Buying a used RV in the USA

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Jan 13, 2005
If you plan to come to the USA and buy a used RV, we have some guidelines in our forum library that might help. Click the Library button in the toolbar above, then click Visitors to the USA and select Buying a used RV in USA.

Here's a direct link to the article.  *
Looks like I goofed in my prior message. Apologies Bob and good catch Gary.

Here's a direct link to the article.
[edit]Added link.[/edit]
Hi all,

Notwithstanding the link provided by Tom, I wondered if there were any of you out there who have a more recent tale to tell based on buying a used RV in the USA?

I'm particularly keen to figure out how much time (on average) should I expect to wait from agreeing to buy the coach (from a dealer) to driving away in it.  If for example, I'm a Brit coming across on a visa waiver, I only get 3 months to buy, register and tour.  I don't really want to spend the majority of my 3 month's allowance in a hotel waiting for plates / insurance etc.

Cheers 8)
I can't speak for LLC situations. But, if you buy from a dealer, once he either has your cash or you've got an approved loan, the dealer prints the DMV (aka DVLA) documents and you drive away. Hopefully, you'll have done the walk-through and got things fixed before driving away. Getting the stuff fixed might take a few days. Plates will follow in the mail to whatever mailing address you've provided.

Don't forget to line up the insurance ahead of time, and allow time for PDI and orientation.

FWIW we'd been here less than 2 weeks, living in a motel, and on UK payroll (i.e. we were on a B1/B2 visa) when we bought our first car here. We didn't have insurance pre-arranged, so I had the dealer drive the car on their plates. I picked up the phone book and an insurance agent met me in a restaurant at to write the insurance binder. Just like your friendly Pru agent  ;D

The longest part of the vehicle buying process is arguing about the price, but that can be shortened by walking out if they don't accept your offer. Start your stopwatch and see how long it takes them to come after you.
Cheers Tom.

So (and excuse me for sounding dumb) the plates aren't already registered to the 2nd hand vehicle as they are over here?  And is the PDI an independant inspection?

I suppose my mailing address will have to be the hotel/motel that we'll be staying in when we arrive.  That or the dealer's address.

PS. Not the best of start for the Swans nor the Rams on Saturday eh? :-\ 
Oops, sorry, I was thinking new vehicle when I said the plates would be mailed to you.

The dealer will attach a temporary license (piece of paper) to the windshield, and this will be good unitl the tags arrive in the mail. The tags are sticky plastic labels that are attached to the rear plate (not like a UK windshield tax disk).

I suppose my mailing address will have to be the hotel/motel that we'll be staying in when we arrive.

You don't want to do that unless you plan on sticking around a couple of weeks. You may want to ask the dealer if you can hand carry the paperwork to the nearest DMV (this is exactly what happens if you buy a vehicle from a private party), and they'll give you the tags across the counter. Alternatively, you'll need to have some kind of forwarding address set up where the tags can catch up with you.

The above is how things work in California. Other states may be different.
The very first thing to do when importing in to Canada, is to check out  There you will find import information.  BTW, there is a difference in procedure to import a towable, compared to a vehicle with an engine.
Thanks for that link mach92bill. That site is quite informative.
We purchased our 2004 Damon Daybreak from General RV in Brownstown Mich. Frank & Spencer,bent over backwards to help us get it back to Ontario.They even had a driver,drive it to our driveway;about about 15 mi. from Ambassador Bridge.other than paying both taxes(& getting refund from govt. on one) the import was quite easy.You must check to see if the vehicle can be imported;if so happy camping.
Hi Guys I just purchased a F250 (1996) and an airstream (1985) and want to get then registered in Texas any advice on Insurance companies and general do's and dont's. I'm a Brit
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