Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live the full-time RV lifestyle if you could only afford an RV? An RV that you can rent to own may be the perfect solution to get you on the road and living your dream sooner rather than later.

A “rent to own” RV lease is where a portion of your monthly rent is applied to the purchase price of the RV. And at the end of the lease, you own the RV!

Since you are not getting a loan from a bank, a rent to own RV lease can be a great way to avoid many of the roadblocks keeping you from obtaining financing for an RV. There are thousands of local RV dealerships and private RV owners who are interested in working with people who want to own an RV. And a rent to own scenario is a win-win for both parties. According to The North American Camping Report below produced by KOA, more than half of non-RV owners indicated they would consider Renting their RV from a peer to peer service.

Since there are so many people interested in renting from others we figure there are some RV renters who want to be RV owners. But for numerous reasons they haven’t been able to become RV owners. So, we put together a list of 11 Smart Reasons to “Rent To Own” an RV to help you decide if this is a good option for you to realize your dream of owning an RV.

1. Lower or No Down Payment

When you rent an RV to own you won’t need to put down a large down payment like you might if you purchased an RV. And in some cases, you may not need a down payment at all. However, it is typical for rent to own leases to require the first and last months rent payment as a down payment.

2. You Can Rent with Low or No Credit

You are not getting financing from a bank so the owner will probably not run a credit check. This means that if you have no credit or some credit blemishes, you can still rent to own the RV.

3. Part of the Monthly Rent is Applied to the Purchase Price

The way a rent to own lease works is that a portion of each monthly rent payment gets applied toward the purchase price of the RV. You might be able to negotiate the amount that gets applied each month so try! You might also be able to buy out the lease earlier than when the lease expires if you come into some money or if you are able to pay a little extra each month. The sooner you pay off the RV the less rent you pay in the long run.

4. You Own the RV at the End of The Lease

This is the great part about the rent to own type of lease. Once you have rented for the duration of the lease the RV is paid for and you own it!

5. Work with a Motivated RV Dealer or RV Owner – Not a Bank

Most of the time you will be leasing the RV from an RV dealership or from a private owner. An RV dealer may be motivated to lease an RV to help increase cash flow or to move standing inventory. A private owner may be motivated to rent their RV to own because they can’t sell it or they can use the extra monthly income.

6. The Terms are Negotiable

Since you are not dealing with a bank all of the terms of the rent to own lease are negotiable. You should be prepared to negotiate the price of the RV, the length of the lease, the monthly rent amount, the amount of the rent that gets applied toward the price of the RV, who pays for certain maintenance items, early payoff amount, or anything else you can think of. Private owners will typically be more flexible than RV dealerships but be prepared to negotiate everything to get your best deal.

7. You Can Buy RVs That Banks May Not Finance

Banks and finance companies will have loan guidelines about the age and mileage on an RV. For example, they may not give you a loan for a used RV that is over 10 years old. But by renting to own from an RV dealership or private RV owner you are able to lease an older and less expensive RV at a lower budget-friendly price.

8. There is a Huge Variety of RVs to Choose From

When you rent an RV to own you will be able to choose whatever type of RV you want to lease. Every type of RV is available to rent to own.

9. The Flexibility of Renting for Days, Weeks, Months, or Years

Rent to own leases typically last for years but you can also just rent an RV for a short period of time. This way you can be sure you like RVing before you jump into buying or renting to own an RV. You can literally rent an RV for days, weeks, or months. The advantage is you only pay for the time you use the RV.

10. You Can Decide Before You Buy with Shorter Term Rentals

With a short-term rental, you can rent an RV before you decide to buy one. We did this before we purchased our very first RV. We rented a Class C RV for a week since that’s what we were interested in buying. We learned many things that we liked and didn’t like which led us to find the perfect Class C RV to purchase.

11. No Storage Costs or Maintenance with Shorter Term Rentals

When your lease is up you return the RV with no worries about where to store the RV or maintenance issues. You get to have fun and enjoy the RV while you rent it and return it when you are done.

Related Questions

Should I rent or own an RV?

If you use an RV less than 30 days a year for vacations or weekend getaways then you would be better off renting an RV. Renting an RV is also a great idea to try out an RV before you move ahead and purchase one or before you enter a long-term rent to buy lease. Outdoorsy is a great place to rent an RV. They offer an easy way to find RV’s of all types for rent and we highly recommend them. You can also check out our article 15 Essential Rental Tips for First Time RV Renters for more information before you rent an RV.

If you will use an RV more than 30 days a year and travel for extended periods then you would be better off buying an RV. Check out our article called How Much Does A Class C RV Cost? You will get a good idea of not only how much an RV itself will cost but all of the other expenses you might have when you own an RV.

Where can I find an RV to rent to own?

The best place to find an RV to rent to own is your local RV dealership. They will have experience with rent to own leases and terms. To find private RV owners who are willing to rent to own check on Craigslist and Facebook. Be prepared to do some legwork in setting up the lease since neither you or the RV owner will have much experience. Large RV Rental companies like RVShare and Outdoorsy do not offer the option to rent to own.

Some of the large RV rental companies have a rent to buy program which is different than a rent to own program. A rent to own program is a lease where part of your monthly rent pays for the RV over time. At the end of the lease, you own the RV. A rent to buy program, like the one offered at Cruise America is where they rebate the amount you paid for rent, up to $3,000, when you buy one of their used RV’s for sale. This rental rebate is only available if you purchase one of their used RVs within 6 months of when you rented one of their RVs.


Do you have a tip or comment you would like to share about renting an RV to own? Please leave your comments or any questions below.

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