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Recreational Vehicle Financing Rates and News

If you have been searching for RV loan rates in 2018, you may have noticed the recent wave of RV rate increases. While the hikes of 2017 were only .25% to .37% on average, they have increased by .50%, (from their lowest point), or more so far this year. This makes it different from other upturns we have seen over the last several years, that quickly reverted back to the previous levels. This "sticky" spike leads us to conclude that rates had likely hit rock bottom in December of 2016, or very early in 2017.

All the RV news isn't that bad; after a number of years of declining RV sales, financing and other RV related services, many economic indicators have been heading in the right direction for the industry. Most of the dealers surveyed expected an increase of 12% to 17% in orders of new units from RV manufacturers; reaching for greater sales levels than the last several years of higher than anticipated totals.

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Lower Interest Rates May Have Bottomed Out

Much of the new business may be coming from buyers who have been "on the fence" in deciding when to purchase. With rates currently on the rise, this trend should continue. The "Fed" will have to start raising rates sometime fairly soon, and the smoke signals we're seeing now could be read like a neon sign later in the year.

The improved economy and growing consumer confidence should continue to stimulate more sales of motorhomes and other types of recreational vehicles. RVs are even becoming "Cool" with the emerging baby boomer market.

The RV financial service providers indicated that interest rates for RV loans had hit bottom late last year, and we were in a rising interest rate economy. Our own research shows that rates had continued to hold at record low rates for most of last year, with some minor, short-lived spikes in recent months. (These increases have been confirmed as of 2017 with a quarter to half-point increases holding after the first couple months of the year.)

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We can also finance older used RVs and motorhomes, (from 10 - 12 years old), so you can easily find seven to ten-year-old luxury motorhomes from $60,000 to $80,000, or even less. So if you've been thinking of taking the plunge, come on in - the water (and rates) may be rising soon.

The banks, as well as online RV loan brokers, felt the trend could very easily reverse course if the economy began to sputter - or even if things began to heat up and jump-start a new ripple of competition between RV lenders. (That seems less of a chance now, as there are so few national RV lenders even in the market.)

The head of RVIA, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association said that he expects shipments of new RVs to continue to increase this year. We agree that this will be another year with increases of 5% to 6% higher than last year. RV manufacturing, much of which is located in Indiana, is an $11 billion dollar industry, now employs close to 300,000 people, with mergers of existing manufacturers and new brands emerging at an increasing rate.

And Now, a Word from the Government

Although current economic conditions have improved, uncertainty in government policies may still dampen spirits if political leaders continue to keep their focus on their own interests above those of the American people. (Or vise versa, depending on your own opinion and current developments. This seems to be a common topic in recent events; and in the opinion of many people surveyed at recent shows, the industry news and media, and RV events across the country.)

At some point the Fed will have to begin to increase interest rates - however, with inflation remaining stable, that may not be enough to derail the recreational industry's current "freight train" momentum. The recent election instability has begun to confirm our theories that we are beginning to enter a rising rate environment.

But Wait - There's Still More

All government and political issues aside, the RV market is being "buoyed" by the ever-increasing demands of retiring, or "soon to retire" baby boomers. The Gen X'ers and Millennials are falling in line right behind them.

With these higher numbers of potential RV buyers entering the market, forward-thinking RV manufacturers are continuing to engineer and produce lighter and more efficient units at virtually all price levels. This is helping keep the younger, entry-level buyers engaged with more economical and easier to purchase RVs at most all levels.

These gains in innovation are also keeping older, or should I say "Seasoned" RV'ers in the game by helping reduce operating costs, making more maneuverable units - and even lightening up the Big Boys. What are ya gonna do, but keep on rolling!

Continued gains in the job market, and higher household incomes and the current record-low interest rates, would seemingly project an extremely favorable outlook for the recreational industry in the foreseeable future.

Regardless of the outcome, the near-term months and approaching years are widely projected to be the best time to purchase and/or finance an RV. If you are in the market but may have been waiting for the rock bottom. That time could very well be now. Stay tuned for updates, or just get it out of the way while the getting is good.

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No Credit Check RV - Not all dealers are bad

Buying & Financing an RV - The Dealer is Not the Enemy

Statistics show that the 80/20 rule applies to RV sales profits. This means that approximately 80% of all RV's sold will make the dealer an acceptable profit. How much is that? I can tell you it is measured in the thousands... and even tens of thousands of dollars. As you will learn, this applies not only to the sale but also to the RV financing.

How about the other 20%? Most of them will fall into the area of "just under the acceptable range". But, they are still paying the dealer several thousand dollars in profit. Actually, only about 10% - 20% of RV sales made last year were at a profit margin that would be considered totally unacceptable to the dealer. In other words, the customer won... and won BIG!

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I've always believed that buying, or selling an RV, really doesn't have to be that difficult. It basically depends on how each of the parties involved has been trained, and what they have learned.

My sales people have always been taught to be courteous, helpful, and most of all professional. They return phone calls. They send thank you notes. And, they treat each and every customer with respect.

They Are Also Taught Two Basic Principles:

1. Make a reasonable profit. We have earned it and we deserve it. We have to pay the mortgage, utilities, salaries, RV sales, and financing commissions, etc. So by all means, make us a reasonable profit.

2. Sell RV's. Always try to make a reasonable profit, but if you can't... at least try to make some profit. A little of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

It's really very easy to save a substantial amount on the purchase of your next RV... If, and only if you know exactly what to do. Here's a look at a typical outing to the local, or not-so-local RV dealership.

The Gun-Fight at the O.K. RV Sales Corral

Most people walk into an RV dealership with the impression that they are going into battle. They bristle with resistance as the salesman introduces himself, and begins the cat and mouse game of "I can sell you... No, you can't."

The salesman is asking qualifying questions, to hopefully keep from walking all over the lot and showing each and every RV. You are simply trying to see the different styles, options, colors, models, etc. It is a tug of war... But it doesn't have to result in all-out war.

Obviously, the dealer, as the individual or business that has shelled out literally millions of dollars to provide a good inventory of recreational vehicles, has the right to regulate the flow of potential customers through his doors. He also has the right to dictate what type of methods his salespeople use.

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When people walk through the doors of the dealership, many salesmen, like a cop in a bad movie, will subconsciously read you your RV Miranda Rights.

You have the right to remain ignorant. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the sales office. You have the right to speak to your spouse, and to have your spouse present during any negotiations. If you cannot afford an RV, one will be financed for you at 1% to 3% over "buy rate". (Buy Rate is the Dealer's actual interest rate charged by the lender.)

This is the mentality of many, many RV dealers and salespeople across the country. They will use any means possible to sell you an RV from their inventory, and their lot. They will use a multitude of tricks and strategies to "help" you buy on your first visit. They will give you formidable real and/or "not-so-real" reasons to buy NOW! (You should already know, or have the knowledge to recognize any "Real Reasons" the dealer may legitimately offer. They can be BIG money-savers.)

You, as the consumer also have a set of rights that you should go over mentally as you walk through the doors of any dealership.

The RV Consumer's Bill of Rights

1. You have the right to be knowledgeable. Anything you have learned can be used against any high-pressure tactics of a salesperson or over-aggressive sales or finance manager.

2. You have the right to take your time. Although you do have the right to know how to use urgency to your advantage.

3. You have the right to know the wholesale and retail book value of your trade-in, as well as the RV you are potentially buying.

4. If you finance your RV, you have the right to choose your own source for your RV Loan, at the best interest rate and terms possible.

5. If you choose to purchase an RV Warranty, you have the right to a fair price and a reputable company.

Clearly, the dealer is entitled to some profit... Without it he could never survive. Many dealers make HUGE profits on the RV's they sell. Your job as a consumer is to make sure that he pays the rent on the next buyer... Not you.

You are Your Own Worst Enemy...

Most people never take the time and/or money to learn. They don't realize that when they walk into the dealership and sit down, they have taken a knife to a gun fight. Dealerships spend thousands of dollars training their salespeople to make a good profit on each and every person they work with. Yet still, the vast majority of buyers never take the time to really learn how to buy an RV at a minimal profit for the dealer.

Unfortunately, there is very little good information out there on the subject of RV related SAVINGS! There are plenty of books on how to use your RV, fix your RV, and travel in your RV. There are even some books on the subject of buying an RV. But all of them combined seem to provide very little real-world, down and dirty strategies for saving money.

I have read every book that is available on the subject and find all of them very lacking in good advice. If you are only armed with the advice in these manuals, a good salesman will eat your lunch every time.

Not only must you be able to buy your RV very near the dealer's cost, you must be skilled in evaluating the quality, or lack of it, in the various makes and models you have to choose from.

One important thing to consider is the issue of a trade-in. Should you put forth the effort to sell your own RV before you purchase another one? "Effort", is the key factor. If you put in the effort, you deserve to keep the profits of your labors.

What About My Trade-In?

If you trade in your RV, the dealer will be the one who puts forth the effort to sell your unit. He will be the one to make interest payments on it while it sits on his lot. He will incur the advertising expense, sales commissions, etc. He will also have to fix any defects or problems as well as typically providing a warranty on the unit for a minimum of 30 days.

In other words, don't expect to get full retail for your trade-in. It doesn't happen... Ever. (See our article on evaluating your RV Trade-In Value.)

Some Parting Thoughts...

People ask me time and time again: "When is the best time to buy an RV?" My answer is always the same. "Anytime..." They then typically reply: "No, I mean is Winter the best time? Or maybe at the RV Shows? What about the end of the month, I've heard that is the best time of the month..."

The truth of the matter is this: RV dealers need to sell and finance RVs all year long. Some sales make a lot, some sales make a little. Your job is to make sure you have the skills to play the game effectively.

As long you are armed with the proper tools, and by that I mean information and knowledge, you should be able to negotiate a deal that is fair to both you and dealer. No matter what time of year, remember... Knowledge is power. Use it to your advantage.

Do your homework. Research various models and dealer pricing. Leave your checkbook at home until you are ready to make an offer. Remember the value of the Internet and the ease of shopping it offers.

And always remember... Be kind to your local RV dealer. He is the one most likely to be servicing and repairing your RV. A few dollars more - spent locally... Are wisely spent.

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RV for sale no credit check

Buying an RV from a Private Seller

Just as the RV Dealer isn't your enemy; the Private RV Seller can be your best friend. They don't have ANY appreciable overhead built into the sale, other than the cost of their advertising, and/or any repairs or refurbishing to be done to the RV.

The private seller, or "RV for Sale by Owner", is usually much more motivated than a dealer. They only have ONE unit on which to concentrate their efforts. Many times their sole intention is to rid themselves of the burden of their no-longer-needed RV.

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In RARE cases, they are WISELY selling by owner so they can move on to a unit more suited to their present needs and desires. This allows them to sell their RV for a higher price than a dealer would allow them on trade-in, while still offering a bargain to their potential buyers.

Purchasing from a Private Seller can Work to Your Advantage in Many Ways:

1. Lower overhead = Lower selling price.
2. Higher motivation = Lower selling price.
3. No over-pricing to allow for trade-ins.
4. More extensive vehicle history.
5. A more personal transaction.

Because of these benefits, buying an RV from an individual may allow you to save thousands of dollars over buying a similar unit from a dealer.

You MUST, however, do your due diligence prior to the actual purchase. Any faulty systems left unchecked or untested will likely become your own burden unless discovered PRIOR to your purchase. In other words: "Caveat Emptor" - or - "Buyer Beware".

For now, let's take a look at some of the advantages of buying an RV from a private seller.

Low Costs for Private RV Sellers - We Finance Older RVs

Most individual sellers will incur minimal selling costs when selling "by owner". Most of these costs will come from advertising in local newspaper classifieds, Internet advertisements or other forms of marketing.

When compared to the costs incurred by an RV dealer, the individual has a major advantage. First of all, they have no commissions to pay upon the sale. Most RV Salesperson commissions in the RV industry are commonly set at approximately 20% of the gross profit.

In other words, if a salesman sells an RV for an average profit of $5,000 - Then $1,000 of that is going to the salesman as commission. This is not a concern for the private seller, therefore sales commission ALONE can be a potential gain of $1,000 or more to the buyer. (Not to mention the other $4,000 the dealer gained over his wholesale price.)

The above example is based on a moderately priced RV of say, $40,000 to $60,000. You can imagine the profits and commissions on higher priced units!

Also, because of the minimal or nonexistent overhead of the individual seller, profit is commonly NOT a motive for selling. In MOST cases, the sellers simply want to rid themselves of the unit. This usually translates into THOUSANDS of dollars in savings.

Combine those savings with Best Rate's used motorhome and RV financing programs, as well as our best loan rates, and you could double your savings.

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While most private RV sellers will try to achieve a RETAIL sales price when the unit is initially offered, they rapidly tire of the stresses of the sales process and lower their "perceived" value of the RV. In other words, when they start the sales process, they have an unrealistic impression of their RV's value. After dealing with prospective buyers for a minimal amount of time, they rapidly become educated on the true value of their RV.

Seriously, think about your own experiences. How many times have you tried to sell something for a premium price, only to accept a lower, yet HONEST offer for much less than your original price? It all goes back to the old saying: "One in the hand is worth two in the bush." In other words, fatigued sellers WILL accept a bargain price if the offer is GENUINE. It ends their suffering... so to speak.

The key is to FIND these fatigued sellers when they are weak. Just as the predator on the African Plains seeks out the weaker and slower prey, you must find the weary seller - and strike when they are at their weakest point. Ruthless - Yes. Unethical - No. It's the law of the urban jungle. Live and prosper by the law, or live and pay a higher price - still by the law. (I can't believe I just wrote that)

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Insider RV Financing Strategies - Buy here pay here

Insider RV Financing and Loan Rate Strategies

Many people who contemplate financing an RV, or any other high-ticket item such as a boat or private aircraft, are intimidated by the length of the financing term needed for an acceptable payment. Typical financing terms are 10 to 20 years, with 15 years being the most common.

Some consumers choose a shorter financing term and a higher payment simply because of their fear of the longer-term commitment. Even though they obviously know RV owners rarely, if ever, keep an RV for the entire term of their financing; they choose a shorter loan term. They unnecessarily strap themselves to a higher payment that could strain their budget - should illness, unemployment or other hard times take place.

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Most buyers choose the longest term available to secure the lowest payment possible - even though they could afford much more. They pay more interest than principal during most, if not all of their actual loan period, and wind up in an "upside-down" position.

In other words, the remaining payoff on their loan is much more than the actual value of their unit when the time comes to trade or sell their RV.

A Hybrid RV Loan System

Savvy RV buyers use a "Hybrid" type of financing system to get the best of both worlds. They finance the RV for the longest term available for the loan amount, which makes the payment lower than they can actually afford.

During the loan, they make the monthly payment PLUS an additional amount, which is directly subtracted from the principal amount of the loan.

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When this approach is followed with a good degree of discipline, it can lower the "effective" interest rate to as much as half the original rate - as well as dramatically shortening the length of the loan term.

It also allows the most flexibility. Should the borrower face a situation where times are rough or money is tight, they still have the luxury of making the lowest payment possible.

An Example of a $50,000 Loan

Interest Rate - 5.25%
Term in Years - 15 years
Payment Amount - $428
Total Interest Paid - $27,168

If this person added $50 to each monthly payment, he would change the repayment terms to:

Effective Interest - 4.64%
Loan Term in Years - 12.63 years
Total Interest Paid - $22,418
TTL Interest Savings - $4,750

Now let's assume that this person added $150 to the monthly payment.

Effective Interest - 2.62%
Loan Term in Years - 8 years
Total Interest Paid - $5,487
TTL Interest Savings - $21,681

The example above is ONLY on a loan of $50,000. Imagine the savings if this strategy was applied to an RV loan of $100,000 or more! It is all about planning, application, and discipline. But, if he happens to miss a few months, he just saves a little less.

What's the Bottom Line?

Comparing our last example of a consumer applying a hybrid system - to an individual who took out an 8-year loan upon purchasing the same RV... The hybrid system would have saved nearly 4% in interest over an actual 8-year loan term.

By shortening your loan term from 15 years to roughly 8 years, he would have saved over $21,000 in interest. He has also reduced the "effective" interest rate to less than 3%.

Plus, the buyer has paid off a 15-year loan in about 8 years! Even if he misses a few months of additional principal payments, he will still have saved thousands of dollars in finance charges.

The additional $150 per month added to principal has saved about $78 per month over choosing an 8-year initial loan term. That equates to about $7,500 savings in payment amount over the course of the loan.

What if I Don't Make the Additional RV Finance Payment?

The key to making a hybrid payment system work - is discipline. You must make the additional principal payment every month, or very close to it. You should be certain your scheduled payment amount plus any additional amount you plan to add toward principal is within your budget.

Even if you intend to use a hybrid payment system, but never add an additional penny to the principal loan amount, you will have simply paid off your loan, in the same manner, the majority of RV financing buyers choose.

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