What to Do if You Are Upside-Down on an RV Note & Need to Sell It

by Shanan Miller ; Updated July 27, 2017

To transfer the title of your RV, you must pay off your loan and obtain a lien release or proper title signature, depending on your state's requirements. You may use the proceeds of your sale to pay off your lender, but you'll have to provide the rest of the money yourself to satisfy the loan.

Lender Payoff

Call your lender to find out how much you owe on your RV loan. Also ask for your loan's per-diem amount, which is the amount of interest charged to your loan daily. You'll have to add the per-diem amount to your payoff each day until your sale. This is a good time to ask about the loan pay off process so that you can communicate better with your buyer during the selling process; your buyer will want to know when he can take ownership of the RV. If the lender is local, you can likely arrive in person to pay off the RV loan and obtain a title or lien release to give to your buyer the same day.

Valuing Your RV

The more you can get for the RV, the less you will have to pay out-of-pocket, so you want to make sure you get a fair price. Access online RV appraisal guides and use a median value among the different guides, as values will vary. Keep in mind that values will differ by area. You might find you can get more or less than online appraisal values. Checking RV classifieds will help determine how much similar RVs are selling for in your area.

Buyer Payment

Once you have an idea of how much you can expect to get for your RV, budget accordingly to satisfy your loan. You'll need to have your money ready before you find a buyer. This way, you and your buyer can go to your lender (if it is local) to satisfy the loan. If the lender isn't local, you can arrange a conference call with the buyer and lender to verify the amount due on the loan. Make the excess payment before your buyer so that he can verify that his payment satisfies the loan amount. Your buyer can pay you or your lender for the remaining balance due on your loan after you make your payment.

Trade Option

A dealer can take your RV for trade toward another purchase. The excess value that you owe on your loan goes toward your new purchase or loan amount. Many states offer a tax deduction for RV trade-ins. Since you already paid tax on the RV you want to trade, you can reduce the selling price of the new RV by the dealer's appraisal value before applying sales tax. Depending on your RV's value and your area's tax rate, you can save thousands of dollars in tax charges.

About the Author

Shanan Miller covers automotive and insurance topics for various websites, blogs and dealerships. She has extensive automotive experience, including auction, insurance, finance, service and management positions. Miller has worked for dealer sales events around the United States and now stays local as a sales and leasing consultant for a dealership.