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Financing for custom-built travel trailer


SMMQT
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Hi all! First-time poster. I'm a musician and a writer working with a small design/build shop on a custom travel trailer that will let me work, record and put on pop-up shows on the road. Does anyone know of a lender who will finance custom builds? Even better, any that does construction loans (similar to construction-to-permanent mortgages)? I talked to Bank of the West (Essex) yesterday, and they said they definitely don't do construction loans and would need to check to see if they could work with the manufacturer (they usually only work with the big name brands) for financing on the final product. Has anyone financed a custom project before? It's technically possible to cover the cost of the trailer through the sale of my house (yep, the plan is to go full-time), but I wanted to finance half of it to have a sizable emergency cash buffer and spread out my risk. Thanks in advance for your wise advice!

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When you say "custom built," do you mean you're going to construct the travel trailer yourself, or are you working with an RV manufacturer such as New Horizons or Spacecraft?

The latter should be no problem in finding a lender (we had a New Horizon fifth wheel that we got financing for).  The former, however, would be more difficult, if not impossible.

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1 hour ago, LindaH said:

When you say "custom built," do you mean you're going to construct the travel trailer yourself, or are you working with an RV manufacturer such as New Horizons or Spacecraft?

I wish I had the skills to build it myself : ) No, I'm working with Land Ark, who is designing and building the trailer. 

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4 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Your best bet is to talk to the bank where you have an established business relationship. For a construction loan you could borrow against your home equity. 

Yes- thanks! I am talking to my bank about a HELOC as an option to get started on construction, but I'm hoping to find a lender for the remainder.

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2 hours ago, SMMQT said:

I wish I had the skills to build it myself : ) No, I'm working with Land Ark, who is designing and building the trailer. 

Looking at Land Ark's website it appears that they have lenders that they have worked with so perhaps one of them? There site also says they are RVIA members so are they building this to RVIA standards? If so, perhaps they could name this, as they have their other two models, so it would no longer be "custom"? 

Just me thinking out loud as it were.

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4 minutes ago, Chalkie said:

Looking at Land Ark's website it appears that they have lenders that they have worked with so perhaps one of them? There site also says they are RVIA members so are they building this to RVIA standards? If so, perhaps they could name this, as they have their other two models, so it would no longer be "custom"? 

Just me thinking out loud as it were.

Thanks, Chalkie. Yep, my trailer will be built to RVIA standards like their other models. Unfortunately, the lenders Land Ark has worked in the past don't lend in my state; I talked to them first! I'm not sure it's the custom part that is challenging, but having them name the model couldn't hurt : )

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We had a custom built Dune Sport trailer built by them in AZ in 2019. They arranged financing thru a credit union in Wisconsin and at a great rate and we live in South Carolina. We did not need a construction loan as all we paid up front was our deposit and the balance wasn't due until the trailer was completed and the loan was finalized at that time, (we had pre approval done at the time of ordering.)

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On 11/24/2021 at 9:15 AM, SMMQT said:

talked to Bank of the West (Essex) yesterday, and they said they definitely don't do construction loans and would need to check to see if they could work with the manufacturer (they usually only work with the big name brands) for financing on the final product.

I was wondering if you have heard anything back from Essex yet? There must be a way for the trailer to be financed, but we need to find it. Have you begun construction of the trailer yet? What is the latest on your plans as there probably are some here that can help at lest in some areas. 

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