As Tennessee residents begin the process of rebuilding from historic flooding, many are using assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to rent or purchase campers or RVs.
The state’s Department of Commerce and Insurance has resources to help residents who opt to do this and issued an advisory this week.
With the money they get from FEMA, residents can rent RVs, travel trailers or manufactured housing. RV dealers must be licensed by the Motor Vehicle Commission.
Anyone who sells a vehicle designed as temporary living quarters for recreation, camping or travel use, and that either has its own motor or is drawn by another vehicle, must be registered with the commission. To find licensed dealers, visit http://verify.tn.gov or http://licsrch.state.tn.us/.
To find information about disciplinary actions taken against licensed dealers, visit http://tn.gov/commerce/boards/archive.shtml.
Manufactured homes are regulated by the Manufactured Housing Division of Fire Prevention (http://tn.gov/commerce/sfm/manufactHouse.shtml#).
The Consumer Affairs division also might have complaint information related to sellers of such vehicles on file. Visit www.tn.gov/consumer/ to check the complaint histories of specific companies.
Tennesseans weighing transactions with sellers should, at a minimum, follow these guidelines:
- Understand the rental company’s rules and requirements before you sign a contract.
- Do not take chances. Rent only from licensed dealers. Check references of previous customers or the Better Business Bureau.
- Obtain a copy of the company’s policies regarding cancellations, security deposits and any additional fees.
The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee.