RV for Sale: Which RV Type is Right for You?

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From teardrop trailers to toy haulers, the list of design options to consider when purchasing an RV is a long one. When looking at an RV for sale, it is important to get an understanding of the different classes, so you can choose from among the many different types of new and used campers​.

RVs are either towable or motorized (self-propelled) and can be grouped according to class.

 

“ Class A ”

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These are motorhomes from 29 to 45 feet long and appear similar to a bus from the outside. They are spacious and are constructed on a chassis designed for motorhomes. They typically sleep six passengers.

Benefits:

• The size and the ease of moving around inside. 
• A range of amenities, including central heating and air.
• Handles well on the road and learning to drive one is relatively easy. 

Drawbacks:

• A second vehicle is essential for shopping and other errands while      camping. 
• Requires a large storage space when it is not being used.

 

“ Class B ”

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These can have features similar to Class As like kitchens and bathrooms, but are more compact. If you own a van, then you will find the experience of driving a Class B very similar. They are usually between five and 20-feet-long and sleep four.

Benefits:

• Small enough to be used like a car.
• Easy to park.
• Better fuel mileage.
• A range of amenities available including electrical and water hookups. 

Drawbacks:

• Too small for large groups to live in for extended periods.

 

“ Class C “

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These are built on the chassis of a commercial van and are sometimes called “mini motorhomes. The lengths usually range from 30 to 33 feet. They have a distinctive look due to the extra bed that hangs over the cab. 

Benefits:

• Many of the same amenities as Class A motorhomes like toilets and electrical/water hookups but at a lower price.
• Considered a safer motorized RV than Class A.

Drawbacks:

• Larger models may be difficult to park; a second vehicle may also be necessary for short-distance errands.
• May not be large enough to meet some campers’ need for space.

 

“ Conventional Trailers “

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These are the most common type of RV and are designed to be towed behind another vehicle. There are multiple sizes, and they come with amenities similar to those found in Class A motorhomes. The amenities include bay windows, storage bays for bikes and other vehicles.

Benefits:

• The tow vehicle can be used for short-distance errands. 
• A lower roof, which makes top storage easier, with no worries about clearance.

Drawbacks:

• Difficult to maneuver on the road compared to other RV types. 
• Less space than other RV types. 
• Complete separation of living quarters and towing vehicle, so no access while moving.

 

“ Fifth-Wheel Trailers “

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Due to the design of these trailers, they can only be towed by flatbed or pickup trucks since the hitch is located in the center of the truck bed.

Benefits:

• Easier to tow and maneuver than conventional travel trailers. 
• More room than Class A motorhomes because they do not have engines.
• Relatively affordable.
• Roomier than other RV types as they often have high ceilings and slide-outs.

Drawbacks:

• Takes more skill to maneuver than Class A motorhomes.

Finding an RV for sale that suits most budgets and size requirements is easier than you might think, even if you’re in the market for used campers. There are many factors to consider, however, and it is important that you do some research beforehand and weigh the options carefully.

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Winnebago for Sale: Yesterday and Today

header.jpg​Only one year after the release of the Model T Ford in 1908, the first motorhomes began appearing on American roads. In their time, these primitive houses on wheels were widely considered state-of-the-art because they were loaded with an array of features that aided in transporting families both short and long distances in relative comfort. As time progressed, motorhome manufacturing evolved from an ad hoc industry full of homemade contraptions into a cohesive and thriving industry comprised of sleek body styles and luxurious interiors. During the 1960s and 70s, the term motorhome was synonymous with one company—Winnebago. During the formative years of the recreational vehicle industry, Winnebago was on the front lines, and the company continues to be an industry trailblazer to this day.
Timeline of Winnebago Features

Named after the company, the first motorhome built by the Iowan company was released in 1966. Prior to this, the company primarily built trailers, and its existing infrastructure helped them become pioneers in the recreational vehicle market. While its competitors came and went, Winnebago was able to utilize its efficient production lines to offer volume pricing discounts, which allowed the industry pioneer to offer quality motorhomes at prices considerably lower than their competition. It was clear from the outset that Winnebago thrived on innovations such as the unique over-the-cab upper bunk and foam-insulated body panels. The company experienced huge sales volume in the early 1970s, making it a household name in the motorhome industry.

Modern Winnebago Design

floot plan.jpgWinnebago weathered the storm of economic uncertainty and the fuel crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s to emerge as the definite leader of the recreational vehicle and motorhome industry. During its early years, Winnebago designed limited models that provided much improved function. Today, there are nearly a dozen Winnebago styles, and among other things, the company has focused its creative tendencies on innovative interiors.

The first Winnebago models, some of which can still be seen cruising the roads today, featured basic kitchens, baths, dining and sleeping facilities. The models of today are specifically designed to take advantage of every square inch of possible space incorporating all of the luxuries found in modern homes. For example, the most popular model of Winnebago for sale has a large shower and bathroom amenities you could expect to find in a nice condominium. The newer Winnebago camper trailers for sale feature reclining leather sectionals that can turn into full-size beds with a single press of a button. Furthermore, most of the interior furniture is extendable, so couples or smaller families can fold away unneeded furniture for increased space. In addition, modern Winnebagos for sale have retractable sides for added living space.

Winnebago has been a leader in the motorhome industry from the very beginning. With distinct manufacturing advantages and world-class designers, Winnebago was able to make cutting-edge motorhomes that were more affordable than the offerings of its competition, making its motorhomes attainable by a large percentage of the population. Despite the economic changes that have taken place over the years, Winnebago‘s continued focus on combining luxurious amenities at an affordable price has made the company one of the most popular motorhome brands on the market. Today, anyone in search of motorhomes or camper trailers for sale look to Winnebago to provide them with a quality, feature-packed recreational vehicle that they can afford.

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Look For Hidden Costs if Buying a Used RV

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​There is much more than the price tag to consider when making the decision to buy a used RV. There are a slew of hidden costs that the average person may not have even entertained. Aside from the cost of maintenance, a person should consider these things before visiting a used RV dealer.

  1. Maintenance costs should be planned for in accordance with the size of the unit. Larger RVs may require more funding to be set aside for routine repairs that must be made. Keeping the unit stocked with propane costs $5 per day when in use. To run the air conditioner, one can pay $15 per day. While on the road, the cost for WiFi assistance can be $5 per day depending on the campground. Adding satellite Internet to the unit can cost as much as $75 per month. Mail forwarding can cost up to $12 per night. Routine maintenance can cost as much as $200 per month to properly maintain the vehicle.
  2. Owning an RV translates into higher insurance premiums. The insurance costs for the RV is around $200 to $2,000 per year. Factors like how much mileage is accrued in a year’s time can really impact the cost of the premium. Whether the person elects to have full coverage when he or she chooses to buy a used RV will have an impact on insurance costs, and the model of the vehicle will also play a role. Larger luxury models cost more to insure than the smaller units.th
  3. Fuel cost is something else to consider. For individuals traveling long distances, the gas mileage can be as low as 18 miles per gallon, depending on the size of the unit. One can plan for the gas mileage to be anywhere between 8 and 20 miles per gallon.
  4. Towing costs may be higher for the RV for several reasons. This is because a unit can exceed 3,500 pounds. Not only will special equipment be required in order to tow the vehicle without causing damage to it, it will also cost more in resources for the vehicle to be towed.
  5. Meal preparation can also increase the cost of owning an RV. The small kitchenette and limited storage space may make it difficult for people with larger families. Due to the small appliances that normally come with the  ehicle, a person may be required to rely on food from fast food restaurants and convenience stores while traveling. Families who cannot make the small kitchenette system work will spend more on food while camping.
  6. th (2)Upgrades can also contribute to the cost of ownership for an RV. If a person decides to make a major upgrade, interior design and other labor costs can quickly drive up the budget. Smaller upgrades like replacing a fridge or stove are much more manageable. Some people take a gradual approach when it comes to upgrading their RV, breaking the upgrade project into much smaller sections.

When in the market for purchasing an RV, one should consider the cost of ownership before stopping by a used RV dealer. Buying a different model or smaller RV can dramatically lower the cost of ownership for the average person.

Consider Extra Costs When Buying a Used RV

There is a mystique to owning and operating an RV—travelling the open road, living in different places and enjoying an adventurous lifestyle, but before you rush right out to the RV dealer consider all the costs of buying that new or used RV.

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Knowing what you can afford before you start shopping will help you choose the right RV. Once you decide on the size, type, style and model, shop at different dealerships to see what is available. Studying the blue book for resale prices will also help you to get the best deal when you buy a used RV.

In addition to the price on the sticker, buying a used RV can involve extra costs including dealer add-ons, maintenance and repairs, and operating costs.

Additional Costs

Some contracts contain costs that seem hidden until it comes time to sign the papers. These costs vary from unit to unit and from state to state, so be sure to ask the salesperson about these items directly.
• Dealer handling involves the dealer’s cost of transporting the RV from the vendor or storage property to the sales lot.
• Dealer preparation is the cost of cleaning, ensuring essential fluids and fuel are in the RV to ensure it is ready to use. This may or may not be negotiable at a used RV dealer.
• Freight destination charge is the amount of money the dealer must pay for delivery from the manufacturer to the sales lot.

Costs such as sales taxes, preparation and others may also vary depending on the type of RV itself.

Maintenance and Repairs

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Every RV needs repairs from time to time. Items that wear out or break will depend on the age of the RV, the type of use i.e. weekend camping vs. permanent residence, the type of terrain it is being taken over and more. It is best to set up a budget for maintenance and repairs. Figure at least one percent or more of the new purchase price. Over time, you can adjust this figure as needed.

 

 
Operating Costs

operating1.jpgThere are costs involved in owning a car, boat or house. The same is true for owning an RV. You should consider the following as operating costs for your RV:
• Warranty offered by the RV dealer.
• Fuel for the engine and/or generator
• Propane for cooking and heating water
• RV park costs, which may or may not include utilities
• Cost of dump sites to empty waste tanks
• Auxiliary items such as a sewer kit, water hose, a water pressure regulator, surge protector, power line and more.
• RV leveling blocks and stabilizer pads
• Towing or a tow vehicle. RV owners can hire professionals to move the RV from park to park; owners who use the RV as a primary residence will use this type of service most.

 

Past The Sticker Price: Additional Costs of Owning a Used RV

Image​Many people would rather camp in an RV than pay for a hotel room. Destinations around the country have campgrounds that allow those with an RV to hook up and stay a few days. Some of these campgrounds have great amenities like pools, fishing ponds and even beaches, therefore, the idea of getting an RV is very tempting for some families and retirees. While an RV can lead to lots of fun, the sticker price RV dealers advertise is not necessarily the price that people will pay for a new RV. Some would-be buyers should look into buying a used RV to save money.

New RVs are subject to some fees that are usually non-negotiable. One is the destination fee. Dealers around the country will charge this fee based on the length of the trip from the factory to the RV dealer​. Because many RVs are constructed in the Midwest, this cost can be quite high for vehicles that wind up in Texas, Utah or California. At times, the destination fee can run into the thousands. Another fee that most people might not expect is a dealer prep fee. This fee is related to the dealer getting an RV ready for sale. Of course, it can definitely be argued that an RV fresh from the factory should need little in the way of preparation. Those who choose to buy a used RV can avoid some of these additional costs.

Dealer costs like the destination freight charge or the dealer prep fee are not the only unexpected expenses that those who join the ranks of RV owners can expect. There is definitely going to be the cost of getting the RV from one’s home to the campground. With the high cost of gas, this expense can get high quite quickly because RVs do not get good gas mileage, and cross-country trips seem to be quite popular. 

Another cost that some people might not consider is the cost of parking an RV while it is not in use. Many subdivisions do not have the ability to handle RV parking, and some will not permit it at all. Therefore, most RV owners must find another lot on which to park their vehicle. The use of a lot will be another monthly expense that many people will not expect. RVs also require maintenance like new tires and oil changes, and these will cost additional money.

As with all other vehicles, RV owners will need to insure their investment. An RV insurance policy will protect owners against damage to the RV. It will also protect against liability should the RV cause an injury on the road or while parked. Of course, the premium for an RV policy will vary based on a number of factors like the driving record of the owner and the deductible chosen, but it is a cost that will be necessary. 

Like other vehicles, RVs depreciate over time. A drive unit will be much like an ordinary car or truck and start to depreciate the minute the new owner drives it off the lot. Buying a used RV can keep a prospective owner from having to bear the brunt of this depreciation expense. 
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Before visiting an RV dealer, prospective owners need to know the total cost. Much of the cost will not show up on the price tag. Therefore, owners need to be well prepared.

Illinois’ Missippi River Valley Gem: Galena

Illinois’ Missippi River Valley Gem: Galena Boasts Scenic Vineyards and Plenty of Historic Charm

 

 

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Powered by lead mines, Galena, Ill. was once a boomtown, the busiest Mississippi River port between St. Louis, Mo. and St. Paul, Minn. By the late 1850s, the northwestern Illinois town boasted a population of 14,000. In 1860, Ulysses S. Grant made Galena his home, moving there to work in the leather goods store owned by his father. But then severe erosion and siltation closed the Galena River to shipping, the Civil War broke out and Galena began its reluctant decline.

Galena never regained its industrial impact, but has since found salvation in a Main Street lined with boutique shops, art galleries and gourmet food stores. These treasures are housed in the restored pre- Civil War buildings the town was once too poor to tear down. Tourism is now Galena’s chief commodity, one aided by a burgeoning wine industry and the recent resurrection of the town’s beer brewing roots.

It was the many opportunities to swirl, smell, sip and savor that first drew us to Galena, but upon arrival it was impossible to ignore the wealth of history and architectural treasures contained in this small riverside town.

The hard-surfacing of U.S. Highway 20 (originally named U.S. Grant Highway) in the mid 1920s made Galena accessible to visitors, and it’s still a main road for more than 1 million tourists who travel to Galena each year. We made our temporary home at Palace Campgrounds, a 50-acre wooded campground set back off Highway 20, just two miles northwest of downtown. Founded in 1848, Palace is the oldest campground in Illinois but it’s been continually updated to offer plenty of modern comforts. Reservations are recommended to snag one of 74 RV sites — 22 with full hookups — and Palace can accommodate big rigs up to 45 feet in length. A heated swimming pool, 18-hole mini-golf course and playground with basketball court add to the fun. Palace also offers a dump station and coin laundry facilities, and is a stone’s throw from Wal-mart.

Taste and See

Latin for lead sulfide, Galena was once part of a region producing more than 80 percent of the nation’s lead. The early 1800s brought another type of production to the town, this one in liquid form. With nine breweries, Galena quickly became a prominent brewing town until Prohibition did its work and left just one brewery in its wake. Galena Brewing Company closed its doors in 1938 but its spirit — and name — lives on.

When Warren and Kathy Bell decided to open their own downtown brewery on Main Street they chose to pay homage by giving it the same name as the last brewery in Galena. The reincarnated Galena Brewing Company celebrated its second anniversary earlier this summer, and its beers are already winning World Beer Cup awards.

Warren spoke of Miner’s Treasure (an amber ale) and Uly’s Dark (an oatmeal stout) with affection as he gave a tour of the brewery, which boasts six flagship beers and an additional seasonal offering (an Oktoberfest brew is coming). Grain, hops, water and yeast are the only ingredients, and the brewery doesn’t pasteurize or filter its beers, a move that helps give these small batches their big flavor. Tours are offered every day for $5, a cost that includes your choice of a 16-ounce beer; the Uptown Brown and Fever River ales get two thumbs up. Don’t forget to try something off this brew pub’s full menu. We loved the goat cheese puffs and delectable stuffed mushrooms.

The next two days brought the tasting of more than 30 locally produced wines as we wound our way through the rolling hills of the Mississippi River valley, uncovering an unexpectedly scenic landscape along the way.

Put Your Sense to Work

Get the most out of your wine tasting tour with these simple steps:

Look: Wine isn’t just red or white. Maybe it’s ruby or maroon, golden or clear. Is it transparent, cloudy or opaque?
Smell: Stick your nose into the glass and inhale deeply. Do you smell oak, berry, citrus, vanilla or floral notes? Gently swirl the wine and sniff again.
Taste: Start with a sip, letting the wine roll around your tongue. Take in a wisp of air through your lips, letting it mingle with the wine to bring out the full flavors.

– Laura Michaels

Singin’ in the Rain…Forest

Singin’ in the Rain…Forest

By Laura Michaels

 SET OFF ON AN ADVENTURE IN WASHINGTON’S HOH RAIN FOREST

An olive green carpet of stair-step moss blankets the forest floor, creeps up tree trunks and weaves among the sword and lady ferns.

The leaves of Sitka spruce and Western hemlock trees reach out to one another, creating a lush canopy 200 feet above. Bobcats and Roosevelt elk roam between the layers.

This is the Hoh Rain Forest. Stretching along the western edge of Washington state’s Olympic National Park, Hoh is among the finest temperate rain forests in the world.

Washington's Hoh Rain Forest_Photo Courtesy of National Park Service
Here, the yearly rainfall total ranges from 140 to 170 inches (12 to 14 feet) and many of the trees are approaching their 300th birthday. Two nature trails—Hall of Mosses Trail and Spruce Nature Trail—loop through the rain forest near the visitor center. Elsewhere the Hoh River trail leads hikers 17 miles to Glacier meadows, hugging Mount Olympus. The park’s 88-site campground is open year-round and offers potable water and a dump station. For more information, call 800-833-6388 or visit http://www.nps.gov/olym.