Is It Safe to Lease My RV Through a Dealer

Question: Dear Luise: I recently had a death in the family and have a VERY NICE 40 diesel for sale. I was contacted by Dreamfinders RV regarding leasing/purchase motor home. They have a prospective leasee/buyer. The motor home is leased for a minimum of one year and then purchased.  The leasee MUST obtain insurance, extended warranty, make sure all maintenance/ repairs are done and monthly payments will be automatically deposited directly into my account or mailed to me. My question…have you heard of Dreamfinder and what do you know about leasing your motor home? This company sounds pretty thorough but I just am not sure. M.

Answer:
Dear M. I would contact the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General’s Office in your state to ask about the company. How long have they been in business? Any complaints or pending law-suits on record against them? If you find no negative history, I would ask for a copy of the contract you would be signing and have a lawyer check it out. Better safe than sorry.

I wasn’t able to find much online, which bothers me a little. I was directed to a dealer in Florence, Alabama, which may not be the right site. But what really raises the hackles on the back of my neck is that this is a very difficult time, as you know, to find qualified buyers for luxury RVs, even lease-to-own buyers. The market is flooded with RVs being sold at a huge loss and dealers are going out of business everywhere you turn. Poorly qualified buyers are disappearing with recently purchased RVs and using them for housing. (While the salesperson keeps the down payment as his commission.) There’s a lot going on that you definitely don’t want to be a part of.

My guess is that you have been contacted by a somewhat slippery salesperson that has no buyer. They do not need to go out looking for RVs to sell; they are buried in RVs. Once you sign, the “buyer” will probably “change his mind” and your unit will be tied up. At that time, I’m afraid you will be asked to lower your price and broaden your terms to “compete” with a market that has almost disappeared…while still being responsible for a large sales commission. There can be many variations to this theme…none in your favor. It’s just a guess and I hope I’m wrong.

I would try a by owner ad on www.craigslist.com at a very competitive price with lots of great pictures.  And I wouldn’t lease unless you really know what you’re doing. Or better yet, I wouldn’t lease at all.

There are also off-the-wall solutions like putting your RV in a camping club, living in it and renting out your own home. Rentals are in demand…ones people can’t drive away in. Blessings, Luise

6 Responses to Is It Safe to Lease My RV Through a Dealer

  1. Luise January 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Question: Luise,
    Let me start by saying that you are right there are a lot of so called RV Brokers out there who will not do what they say.
    Dream Finders is not one of them!
    John Hiebel is the owner and is a very honest person.
    John has been in the RV business for many years and has had no complaints or law suits.
    He does not charge a fee unless he finds a Lessee/Buyer and a deal is made, then it a sellers fee of 1% of the sell price to the seller and a buyers fee of $750.00 plus a consultant fee of $500.00 for checking out the buyer/Lessee and providing guidance with the contract.
    Nothing is paid until the deal closes and all monies go through the seller.
    Any money down is the sellers not the agents!
    Unlike others he has one contract that is a Lease and Purchase contract, it can be any length the seller and buyer agree to.
    I am the consultant to Dream Finders and always encourage all parties to have an Attorney review the contract before signing.
    The RV never goes to Dream Finders and is listed on their website at not cost or obligation.
    Other places that I have researched get a large down payment from the buyer and pocket it as their fee, sometimes also collecting a fee from the seller!
    They use 3 different contracts, 1 between them and the seller, 1 between them and the buyer and 1 between the buyer and seller.
    These places do no check on the buyers or sellers and many people have been hurt by them.
    I try to insure that everyone is protected as far as the law allows.
    In the last 6 months I have discovered 4 buyers who were using fake I.D.’s and 2 who tried to pass off phony cashier’s checks!
    Then of course there were others who just lied about everthing.
    Also there was 1 seller who was 10 months behind on their loan and the bank could not find them.
    None of these deals went through!
    I like the Lease/Purchase because it gives so many protections to the RV owner, including in most states the ability to file criminal charges if someone fails to pay for the RV or fails to return it after default.
    And providing false information to obtain the RV is also a crime.
    Yes sometimes people may decide not to pay as agreed but unlike a sale’s contract or bank loan the owner of the RV has a lot of options and protections.
    I also encourage the Lessor/Seller to install a GPS locator in the RV,
    They can be bought at Target for less than $200.00 and are great!
    Do some deals go bad?
    Of course they do, 4 or 5 out of hundreds done by John in the last year, and everyone was due to people losing their job or due to health problems.
    All of them returned the RV to the owner with no problem.
    I hope this helps you understand RV leasing a little better.
    If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Larry – captstanley1@aol.com

  2. T. March 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    Dealing with these guys is a huge concern they are not lic. yet they collect personal information ssn date of birth bank statments tax returns. They advertise take over the payments yet they turn into used car salesmen when you ask what the payment is they can not tell you. Please do not expect them to get back to you in a timely manner. Just seems when you ask questions they become defensive and offer excuses. T.

  3. Dianne Perkins April 5, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    My husband and I went through Dream Finders and were very lucky to find an RV that the seller was willing to do lease purchase. We paid $750 buyers fee plus we split the $500 consultant fee for their service. The rest was a $8000 down payment to the seller. We have been our RV for two years now and just renewed the lease purchase for another 18 months at time our RV will paid in full. We thank God that we found Dream Finders and got our RV. We travel from job site to job site so our RV is our HOME.

  4. R. May 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    My personal opinion is this is a win,win! If a seller is stuck with an rv and is going to end up getting it repo’d due to non ability to make payment for whatever reason, then,Why not lease it, to try and salvage your credit, and help our lenders out…. All these banks are lumped up with enough inventory. Remember there are good people out there who are willing to make payments. It’s a good option for someone who doesn’t want their payments for the next umpteen years… Why not pass them off to a source who doesn’t mind making them? You have nothing to lose! However; if you wait and try to sell your unit for what you owe on it, you maybe waiting a long time! Time is money! I know several people who have bought from this company and they are thrilled;) they still have the rv and are still making payments. R.

  5. John Hiebel November 10, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Hello Fellow RV Enthusiast,

    This is John Hiebel – Owner of Dream Finders RV. We take negative comments seriously. We are a License’ed business in the State of Alabama. We do not ask for SSN# when folks are going through the simple qualifing process that we have in place to protect both buyer and seller with a contract. We make the process as simple as possible for both buyer and seller. We specialize in Alternative finance “Lease Purchase” contracts in all 50 States. We answer all inquiries within 24 hrs. and are transparent in all we do. Anything is possible and nothing as far as sales price, payments, interest, etc is in concrete until put in contract form. It is between both buyer and seller to come to agreement on a sales price, payment, term, etc. We do have our Contract Consultant who will help with the process and make sure all parties are protected with the contract. We are blessed to be out here everyday helping buyers, sellers and the banks. Do not let any negative comments out here on the internet stop you from getting full details and we provide everything you need to make a wise descision. We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of very happy buyers and seller references that you can talk to or email anytime.

    Generally we have found that folks who post negative comments about us are the ones who have provided false information that cannot be verified or gave total fales information to our contract consultant and got caught and they spew there poison on the internet.

    Call or email us anytime we are here for you at all times and ready to help you locate your Dream RV or help you locate your buyer for your RV or trade. We will provide you with full references, etc. Everything you need to make a descision. Take care and look forward to doing business with you. God Bless you and your Family and God Bless the USA!

    Sincerely, John Hiebel
    Dream Finders RV
    318 Harris Dr.
    Florence, Al 35634
    Dreamfinders@att.net

  6. Roy Spader May 6, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Am interested in a used winnebago Sightseer
    Please let me know the availability and financing options
    Roy Spader

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