Old trailer. No title. World of pain

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Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby egjacks » Fri May 05, 2017 10:38 am

Ok, so I bought this old camp trailer about five,maybe 7ish years ago. It had been broken into and vandalized. I figured I could tear it apart for pieces and at the time I had no interest in registering it. I paid $50 for it and snuck it home the few miles without a travel permit. The seller had no title, I was stupid and didn't ask for a bill of sale. Nothing but a heres some cash it's yours.

I realize now that i could have bought a stolen trailer and no reason to get TOO deep into what I SHOULD have done. But now, after sitting that long, I slowly demoed it so there is nothing but a frame left. I salvaged the stove and some windows and a few odds and ends. And I feel like I have maybe gotten my money out if it.

But now, I have this nice trailer frame,with brakes and minimal rust. It is calling to me to build a teardrop, or at least a little utility trailer. You know, something.

I tried going down to the dmv, and was told I couldn't register it. It has an "non-conforming" old vin, meaning it is 13 digits long and hard for their system to work with. And apparently their records are "purged" after six years of non-registration. So I took it to the wash state patrol, where he kindly agreed to tell me that the trailer was not stolen, and to go ahead and register it with a "title in doubt". But he didn't know what to do about no bill of sale. Went back to dmv and was told to find the original owner and get blah blah paperwork signed and filled out. I don't think this option is possible, although for the last two months I have been trying to backtrack this stupid trailer. I have found the last two unregistered owners and may have hit a wall, as the original owner "was some old guy, blah blah, bad health, blah blah, probably dead". Not promising by any stretch.

So I still want to own this trailer but I don't know how to do it. I have thought it f turning it into a homemade and getting re-inspected. The state trooper seemed to think that would be a BAD THING, making it very clear not to do that whilst still being quite vague on the consequences and how they would know I had done it.

I could cut it down and recycle it, but that seems a waste. And I don't have the fabrication skills to rebuild pieces into a new trailer

I don't have any money to throw into the project currently (read poor full time college student living on loans and family help.

So. Any thoughts people? :worship: :worship:

For what it's worth, I am in Washington state, Benton County, Richland. If that helps anyone.
Eric
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Woodbutcher » Fri May 05, 2017 2:48 pm

Register it in Maine. Google it. Lots of people register their trailers that were sold with bill of sale or no title. Then transfer it it Washington.
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby QueticoBill » Fri May 05, 2017 3:17 pm

Woodbutcher wrote:Register it in Maine. Google it. Lots of people register their trailers that were sold with bill of sale or no title. Then transfer it it Washington.

I registered in Maine and they wanted and got copies if my MCO and receipt. They would not register it without the MCO which required snail mail to and from Northern Tools. Maybe if I persisted they had a system.
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Tigris99 » Fri May 05, 2017 4:17 pm

Be better off "modifying" it into a home built trailer and starting the registration process that route.

If you don't have a bill of sale or title that's the only way to go.

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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby egjacks » Fri May 05, 2017 5:46 pm

If I modify it, how much modification would be needed to make it a new trailer? There are two state troopers in this area who do inspections, and I feel like I have made myself memorable to at least one of them. I don't want to be arrested (or fined or yelled at) if he looks at it and says, that is the same trailer.

If I register it in Maine, do I need a bill of sale? I need to go research that further. Once it is registered in Maine, I can get it transferred/registered in WA?
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby egjacks » Fri May 05, 2017 5:57 pm

Here are some pics of the frame, please ignore my truck cap

I was planning on cutting off the "wings" and step, and shortening the rear without moving the axle. This would put the axle closer to the rear, and set the tires outside the frame(I like the looks better that way anyways). If I removed the hitch (where the current vin is) is that enough modification?


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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Padilen » Fri May 05, 2017 7:14 pm

I've done it often in Mi. But I also had all the titles just in case.
I've sold the frames some asked for the title others didn't. Once the trailer is just a frame, you add the deck or what ever take over a scale. Take the weight slip to DMV and say it's home built. There is a size -length and weight that changes this. But that's a lot bigger than what I've done.


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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Dale M. » Sat May 06, 2017 7:22 am

Grind off any VIN, paint it up pretty and tell them its a new build with "found" materials... Get new registration... Might need bill of sale for materials or axle but not a big problem...

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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby egjacks » Sun May 07, 2017 7:09 pm

Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do. Keep the ideas coming, I am open to all possible solutions!

I might end up grinding the vin and starting from scratch. We will see, I am still waiting to hear back about one possible way to get the original owner. I will keep you all updated on what happens.
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Don L. » Tue May 09, 2017 6:37 am

Can you tell me where the VIN # is on your trailer? I bought a stripped down to the chassis trailer that looks a lot like yours, same type of construction and all, and could not find a VIN # anywhere.
I do have a title with a # on it but nowhere on the chassis is one to be found. The DMV in VA doesn't look at the trailer when I transferred the registration over so I could be hauling just about anything down the road and I would be legal, practically speaking.

This is what I bought, a 1968 Go Tag Along camper.
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Padilen » Tue May 09, 2017 7:02 am

A lot of the older trailer, I tore down the tag wasn't on the frame but riveted to the aluminum skin. Some had a tag on the frame the same way. Some had a metal sticker.


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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Don L. » Tue May 09, 2017 10:07 am

That would explain it. When I bought the trailer, the guy I got it from had just torn apart the camper and scrapped everything but the chassis.
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby Philip » Tue May 09, 2017 1:11 pm

I just went threw your state laws. You do have what looks like one option you might try. Here is a link to the page.

http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/docs/cvd/170_129.pdf

This is page the page most likely to help. Ownership in doubt

http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.12.680

I would try this route first.

1st reason. You don't know the orginal owner. So going this way would give you 3 years of plates to use the trailer. If the orginal owner does not show up. Then a new title would be issued.

Next thing I would try is a junkyard. Talk to them and see what process they could use to get a title if they bought the frame as scrap and wanted to reuse/resell it.
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby egjacks » Fri May 12, 2017 1:19 am

Don, next
The vin on my trailer is stamped into the metal on the passenger side of the top of the hitch coupler, just right next to the leveling jack.

hitch.png
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There are numbers stamped on both sides, not sure what the other one is.

Those frames do look a lot alike though, don't they? I think mine was a '72 fleetwood, at least that's what I remember the trooper telling me when he ran it to see if it was stolen.

If you end up not having a vin on your trailer, you might get it stamped to match your title, just to avoid unpleasantness.
Eric
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Re: Old trailer. No title. World of pain

Postby egjacks » Fri May 12, 2017 1:37 am

Philip,

I have been talking to the licensing place about getting an ownership in doubt, but still seem to think that I need a bill of sale or release of interest. they gave me a public records request form to find the previous owner, but I just got it back saying it was the wrong form and to use "this one" except the new form makes it clear that the purge their records after 6 years and to not bother trying to get them. I have had the trailer for at least that long, so I don't think the records I want exist anymore. From looking at the ownership in doubt that you posted, it seems like I would be a prime candidate, and maybe it will still work out. I hope so at any rate. The junk yard idea might be very worth pursuing, thank you.

If the records have in fact been purged, is it legal for me to remove the vin, reinspect it as homemade and start fresh?
Eric
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