In this episode of the RAM CAMP van conversion project we are determining where everything will be located in the van. Then we are roughing in our 12-volt and 120-volt wiring and our hot and cold plumbing lines. It’s important we get this right, because after the walls and ceiling are installed, it would be difficult to add more wiring or plumbing. Episode 1: https://youtu.be/ugmdcS_YzSo
We purchased a 1978 Dodge 4-wheel drive van, and with the popularity of camper vans at an all-time high, and the cost of new camper vans also at an all-time high, we decided to convert the van into a modern day off-grid camper van. In this 6-part series, Mark and Dawn Polk from RV Education 101 build their ultimate van camper. This 4-wheel drive off-grid camper van will enable Mark and Dawn to get off the road and do some serious boon docking in comfort. Follow along as we post a new episode on our YouTube Channel each week throughout this 6-part series.
Will one RV lender offer better interest rates than another RV lender?
Interest rates change frequently. If the prime rate goes up RV finance rates will go up too. RV lenders send updated rate sheets to RV dealers whenever their rates change. RV specialty lenders watch each other closely and if one lender lowers interest rates the other lenders generally follow suit. They will usually stay within a quarter to a half point of each other.
Are there other factors that will determine what interest rate I get?
Yes, there are several factors that will determine the rate you get.
It depends if the RV is new or used. A used RV (normally over 3 or 4 years old) will get a higher interest rate than a new RV will.
Your down payment will affect your interest rate. If you finance the RV on a zero-down program the interest rate will be higher.
The term on the loan will affect the interest rate. The shorter the term the higher the rate, the longer the term the lower the rate.
The amount financed will affect the interest rate. The lower the dollar amount the higher the rate, the higher the dollar amount the lower the rate.
Your credit history (credit rating or score) will affect the rate. The better your credit score the lower the interest rate.
Carefully read the section on finance terms and interest rates in this chapter.
Should I shop around for a better rate, or will the rate they offer be the best rate I can get?
You should be aware of what the current rates are for RV loans and based on the criteria listed, determine if you are getting the best possible rate you can get. If you think you qualify for a lower rate, by all means try securing a better rate elsewhere. There are several RV specialty lenders on the internet that would like your business and will offer competitive rates.
Do not however let too many lenders run a credit check on you in an attempt to get a lower rate. This can backfire so be selective about who is running credit checks. If lenders make several inquiries on your credit history your credit score can be lowered causing you to get a higher interest rate. The reason for this is, when banks see numerous inquiries they are under the impression you are having trouble securing a loan and could be a credit risk to the bank. While we’re on this subject, when the RV dealer is going to run a credit check make sure you tell them to only submit your application to one lender. Some unscrupulous finance personnel think it’s easier to submit your credit application to all of the banks at one time, leaving you with numerous credit inquires.
Can you explain more about financing an RV with no money down?
There are usually a couple of lenders that will offer no money down finance programs. These programs will have certain guidelines to qualify. The type of RV, dollar amount, term of the loan and your credit rating can all factor into these types of programs. The finance rate will usually be higher too.
What length of term can I expect to get on an RV loan?
The term of the loan will be based on the dollar amount financed and the age of the RV. Some RV lenders are offering 20-year loans on financed amounts over $100,000 and loans ranging from $25,000 to $99,000 can qualify for 15-year loans. Loan amounts between $10,000 and $25,000 may qualify for 10 to 12 years repayment terms.
Why would anybody want to pay the interest on a 15 or 20-year loan?
The biggest advantage of a long-term loan is you get a lower monthly payment. Financing $100,000 for 240 months at 7% interest would be $775 a month. The same loan for 120 months would be $1,161 a month. You save almost $400.00 a month. But keep in mind you will have little or no equity if you try to trade the RV in within the first few years.
There are several things you need to consider when you determine what the best term would be for you.
How much can you afford to pay every month? The term of the loan directly affects the monthly payment.
How long do you plan to keep the RV? If you only plan to keep it for 3 or 4 years you won’t be paying all of the interest anyway. The downside to this is you won’t have any equity built-up in it either.
If you plan to refinance the loan, or pay the loan off before the full term, a longer-term loan would probably make more sense.
If you plan to keep the RV for the life of the loan a shorter-term loan might be better for you. Make sure you can handle the higher monthly payments and the more you can put down initially the better.
Can I finance an RV with below average credit?
RVs are for the most part considered a luxury item, so the criteria to finance an RV are more stringent than it is to finance an automobile. There are lenders that will finance below average credit but interest rates will be higher.
How is the interest on an RV loan calculated?
The majority of RV loans from RV specialty lenders are simple interest fixed rate loans. What this means is you will only pay interest on the principle owed, and in most cases, there is no penalty for paying the loan off early. If you choose to pay more than your required monthly payment you can shorten the term of the loan and save on interest.
Will I need a down payment and if so how much?
Down payments will vary slightly between RV lenders but 10 to 20% down, in the form of cash or a trade-in, is usually the range. There are programs that offer low down, or no down payment but this will usually increase the interest rate. Most banks want to see your good faith commitment to the loan.
Do I need insurance on the RV to get a loan?
Yes, insurance is required when you close on the loan. The bank will not loan the money until they have proof of insurance. See Chapter 5 on RV insurance.
Should I finance the RV or pay cash?
It is my personal opinion that it makes more sense to finance your RV purchase. If you finance the RV you can maintain your personal financial status without liquidating any assets. You can also take advantage of writing off the interest on your income taxes if the RV qualifies.
Are you the chosen one to connect the RV sewer hose, empty the holding tanks, flush the tanks and disconnect and store the sewer hose when it’s time to leave?
Understanding how RV toilets are different from household toilets is the key to a successful outing in your travel trailer or motorhome. Understanding how to use RV safe tank treatments, and following proper dumping procedures when it’s time to empty the black tank is also important knowledge to be on your way to mastering your RV like a pro.
One LP gas appliance that gets overlooked during warm weather camping trips is the RV furnace. Most of the service requirements for the furnace need to be accomplished by a reputable RV service center, but there are a few things we, as owners can do to prepare the RV furnace for cold-weather operation.
Today’s topic is RV electrical adapters. Whenever you plug your RV into a power source the best scenario is for the power source to match the RV’s electrical system, but we all know that is not always possible. That’s where electrical adapters plugs and cords come into the picture, let’s check it out CLICK HERE
Your RV batteries produce power in Direct Current (DC) that run at low voltages. Power companies and AC generators produce sine wave Alternating Current (AC), which is used to operate 120-volt appliances and electronic equipment. An inverter takes 12-volt DC power from your RV batteries and electronically changes it to 120-volt AC.
The potable water system in your house is pretty much maintenance free. The potable water system in your RV, on the other hand, requires some maintenance to keep it trouble free. Questions I get quite often is the complaint that there is a stale odor coming from the RV water system.
When you return from a trip and you’re not going to use the RV for a while, you need to drain the entire water system to prevent it from getting stale and musty.
At the campground you want to get some water running through the RV plumbing system. At home when you want water you open a faucet and its there like magic. When it comes to your RV there are two ways to get water to flow through the taps.
How To Lubricate RV Window Tracks Using 3-IN-ONE® RV Care Window & Track Dry Lube – It’s important to perform regular RV maintenance – especially on the areas that get the most use, like your windows and doors. In this RV how to video Mark Polk of RV Education 101, demonstrates how to lubricate RV window tracks. Sponsored by 3-IN-ONE® RV Care Window & Track Dry Lube.
You purchase an RV, and the day finally comes when you take delivery of the RV from the dealership. You are excited, and just want to take the RV home. The dealership gives you a walk-through orientation of the RV, explaining how everything on the RV works. You listen and watch, but it is too much information to process in a short period of time. Now you are home with the RV, and you cannot remember 80-percent of what was covered during the walk-through. One week later, you remember even less:
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