Do Truck Campers Have Titles?

RV with a beautiful background

True freedom means going anywhere you want while feeling comfortable and safe.

A truck camper is a recreational vehicle that serves as a mobile home at the same time.

There’s nothing like bringing your own home for an adventure.

If you’ve ever wondered what are the laws for truck campers, truck camper tittles, license plates or registration you’ve come to the right place!

Truck campers, also known as travel trailers, are typically considered cargo and therefore may not have titles. 

In most cases, you will need to get a title from the state in which you reside.

Generally speaking, truck campers do not generate income in large amounts and so they may not be worth registering or title hunting for in most states.

However, if you live in a cash strapped state or want to keep your recreational vehicle separate from your personal car, getting a truck camper with no title may be the best option available to you.

In this article we cover the insurance requirements for most truck campers as well as dispel all the myths surrounding recreational vehicles and most travel trailers.

Let’s dive in.

What Is A Truck Camper?

A truck camper is a motor vehicle such as an RV that rests inside the truck bed.

Truck campers stood the test of time when it comes to mobile homes. Not everybody enjoys living in one place all the time.

A lot of people prefer to own a travel trailer which acts as a mobile home that they can take wherever they desire.

These convenient vehicles come with bathrooms, beds, kitchens and a lot of extra space you can use exactly how you want.

Since most truck campers are quite small motor vehicles many states do not categorize them legally as recreational vehicles but as cargo.

Now, let’s move on the answer the question do truck campers have titles?

Do I Need A Truck Camper Title?

A lot of confusion surrounding truck campers stems from the fact that not all of them have a valid Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

In addition, the majority of truck campers do not have an axle which makes it more difficult to register the camper as a motor vehicle.

The absence of an axle makes it difficult to classify the type of RV.

Now, the VIN tracks the history of each vehicle, especially in the case of theft, recalls, and accidents

If your RV has a VIN you can quickly verify the manufacturer, built year, model, and certificate of origin. Now you can understand why not having a VIN creates a problem when attempting to get a title and registration.

different laws in states across America

Different State Different Rules

Each state has different truck camper registration and licensing requirements.

Forty-one states consider RVs that don’t have a VIN as cargo. The remaining nine use the truck camper’s Certificate of Ownership to license and register it as an RV. 

Many states see campers as cargo due to the fact that hey are located in the truck bed.

When you purchase your vehicle you will receive a certificate which come with a serial number which verifies the ownership of your truck camper. 

You must register your vehicle if you live in the following states:

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Washington State

If you purchased your trailer in the remaining 41 states, you don’t need a license plate. In such case the authorities will see you as a “temporary visitor.”

Moreover, in some states your camper must have a title. This varies from state to state.

In Michigan, for example, you must have a title for your truck camper, however you don’t need to register it.

Let’s now talk about the things you should consider for your truck camper.

form for title registration

Does Your Truck Camper Need a Title?

If you are in one of the nine states mentioned above you will need to register your trailer.

What if your manufacturer did not issue a title? In most cases you can utilize your Certificate of Ownership from your trailer’s VIN (if you have one).

Take it to the state’s DMV to issue your title. Keep in mind that you will need pay a fee for licensing and attach your license plates.

Do You Need To Register Your Truck Camper?

Motor homes need to be registered in: Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington. 

No need to worry as your state DMV office will assist you in registering your truck camper.

You will need to bring your bill of sale and insurance to the DMV. You only need to do it annually.

Note: Certain municipalities require you to register your vehicle within 30 days of officially moving in.

Do I Need To Worry About License Plates?

If the state you are in requires you to register your trailer you will get a separate license plate.

For states that do not require registration you will not need a separate license plate for campers.

You will need pay tax first after you’ve verified the ownership of the vehicle. 

After that is done you can then attach the license plate on the back of the camper near the bumper. Make sure it is not obstructed in any way and is clearly visible.

If your camper blocks the truck’s license plate then the police might stop you.

As with most vehicles, you are required to pay the licensing fee and tax every year.

Do States Require Truck Campers To Be Insured?

In most cases truck campers (slide in truck campers) do not require insurance.

Make sure to always double check with your state’s current rules for any changes in the law.

That being said, it is always a good idea to have insurance in case an accident.

If you are trying to get a loan, your lender might ask you to get insurance coverage on your RV.

Of course, this varies from person to person and is highly individual. You can also try to get financing from third party companies.

But, the other factor with insurance has to do with any loans you might have on the camper.

If you are wondering how much does it cost to insure your camper click here.

Are There Any Consequences If I Don’t Register My Truck Camper?

This varies from state to state.

In some cases, states require registration in no more than 30 after you move to the target state.

Be aware that some states will impose a fine if you fail to do so or are late with payment. 

If you are driving in a state where you are legally required to register your truck camper you might get stopped by the police and get a ticket.

Some states only require one time registration. Make sure your license plate is up to date. State laws can change over time and it is advised to check them periodically.

gas mileage

Stay Safe and Legal on the Road

Truck campers are often the simplest RVs to buy. They have fewer rules regarding licensing and registration. But thanks to differing state rules, their regulations can become confusing. 

Remember, some states require your truck camper to own a title and registration.

Contact your local DMV office to get up to date information on truck camper registration so you’ll be able to drive your RV legally and with no stress.

truck camper title

What is a truck camper “title”?

The “title” indicates (otherwise known as the “pink slip”) the owner of a vehicle.

It is issued by the Department of motorized vehicles (DMV).

This documents contains accident reports as well as the current condition of the vehicle.

It also has the car’s VIN, manufacturer, model, year built, and any financing information.

What does a truck camper “clean title” mean?

“Clean title” means “clean record”.

What that really means is that the vehicle has never endured any damage beyond its initial value.

If your camper has been in an accident and suffered damage which goes over the total cost of the trailer it can be considered as Totaled Car. In other words it can be declared as Complete Loss.

In cases where a truck camper has been damaged but not totaled it can still retain its clean title. Make sure to consult with your mechanic to get a comprehensive overview of your situation.

Types of Titles In The US

The title of a vehicle will reflect what went on thereto within the past. If the title incorporates a mark thereon, it means your truck camper has suffered serious damage that you just should consider carefully before buying. The title of a car or a camper can include the subsequent marks:

  • Salvage: The camper has been totalled thanks to damage. Campers with salvage titles can’t be legally driven until they’re rebuilt.
  • Rebuilt: A vehicle with a salvage title that has been repaired will be legally driven again with a rebuilt title. Rebuilt titles can also be referred to as repaired, reconditioned, or reconstructed.
  • Flood/water damage: The truck camper has significant water damage, usually from a flood. This is often important because flood damage can create electrical problems within the camper, in addition as other problems that are difficult to repair.
  • Junk (Scrap): The camper is legally inoperable and might only be sold for parts and scrap. It also can be said as non-repairable (not repairable).
  • Odometer rollback: The vehicle has an odometer that has been found to be unreliable, meaning it could have been tampered with to indicate lower mileage. This could even be stated as “True Mileage Unknown” (TMU). Dealers must disclose the TMU before sale.
  • Lemon: This designation changes by state. Generally, a lemon refers to a vehicle that has been out of service for 30 days or more, or a vehicle that has had an issue and has been repeatedly repaired to no avail. Lemon can even see car problems that come from the manufacturer. Research the lemon law in your state and what your state requires.
frequently asked questions about truck campers

Frequently Asked Questions

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