- What’s so great about an RV?
- I am convinced, but how can I pay for a motorhome?
The rate of inflation is in the headlines, gasoline is at record high prices, and personal loan interest rates keep rising. It’s more expensive than ever to own, drive and maintain an RV, so who wants one? Surprisingly, despite these factors, RV sales are on the rise – they grew 19% in 2021 and continued the trend in 2022, according to Fortune. Why do people love their RVs so much and how can so many people afford to buy something that loses value so quickly? Read on to learn more about the current lure of RV living and to learn more about funding.
What’s so great about an RV?
Buying a motorhome is expensive. Then they need a lot of repairs. All vehicles end up at the mechanic from time to time, but recreational vehicles require an even higher level of maintenance – they have electrical wiring, plumbing, household furniture and appliances. Add to that the constant vibrations of highway travel that cause a lot of wear and tear. Recreational vehicles consume a lot of gas. Finally, when it’s time to park, the best campsites are expensive and sometimes require reservations months in advance. There are plenty of reasons not to own an RV, yet people love them.
Caravanners simply answer this question. For example, Frances Williams spoke to Alaska Public Media about her experience returning to Idaho from the northernmost state in the country: “It’s been fun. Anyway, we’re outdoors people. Or whatever. whatever, that was cool, just being flexible and being like, “Oh, let’s stop here.”
Modern nomads emphasize this preference for freedom and flexibility over price. John Ferguson, who is camping in Alaska, didn’t mince words: “It’s been on my to-do list for 40 years…And I said I don’t care about the price of fuel. go…Here’s the credit card, fill it up – bingo, bango, boingo, I’m as happy as can be.” That said, filling his tank costs him about $500 a week.
Rising house prices and mortgage rates are another reason why some people end up in an RV. Families and couples can choose to live in an RV while waiting for housing prices to drop. Owning a motorhome or fifth wheel means they can forgo expensive rent and find a semi-permanent parking area. Forget the trailer park stereotype: some of these places are beautiful, along the banks or near the lakes. If RVers are tired of one view, they don’t even need to pack their bags (that much). They can drive to the next destination and set up camp there. The growing availability of remote work has made this more feasible than ever before.
Finally, some people dream of owning a vacation property, or a cabin in the woods, but don’t have the budget for it. They can do the math and discover that installing a fifth wheel in a nice RV park is the perfect alternative for regular weekend getaways.
I am convinced, but how can I pay for a motorhome?
New travel trailers start at around $12,000, and prices go up from there according to CamperReport. This source lists the luxurious Thor Motor Coach Tuscany at over $400,000. This means that there is some sort of motorhome or motorhome for almost every budget and there are plenty of loaner options.
People usually get loans to buy an RV through dealerships, a bank, or an online lender. These financial products are much more varied than car loans since they can be secured or not. Having a secured loan means that if borrowers don’t make their payments, the lender repossesses the motorhome. Some customers choose to take out purpose-built RV loans and others choose more general personal loans. Borrowers with low credit ratings hoping to add a co-signer will also be able to find loans, although not all lenders offering RV loans allow this option.
The numbers and interest rates can seem overwhelming. Luckily, Nerd Wallet, a financial advisory firm, has put together a list of their favorite unsecured RV loans along with an RV loan calculator. These two tools are essential for anyone looking for funding. The page also contains reviews of each lender. Ultimately, however, buyers should ask about loans from multiple lenders, compare the deals they are offered, and trust their judgment.
Two final tips for anyone looking to buy an RV. 1) Many RV dealerships put a high profit margin on their products. They expect buyers to haggle with them, so don’t feel embarrassed to ask for a lower price. 2) Check the quality of the RV’s carpentry. Do the cabinets have quality hinges and screws or are they held together with staples? Often, the woodwork is indicative of the quality of the whole construction.
In conclusion, even though the current economy seems like a setback to owning an RV, travelers shouldn’t let that stop them from living their dream. Many people are buying and traveling in RVs despite the financial obstacles in their path. On the other hand, if RVing is more of a passing whim, it’s probably best to wait a year or two.
Next: Profitable nomadic living: the full breakdown of what living in a motorhome will cost you