(Family Features) If you’re looking for a way to get away without the hassle of planes, hotels and an exorbitant travel budget, a recreation vehicle may be just the answer.
Whether you're traveling with family, your significant other or several generations of family and friends, these tips from world-renowned auto travel expert Alan Taylor can get you on your way to an unforgettable RV vacation adventure.
- Put style first. The first step to planning an RV getaway is deciding what works best for you: a motorhome or trailer. Motorhomes are built on a motorized chassis and are designed as temporary living quarters for camping, travel or seasonal use. Towable RVs or trailer RVs are towed by another vehicle to be moved from place to place. Many are designed to be lightweight, so even family vehicles like minivans or SUVs can tow them.
- Take time to plan ahead. Beyond the type of RV you need, think about how you’ll use it to understand what features you’ll want. What types of trips will you take? Who will be traveling with you? What's your budget? There are hundreds of models, so how you answer these questions will guide your purchase.
- Try it before you buy it. There’s no better way to try before you buy than by renting an RV. Many people rent RVs simply for a change of pace by taking a trip to a special event or destination. You can rent near home and journey to your final destination or fly and pick up your RV at the other end. More than 460 national chain outlets and local RV dealerships rent RVs, including state-of-the-art, late-model-year units. A growing number of campgrounds offer on-site RV rentals, as well.
Most RV rental companies offer housekeeping packages (dishes, pots, pans, bed linens, etc.) for a fee, or you can bring your own. Even if you’re driving or towing an RV for the first time, features like automatic transmissions, power steering, large external mirrors and rearview cameras make it easy for inexperienced drivers to adjust to the difference in size, height and weight.
- Do your research. You’ll find plenty of information online, but another source of knowledge is any person who owns an RV or regularly rents one. One way to get the scoop and gather tips from experienced owners is to stay at a local campground and talk to your neighbors about their RVs. Ask questions about the space, key features, expenses, tricks they’ve learned and so on. Also be sure to ask about any problems they’ve encountered or any decisions they’d make differently if they could.
- Get practical. Unless you’re planning to make RVing a way of life, when the vacation is over and the real world beckons, you’ll have to do something with the RV. Before you buy, be sure you have plans for storage, be it a campground, in your garage or at a storage facility. Learn what’s involved in safely storing your investment while it’s not in use and take those needs into account when considering what type of RV you’d like to own.
As you work your way through the preparations, visit GoRVing.com to learn more about the different types of RVs, get ideas about what to do and find a wealth of information, including dealers near you, as well as campgrounds, manufacturers and rental companies.