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What is a Rebuilt Title, and How Does It Affect the RV Value?

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Published : November 9, 2022
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All vehicles that you buy, including RVs, will include a title. The title says that you legally own the RV. While many people understand how RVs have a title, not everyone knows you can encounter more than one type of title. It would be best if you learned the differences to make smart choices. Today, we will focus on rebuilt title RVs and discuss the most important elements you need to know.

You can buy many types of vehicle titles:

  • Rebuilt title
  • Clear title
  • Bonded title
  • Lemon title
  • Dismantled title
  • Junk title
  • Odometer rollback title

What Is a Rebuilt Title?

Here, we will cover “what is a rebuilt title” since it directly relates to the topic. Buying an RV with a rebuilt title means getting a vehicle that received extensive repairs to restore it to its original condition. As a result, the authorities consider it safe to drive on the road. Therefore, some people will call it a rehabilitation title.

The title tells everyone interested in the vehicle that the owners once salvaged the RV but refurbished it. In other words, you shouldn’t be paying the full price for a salvaged and renovated RV. The title type exists to help buyers. A rebuilt title RV does have an advantage in that it should be worthy of the road.

Let’s say your RV collided with another car on the road and suffered serious damage. At this point, they write it off and put the salvage title to it. Under the salvage title, you can no longer legally drive it on the road. Before you can get it over to a rebuilt title, you will need to hire professionals to put factory parts back in the RV and restore it to make it safe to drive again.

How do RVs get a rebuilt title? Before it receives the rebuilt title, you will need to put it through a safety test.

What Does a Rebuilt Title Do to the Value of a Motorhome?

Unfortunately, you will never remove the stigma against your RV if it has a rebuilt title. Everyone will know that at one point, the RV was totaled. Unfortunately, in many cases, they don’t even rebuild a totaled RV because it costs more than it is worth, and you can never fully return it to its original structural integrity.

How much value does your motorhome lose? It depends on the model, but your RV will depreciate from 20 percent to 40 percent compared to a clean title RV. Let’s say that you paid $50,000 for the RV. You would suffer a $10,000 or a $20,000 loss. For that reason, buying an RV with a rebuilt title isn’t a great choice unless you know about it and want the discount.

As long as you understand what to expect when you buy an RV with a rebuilt title, you can buy it and do fine with it. Keep in mind that some states won’t call it a rebuilt RV. In some cases, they may call it something else. No matter how they list the title, it means that the RV was once salvageable. If you’re asking, “what does rebuilt title mean?” it simply means that the RV was once in a serious accident or suffered severe damage.

Is a Rebuilt Title Bad for an RV?

You don’t want a rebuilt title on an RV because everyone will know that it was a salvaged RV at one point. Now, you may be able to turn this to your advantage and ask for a discount on the RV, but don’t trust it. You need to know about a few cons of RVs with a rebuilt title. For example, how well the RV does on the road will depend on the skill of the mechanic that worked on it.

If you buy it from a reputable dealer, you should be fine, but you have other issues to deal with, like a low trade-in value. For example, let’s say you would like to trade it for another vehicle. Don’t expect too much.

In some cases, insurance companies may refuse to cover an RV with a rebuilt title. Either that or they may charge you more on your premiums. They may also avoid it because they can’t determine if the old accident caused the problem.

You need to beware of rebuilt titles and who you buy them from. Only purchase through trusted dealers, if at all. It would be best if you considered your safety and the well-being of all those you share the road with. Sometimes, an evil owner will remove the parts that make the RV safe for the road. They will put junk parts in the RV after receiving the title, which is extremely dangerous for you, your passengers, and all other traffic participants, to say the least.

RVs with rebuilt titles may have suffered damage that cannot be repaired. You may have paid for an RV that is a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.

Can You Get Insurance for a Rebuilt Title RV?

In cases where you’d like to know about the insurance companies willing to cover RVs with a rebuilt title, you do have plenty of options available like:

  • Allstate
  • Omni
  • Hartford
  • Everest
  • Safeco
  • Insurance Navy
  • Root Insurance

This shows you who can provide insurance for RVs with rebuilt titles. While these companies may cover you, they may charge a higher premium. If you’re wondering, “what are the drawbacks of rebuilt title RV?” you should know about some negatives before buying. Remember that you will need to carry liability insurance at a minimum in all states, and you could face higher premiums than RV owners with other titles.

Insurance companies will assume you are more likely to file a claim. Because of the greater risk, you can expect to pay up to 20 percent more.

Should You Buy a Rebuilt Title Motorhome?

In general, experts say that it isn’t worth the risk of buying a rebuilt title RV. For the inexperienced, you have too many traps and pitfalls to which you could fall victim. You may see a lower asking price upfront, but you can pay outrageous costs to repair the RV.

You can save big money with a rebuilt title, but you should expect some drawbacks like the ones mentioned. You also should not buy one unless you are knowledgeable enough about it. Without the proper knowledge, you can easily be taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealers. In many cases, it’s better to buy a more expensive RV knowing it won’t present the same problems.

Is a Rebuilt Title Better Than a Salvage One?

You cannot legally drive an RV with a salvage title since it would be dangerous if you did. For that reason, a rebuilt title is superior to a salvage title because you can still drive it. However, the salvage title is the one you get after an accident or a major event that damaged your RV (like flooding), and you must prove that it can be used on the road safely before they let you drive it.

Does a Rebuilt Title Void Warranty?

Unfortunately, your RV will void its warranty once they deem it salvageable and put the salvage title on it. You get a rebuilt title after the salvage title, meaning your RV would lose its warranty before it even hits that point. You cannot regain the warranty after they salvage the title on an RV, and you should keep this in mind if you choose to buy an RV with a rebuilt title. They will have negatives about them that should concern you.

RVs with rebuilt titles will lose much of their value. You can’t avoid it. In many cases, insurance companies will total the RV, and you’re better off going after a newer RV than the one they rebuilt.

Can You Register a Rebuilt Title RV?

You can register and title your RV without too many problems. It won’t become a huge deal, but you should remember some of the other issues with rebuilt RVs before you buy one. For example, in some states, you cannot register an RV if it still holds the salvage title because those vehicles are not roadworthy.

Always Proceed with Caution when Buying a Rebuilt Title RV

Never approach an RV with a rebuilt title with a lackadaisical attitude. Suppose you choose to proceed with the purchase. Research ahead of time. The factors leading to a salvage title on an RV will differ from one vehicle to the next. Some types of damage (like a full-blown engine) prove much harder to repair. Even if it looks repaired, it may break down at some point in a big way, and you won’t be able to fix it without expensive bills, if at all.

Let’s consider a totaled vehicle. Many insurance companies will total an RV for certain types of damage, but that doesn’t always mean they can’t repair it. In some cases, the insurance adjuster made a mistake. You can get an awesome deal on an RV with a rebuilt title in those situations. Again, we emphasize that you receive a great deal for that specific case, but you need a sharp eye to know when to buy or walk away.

In cases where you can get a good deal, look for RVs with rebuilt titles that suffered cosmetic damage. While they may not be the prettiest vehicles, they will present little to no issue with functionality.

You should understand that even if your camper or toy hauler has a rebuilt title, you don’t have a guarantee that they repaired it correctly. Along with that, RVs with rebuilt titles offer no legal course of action. For example, you could not file a lawsuit if they repaired it poorly.

For these reasons, you must do your due diligence. Unfortunately, fraud and deception are common because there is no legal recourse. That’s the other danger of wading into the rebuilt title market. You don’t receive the consumer protection that you would with a new RV. In other circumstances, you could file a lawsuit if you bought a lemon.

In some states, RVs with a rebuilt title will see a lower hurdle to getting that title than in other states. Exercise caution in states with a lower entry barrier because they can get away with more from a legal standpoint. Never drop your guard with RVs with a rebuilt title, no matter how good they look on the surface.

Rebuilt Title RVs FAQs

What does a rebuilt title for an RV mean in Texas?

RVs with rebuilt titles in Texas had previously had a salvage title, but they became roadworthy after passing a safety test. In the state of Texas, RVs also must pass anti-theft inspections and other state mandates before receiving that title.

How much value does a rebuilt title lose?

You can expect to lose anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of the vehicle’s value. Again, it depends on the make and model, but the more in-demand, reputable vehicles will hold their value better than those that don’t see as much demand.

What does it mean when an RV has a rebuilt title?

The rebuilt title means the vehicle is roadworthy again after an accident or severe damage, and you can legally drive it. It puts it one step above the salvage title, as driving a salvaged vehicle on the road would be illegal.

What should I do with a rebuilt title RV that nobody wants to buy?

If you have a hard time selling a rebuilt title RV, your best choice is to sell it for cash to an entity ready to pay a good sum. This way, you might recover some of your repair investment and avoid seeing your beloved motorhome decaying in a junkyard.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article answered the “what is a rebuilt title RV?”. In general, specialists recommend people avoid RVs with a rebuilt title. Even beyond its loss of value, you must deal with many issues with rebuilt title RVs. You can get a good deal on one, but you must always know what you’re doing. Also, remember that RVs with rebuilt titles don’t have the same consumer protections, so you might find yourself at a complete loss.

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