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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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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Dynasty Days Offers $25,000 rebates on Monaco Dynasty Diesel Pushers

For a limited time, you can feel the heat of Monaco’s summer savings event. Experience the power of a Monaco Dynasty and receive an added reward, too.

Monaco dynasty_rebate2Don’t miss this summer’s biggest chance to receive a $25,000 retail savings on the hottest 2015 Monaco Dynasty motorhomes.

Decatur, Indiana-based Monaco announced its newest retail summer savings event, Dynasty Days.

Purchases made on all eligible, remaining in-stock 2015 Monaco Dynasty motorhomes will be qualified to receive a $25,000 retail savings through July 31.

A limited number of Monaco Dynasty motorhomes are available.

“Purchasing a motorhome is a rewarding experience for all owners,” said Mike Snell, president of Monaco Coach, in a news release.

“What better way to begin the 2015 travel season than to start with a $25,000 rebate? It’s a rewarding and enticing incentive that will only make the purchasing experience an even more positive one.”

To be eligible, a customer must purchase a new, unused, and in-stock 2015 Monaco Dynasty during the limited-time, promotional period, and complete a retail redemption form located on Monaco’s website (SEE link below)

All sales must be contracted and delivered no later than July 31 to qualify.

2015 Monaco Dynasty interior
2015 Monaco Dynasty interior

2015 Monaco Dynasty 45 specifications and features include:

  • Exterior Length: 45 feet
  • Engine: 600HP ISX
  • Slide Outs: 4
  • Heating System: AquaHot 450D
  • Generator: Cummins Onan 10.0kw Quiet Diesel
  • Inverter/Charger: 2800w Pure Sine Wave
  • House Batteries: 8 Maintenance-Free Absorbed Glass Mat 6-Volt
  • GPS: Integrated Rand McNally RV
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System: Pressure Pro-Active
  • TV: Mid-Coach Sony 50-inch LED w/Sound Bar and Subwoofer
  • Shades/Blinds: Power Roller Shades and Privacy Blinds
2015 Monaco Dynasty 45 floor plan
2015 Monaco Dynasty 45 floor plan

Details

Allied Recreation Group (ARG)

The only recreational vehicle manufacturing company with the stability, singular focus, unmatched integrity, and revolutionary vision to be the steward of the most trusted, iconic American RV brands, proudly leading them into the next generation.

Allied Recreation Group is a collection of some of the world’s most recognized and admired RV brands. Each brand—American Coach, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler, and Monaco—remains distinct, while together the group is a celebration of the rich heritage and future promise of the greatest manufacturers in the RV industry.

Address: 1031 US 224 East, Decatur, Indiana 46733

Phone: (800) 854-1344 (toll free)

Website: www.alliedrecreationgroup.com

Monaco Coach

15_Dynasty-Rebate-Shield
15_Dynasty-Rebate-Shield

Between May 15, 2015 and July 31, 2015, you can enjoy some hot summer savings with our “Dynasty Days of Summer” retail savings event and receive a $25,000 savings on all eligible in-stock 2015 Monaco Dynasty purchases. It’s a Monaco factory rebate that you won’t want to miss.

Mailing Address: PO Box 31, Decatur, IN 46733

Phone: (260) 728-2121

Websites: www.monacocoach.com

Monaco Dynasty Rebate: www.monacocoach.com/rebate/

Worth Pondering…

When you put down the good things you ought to have done and leave out the bad things you did do—well, that’s memories.

—Will Rogers

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RVing Is The Freedom Lifestyle

Home is where you park it.

Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System and continues to captivate people around the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System and continues to captivate people around the world. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Freedom is a wonderful thing. The kind of freedom offered by the RVing lifestyle is the ultimate.

The country overflows with awesomeness at every turn, places we find completely captivating.

What a life. Today, it’s Arizona, last month it was California, and before that we were in Oregon. Soon it will be New Mexico.

Whether it’s dry camping in the wilderness or enjoying the comforts of a full-hookup RV park, RV enthusiasts agree—it’s all about the joys of camping.

For some hardy souls, camping means pitching a tent, snuggling in sleeping bags, and cooking on a Coleman stove or a grill balanced on a fire ring. Yes, I’ve been there, done that!

For the rest of us—and some us have left those days behind—we freely admit to enjoying a soft queen-sized bed, a plug-in coffeemaker, home-cooked meal, and hot shower.

The best part of RV camping with all the comforts of home: your own bed, your own shower, and being able to cook whatever you want to eat. Even after six months on the road I’m not ready to come home.

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

No matter what you see when you look outside your window, you’re at home in your RV.

Yes, home is where you park it in this beautiful country of ours.

Many of us cringe when we see fuel prices climb, but the pleasure of RV camping can be had without driving for days. The “here” can be just as enjoyable as “there.”

So, let me remind you…whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, do it now! Don’t put things off too long! Life goes by all too quickly.

So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure about tomorrow!

Life is a gift to you. Make it a fantastic one!

Live it well!

Sunrise with mist rising at our campground near Unadilla, Georgia.
Sunrise with mist rising at our campground near Unadilla, Georgia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Enjoy today!

Do something fun!

Be happy!

Have a great day!

Life is too short to let even one day be frenzied or frazzled or frittered away.

Life is too short not to take time to do the things that will hold the most meaning for you.

So let yourself float like a leaf on a stream, relax with your memories and let yourself dream.

Throw out your list that’s impossibly long, and dance a few steps to a favorite song.

Turn off the news and go find someone real who’ll listen and talk and affirm what you feel.
Life is too short and flies by if you let it, so choose what you want every day—and go and get it.

The distance doesn’t matter. It’s what you see out your window in the morning that counts.

ferry boat returns from Cumberland Island to the dock in St. Marys
It’s the end of a wonderful day as our ferry boat returns from Cumberland Island to the dock in St. Marys. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

What a Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies cry, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

—lyrics by George David Weiss, George Douglas, Bob Thield; recorded by Louis Armstrong

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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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5 RVs You Likely Can’t Afford

In the world of luxury travel, private jets and super-yachts are the most popular options. But for those who want to stay on the road, the best choice is a mobile home. These opulent and massive homes on wheels often take their interior cues from luxury yachts, with leather upholstery, fine wood cabinetry, and other high-end amenities.

Millennium Luxury Coach
Millennium Luxury Coach

Millennium Luxury Coach

You’ll be blown away by the efficiency and innovation of a Millennium Luxury Coach.

The opulent features in the 2015 Millennium line—including a sink top glass bowl in the bathroom, quartz countertops, and Swarovski crystal accent fixtures—put this traveling home in a category of its own. The 45-foot, quad-slide 2015 Millennium H3-45 Prevost conversion is powered by a Volvo D-13 diesel engine.

Millennium is a family owned company with over 20 years history in the marine, aviation, and luxury coach building industry. Superior performance, luxurious style, state of the art technology, and excellent customer service sets them apart.

eleMMent Palazzo

eleMMent Palazzo
eleMMent Palazzo

Nowadays, you can’t help but pay a lot for a feature-laden motorhome. However, the expensive madness goes over the top with an eleMMent Palazzo that sold  for a staggering $3.1 million in sunny Dubai. This opulent slightly bizarre luxury RV is made by Marchi Mobile, an Austrian company.

The Palazzo features two floors of entertainment and extravagance, with a giant master suite, and multiple bars. The party piece of the eleMMent Palazzo is the Sky Lounge, a rooftop terrace that can be deployed or retracted at the simple press of a button.

A step up from the Palazzo is the eleMMent Viva–V.I.P. shuttle. The Viva starts where the Palazzo leaves off but features a chauffeur booth and six high-end lounge and massage chairs that recline for sleeping.

KiraVan

KiraVan
KiraVan

The KiraVan, a giant custom built off road recreational vehicle, includes an office, kitchen, and bedrooms as well as its own motorbike and drone.

Capable of traveling most anywhere, the KiraVan was designed by Californian inventor Bran Ferren for his four-year-old daughter Kira, who has her own pop tent on top of the truck.

Capable of traversing nearly any terrain, from mud-swamped roads to rock-covered trails to small bodies of water, the six-wheeled “terrestrial spaceship” will be able to travel up to 2,000 miles without resupply and navigate slopes as steep as 45 degrees thanks to a special suspension system—an incline that is difficult to climb.

The cockpit also has a special vibration reducing chair, as well as control for drones that can fly ahead to check traffic.

Volkner Mobil Performance Bus

Volkner Mobil Performance Bus
Volkner Mobil Performance Bus

Fully customizable and 40 feet long, Volkner Mobil Performance Bus features a wall that slides outward to create extra space, along with a state of the art entertainment system and a fully equipped kitchen. An incredibly luxurious “palace on wheels,” its sumptuous interior features leather seats, stone tiles in the kitchen and the bathroom, wide-screen TV, and Bose home entertainment system.

Most impressive of all is the built-in garage under the vehicle. For the owner who wants to travel in comfort without leaving behind the Ferrari, this is the way to go. Volkner has also created a motorized garage into its high end Performance models capable of swallowing whole Porsche 911s, Jaguar XK8 Cabriolets, BMW 6 Series Cabriolets, Maserati Quattroportes, and a Mercedes Sports.

Based on how it is equipped, a Volkner Mobil Bus can cost between $1.2 and $2 million.

Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel's RV
Vin Diesel’s customized and insanely over the top fifth wheel trailer

It could be assumed that action star Vin Diesel of The Fast and the Furious fame has a love affair with wheels. It then only makes sense that he has a home on wheels as well. While it isn’t fast or furious, Vin Diesel’s customized and insanely over the top fifth wheel trailer is a mobile luxury getaway.

Designed by Anderson Mobile Estates, one of Hollywood’s top mobile trailer companies, the two-story, 1100 square foot mansion-on-wheels requires a the power of a semi to keep it mobile. Once on location, the roof pops up and walls slide out to make way for additional floor space.  Top of the line media equipment, granite kitchen counter tops, a private office, and a kids play area are just some of the luxurious comforts of home that Vin Diesel can take on the road with him.

Worth Pondering…

Stop wishing; start planning: A goal without a plan is just a wish.

—Larry Elder

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Take Control of Your Vacation

Everyone has been there.

Fleetwood Providence Diesel Pusher Class A motorhome  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Fleetwood Providence Diesel Pusher Class A motorhome at Canyon de Chelly, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The thrill and anticipation of a vacation on the horizon, but the dread of security checks, baggage claims, cancelled flights, and adhering to someone else’s schedule. The airline schedule, cruise ship, and bus tours.

But there are alternatives that give you full control of your vacation.

There is a better way. In fact, now is the perfect time to plan unrestricted, adventurous family vacations for the upcoming summer holiday season.

All you need is a recreational vehicle, maps, national campground and RV park directory, and vacation time with your family.

Some benefits to RVing include affordable travel with your family and pets, and the ability to go wherever you want, whenever you want.

It’s fun to plan family trips and make memories along the way.

However, shopping for a recreational vehicle can be overwhelming and choosing the right one is no small decision. Take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of various types and brands of RVs, attend RV shows, and locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service.

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

Best of all, there is an RV for just about every budget and every family. It just takes some time to find it. One of the primary aspects involved in selecting a recreational vehicle is making a decision on the type of RV you need. Two primary types should be considered: Towable and motorized.

Towable RVs

Towable RVs must be mounted on or towed by a motorized vehicle to be moved from place to place. Some towables are small and light enough to be towed by the family car, while others require an SUV or pickup truck. Always verify your vehicle’s towing capability and allow for the added weight of personal belongings loaded on board.

Conventional travel trailers offer a wide range of floor plans, sizes, and conveniences.

Fifth wheel trailers have similar amenities as travel trailers, but are constructed with a raised forward section that provides a spacious bi-level floor plan. These models are designed to be towed by a pickup truck equipped with a fifth-wheel hitch.

Also known as pop-ups and tent trailers, folding camping trailers are great for outdoor lovers who enjoy sleeping in a tent without sleeping on the ground. Folding camping trailers stow away for easy, lightweight towing. With canvas sides that extend to reveal queen-sized beds, it’s easy to have a fresh-air experience with all the comforts of an RV.

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

Also known as sport utility RVs, toy haulers are for the active family who wants to take motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs, or other motorized toys on the road. Available as a fifth wheel or travel trailer, the rear end of the toy hauler drops down, forming a ramp for access into a “garage” area where motorized toys can be safely stored; the living quarters are separated by a wall.

The truck camper is a portable unit designed to be loaded onto, or affixed to, the bed or chassis of a pickup truck. The slide-in units are easily loaded and unloaded from the bed of the truck, freeing the truck’s bumper to tow boats, ATVs, and other trailers.

It is important to match the loaded weight of the towable RV to the towing capacity of the tow vehicle. Consult your dealer or owner’s manual for details and have the tow hitch professionally installed.

Motorized RVs

Commonly known as motorhomes, motorized RVs are on a motorized chassis with gas or diesel engines.

Class A or conventional motorhomes are constructed entirely on a specially designed motor vehicle chassis. Home-like amenities abound, and generally these motorhomes have kitchens, bathrooms, living areas with entertainment centers and centrally controlled heating and air conditioning.

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

Commonly called camper vans, Class B motorhomes are built using automotive manufactured van or panel-truck shells. Camping vans drive more like the family car, but offer the comforts and conveniences of home on the road.

Class C motorhomes are built on an automotive van frame with a wider body section attached to the original cab section. Many Class C motorhomes are easily recognizable by the over-the-cab area that is often an optional sleeping area. Amenities are similar to those in conventional motorhomes.

Many owners choose to tow a small vehicle for short side trips once the motorhome is parked.

Additional Tips

Now that you’ve identified the type of RV that best suits your family, it’s time to shop for the best fitting style, floor plan, price range, and options. The following tips can help for an easier RV shopping experience:

  • Set a price range
  • Think about types of floor plans that work best for you and your family
  • For a towable RV, consider your tow vehicle’s towing capacity; for a motorized RV, consider the pros and cons of gas and diesel engines

Please Note: For an additional resource, read The 4 Most Important Tips For Purchasing a New RV

Worth Pondering…

When your vacation happens on the open road, your trip is only limited by your imagination.

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February 2015 RV Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently announced four recall notices involving three recreational vehicle/chassis manufacturers— Highland Ridge RV, Heartland RV, and Newmar Corp.

Highland Ridge RV

Open Range RV LogoHighland Ridge RV (Highland) is recalling certain model year 3x recreational trailers manufactured August 5, 2014, to November 17, 2014 equipped with recalling Latitude Awnings styles GX and G manufactured April 10, 2014, to November 4, 2014 manufactured by Carefree of Colorado. The affected awnings may have screws that attach the lateral arm brackets to the mounting brackets that were not manufactured to specification.

The screws could fail, causing the supporting bracket and the awning to fall and potentially injure a person beneath it.

Highland will notify owners, and dealers will replace the defective screws, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Highland customer service at 1-260-768-7771, or Carefree customer service at 1-800-621-2617.

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.

Heartland Recreational Vehicles

HeartlandHeartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (Heartland) is recalling certain model year 2015 Heartland Big Country 3800FL vehicles manufactured October 22, 2014, to December 16, 2014 and 2015 Heartland Big Country 3900FLP vehicles manufactured September 23, 2014, to January 12, 2015, 2015 Heartland Big Horn 3750FL vehicles manufactured September 3, 2014, to January 14, 2015, and Landmark 365 Charleston vehicles manufactured on December 24, 2014. In the affected recreational vehicles, the axles may be placed too far forward on the frame resulting in improper weight distribution across the axles.

Improper weight distribution across the axles may result in poor handling, increasing the risk of a crash.

Heartland will notify owners, and dealers will move the axles rearward to help with weight distribution on the Big Horn, and 3800 FL Big Country, and will add a ballast to the pin box to improve handling the 3900 FLP Big Country, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 16, 2015. Owners may contact Heartland customer service at 1-877-262-8032. Heartland’s number for this recall is 99-01-19.

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 Newmar King Aire, and Essex vehicles manufactured December 9, 2013, to December 16, 2014, equipped with certain Wabco Quick Release Valves with Double Check. In the affected valves, the rubber diaphragm may be damaged by sharp edges on the valve seat ribs, reducing the available air pressure in the air tanks.

The reduced air pressure levels may reduce braking performance and/or the parking brakes could reapply, increasing the risk of a crash.

Newmar will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the valve, free of charge. 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.

Newmar Corporation

Newmar Corp image001Newmar Corporation (Newmar) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 King Aire and Essex vehicles manufactured April 12, 2013, to October 18, 2013, and built on Spartan Chassis. In the affected vehicles, the steering linkage castlenuts may loosen without warning and the steering linkage may separate from the bell cranks.

If the steering linkage separates from the bell cranks, a loss of vehicle control may result, increasing the risk of a crash.

Newmar will notify owners, and Spartan dealers will inspect the steering linkage castle nuts and tighten them, as necessary, free of charge. 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 49th in a series of articles relating to RV Manufacturers Recalls

Worth Pondering…

Success is peace of mind in knowing you did your best.

—John Wooden

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American Coach Introduces 2016 American Eagle

Decatur, Indiana-based American Coach introduced the new 2016 American Eagle at the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, January 14-18, at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

American Coach Introduces 2016 American Eagle
American Coach Introduces 2016 American Eagle

The $699,000 motorhome is built on a Freighliner SLM Series Liberty 600 chassis and ushers in a new design language for the company, said Steven Hileman, marketing director, in a news release.

“It’s all new DNA for American Coach,” he added.

The motorhome was designed in cooperation with designers from the United Kingdom as well as with assistance from Freightliner and Daimler. It features more than 200 new design points.

One key feature is the optional emergency exit door from the back bedroom designed to give owners peace of mind that they can exit their coach safely in an emergency.

The new cockpit is fully digital with LCD gauges monitoring critical functions in the motorhome using the Silverleaf Total Coach Control system. The navigation system is a dash-mounted removable iPad with driver and passenger user controls. Cockpit integration offers navigation, radio, and camera controls to give a passenger official “copilot” status.

“The 2016 American Eagle features European construction techniques and eight new wood finishes,” said Hileman.

Other key features include:

Dual 10-inch dash monitors for radio, Rand McNally navigation, Sirius satellite radio, weather, fuel consumption, traffic conditions, time, and outside temp

Ergo dash design with backlit switches

Dual zone HVAC with dedicated passenger control

Power memory driver seat

AUX-Zone distributes video to front TV for navigation, backup monitor and DVD

Creston app uses iPad to control lights, blinds, audio, and video

Heated and cooled driver and passenger captains’ chairs

Three hardwood ceiling plenums with integrated HVAC

Solid radius hardwood cabinetry with full insert door design

Aqua-Hot 56,000-BTU continuous tankless hot water system and 450D multi-zone hydronic heating system

Apron front stainless steel sink with solid surface covers

Galley pull-out extension with flush drop design and power lock

PEX plumbing

Serenity Max Series bed with adjustable his and her sections plus a head and foot massage component

Heated full tile floor

V-Ride drive axle

ZF i-Tag independent tag axle suspension with passive steering

Girard window awnings

Residential walk-in shower with full glass wall and door

Villa ultraleather expanding L-sofa with air mattress

Details

American Coach

AmerCoachLogoAmerican Coach is a premier manufacturer and distributor of Luxury Class A Diesel motorcoaches.

Founded in 1991 as the luxury division of Fleetwood RV, American Coach produces five brand names: American Eagle, American Heritage, American Tradition, American Revolution, and American Allegiance.

Customer Service: (800) 435-7345

Website: www.americancoach.com

Allied Recreation Group (ARG)

argLogo_bigThe only recreational vehicle manufacturing company with the stability, singular focus, unmatched integrity, and revolutionary vision to be the steward of the most trusted, iconic American RV brands, proudly leading them into the next generation.

Allied Recreation Group is a collection of some of the world’s most recognized and admired RV brands. Each brand—American Coach, Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler, and Monaco—remains distinct, while together the group is a celebration of the rich heritage and future promise of the greatest manufacturers in the RV industry.

Address: 1031 US 224 East, Decatur, Indiana 46733

Phone: (800) 854-1344 (toll free)

Websitewww.alliedrecreationgroup.com

Worth Pondering…

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
—Maya Angelou

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Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

Middlebury, Indiana-based Entegra Coach introduced the 2015 Cornerstone Class A Diesel Pusher in three 45-foot models, the 45B, 45J, and 45K and provide a variety of slideout options.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models
Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The exterior includes flush-mount slideouts and frameless tinted dual-pane safety-glass windows.

The 2015 Cornerstone diesel pusher has a 15,000-pound towing capacity. It comes standard with a Spartan K3 tag axle chassis and a Cummins ISX 600 HP turbocharged engine that features an Allison GEN 4 4000 MH six-speed transmission and electronic shifter.

It is built on Entegra Coach’s X-bridge frame.

Under this coach are two carpeted, lighted, and powered slideout cargo trays with side-hinged baggage doors that provide storage space for luggage, sporting gear, outdoor furniture, grills, coolers, or anything else.

Other exterior extras include a 40-inch Samsung LED HDTV with Sony CD/DVD player and speakers, and a convenient exterior slideout tray that stores a powerful 12,500-watt Onan diesel generator.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models
Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The Cornerstone’s cockpit features Villa Natural Leather power adjustable driver and passenger seats with integrated seat belts, color back-up camera and monitor and side cameras with turn signals, a Trip-Tek information center, Spartan Message Center, and a touch-screen AM/FM/CD/DVD with GPS navigation, which can be projected on the 32-inch Samsung LED HDTV, Bluetooth, and four speakers.

The Cornerstone also has an Ultra-Vision one-piece wrap-around tinted windshield with powered front and side window roller shades.

Cornerstone standards include an electric fireplace, natural leather furniture, 46-inch Samsung LED HDTV in living area (50-inch in the 45B) with Bose CineMate digital home theatre system, decorative satin nickel lighting throughout, raised-panel hardwood, stackable washer and dryer, central vacuum system, and hidden safe.

In the kitchen area, the Cornerstone features a flush-mounted electric two-burner touch control range, a Samsung convection microwave oven with carousel, a Samsung 23 cubic-foot residential refrigerator with ice maker and water dispenser, a dishwasher drawer, solid quartz residential-grade countertops with undermounted stainless-steel sink, solid quartz sink covers and cutting boards and a porcelain tile backsplash with glass design inlays.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models
Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The kitchen is completed by the satin nickel high-rise single-lever faucet with pull-out sprayer, silverware drawer, under-sink sink cover storage compartment, pull-out cabinet extension with countertop, large deep drawer with waste basket, and two chrome overhead slideout baskets.

The Cornerstone’s bedroom has a King Select Comfort air mattress, cedar-lined wardrobe, 32-inch Samsung LED HDTV home theatre system with Bose Solo sound bar. An in-bed remote secure coach locking system is there for additional convenience and safety. The bathroom boasts solid quartz countertops with integrated sink, porcelain tile shower with integrated seat, satin nickel fixtures, skylight in the shower and medicine cabinet with mirror.

Along with the standard Aqua-Hot 450-D water and heating system with in-floor radiant heating throughout, the 2014 Cornerstone also features Multiplex lighting to control the lights throughout the coach.

Some options include a desk in lieu of a lounger, free-standing table with four chairs and sofa, exterior freezer in slideout tray, power slideout cargo trays and iPad remote control.

Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models
Entegra Coach Introduces 2015 Cornerstone Class A in 3 Models

The Cornerstone is also backed by Entegra Coach’s industry-leading 2-year warranty.

Details

Entegra Coach, Inc.

Entegra Coach manufactures and markets luxury Class A diesel motor coaches (Aspire, Anthem, and Cornerstone).

Entegra Coach became a member of the Jayco family of companies in the spring of 2008. Jayco is the world’s largest privately-held manufacturer of recreational vehicles.

Address: 903 S. Main Street, PO Box 460, Middlebury, IN 46540

Phone: (574) 825-5861 or (800) 945-4787

Website: www.entegracoach.com

Worth Pondering…
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.
—Eartha Kitt

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