Fears about the coronavirus are forcing many people to rethink traditional air travel and hotel stays of past summers and look into recreational vehicles as a safer alternative. Some RV and camper dealerships have seen an increase in sales of up to 170% and many customers are first-time buyers. Consumer Reports gives us a beginner’s guide to motorhomes.
A motorhome allows families to get out of the house while maintaining social distancing. It even allows them to avoid places they might feel uncomfortable being in, like a hotel or restaurant.
There are two types of RV to consider: a motorhome that combines the living quarters and vehicle in one package, and a travel trailer. Be aware that some motorhomes may not have to meet all of the same safety standards as passenger cars and are not generally crash-tested.
Motorhomes can provide comfort, but they can be a big hit to the wallet. A travel trailer is a more affordable option but requires a vehicle to tow it.
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Larger fifth-wheel-style trailers require a heavy-duty pickup to tow. Smaller travel trailers, like traditional pop-up and lightweight travel trailers, can be towed by most SUVs or even cars with a tow hitch.
These trailers are also more fuel-efficient to haul around, and you can get in one starting around $10,000.
Whichever style of RV fits your budget, Consumer Reports recommends buying one with as many safety features, like backup cameras and electronic stability control, as you can afford.
If you want to try before you buy, you’re not alone. The rental site RVshare has reported a huge spike in business since April. CR says if you’ll be using a rented recreational vehicle, check the cleaning policies of your host or the rental company before you book.