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Old 03-15-2012, 02:56 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, 03:04 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, 03:04 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, 03:08 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, 03:11 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, 03:11 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, 03:16 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, 03:18 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, 03:29 PM   #9
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Yard art!

Perfect solution right there!

Awesome!

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Old 03-15-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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Or a chicken coop!
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:18 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, 07:45 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, 07:58 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, 08:30 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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Old 03-15-2012, 08:34 PM   #15
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True enough... now if there was no way to tell that the trailer was the SAME trailer that was duly noted...;-)
I figured it was a sleazy trick that used car salesmen would use, but at least it could be used for good in this case...
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:22 PM   #16
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I've heard of "good" trailers being sold to salvage yards as scrap. The salvage yard then sells it with salvage title even if the trailer has never been damaged or deemed a total loss buy an insurance company.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:08 PM   #17
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My motorhome has a salvage title. The man we purchased it from was a mobile home dealer and owned a used carlot. He was very up front about the salvage title.He said that we couldnt get financing on a salvage title. I can hear a banker laughing at asking for a loan on a 83 motorhome. It was in good condition except hail dimples on top front and rear curved roof area.The center part of the roof had been replaced. It has been a great and we have made several long trips in it. I have it insured so I guess it depends on the state you live in about insurance. We were able to examine and drive it before purchase. I would probably not buy salvage title item without someone I trusted doing a on site inspection Good luck in your search for your Airstream. I am very happy with my salvage title unit

Kay
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary Burris View Post
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
Mary Claire, Do you have the ability to go inspect the trailer and title? If so check the trailer serial number plate. Also look on the A frame for a stamped imprint of the serial number. Make sure they match what is printed on the title. If trailer is damaged or has been flooded it is hard to justify spending your money to try to make it better. Always will be a salvaged trailer even if somehow you have the title changed. My most pressing questions would be:

1.) Why was it salvaged?

2.) If damaged was damage properly repaired?

3.) Was the trailer stolen?

4.) If trailer is complete will the seller allow a pre-purchase Airstream dealer inspection or at the least an inspection by an Airforums Inspector?

And last;
5.) Why was current owner unable to register and license the trailer in the state where it is today?

Very suspicious that they were not able to get this done. For you to obtain any possibility of putting the title and registration in your name the current owner of the trailer must have it titled in their name first at their expense. This must happen before selling it to you or anyone else. State DMV offices all require this step to show proper change of ownership. If this cannot or will not be acceptable to the seller then RUN and keep on looking. Ed
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:00 PM   #19
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Try explaining it's salvage title to new buyer when you want to sell it

It's going to be tough road. Only vehicle I personally even considered was jeep wrangler flood damage with 400 miles. I knew the value of doors,tops,hood,axles if I need to part it. They are easy to fix and parts selection huge. There is dealer in UT selling salvage vehicles really all they deal with. Suckers come along and pay low book thinking they got good deal. Reality salvage title fixed perfect is only worth half book value. Salvage is certainly a risk maybe better off paying more mulla for clear title unit. Also you did not state year of trailer if its 2012 with hail damage it would still be solid unit.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:03 AM   #20
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Smile Salvage Parts Required??!!

Just wanted to add to your stream that if you don't end up buying that salvage trailer, let me know because I need a "parts" trailer for a 56-58 Sovereign of the Road! Best of luck...
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