Are you looking for the perfect recreational vehicle to hit the open road this year? We can’t blame you. It’s a great way to explore the country or live out your retirement dream.
But before you embark on that cross-country road trip you’ve been planning, you should take some concrete steps to set yourself up for success on your RV adventure. Here are five ways you can make sure you enjoy your recreational vehicle loan in 2021.
1. Set Your Budget
Let’s be honest. The only way to truly enjoy making a big purchase is to come up with a budget and stick to it. If you’re quitting your job for a year to travel the country, or if you’re settling into retirement and want to explore the great outdoors, the last thing you want to do is stress out about how you’re going to afford your loan payments.
So your first step is to create a budget. Figure out how much you’re able to comfortably spend on an RV based on the down payment you’ve saved and the monthly payment you’re able to afford. If you’re recently retired, for example, calculate how much of your monthly retirement income can go toward financing your RV purchase. Be sure to allocate for other expenses such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance.
There are many tools to help you figure out exactly how much you can reasonably afford to spend on an RV. You can use a recreational vehicle loan calculator to help you determine how much your monthly payments will be based on your down payment, loan amount, and interest rate. If you haven’t already done so, you should also speak with your lender about getting a pre-approval letter. More on that in just a bit.
2. Find the Right RV
A recreational vehicle purchase is a big investment. An RV is essentially a home on wheels. You probably wouldn’t buy a house without doing your research into the condition of the home and the neighborhood where it’s located. Likewise, you should do plenty of research into the RV you’re planning to purchase.
For starters, RVs are categorized according to classes and range in size, sleeping capacity, and engine type. Some are motorhomes fully equipped with living quarters, while others are lightweight, towable trailers.
If you’re uncertain which type of RV is right for you, do your research. You can even try renting one for the day. This will allow you to get familiar with the different RV types and help you narrow down your selection before making an investment. Once you’re ready to make a purchase, be sure to take the RV out on the road for a test drive. Getting a sense of how you feel behind the wheel will help you make a more informed decision.
3. Negotiate the Terms
Always negotiate. Just as you would with a home purchase, try to negotiate the purchase price of your recreational vehicle. According to Forbes, some dealerships mark up the price of RVs considerably. That means you have some room to negotiate.
If you’ve done your research, you should have a good idea of what the RV is worth. See if the dealer will work with you to knock off a percentage of the purchase price.
The pre-approval letter we discussed earlier can come in handy for negotiation purposes because it shows you’re a serious buyer who has already done some legwork toward getting a recreational vehicle loan. This will make the dealer more likely to want to work with you.
But if the dealer doesn’t budge on negotiating the purchase price of the RV you have your eye on, see if you can negotiate for something else. For instance, some dealerships offer incentives such as free oil changes or annual maintenance inspections when you purchase from their lot.
So always try to bargain. The worst that can happen is the dealer declines to lower the price or offer any incentives. Even if that’s the case, remember, you have options. Shop around until you find the best deal.
4. Choose the Right Lender
Just as you should negotiate the purchase price of your RV and shop around for the best deal, you should also shop around for the right lender. One of the best ways to enjoy a recreational vehicle loan, after all, is to find a lender who offers a competitive interest rate and favorable loan terms.
For example, Central Willamette Credit Union can help you buy a new RV or refinance your existing recreational vehicle loan with interest rates as low as 4.49%. We also offer no payments for the first 90 days and flexible financing plans for up to 180 months. This gives you the freedom to pay back your recreational vehicle loan on your own terms, allowing you to focus instead on where you’re going to venture next.
5. Hit the Open Road
Here’s the fun part. You’ve done all the hard work to set yourself up for success. You’ve crunched the numbers to figure out your budget, done your research, and found the right lender. Now that you’ve put forth all that effort, it’s time to hit the open road and enjoy the hard work you’ve put into finding the right recreational vehicle loan.
Want to tour the country and discover the hidden gems you never knew existed? Or want to get your high school buddies together for that reunion camping trip you’ve been talking about for a while? Whatever you envision, it’s time to start making your RV dream a reality.
So get out on the open road, explore, discover, and live the life you’ve been dreaming about. There’s so much to uncover, and this year is going to be your year to take the driver’s seat. So let’s get started on your next adventure together.