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Travel | Road Trip
The Latest RV Upgrades, Plus What You Need To Know Before You Buy

YOU MAY BE SURPRISED BY OFF-GRID/OFF-ROAD OPTIONS, HI-TECH INNOVATIONS, AND PRICE RANGES

When you hear the term “RV,” you may think of a classic motor home, replete with vintage wood paneling, orange-brown upholstery, and bare-bones amenities. Nowadays, RVs are better than ever, offering a wide range of travel and camping solutions that bring modern features and high tech along for the ride.
     

Whether you're a family of four who enjoys cross-country trips every summer or you prefer rugged off-road camping, there's likely an RV solution for you that fits your budget. In fact, you may be surprised by all the choices.
 
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THE CURRENT STATE OF THE RV MARKET

2020 saw some of the highest demand and RV sales in history, as travel restrictions and isolation during the pandemic took hold of Americans across the country. Those who didn't want to sacrifice their love of travel believed getting an RV was the perfect solution.
 

RV manufacturers struggled to meet demand amid supply chain issues and increased costs for materials. As these market conditions came to a head in 2021 and record inflation began in 2022, RVs became more expensive and harder to get. As supply chain issues abate but economic uncertainty still remains relatively high, RV sales have dropped over the last 12 months, resulting in lower demand and shipments of new products sinking to the lowest output level since 2013.
    

Despite the gloom of a sales slump heading into 2023, RV manufacturers and dealers are encouraged by the high attendance at RV shows and on dealership lots. As the year progresses, be on the lookout for deals and sales on a variety of RVs.  

Can significantly impact your road trip budget. Check in periodically at gasprices.aaa.com for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly national averages by zip code. Learn more.

THE MAIN FEATURES YOU'LL SHOULD CONSIDER

Deciding on the main features in an RV depends largely on how you intend to use it, and what you expect from an RV road trip. If you're looking to do some off-grid camping and some off-roading, features like weight, independent suspension, and rugged tires will be important to you.
  

If you prefer to go glamping in style and want some luxury on the road, then you'll care more about amenities like a larger kitchen and a bathroom with a shower.
  
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AFFORDABILITY

Budget will also be a factor when it comes to how much RV you can afford.  Many consider getting an RV to be a major financial decision, so spend some time researching purchase and maintenance costs, plus other costs, including insurance and related equipment (think foldable camping tables, chairs, etc.).
  

Many RVers viewed their purchase as an investment in future vacations, ultimately saving money on hotel rooms, food, and other expenses, while still enjoying what they love about travel. 

   
As a rough rule of thumb, you should plan to spend about 20% of your annual income on your RV purchase.
  

NEW FEATURES AVAILABLE IN TODAY’S RVS

Although motor home and trailer-style RVs have been around for years, today's offerings come with plentiful options to keep you environmentally conscious and connected, no matter where your adventure takes you. New features include Wi-Fi boosters and solar energy packages. Here's a short list of some of the trending features you’ll find across all RV sizes.
  

Unprecedented Connectivity: With a full-suite of Wi-Fi and cellular signal boosters, today’s RVs are more connected than ever, keeping you safe and plugged in through areas with limited service options.
  

Solar Panels: Many RVs offer solar panels that include inverters and batteries for storing power, making it easier—and greener—to live off the grid.
  

Upgraded Suspension: Upgraded suspension systems are popular with those interested in off-roading. These newer suspensions allow RVers to explore more remote areas while also protecting internal RV components from miles of potential road bumps and bangs. Some of the more advanced systems, like the CURT Suspension, can even adapt to the terrain, based on on-road or off-road driving.
  
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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT RV OPTIONS?

Small or large, when it comes to visualizing yourself in an RV, you need to consider your expectations, your budget, and how you plan to use it. Here's a thought-starter list of some RVs across a range of budgets. Comparing these can help you determine the type of RV that will suit you.

 

Winnebago Hike 100

Palomino Pause

Ember Touring Edition

Forest River r-pod

Encore RŎG

Grand Design Imagine

Fleetwood Frontier GTX