News & Information

Thursday - September 20, 2018 8:33 pm     Article Hits:10     A+ | a- 0
By Blog Contributor
Steve Froese

In this article, I will help provide some insight into how to determine the value of your RV when it comes time to sell. Many RV owners struggle with this calculation, resulting in either not getting enough for their coach or a delayed or lack of sale due to asking too much.
There are several ways to determine the fair market value (FMV) for your RV, and I recommend a combination of these.
  • National Vehicle – if you choose to sell your RV through National Vehicle, you can be assured of peace of mind. National Vehicle representatives will make sure you get the best possible value for your unit. They even take care of advertising the RV on the most popular websites and will continue to advertise your rig until it’s sold. Using this service alleviates most of the work for the individual seller, but it is still important to determine YOUR target selling price range using the other suggestions below. This allows National Vehicle to better understand your preferred range. They may suggest higher pricing at the beginning of the process, or lower pricing if the unit proves difficult to sell. National Vehicle has a tremendous track record for selling private RVs. [insert contact information here]
  • NADA Guides (http://www.nadaguides.com/RVs) – National Appraisal Guides, Inc. is the largest publisher of vehicle pricing information for new and used vehicles.[1] This website provides a great tool for valuing your RV. The website provides fairly accurate vehicle values based on base configuration and installed options. Therefore, it is important to know exactly which features your RV has. For instance, what size is your furnace and Air Conditioner, how many AC units do you have, what size awning your unit has, etc? This website also accounts for regional pricing differences. Once you provide the options for your vehicle, the website will generate a screen report showing suggested list price, low retail, and average retail for both the base configuration as well as with options included. This is a very good starting point, although you should not price your RV based on this alone
  • Trade magazines – peruse national and local versions of magazines and websites such as Craigslist, eBay Motors, and RV Trader, to name just a few. This is most useful if you can locate more than one RV of the identical year and model as the one you are trying to sell, although often you can also get an idea of market value with similar years and models. Note that one of the largest price differentiators will be diesel units, which sell for significantly more than gas ones (refer to my previous article on RV types).
  • RV Dealerships – research used vehicle pricing of local and national RV dealerships by searching their websites for pricing. Ideally, locate a dealer that is a distributor for the particular RV manufacturer you are selling. The dealer will often have used vehicles of similar years and models with descriptions.
I have bought and sold many RVs privately and using these simple guidelines has allowed me to maintain a reasonable FMV in my purchasing and selling.
 
[1]a According to NADA -  http://www.nadaguides.com/Company-Overview
Sunday - September 16, 2018 10:21 am     Article Hits:53     A+ | a- 0
Thinking of purchasing an RV or travel trailer? Here are the questions you should be asking.
Thinking of purchasing an RV or travel trailer? Here are the questions you should be asking.
Every “big money” decision needs some thinking time before the big purchase. RVs can run many thousands of dollars no matter what make and model. Your decision to buy your first RV is a happy one but also needs to be practical, economical and smart for your use of your RV.
 
Here are questions to ask yourself and the seller:
  • Gas mileage for the RV
  • How many pounds recommended in towing
  • Water both gray and black – how many gallons
  • If used, do you have the manuals, is it a non-smoking, were the animals allowed inside 
Storage is so important:
  • How much inside storage is there
  • How undercarriage much storage and what can it hold
  • How many cabinets in the interior and what can they hold
Food, entertainment, and cooking:
  • Depending on the size of your family, you need a good refrigerator
  • What sections in the frig are for food and for the freezer
  • Is there hook up for TV and entertainment center
  • Don’t forget to ask about the awning – relaxing outside you will LOVE having an awning 
Outside options:
  • Many RVs now have outside grills – a terrific option when it is too hot to cook inside
  • Showers to clean off before going inside
  • Slides can take up room, so see how they work for where you are using your RV
 Bathroom and Shower:
  • How many gallons for black water do you have for the toilet
  • How many gallons and how heated for the shower?
  • Some bathrooms are tiny, make sure you fit inside especially if you need to close the door 
More questions:
  • How many can the RV sleep?
  • Are there any leaks or have there been leaks
  • Age of the tires
  • If class C or A, how are the engines and generators – how many hours on the generator
Very important for the simplicity of the RV is the electrical system. How is the wiring and are all the lights working? Keep your manuals with you at all times – they are filled with 3:00 am in the morning information. 
 
The most important questions are what you want the RV to do for you? There is a big difference among your choices depending on the number of people who will be going with you; the distances you will travel; the availability of emptying the systems and the comfort of the passengers.
 
The research is critical so you know exactly what will serve you well. RVing is terrific fun, especially when you are planned, packed and positive.
 
Happy RVing. Remember this is supposed to be fun. People who have taken to “RVing” never look back. The friendships you make and the stories of your experiences are remarkable. Be safe. Have Fun. 


By - Natalie R. Manor is the co-author of 5 books, a blogger 
www.NatalieManor.com an executive business coach, a keynote speaker, a new gramma and in her third year of researching which RV she is going to buy to see the good ole’ USA.
 
Thursday - September 6, 2018 9:44 pm     Article Hits:209     A+ | a- 0
Gas versus Diesel - which is the better option for your RV
Gas versus Diesel - which is the better option for your RV
by Steve Froese
Blog Contributor

One of the questions I am often asked is “Should I buy a gas or diesel RV?” In this article, I will list some of the differences between gas and diesel-powered motorhomes to offer some guidance on which type to choose.

The primary distinction between gas and diesel is the price difference, which can be significant. Therefore, it is important to be able to justify this and work within your budget. If you plan on purchasing a Class B motorhome (refer to my previous article about types of RVs), I highly recommend buying one on a Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter chassis and not consider a gas model. Sprinter van chassis are reliable and boast both a Mercedes engine and transmission. Most Class B manufacturers offer Sprinter options, and many no longer offer gas models.

In terms of motorhomes in general, following are some things to consider when comparing gas to diesel:
  • Mileage – diesel motorhomes are better on fuel than their gas counterparts. This is due mainly to diesel engines having higher torque and better efficiency than gas engines. This results in more energy getting to the wheels with diesel.
     
  • Service & Maintenance – this one is a double-edged sword. While a diesel engine and chassis are generally more reliable than gas, the cost to repair is also higher. However, with a Class A or C diesel chassis, you have better access to repair facilities, since these vehicles are generally serviced by heavy truck dealerships. These facilities tend to be open either 24 hours or very late at night. This brings peace of mind should you require service late at night or on weekends. Heavy truck and engine service dealer networks throughout North America are generally equipped to handle RV repair work. As mentioned, the labor rate and parts pricing are higher, but dealerships often have the parts in stock, or they are generally able to source them quickly. Should you encounter a mechanical breakdown with a diesel RV, you are likely to be closer to a repair facility that can help you, and you should be back on the road faster. In my opinion, this is worth the extra dollars spent.
     
  • Suitability to task – many Class A and C gasoline coach chassis are under-equipped for the task at hand. In other words, the coaches are often overly heavy for the chassis and engine design, leaving the unit under-powered and with very little extra weight capacity for cargo and towing. Conversely, diesel chassis and engines are designed and built to handle the demands of the coach built on them. The frame rails are heavy-duty, and the engines have plenty of power for pulling up hills. The frame design also allows for plenty of basement storage.
There are other comparison factors as well, such as coach grade, which means diesel coaches tend to have higher grade furnishings and workmanship than gas ones (for instance the use of real vs. faux wood). Also, the presence of air brakes and suspension on diesel coaches.

In summary, if you plan on purchasing a motorhome and intend to keep it for a long time, consider spending the extra money on a diesel coach, as you will save money on fuel and the coach is likely to last longer than a gas model. Under these circumstances, the extra outlay to purchase a diesel coach generally results in a positive Return-on-Investment (ROI). If you are new to the motorized RV market, I suggest starting with a gas unit and working your way up to a diesel, unless you can make the financial investment at the outset. I realize that gas motorhomes work just fine for many people, and by considering the points above, hopefully, you will have a better idea of what works best for you. Budget and floorplan are generally the most important factors when purchasing a new RV, but diesel vs. gas should be high on your list of considerations. 
Thursday - August 30, 2018 7:51 pm     Article Hits:281     A+ | a- 0
Full-Time RV Living Essentials
Full-Time RV Living Essentials
by Ashlee Zotter
Full-Time RVer
Blog Contributor

In becoming an RV owner, there are certain essentials that are more obvious than others; your sewer hose, electric cord, bedding, and toiletries. But some things you don't think of until you realize you need them, and maybe couldn't even really live without! Whether you're a weekend traveler or you live in your rig full-time, we've created a list of 6 things you'll want to consider having on hand.
 
1. Dehumidifier
This is important whether you're going on a short trip, for the long-haul or even storing your camper for the season. A dehumidifier keeps you from getting mold on your windows, mattresses, inside your walls, etc. There's nothing quite like waking up with a headache to find mold spots covering your windows, or finding that you've got a driving petri dish of black mold in your walls. A plug-in dehumidifier will require electricity. But if you plan to do more dry camping or plan to store your RV away for a bit, a bucket of Damp-rid should do the trick.
 
2. Pressure Cooker and/or Outdoor Grill
Using your oven or stove takes propane and heats up your interior, which can be less than desirable in the summer. A pressure cooker like the Instant Pot can cook virtually any meal in a fraction of the time without heating the camper or using propane. That's a game changer when you're traveling with potentially limited resources, limited refrigerator space and/or limited time. A grill, on the other hand, allows you to take your cooking, smells, grease, etc. outside, where a lot of people tend to prefer being so long as weather permits.
 
3. Dishes - Paper or plastic?
Ceramic, glass and other dishes of the like are not always going to handle bumps or stops well. They're also heavier, adding weight to your tow, push or pull. Disposable paper and plastic can be a good go-to for weekend trips. But some people prefer something that produces less waste and might be interested in reusable hard plastic dishes. They're light, cheap, won't break and you can hand wash them and reuse them as many times as you want. Collapsible plastic containers, strainers, measuring cups, etc. are worth having for space saving and easy use, too.
 
4. Wifi Booster
If you're going to be working from the road, or are simply someone who needs their internet, not only will having a hotspot be important but so will having a wifi booster. A hotspot is generally when you use your internet signal from your cell phone to use your computer, Smart TV, etc. Not all cell phone plans include this service so check with your provider to see what they can do for you. Depending on where you are you may have an iffy signal. A wifi booster is a device that boosts your wifi signal so that you can actually use your internet or watch your favorite Netflix shows without buffering.
 
5. Generator
Some driving RV's come with an onboard generator. This is amazing. Say you're driving all day and realize you won't make it to your destination before dark, or you're simply someone who prefers camping on public land to avoid the costs of being in a park with a bunch of other people. You can pull over and have power without ever having to hook-up or even get out of your camper. Other rigs don't come with a generator, generally speaking of fifth wheels and bumper-pulls. If you like to dry camp or simply don't want to be caught in a precarious situation without electricity, consider a generator.
 
6. Washer/dryer
Many RV's have a washer/dryer connection. Some are big enough that folks can stack a washer and a dryer in a closet or toy hauler. But for the smaller rigs or minimalists out there, they also make a small washer/dryer in one. There are also small load hand/foot washers that can be used outside of the camper. You can then choose to hang dry your clothes on a line inside, or outside of your camper. If you don't plan to be in your RV for long periods of time or mind the extra expense of using community washers, consider having quarters on hand for laundromats.
 
This list isn't essential for everyone in every situation. Before you hit the road on a short trip or long-term, sit down and consider what kinds of things are essential for you and your adventure. Happy travels! 
Friday - August 24, 2018 9:36 am     Article Hits:338     A+ | a- 0
You did it. You are all packed in your Class C and are delighted with how it handled on the road. Now you settling down for your first night on the road. Both of you, the kids are with Gramma, are still speaking to each other. And this spot you picked to park by the creek is gorgeous - you can hear the creek and the cold beers from the frig taste yummy.

One hour of relaxing under the new awning and you realize you are totally exhausted. Time for jammies and testing the toilet, towels, water, and the rest of the “good night” stuff you need. The RV is a little crowded with all the “things” you just could not leave behind, but it works. After a few kisses and big congratulatory sleepy smiles, you rest your weary heads.
 
“What was that noise?” - sitting up in bed at the same time. The sound is coming from the roof and it sounds like a scratchy, sliding thing.  You have never heard that sound before…never.
 
The noise does not go away. It gets louder. Neither of you moves.  
 
So you have your knife next to the bed. You have the 4 lb flashlight. You figure you can strangle whatever the noise is with your bathrobe tie. 
 
The noise gets louder and your night light goes out. The creek outside sounds like a thundering waterfall along with your heartbeats. Both of you have to go to the bathroom, but neither of you moves.
 
“What are we going to do?”  
 
You sit tense and scared for what seems like hours. The noise does not go away – sometimes it stops for a couple of minutes only to start up again.  
 
Finally, you see the first rays of the morning sun. And you hear…
 
“Here kitty, kitty.  Now that’s where you are. You come down from there and bring that dead mouse with you”. 
 
Racing for the bathroom, you make a pack that the next time you are out, you will bring your machete, a new night light and check to see if you are parked next to people with cats. 
 
Happy RVing – it is never a dull moment unless of course, you are napping in a perfect spot by a perfect creek with the perfect RV.  Be safe and have fun.    
 
By - Natalie R. Manor is the co-author of 5 books, a blogger www.NatalieManor.com an executive business coach, a keynote speaker, a new gramma and in her third year of researching which RV she is going to buy to see the good ole’ USA.  
Friday - August 17, 2018 3:57 pm     Article Hits:521     A+ | a- 0
RV Options
RV Options
by Steve Froese
Blog Contributor

Which RV is Right for You?

So, you’ve been bitten by the RV bug and decide to plunge into the RV lifestyle! Now you must choose which type of RV to buy. I will introduce the kinds of RVs and provide some guidance as to which one might be best for you.

There are three categories of RV, these being motorized, towable, and slide-in. The latter category simply refers to truck campers. Among the motorized RVs are Class A, Class B, and Class C.
 

Class A

Class B

Class C
Motorized units are the most expensive of any RV, so the first consideration when purchasing an RV should always be your budget. Motorized units are available in gas or diesel, with diesel units being significantly higher priced than gas RVs.
Motorized units allow you to ride in comfort and enjoy the vehicle spaciousness while you are driving. The main disadvantage of motorized units is that once you make camp, you don’t have a commuter vehicle in which to get around (with the possible exception of Class B). Many owners of larger motorhomes tow a smaller vehicle.

Motorhomes sleep anywhere from two to ten people and range in size from about 20’ to 45’, with Class C usually allowing for the highest sleeping capacity. Class B units are wonderful for two people, with the added benefit of being able to easily double as a commuter vehicle. If you can afford it, and really want to travel in style, consider a motorhome.
Towable units are categorized as fifth-wheels, travel trailers, and pop-ups.

 

5th Wheel

Travel Trailer

Pop-up
 
Towable units are less expensive than motorized ones, but you may have to purchase or upgrade your tow vehicle to accommodate the trailer. The advantage of a towable is that after you set up camp, you have a vehicle to drive around, but you don’t get to enjoy the trailer while you’re driving.

Pop-up trailers, commonly called tent trailers, are a wonderful solution for families on a tighter budget, as are truck campers. Both are a great starting point to the RV lifestyle, while not breaking the bank.
To summarize the pros and cons of each type, I have compiled a table of main points. Note that all RV types, except for pop-ups and slide-ins, offer a wide variety of floor plans.

 
Type Pros Cons
Class A Comfortable ride
Spacious while driving
Open floor plans
Great for road trips
High price
Nothing to drive once set up for camp
Can have limited sleeping capacity
Intimidating to drive for some
Class B Easy to drive & park High price
Limited space and sleeping capacity
Can lack storage
Recommend only for a single person or couples who can handle cramped spaces
Class C Smaller ones easy to drive
Large sleeping capacity
Nothing to drive once set up for camp
Can lack storage
Fifth-wheel Open floor plans
Tow vehicle for commuting
Can be intimidating to tow
Need for appropriate tow vehicle
Can’t enjoy while driving
Travel trailer Can be very lightweight to tow
Can be inexpensive
Large sleeping capacity
Need for appropriate tow vehicle
Can’t enjoy while driving
Can lack storage
Pop-up Inexpensive
Lightweight
Easy to tow
Compact
Usually lacks bathroom
Limited kitchen
cramped quarters
Lack of storage
Slide-in Inexpensive
Easy to drive
Need for adequate truck
Cramped quarters
 
As a final point, some RV owners have other reasons for choosing motorized vs. towable units. Once you enter the RV lifestyle, you may decide to switch between RV types. Be sure to view lots of RVs to evaluate which floorplan and type works best for you. Consider renting before you buy. This is an affordable option that will provide great insight!