Your Money MattersConsumer Reports


CR's guide to RVs

Posted at 4:00 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 09:28:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Some RV and camper dealerships have seen up to a one hundred seventy percent increase in sales, and many are first-time buyers!

“When people are looking to get out of the house, a motorhome allows you to do that while maintaining social distancing, even allows you to avoid some places that you might feel less comfortable like staying in a hotel or going to restaurants," says Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports Auto Editor. "With an RV, you bring it all with you.”

There are two types of RV to consider: a motorhome that combines the living quarters and vehicle in one package or a travel trailer. Be aware that because of their heavier weight, some motorhomes may not have to meet all of the same safety standards as passenger cars, and are also not generally crash tested.

“Motorhomes can definitely provide comfort, but can be a big hit to your wallet," says Bartlett. "A travel trailer is a more affordable option, now, of course, you'll need a tow vehicle, but because these come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, you might already own one.”

Larger fifth-wheel-style trailers will 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. Some trailers are also more fuel-efficient to haul around, and you can get in one starting around the ten-thousand dollar mark.

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.

Want to TRY before you BUY? You are not alone! The rental site RVshare reported a huge spike in RV rentals since April. CR says if you’ll be using a rental RV, Check the cleaning policies of your host or the rental company you’re using before you book.