RV Loan – Everything You Need To Know

RV loan financing mirrors a standard installment loan. Lenders provide funds for purchase or refinance, following a typical loan structure. Subsequently, you must repay the borrowed amount along with interest within a predetermined period. Some RV loans are secured, with the RV as collateral.

RV Loan - Everything You Need To Know

Before comparing lenders, clearly define your loan requirements. This clarity aids in identifying the most suitable loan that aligns with your financial circumstances. The specifics of the loan terms can vary, contingent on factors such as the type of vehicle being financed. Additionally, vehicle type (motorhome or RV) and usage affect loan terms. Understanding these is crucial for securing the most favorable loan.

What is an RV Loan?

RV loans provide financial assistance for purchasing new or used recreational vehicles, enabling ownership when outright purchases are financially challenging. Unlike standard auto loans, RV loans are distinct due to their larger amounts and the intricacies associated with these substantial transactions.

However, lenders provide a range of loans, from smaller amounts like $25,000 to larger sums like $300,000 over 20 years. Typically, it necessitates an upfront payment, commonly falling within the 10% to 20% range, and often features fixed interest rates.

RV Loan

The cost of RVs varies significantly, spanning from $5000 to well over $1 million, depending on the type and specifications. Given the substantial investment, many individuals opt for financing options to facilitate these purchases.

However, RV loans operate in a manner akin to other forms of personal loans. Upon meeting eligibility criteria, a lender provides you with a lump sum to cover the cost of the RV.

Subsequently, you repay the loan through fixed monthly installments, inclusive of interest. Understanding loan mechanics is crucial to aligning with financial preferences and needs.

Types of RV loans

Two RV loan categories exist. Choose based on credit history, desired amount, and title acquisition priority for informed decision-making.

Secured Loans

Secured RV loans, easier to approve with fewer financial prerequisites, pose a lower risk for lenders due to collateral assurance. Easy approval for RV loans is due to collateral. Defaulting allows the lender to repossess the RV to recoup outstanding amounts.

Unsecured Loans

Unlike secured loans, unsecured loans do not necessitate collateral, relying solely on your credit profile and financial stability for approval. Moreover, unsecured RV loans offer no vehicle risk but face tougher approval due to stricter eligibility criteria, posing a greater challenge.

How Does It Work?

RV loans come in both unsecured and secured forms. Unsecured RV loans, a type of personal loan, don’t require collateral to secure the balance. However, it’s common for larger loan amounts to necessitate a secured loan. Secured RV loans use the RV as collateral, lowering the lender’s risk and resulting in lower interest rates for the borrower.

Nevertheless, secured loans pose a higher risk to the borrower. Missed payments or defaulting on an RV loan may prompt the lender to seize the collateral, like the RV, to cover payments. Interest rates on RV loans exhibit variability among lenders. Typically, the rate you qualify for depends on repayment terms, RV age, loan amount, credit score, and additional considerations.

Borrowers boasting excellent credit scores may secure RV loan rates below 8 percent, depending on the lender. Conversely, individuals with less-than-ideal credit scores are likely to face higher rates, resulting in a more substantial interest burden. The duration of RV loan terms is diverse, generally spanning from two to seven years, although certain lenders extend terms up to 20 years. Furthermore, for individuals seeking a smaller RV loan, a personal loan might be a viable option, often featuring shorter repayment terms.

Advantages and Disadvantages of RV Loans

Similar to any form of loan, secured RV loans come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential to be well-informed before committing to an agreement.


  1. Rates and terms for secured RV loans might offer a competitive edge compared to alternative lending options.
  2. Certain lenders may provide specific advantages tailored for RV financing.
  3. Negotiating flexible terms and payment dates could be a possibility with secured RV loans.


  1. A longer repayment period for secured RV loans may result in higher overall interest payments.
  2. Failing to meet monthly payments poses the potential risk of losing ownership of your RV.
  3. Securing financing for a full-time motorhome might involve meeting stricter approval criteria.

RV loans can significantly enhance the affordability of motorhomes. Nevertheless, like any financial product, it is crucial to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages before deciding to take on additional debt.

How To Qualify for an RV Loan

Meeting the requirements for an RV loan typically demands strong financial standing. This entails having a favorable credit score, a consistent and reliable income, and a robust credit history. Additionally, adherence to the lender’s specific financial criteria is crucial for qualification.

Good Credit Score

While many lenders necessitate a good or higher credit score for RV loan eligibility, some are accommodating to individuals with lower scores. It’s important to note that, in such cases, the trade-off might involve higher interest rates.

Proof of Income

When seeking an RV loan, documentation of income, such as recent paystubs or a W-2 form, is typically required during the application process. Approval criteria may vary, but larger loans often mandate applicants to surpass a minimum income threshold.

Additionally, your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which gauges your income against monthly debt payments, will be assessed. A lower DTI generally enhances the likelihood of approval.

Credit History

A robust credit history comprises consistent and punctual payments on debts, a varied credit mix, and an absence of recent denials. Lenders for RV loans typically favor borrowers with a solid credit history.

Lender-specific Requirements

Lenders differ in their prerequisites. Some prioritize credit scores for approval, while others examine debt and credit history more extensively. Before applying, it is advisable to thoroughly review the requirements or reach out to customer support to ensure eligibility.

Where To Get an RV Loan

Various lenders offer RV loans, and the optimal choice depends on your existing accounts, desired loan amount, and eligibility. Consider exploring options based on your circumstances.


Financial institutions like banks are providers of RV loans, and having an established relationship with a bank could potentially make you eligible for an interest rate discount.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are another option for RV loans, and they often provide lower rates compared to traditional banks. This is because credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit institutions.

Online Lenders

Online lenders are a convenient option for RV loans, often providing quick funding. However, some online lenders can disburse funds as soon as the same or next business day after approval.

RV Dealerships

RV dealerships often provide financing options, including in-house financing or collaboration with partner lenders when you are purchasing them.

Typically, this allows you to compare the rates and terms you could potentially receive upon approval. Taking this step aids in identifying the most favorable RV loan option tailored to your specific needs.

How To Apply for an RV Loan

Securing a loan for an RV, whether it’s a secured or unsecured one, involves slightly different processes. For a secured RV loan, the approach aligns closely with obtaining an auto loan. However, certain steps are consistent in either case.


Share your details with at least three lenders to gauge potential rates, loan options, and amounts. If the loan amount doesn’t cover the entire cost of the RV, you might need a larger down payment.

Choose a Lender

After reviewing your options and identifying the most favorable deal, select a lender and proceed with the application. Prepare essential documents, including details about the RV and financial information like pay stubs.


Submit a formal application once your documentation is in order. Be aware that this step involves a hard credit check, causing a temporary drop in your credit score. Complete the application accurately to enhance the likelihood of approval.

Wait for a Decision

Upon approval, finalize the loan by signing the necessary documents. If your application is denied, seek information about the reasons for rejection to better prepare for future applications.

Receive Funds

The disbursement process varies; some lenders pay the amount directly to the RV dealer. In the case of an unsecured personal loan, funds typically go to your bank account, allowing you to use them for the RV purchase.

Lenders offer diverse RV loan options for various vehicles, including motorhomes, fifth-wheels, travel trailers, pop-up campers, and toy haulers. Typically, these loan offers are tailored to accommodate the specific financing needs associated with various types of recreational vehicles.

How To Choose RV Loan Lenders

When seeking an RV loan, it’s crucial to approach it like any other financial product by shopping around for the best lender. To ensure the best fit, follow these steps:

Check Lender Requirements

Understand the criteria lenders evaluate, including your credit score, credit history, debt-to-income ratio, and specific details about the RV.

Compare Rates, Fees, Terms, and Amounts

The overall cost of the loan is influenced by these factors. To make an informed decision, thoroughly compare offerings from different lenders.

Look for Additional Benefits

Explore any special advantages that lenders may provide, such as APR discounts or fee-free loans. These unique benefits can potentially result in cost savings over the life of your loan.

In our evaluation, we gave preference to lenders commonly chosen by consumers and those providing the most competitive annual percentage rates (APRs). Lenders offering a broader range of choices in terms of loan amounts, repayment terms, and credit requirements were given higher rankings.

Alternatives To RV Loans

If an RV loan doesn’t align with your financing preferences, there are alternative methods to finance your purchase. However, the costly nature of RVs may limit these options.

Apart from choosing a pre-owned or more budget-friendly vehicle and making cash payments, another avenue is a home equity loan. This option enables you to borrow against the equity accumulated in your home.

It’s essential to note that utilizing this funding method puts your home at risk in the event of default and might not be the optimal choice, despite its technical availability.


While securing an RV loan can bring you closer to owning your dream RV, it’s crucial to assess the impact of the loan’s cost on your budget before proceeding. If you determine that an RV loan aligns with your financial goals, it’s advisable to prequalify with a minimum of three lenders.