Lower Financing Rates Counter Higher Prices

Price increases might dissuade you from purchasing a pickup camper or folding trailer in 2014. However, you should know that interest rates are down for loans that are used to buy an RV.

Consequently, if you financed the purchase of a camper or trailer—as most consumers do—your monthly payment in 2014 would look a lot like it would have if you had purchased the same model 4 years ago.

For example, in 2014, you’d make a monthly payment of $238.36 on a $23,000 10-year RV loan if you qualified for a 4.5 percent interest rate, says Kevin Baker of Apache Camping Center in Tacoma, Wash. In 2010, you’d have made a monthly payment of $232.21 on a $20,000 10-year loan, at 7 percent, Baker says.

We found that the MSRPs for campers that existed in 2010 were at least 11 percent higher in 2014, while the MSRPs for folding trailers that existed in 2010 increased by at least 14 percent. However, RV lenders BECU and Good Sam Club quoted interest rates as low as 3.99 percent at press time. In April 2010, BECU’s lowest interest rate was 7.2 percent.

Furthermore, RV loans are easier to obtain in 2014, says David Yavelak, who owns Galaxy Campers in Ontario, Calif. Yavelak says buyers had to have a credit score of at least 750 to qualify for an RV loan from 2008 to 2012.

“Around 2013, that lightened up,” he says. “Now we see people getting a loan with scores in the 600s.”