|RVs: Still Popular Despite High Fuel Prices, by Alice Zyetz|
HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT RV
We have often been asked to come up with a list of the top ten RVs, but the variety of options, tastes, and needs makes this an impossible task. Are you a young family who enjoys outdoor sports and needs a toy hauler to carry your off-road vehicles and also provide living space? Do you already own a sports van or half-ton truck and want a light vehicle? How limited are your funds to invest in an RV? Do you want a new or used vehicle? Are you of "boomer" age, close to retirement and want to start small to test out the lifestyle? Are you already retired and want to take the profit from selling your home and invest in a high-end diesel pusher motorhome to live the lifestyle of your dreams?
Here are some online sources for information on buying RVs. (Some sites may charge fees for services or information.)
- RV Consumer Group
- RV Buyers' Guide
- NADA RV Pricing
- Recreational Vehicles Dealers Association
- RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association)
- Go to RV shows and RV dealerships to experience the actual rigs and get the specific details, especially weight and construction.
- Buy a copy of Woodall's or Trailer Life's RV Buyers Guides.
- Go to various chat rooms for input, for example RV Advice.
- Order a free RV "getting started" DVD or CD-ROM at 1-888-GoRVing or www.GoRving.com.
- Rent one to try it out. Go to El Monte Rents or Cruise America.
WHAT ARE SOME KEY RV COMPANIES?
Four top-ranking companies are Thor, Fleetwood, Monaco, and Winnebago. However, within each company are a number of brands that have been assimilated over the years. Here is a partial list:
- Thor is parent company of many motorhomes and towables: Aerolite, Airstream, Breckenridge, Dutchmen, Four Winds, Keystone RV, Komfort, and others.
- Fleetwood produces a variety of motorhomes and towables: Terry, Prowler, Wilderness, Tioga, Jamboree, Pace Arrow, Southwind, Bounder, Flair, Excursion, American Eagle
- Monaco produces a variety of motorhomes and towables: Holiday Rambler, Monaco Coach, Beaver, Safari, McKenzie
- Winnebago: Winnebago and Itasca produce a variety of motorhomes.
For light-weight trailers in the 26 to 30-foot range, check out some of these well-known brands: Gulf Stream, Fleetwood, Jayco, Skyline, Aljo and NuWa.
Please note that we are mentioning some of the most well known brands, but many others have not been mentioned. We are not recommending any specific brand. You do need to do your research to see what will work for you. The advantage of the well known brands is that they have been in the business for a long time and have earned their reputation.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE TOY HAULERS?
Toy haulers are an important part of the RV market right now. Check out Toy Hauler Magazine for interesting articles on the specifics. One company strictly devoted to toy haulers is Weekend Warrior, Inc. located in Upland, CA. Most of the major manufacturers also have a toy hauler line: Fleetwood, Alfa, Holiday Rambler, Newmar, Dutchmen, etc. Go to the magazine for a complete list.
As we enter into the peak holiday season, enjoy the RV you already have or begin exploring the lifestyle. We know you'll love it as much as we do.