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What You Should Know About RV Financing Pre-Approval

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Should you get pre-approved for RV financing? Photo: Istock

Buying a decent RV requires a lot of money. Newer RVs prices start at $20,000, but the cost of an RV can range well into millions of dollars. 

Many people make the decision to finance their RV through an RV loan. An RV loan works something like a home mortgage; terms are frequently between 10 and 20 years and are typically secured by the RV itself. RV financing pre-approval can give you a leg up when it comes to your RV purchase. 

With pre-approved RV financing, you’ll be able to get the RV you want, and you may be able to have a bit of leverage on the price of an RV at a dealership. While RV dealers can get you pre-approval for RV financing, you’ll have to buy an RV off their lot after you are pre-approved. There are lending companies who will work with you to get pre-approval for financing to buy an RV from any dealer or private seller you want. 

If you are thinking about getting pre-approved for RV financing, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you set out to find a lender.  

Know what you want to spend on an RV

It’s up to you to do your homework and figure out how much you can spend on an RV without breaking your budget. Sit down and work out a budget that includes a 10% downpayment on your RV as well as how much you’ll have to spend on monthly payments.

Shop for RV financing first

If you shop for your RV before you shop for a lender, it could be easier to feel pressured into shopping outside of your budget.

Always shop for a lender before you go RV shopping, and go with the one that will not only fit your budget, but will fit with the type of RV you want to buy and the way you’ll use it. For instance, there are RV lenders who only lend for certain types of RVs, and others that limit their lending to recreational users.

Go in prepared

Lenders will typically want to see a few things when you are applying for pre-approval for RV financing. Generally, they want to make sure that you’ll be able to make your payments so they won’t have to repossess the RV. 

Here are some things you’ll need to line up before you go shopping for a lender:

Know your credit score. For pre-approval for RV financing, lenders usually want to see a credit score of above 600. If your score is below this, you may still be able to get financing, but you’ll pay more for it with a higher interest rate. Your credit score can give you negotiating power…or not. Either way, it’s good to know ahead of your loan application. Have proof of income: Gather your tax returns, pay stubs, or other proof of income.  Have valid ID with proof of a permanent address. Lenders want to know you are who you say you are. Since the RV is collateral for the RV loan, it’s also important to them to know where they can find it, should repossession become necessary.

Borrow within your means

Have a budget and stick with it. When you own an RV, there will always be costs associated with repairs and upgrades. Be sure to include RV maintenance and storage in your budget. Don’t get talked into borrowing beyond your means, even if you qualify for a bigger loan.  


Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you are in a good financial position, you might be able to get a percentage point knocked off the interest rate. It doesn’t sound like an awful lot, but 1% will add up a lot over 10 years of monthly payments.

RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.

Related articles:

Can You Find Financing With Bad Credit?5 Reasons To Avoid Travel Trailer Financing


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The post What You Should Know About RV Financing Pre-Approval appeared first on RV LIFE.

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