Finding the right RV for you

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Interested in hitting the road to explore our amazing state? With Crater Lake National Park, a spectacular coastline and 50 mountain ranges within Oregon’s borders, it’s no wonder you see recreational vehicles (RVs) traveling to scenic Oregon destinations throughout the year.

The attractions of RV travel are easy to understand. An RV allows you to camp in comfort, spending less time packing and more time exploring. Not to mention sleeping on a real bed instead of the hard ground or an ever-deflating air mattress. Consider these tips when evaluating if an RV purchase is right for you:

Amenities and floor plan

From bed size to entertainment equipment, there are a lot of options to consider when shopping for an RV. Depending on their overall size, RVs may contain a bed(s); a kitchen with a sink, stove, and refrigerator; a bathroom with a sink, toilet and shower; and a living area with a table, chairs and sofa. Some RVs may also offer heating, air conditioning, and entertainment electronics such as a television or sound system.

Curtis Trailers says buying an RV is a lot like buying a house. It’s easy to get distracted by fancy gadgets, features and an attractive exterior, but the most important thing comes down to whether the floor plan will suit your needs. Think about how you’ll accommodate sleeping and eating arrangements for children, pets or others traveling with you.

Towing

For any kind of travel trailer, the most important safety consideration is having a tow vehicle that is rated to handle the fully loaded weight of the trailer. Most veteran trailer enthusiasts recommend tow vehicles that have the rated capacity to tow a loaded trailer with room to spare. Experienced RV dealers are great sources of information about towing safety. If you plan to tow with a car, van or SUV rather than a truck, be sure to check the towing capacity of your vehicle to make sure it can handle the weight and size of the RV you are considering.

Destination

Where you plan to travel and what time of year you’ll be traveling will have an impact on what kind of RV you should purchase. If you plan to travel in colder weather, you’ll want to ensure that you choose an RV that has a heater and is properly weatherized. If you plan to travel off the beaten path, without water and electricity hook-ups, you’ll want to make sure you have a source of power (solar, battery or generator) and adequate water and waste tanks.                      

Trip duration

In general, folding trailers, truck campers, and small travel trailers are suitable for weekend and short-duration travelers. If you want to spend several weeks on the road, you’ll probably be more comfortable in fifth wheels, class B motor homes with shower facilities or smaller class C motor homes. If you’re planning to live in your RV much or all of the time, you’ll want to upgrade to a large class A motor home.                        

Budget

After you’ve done your homework and decided on the style of RV that best fits your recreational needs, it’s time for the monetary moment of truth. New RV prices can range from $7,000 to well north of $100,000. Start by calculating what you can afford based on what you want your monthly payments to be, and then talk with an OCCU representative to learn about RV loans.

In addition to the cost of the RV itself, you’ll also need to plan for the associated costs, such as insurance, storage, maintenance and fuel. For instance, you can expect the fuel efficiency for a towing vehicle to decrease by an average of 8 miles per gallon.

If want to ensure that you’re prepared for RV ownership, consider attending a free educational seminar offered by Guaranty RV. Topics include types of RVs, accessories, electrical, winterizing, and more.     

An RV is more than just a place to sleep once you get to where you’re going; it’s a passport to endless adventure and lasting family memories. Get ready to hit the road.