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Old 03-15-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Should I beware of an Airstream Title that says Salvage?

Looking at an Airstream that the seller says has a salvage title. Seller says it was a salvage title when he bought it but he was able to register and get a tag for it. Should I beware? His ad to sell it does not show the back of the trailer or one side.
Thank you,
Mary Claire
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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Hi, at the right price, a salvage title might not be so bad, but the fact that you can't see the entire trailer concerns me. If it's hail damage, you might be able to live with that, but if the other side of the trailer is caved in, I would run away from this one.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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A "salvage title" says that an insurance company "totaled" that trailer sometime in its life. That just says that they thought that the price to repair or make the owner whole exceeded the "book" value and so they cut their losses. I'd want to know what the damage was and how it was subsequently repaired. It may be fine now or it may be a mess. You need to do some looking at the history and a thorough inspection of the trailer is in order...
Just my 2 cents....
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Burris View Post
Should I beware of an Airstream Title that says Salvage?
Yes, you should.

A salvage titled Airstream is not able to be insured. It means that at some point an insurance company considered it totaled. Which, with an unrestored vintage trailer, it's not hard to do. The trailer has a "book value" that's pretty low - if it had any major skin damage or even hail damage, the cost to repair it - unless it is a DIY job - is going to be more than the perceived value of the trailer. Thus it's totaled.

However, it could be "safe" if you don't need it insured - like if you are going to use it as a home office, guest house or yard art. The damage could be just cosmetic...but I wouldn't buy a salvage titled trailer to take on the road or put a penny into it's restoration.

If the seller can't send you more pics and you are not able to live with it "uninsured" I would run away. Very quickly. eBay trailer sales can be a scary thing...

Shari
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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Depending on the state, you usually can't get insurance on something with a salvage title. Like Bob said, at the right price it might be fine, if it's a $3k trailer in good usable condition and you are OK with not being able to get comprehensive coverage on it, it could work for you. If losing your investment in a theft or collision would be more than you can stand, look for one with a clean title. (even if another driver were at fault, I suspect their insurance company would try not to pay if they learned it's a salvage title. I may just be paranoid, though, I don't know that for a fact.)
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:11 PM   #6
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Mary Claire,

Welcome to the forums.

There are two things to consider with a salvage title. First, the presence of such an indication on the title does show that the trailer was considered a total loss at some point, probably as a result of storm damage, collision, or flooding. With a newer, higher value trailer, it is then especially important to be sure that the repairs performed were completed by qualified people in a satisfactory manner. It is also important to understand the nature of the event that led to the trailer being totaled and view the extent of the repairs in that context. A trailer that was flooded above floor height, for example, couldn't be completely repaired without replacing the floor and the entire interior.

The other thing to consider is that when, at some future point, you wish to resell the trailer, the "salvage" indication will still be present on the title and may affect the price you can get.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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Hmmm...7 minutes & 5 responses all saying just about the same thing. Guess that should give you an idea of what everybody thinks about salvage titles!

Shari
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Burris View Post
Should I beware of an Airstream Title that says Salvage?
Yes!
I'd want to know everything. Was it a fixed wreck? A theft recovery? A meth lab? If it was a flood trailer I wouldn't buy it for any price above salvage price. If I consider it after I know everything, I get a full inspection.
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:29 PM   #9
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Yard art!

Perfect solution right there!

Awesome!

Shane
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
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Or a chicken coop!
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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Or a chicken coop!

I remember that thread.....what happened to the guy who wanted to chop one up and make it two levels?



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Old 03-15-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
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check with your insurance agent. if there was an insurance payment there is a record somewhere of what happened. it is possible to repair a totaled vehicle to make it "road worthy" and eligible to be re-registered. it might have been a cosmetic issue that totaled it too.

check the vehicle out thoroughly!
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:58 PM   #13
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You COULD buy it with that title (if you thought it was a good trailer) and then tell the DMV you bought it and it didn't title. They will issue a new title with a few hoops to jump through.
This may be slightly illegal (although maybe not if you actually burn the title up:-), but if you restore it it only seems fair that you should be able to get a good title...
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #14
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You COULD buy it with that title (if you thought it was a good trailer) and then tell the DMV you bought it and it didn't title. They will issue a new title with a few hoops to jump through.
This may be slightly illegal (although maybe not if you actually burn the title up:-), but if you restore it it only seems fair that you should be able to get a good title...
If the salvage title has been duly filed with the state, any new title they issue would also be branded as a salvage title.

Now, if it was a salvage title in another state and you pretend you didn't get the title, you might be able to get it cleanly titled in your state. I think there's a cheat in Texas (and perhaps other states) through which it's possible to put a mechanic's lien on a vehicle (and I assume a trailer) and get a new title that way. It's a dodge used by sleazy used dealers to clear salvage titles and resell totaled vehicles as clean-title vehicles.
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