8 Reasons To Buy a Class B Motorhome

With an RV you can explore the world and take the comfort of your own home with you.

Airstream Interstate exterior
Airstream Interstate Class B motorhome

The RV industry offers a myriad of choices. From travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers to truck campers and motorhomes, there’s an RV for every budget and every lifestyle. And when it comes to motorized RVs, there are three basic choices—Class A (gas or diesel), Class B (camper van), and Class C .

For freedom and flexibility, motorhomes offer the ultimate experience. Transportation and living quarters are rolled into one comfortable experience. Ranging from the larger Class A motorhomes to the compact Class B camper vans, to the Class C, there is something for everyone.

With motorhomes ranging from compact and space saving models to luxury diesel pusher coaches that can pull a car in tow to zip around town for daytrips, there’s a motorized model for every family.

A small camper built on a van chassis, the Class B is the fastest growing segment of the motorhome market. They are easy to drive and maneuver in tight spots, easy to load, more fuel efficient, and can pack all the amenities of a home in a small, compact floor plan—but best of all they roll down the highways and byways on four wheels.

Roadtrek Introduces All New Zion Class B
Roadtrek Zion Class B motorhome

Easy on fuel, Class B motorhomes fit in most conventional parking spaces, and can be used as a second vehicle. With a class B you can travel anywhere, park anywhere, and sleep anywhere.

All the conveniences of home are packed on board in one compact and convenient package including bathing, sleeping, dining, and cooking facilities.

Without further ado, the top 8 reasons why a Class B motorhome may be the right RV for you and your family are…

  1. Easy to Drive
Imperial Class B motorhome by EverGreen
Imperial Class B motorhome by EverGreen

Class B motorhomes are easy to drive and maneuver pretty much anywhere a car can travel. They will take you wherever you want to go from shopping at Walmart to a remote camping site in a national forest or on BLM land, a scenic byway to an Interstate highway, and from winding mountain roads to crowded city streets. Class B motorhomes are maneuverable and easy to drive yet has all the comforts of home.

  1. Easy on Fuel

Easy on fuel, Class B motorhomes normally get 15-22 miles per gallon compared to 6-10 for a Class A or C.

  1. Easy to Park

Parking is always a hassle with large Class A and C motorhomes. Class B motorhomes can fit into most parking spaces and can be parked most anywhere.

  1. Camping Made Easy

Class B motorhomes requires little set-up and minimal take-down time. They’re easy to park in any camping site. Hooking up to city utilities takes minutes. Same with unhooking and you’re ready for a day of touring or onto the next camping site.

  1. Useful for Towing

Tow a boat, a utility trailer for your toys, a small car, and even a camping trailer for extra sleeping room.

  1. Easy to Store

No need to rent storage space due to lack of adequate parking at home or restrictive community ordinances. Since Class B motorhomes resemble passenger cars they’re not likely to offend community sensitivities.

7. Doubles as Second Vehicle

Triple E RV is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the introduction of the redesigned Leisure Travel Van 25-foot Unity luxury touring coach.
Leisure Travel Van 25-foot Unity luxury touring coach.

Class B motorhomes can be used as a second vehicle for everyday use including shopping at a local store or mall, driving to work, dropping the youngsters off at school.

  1. Touring Made Easy

Class B motorhomes are designed for touring. Unlike the larger Class A and C motorhomes, Class B camper vans accelerate, corner, and change lanes with ease. No concern about bridge or tunnel clearance.

Worth Pondering…

The past is a ghost, the future a dream. All we ever have is now.

—Bill Cosby

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How To Buy The Right RV For YOU

There are but two ways to tour the country by vehicle: Convertible and take as few of your possessions as possible or an RV and take all the comforts of home with you.

Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pop-up camper and fifth wheel trailer camped at Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona, a full-service campground © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Here’s how to do the latter without breaking the bank or breaking your mind.

There is nothing particularly obvious about choosing an RV. It all comes down to personal choice.

And it’s not reasonable to expect that everyone will have a chance to drive every kind of RV before they rent or purchase one. I’ve driven a pop-up trailer, truck camper, fifth wheel trailers, a Class A gas motorhome, and a diesel pusher of varying lengths, but I’d never driven a Class B or Class C motorhome.

Purchasing an RV is a personal choice not unlike buying a new car or house, computer or smart phone, furniture or household appliances.

You cannot simply decide to buy an RV and buy it—at once. There are numerous things that should be kept in mind before you’re prepared to make that crucial decision.

When buying an RV that suits your requirements, you need to consider type of RV, new or preowned, size, ease of driving, type of camping, cost, manufacturer, dealer, and much more.

There is such an amazing variety of models and floor plans to choose from that it can leave the mind boggling.

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A gas motorhome camping at North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Very often people buy the wrong RV, only to be disappointed and trade it in or resell it less than a year later only to lose thousands of dollars in the transaction.

Buying an RV can be a frustrating experience—it can be intimidating and confusing. Since there’s a myriad of new and preowned RVs available for purchase, it can be confusing trying to decide which one is best for you and your family and it’s not easy to know where to begin.

If you’re buying an RV for the first time, you can quickly get lost in the details—there are lots of them. There’s a considerable amount of information competing for your attention—along with some misinformation.

Buying an RV usually requires some trade-offs.

I’m not going to discuss all the different features and options on various types of RVs or tell you which models are best (something that is really quite personal and which changes over time); however, there are a few questions and factors to keep in mind when selecting the best RV for you and your family.

The right RV comes down to personal preference.

My purpose then, is to provide you with a basic framework to use in deciding which RV to buy.

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are a few factors that I encourage you to keep in mind when buying your RV. I’ll provide my advice on purchasing an RV which comes from my personal experience of buying numerous types of RVs and various models.

Here are a few questions that’ll help you narrow down what to buy.

What type of camping or RV travel will I do? Weekends at the lake? Summer vacation? Months at a time? Snowbird? Full time RVing?

What type of RV should I get? Pop-up trailer? Truck camper? Travel trailer? Fifth wheel trailer? Motorhome? The classing system for motorhomes starts with Class B as the smallest, Class A as the largest, and Class C in between. Gas or diesel?

Towing? Whether you’ll be towing your trailer or towing another vehicle behind your motorhome, make sure you have the right vehicle and appropriate towing hitch. Be aware of and check GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and CVWR (Combined Vehicle Weight Rating).

Where will I camp most of the time? Full service RV parks? Campgrounds with minimal services? National, state, or county parks? BLM? Off grid? Wilderness camping?

How much cooking will I do? Large kitchen with appliances, plenty of counter space, and food storage areas?

Class B motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona/Utah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Related costs? Fuel? Maintenance and service? License fees? Insurance? Storage?

Financing? If you’re like most RVers, you’ll need to finance at least part of your purchase. Check with your bank or lending institution to determine your credit limit and interest rate prior to shopping for the RV of your dreams.

How much storage space will I require? How many people do you need to pack for? Consider the amount of food and clothes you will want to take—plus all the toys, games and sports equipment?

With any RV, there are bound to be some compromises. The important thing is to avoid surprises. As long as you keep your expectations in line with reality, you can still have a ton of fun and freedom in your new RV.

Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A diesel pusher and toad camping at Cajun Palms RV Resort, Henderson, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…
Safe travels and keep your wheels on the road.

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How To Test Drive an RV

When choosing an RV, there’s a lot to consider.

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A Diesel Pusher camping at North Llano River RV Park, Junction, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, I discuss the steps involved in buying a new or preowned RV.

Where do you plan to camp? What are your travel plans? Are you a weekend warrior, snowbird, or full-timer RVer? What size RV fits your family? Do you prefer a motorized RV or a towable? What is your budget? Space and storage requirements? The list goes on.

A major difference between driving RVs and cars is that they don’t handle the same, especially when cornering. Test-driving will help to determine what kind of RV is manageable for you. The last thing you want to do is purchase an RV that you can’t drive safely.

But once you get to the test drive phase, there are six things you absolutely must do:

1. Try the bed

Is it comfortable? Large enough? If you plan on sharing it with another person, bring them along to ensure it’s comfortable for two. Mattresses can be too thin, too firm, or too soft. They can be made with uncomfortable seams, creases, or thin spots. Try making the bed with the type of bedding you prefer. Is there space for fitted sheets to tuck in.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Small travel trailer camping at White Tank Mountain Regional Park Campground, Maricopa County, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If the bed is convertible, be sure to test the complete conversion process, both setup and stowage. How difficult and time consuming is the change-over process? How long and how many people does it take to convert the bed? Finally, test the noise levels for sleeping. Run the fan, air conditioning, heat pump, and furnace.

2. Evaluate the bathroom layout

To make sure you’ll fit, sit on the toilet and stand in the shower. Try the shower arm if there is one. How difficult will it be to clean up after using the shower and sink? Is the sink usable? Is there room to brush your teeth, wash, and shave? Flush the toilet. How much water does it use? Is there adequate space for soap, shampoo, and personal items? Check the lighting and the mirrors. Are they adequate?

3. Examine the storage space

Does the RV have adequate space for all essentials? Determine space availability for the toys you plan to tote along, such as bikes or golf clubs. Longer items like golf clubs or skis can present problems. Is there adequate space for clothes, towels, cleaning products, vacuum cleaner. Where will you store miscellaneous items? Will you have to move things around in order to make the bed and go to sleep, or can they stay in their place night and day?

Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Operate ALL appliances

Furnace, A/C, heat pump, microwave, refrigerator, stove top and oven, fan, lights, inverter, batteries, leveling jacks, water heater, and water pump.

Extend and retract the slides.

5. Check the water systems

Go through the process of filling the freshwater tank and dumping the grey and black water tanks. Are the hoses easy to access and store? Are valve actuators handy? Is there lighting that would enable you to complete the process at night?

6. Drive it

Test drive at highway speeds and on rough roads and up and down hills. Figure on a 20-30 minute test drive in as many traffic and road surface conditions as you can. 0-65mph on the test drive, cornering, braking, shifting.

How quiet is the drive? Any rattles? Do the cupboards stay latched? How is visibility? Does the back-up camera provide an adequate view?

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Is the cockpit seating comfortable? Are controls conveniently located?

With any RV you test drive, there will be compromises. You may test all of these factors, find some that aren’t ideal, and decide to purchase anyway. The important thing is to avoid surprises after you sign on the dotted line.

As long as you keep your expectations in line with reality, you can still have a ton of fun and freedom in your new RV.

Worth Pondering…

Recently I ran across a few lines by Pierre de Ronsard, a 16th-century poet: “Live now, believe me, wait not till tomorrow. Gather the roses of life today.” Maybe it’s time to stop dreaming about buying the RV of your dreams—and just do it!

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Steps in Buying the RV of Your Dreams

It’s all about buying the RV of your dreams!

Live it well! Enjoy today! Do your dream! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Live it well!
Enjoy today!
Do your dream! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Whether you are considering the interior accommodations, features, and technology or the amount of available interior and basement storage, it all matters, but the process of deciding what’s right for you doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

When contemplating the purchase of a motorhome or trailer, take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of similar types and brands of campers, attend RV shows, and locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service.

Visit the RV dealers in your area, and attend RV shows. Seeing a selection of models in one location allows you to do side-by-side comparisons on manufacturers, models, size, price and options.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start fantasizing about the good times you’ll have cruising down a scenic highway in the RV of your dreams—your home-away-from-home. But do the research first.

The first thing to remember when RV shopping is to set goals and stick with them. Key goals include establishing an RV budget, deciding on the RV type and size, deciding on the RV floor plan, features, and amenities, and narrowing down the manufactures to several choices that meet your criteria.

2012 Newmar Dutch Star Class A Diesel motorhome camped at Leasburg Dam State Park, New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
2012 Newmar Dutch Star Class A Diesel motorhome camped at Leasburg Dam State Park, New Mexico. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Towable or Motorized?

For many families, towable RVs offer great flexibility and if you already own a vehicle that can serve as your tow vehicle, you are already half-way there.

Motorized RVs on the other hand offer great passenger comfort while on the road and some people find them easier to maneuver into a camping site.

Are you a weekend warrior, or do you plan to do extended adventures? Or are you a snowbird or full-time RVer.

You’re obviously going to need a lot more gear if you plan to live in your RV for an extended stay, which means you will need more storage space and greater load capacity. Sport Utility RVs (or toy haulers) are a great option for people who want to bring along a lot of large gear.

Sleeping capacity?

What size or RV fits your family? How many people will your RV need to sleep? An RV built for two offers a different set of features than a bunkhouse built for a family.

rent an rv
Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With so many new styles of RVs on the market it’s helpful to narrow down your desired floor plan before hitting the showroom floor.

Where do you plan to camp?

Depending on where you plan to camp, the size of your RV may be an issue you need to consider. Most RV parks and resorts can accommodate motorhomes and trailers up to 40 feet in length or longer. Some national parks, state parks, provincial parks, and county or regional parks campgrounds have length restrictions.

A Class B motorhome, Class C motorhome, truck camper, or small trailer are all goods options for people who desire to have the ability to camp most anywhere.

You’ll also want to consider options, such as a generator or solar panels, that simplify boondocking or dry camping.

When do you plan to camp?

Are you a summertime RVer? Or do you like to find your AWAY year round?

If winter camping is something you enjoy, then consider a four-season RV.

When purchasing an RV for use in cold weather, ensure sure it has cold weather features including heated holding tanks, dual pane windows, adequate LP capacity, an enclosed underbelly, and heated bays.

A camping trip to a ski area; football, basketball, or hockey game; hunting or snowmobiling; cross country skiing, snow tubing, tobogganing, or ice fishing are some of the ways you can continue to enjoy your RV during the winter months.

Boondocking on BLM land near Quartzsite. Note the solar panels. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Boondocking on BLM land near Quartzsite. Note the solar panels. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Or if you plan to spend considerable time camping in hot weather, you’ll need adequate air conditioning.

There are many choices of RVs on the market with something for everybody and every budget.

Worth Pondering…

Never forget your dreams.

—Corczak

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RVers On The Road: Who, What & Where?

An RV is a vehicle that combines transportation and living quarters for travel, recreation, and camping purposes.

Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Texas Lakeside RV Resort, Port Lavaca, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In this post, we take a look at some RV fun facts, top destinations, and budgets of the estimated 9 million RVs currently on the road.

Fast Facts About RVers

Estimated 9 million households own an RVs

The average RVer is 48 years old

And own their home

39 per cent have children under 18 living at home

Spend an average of 3 weeks traveling annually

Travel an average of 4,500 miles on their RV annually

Medium income: $62,000

Fastest growing segment: 35-54 years old

Intent to buy another RV: 70 percent

Whiskey Flats RV Park, Hawthorne, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The whole concept of RVing is to have fun and enjoy your leisure time. Camping at Whiskey Flats RV Park, Hawthorne, Nevada © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Own their own RV: Average 8.4 years

On their RV over 10 years: 30 percent

Camping clubs had their start with the Tin Can Tourists of the 1920s and 30s who camped on roadsides, using gas stoves to heat food in tin cans and bathed in cold water

Good Sam Club had its start 49 years ago in 1966

Good Sam Club is the world’s largest RV organization with over one million members

RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Elkhart, Indiana

Fast Facts About the RV Industry

Produced 1.1 million RVs in the past 4 years

More than 12,000 RV-related businesses in the U.S. with combined annual revenues of more than $37.5 billion

Employs more than a quarter million Americans

Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Midtown RV, Newmar and Airstream dealer in Penticton, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Over 60 percent of all RVs are manufactured in Elkhart County, Indiana

Where Are RVers Going?

Most Popular RV Travel Destinations

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho

Yosemite National Park, California

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina

Great Smokey Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota

Disney World and Orlando theme parks, Florida

Fall Foliage Tour

Utah Grand Circle Tour

Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Scamp travel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

An RV For Every Budget

RV vacation for a family of four is 27-62 percent less expensive than vacations that include hotel, airfare, and restaurant costs.

There is an RV for everyone’s lifestyle and budget

Folding camping trailer

Truck camper

Travel trailer

Fifth wheel trailer

Class A gas motorhome

Class A diesel pusher motorhome

Class B motorhome or camper van

Class C motorhome

Cherohala Skyway
Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons especially along the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway, North Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Toy hauler or sports utility RV

Let’s Go RVing!

Worth Pondering…

Arguably the best slogan ever written to describe the RV lifestyle comes to mind: Wherever you go, you’re always at home.

We have much to be thankful for, including our great RV lifestyle…

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$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels

At $504,000 the Paradise Independence is the most expensive Class B camper van in Australia.

$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels
$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels

But this motorhome is one befitting only the most elite of RVers.

Designed by Paradise Motor Homes as the ultimate mansion-on-wheels, the Independence Series is a masterpiece of unsurpassed design ingenuity and superior construction.

The Independence based on the Mercedes 519CDI and Independence Deluxe based on the Iveco Daily 70C combines a patented overlapping slide-outs with Paradise’s state-of-the-art superior strength lightweight construction and unique widened cab, according to the company.

Not unlike a five star studio apartment, the living space available is simply decadent and has to be experienced to be believed.

The huge 3-meter (9.84-foot) -wide Ensuite has a large shower, porcelain vanity bowl, separate toilet, and internal laundry with washing machine and dryer.

The massive bathroom features a 1.2-meter (3.93-foot) -wide walkway between the huge 1.9-meter (6.23-foot) -wide full-sized mirrored wardrobe and the foot of the island queen bed.

independence_deluxe_2_0_1
$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels

The expansive entertaining area has three luxury leather swivel captains’ chairs and lounge, under lounge storage, cocktail unit with bottle rack and glass holder, fold down dinette table, and dines five in total comfort.

In living mode the internal space becomes truly mind-boggling with over 80 percent of the motorhome body sliding by means of Paradise Motor Homes patented slide-outs, at the push of a button.

The walls slide out on either side to extend the living space which contains modern conveniences including three luxury leather swivel captain’s chairs and lounge, 32-inch satellite TV with separate Blu-Ray player, LED 12-volt lighting, two roof top air conditioners, front loader washing machine and clothes dryer, cook-top grill and oven and convection microwave, two-door compressor fridge, filtered drinking water system, queen-sized bed with memory foam mattress, stainless steel slide out BBQ, pure sine Honda generator, fresh water tank, grey water storage, 2500 watt inverter, and three 150 watt solar panels with 40 amp regulator .

It’s about the physical space, to quote a Paradise Motor Homes spokesperson.

“But the big thing is the materials—once you see it and feel it and touch it, it’s up a whole other level.”

The Independence Series is available in two models, the Independence based on the Mercedes 519CDI starting at $442,000 and the Independence Deluxe based on the Iveco Daily 70C with a price tag of $504,000.

$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels
$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels

Paradise Motor Homes are available in seven series:

Castaway Series ($119,000-$125,000)

Oasis Series ($162,000-$204,000)

Free Time ($159,000-$169,000)

Integrity Series ($178,000-$243,000)

Inspiration Series ($198,000-$314,000)

Liberation Series ($379,000-$410,000)

Independence Series ($442,000-$504,000)

$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels
$504,000 Class B Mansion-On-Wheels

Details

Paradise Motor Homes

Over the years, Paradise Motor Homes has gained an enviable reputation as a world leader in motorhome design with its outstanding range of award-winning lightweight motorhomes. Each model sets the highest benchmark for optimum use of space, functionality, and living standards in their class.

From the new Castaway Series starting at approximately $119,000 all the way through our range to the luxuriously decadent Independence Deluxe at 504,000, Paradise has a model for every camper.
Paradise Motor Homes commenced motorhome manufacturing in 2002

Address: 245 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters QLD 4216

Phone: 07 5597 4400

Website: www.paradisemotorhomes.com.au

Worth Pondering…

But do not ask me where I am heading,

As I travel in this limitless world
Where every step I take is my home.

—Eihei Dogen

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The Growing Compact Motorhome Market

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. is forging a distinct new motorhome market for compact, fuel efficient motorhomes.

Winnebago Via in dark bronze mist
Winnebago Via in dark bronze mist

With market share of 43.2 percent in calendar 2014 in this segment, Winnebago has essentially created a new market for customers interested in compact, fuel efficient motorhomes.

“We define a compact motorhome as any Class A, B, or C product with a narrow-width body (90 inches) and is under 26 feet in length,” said Russ Garfin, Winnebago Product Manager, in a company news release.

“Essentially that comes down to new product offerings in which Winnebago has taken the lead. New chassis selections in the past decade, such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ram ProMaster, have provided Winnebago the opportunity to create innovative new products that meet the needs of a growing customer base.”

“The compact motorhome category has grown an amazing 83.3 percent since 2006, while the motorhome industry as a whole has declined by 32.1 percent.” Garfin added.

“Our new products have really sparked a growing trend of buyers who want to enjoy the RV lifestyle, but also want an easy-to-drive, fuel-efficient and highly maneuverable full-featured motorhome.”

Winnebago View in carbon champagne
Winnebago View in carbon champagne

According to Statistical Surveys, Inc., 5,441 motorhomes were retailed in the compact motorhome category in calendar 2014, 2,382 (43.8 percent) of which were Winnebago motorhomes.

Since 2006, 27,939 have been retailed in the compact motorhome category, 13,750 (49.2 percent) of which were Winnebago products.

Winnebago products that are included in the compact motorhome category include the Class A Via and Reyo, Class C View, Navion, Trend and Viva, and the Class B Winnebago Touring Coach line of Era and Travato.

The Class A Winnebago Via and Itasca Reyo are built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. Three floor plans offer a whole host of arrangements so you can customize your interior to suit your needs.

Also built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the Class C Winnebago View and Itasca Navion offer four attractive floor plans with room for expanded dining and relaxation.

Winnebago Trend in sunset yellow
Winnebago Trend in sunset yellow

Built on the Ram ProMaster chassis, the Winnebago Trend and Itasca Viva offer efficiency and comfortable living space for up to four people. Both 23-foot floor plans offer a powered StudioLoft bed that lifts tight to the ceiling to conserve space during the day. Other features include energy-saving LED lighting and soft, easy-to-clean Ultraleather furniture.

Built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, the Class B line of Winnebago Era and Itasca Travato feature Ultraleather swivel cab seats, an available Infotainment Center with Rand McNally RV GPS, MCD blackout roller shades, and Corian galley countertops.

Details

Winnebago Industries, Inc

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., “The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes”, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, SunnyBrook, and Metro brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Winnebago Era in brilliant silver
Winnebago Era in brilliant silver

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website: www.winnebagoind.com

Itasca Website: goitasca.com

goLife Websitewww.winnebagolife.com

Worth Pondering…

The freedom of travel opens the mind to unlimited possibilities.
—Anon

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5 Essentials To Buying an RV

A recreational vehicle is a major purchase that can cost, in some cases, more than a house. As with any major purchase, it is smart to do your homework before you buy to be sure you are getting the best value for your money.

Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pop-up camper and fifth wheel trailer camped at Canyon Gateway RV Park, Williams, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When contemplating the purchase of a motorhome or trailer, take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of similar types and brands of campers, attend RV shows, and locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service.

There is an RV for every budget and every family. It just takes some time to find it.

The following information is intended to help you navigate the most important aspects of making your dream of owning a recreational vehicle a reality.

  1. Set Goals

Identify your RV needs. Answering the following questions will help you decide which RV is best for you:

  • Are you a weekend warrior, snowbird, or full-timer?
  • How much can you afford to spend including monthly payments and related expenses (fuel, maintenance and service, insurance, license, storage)?
  • What size RV fits your family?
  • Do you prefer a motorized RV or a towable?
  • Which RV features and amenities do you need and which can you live without?
  • When you are not traveling, where will you store your RV?
A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Class A Diesel Pusher and Class A Gas motorhomes at A+ Motel & RV Park, Sulphur, Louisiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

One of the first considerations is establishing an RV budget. It’s vital to know how much you can afford to spend on your RV including manageable monthly payments. Also consider related expenses including fuel, insurance, license, maintenance costs, and storage.

Sticking to your goals will help you get exactly what you want and it will also help you avoid purchasing an RV out of your price range. By setting your goals, you can go in knowing what you want and eliminate most RVs that don’t fit your needs.

  1. The Test Drive

A major difference between driving RVs and cars is that they don’t handle the same, especially when cornering. Test-driving is always a good idea to see what kind of RV is manageable for you. The last thing you want to do is get an RV that you can’t drive safely.

Another tip to remember is that once people and all your items are in the RV, weight may become an issue.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park: West Valley Icon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Small travel trailer camping at White Tank Mountain Regional Park Campground, Maricopa County, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Figure on a 20-30 minute test drive in as many traffic, terrains, and road surface conditions as possible. 0-65mph on the test drive, cornering, braking, shifting. Does the steering wheel pull in your hand on different road conditions?

This will be a noticeable pulling to the center or edge of the road. This is an alignment issue and will need to be fixed.

  1. Financing

If you’re like most, you’ll probably be financing a portion of your purchase. Discuss financing with your local bank or other lending institution prior to purchasing an RV to determine your credit limit and assure approval.

Another thing to consider is that because every motorhome most likely has a bed, kitchen, sink, and bathroom, the IRS classifies them as homes. This means that the interest on your loan may be tax deductible as a home mortgage. In Canada, this is not the case.

  1. Maintenance 

Your RV is a valuable investment; however, it can be very costly to repair if it is not properly maintained.

There are two basic types of maintenance for your RV: preventative maintenance and scheduled maintenance. Often these two terms are used interchangeably.

Preventative maintenance is maintenance you perform on your RV before a problem exists and consists of cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, adjusting, and servicing your RV.

Scheduled Maintenance or routine maintenance is performed in intervals normally based on time, mileage, or hours.

  1. Don’t Buy Right Away
Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Keystone Montana fifth wheel trailer at Lost Dutchman State Park, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When it comes to researching your new RV purchase, the last thing you want to be is hasty. It is important to take your time while considering your budget, wants and needs, future travel plans, and any other items you feel are important in making your decision, such as safety, quality, and reliability.

One of the most important things you can do when buying is to always shop around. Don’t just buy from your first stop. Look around, compare prices and find the best deal available.

With these tips, you will be successful in your purchase and operation of your new or new to you RV. Enjoy!

Worth Pondering…

Never forget your dreams.

—Corczak

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More April 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 4 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—KZRV, Airstream, Thor Motor Coach, and Motor Coach Industries (MCI).

KZRV, L.P.

KZ-logoKZRV, L.P. (KZRV) is recalling certain model year 2015 KZ-RV Gold, Goldrush, Goldrush Klondike, and Prestige, 2014-2015 Goldrush Discovery, 2013-2015 Goldrush Nugget and 2012-2015 Stoneridge recreational vehicles manufactured May 27, 2011, to December 8, 2014. In the affected vehicles, a rivet for the quad entry steps may shear and fail, causing the steps to give when being used.

If the rivet shears causing the quad step to fail, the step user may fall, increasing the risk of personal injury.

KZRV will notify owners, and dealers will replace the defective rivets, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact KZRV customer service at 1-800-768-4016.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Airstream, Inc.

Airstream-logo-newAirstream, Inc. (Airstream) is recalling certain model year 2015 Interstate motorhomes manufactured from October 6, 2014, through March 25, 2015, and built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jamb to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal crash, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal crash, a greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Mercedes Benz will notify owners on behalf of Airstream, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, correct the abutting wedge installation, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-937-596-6111 or owners may contact Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Customer Service at 1-877-762-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Thor Motor Coach

Thor Motor Coach; North America's Best Selling Motorhome BrandThor Motor Coach (Thor) is recalling certain model year 2015 Siesta and Citation motorhomes manufactured from September 26, 2014, through February 27, 2015, and built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jamb to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal crash, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal crash, a greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Mercedes-Benz will notify owners on behalf of Thor, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, correct the installation of the abutting wedge, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Thor customer service at 1-877-500-1020 or owners may contact Sprinter Customer Service at 1-877-762-8267.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

logoMciMotor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain model year 2007-2010 MCI E4500 and J4500 motor coaches manufactured November 21, 2006, to August 27, 2009, and equipped with certain Recaro Automotive Seating Ergo M bus driver seats. The affected seats were manufactured in a way that the tether bar may push into the retractor panel door and potentially interfere with the seat belt locking mechanism.

If the seat belt locking mechanism does not function as intended, the bus driver may not be properly restrained, increasing the risk of personal injury in the event of a crash.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI)

logoMciMotor Coach Industries (MCI) is recalling certain model year 2014 J4500 and model year 2015 D4000ISTV, D4005, D4500, and D4505 motor coaches manufactured August 26, 2014, to December 3, 2014. The affected motor coaches have front and steerable tag axles whose tie rod nuts may be improperly torqued.

If the tie rod nuts are not properly torqued, the tie rod may not be adequately secured, resulting in a loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of a crash.

MCI will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the tie rod nut torque, replacing the parts as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on April 15, 2015. Owners may contact MCI customer service at 1-800-241-2947.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 54th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

—Aristotle

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April 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced 5 recall notices involving 2 recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers—Forest River and Newmar.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2014 Palomino SolAire trailers manufactured July 1, 2014, to August 31, 2014. The affected vehicles may have been manufactured without an exterior furnace vent causing exhaust fumes to be vented into the trailer. Additionally, the lack of a furnace vent may result in a heat buildup around the furnace.

Exhaust fumes inside the trailer may result in carbon-monoxide poisoning, increasing the risk of occupant injury. A heat buildup, increases the risk of a fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will install an exterior furnace vent in any affected trailer that does not have one, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-389-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 400-03032015-0016.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Sabre travel trailers and fifth wheels manufactured August 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. The wires that control the brakes may have been improperly routed resulting in the wires chaffing, breaking or shorting.

Damage to the wires that control the brakes may unexpectedly lengthen the distance needed to stop the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash. Additionally, a short in the wires may increase the risk of a fire.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the trailers and reroute the brake wires, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on April 6, 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-389-4600. Forest River’s number for this recall is 430-03112015-0017.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Coachmen Prism recreational vehicles manufactured from July 1, 2014, through October 14, 2014 and built on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis. In the affected vehicles, the abutting wedge, a component attached to the door jamb to make opening the door easier after a severe frontal impact, may have been installed incorrectly.

If a vehicle that has an incorrectly installed abutting wedge is involved in a severe frontal crash, greater force may be necessary to open the doors, increasing the risk of injury.

Sprinter will notify owners, and Sprinter dealers will check the installation of the abutting wedge, correcting it as necessary, free of charge. The recall began in March 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 15V-082.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Forest River, Inc.

forest-RiverForest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2015 Georgetown GT335, FR3 FR30, Pursuit 31BD, and 29SB, and 2016 Cardinal CAF3825FL and Tracer TRT270AIR and TRT3200BHT fifth wheel and travel trailers. In the affected vehicles, the screws that attach the expanding room to the sliding mechanism cable may fail allowing the room to extend unintentionally while the vehicle is in motion.

If the room extends while vehicle is in motion, there is an increased risk of a crash.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will replace the slide room mechanism cable attaching screws, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may contact Forest River customer service at 1-574-642-0437. Forest River’s number for this recall is 51-0331201501.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 King Aire, Essex, London Aire, and Mountain Aire motor homes manufactured November 26, 2013, to November 11, 2014. The wiper blades may separate from the wiper arm connectors, especially when the wipers are used at the high speed setting.

If the wiper blades separate from the wiper arms, the driver may have reduced visibility, increasing the risk of a crash.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Newmar customer service at 1-800-731-8300.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Please Note: This is the 53rd in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.

—Martin Van Buren

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