeks, the new title will arrive at the address provided to the DMV. Once this title is in hand, take it and place it with all the other documents related to the camper.
Having all this together will make it easier when you pull into campgrounds around the country.
Depending on where you are going to camp, you could need the proof of insurance or bill of sale to secure a spot at the campground.
Some sites are owned by individuals who cannot bear the brunt of a lawsuit. Having insured vehicles on their site allows them a bit of protection against lawful action.
Most campers have a spot to store all these items. A good idea is to use a small folder and place it inside the hauling vehicle.
This way, if something happens to the camper, you still have all the information when the authorities show up. If there were damage to property, the bill of sale would help your case in court.
How to Get a Title without a Bill of Sale
Often a camper isn’t sold at all but could be handed down like a gift. In this instance, there will be no bill of sale and could be no title.
This scenario happens when parents pass away and leave campers or RVs to their relatives.
The trick to this is having a letter that says the owner has no right to the camper. Depending on which state you are in, the contents could require both signatures.
Take this letter into the dreaded DMV and follow the same registration process you do with a car. When the clerk sees the letter, they will provide a different form that establishes ownership as opposed to transferring.
Taxes and tags will be applied and could cost more than you would imagine. The ownership means a new title will be created with the new owners’ information and camper info.
With new ownership papers, you can tag and insure a vehicle just like any other. The main difference will be the amount of money that is needed.
If a camper has been off the road for a while, the state will try to recoup taxes and be prepared for sticker shock. The stickers that they provide could be for more extended periods and should be researched before leaving the DMV.
Do Pop-up Campers Need Titles?
Do pop-up campers need titles? Yes, pop-up campers are required to have titles in the United States. A certificate of title or ‘pink slip’ is a legal means to provide proof of ownership of a pop-up camper.
An untitled pop-up camper is asking for trouble. Not only could you be an owner of stolen property, but without the title, you can´t register the camper and will not be able to secure insurance your pop-up.
For instance, if your trailer is stolen, how would you approach the police without proof of ownership?
There are two kinds of pop up campers, those who are trailer-based and are towed behind a vehicle, and those that are slide-in campers or truck campers where they fit into the body of a truck and are not towed.
Some states in the US do not require a title for a slide-in pop-up camper they do however require registration. The States are as follows:
- Rhode Island
Slide-in campers or truck campers legally require a tile in the following states:
Do Campers Come With Titles?
Do campers come with titles? Yes, title deeds should be passed from seller to buyer when purchasing a pop-up trailer.
You should never even consider buying a pop-up camper if the seller cannot provide the title. Without a title, you can not prove legal ownership and you may even find yourself in possession of stolen property.
Sometimes older campers may have missing titles in which case you may reapply to title your camper but this can be a process and it is far safer to find a camper that already has a clean title for peace of mind.
Slide-in or truck campers are an exception where certain states do not require title deeds for slide-ins because they are not considered vehicles as they form part of a truck bed.
It must be noted that even if these states do not require titles, many require registration of truck campers.
The states that require titles for slide-in campers are:
How Long Does It Take To Get A Camper Title?
How long does it take to get a camper title? The mail-in option usually takes 6-8 weeks whereas presenting your documentation in person at your DMV is slightly shorter at around three to four weeks (but this can depend on your particular DMV).
Once your title has been issued you have 30 days to register your camper or penalties will apply.
The process of securing a tile for your camper is similar to that of obtaining a title for a vehicle.
First, you need to make sure that your camper is not a stolen item, it is safe, and it has no lien attached to it.
If all your paperwork is in order, all you need to do is present the documentation to your local Department of Motor Vehicles to receive your new title. You will need to provide the following:
- Title application
- Bill of sale
- DOT or Certificate of inspection
- Proof that the camper is lien-free
- A copy of your driver’s license
How To Get A Title For A Camper Without A Title?
Sometimes with older camper’s titles may be lost or titles may not be handed over between a private seller and buyer.
This can be due to ignorance of the legal ramifications or oversight but the results are the same.
How to get a title for a camper without a title? To get a title for a camper without a title is fairly simple and similar to obtaining a title for your vehicle. You would need to visit your Department of Motor Vehicles and present them with the following documentation:
- Title Application
- A valid Driver’s license
- Original title, bill of sale, or certificate of origin from the manufacturer
- Certificate of Inspection (From the DOT or RV dealership)
- The lien status document
Once the DMV finds that the camper is safe, legal, and lien-free, you will be given a new title. You then have 30 days to register your camper or you may face penalties.
Can You Sell An RV or Travel Trailer Without a Title?
An RV or camper is treated by law in a similar way to traditional vehicles. If you are planning to sell your RV without a title, there are some things to consider. Buyers are less likely to purchase an untitled camper because of:
- Possible liens
- Possibility of the camper being stolen
- The fees and hassle of retitling
- Lack of clarity regarding the history of the camper.
You should consider contacting the DMV of your state of residence and find out their process of titling your camper before you plan to sell.
There are some exceptions to this rule and you may sell certain campers without titles (this may vary from state to state.)
- Campers that are over 30 years old and are considered vintage or collector’s items
- Slide-in truck campers do not need titles in:
- Rhode Island
If you do not have a tile because you built your own RV in which case you will need a scrap title which will give you a tile and a VIN number for your RV.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few common questions people often have about RV title:
How To Get A Lost Title For A Camper?
How to get a lost title for a camper? The process of applying for a lost camper title is similar to obtaining a vehicle title.
First, you will need to ensure that the camper is safe for use, not stolen property and that it has no lien against it.
Once you have the correct documentation you need to present them to your DMV either in person or by mail if your state allows, and they will provide you with a new title.
Can You Get A Replacement Title The Same Day In GA?
Can you get a replacement title the same day in Georgia? No, you can not get a replacement title the same day in GA, but within 7 business days.
According to Irvin Johnson, tax commissioner you may apply for a replacement title from these three locations and it will be mailed from the Georgia Departments of revenue within 7 to 10 business days.
Alternatively, you may apply for a speedier title at the Georgia Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division.
The best way to get a title for your camper is to have a bill of sale or a letter signed by the previous owner. If there isn’t one a letter by the owner, relinquishing rights to the camper will do.
Like the bill of sale, this letter must be signed by both parties and have the VIN and vehicle information. If there are identifying marks or upgrades, they will also be noted on the paperwork.
The title is vital for protecting the camper in the event of an accident or if the campsite needs the information for its own usage.
Most insurance companies will require the title or bill of sale before they will insure the camper.
Take the time to make sure that all the paperwork is accurate, and you are on your way to a great camping experience.
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