[box type=”info”] When you buy a car, there’s certain paperwork associated with it that covers the legalities of ownership. This includes the registration and the title. Specifically, the title is a document that proves your ownership of the vehicle.[/box]
Without a title, if you were by chance driving a car that someone else had stolen and the cops found you with it, legal trouble would certainly ensue.
Even if you are absolutely sure the car you own was never stolen, you still need a title. After all, you want car insurance, right? Of course you do. If you can’t prove the car is yours with a title, it’ll be next to impossible to take out a car insurance policy in your name.
That’s why your towing vehicle needs to be titled to you. What about your pop up camper? Does that need a title as well or are you in the clear?
Do You Need a Title for Your Pop Up Camper?
[box type=”info”] Yes, you absolutely do need a title for your pop up camper. Having just the title for your towing vehicle is not enough.[/box]
Again, it comes down to ownership. You want to prove you own the camper, and you can’t truly do that without a title. If you don’t have a title, then the pop up could have been stolen or picked up from the side of the road or who knows what. It’s certainly not legally yours, even if it technically belongs to you.
Just like with a car, not having a camper title could likely prevent you from insuring your vehicle. While camper insurance is not legally mandatory, as you recall from past articles on this blog, it’s smart to have anyway.
Now, we do want to say that if you own a truck camper, you might not need a title. Per the Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV, here are the states that require a title for a truck camper:
- Rhode Island
Given that you own a pop up camper and not a truck camper, the above likely doesn’t apply to you. It’s reasonably safe to assume then that you’d need a title for your vehicle. If you’re curious, you can always get in touch with your local DMV and ask.
What If You Bought Your Pop Up Camper without a Title?
While we don’t recommend ever buying a vehicle without a title, we understand it happens. Maybe you didn’t know your pop up needed a title so you completely glossed over that when you bought it from a third-party seller.
What’s done is done. The most important thing now is to get your camper title. To do this, start by calling or emailing the last owner. You should have their contact information handy, especially if they sold the camper to you recently.
Discuss the title and its whereabouts. It could be that the third-party seller forgot to pass the title along. If so, this can be easily rectified. You two just have to meet somewhere and exchange the document. They could even mail it to you.
In some instances, the seller themselves may have never titled the camper. In that case, you need a bill of sale. While this doesn’t prove vehicle ownership, per se, it does include important information, such as the vehicle identification number or VIN as well as the pop up camper description.
There’s also a possibility that the previous owner had the title but misplaced or even lost it. Ask them to look for it. If they turn up empty-handed, you’re still not totally out of luck.
What If You Lost or Misplaced the Title?
[box type=”warning”] Whether the third-party seller lost the title or you did, it’s gone. That doesn’t mean it’s forgotten.[/box]
To begin the recovery process for a lost pop up camper title, you’ll need your VIN. That’s why it’s good to at least have a bill of sale if you don’t have a title. Your VIN should be 17 characters long. If it isn’t, then you’re going to have to backtrack, contact the original seller, and get a real VIN.
You’ll also need proof of insurance as well as the license plate number for the vehicle. The proof of insurance shows the camper is in use.
Once you have all that info, head to your local DMV. You can then apply for a replacement title. If you ever need a copy of the title, you’ll have to go to the DMV with the above information as well.
It’s not free to get a new or replacement title, by the way. In California, it costs $20 for a new title, but the fee can be higher. We recommend calling your local DMV ahead of your appointment and asking about the fee. At most DMV offices, you can pay by card or with cash.
When your number gets called at the DMV, you’ll have to complete a title form. This may be a special request form, especially considering you want to title your pop up camper. Once you fill out the form, the DMV employee will verify the information you give them. Then you pay them and that’s it, you can go home. You’ll have to wait a few weeks for the title to arrive in the mail.
How Often Do Titles Need to be Updated?
The good news is that once you have the title, it’s yours until you decided to sell the camper (if you ever do). There’s no need to update it. That means it’s definitely worth taking the time to get one if your pop up camper isn’t already titled.
[box] To prove that you own it, you need to get a title for your pop up camper. Hopefully the third-party seller you bought the vehicle from gave you the title. That’s the best-case scenario. If they didn’t, then you must draw up a bill of sale. If they lost the title, you can get a replacement, but it’ll cost you time and money.[/box]
I hope this article inspired you to get your pop up camper titled if it isn’t already. Good luck!