Posted on April 2, 2014
millions of RV owners are taking on spring cleaning in preparation for their next adventures on the road.
There are nearly 8.9 million RV owners in the U.S., with 8.5% of U.S. households now owning one of these mobile vacation homes. Last year, manufacturers shopped 285,700 new machines, representing nearly $11 billion worth of family fun.
Getting into one of these rigs isn’t cheap, but it may not be as expensive as you think: sure, a large motor home can cost up to $500,000, but a more modest motor home can be found for as little as $43,000. Towable trailers run the gamut, too, from $5,000 - $22,000 for a pop-up trailer to between $8,000 - $95,000 for a more upscale, hard-sided trailer. The used market can offer even better deals.
If you’re one of the 21% of U.S. households that intend to purchase an RV in the future, here are some things to think about:
- Consider renting first to make sure the experience is all that you expect. This way, you can check out different types of RVs this way, so if you do decide to purchase a vehicle of your own, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.
- It seems obvious, but driving an RV is different than driving your regular vehicle, even if you’re towing a camper behind that same vehicle: it will accelerate and decelerate more slowly, chug up hills while cars and motorcycles fly by, and introduce you to new challenges in visibility if you’re used to using your rearview mirror a lot. Until you get familiar with driving your RV, consider making a shorter trip, especially your first time out. Getting away is the point, of course, so if your heart’s set on a trec from Florida to Alaska, make some practice runs nearby. In any case, you may want to take a course from an RV driving school before you hit the road.
- Taking your accommodations with you means all your accommodations, including your bathroom. Knowing where, when and how to dump your waste is a part of the RV lifestyle. You can find a list of dumping stations here, but as far as what to do once you get there you’ll need to check your owners’ manual. Make sure to do this in advance so you can stock up with any chemical treatments you might need.
- Plan your trip well, including your route and all the stops along the way. At some locations, you may need to make reservations in advance, so do your research. Knowing you have somewhere to berth for the night can make a day’s driving that much more enjoyable.
As with regular vehicles, RV financing for motor homes, campers, trailers and even boats can be found through On Tap Credit Union, the seller, or another lender. However you get there, stay safe and enjoy the ride!