Repossessed RVs For Sale: 8 Tips To Outsmart Auction Houses

Repossessed RVs For Sale: 8 Tips To Outsmart Auction Houses

A repossessed RV has been taken back by a creditor (lender) after the buyer failed to pay off the debt. There are usually no legal procedures involved in taking back an RV.

Lenders usually sell their repo inventory to cover the losses incurred as a result of the buyer’s inability to pay the outstanding amounts. Depending on how much remains unpaid, the price of a repossessed RV may drop by half.

Repos are popular because they are frequently much less expensive than previously owned RVs of the same type. As a result, individuals searching for an RV are very interested in purchasing a repo RV.

Even if you buy a repossessed RV, there are still risks connected with repo inventory that may render the purchase useless, no matter how inexpensive the item is.

This information aims to get you acquainted with the dangers of purchasing a repo RV and help you make an educated decision. Let’s start with the issue of locating safe places to purchase repo RVs.

Purchasing directly from a lender

Lending institutions like banks, credit unions, and lending organizations offer their repossessed inventory at online auctions, physical auctions, and directly from their websites. We’ll discuss the last option – buying straight from the lender – later on.

The variety of equipment in a repo inventory varies from boats to RVs, and everything in between. There are generally a lot fewer RVs accessible in repossessions inventories than there are other sorts of equipment, thus you may not locate an offer right now.

Get in touch with a local lending institution to begin. You shouldn’t try and obtain a repossessed RV from a lender in another state since the cost may be prohibitive. is an excellent resource for locating lending institutions by state; it also has a helpful list of lenders sorted by state.

You may also do a manual online search, but should be able to provide you with a thorough list of lenders in your region.

Every lender has its own set of rules, so a thorough study is required. You should look up the lender’s bidding policy and what they will take for the apartment right now among other things.

Working with a lender directly has several advantages. You may often finance your RV through them, and the interest rates are frequently zero per cent. Not every lender will agree to this, so be ready to pay the repossessed RV’s price in full.

It’s also critical to be able to look over the RV and determine its condition and any damage. This is a must since, in the long run, maintaining a repo RV in terrible condition might cost more than purchasing a used RV of the same type.


A repossessed RV may also be purchased at an auction. An online or physical sale is another potential location to buy a repo RV. As we previously stated, buying from an auction is only viable if the lender is selling its assets through auction. Don’t buy an RV that is advertised as repossessed but is a unit that has been purchased from a lender, restored, marked up, and resold for a used RV.

There are several auctions held on the internet and in person. Because they are more time-efficient, we’ll concentrate on online auctions, but what we’re going to describe below applies to both physical and online auctions.

One method to determine whether a lender is selling a repossessed RV through an online auction is to ask them directly. Another alternative is to go on some popular internet auctions. CrankyApe and Asset Management Inc. (AMI) are the two that we’ll discuss today (CrankyApe).

The about page for ‘CrankyApe’ explains that it specializes in repossessing and repairing bank-repossessed and insurance-repairable RVs, as well as their consignments. To submit a bid on a CrankyApe repo RV, you must first join the site, which costs $50.

There are a lot of details to understand about bidding on CrankyApe, so be sure to go over their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information on payments, unit pickup, and other topics.

Here are some important points to remember about CrunkyApe:

  • The RV must be collected by you within 14 days after the auction date. Each day beyond the 14 days costs $25 for each unit purchased. You will have to retrieve the unit at one of CrankyApe’s storage facilities.
  • Although the agents do a great job of indicating that RVs are sold “as is,” there are no warranties. According to CrankyApe’s FAQ, the auction makes an honest effort to describe the goods accurately. They only describe their stock based on visual examination, as CrankyApe claims on its FAQ page.

When you buy from CrankyApe, it’s your responsibility to have the vehicle repossessed inspected. You’ll need to inspect it at one of their warehouses if you can’t do it yourself, but CrankyApe has resources for independent contractors in your area if necessary.

AMI Auction

Another approach to acquiring a repossessed RV through an online auction is AMI. It’s the number one liquidator (person responsible for winding up a company’s affairs) in central Minnesota, according to AMI’s website.

There’s less information available on AMI’s website about their auction procedure, so you’ll need to contact them to learn more about it. It is, however, comparable to CrankyApe in terms of process.

It’s also vital to do your homework and ensure that you’re dealing with a repossessed RV rather than a rebought and repaired one that is advertised as a repo for a much higher price.

The most effective approach is to find out the average fair market value of the RV and compare it to the price offered for the repo vehicle. In general, you aren’t dealing with a repo RV if the RV’s price is close to its fair market value.

What about RV dealerships?

RV dealerships have been known to purchase repossessed RVs from an auction, return them to good working order, add their profit margin, and then attempt to sell them as repo RVs for a price close to that of used RVs.

Although these motor homes are no longer repossessions and cost more, there are several advantages to purchasing one.

When you acquire a repossessed RV from a bank or at an auction, you are most likely getting the RV as-is. If any repairs or reequipment are required, you will be responsible for them yourself. There aren’t often any warranties attached to repo RVs, making a poor choice essentially a huge waste of money.

You pay more money when you purchase a resold “repo” RV, but you don’t have to deal with as many repair and maintenance expenses. Furthermore, RV dealerships may give warranties on the RV.

It’s not something that everyone may handle. If you have the tools and abilities to get an RV back in shape, buying a repo RV may be well worth it. Even with repair expenses taken into account, a repaired repossessed RV may be much cheaper than a comparable new model.

If you’re unfortunate with your choice of an RV repair shop, the expense to repair it may make it not worth it.

But if you don’t know anything about RVs, it may be a good idea to spend a little extra and avoid any repair issues.

Finding a fantastic bargain

Once you’ve located a reputable dealer to buy a repo RV, it’s time to seek a decent bargain. In this part, we’ll show you how to find a great repurchase RV offer.

Choose a reputable vendor

Not all RV offers are the same, and we aren’t talking about the price yet. Not every RV dealer gives thorough information on the vehicle. And any knowledge you can get on the RV is beneficial.

Look for sellers that have car histories, VINs, photos, and documented titles. You’ll be closer to putting the RV on the road if you can provide enough information upfront.

The lender must provide you with a title or certificate of possession for the RV. Avoid any arrangements without a title since you will be unable to claim ownership of the RV if you don’t have one.

If you’re obtaining an out-of-state certificate of repossession that doesn’t need the lender’s signature to sell the RV, you’ll want to know whether your home state licensing board will accept it and issue a new title in your name to allow you to claim ownership of the RV.

Investigate the Market

You’ve undoubtedly spent months looking for the ideal repurchase RV, and you could have one that you’re particularly interested in. Sure, hunting for a repurchase RV might take a long time, but this doesn’t indicate that you should make a snap decision and buy it.

After all, it’s possible that the bargain isn’t too wonderful, and there are certainly alternatives available than buying a repossessed RV that are more appealing. Furthermore, you’ll almost certainly face extra expenditures if you buy a repo RV.

Repo RVs occasionally cost more than the NADA value. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, because most of the time, more is owed on the repo RV than it is worth. As a result, be ready to haggle over starting offers.

To begin, figure out how much the wanted repository RV costs on average according to NADA guides and at RV dealerships. The repo RV should ideally be less expensive than its typical market value.

If you do not require such an RV, then purchasing one may not be worth the money. Remember that, in addition to transporting and doing maintenance and prep work on the RV, you may need to move it as well.

However, if such an incident occurred, it would indicate that the RV repossession was a waste of money and that you should have purchased a secondhand RV from an RV dealership, for example.

Examine the RV

If you can’t do it in person, whether due to time constraints or lack of expertise, no matter how thorough the RV description provided by the seller may appear, you’ll need to inspect it yourself or have it inspected by a professional. Look for another offer if the seller refuses to let you look at the RV before purchasing.

Determine when and for how long you’ll be able to check out the RV of your choice. You may be able to schedule an inspection ahead of time, and you could even take a spin in the repossessed RV that you’re considering buying.

Whatever alternatives you are given, thoroughly inspect the RV to find problems that need to be addressed.

Place a bid on the RV

Come up with a sum that you will not go over when bidding on the RV of your choice. Bid at or just above the price given by the seller.

You may also set a maximum bid amount and enable absent bidding when placing bids online. The system will then automatically raise your bid to the maximum you specified.

Take a good look at the seller’s conditions and terms.

It’s critical to fully understand the seller’s conditions and disclaimers, as well as your responsibilities. If there are any warranties on the RV, you’ll find information about them in the seller’s terms and conditions.

Get your RV and have it street-ready.

After you’ve outbid other bidders, paid the deposit, and signed the necessary paperwork, go pick up your RV from the lender. But before you can use it on the road, it must be street-legal, just like any other automobile. To make sure that you qualify for the necessary exemptions, you should re-name the RV in your name and have it insured and registered. Make sure you’ve done all of the repairs to make it street-legal.

Is it worth getting a repossessed RV?

Now that we’ve covered what a repurchase RV is and why you may want one, we’d like to help you decide whether it’s worth your while.

Buying a repossessed RV may save you thousands of dollars. However, several elements can have an impact on the actual savings you gain from owning one. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

It might take a long time to find a suitable repo RV.

It might take you months to locate a suitable repurposed RV for sale at a fair price. The issues we’ve outlined above make repo RV research time-consuming, and you must be prepared to invest the time into it.

It’s possible that you won’t find anything at all. It’s also possible that when you do, it will be in an awful state or have been repossessed. When this happens, the lender must sell the RV to recoup their investment and make a profit; otherwise, they’d lose money on every sale! So if you’re looking for a great deal on a repo RV but don’t have time to search for yourself, finding one via social media isn’t the best method of doing so.

Inspection and delivery expenses

Transportation costs for repossessed RVs are just one of the additional expenses involved. Most likely, the RV you want to repossess isn’t located near you. Furthermore, you may need to transport it across multiple states and hundreds of thousands of kilometres.

It’s also not simply about transportation. You or someone you trust will need to visit the repossessed RV and assess future repair expenditures before deciding whether or not to acquire it.

At this point, you must decide whether you are ready to spend hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars on a trip to inspect the RV (or have someone else inspect it) or on its delivery to your house.

Repair expenses

After you’ve paid for the rental car, fuel, and other expenses, there are repair bills to consider. Repo RVs frequently need some sort of repairs completed. When it comes to RVs, appearance may be deceptive; they are delicate and prone to issues, which sometimes necessitate costly repairs.

The costs of restoration and remediation are separate from the cost of disposal, which is determined by the waste company. Then there’s labour — whether it’s spent on a house or an RV, you’re still looking at a hefty investment. Depending on how previous owners have treated their RV, you may need to spend thousands of dollars restoring it to its former glory, not to mention replacing or upgrading some appliances or adding 50-amp service.

Determine whether you will be able to pay for the repairs if you hire someone to do them or if you will have to perform them yourself. It’s also a good idea to factor in the cost of any necessary repairs, as these may arise at any time, especially during the initial week of RV usage. Determine whether you have enough money in your budget to cover additional repair expenses if they occur before then.

Auction Expenses

If you buy an RV from an auction, you will almost certainly have to pay some sort of auction fees. So, how much are those charges going to be? And won’t they make the whole repo RV purchase process pointless for you? These are a few questions that should be answered when searching for a repo RV from an auction.


Check to see whether the manufacturer offers a warranty on the device. If there is, check to see if it transfers to you and if any transfer fees apply. Even an extra $100 may have a significant impact on your budget, so be sure to account for it when making your decision.

When it comes to repossessed RVs for sale, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible before bidding against other buyers. In this article, we’ve outlined eight tips that should help you get the best deal on a repossessed RV. By understanding how the auction process works and what factors influence prices, you’ll be in a much better position to snatch up your dream RV at a bargain price. Let us know how these tips worked out for you in the comments below!

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

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