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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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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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In house financing rv dealers near me

The RV Loan Approval Process

Motorhome and  RV loans are considered to be "Recreational Financing". This basically means that they are for "Luxury" items. Things you could live without if best, for some unexpected reason or event, came to worst.

Most people have applied for various types of loans in their lifetime. Student loans when you were younger. Auto loans may also be among the first types of loans that you have become familiar with.

Later in life, you may have encountered home loans, or even business financing, equipment, inventory and other types of credit lines. This list is seemingly endless, all with different criteria in qualifying and underwriting guidelines.

RV Loans vs. Other Types of Financing

Most of these types of loans are considered necessary expenses, such as your home and auto loan. If times become tough, or if you have unexpected medical bills or become unemployed, these "necessary" expenses are usually bills you would find a way to pay.

After all, everyone needs a roof over their head, as well as a means of transportation to get to work, the doctor - or even the unemployment office. You also have other fundamental expenses such as utilities and food. All of these things are considered necessary expenses.

Now, you may be considering purchasing an RV, and are possibly finding it much more difficult to qualify for this type of financing. It doesn't seem to make sense, since in many cases, your home, or even your car cost more than the RV or boat you are trying to finance, yet you easily qualified for these loans.

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Why is it Harder to Buy an RV Than a House?

Once again, lenders have to look at the difference between loans for necessary items and "Recreational Financing". The first being things like home and auto loans. The latter, being recreational items like motorhomes, boats or even other power sport related items such as motorcycles or personal watercraft.

Before the financial crisis and banking system "Bailout", recreational financing was much easier to obtain, just like the sub-prime home loans that led to the financial meltdown in the first place. Loans with zero down payment and "No Doc" loans were readily available - even in the field of recreational lending. Those days are long gone. And, if the banks are giving any indications, likely to never return.

Now, RV lenders are much more critical of things like:

1. Credit Score. (Above 700 normally required.)
2. Debt-to-Income Ratio. (Usually no greater than 42% - 45%.)
3. Liquid Assets. (How much money you have in accounts or investments.)
4. Employment & Residence History. (Over 2-years each is preferred.)

Lenders are even looking at a factor called "Payment to Income Ratio". This means that the payment for your new RV cannot exceed roughly 15% of your total monthly income. This is usually not a problem for individuals with higher incomes, but more likely to affect retirees or those on fixed incomes.

So, even though recreational financing is more difficult to obtain, it is not impossible by any means. An RV loan pre-approval can be helpful in determining if you qualify, and what price of RV you can afford - or - at least what the bank says you can afford.

To obtain pre-approval, you will first need to select a particular year, make and model, and establish an approximate selling price. This information is necessary, since part of the approval is based on the "NADA Loan Value" of that particular year, make and model of RV.

Once you have been pre-approved, you can switch to another similar unit and be relatively sure you will qualify, if it is relatively similar to the unit on which you were approved.

If you choose an RV Loan Pre-Approval, just enter the information for your "Subject Unit". We can normally receive a decision from the lender in as little as one day, so you're ready to close your loan as soon as you find the RV that's just right for you.

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Internet vs Dealer Financing: No credit check RV dealers

Internet RV Loans vs. Dealer Financing

You've just signed a purchase agreement with your local (or not-so-local) RV dealer. You know the drill... Your next stop will be the Finance & Insurance Office, (a.k.a. F&I) for your RV loan, financing rates, warranty, insurance, etc.

Your salesman does the "hand-off", and suddenly you are faced with a decision that seems simple, but can cost you many times the profit made on the "front end" of your transaction; the "back end", or Finance and Insurance office.

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As I always try to convey to my clients: "The dealer is NOT the enemy." In fact, he can be your best friend when your RV is in need of service or repair. He has laid out literally MILLIONS of dollars to allow you the opportunity to browse a good selection of units. He has paid his dues and continues to pay them on a daily basis. Keep his - and your best interests at heart when deciding on your source of any potential RV or motorhome financing.

There is one hard and fast rule that applies to RV Dealer provided financing. He must "pack" (inflate) the "buy rate" (interest rate) on the financing he provides to his customers to earn a profit on the transaction. Once again, he uses this profit to pay overhead, commissions, etc.

1. Should you consider the benefits of financing through your RV dealer? Yes.
2. Are you stuck with the financing and interest rate he quotes? NO.
3. Should you consider alternative sources of financing? Definitely!
4. Should I check Internet RV Loan Rates First? You MUST know the current rates!

Most RV buyers are so frazzled by the time they finish the negotiation to finalize the purchase of a new RV that they fold under the pressure of the F&I office. This can be a costly mistake.

Shopping for your best interest rate and terms can be just as important as shopping for the right RV, and negotiating your best price. In fact, you stand to save literally THOUSANDS of dollars by simply lowering your interest rate by a quarter to a half of a percent.

Information is the Key to Financing RVs Online or Offline

Online RV finance companies normally use many of the same lenders that RV dealers use. It's simply a matter of overhead and the cost of doing business. Since the Internet-based companies generally have lower operating costs, they are able to pass the savings on to you.

Most Internet RV finance sources have online rate quote forms and loan applications which can be completed in a matter of minutes. Normally, credit approval can be obtained the same day you apply.

When you submit your online application, you should also be prepared to send some additional documentation, which is necessary for your approval.

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Required RV Loan Approval Documents

If you are EMPLOYED (work for someone else), you will normally be required to fax or email proof of income. This is usually a recent pay stub and your last 2 year's W-2 forms. (For each applicant)

If you are SELF-EMPLOYED, you will normally be required to send your last 2 years tax returns and any attached schedules.

If you are RETIRED, you will need to provide documentation of social security benefits, pensions, dividends or other sources of income.

Once your loan is approved, your loan processor will help you in obtaining additional documentation, such as:

A copy of your purchase agreement with the seller.
A copy of the title. (MSO on new units).
Proof of insurance with the lender listed as "Loss Payee".
Copies of all the applicant(s) driver's licenses.

Most onine RV loans take from 4 to 6 business days to complete. Information must be collected, and documents must be sent by overnight mail for your signatures, and then sent overnight mail back to the lender.

When arranging the purchase of an RV, you should typically allow a week or so for your scheduled delivery date. This should allow plenty of time for rate shopping, loan approval, and closing. When your loan closing is completed, funds can be sent to the seller by overnight mail, or simply wire transferred. To save time, you may also choose an RV loan pre-approval so you're ready to close as soon as you find the right RV.

Which Type of Financing is Best?

If you want EASY? Let the dealer handle it.
If you want the BEST RATE? Do a little work.

Sure you will have to do a little more work, but if you break down your long-term savings into the actual time you have spent researching and completing your RV loan... You could be making a VERY short-lived hourly wage roughly equivalent to that of Bill Gates.

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RV Shopping and Financing Online

The "ritual" of shopping for a new RV or Boat, and even recreational vehicle financing, has changed dramatically in the last decade - especially within the last 5 to 8 years. Gone are the days of driving hundreds of miles, from dealership to dealership; always at the mercy of time and distance - and the pressure of the sales office.

Granted, the Internet has been in fairly common use since the early 90's, but only in the last few years have we seen the majority of Recreational Vehicle buyers doing most all of their most focused and "actual purchase" related research and shopping without driving a mile. They are doing their homework at home, (and at work), on the Internet.

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In the earlier days of the Internet, potential buyers had been slow to embrace major purchases, such as RVs and Boats - especially without seeing and inspecting the unit in person. But, smaller online transactions on websites like Amazon.com, eBay.com and other increasingly popular web-shopping sites, have increased consumer confidence and slowly matured into much larger and more expensive online purchases.

With the introduction of eBay Motors in the early 2000's, people began buying and selling all types of motorized vehicles, but the sale and purchase numbers for RVs grew faster than anyone had anticipated. By 2004, the search term "RV" was in the top 10 search terms on the (relatively new at that time), search engine Google.

In the following years more and more people began using the Internet to search for "Bargains", and the numbers of RV buyers and sellers have increased exponentially, year after year. Our experience has shown that online RV sales and online financing to be increasing even faster than expected.

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Today, the "new generation" of RV and Boat buyers span the entire spectrum of recreational-related demographics. Every age group from young families buying their first camper for occasional outings, to retired full-timers in super-luxury units, are joining the online recreational vehicle purchase revolution.

These buyers tend to do their initial research by driving to the dealerships in their comfortable driving area, usually a 50 to 500-mile radius, or by making periodic stops along their travels and adventures over time. By doing this type of initial shopping, they are able to see, feel and drive the types of units available. They can learn the pros and cons of the various styles, sizes and price levels by seeing these units in person at the dealerships they visit - hopefully leaving their checkbook and credit cards in their vehicle. (Lest they meet a salesman, and buy something.)

Once they have narrowed down their general types or units of interest, they can begin their online price shopping. They can slowly narrow down their search to a particular year, make and model, with specific options. From there on out, they simply call each dealer and/or private RV seller with a unit that matches their needs. Sooner or later, they find the right deal - at the right price. Distance seems to be no problem if they feel they are saving enough money, or finding the right unit.

At WaveWallet, we have seen our percentage of online, and/or out-of-state purchases grow to more than 50% of our RV financing customers. And, because they are normally unfamiliar with long-distance or private-party sales procedures, we provide them with an easy roadmap to a safe and successful transaction.

The new online RV and motorhome "Private Sellers" are wary of their exposure to unscrupulous or fraudulent buyers, so we help guide them through the complete transaction as well. Our RV pre-approval and loan processing, title research, and closing departments coordinate virtually all aspects of the RV purchase, finance and loan closing. A smooth transaction can be crucial to help guide the purchase and sale process from start to finish, with all parties satisfied with the outcome.

So, now you are able to easily find the best price and financing for just about any type of recreational vehicle. The thousands of dollars in savings normally cover more than the cost of driving or flying thousands of miles to take delivery of your new toy or home on wheels, or on water.

While most potential buyers' interest in saving money intensifies during the frenzy of shopping for a new boat or RV, they should remember those industry related businesses they may need after their purchase. Your local Dealer may be much more likely to go out of their way for "post-sale" related activities like service, troubleshooting, etc. if you purchased the unit from them. As you travel further and further from home, the savings in actual dollars become more and more important.

The rapid rise in the use of the Internet for RV shopping has closed more RV dealerships than any other factor, even the extended economic recession. However, the fortunate dealers with deep enough pockets to survive the recession, and those adaptable enough to survive the Internet, have evolved with the changing times.

Now that much of a dealership's income from unit sales has been reduced, they rely more and more on the increased income produced by other areas such as the parts and service departments. They have added new avenues of income such as rental fleets, consignment sales and other products and services.

If you decide to take the Internet leap and save money by researching, shopping and buying online, remember to give your local dealers a chance at earning your business. If not the sale - be it for service, parts or repairs; a little more money spent locally can go a long way in good relations over the long term.

And don't forget to remember that a "Great Deal" can be found just about anywhere if you look hard enough and smart enough. So start close to home, then go from there.

"For every buyer flying from New York to California to save a little money, there is another flying from California to New York to do the same thing."

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Cheap Places to Travel in rent to own RV

Boondocking on public land is a great way to avoid the crowds in RV parks and save some money on camping fees. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has over 400 campgrounds and almost all of them have sites that can accommodate RVs.

These BLM campgrounds don’t have hookups or dump stations, but their low nightly rates reflect the lack of amenities. Come prepared and you can get total peace and quiet for less than $20 a night.

1. Ken’s Lake, Utah

South of Moab and Arches National Park, Ken’s Lake has 31 well-spaced sites that can fit motorhomes of all sizes. The campground has a quiet, beautiful setting with views of the lake and the nearby La Sal Mountains.

Sites are only $15 per night and available first-come, first-served. The campground has no potable water, so be sure to bring your own. The area has over three miles of hiking trails for views of the lake, Moab Valley, and Faux Falls.

2. Edson Creek, Oregon

Edson Creek Campground, only fifteen minutes from the Oregon Coast, is located in an open meadow where the creek flows in the Sixes River. The 27 campsites (and 5 group sites) have picnic tables, fire rings, and access to restrooms and potable water. There is also a day-use area and a boat ramp just across the street.

Edson Creek Recreation Site. Photo via BLM, Flickr

Sites are only $8 a night ($30 for group sites) and $4 per extra vehicle. The campground is only a short drive away from the coastal beaches, hiking trails, and shops and restaurants in Port Orford.

3. Devil’s Elbow, Montana

Northeast of Helena, Devil’s Elbow Campground has 42 campsites overlooking Lake Hauser, a reservoir on the Missouri River. The level, gravel sites can fit any size RV and all have views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Devil’s Elbow Campground. Photo via Recreation.gov

The lake also has year-round fishing for trout, walleye, and kokanee salmon. Sites are only $15 a night with a limit up to 14 days. You can reserve a site ahead of time for Loop A and Group Camping, but the rest of the sites are first-come, first-served.

4. Wild Rivers Recreation Area, New Mexico

In Northern New Mexico, Wild Rivers Recreation Area is located within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. It’s very remote and off-the-beaten-path, but you’ll be rewarded with solitude and impressive views for only $7 a night.

Wild Rivers Recreation Area. Photo by BLM New Mexico

The 13-mile Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway branches off the main highway and leads past the campgrounds and trailhead parking lots. The recreation area also has a visitor center with maps and more information on the local history and geology.

5. Goodale Creek Campground, California

The sites at Goodale Creek have sweeping views of the Sierra Nevadas, Inyo Mountains, and Owens Valley—and they’re only $5 a night. However, the primitive campground has no water or restrooms, and the nearest amenities are in Big Pine about ten miles north.

Goodale Creek. Photo by BLM

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