Understanding RV Loans

Updated on April 9, 2024

At a Glance

  • An RV loan is specifically designed to finance the purchase of a recreational vehicle.
  • These loans can be obtained from banks, credit unions, online lenders, or RV dealerships.
  • RV loans typically require a good credit score, and the RV itself serves as collateral for the loan.

Hitting the road in an RV can be the best way to spend your well-deserved vacation. Many individuals own an RV that they use to travel to amazing locations. RVs serve as vehicles but can also be used to sleep in if you do not want to spend money on hotels. All in all, it can be a unique experience.

But let’s face it: an RV is not cheap. If you want a decent vehicle, then you must be prepared for a serious investment. Not everyone is prepared for this expense, which can set them back from buying the RV.

However, RV loans can save you from this situation by providing you with a financing option. But how do you get an RV loan? Read this post to find out.

What Is an RV Loan?

An RV loan is exactly what the name suggests: a loan that you can use to buy an RV. You can invest in a travel trailer or motorhome, which will allow you to explore the world with less money.

RVs can be quite pricey. Costs start at around $10,000 and can go as far as $1 million depending on the model, features, and design. It’s understandable why not everyone will afford one.

People can rely on RV loans when they want to pay for a recreational vehicle. These loans can be obtained from banks, credit unions, online lenders, or even the RV dealership you want to buy your RV from. The finances can be used to pay for both new or used vehicles.

Although they are used to get a type of vehicle, it’s important to keep in mind that RV loans are a bit different from auto loans. Usually, car loans come with more difficult transactions, and they have longer loan terms. Meanwhile, an RV loan will generally come with a 1-15 years term, depending on the case.

Getting an RV loan requires a good credit score. Ideally, it should be 700 or higher if you want a chance to get a good RV loan. This is more than you need for an auto loan, so it might be harder for some individuals to get their hands on an RV loan if they didn’t have the best financial behavior.

In some cases, a lender might also ask for an inspection. The amount is usually between $150 and $1,200. This will be influenced by the RV you choose.

Keep in mind that some RV lenders will not be as easy to convince that you deserve a loan. They will usually request documentation before they determine whether you are suitable for the finances or not. More specifically, they will ask for tax returns, your credit history, financial statements, and others. 

How Do RV Loans Work?

RV loans are pretty similar to your typical loan. All you have to do is send an application with various documents to your lender of choice, whether that’s a bank, online lender, or credit union, and wait for a response from them. Once you are approved, you will receive the money within a short amount of time, usually a few business days or a few hours.

Then, you pay off the loan over the next few years. Your monthly payments will be determined by the amount borrowed, as well as by how much you can afford to pay every month.

It’s important to know that RV loans are secured. Your RV will be used as collateral.

Also, the best lender for you can be determined by the type of RV you go for. Some lenders might not finance a particular type of RV. So, if yours is not covered by a lender, you have to seek another.

The chosen lender should know whether you want to use the RV as your main residence as well.  

RV Loan Terms Explained

RV loans tend to offer generous amounts of money due to the expensive nature of recreational vehicles. After all, you cannot purchase the RV without having the full amount ready. This makes RV loans more expensive.

Aside from that, the terms tend to be very long. Most of the time, they range from one year to 15 years, but some loan terms can go as far as 20 years. Shorter terms are possible if you can make higher payments every month, though.

How to Finance an RV

Are you interested in financing a new RV? Here are some things you can do:

  • Deciding on a type of loan: You must choose between a secured loan or an unsecured loan.
  • Make a Budget: Each RV is unique and will have a different cost. Find out how much you wish to spend on one before applying for loans.
  • Look at Your Credit Score: The higher the credit score, the higher your chances to find financing options.
  • Save Money for the Down Payment: You will typically have to make a down payment of 10-20%.
  • Compare lenders: Look at different lender options to find the one with the best offers.
  • Make Negotiations: It might be possible to negotiate a lower price for your RV.

Tips for Getting the Best Rate

There are a few things you must do in order to qualify for the best rate for an RV loan. After all, RV loans offer high amounts for those who want a recreational vehicle, and the rates might be higher, especially as RVs are looked at as luxury vehicles.

Having an established credit history is one of the ways you can get a good rate for a loan. You must have at least five years of credit history. It should be full of good behavior such as on-time payments and different account types.

You should consider looking at your credit score before you apply for an RV loan. A lender will take a look at it before accepting or rejecting your application, so it must be high enough to qualify for the loan and the best offers.

Getting different quotes can be achieved by filling out an application for offers from multiple lenders through lending marketplaces. This way, you can find the optimal rate for you.


Here are some frequently asked questions about RV loans:

What credit score do you need to buy an RV?

To get an RV, you need a credit score of at least 700. If it’s higher than 700, you boost your chances of getting the loan.

What is the best way to get an RV loan?

The best way to get an RV loan is to take your time looking around and comparing your options in terms of lenders. You must look at their features and rates and determine which one would be the best for you. Then, you should apply to multiple lenders before accepting the most convenient offer.

What is the average RV loan rate?

The average loan rate for RV loans is 6.64% APR. This rate is for closed loans obtained through LendingTree between January 2021 and November 2021.

Read More

Final Thoughts

RV loans are great for people who want to get a recreational vehicle as soon as possible. Make sure you have a high credit score and always compare lenders before applying so that you get the best terms.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 100,000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn more about finance, immigration, and more!
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

Get the Checklist