We're glad to know that people have been alerted to the problems of buying this particular U-Haul
trailer, however we wanted to be sure that people know that the lack of a visible VIN
doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't buy a trailer. Probably each state/province has its own procedure for registering a trailer without a VIN. Here's what happens in Oregon:
we bought recently had last been titled and registered in another state. It too was missing any visible VIN, and since the title
was being transferred from another state, the Oregon Dept. of Motor Vehicles needed to inspect the trailer to confirm that the VIN on the trailer matched that on the title. Since no VIN could be found anywhere on the trailer, they directed us to the State Police, who also looked for the VIN and then did a background check on the VIN listed on the title. The background check came back without any problems, and the state police directed the DMV to issue a VIN number that matched that on our title. DMV printed a metal sticker with the VIN and placed it on the outside of our trailer. A happy ending!
But buying a used trailer from a private party can have risks involved... What precautions should be done to protect both the buyer and seller? Our transaction was done with alot of good faith on both sides (we paid with a personal check and didn't actually receive the title immediately), but we know that this is not the recommended way... What ideally should happen?
Jeanne and Steve