Owning an old motorhome is easy if you know how to finance an RV over 10 years old. Although most financing institutions, especially banks, only accept campers 10 years old or newer for financing, you have several options to finance a motorhome that’s vintage.
In this article, we’ll explore RV financing options for decades-old units and describe the steps you can execute to secure your dream vehicle. We promise the procedure is straightforward.
- Step-by-Step to Finance an RV Over 10 Years Old
- Are RV Loans Hard to Get?
Step-by-Step to Finance an RV Over 10 Years Old
Financing a motorhome older than 10 years might seem challenging because most banks don’t accept “aging” vehicles. However, we found several ways to help you get a loan and drive home the travel trailer or camper you’ve always wanted. Here are the steps.
Step 1. Determine your budget for the used motorhome.
We recommend starting with a good budget for a second-hand RV. Old units between 15 and 25 years old can cost at least $20,000, although you might get a bargain if you look hard enough.
- Open a spreadsheet application (i.e., MS Excel) and create columns for your incomes and expenditures.
- Fill up the columns, ensuring accuracy.
- Under “income,” look for deductibles (i.e., social security, income tax, 401(k) funds, and other fees) and subtract them from the gross income to obtain your net.
- Under “expenses,” list all items you spend on. These can include bills, rent, mortgage, savings, and others.
- Subtract expenses from the net income to determine how much money you can earmark for securing older RV loans.
Step 2. Save money for the down payment.
Most lenders can finance a vintage motorhome if the borrower shells out at least 20 percent of the purchase price. For example, a $20,000 used RV requires at least a $4,000 down payment. So, you must prepare for that expense.
- Look at your expenditures and determine the items you can do without. For example, you can scrap unnecessary magazine or streaming subscriptions or minimize energy consumption to save on heating, cooling, and electric bills.
- Put $50 or $100 into a piggy bank every payday. We prefer this approach compared to saving in the bank to dissuade us from withdrawing funds.
- Limit dining out to once monthly. The average American eats outside the home a whopping four times weekly. If they spend $50 per dinner, they could spend $800 a month. You will save $750 if you only dine out once monthly.
- Consider taking side jobs to fast-track your down payment buildup and promote better chances of getting more favorable loan rates (a higher down payment means lower interest rates).
- Pro Tip: Bump your down payment to 40 or 50 percent to increase your chances of getting a used RV loan.
Step 3. Check your credit rating.
As a rule, lenders require a higher credit rating for unsecured RV loans because they’re riskier. Compared to secured loans, financing institutions don’t have collateral they can take should the borrower default on their obligations.
Hence, you must check your credit score if you prefer this loan deal.
- Log into an online platform that provides credit rating information (i.e., com).
- Click the “Request your free credit reports” button and follow the prompts.
- Review your credit rating and use it as a reference for selecting the most appropriate financing option for old RVs.
Step 4. Choose an old RV financing option.
“How old of an RV can you finance?” is a riddle baffling many aspiring motorhome owners. Unfortunately, the answer lies in the lender – credit unions and banks.
They often limit their financing coverage to motorhomes not older than ten years. Some might be more generous, allowing you to secure a loan on a 12-year-old unit.
You must understand that a bank’s average RV interest rate might be higher than other financing options. Interestingly, the current rate can be as low as 4.49% and as high as 11.89%. Bank rates would be on the upper end of this range.
Moreover, these institutions require the RV to be in “good condition” (or well-maintained).
- Credit Unions
They are more forgiving, allowing prospective used RV buyers to secure a loan. These lenders can finance motorhomes as old as 15 years, subject to the vehicle’s operating and aesthetic condition.
- Other financing options
A personal loan for RV (either through a bank or another financing institution) and a home equity loan are other routes to secure a used RV older than 15 years.
Step 5. Compare used RV lenders.
Choosing the right institution to finance your dream used RV requires the following considerations.
- Loanable amount – You can compare a lender’s minimum and maximum loanable amount to the used RV’s price.
- Interest rate – Pre-qualify lenders by comparing their interest rates. You can use an RV loan calculator to determine how much you’ll pay regularly (with interest).
- Other fees – Some lenders have fees outside of interests, including application and origination fees.
- Repayment options – Long-term repayment schemes offer lower monthly fees, while short-term programs have lower interest rates.
- Special features – Financing is a competitive industry, requiring lenders to think of innovative ways to attract borrowers. You might want to check lenders’ unique policies and assess their value to your purchase.
- Requirements – Lenders vary in loan approval requirements, with some more lax than others.
- Customer service – Please don’t overlook customer reviews because these can provide invaluable insights into your used RV financing.
- Pro Tip: Assign a maximum score for each attribute and pick the lender with the highest score.
Step 6. Negotiate with the used RV seller.
Although you already have plans for the second-hand RV, you can still save some more money by negotiating with the seller or dealer. We recommend comparing sellers before buying.
- Use the information from Steps 1 and 5 to guide your negotiation activities.
- Ask sellers or dealers if they provide free maintenance for the used RV, even for a limited period.
- Consider the used RV’s warranty, choosing an extended coverage over a limited one. For example, a six-month personal guarantee is better than a weeklong coverage.
- Determine the dealer’s history, including customer reviews.
We found this helpful YouTube video from HBRV Lifestyle outlining the three proven ways to finance an old RV. It’s a 10-minute reel full of juicy bits to help bring home your dream motorhome, even with a limited budget.
Are RV Loans Hard to Get?
Financing a used RV older than ten years could be more challenging than loaning for a second-hand car. Some say it’s as demanding as applying for a home mortgage.
Motorhomes, campers, travel trailers, and other RVs are more expensive than conventional cars. This observation makes the loan amount higher, increasing the risk for lenders.
Hence, financing institutions often observe stringent qualifying criteria to determine a borrower’s credibility. They’ll examine income, debt-to-income ratio, and other factors, influencing a borrower’s ability to repay the loan.
Read more: Good Sam RV loan reviews
Securing your dream motorhome is so much easier if you know how to finance an RV over 10 years old. The steps are similar to preparing to buy a big-ticket item (i.e., car, house, or large appliance).
However, navigating the lending industry can be tricky because RVs are expensive. Lenders do everything they can to evaluate a borrower’s financial capacity, lest they risk losing money.
On the bright side, following the steps outlined above should help you draw closer to your dream RV (even though it’s older than a decade).
“Hi, I’m Francis’ husband—Calvin. Our story began with our shared passion for traveling. I have had a career journey for over 11 years at Ford Motor Company, where I took on the role of BMS SW Process Engineer.
Together with my wife, I have dedicated countless hours to exploring every nook and corner of the world. Ten years living in an RV may seem long, but time seems to fly by when I’m doing what I love with the person I love.
Like my wife, I hope to help you see the beauty of traveling off the beaten path by sharing insights into this lifestyle. In addition to my corporate roles, I also launched our website – Outdoorbits, in 2015 and continue to contribute my knowledge and skills to the present day. And I’ll be completely honest with you—no hiding the truth or sugarcoating the possible challenges.
So, if you want to run away from the busy lifestyle to embrace nature, I’m your guy.”