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- Typical RV loans range from five years to 15 years, but this timeline may be shorter or longer, depending on the lender.
- Shorter repayment terms can help you save money on interest, but will result in a higher monthly bill. Longer repayment terms offer a more affordable payment, but you'll pay more on interest over time.
- The best repayment term for your loan will be determined by factors, such as your finances and credit score, as well as the RV model you choose.
The term is the second biggest factor when it comes to how much an RV loan will cost. A long term may be tempting to keep monthly payments as low as possible, but it may result in paying thousands — or even tens of thousands — more over the course of your loan.
RV loan terms
RV loans typically come with terms of five to 15 years. That said, you can still find repayment terms as low as two years, or as long as 20 years. It all depends on the overall cost of the vehicle, whether it’s new or used, your finances (debts and income), credit score and the lender you work with.
Longer financing timelines (15 to 20 years) tend to be limited to larger models. That’s because these RVs can be in the same price range as a small house, so they may require a financing timeline similar to that of mortgages.
How to choose the length of your RV loan
The longer your repayment term, the more interest you will pay over the life of the loan — even with a lower rate. For example, a 7.99 percent interest rate on a $50,000 RV loan will cost over $16,000 more for a 10-year term versus a three-year term.
Loans with higher interest rates will result in a much larger difference. A $50,000 loan with a 17.99 percent interest rate will cost you around $8,072 in interest over the course of three years. If you bump your term up to seven years, you’ll wind up paying over $38,000.
That said, choosing a longer term can be beneficial if you’re financing an expensive model, since it can make your monthly payments more manageable. Likewise, stretching the loan term can be a good idea if you need some extra wiggle room in your budget.
Financing an RV
To find the right RV loan for your needs, follow these steps.
- Check your credit. Knowing your credit score will help you choose the right lenders to apply with, as each lender has different credit requirements for approval. That said, the higher your score, the better terms and interest rates you’ll be able to secure.
- Compare lenders. To secure a reasonable monthly payment at a low interest rate, compare RV loans. This allows you to estimate your monthly payment and see the loan terms you are eligible for.
- Prequalify. Once you have a few lenders you like (at least three), see if they offer prequalification. Prequalifying is a quick way to preview available rates and terms without impacting your credit score. To get started, you will need to fill out a quick application with a few details, including your name, estimated annual income, monthly rent or mortgage payment, social security number and date of birth.
- Shop for an RV. Since you likely already know what type of RV you want to invest in, prequalifying for a loan gives you an extra edge during negotiations when you visit a dealership.
The bottom line
RVs are depreciating assets, which means they lose value over time — just like cars and trucks. If your loan term is too long, you may end up becoming underwater on your loan. And owing more than your RV is worth may put you in a difficult financial position.
That’s why you should always choose the shortest repayment term that comfortably fits in your budget. This may require you to recalibrate your budget or opting for a less expensive model, but it will be worth it to avoid overpaying in the long run.