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.
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.
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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.