Hi! First time buyer looking for advice on buying a trailer out of state - Fiberglass RV

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Old 03-14-2015, 10:09 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Angelica
Trailer: Dreaming of Casitas....
Posts: 2
Hi! First time buyer looking for advice on buying a trailer out of state

Hi everyone,

This is my first post, but my husband and I have been snooping around the forum for awhile. We’re a young couple who has had many adventures hiking and tent camping and are looking into becoming full-time RVers to explore the rest of the country.

Like a lot of folks it seems, we’re looking for a 17’/16' Spirit or Freedom Casita manufactured in 1990s - early 2000s.

We are ready to buy, but haven’t had luck making a transaction go through. We’re located in landlocked Denver, Colorado and both have full-time jobs (though very willing to drive wherever we can in 2-3 days!). It’s become clear that most of the market for pre-owned Casitas are in coastal states.

The problem: Every seller we’ve contacted (so far located in Texas, California, Oregon, Washington) has sold to the first person who can VIEW the trailer, and our location means we’re out of the running. For example, earlier this week we reached out about a trailer for sale within the same hour it was posted. The seller was located in California and the next morning replied he had someone viewing it at 11:00 am. If that person didn’t buy, he had a lot of other local interest and “sorry” we weren’t candidates for buying. We understand that people are looking to sell their trailers as hassle-free as possible, so how do you look like a serious buyer - and make a smart purchase - when you're a thousand miles away?

The solution?: Hoping this knowledgable group has some advice!
  • Any advice for working with sellers who are out of state?
  • Would you put money down on a trailer that you haven’t seen?
  • Do dealers work on a more forgiving timeline vs. individual sellers?

Thanks so much for taking a look and for any insight you might have!


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Old 03-14-2015, 11:09 PM   #2
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Cathi's Avatar
Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
Posts: 688
Welcome, Angelica! Just wait a little longer and there will be one within a reasonable driving distance. Be ready to take off to see it. There are probably more Casitas closer to you than not but the weather elsewhere is better now for selling. You will soon have your turn. No, I would not put money down when sight-unseen. If buying from a factory, there is a wait time.

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Old 03-15-2015, 08:50 AM   #3
Senior Member
Name: Doug
Trailer: Scamp 16 ft.
Posts: 129
OK, Yes dealers will,allow deposits out of state, very safe. We chose a Scamp,ma beautififul and well built trailer. Check out Rvs4sale. Many good deals there. We are just west of St.Louis and found ours in Columbia South Carolina. It was just a 12 hour drive. We bought in the fall, a better time to get a deal. Our Scamp was like new, being a 2008. Shop wisely and don't forget dealers.,check YouTube for deals on Scamps as they are on there, at dealers. Dealers too will deal as individuals as well. The Rvs4sale sight is fantastic, we found ours there. We found it on a Tuesday, left Wednesday!
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:51 AM   #4
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
"Not a candidate for buying....."
Hmmmm. that's a new one, but I can understand the sellers point. Why wait for a "Maybe" buyer to come from out of town to look & haggle, when there are 5 buyers waiting in line waving Ben Franklins in the air.

When I bought two of my 13' eggs (a Scamp and a Bigfoot) I replied to ads within and hour after they appeared and fortunately, as were both were within 75 miles and I was able to look at & purchased the trailers on the same day. In both cases they had a list of back-up buyers in hand by the time I arrived to look. In another sale I drove all the way to Phoenix, AZ to buy a Scamp on the first day of the ad, with a promise from the seller to hold it until I arrived in about 6 hours, only to have it sold out from under me when I was but 15 minutes from the sellers house.

When I found my Hunter it was 500 miles away, and, as the seller had a real attachment for his trailer, he wanted a "Qualified" buyer, who had the ability to take care of and restore his Baby. After qualifying with my RV resume (LOL) I sent him a $300 deposit and picked it up a week later, sight unseen. All went well.

You are looking for a very narrow selection in the field of FGRV's, limited by make, model size and year range. May I suggest that you open your initial requirements and get into one you can find and live with that until you find that perfect FGRV. As you can tell, selling whatever you buy now will be a cinch to resell when that next one comes along.

To answer your questions:

If I had a buyer that had to travel some distance I would insist on a deposit to hold for a few days at the most, with a no-refund clause if they were a no-show.
Waiting a few days would also give me an opportunity to construct a waiting-to-buy list as well.

At least in California, making a deposit, and receiving a receipt for same, makes you a lien holder and gives you substantial legal recourse should the seller sell it to another buyer. You can actually attack the validity of the new owners title & registration.

And, RV dealers usually don't handle FGRV's, especially any RV's over 10 years old, except on consignment.
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:02 AM   #5
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
Forgot to add about sending a deposit:
I always insist on the VIN and registration info, usually by asking for a pic or scan of the title, and that the trailer already be in the sellers name, before sending a deposit.
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:59 AM   #6
Name: Morgan
Trailer: Scamp 16
Posts: 45
Here's a tip for you

Best of luck finding your camper. After you do, here is something you might want to know, if you don't know already. When registering any vehicle in Colorado from out of state you are required to get a VIN Verification before you can register it. You bring the vehicle to a police department or an auto dealer that has the forms and get them to sign it for you. We bought our Scamp new and picked it up in Backus. When I went to register it at the DMV I was told about the VIN verification requirement. Another customer at the DMV office happened to be a used car dealer so he helped get my verification for me with little effort. Otherwise I would have had to hook up the trailer, take it to an auto dealer or some other place that does this, then return to the DMV to complete the registration.
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:13 PM   #7
Junior Member
Name: Angelica
Trailer: Dreaming of Casitas....
Posts: 2
Wow! Thanks so much for all your advice. Definitely encouraging and gives us some guidance on how to proceed.
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:34 PM   #8
Senior Member
Name: Terry
Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
Posts: 372
Well, don't be discouraged. I bought my tow vehicle, and just as I was getting it completely wired up, I saw a 1996 Casita in Silverthorne. It was just a matter of driving up there and buying it. Your trailer is out there, but definitely be careful since our eggs seem to be a leading scam on CraigsList. Typically, it's for a very low price, they say they are being transferred out of the country, and they claim they will ship you the trailer using Amazon, Google, blah blah blah.
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:23 PM   #9
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Name: Dave & Karen
Trailer: 2014 Casita SD 17FT
Posts: 104
That's the reason i purchased my casita new, couldn't find one close enough to make a fast purchase. And for a couple grand more i was able to buy new. I was very surprised how much these lil' campers hold their value. Good luck.
2014 Casita SD 17ft. 2004 lifted Tacoma TRD 2002 stock 4runner 2000 lifted 4runner 1968 resto-mod Chevelle
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:56 PM   #10
Commercial Member
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 978
Role reversal - I'm in Portland, Oregon and after a year was within days of ordering a new Casita when I got an email from near Denver offering exactly what I was looking for on the forums - a Liberty Deluxe. I was on an airplane the next day, inspected and bought by going to his local bank and wire transferring the funds directly into his account. Of course it was January, and rather than cross the Rockies in mid winter I had it brought out on a flatbed for less than the cost of gas I would have purchased. So there IS hope!!!!!!!

Charlie Y
Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design: http://RVWidgetWorks.com
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:02 PM   #11
Junior Member
Name: Aimee
Trailer: Casita 17 DLX
Posts: 21
Try the South A lot of people around here will hold it for you if you're the first to call. When we finally found ours, the guy was so kind he held it a couple days, until my husband's days off. We didn't put down a deposit...just talked to them. I think small towns might be your friend in this instance. Don't give up hope! Just when you think every one is against you, and you will never find the right trailer/distance/price suddenly you do! It's hitting trailer season so more and more are popping up for sale. We actually looked at a bunch of different fiberglass (and non fiberglass options) too. That way when the right one came along we knew it was exactly what we wanted. Good luck in your search...we were in your shoes just a moment ago. Now we're the proud owners of a fiberglass rv!

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