Monday, May 12, 2008

RV 101: Sure, they're big, but you can do it

HOLMDEL, N.J.—If you've never vacationed in a recreational vehicle, your first reaction might be "I can't afford to rent an RV" or "They're too large to maneuver."

Or maybe even "I don't want to end up like Robin Williams," who not only had trouble driving one in the movie "RV," but also had a run-in with the septic tank.

But RV dealers and rental companies are not going to hand you the keys without some preparation. I rented an RV for the first time last summer, and I didn't head out on vacation not knowing what I was doing. A tutorial before you drive the RV off the lot is the norm.
And while gas prices have made it more expensive to take road trips in any kind of vehicle, RVs do come in many different models and sizes - from truck campers and towable trailers to motor homes and even sport utility RVs. There's one for every budget and family type. Winnebago Industries Inc., the largest maker of motor homes, unveiled a 2009 ERA (a class-B motor home model) that gets 22 miles per gallon, while the largest motor homes get about eight miles per gallon, according to industry data.

Courtney Robey, public relations manager for the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, says RVs can also be a good deal for families. Despite gas costs, "a family of four can travel much more cheaply in an RV than by flying, where you'd have to buy four tickets. And you're not going to be eating out at restaurants three times a day. You're going to be cooking in the RV.

You also don't have to pay for a hotel room. So a family can save money in the long run."
Full Story...
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