RV ABCs: Class B Motorhome

Purchasing or renting an RV is a big decision, and it’s important that you fully understand the different types of classes of RVs. Last week, we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of Class A motorhomes. Maybe this was the type of RV for you, maybe it wasn’t! But as I’ve said before, there are so many types of RVs to choose from, and it’s important that you pick the one that is best suited for your lifestyle.

To recap, Class A motorhomes are the home-away-from-home, luxurious and large vehicles with top-of-the-line amenities. The major downfall though is the terrible fuel economy. Click here to read more about Class A motorhomes.

Today, let’s switch gears from the largest of the classes to the smallest. Class B RVs use a cargo ban as their base.  Storing these vehicles is much easier than a Class A and the difference in gas mileage is staggering. Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of this class.

Class B Motorhomes 

2008 Gulf Stream BT Cruiser

Advantages:

  • Many Class B RVs will fit right into a standard garage.
  • They make a great second family vehicle and the mileage will be quite a bit better than with Class A and Class C motorhomes.
  • Parking won’t be much of an issue since the typical Class B RV can fit into a mall parking spot.

Disadvantages:

  • You can forget the master bedroom. Most will have sleeping quarters provided by dropping a table or folding a couch. With the planned occupancy being comfortable for 2, even the ones that claim to sleep 4 will be cramped.
  • Many Class B RVs have such small interiors that if you turn around real fast, you’ll bump into yourself.
  • Everything is small in a Class B RV. Space is limited, so things like bathrooms and showers are squeezed into tight corners.
  • For entertainment, you might have a 9-inch TV and a car radio for a stereo. Life can be cozy for 2, any more than that and you’ll be tripping over each other. 

This RV class is perfect if you are looking for weekend get-a-ways or short road trips. Still undecided? Stick around. Next week, we’ll dive into a Class C.

RV ABCs: Class A Motorhome

When it comes to buying or renting an RV, there are many things you should consider. First and foremost, you need to decide what type of RV you are looking for. RVs come in all shapes and sizes and each class has its respective advantages and disadvantages. Here at Pleasureland RV, we want to make sure you find the perfect fit. So let’s take it back to elementary school and learn the ABCs of RVs starting with Class A Motorhomes.

Class A Motorhome

Description: Class A Motorhomes are big, square and boxy and are considered the most luxurious of all RVs due to their top-of-the-line amenities. You’ll often here people refer to Class A Motorhomes as their home-away-from-home.

2012 Winnebago Vista

Advantages: Class A RVs can be as long as 45 feet. With all of this space inside, they’re usually equipped with a rear master suite including a full bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower. The water closet may be in its own separate room, and there’s probably a washer/dryer unit on board to handle the laundry.

Today’s Class A motorhomes tend to have multiple slideouts. Some can expand to a width of over 14 feet. Large flat screen HDTV’s, surround sound systems, even dishwashers and ice machines are common options. The list of upgrades and options is almost endless.

Basement storage can swallow enough supplies to keep you on the road permanently. These are great traveling machines that let you drive comfortably all day and sleep comfortably all night so you can get up the next morning to do it all over again.

Disadvantages: For Class A RVs, fuel economy is a big one. With their boxy and large profile, you’ll be spending big dollars to keep a Class A motorhome rolling down the highway.

Once you get to your destination and set up camp, you’re pretty much stuck there. Unless you tow a car for local transportation, you’ll be staying put at camp. That is unless you want to put everything away, roll up the awning, and suck in the slide-outs so you can motor on down the road again.

If you’re timid about driving something this large, keep in mind that close area maneuvering is a learned skill.

[The Fun Times Guide]

 

So, is the Class A Motorhome for you? Maybe yes, maybe no. Stay tuned for the next two letters of the RV alphabet.

Knowing Your RV: Class Differences

They always say variety is the spice of life.  And that is no different when dealing with RVs.  From a smaller fifth wheel to the bigger Class A motor homes, you have a lot to take in before you buy or rent an RV.  Do you need a quick refresher on the different types of vehicles?  I found a good excerpt from an article that may clear some things up if you are not sure.

People that are not informed about the RV industry are confused about “Class A” motorhome? “Class C” motorhome? Van campers? Isn’t there some way to keep RV shopping simple?

Class “A” or type “A” is the largest of all of the commercially produced motorhomes. The manufacturer starts with a chassis with an engine and transmission. On top of the chassis the motorhome is built.

Many luxuries and options tend to be put in any Class A motorhome. You will see many “slide out rooms,” which add floor space when utilized. A Class A with slide outs can feel as though you’ve stepped right into a good sized home.

These are also the most costly of all motorhomes, with prices starting at $50,000 and up to over a million dollars or better. Since they’re so large, it can be hard to locate an appropriate spot to park them. Also they are hard to drive, use more gas and are difficult to park. Many National Parks and US Forest campgrounds simply don’t have room for some of those rigs.

Class “C” motorhomes are smaller and are built on a van chassis. These are priced much lower than the larger Class A rigs. They are nice RVs though. Some Class C rigs have slide outs, but are a bit smaller than the Class A motorhomes.

Class C motorhomes are easier to maneuver; can park in public campground spots and often park at a Walmart up by the store. While Class A folks often tow a small round-town car (a “toad” if you will) to permit them to leave their big rig in camp, often Class C rigs are handy enough to be used directly for local transportation.

Costs to get a Class C motorhome, by industry estimates, start out at around $48,000. Insurance and fuel costs are substantially less for a Class C rig.

Finally, the least commonly sold, but not uncommon for its use, is a Class B, or “camper van.” Using a van chassis and body, the manufacturer tricks out the inside, adding sleeping, cooking, and teeny-tiny bathroom facilities. The roof of a Class B rig is often raised, giving occupants more headroom and accommodating cabinets and accessories.

Don’t count on towing much with a Class B rig. But they can go anywhere a car goes, parks easily, and takes up no more space than a passenger van, but don’t count on towing much with them. The fuel economy here might be better of all three . If you can drive a van, you are able to drive a Class B motorhome. Look to pay starting at the low $40 thousands to the mid $70 thousands for a new camper van.

For long-term RVing, it can be quite cozy inside a Class B rig. The other two camps will argue to whether Class A or Class B motorhomes are better for snowbirds and full-time RV living, by the reality shows both of them are used. Look for a fulltime RVer in a Class B? Maybe, but it will be a rarity.

Trying to make a choice? Consider renting one of every class for a quick road trip. Renting a motorhome can really demonstrate how things size up. You will soon see the difference in how these different rigs will suit your lifestyle.

So if you are looking to buy a new RV and are not sure which one suits your needs best, it might be prudent to try to rent the types you are interested in.  Let us know if we can help in any way!

[Source: New RVer]

WIT Show and Tell Rally

At Pleasureland RV, we like to host RVers from time to time to come stay in our lot and use our facilities.  One of these occasions was this past weekend when the Winnebago & Itasca Travelers – Winnehaha & Sundowner Chapters, Show & Tell Rally was hosted in our facilities.  People started pulling in their RVs on Friday and by the time things were in full swing, there were 45 coaches in all!   We had workshops, dinner, entertainment, etc. for them. Included in the weekend, they had a motor home building workshop on Saturday with legos (check out the pics below!) and a Cal-Tex workshop.  Saturday night  dinner was made by our own Bill Moran and we provided entertainment afterwards.  The weather was very chilly, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!

Make sure you check out the photos below to see all the fun!! Make sure to leave a comment if you were there and let us know what you thought!!

 

 

Protect Your RV from the Elements

With all the perks that come along with purchasing an RV, there is certainly a lot of work that goes into keeping an RV in optimal condition.  While we would all like to have a garage that could hold our RV, leaving it outside is sometimes the only option we have. Rain, snow, changing temperatures, sunlight, and falling debris such as acorns and bird droppings can really take its toll on the exterior of the RV.  There are alternatives such as RV covers to give you a layer of protection.

With the above mentioned forces plus many others, a cover could certainly be of use to all RV owners.  As opposed to a tarp, covers are made to keep water off and allow the right amount of air flow.  The writers at rvwheelcovers.org have put together a nice article about the pluses of using an RV cover.  Here’s an excerpt:

If you intend to store your RV for a long time, the best option is to buy a custom fitted cover. When selecting the cover for your RV, it is important to take the measurements of the RV from one end to the other, while ensuring that you provide an allowance for the 5th wheel, bumpers, ladders and propane tanks attached to the vehicle. If you have to choose between two RV covers which near the size of your RV, select the larger cover. This is because it is better to have an over-sized cover than a small one which you have to stretch over the RV. Stretching the RV cover is likely to lead to damage due to stress.

When shopping for an RV cover, you should look for one which is able to block sun damage, is water resistant, and fits well onto your unit. Some RV covers are quite functional even when the RV is in use, and are thus able to protect your unit even while you are out in the park. Always remember to remove your cover before driving off in your RV. There are also covers available for your RV tires. These slip over the tires when not in use and are able to protect the tire rubber against damage when in storage.

Always keep a patch kit for your RV cover in the event that you get tears or rips. Taking some time to patch up your RV cover while on the road is much more cost effective than having to buy a brand new cover. For this reason, you should ensure that you conduct regular inspections of your RV covers to check that they are in tip top shape. Be sure to replace any cover which has lost its overall integrity and can no longer withstand the vagaries of harsh weather.

As you can see by the above, it is recommended to use an RV cover whenever storing an RV outside in the elements.  While we usually look at the fun stuff involved with RVs, it is important to remember that it is an investment and needs to be treated accordingly.  Do you use a cover?  Let us know by leaving a comment.

[Source: RV Wheel Covers]

5 Tips for Motor Home Renters


 

Planning a trip across the country or just to a place too beautiful to fly over?  Maybe traveling in a RV is the way to go.  There are a number of benefits to traveling long distances in a motor home.  Benefits include, however are not limited, to convenience and general comfort.

Even with all the wonderful stories people read about RV excursions, people seem to still be wary of this pastime.  One of the biggest concerns is the cost of buying an RV.  If you are interested in traveling by RV, although cannot afford the cost of owning one, you may want to think about renting one.  Keeping that in mind, if you are not careful motor home rentals can get expensive.  Below are a short list of some tips to think about when renting an RV:

Be aware of All Of Your Options

First, knowing all of your options is of the utmost importance.  Exhaust all of your options in terms of local RV rental providers.  They usually have multiple businesses to pick from.

Next, inspect the kinds of motor homes available for rent.  For comfort, as well as safety, secure a large enough RV that can comfortable seat everyone in your group.  For example, you wouldn’t try to fit a party of nine people into a RV built for six.  Also look at features, such as number of electrical outlets, onboard television, movie players, and so forth to maximize the enjoyment had on the trip.

Research Rental Costs

If you want to reduce the cost of your next outing, always compare prices.  In addition to comparing the average rental price for different businesses, also look at the various motor homes.  You want to get the most out of your money, so after choosing the size of the RV, being selective on additional features may allow you to trim in areas you don’t need.

Read All Fine Print

When renting an Motor home, you’ll be required to sign a agreement.  This agreement is comparable to one that you would sign if you were renting a car.  With that being said, never believe that all rental contracts are the same.  Always fully read an RV rental contract, including the fine print.  Never sign anything that appears too suspicious.  When in doubt, ask to take the contract home and review it first.

In keeping with reading all fine print, it is important to know all Motor home rental rules and restrictions upfront.  Often, these policies and restrictions are highlighted on a rental contract, although there is nothing wrong in getting additional information.  Make sure to be aware of rules that limit the number of people allowed , age requirements for children, and so froth.

Be Cautious With Use

Being cautious is an essential piece of renting an RV.  If you are not watchful, you may be financially responsible for any damage that occurs.  Some tips may be to keep food and drinks covered or in spill proof containers while moving, don’t make foods while driving that may cause harmful stains, and so forth.  Also, for those who have kids, be sure to set some ground rules.  Making sure you are cautious on the road is very important, especially dealing with underpasses and stopping at your campground.

Returning On Time is Important

Returning your rental on time will allow you to keep the cost of your rental low.  Late rentals may incur late charges.  These late charges, should they exist, should be outlined on the motor home rental agreement.  If you know your behind schedule and won’t make it in time, be sure to contact your motor home rental company to inform them of the delay as soon as possible.

In closing, RV renters are encouraged to look at all of their rental options, research prices,  examine rental contracts, use caution, and return their RV rentals on time.  These steps, when properly executed, can not only help to improve the overall quality of your next RV trip, they can also help to keep the expenses associated with that vacation a little more reasonable.  How have your experiences been with renting RVs.  Share your stories below in our comment section!

 

Other Features to Consider with a New RV

On first observation of a new or used RV before we buy, we tend to focus our attention to such things as floor plan, room size, closet and space for storing, number of slides, appliances, entertainment and communications equipment, function of plumbing and electrical systems, heating and cooling capacity, etc.  Trust me, all of these things are very important when taking the steps to buy an RV.  But while these things are important, you need to make sure you focus on other aspects of the vehicle as well.   So when you’re shopping for an RV, don’t forget to check out these small but critical features:

  • Lie on the beds to see if they’re comfortable and long enough. RV manufacturers are forced sometimes to shorten the length of normal measurements in order to satisfy the amount of space they are dealing with. Take the case of the queen size RV bed.  While a normal queen is 80 inches long, in an RV, that same bed might be only 74-75 inches.  While you might not think thats a huge deal, if you happen to be over 6 feet tall, it certainly could cause problems.
  • Along with the bed size, make sure you are comfortable with the size of the couch. Couches may also be undersized to fit the compact space of an RV. If you enjoy stretching out on the couch to watch TV or perhaps a movie, this could be a problem.
  • It may also be wise to check out the dimensions of the shower inside the RV. If your elbows constantly bump the walls or you need to crouch down to get your head under the shower head, you’ll wish you’d chosen an RV with a larger shower. Same goes for the toilet.  It is important to test these areas out so you don’t run into problems after you have purchased your RV.

It doesn’t need to be overstated that comfort in these areas are really important.  What were the other things you looked for when you bought or were searching for an RV?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

RVers Avoiding Costly Public RV Campgrounds

 

Owning and maintaining an RV can become very expensive. Between the purchase, upkeep and escalating gas prices, it can be difficult in these tough times to save the money necessary to enjoy what is supposed to be a “recreational vehicle”.  Another caveat added lately has been the rising prices of staying at a public campgrounds.  While staying at a public campground has been popular due to these costs, the rising costs added in with the lack amenities has begun to rub RV owners the wrong way.  Last week, a survey was done for the RVtravel.com newsletter regarding the escalation in prices of these campgrounds. While the figures might surprise you, it is fairly obvious that these prices are beginning to become a hindrance to travelers.

According to the RV News Service, the survey was prompted by RVtravel.com Editor Chuck Woodbury’s recent experience of coming upon two California state parks where the fee for primitive campsites — those with no utility hookups — were $35 a night. “My reaction was that it was too much,” he wrote. “The park system, of course, is trying to raise more money to keep its parks open. But I wonder if they have priced themselves out of the market.”

More than 95% of the recreational vehicle enthusiasts who responded to the survey said they would never pay — or probably never pay — that much to stay in a public campground. “Look at it from this perspective — $35 per night equals $1,050 per month,” one reader commented. “Would you pay that to rent a house with no walls, no water, no electricity, no toilets?”

 

While the point is made that it is necessary for the parks to raise revenue to continue to provide the space for such vehicles, Mr. Woodbury’s statement regarding pricing RV owners out of the market is a valid one.  How can a part-time RV user justify these costs added on to the plethora of other charges incurred by owning your dream?

Would you spend $35 a night to stay in what is described in the article as a “primitive campsite’?  Do you have personal stories or comments about a situation like this you would like to share?  Share your comments below!

[Source: RV Business]

 

Why Should You Buy a Motor Home?

 

In the United States, motor homes are well-liked leisure automobiles, evidenced by the fact many travelers partake in them across our great nation. Many motor home owners use their RVs to go camping and others use them to travel and discover the country.  With the increase in popularity recently, chances are you’ll be questioning whether or not you can purchase a motor home sometime in the near future.  If that is something you are considering, please read on.

If you enjoy traveling, especially touring the countryside, you may want to look into RVing.  Each year, a lot of individuals, namely retirees, choose to journey the country.  However, since it may be expensive to rent a house or stay in hotels all the time, many vacationers make the choice to purchase or rent their very own RVs to defray costs.  Motor homes are perfect for cross nation trips, as you not only have a mode of transportation with a RV but accommodations as well.

Another sign that you may want to think about shopping for a motor home is that you enjoy camping, however prefer to be sheltered from the elements at times. Tenting is a pleasant leisure activity, however sleeping in tents isn’t for everyone. Maybe you have a medical situation, or if you just don’t want to sleep on the ground while you go camping, you may want to consider shopping for a motor home.  Additionally, if you will be camping with a bunch of individuals, like your family, you may discover that a motor home is a nice, simple, convenient, and fun solution to go camping if traditional methods aren’t “your bag”.

When searching for either a new or used motor home, there are a couple different ways you can go about it.  You will want to check the automotive section of your local newspapers, as many motor home house owners choose to advertise in their motor properties close to home. You may additionally be able to discover a wealth of information on motor homes online.  But your best bet is to go in person and check them out to see how you would fit in the particular RV. Analyzing motor homes to check if they’ve had any part recalls or to see if the motor home selling value is a good value will help to make sure that your money is spent wisely.  Be thorough in your search as this is a big purchase and has many different aspects to each RV.  With the wealth of information out there, any novice can become well educated through these different channels.

With the costs of travel rising on a daily basis, it might be a good idea to look into it to see how it fit your lifestyle.  Have you shopped for or bought an RV recently?  Leave a comment below and tell us about your RV shopping experience!