Recreational vehicles, or RVs, let you hit the road in comfort, doubling as a vehicle and temporary living quarters and fall and winter is typically the best time to buy one when demand is low.
And according to a 2011 survey, the number of RV-owning households is on the rise – up to 8.9 million from 7.9 million in 2005. Here is everything you need to know about different types of recreational vehicles, things to consider before you buy and how to insure your vehicle.
Types of RVs
According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the RV family includes both motorized and towable vehicles.
Towable RVs are designed to be hitched to the back of cars, vans or pickup trucks, and can be left at the campsite while you go off and explore.
- Folding camping trailers fold for lightweight towing, sleep up to eight and usually cost between $5,000 and $22,000.
- Truck campers mount on the bed of pickup trucks, sleep up to six and cost $6,000 to $55,000.
- Conventional travel trailers come in a variety of sizes, include homelike amenities, sleep up to 10 and cost $8,000 to $95,000.
- Travel trailers with expandable ends are towed, include ends that pull out for extra room, sleep up to eight and cost $10,000 to $30,000.
- Sport utility RVs are available both motorized and towable, include a “garage” for bikes, ATVs and other equipment, sleep up to eight and cost $10,300 to $170,000.
- Fifth-wheel travel trailers are towed with a pickup truck, have two floor levels, sleep up to six and cost $18,000 to $160,000.
Motorhomes are larger, motorized vehicles in which the living quarters are accessible from the driver’s area.
- Class A motorhomes are generally the largest of all RVs, include the best amenities, sleep up to six and cost $60,000 to $500,000.
- Class B motorhomes, also known as van campers, drive like a van, sleep up to four and cost $60,000 to $130,000.
- Class C motorhomes are medium-sized motorhomes, include a sleeping space over the cab, sleep up to eight and cost $43,000 to $200,000.
Because RVs are designed to be temporary homes, many models include a refrigerator and freezer, a stove and a bathroom and shower. Motorhomes have a battery capable of powering these appliances, but towable vehicles will have to be connected to an outside power source.
Today’s consumers often don’t want to leave their gadgets behind when they hit the road, so RVs are increasingly being outfitted with the latest technology.
According to Bankrate.com, newer models often include things like LCD TVs, satellite radio and iPod hookups. They are also safer than ever, equipped with air bags, electronic systems that monitor things like vehicle stability and tire pressure, rear-vision cameras and more.
Today’s consumers also care about going green. According to Bankrate.com, they are increasingly choosing fuel-efficient RV models, and manufacturers are incorporating technologies such as solar panels and awnings, wind turbines to power onboard electronics and energy-efficient appliances.
Before you buy
Purchasing an RV is a big investment, and according to reserveamerica.com, there are several things you should keep in mind before committing to a particular model.
First, consider what kind of traveling you’ll be doing and how many people will come along for the ride. Will you take mostly weekend trips? Month-long trips? Also consider how many and what type of items you’ll need to bring along, and whether or not you’ll need to cook onboard.
After the initial cost of purchasing an RV, remember that you’ll also have to pay for maintenance and gasoline, if you decide on a motorhome. The larger the vehicle, the more repairs you’ll likely have to make, and you can expect to get eight to 20 miles per gallon, depending on what model you choose. If you decide to purchase a towable RV, make sure your vehicle is properly equipped with a trailer hitch. You should also expect to pay a daily rate to park at campsites, which may vary depending on the size of your RV.
It’s also a good idea to rent the type of RV you’re interested in buying first to make sure it’s a good fit for you and your family.
Like your auto, home or renters insurance, there are many factors that can affect how much you’ll pay for RV insurance. These may include the type and condition of your RV; your driving history; where you live, as state laws vary; and how often you travel. There are also many options for additional coverage, according to Bankrate.com. These may include coverage for pet injuries; vacation liability, which will have you covered if someone gets hurt in or around your RV; personal effects, which covers your personal property; trip insurance, which covers living expenses and transportation if you get into an accident; and roadside assistance, in case your RV has to be towed.
Choosing the right RV insurance for you and your family can be a daunting process. Luckily, our licensed insurance advisors counsel RV owners on the best insurance for their needs often. Give us a call today at (855) 244-7671 to see how much RV insurance will cost you and how much we can help you save!
Let our expert insurance advisors help you find the right RV insurance. Give us a call today at (855) 244-7671 to see how much we can help you save!
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