Avoiding Scams When Buying An RV

If you are looking into buying an RV, you likely already know what you need to do. Selecting the right size and model, comparing prices and finding one within your budget are all basic components of the buying process. Another important step of the buying process is making sure you avoid scams when buying an RV. 

Buying an RV doesn’t have to be something to fear. While there are a variety of options when it comes to purchasing, to ensure a safe and smooth sales transaction, knowing what Not to do is just as important. Here are some pointers for what to do and what to avoid when buying your new rig.

If It Sounds too Good to be True…..

It probably is. A significant price drop or a largely underpriced RV can be a red flag.  If the rig is in excellent condition with a free and clear title, there are not many reasons the seller would let it go under the market value. There are some situations where the owners may need to let the unit go at a lower price, but always proceed with caution.  


It is common that the seller may request a deposit to hold the rig for you. It is highly recommended that you have seen the unit, or had it inspected before sending any sort of deposit. You want to make sure you are looking at a legitimate RV before sending sellers any money. As a potential buyer, always make sure you and the seller are in agreement on whether it is a refundable or nonrefundable deposit.

Being mindful or various things to look out for during the buying process, can keep you and your financials safe.

Don’t Fall for Flakes

While 90 percent of the ads are created by legit sellers, sometimes scammers can be creative. You always want to research the unit and talk directly with the seller. Scammers often only try to communicate through email. It is best to talk over the phone. If after a phone conversation you still are uneasy, trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to walk away from the deal and look for another RV. Remember, you are not only trying to purchase a RV to have fun, but keep yourself safe in the process and avoid scams when buying a RV

Being selective on who you share your personal financial information with is important. You don’t want your banking information to end up in the wrong hands. 

Keep Personal Banking Info Private

When it comes down to the buying process, you want to make any payments in the safest way possible. It is always recommended to check with your bank on what they believe is the safest way for you to send any funds, whether it is the deposit or full payment for the RV. Typically a bank to bank wire transfer is the easiest and safest way to send the funds to the seller. If you are not comfortable with a wire transfer, you can pay with a cashier’s check or certified check. When you are making payment for the unit, the seller will need to provide you with a Bill of Sale and Title.

Location is Everything

When viewing the unit and finalizing the sale, you want to make sure you meet in a safe location. Both parties will feel more at ease meeting in a public place, during the day.  It is easiest and safest to finalize the deal right at the bank. When bringing the funds for the rig, whether it be cash or check, you will feel safest bringing it right to the bank, and the seller can have the bank verify the funds as well.

Better Safe than Sorry

With all the potential scams out there today and all the new ones being hatched for tomorrow, you can never be too safe. Do some research on the rig and the seller. Familiarize yourself with how the process works and how to keep yourself safe. Look at purchasing your RV from a reputable seller who has the support you need to answer any questions. 

Listen carefully to the seller and if something sounds off, don’t doubt your intuition. Never hesitate to ask questions and get the clarity you need. Use common sense and be proactive. Safely go through the buyer process and enjoy the new-to-you-rig!

About Jackie Seals, Sales Liaison

Jackie Seals has been a Sales Liaison with National Vehicle for over three years. She is passionate about helping buyers and sellers feel safe with every sale she is involved in. When she is not working at National Vehicle, she spends her free time with her husband and son exploring the great outdoors. She has a passion for adventure and is always looking for new places to explore.