Hankering for Some Adventure? Try it in an RV!
Have you been hooked on endless episodes of Great American Country and think you might like to join the 9 million people who hit the road in an RV this year? Modern RV's have amenities similar to home with solid surface countertops, designer elements from real to not so real tile backsplashes. With residential refrigerators, Induction cooktops, electric fireplaces, lift beds, porcelain tile floors, multiple LCD TVs - new RVs, especially larger ones, often rival new household construction in design and cosmetic trends.
The Back Story
RVing, as we know it, is uniquely American and tracks closely with the history of the automobile.
As early as 1910, the American sense of road adventure was primed with the advent of the motor car. It didn't take long for motorists to latch on to the idea to construct trailers that were then hitched to the back of cars.
The deal was sealed when miles of highway began marching across the country in the late 1920's. The construction of the iconic route 66 launched in 1927, and the Conservation Corps construction built over 500 state parks starting in 1933.
RVs were commercially available in the 1930's and were known as house cars. Winnebago, Ford and Airstream (maker of the first self-contained trailers) were among the first makers.
You've Come A Long Way, Baby!
The RVs on the road now are generations in the making and a long way from grandpa's RV. If you are considering an RV purchase first, consider where you would like to go and what you would like to do in your RV. RV's are a significant investment. It will take time to determine what model or style would work best for your situation. There are as many reasons for having an RV as there are people who use them according to Steve Love of La Mesa RV. Are you going to use it for tailgating, homeschool field trips, or a semester on the road, or even glamping? Perhaps you want to see all of the state parks, drive coastal highways, or plan on camping at the lake with the grandkids and taking day trips. How often will you use it? Do you want a drivable unit that fits in a regular parking space or do you envision parking a Class A unit at an RV resort and towing a car to use in town? Where will it be parked when not in use? Where will it be repaired when there are issues? The preliminary planning will help to purchase the right rig for you!
Drivable RVs: Class A, B and C
This is the smallest of the classes. The unit is about the size of a Ford Transit or an Amazon delivery truck. This unit would be perfect for sports enthusiasts like bikers or Ragnar racers. It has bathroom facilities and can be configured to sleep, cook, or work at a desk and get out of the weather.
Some of the newest innovations in Class B come with 3 platforms of chassis that are being widely used – Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Dodge ProMaster. Love explains that "these shorter, fuel efficient vehicles allow the RV user to use them not only as part of their vacation mode of transportation, but many will be used for daily commutes to the office, to the soccer game, or to evening entertainment. They can be parked in regular parking spots, yet offer the flexibility of traveling. 4-wheel drive is available in some models." Easily recharged Lithium batteries are another recent option to some B units.
These are often built on a truck chassis that is specifically designed for a motorhome. They have an attached cab and most have an overhang that extends over the cab. This area is usually used as sleeping quarters but may also be used for storage. This middle-sized vehicle offers a lot more room for hanging out with a small kitchen, dining table or booth dinette that converts to a sleeping area, a moderately sized private bathroom often including a shower, and typically an area for a permanent bed or private bedroom, depending on length of the RV. Class C RVs have been the largest selling type of motorized RV for several years.
Recognizable for their large and boxy size, the A Class Motorhomes (or busses) are very popular for RVers committed to long trips and long hours on the road or those that live in their RV's. They are built on a larger chassis, often designed specifically for a motorhome or from a bus shell for the ultimate Class A "bus" style RV. Ranging from 25ft and up to 45ft, they have plenty of room to make travelers feel at home. Slide out rooms in the kitchen and bedroom create an open floor plan. Newer improvements include:
- Armless patio awnings (Class A and C) No longer do you have to undo, latch, tie down, extend and hassle with a patio awning when you want shade. Most awnings now are simply extended or retracted with the press of a button.
- Multiplex wiring (Class B and A) RV companies continue to work on modernizing eliminating switches and instead, they have migrating to touch screen pads placed in the RV that puts all of the functions in one or two places in the RV. Some manufacturers have also integrated these panels with cell phones for operation whether you're in the RV or not.
- Solar power with slimmer, sleeker panels is an option on many models as well.
- Residential refrigerators have almost become the norm in most Class A products. RV refrigerators up until recently were always absorption models that could run on electricity or LP gas and sometimes on 12V power.
So many choices! Test driving an RV from a respected dealer is a great way to make sure you find your choice matches your needs. Then rent one and take it on a couple of trips. Find out if you like Arizona State Park or campground settings. If you want to try something a little different check out HipCamp.com and stay on private property where you can enjoy unique experiences.
Sponsored by: La Mesa RV
Since 1972, La Mesa RV has been helping families "Experience Life". Whether you are beginning your journey of discovery if an RV is right for you or you are someone that has owned many RVs over the years, La Mesa RV is ready to help guide you to the next travel trailer, 5th wheel or motorhome that is right for you. With over 2,600 RVs in stock across four states and 10 stores, plus service facilities designed to specifically handle today's larger, more complex RVs, La Mesa RV is committed to making you feel a part of a larger family.
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