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Old 05-16-2011, 11:31 AM   #57
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Ok, now I don't know what to do. Never having seen a trailer title, I didn't really question the title given to me. It was a real trailer title, it had the guy's name on it, and he signed it over to me. It didn't say "Scamp" on it, and I did question him about that (I was trying to listen to the advice from here!), but he said something along the lines of "I know, I thought that was weird too, but this is what I got" or something like that. Seemed like an honest guy, and I knew nothing. And I had no idea where the vin was on the camper so had nothing to check by anyhow.

Well, after some investigation, I found the VIN (hard to read, but still barely visible stamp in the metal), and the "1973" camper he sold me is actually a 1991 (score, I guess), based on info from here (link to the scamp vin decoder site). And of course the VIN doesn't match the title (the VIN on the title is only 12 digits, the VIN on the scamp is 17, and the numbers don't match at all). And looking at the title now, I see that it says "HMD" under "Make" which I now assume to mean "homemade". It also says "CT" for "Body", don't know if that means camper trailer or not, don't know what kind of body style CT is (will try to call the DMV this morning about that). The title does have the correct weight (CWT) as 10, as near as I can tell (I think CWT is hundred weight, and the camper weighs about 1000 pounds).

So what do I do? Alternatives:
1) Take the title to the DMV and get it registered/plated. The title seems to be in order, and it's in state so there's no required VIN check. So presumably, I could have a trailer title and a license plate. Possible issues with this: they don't let me for some reason, I have issues selling it down the road?
2) Try to contact the seller and return the trailer. Possible issues with this: he refuses (also, an issue is that I won't have a camper).

Obviously, the guy may or may not have been honest with me, but he did seem quite honest. Don't know why he'd advertise a 1991 camper as a 1973 if he was scamming me, I suspect he didn't know what he got and maybe that title is what he was given and he registered it and never questioned it. Dunno.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:45 AM   #58
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Name: Francesca Knowles
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Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
So what do I do? Alternatives:
1) Take the title to the DMV and get it registered/plated. The title seems to be in order, and it's in state so there's no required VIN check. So presumably, I could have a trailer title and a license plate. Possible issues with this: they don't let me for some reason, I have issues selling it down the road?
2) Try to contact the seller and return the trailer. Possible issues with this: he refuses (also, an issue is that I won't have a camper).
Hi, Dan

This probably isn't what you want to hear, but...

3)The responsible alternative: Go to your DMV and report the situation exactly as it is.
They'll do a VIN search and determine whether or not you're in possession of a stolen trailer, which you very well may be.
If it isn't in the database as stolen, they'll tell you what to do next.
You may find Lizbeth's experience in a similar situation useful. It's post#42 Theft-of-Whole-Trailer Prevention ?

Good Luck!

Francesca
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:04 PM   #59
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Thanks Francesca, I didn't want to hear that but I took a deep breath and followed your advice, I called the DMV and asked them about all this. Funny thing is they seemed uninterested in the VIN of the trailer. I told her the story, I read her the info off of the title the guy gave me, and she said that is how they did it. It didn't make a lot of sense to me, but she said that if the trailer was brought in and they couldn't find the VIN (understandable given how difficult it is to see/find), they would just assign it a VIN number as a homemade trailer and give it the year that it was titled. She said that I was good to go. I tried to give her the real VIN to check it out, but she didn't want it.

So I feel relieved now.
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:41 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
she said that if the trailer was brought in and they couldn't find the VIN (understandable given how difficult it is to see/find), they would just assign it a VIN number as a homemade trailer and give it the year that it was titled. She said that I was good to go. I tried to give her the real VIN to check it out, but she didn't want it.

So I feel relieved now.
WHEW!
Except...
If that's what happened, how is it possible that the Title you have in hand has a 1970's date on it?
That doesn't make sense to me...

Francesca
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Old 05-16-2011, 12:44 PM   #61
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Sorry, I never made that clear. the title has a 2001 date, but the seller told me it was a 1973 and had told me that this title, weirdness and all, is what the DMV gave him. Which, it turns out is true. And it turns out I have a 1991, not a 1973 (though given the cracking and door issues, not sure that matter much, but that's a different thread in the "problem solving forum" ).
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:17 PM   #62
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Did the lady at DMV tell you where to find the NEW VIN # on the trailer?
When new VINs are issued, they have to be permanently mounted somewhere on the vehicle...
In Washington they stamp it on the tongue...

Francesca
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:20 PM   #63
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She said that they used to give out stickers and tell people to mount it, but the stickers often came off, then they moved to metal plates. It sounds like they didn't really police this. She said that I could get one when I came in to register/title the trailer and mount it, which I will do, so that if/when I sell this, the VIN will be verifiable.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:32 PM   #64
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Wow- sounds pretty casual...
No wonder my husband's three stolen motorcycles have never turned up!

Since you know the real, original VIN, you might want to set your mind at rest re. possibility that somebody had-er-"other" reasons for retitling this Scamp.
One resource, at least for vehicles reported to insurance companies, is the S.V. database at Consumer Action :: Free ‘VINCheck’ for unrecovered stolen vehicles

Best of luck to you!

Francesca
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:42 PM   #65
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Living in the "sailing capital", I can tell you that it is very common for people to lose trailer titles. Trailers, in general, are often forgotten about. People don't keep track of the paperwork like they would on a boat or car. My Scamp has a "home built" vin, as well as the newer VIN plate.

We bought a boat a few years ago, and the owner could not find the trailer (he bought it in 1975). We simply had it registered as a home built and everything is good! There is NO way to do a title search for a trailer in Maryland. Of course, they will do a lost title search for a car, truck, or motorcycle.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:45 PM   #66
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Francesca, thanks for that link, it does set my mind at risk, it's not in there as stolen!

And thanks, too, Jesse, that also helps set me at ease. I will now continue worrying about the real issues with my camper, and not title issues.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:31 PM   #67
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I thought the trailer was newer than a 1973. With the radius windows and rat fur. But when Mary F. posted about the "oh so 1973" upholstery.... I thought hummmm.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #68
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Unhappy Money or sweat equity

Trailers are like anything else you buy, a house, car, etc. You either pay for one in good condition or you put value into it by making repairs, either yourself or pay someone else.

Some thoughts: If you give them the frame VIN, maybe Scamp can tell you who they sold it to and you can research it from there.

I don't know about having two VINs on a vehicle... Your state may be lackadaisical about it, but another may not. Maybe you can ask

Trailer Life Magazine: Follow the Road to Adventure

Maybe a local RV dealership would have some experience...

Do you have a law enforcement officer somewhere among your social circle?
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:27 PM   #69
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Well Dan you must feel a bit better now that you know your trailer is 20 years younger! :-)

As I first raised the question as to what year the trailer was really built I am not suprised it is early 90's but the inside as Donna pointed out raised an intreasting situation - it sure wasnt so clear to me either as to what year that trailer was built by just looking at the inside. BTW the uphostery in the early 90's was a rusty brown color that I know all to well or did until I redid it this winter. :-)

Due to the conflicting info you have already on the paper work why not call Scamp with the VIN and ask them confirm the year before you register it - if nothing more than to get your paper work correct. They actually sent me a nice letter on their letter head confirming the date and month mine was built and confiming the axle weight etc based on the VIN number I had provided them with (which was stamped on the trailer) - our DMV needed that info before I could register it - the sticker which would normally have that info had been painted over.

I would suggest that Roger has also given you some good advise regarding the VIN as well. Now you know where the orignal VIN number is on the trailer you should ask the DMV to issue your new paper work with the orignal - might save you a lot of explaining should you sell the trailer down the road.

Now breath deep and start worrying about where your first trip is going to be!
Have fun.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:00 PM   #70
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He should change his handle to "lucky Dan".
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