Have an RV in your sights but don’t have the cash on hand? You have lots of ways to finance your purchase.
What are my RV financing options?
When it comes to financing your RV, you have a few options to choose from.
Many RV dealerships offer financing to qualified borrowers when they choose to purchase an RV. Much like car dealerships, you should come prepared with another preapproved offer to negotiate interest. You may be able to get a low rate if you have excellent credit and a down payment on your new vehicle, and if you need low monthly payments, some dealerships offer financing terms of up to 20 years.
Some banks, credit unions and online lenders have car loans available for RVs. Loan amount and terms will vary by lender. However, a car loan it may be more difficult to qualify for than dealer financing or a personal loan. This is because RVs depreciate quickly, and many owners end up owing more on the loan than the RV is worth. Examine your options carefully and don’t borrow more than you need when applying for a car loan to cover your RV purchase.
Personal loans can work for a variety of purposes. There’s likely a lender willing to work with you no matter your income or credit score. You can apply for a personal loan from a traditional lender, like a bank or credit union, or a nontraditional lender that operates online.
Some lenders offer loan amounts up to $100,000, while others focus on borrowers who may have less-than-perfect credit. If you’re looking to purchase an RV and want funding before you set foot at an RV dealership, then a personal loan may be a good way to secure financing to give you a better idea of how much you can afford.
Compare RV loans
What types of RVs can I purchase?
No matter which road you chose to travel, there’s an RV out there for you. Make memories in a towable RV or a full-sized motorhome, or anything in between.
How should I compare your RV loan options?
- Find out the interest rate. Interest rates for RV loans are competitive, but use interest rates to compare loans to save money. Decide whether a fixed or variable interest rate is right for you and go from there.
- Will the loan be secured or unsecured? RV loans can either be secured or unsecured. Unsecured loans can have less risk but they often have higher fees to compensate for this risk. Compare fees and charges once you’ve made your decision.
- Are there flexible payment options? Most RV loans have flexible loan payments, offering anywhere from weekly to monthly payments.
- See what loan terms are offered. The amount of money you borrow will influence the term length. But have an idea of how long it’ll take you to repay the loan before agreeing to anything.
What to avoid with a RV loan
- Committing to a high loan amount. Make sure you’re not borrowing more than you can afford. If you’re in a lot debt or if your credit is poor, it may be a better idea to pay other debt down before taking on more debt. Growing your debt can dangerous and you’ll get better rates on your loan when you have better credit.
- Any hidden surprises in your contract. Be sure to read the loan contract in full before you sign anything. Look out for hidden fees and terms.
Checklist for buying a camper trailer
Different strokes for different folk holds true when it comes to camper trailer shopping. But keep an eye out for a few things that can affect your travels if they’re overlooked:
- Chassis. This is the base frame a trailer and plays a crucial role in holding it together. For more durability, look for a chassis made of high-quality materials — especially if you’re planing to carry heavy loads of drive off-road.
- Suspension. Suspension springs should be strong enough to take the weight of the trailer as well as the load that it carries. Make sure you pay attention to their condition and find out if they’re suitable for off-road driving.
- Tailgate and doors. Remember to check all seals, not just on the doors and the tailgate but also on all compartments and even the tool box to avoid damage from water and rust.
- Towing. The towing coupling should be strong enough to take the camper trailer’s weight as well as all that it carries. For off-road driving, getting a coupling that turns 360 degrees is ideal. In addition, consider getting snatch points at the trailer’s rear section.
- Protection. Camper trailers tend to flick up stones from time to time — even on paved roads. Some trailers deflect these stones by using built-in stone guards or shade cloth attachments to bridge the gap between the trailer and the car.
- Tires. If you can manage to get the same set of tires on your trailer as on your main vehicle you can look forward to a smoother drive.
- Trim. The canvas on your camper trailer should be durable, given that it provides shelter. But remember that lightweight canvas is quicker and simpler to set up. Check for water proof and mildew proof materials with no holes.
- Bedding. Make sure there’s enough bedding for all your travelers — even measure the beds if they look small.
- Possible add-ons. While the list of add-ons can be very long, most camper trailers tend to include water tanks, jockey wheels and awnings.
Are there any other costs I should expect with my RV?
Owning an RV is more than just paying the purchase price and driving away. When you commit to an RV, you need to make room in your budget for a number of related expenses.
- Maintenance. RVs need yearly maintenance. The cost will vary on the age of your RV and how often its in use. If you tow a trailer, you should also factor your primary vehicle’s maintenance into this cost as well.
- Fuel costs. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve opted for a diesel or gas engine — you’re going to be paying quite a bit in fuel. Before you start on a trip, look up average gas or diesel prices at regular points along your route and start saving.
- Park fees. Some parks and campgrounds charge per night. Depending on how long you want to stay, you might quickly find that just having your RV parked on a slip can be a pricey expenditure.
- Hookup fees. In a similar vein, you’ll likely have to pay to hook your RV up to electricity and plumbing. While it might not be as expensive as a hotel, you should still factor basic amenities into your budget when planning to buy an RV.
- Storage. Unless you plan on living in your RV year-round or you have a space to keep it, you’ll have to pay for storage in the off-season. This can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on where you live and the storage unit’s facilities.
How to apply for an RV loan
If a RV loan sounds like it’s right for you, applying for one is very easy.
Typically, to be eligible for RV finance you must be at least 18 years of age and a US citizen. You must also have a good credit rating and be able to provide the lender with your financial details — bank statements, pay stubs and any other documents relating to your personal income.
What documents will I need for my RV loan?
Your application will run much smoother if you have all your documents ready and available when you apply for your RV finance. You’ll need:
- Valid form of ID and Social Security number
- Employment information and proof of income
- Personal details
Frequently asked questions
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