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Beginning RVer: Is this Scenario Doable?

bsteinagel
Explorer
Explorer
Hello,

I am just beginning my research process into RVing full-time. My plan is to live in Wisconsin half the year and in Arizona during the winter traveling between the two a couple times a year. I would like to purchase my RV after my lease is up in my apartment next year. My main concern is: will a bank or other financial institution give me a loan for a travel trailer without a permanent address? For those of you who RV full-time and don't have a permanently located home, how do you do it?

My parents said I could use their address as my permanent home, but my concern is that this may make them financially liable for the loan if something happens and I'm unable to make payment and I don't want to do that to them.

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this! I hope this is doable but am concerned I may be missing something here.

Brad
31 REPLIES 31

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
Thermoguy wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
Thermoguy wrote:
I've been told owning a boat is like a hole in a lake you throw money into - I think an RV is similar. It's always something that needs repaired or replaced.


Just need to buy the right boat…or RV and be smart about it.
I haven’t found any of our boats or RVs to be money pits.


I guess you could add to that upgraded...

The point is, buying a trailer is not cheaper than say renting an apartment. There is ongoing maintenance and upkeep which costs money. You might not have a lawn to mow, but there is always something, batteries, caulking, roof maintenance, etc.


Oh for sure. I agree. I sort of lost the context, as you’re referring to the OP.
Full time living, cross country drives 4x a year (according to OP), beginners oopsies, and actively exposed to the elements 24/7/365, combined with possible lack of knowledge and/or motivation to perform own repairs and maintenance, it will certainly cost some additional money, not to mention, the RV will almost assuredly be worth far less $ upon resale in 5-10 years, and the exterior will be likely very weather worn. I can’t imagine the useful lifespan being greater than 10 years tops as a full time rig unless the owner is absolutely diligent and ocd almost about its care and upkeep.
Even if he changes situations in 3 years, say, the trailer will likely be worth far less than a well cared for recreational unit (which is what most are designed for). There’s always a sucker to buy anything, maybe, but any length of FT living is a non starter in a used rv purchase for many I’d assume. At least not at a serious discount from market value.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Thermoguy
Explorer II
Explorer II
Grit dog wrote:
Thermoguy wrote:
I've been told owning a boat is like a hole in a lake you throw money into - I think an RV is similar. It's always something that needs repaired or replaced.


Just need to buy the right boat…or RV and be smart about it.
I haven’t found any of our boats or RVs to be money pits.


I guess you could add to that upgraded...

The point is, buying a trailer is not cheaper than say renting an apartment. There is ongoing maintenance and upkeep which costs money. You might not have a lawn to mow, but there is always something, batteries, caulking, roof maintenance, etc.

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
Thermoguy wrote:
I've been told owning a boat is like a hole in a lake you throw money into - I think an RV is similar. It's always something that needs repaired or replaced.


Just need to buy the right boat…or RV and be smart about it.
I haven’t found any of our boats or RVs to be money pits.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Thermoguy
Explorer II
Explorer II
I've been told owning a boat is like a hole in a lake you throw money into - I think an RV is similar. It's always something that needs repaired or replaced.

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
OP, appears my post got deleted that could have been considered financial advice, that apparently wasn’t acceptable to a moderator.
So, since you are asking for that advice, I’ll put it differently. If you’re looking to dealers for financing, for a luxury, not a necessity, then you should take into account the cost of that luxury or you risk never being financially self sufficient.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
bsteinagel,

You mention that when you have the RV you won't be paying "rent" any more. Have you priced campground fees lately? Specifically the cost and availability of campgrounds in the areas you are interested in staying? In our experience, campground prices vary quite drastically, as does the clientele that live there and the maintenance and overall safety of the area. Not trying to demean any specific group, but when you're researching available campgrounds, check the online reviews for those campgrounds as well.

Depending upon where you are planning on staying and your other plans, you might want to consider a Thousand Trails or similar membership to ease the expense. Do some research as there are ways of picking up those memberships at a considerably reduced cost. Of course, if they don't have any camp grounds in the areas you're interested in, they won't be of much help.

You should also know that RV's of all types can have issues, old and new. If you're handy and can repair them yourself, you can save a lot of money. But if you have to rely on repairmen, you should have a decent "nest egg" set aside for those repairs.

Compound all that with the fact that economically we're in the highest true inflationary period of our lifetimes, and things might get pretty tight in the coming months and years ahead. Just be sure to do your research and leave yourself options if things don't go exactly as planned.

Good Luck,

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

bsteinagel
Explorer
Explorer
Thank you for all the good info. My local credit union gave me some grief over having just started a new job (in the same field I've been in for several years--whatever :/) and that my debt-income ratio was too high because of rent, but maybe the dealerships can offer financing that I'll qualify for.

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
valhalla360 wrote:
Grit dog wrote:

Lenders, in the many loans, for all types of stuff, haven't ever given a rats arse about what state or address is on a valid ID as long as it's a valid ID.

But thanks for the supposition agian and some paranoia about fraud...


Odd, have a friend going thru this right now but already moved out of her apartment and is using her parents address in another state (it gets complicate beyond that)

She had to do some explaining to the bank. Looks like she will get the loan but the bank apparently did give a rat's arse.


And I was specifically talking about the address on a person’s ID. Maybe I should have said “ID” more than twice in the same sentence…lol.
Could be but not necessarily at all related to the actual address one claims as their residence on a loan application.
Maybe I’m all wet, but mortgage lenders, banks and CUs for vehicle or personal loans never question what is on my ID. And a lot of the time my ID didn’t match my current or new address, or even the same state.
If you know what or why someone is checking your ID you can tell what or why it may or may not be accepted. If you think about it.
It’s only just been in the last 5 years or so that all my “papers” line up address wise.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

valhalla360
Traveler
Traveler
bsteinagel wrote:
I don't know if it's possible to use my apartment address and tell them I pay zero rent. That could look suspicious?


While you may not want to highlight the situation, if they ask specific questions, it's time to explain the situation. Hopefully it doesn't scuttle the deal for you but not a good plan to lie about your situation.

PS: you do realize with your plan as described, you will likely still have rent.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

valhalla360
Traveler
Traveler
Grit dog wrote:

Lenders, in the many loans, for all types of stuff, haven't ever given a rats arse about what state or address is on a valid ID as long as it's a valid ID.

But thanks for the supposition agian and some paranoia about fraud...


Odd, have a friend going thru this right now but already moved out of her apartment and is using her parents address in another state (it gets complicate beyond that)

She had to do some explaining to the bank. Looks like she will get the loan but the bank apparently did give a rat's arse.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
bsteinagel wrote:
RetiredRealtorRick wrote:
Surely you'll purchase it while you're still in your apartment (although very near the end of your lease) -- use that address.


Yes, but my credit union denied my loan application last month because they asked how much rent I paid and figured that into my debt-to-income ratio. That made my ratio too high and they denied the loan. I could re-apply and list my apartment address and rent as zero but that might look suspicious perhaps?


Well, considering most banks will allow a higher debt to income ratio than one should really maintain, either your CU is smart and strict, or you likely can’t afford what you’re planning to do.
In your 40s, don’t own a home, don’t have a job that requires you to be present in person, single, don’t have enough cash or equity in anything to take a secured loan against and wanting to live the #vanlife life and don’t have enough income to float an apartment and a glorified car payment (assuming your loan request was modest) are all signs that you may not actually be able to afford what you’re wanting to do.

PS they’ll require verification of expenses like rent so you can tell them whatever you want on the application but they’re not taking you at your word….
No different than any other loan. Have you not taken loans before?
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

Grit_dog
Traveler III
Traveler III
pianotuna wrote:
Grit dog,

My line of credit loan is 3.45%. I guess things are different in USA.


Unsecured line of credit for 3.5%? Yup must be different than the US.

Cheaper than a car loan, which is a secured loan with collateral? Doesn’t compute.

Crickets, eh? I know you’re not too busy watching the Oilers still! Lol
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

way2roll
Traveler II
Traveler II
Lenders are required to have applicants provide a physical residence as a result of the patriot act. It's regulatory requirement so that banks, and as a result the government, knows who you are. It has nothing to do with credit worthiness or liability to anyone else that lives there.
2023 FR Sunseeker 2400B MBS

RetiredRealtorR
Explorer
Explorer
Trackrig wrote:
Apply for the loan while still living at your current residence.

Bill


Exactly what I said earlier. Unless you're planning on being 'homeless' for a while, certainly you will buy the RV while still residing where you do, am I right? Forget all the other stuff.
. . . never confuse education with intelligence, nor motion with progress

bsteinagel
Explorer
Explorer
Rice wrote:
bsteinagel wrote:
I am just beginning my research process into RVing full-time. My plan is to live in Wisconsin half the year and in Arizona during the winter traveling between the two a couple times a year.
This isn't related to your question about financing, but since it appears that you are young, you should be aware that in parts of Arizona, it can be tough for people under 55 to find a place to stay for extended periods.

In the Phoenix area, the vast majority of RV parks where people snowbird are age-restricted. Those parks are allowed (but not required) to let a limited number of under-55 people stay, but I would assume they're less likely to make an exception for someone who's 50 than someone who's 30.

In the whole Phoenix area, among the dozens (hundreds?) of private RV parks, there are only about five that aren't age restricted. I think the ratio is a little better in Tucson, but Tucson doesn't have all that many RV parks--certainly nothing like Phoenix. And some of the big ones are age-restricted.

State and regional parks are obviously open to anyone, but they generally have two-week limits, and weekends get reserved way in advance, so it's hard to rely on those without significant planning and reservations in advance. Plus they are usually electric-only, which will be less of a disadvantage if you have to leave after 14 days anyway, but still something to take into account.

And age is not an issue if you're planning to boondock on BLM land, but that presents a whole other slate of issues.

Just throwing that out there in case you're not aware of the possible challenges down there for someone who's under 55.


I'm 42 so this is good info. Thank you, Rice! Hopefully there are enough places out there that cater to younger people. Once I find a good campground my plan is to rent it out for the season and return every year so basically I'll be traveling between just a couple different spots every year.