How to Finance a Camper Van
Financing a camper van with an RV loan can make a van payment look a lot more like a rent payment.
FEB. 21, 2023 | BY INGRID SCHNADER
Don’t let the sticker price of a camper van overwhelm you – you don't have to pay this price all at once.
An RV loan can make an expensive camper van payment look a lot more like a rent payment. For example, Emily Pan financed her Stealth MODE adventure van with 10% down and a $1,200/month payment. Since she lives in the van full time, she was also able to get passive income from the renters who are now living in her Washington, D.C. house.
Here’s everything you need to know to finance a camper van or Class B RV.
How long is the loan term?
We spoke to Andrew Brett, who works in the finance department at Johnson RV in Sandy, Oregon.
“A standard RV term is 20 years,” he said. “Most banks are going to require 10% down, and that is inclusive of whatever applicable taxes and license fees you have in your state.”
Even though the loan term is 20 years, you can pay this off early with no penalties.
Andrew also notes that the average RV ownership is three to five years. “What many of our customers do is pay for it while you use it, and then you can sell it and move on.”
Of course, the amount you can sell it for depends on the quality of your camper van build. “Fortunately, with Storyteller’s see-through pricing structure, you’re really in an equitable position right out of the gate, so that’s very favorable to banks compared to other manufacturers,” Andrew said.
What does the RV financing process look like?
It’s pretty typical for an RV dealership to have lending options for you, Andrew said. They do “indirect lending,” which means the dealership will set up the loan for you on your behalf.
First, you’ll fill out a credit application with your salesperson in person or online. Andrew said he has a “big picture” conversation with the applicant before submitting the application: he asks about credit and loan history, and using that information he can help you determine the most competitive down payment and monthly payment plan for your circumstance.
“We’ll help you stay within what you’re comfortable with a down payment and monthly payment, but there is kind of a sweet spot for the interest rate – not putting down too much, but just enough.”
With Storyteller Overland camper vans, 10% usually does it, he said.
Some lenders will require proof of income, so come prepared with that information if you’re ready to drive away in your dream adventure van.
If you’re an ideal candidate for an RV loan, you can get your loan approval in as little as 30 seconds, Andrew said.
What do I need to have in my credit history to finance a camper van?
You’ll need to look at more than your credit score. Andrew said banks look at what’s called “comparable credit.”
“Banks want to see a history of comparable installment loans,” Andrew said. “Not necessarily a mortgage, but that’s what it looks like for many people. Any high-dollar installment loan.”
Since this can look like a lot of different things depending on your credit history, talk to your salesperson or your dealership’s finance department, and they can help you understand how to leverage your down payment and monthly payment to qualify for an RV loan.
What interest rates are typical for an RV loan?
This totally depends on your credit history and the current market conditions. It’s worth noting, Andrew said, that he has noticed the market has stabilized in the past couple of months.
It’s currently typical to see interest rates for RV loans hover around 6 to 8%.
What's my cost per month?
You can enter information in a loan calculator to get the most accurate information.
Here's an example of what your cost per month would be for each of Storyteller Overland's 2024 MODE adventure vans. These monthly payment estimates** are based on a 20% down, 20-year RV loan at 7.75% APR:
Classic MODE: $1,190/month
Stealth and Mystic MODE: $1,311/month
Beast MODE: $1,527/month
Ready to get started?
Storyteller Overland has adventure-ready vans available now at its dealerships across the country. Not only are they off-road and off-grid capable, but they have a stellar battery system, sleeping space for three adults, modular furniture, and so much more.
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