Can I Sell My Camper without a Title?

Selling a camper without title? Can this happen? You bet it can. In fact, there are many situations where you could sell your camper without a title and still be legal about it.

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In some cases, it is simply impossible to have a title for the vessel in question. Perhaps the owner of an RV lost his or her job years ago and was unable to keep up with payments on a finance agreement – leading to repossession of the property by the lending company.

The lender may have listed the property as “titled” even though they do not possess that title, yet their actions were all legal. It is unfortunate but life happens sometimes.

In other cases, it is a simple matter of state law that prevents an RV, camper, or trailer from being titled. This is usually because the vehicle was built prior to 1972 and there are no longer any requirements for titles on these types of vehicles.

How to Sell a Camper without a Title

Selling an RV without a title requires potential buyers to trust that the seller is honest and truthful with them about the condition and features of their fifth wheel trailer. A buyer will want to ensure that they are not purchasing a unit that has undisclosed problems or issues. As such, you must take extra steps to document the condition of your unit including taking photos of damage, accidents, and wear and tear as well as keeping all maintenance records.

To answer the question “Can I sell my camper without a title?” we’re going to take a close look at both situations described above. The first example – where you cannot get your hands on the title – is straightforward, but if you will bear with us, we will also briefly discuss how things work in states where RV ownership does not require titles at all.

The Lender Doesn’t Have a Title (But You Can Sell Your Camper without One)

If you have lost the title to your RV, camper or trailer and you are dealing with a lending company – be it a bank, credit union, private lender or even possibly an auto dealer who provided the loan – then the owner of the property is at fault for not keeping their paperwork in order.

That said, there is little you can do about this without breaking the law yourself. The only options available to you are:

·         Stop making payments on your finance agreement until they send you your title (which probably will not work)

·         Try contacting them again to see if they will send another copy before attempting to sell (usually results in frustration.

·          Keep paying and hope for the best.

The third option is probably the smartest for most people, but if your situation is such that you need to sell – then there are some ways around it.

Selling Your Camper without Title to a Trustworthy Friend or Family Member

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If you have a family member or friend whom you absolutely trust and know will not attempt to steal your property, then this could be the simplest solution for you. Simply transfer the title into their name, pay off the loan if needed (you’d probably still owe on any taxes or fees), sign over the registration and put up any accessories as collateral until they can pay back what’s owed to you on top of what they paid for the camper itself.

However, note that this method does not legally make them owner of the vehicle. This is illegal and can get them into a lot of trouble if they are caught. Essentially, you are just loaning the title to them while they own the vehicle – and this would not be allowed in most states.

If you do decide to take this route, make sure to write up a very thorough agreement that specifies all the terms of your agreement including deadlines for payment and consequences for late payment or nonpayment altogether. Keep everything officially documented so there is no chance of any confusion later on down the road.

Selling Your Camper without Title to a Private Party

If you don’t know anyone personally who could borrow their name for such a temporary basis, then we recommend selling it privately through an online service like eBay Motors. This gives potential buyers the opportunity to inspect the vehicle before they commit – and you can rest assured that it will be transferred to whoever buys your camper.

Just make sure you get a purchase agreement from the buyer (and keep a copy for yourself) and follow all of eBay’s rules for trading RVs, campers and trailers. Since this is technically a sale of goods, you might even want to set up an account with PayPal to provide some added protection during transfer of funds.

State Laws Regarding No Title on a Trailer or Camper

In many states in the US, there are no laws requiring trailer or camper ownership to be documented with a title. In other words, whether or not your property has been titled by state does not have anything to do with how it is legally owned.

As long as you have ownership of the camper or trailer, then by law you are allowed to sell it whether or not it has a title. Regarding vehicle registration, some states require an official title to be registered – but check with your DMV to see what is required where you live because this is not always the case.

For more information regarding no-title laws in other countries, please do contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles branch.

Why Would A Camper Have No Title?

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There are various reasons why a camper might not have a title as seen below:

1.       The fifth wheel camper was purchased in another state and is now being registered in a new state that does not have a title transfer process.

2.       The trailer was manufactured before titling requirements were instated by the DMV.

3.       A lienholder holds ownership of the vehicle due to an outstanding loan on it.

4.       There was no title issued when the fifth wheel camper was purchased from its original owner or dealer

5.       The cost of titling, registration, and insurance are deemed too high for this camper so if sold quickly enough, they would rather part ways without their title, which will become more of an issue if they choose to sell it again later down road, as proof of ownership is needed when purchasing a new unit in the future.

How to Document Your Camper for Sale without Title

If you are selling your fifth wheel camper with no title, it is imperative that you do everything that you can to protect yourself from any fraudulent activity that could arise if the buyer chooses to use their own set of keys and take off with it.

It may seem like something small but buyers will be more enticed by an offer if they know that there are no papers, nothing to worry about on their end once it is theirs. As such, make sure you provide them with all relevant documentation of the vehicle including photos, maintenance records, etc. This way they will feel confident in knowing exactly what they getting themselves into before purchase.

Selling your camper without title is not recommended as buyers may have a rough time trying to get it insured for a road trip. Also, if a buyer does purchase your unit, you will most likely need to provide them with a signed bill of sale and have them fill out an application for a new title in their name once they have paid you in full. Without this documentation, there is no way of proving that the fifth wheel trailer was legally sold by its owner.

In addition, sellers must also be aware that they might not always receive what the buyer has promised to pay especially when doing business with someone online. What seems like an amazing deal from across the country can easily turn into being stranded with no money or trailer once you’ve made the deal and sent off your fifth wheel camper.

Are there Legal Repercussions of Buying a Camper without a Title?

There are various legal issues that buyers of a fifth wheel camper without a title have to deal with once purchase is made.

1.       If you are able to obtain registration, there is always the possibility that the DMV will place an expiration date on it because the previous owner never transferred ownership over to himself or herself. This can cause problems when it is time for their registration renewal and they find out that they need documentation from its original owner or proof of sale such as a signed bill or proof of payment in order to get through this process smoothly.

2.       If insurance coverage is needed, companies may refuse liability coverage should any damages occur while driving, camping, etc. There has been cases where insurance companies do not recognize titles and registrations that were not legally transferred and refuse to cover the former owner.

3.       If you decide to sell your unit at any point down road, buyers will most likely need a bill of sale – which you cannot provide them with. Without sufficient documentation, there is no way for them to prove that they are the only current owners of such vehicle and makes it very easy for scammers to take advantage of their situation.

What If I Buy A Camper Without Title?

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If you find yourself in possession of a fifth wheel camper that has no title, do not panic. Simply follow the steps below:

1.       Take photos or video footage of all visible identification numbers on the vehicle (vehicle identification number: [VIN]). This will help to prove ownership in the case of any disputes.

2.       Ask the seller for proof of ownership such as a bill of sale, statement from dealer, mechanic or owner. If they cannot provide you with this documentation and no copy of title is available at the DMV, it may be best to walk away and look for another unit to purchase. This way if problems arise later down road, you will always have proof that you purchased it in good faith because all transactions should be backed up by documentation.

3.       Do not buy a camper without a title if it might leave you stranded with no money or vehicle at some point down the line since there is no legal proof that you own it, making an insurance claim virtually unenforceable.

4.       Make sure all contact is in writing and if possible, use a service like craigslist’s insurance verification program  which will provide you with additional trust when doing business online.

5.       When selling this unit yourself, be sure to include the change of ownership form that must be filled out by both the buyer and seller once payment has been received in full or money changed hands. Both parties should sign it in person to legally transfer this vehicle into new ownership while also requesting valid identification from the other party for proof of identification purposes.

6.       Ask for photo ID if needed to verify who they say they are since you may have trouble proving your case later down road without having documentation linking you to the sale of the unit.

How to Get a Title for a Camper without One

If you are able to obtain proof of ownership or documentation that proves who the owner is, obtaining the title for this camper is easy. Simply follow these steps:

1.       Go to your local DMV office where you will need one form of identification as well as any documentation proving who you are and proof of ownership. Accepted forms include a state issued ID, driver’s license, military identification or passport. Be sure to bring any documents or bills of sale that may help prove ownership along with the proper fees depending on if it is being transferred out of an individual’s name into new ownership or out of an individual up for registration purposes only. A full list of fees can be found here.

2.       Depending on what type of transfer needs to be done, you will either need to bring one form of documentation or a bill of sale along with a letter from the seller.

3.       On occasion, some DMV’s may ask for proof that you do not owe money on the unit prior to issuing the title. If this is needed, have proof that all taxes and fees have been paid in full, or proof that they have been paid ahead of time if required by the state you are residing in.

4.       Once proper documentation has been supplied, wait about ten days for your registration-titled camper to arrive by mail (or however long it takes for this office).

Enrolling In Insurance without Title

If an individual needs their RV/camper insured before they can get it titled, most insurance companies will accept a bill of sale along with the proper documentation to prove that they are the rightful owner of this unit.

Once insured, drivers can also get temporary plates, which will allow them to drive their camper home while waiting on the title/documentation to arrive in their mailbox. Please keep in mind that once you have gone through all of these steps, your camper is now legally yours so do not forget where you park it.

Related Questions

How Much Is My Camper Worth?

The value of a fifth wheel camper varies based on its manufacturer, model year, and condition. In order to determine an accurate price for your camper, conduct a search online to see how much similar units are selling for at the current market value. Another way is to take it to a repair shop or RV dealer who can provide an appraisal of its value based on the current condition.

If I sell my camper without title, do I still need to transfer my registration?

You do not have to transfer your registration if it expires during the time that you own both vehicles. Once you sell the other vehicle, however, you will need to update your registration information accordingly.

What Paperwork Do You Need To Sell A Camper?

If you do not have the title for your camper, there are other forms of documentation that may be used to prove ownership (e.g. bill of sale, federal certificate of origin). If you no longer own the camper and wish to sell it without a title, consult with an attorney for more information about alternate documentation options.

What Is The Best Way To Sell A Fifth Wheel Trailer?

When selling a fifth wheeler off-road camper, buyers want peace of mind when making a large purchase such as this. Thus, many prefer buying directly from a dealership or brand where they can pay using major credit cards. However, if this is not possible then an individual seller must take extra steps to help protect themselves from credit card fraud.


In conclusion, it is best to get the title before you sell or register this unit for road use. You can sometimes find a camper that does not have a title since it may have been given one through the state in some cases but if yours falls under this category, you will need to get a new one issued with your name on it instead of going through all of these steps and wait times.

If both parties show photo ID when selling this unit, make sure to document whom they say they are along with their contact information while also having them sign off on either a bill of sale or transfer form for future documentation purposes.

Finally, always check your local laws and rules to see what your options are since requirements may differ from state to state.

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