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RVs: Homes That Hit the Road

Category: RV News
Source: Businessweek
Publish Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Summary: Who says a second home has to be in one place? With an RV, you can take it anywhere you go. And the range of models means something for everyone

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When you hear RV, do you envision some tiny trailer where the table doubles as a bed, or do you think about the tricked-out FBI behemoth of Meet the Fockers fame? The truth is, you can find plenty of choices at both ends of the spectrum -- and in between -- and all types offer lots of options for customization.

The biggest and most expensive are the Class A motorcoaches, which look like buses and sit on a specially designed chassis. Class B vehicles are vans with raised roofs, while class C mini-motorhomes are built on a separate chassis and attached to a van cab.

Then there are the truck campers, which are attached to the bed or chassis of a pickup truck. Travel trailers are towed with a bumper or frame hitch. And folding camping trailers are light-weight RVs whose sides collapse for towing and storage. RVs for personal use don't require a commercial drivers license, and only the largest require a special driving or written test.

Given all the options RVs offer, it's little surprise that ownership is on the rise. Shipments in the U.S. totaled 370,100 units in 2004, which was a 15.4% increase from 2003, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Assn. (RVIA). There are 7.2 million RVs on American roads today, and counting. Mystery Writer Sue Henry is a fan, telling the RVIA: "I love being able to travel and still be at home. You can relax or work in an RV because it's your own space. It's also a great way to meet a lot of interesting people -- especially fellow RVers."

Take a tour of contemporary motorhomes and see which ones get your engines going. And watch for our second installment of second-home options: homes for beach lovers.

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