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Beginner’s guide to RV road-trippin’

Sales, rentals see summer surge

SAN ANTONIO – Karen Zoyhofski and her husband, Mark, are road-trippin’ it this summer in their RV trailer.

“You know, you can’t go to the amusement parks. You can’t go to the zoos right now, so this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to camp,” she said.

They are hardly alone.

Some RV dealerships have seen a 170% surge in sales, and many buyers are first-timers.

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

There are two primary types of RV’s to consider: a motor home that combines living quarters and a vehicle in one or a travel trailer.

“Motor homes can definitely be a big hit to your wallet,” Bartlett said. “A travel trailer is a more affordable option. Now, of course, you’ll need a tow vehicle.”

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Larger fifth-wheel style trailers will require a heavy duty pickup to tow. Smaller, lightweight trailers like a pop-up can be towed by most SUV’s or even a car with a hitch. These are easier on the gas and you can get into one starting at about $10,000, according to Bartlett.

If you want to try before you buy, you can rent.

RVShare.com, with offices in Austin, works sort of like AirBnB. Owners share their personal RVs for a price. Business is booming. RVShare indicates bookings are up a whopping 1600% since April.

As people look to switch vacation gears during the summer upended by the pandemic, RVs have found their lane.

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