RESTON, Va. -- RV Sales : Today's low interest rates are boosting recreation vehicle RV sales by making purchasing even more attractive. That's a real bonus to consumers, experts say, along with the tax advantages of RV ownership.

Interest rates are expected to remain at comparatively low levels through the end of 2005, according to financial experts.

Lending institutions across the country are also offering flexible payment plans to meet buyers' needs. This has made it easier to purchase a new or used RV, because loan terms are being extended making monthly payments more affordable, according to a survey of RV lenders by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Loan terms for both new and used RVs now extend up to 15 to 18 years. Whether the purchase is financed through a bank, savings and loan, finance company, credit union or RV sales dealer, the average minimum downpayment is 13 percent for towable RVs and 15 percent for motorhomes. For budget-conscious families, these attractive terms make RV ownership even more economical.

Lenders also consider RVers to be reliable buyers-another advantage for consumers. The reason: less than 1.35 percent of all RV loans are delinquent, according to RVIA figures.

Financing saves money. Not only are interest rates more affordable today, but financing a new or used RV, motorhome purchase can be smarter than tapping into savings or cashing in assets to pay cash, experts advise. This option offers more economic flexibility, allowing you to further invest your money and obtain returns greater than the cost of financing. And because RV loans are generally offered for longer periods, yielding lower monthly payments, financing might allow you to buy a larger RV, motorhome than you might otherwise have purchased.

Tax advantages. For the vast majority of RV buyers, the interest on their loan is deductible as second home mortgage interest. To qualify, interest expense deductions on the RV must exceed the taxpayer's standard deduction. In addition, the RV must:

Be used as security for the loan.

Be rented out less than 15 days per year.

Have basic sleeping, toilet and cooking facilities. Virtually all RV types-motorhomes, van campers, travel trailers, truck campers and even some folding camping trailers-qualify under these conditions. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes two booklets with helpful information regarding the tax deductibility of RV loan interest. "Publication 936–Home Interest Deduction" and "Publication 523–Selling Your Home" are available by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.

Insurance considerations. RVs are specialized vehicles with unique insurance needs. Coverage on furnishings, fixtures, appliances and personal items are among the many differences between regular automobile and RV insurance. Therefore, insurers familiar with RVs are most likely to provide the best coverage and service–with the lowest premium costs, experts say.

RV specialty insurance plans are available through numerous insurers. Some RV dealers and lenders also offer RV insurance programs or may refer clients to an appropriate agency.

"Today's financing and insurance options make buying an RV easier than ever," said RVIA President David Humphreys. "Families can readily find payment and insurance plans to fit their needs. From an average of $6,824 for folding camping trailers to $16,631 for conventional travel trailers and $63,463 for type C motorhomes, there's an RV for every family budget–and pre-owned units are even more affordable."

To find an RV dealer near you, check the Yellow Pages under "Recreation Vehicles-Dealers." Or log onto and click on "Buying and Renting."

Order a free RV "getting started" video or CD-ROM at 1-888-Go RVing or Surf the website for lists of Go RVing dealers and campgrounds in your area, as well as RV shows, publications, rental sources and clubs. Or write to: RVIA, P.O. Box 2999, Dept. P, Reston, VA 20195.

RVIA ( is the national association representing more than 550 manufacturers and component suppliers producing approximately 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.

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