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Bad Credit RV Loans [11 Simple Tips to Help Get Approved]

Published on April 17th, 2020 by Ray & Tammy Roman
This post was updated on May 18th, 2023

Are bad credit RV loans something you should consider when your credit score is not up to par for a conventional credit load?

Many of us dream of hitting the open road in an RV, but once we look at our credit, we realize that might not be possible.

Though credit score is an important criterion, some lenders don’t have a set-in-stone minimum credit score.

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Some RV loan companies may approve you if you have a large enough down payment or show that you are low risk and can repay the loan.

bad credit rv loans

So what are some of the best options for someone with less than stellar credit who is interested in financing the purchase of a used or new travel trailer? First, you need to determine what type of camper you want, your budget, and your RV lifestyle.

Here are some resources to help you choose an RV type.

The cost of your RV

One of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you want a towable RV or a motorized one. Towable campers are less expensive than a motorized RV, but you’ll need a reliable towing vehicle that can easily tow the camper you have in mind. Motorized RVs may require a special license if they weigh more than 26,000 lbs.

General RV has a good resource on the different types of RVs. You can read it on their website.

Set your RV budget

In addition to the cost of the RV, you will also need to consider maintenance, insurance, and accessories. The cost of the RV itself will vary depending on the style of the RV and whether or not you buy it new or used. Here is a breakdown of the average Rv cost:

Tent camping trailers: $5,000 to $20,000

Truck campers: $7,000 to $70,000

Travel trailers: $1,500 to $80,000

5th wheels camping trailers: $20,000 to $175,000

Class A motorhomes: $80,000 to $800,000 and up

Class B and C motorhomes: $50,000 to $200,000

You can expect huge savings if you decide to purchase a used camper.

Insurance cost

Before a lender funds your RV purchase, you must show proof of insurance. Ask your lender for their insurance requirements, then speak with your insurance agent about the options you may have.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 a month to as much as $300 per month or higher depending on the year and model of your RV, additional coverage such as damaged personal items, pet in injury coverage, and protection for RV accessories. You will also pay more if you live in your RV full-time.

Best Class A Motorhome Insurance by LendEDU is an excellent resource for learning about RV insurance.

RV storage

If you don’t have space to park your RV at home, you will need to consider the cost of RV storage. Renting an RV storage space can be expensive.

For example, a 10′ x 30′ enclosed storage unit can be anywhere from $200 to $400 per month. Shopping around and checking prices, even going as far as negotiating prices, is good before you commit to any RV storage space.

Maintenance Cost

When owning an RV, you’ll need to consider maintenance costs. Many items in an RV need regular check-ups and maintenance, such as regular cleaning and lubrication of parts.

Your electrical system should be inspected every six months; the water heater and A/C system need annual inspections and services to prevent issues.

Also, it would help if you were prepared for when an appliance breaks down or needs to be replaced. Oil changes, gas filter changes, and inspecting and cleaning your RV roof are just some of the many maintenance items you need to consider.

You should set aside $150-$200 per month for maintenance. If you are comfortable as a DIYer, you can save some money; otherwise, be prepared to pay someone for these services.

You can call an RV service department, and they should be able to give you a ballpark estimate of what it will cost to maintain your RV.

Make sure you add the cost to your overall RV budget.

If you plan to store your RV during the cold months, get an estimate for RV winterization and de-winterization.

Rent Before You Buy

One of the best ways to determine if owning an RV is right for you is to rent one. Renting is essentially a test drive of the model and size RV you are interested in.

You’ll learn a lot about the RV and your skills at handling an RV by renting one for several days. We recommend RV Share for your RV rental as they have a huge selection of campers available everywhere in the USA.

Getting your RV loan

Before you move forward with your bad credit RV loan, know that it will likely cost you more than an RV loan when you have good credit.

Those with good credit can expect an interest rate of 3%-5%. However, if your credit is less than stellar, you might have to pay as punch as 24% or as high as your state’s legal limits allow.

RV lenders will use your credit score and credit history to determine whether or not you will be at high risk or low risk for them. They also consider the RV type and the RV’s age if you are buying used. All of this is considered and evaluated by the lender to determine your interest rate.

Negotiate better by getting Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved may help you negotiate better and land you a better price. The dealership sales team will take you more seriously with a pre-approval letter.

There are several online lending sites where you can fill out one application and receive multiple loans offers depending on your credit score and history. Lending Tree is one of those websites.

Consider a bigger down payment

To help reduce their risk, RV lenders usually require a 20% downpayment. But did you know you may be able to lower your interest rate by increasing the amount of down payment?

Ask your lender if providing a larger downpayment than the typical 20% will reduce your interest rate.

A more significant down payment also increases your chances of getting approved for a bad credit RV loan.

Improve your credit

One of the ways to lower your interest rate is to take steps to improve your credit score. Credit scores or FICO range from 300 to 850. The lower your score, the more likely, according to statistics, that you will default on your loan.

Any credit score below 580 is considered a bad credit score.

Which lenders to go for bad credit RV loans

You can approach several types of lenders about getting approved for a bad credit RV loan. Try an online lender such as Southeast Financial or My Financing USA.  With online lenders, you will not get in-person service, and the amount you are approved for may be lower than other lenders.

You can also try a credit union. You’ll need to be a credit union member; however, joining is usually very simple. Banks and dealership financing are also options you can try.

In-house financing is the “buy here, pay here dealers. Extreme caution is needed if you try in-house financing for your bad credit RV loan. In-house financing typically comes at a high-interest rate, and you are limited to their inventory of campers to choose from.

Bad credit RV loans summary

With bad credit, it can be challenging to finance the purchase of an RV. However, if you do your research and shop around, you might be able to find RV financing that is within your budget.

Bad credit will increase the cost of owning an RV but should not be a roadblock to your owning and enjoying an RV.

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