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Old 11-16-2008, 07:57 AM   #21
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Shacksman's got the right idea. I bought my trailer from a guy in Soddy Daisy, TN. The title was in his father-in-law's name who had passed away. I would have taken the trailer, no porblem, and had it registered in Florida without any difficulty. That did not happen since I needed a tag. The owner changed the title to his name and get the tag at his expense. I towed it to Florida and the rest is history.

I also would not give a retainer without first inspectig the trailer. I drove to Tennessee and took three hours looking at the trailer. I then gave him $500 to hold it for one week. I returned later with new tires ordered from The Tire Rack and had them mounted at Wal-Mart after jacking the trailer and removing. I then drove 5 miles and had the connector upgraded to the round seven pin. All went well.

This should be a lesson to everyone to control the emotion and practice due diligence even if it comes to an Airstream - it's like dangling a carrot for some. Irrational exuberance.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:47 AM   #22
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Fyi

Quote:
What's the old saying? - "There's something fishy in Denmark" (but then, I never fully understood the connection to pore ole Denmark?)
. . . this paraphrases a quote in Shakespere's Hamlet by the minor character Marcellus:
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by dreadydreame View Post
well I checked the vin on there and it's not listed as stolen, I think the "open title" you mentioned is probably what is trying to happen. The question is who was the old owner and do they know their vehicle is being sold, this whole mess is making me sick to my stomach
I think you have hit on the problem and the solution. If you have problems with this, I 'd find another trailer. "Not listed as stolen" does not mean the trailer is not stolen-it means it is not reported stolen.

Is NC a notary state? If this sale occurs in a notary state, the owner must have his signature notarized on the title as seller. If your new seller offers to notarize the signature and has admitted he is selling it for a "friend", this is a bad deal.

At the very least, I'd insist on meeting the owner. If he can produce identification you are in better shape. For all you know, the real owner is dead or out of town and does not know where his/her trailer is.

Others have said it:there are other trailers out there.

In the event you buy a stolen trailer with the best of intentions, the real owner can claim it and you are out the money. Sure, you can sue and get a judgment but you have little chance of recovering your money. Additionally, you will appear to be some shaky in this deal if you buy something w/ a skip title.

Look elsewhere-it's better for your blood pressure.
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:30 PM   #24
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As others have indicated I would be inclined to Demand this guy meet ya at the BMV at which point he signs the title and U write him a check for the balance. If he refuses WALK AWAY no matter how good the deal is. PayPal will refund your deposit thru thier buyer protection Plan,under item not received. There are other Airstreams out there.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:19 PM   #25
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Relax it may not be the perfect one for you. Meant to be or not meant to be that is the question.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:16 PM   #26
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I bid on an airstream on ebay, I paid the deposit using paypal. I get an email from the seller saying the day I chose for pickup would be fine and that I could call him. The next email says he would take cash for the balance when we pick it up. Ebay motors only has protection if you pay online I think.
So I call him to get dirrections and work out the day time for pickup. He says if we call him before we get to his town he will tow the airstream out to his wife's place of business near the highway (so it's not out of the way). Then I ask if he can go with us to the DMV to sign and notarize the title. He says his buddy is a notary and he will have the title all signed and notarized when we come, and we can just take it to DMV at that time. That he towed it from the campground and the old owner is still on the title. Do you think this is stolen? I have a really bad feeling. What should I do?
I'll take the opposing view of most of the posts here...(no ofense intended)

What I'm reading between the lines is a helpful seller (albeit probably a "flipper") and a purchaser with a slight case of "buyers remorse" or simply first time buyers nervousness.

If you're getting a signed title with the purchase there shouldn't be any problem. When I purchased my AS (on eBay) I also was supposed to pay a deposit thru Paypal and the balance in cash. I didn't care for paying a deposit sight unseen, and was able to work out with the seller to come pick it up and pay the full purchase price in cash. We drove down (across one state) to pick it up. The seller allowed us to fully look it over and then we paid in full (cash). Trailer and signed title were ours.

I don't know how much your winning bid was, but as a seller I would also require cash on delivery/pickup. I don't know the buyer, or how much they have in their account so a personal check is out of the question. A money order or Cashiers Check would not be satisfactory for me either, as I have a collection of counterfeits I have personally received in the old "Cash this and send me back the extra scams" Paying on-line incurrs a considerable expense for the seller on a big ticket item. I believe eBay motors protection only requires proof of payment. In addition to the title, make sure and get a signed bill of sale detailing exactly how much was paid and in what form. Verify the sellers ID.

Next step drive to the DMV and start the process to have the title placed in your name. Drive home and start the project! Enjoy!
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:31 PM   #27
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I have to agree with the GreatPumpkin. I bought my Sovereign from the grandson of the owner. It was in Michigan, which is not a Notary state. I sent a deposit and took a bank check for the balance and drove to Michigan. I got the title from the grandson and pulled the trailer home. Took the un-notarized title to my DMV where they informed me that most states no longer require notarization (pretty odd) and gave me a new title. The trailer had to be seen and the VIN checked by the agent, but that's all there was to it. If this thing is stolen, I doubt if anyone in Michigan will ever find it down here. It's a great trailer and I have to agree also with a previous post that you may be reading too much into this. Look over the title and take it to the DMV and change it over. If you don't live in the state where the trailer is located, I think you would be wise to pull it to your home state and then go to the DMV. I don't think there is a big market in stolen Airstreams is there? Why not ask if you can call the real owner to verify the sale or meet the seller at the park where the stream is parked. Surely there is an easy way to make this work.
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Old 11-16-2008, 04:40 PM   #28
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Suspicious

If you send me the information on who you are dealing with, I can run a quick check and let you know if you should be suspicious. I have access to all the right databases.

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Old 11-18-2008, 08:38 AM   #29
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Well after much good advice from lots of great people. We decided to email the seller with a note saying in order for us to buy we need him to get it titled in his name and that we would wait the few weeks it takes to be done. We also said once that is done we must meet him at DMV to have it signed over to us.
He agreed to get it put in his name. Maybe this will end up good after all.
Will let everyone know what happens next. Thanks again.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:42 AM   #30
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Quote:
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He agreed to get it put in his name. Maybe this will end up good after all.
One of two things will a happen now:

a. You'll never hear from him again

or

b. He'll produce a good title and you'll sleep better.
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:30 AM   #31
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Well I wanted to let everyone know how this turned out. I told the seller we could only purchase if he had it titled in his name. So he did. We went out to pick it up yesterday. The guy turned out to be a nice guy after all. We had him sign it over at the DMV and I also got a bill of sale. I am glad we were careful though Ebay is a tricky thing. We are now the proud owners of a 65 overlander! Thanks for all the advice everyone
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:05 AM   #32
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I recently bought my AS off Craig's List and the owner wanted cash and to meet at a hotel. I was very leery of the situation. Once I got there, the widow's story was very sad. She didn't have the title with her. Still uncomfortable, I gave her a small deposit and waited for her to go get the title and bring it back the same day. Everything worked out fine. After meeting her, the anxiety subsided somewhat.

I have bought 2 other trailers and a truck camper off the internet before, each with it's own story. Bottom line is wait until you meet the seller. An open title is not legal in VA, but people do it all the time to avoid paying title and transfer fees. If you have a title in hand, signed, DMV will issue you a new title and registration.

Glad this all worked out for you. I try to heed the words of my father, "Trust, but verify." You know sellers have anxiety with giving up their titles and vehicles to strangers as well. Not like it used to be when all it took was a hand shake.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:12 AM   #33
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Congratulations dreadydreame, glad everything worked out well!
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