- Travel and Places
RV's ~ Motor Homes A Thing of the Past?
Can you Afford an RV?
The death of the RV? Are RV’s becoming a thing of the past for most people? It almost seems that way to me. I have relatives that live near Elkhart, Indiana. For those of you who don’t know Elkhart and South Bend are two of the biggest RV producing cities in the United States.
Twenty five years ago when I would come out to visit there were RV’s everywhere, dealers and coaches sitting everywhere. Now, I see that most of them have gone out of business, and the ones that are still dealing in camping units are mostly selling fifth wheels and pull behinds.
There are pros and cons to having a RV. The self contained RV’s are nice because you can get up and walk around while someone else is driving. However, when something happens to the engine you have to spend the money for a new one. Honestly, the motor home lasts for years if well taken care of. The key to having one of these and keeping it in good running condition is simply to use it. If you are not going to use it on a regular basis you are better off with the pull behind or the fifth wheel.
The good thing about the pull behind is that you can unhook at the campsite and still have a vehicle to get around in, oh, and let’s not forget about the upkeep. The upkeep on a pull behind is so much less expensive than the motor home.
We have a Holiday Rambler motor home and the expense of replacing the tires is well, expensive! The tires on most of the pull behinds are much less expensive to replace. The one other thing that I have found about the tires is that no matter what they look like they need to be replaced every 6 to 7 years or they will dry rot on you and blow out. We had a blow out on a major highway and were pulled into traffic. Thankfully no one hit us, but they could have easily done so and caused a big problem.
One time when we were camping in a pop up camper we had a flat. This was easy to fix, we found the local Tractor Supply store, went in and bought a tire on the rim for less than 50 dollars. Problem was fixed with minimal money.
With the cost of gas and everything else rising I have to wonder if the motor home will soon be a thing of the past, or at least a thing for the wealthy.
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My research turned up that in 2008 the RV industry was struggling, but that is not a surprise. 2008 was a year of great difficulty for many in the housing industry as well, seeing many people lose their homes. The RV industry reported a 30 percent drop in RV shipments from 2005.
Now I have been reading that a rebound in the economy has sent the baby boomers to dealerships to purchase RVs. Honestly, I have seen no real evidence of this. First, let me say I don’t really see much of an economic rebound, but maybe that’s just me.
During my recent trip to Michigan and Indiana I noticed a lot of pull behind campers, and pop up tent campers, but very few of the motor homes. We like to shop around at dealerships, so while we were out that way we stopped into a few.
The common consensus of the dealers was this ~ many people are interested in purchasing a tag along, pop up or a fifth wheel, but very few have the money to purchase a motor home. However, I have noticed that camping has become more popular over the past few years.
Today’s campers are camping in smaller, cheaper units, renting them or renting a cabin at a campground.
I don’t see the motor home ever disappearing from the camping world. Someone somewhere will always want one, me for one. But there has been a definite decline in sales for this item for a variety of reasons. Will this take a turn for the better? Certainly, as the economy slowly recovers so will the RV industry.