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At Guaranty, we love RVing! We know we’re lucky—we get to spend all day every day thinking about RVs, researching the best makes and models, learning about great road trips and campgrounds, and generally keeping up on the latest RV-related trends, news and lifestyle tips. Best yet, our team of RV-enthusiast bloggers get to share all of that with you! If you’re curious about the latest and greatest in RVs and RVing, we invite you to visit the Guaranty Blog. Be sure to check back with us regularly for updates.

RV Ownership Can Save You Big Money ($$)

If you’ve been thinking about ways to travel more while on a budget, RVing may be your answer. According to a new study performed by PKF Consulting USA for Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), RV vacations and road trips continue to be the least costly way to travel when compared to other types of vacations. Research shows that this holds true in spite of economic stressors and changes in fuel prices over time. In fact, the study concluded that RV travel is 23% to 59% cheaper for a family of four who would otherwise travel by car or airplane and then rent a hotel or vacation home and eat their meals at restaurants.

A 2015 report in Money Magazine, titled “ The Cheapest Way to Roadtrip Might Surprise You”, came to a similar conclusion. When comparing driving a car and staying in hotels, to owning a small RV, author Darrow Kirkpatrick found that two people on a traditional driving vacation in which they used their own car, stayed in hotels and dined out in restaurants, would spend about $181 a day (in 2015) if they were vacationing on a budget. Darrow concluded it would be much more if the couple was staying in hot destination spots. However, if the same vacationing couple owned an RV, Darrow found that, taking the cost of RV ownership and maintenance into account, and including gas, campground rates and groceries, the average daily cost for an RV vacation could be as low as $55 a day. Using a 500-mile trip over 7 days and a 2,000-mile trip over 21 days as his examples, he found that owning a small RV—one less than about 25 feet—was the most cost effective way to travel, allowing RV owners to travel for 30% to 40% less than the traditional car/hotel/restaurants vacation.

The savings add up however, even when considering an upscale, luxury vacation for four in a top of the line Class A motorhome. The RVIA study found that, when compared to four people travelling first class by air, renting a car at the destination, staying in upscale hotels and eating meals in restaurants, the RV vacation would save those same people thousands of dollars.

Of course this isn’t news to longtime RVers—they know that the cost savings in RVing makes it possible to travel more frequently, take longer vacations, and spend more quality time with friends and family. If you’ve been trying to decide whether RVing is right for you and your family, here are some things to consider in regard to cost savings and how to get the most vacation for your money.

RV Size Counts

The RVIA study looked at two types of hypothetical vacationers: a family of four, and two people traveling without children. They then calculated the costs of taking vacations to different popular vacation spots including the Grand Canyon; Orlando, Florida; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Yellowstone National Park; etc. As part of the study, they took into account fluctuations in fuel prices. In all cases, there were significant savings in every category of RV, from pop-up and truck campers, to travel trailers, to all types of motorhomes, including the largest luxury diesel pushers. They found that “RV vacations were more economical than the other vacations analyzed, regardless of trip duration, trip distance, or region of the country where the vacation takes place.” But if you’re travelling on a budget, it’s clear that the largest savings are found in the most economical RVs, including:

Folding or pop-up campers Lightweight travel trailers that can be towed behind an SUV, crossover vehicle or smaller pickup Fuel efficient motorhomes like Class B’s and C’s

In the Money Magazine article, Darrow Kirkpatrick agreed. He emphasized that RVs that are less than about 25 feet long are the most cost effective all around. Of course “the exact savings will depend on the nature of your travel,” says Darrow. “Low-mileage, long-duration trips are the most cost effective in an RV.” But for a couple or small family, a smaller RV can be supremely comfortable and provide the most savings, no matter the distance or destination.

RVing Makes Family Vacations Affordable & Convenient

Taking a road trip with children can get expensive fast when you’re doing it in the family car. Between the combination of snack and bathroom pit stops along the road, restaurant meals for the whole crew, and hotel rooms with extra beds for the kids, money practically flies out of your wallet. Taking a road trip in the family RV, however, means you eliminate both hotel and restaurant costs, and you’re more likely to have the food on hand that your family likes best. According the RVIA study, fuel prices would have to more than quadruple before RV vacations would be less economical than every other form of vacation travel for families. And because modern RVs are both more comfortable and more efficient than they have ever been, small families can take advantage of the extra savings you get from the most cost effective RV’s: those compact pop-up campers, lightweight travel trailers and smaller motorhomes.

Kannan Sankaran, Vice President of PKF Consulting USA noted in the RVIA study that, "RVing allows families a unique travel experience that offers appeal for those seeking to foster an increased sense of togetherness, control, flexibility, and convenience to travel whenever and wherever desired,"



For More Savings, Buy a Pre-Owned RV

Both studies show that owning a fuel efficient RV allows couples or small families to travel for approximately 60% to 70% of the usual car/hotel/restaurants-style vacation, even considering the expenses involved in buying and maintaining an RV. That’s great news for those of us on a fixed income or who have children! But vacationers on a budget can save even more money by buying a pre-owned RV. By doing your research ahead of time, so you know exactly what you’re looking for, and making sure you have an excellent RV service technician to look at any RV you’re considering before you purchase, you can find amazing savings on like-new RVs with low miles. Take the time to walk through a variety of RVs before you’re ready to buy; this will save you time later because you’ll already have eliminated features or floorplans that won’t work for you, and you’ll have a better idea of what matters to you the most. Don’t hesitate to give us a call or come and visit us in Junction City if you have questions or you want to peruse the options.

What About Renting an RV?

Renting an RV sounds like it should be a great alternative for people who want the savings of RV travel without the ownership costs. Right? Well, not exactly. According to Darrow Kirkpatrick’s research, renting an RV might not be the best long term vacation option for couples or small families. Yes, the operating costs are the same as they would be if you owned the RV, but the daily rental rate of a smaller RV is generally more than that of a budget hotel room. When Kirkpatrick added rental rates to campground rates, groceries, etc., he arrived at a daily cost of $260 a day for a vacation in a rented RV, which is significantly more than the typical car/hotel/restaurants vacation.

However, that equation changes depending on the number of people you’re travelling with. For a group of adult friends who are splitting the cost of an epic road trip, or for a larger family who isn’t ready for RV ownership, renting might make the most sense of all. When you add up the cost of a larger automobile that will accommodate everyone, or airline tickets for a group, and multiple hotel rooms and larger restaurant bills, the daily rate of even a large Class A rental motorhome may come in well under the other options.

Kirkpatrick also pointed out that renting an RV makes an enormous amount of sense for people who are exploring RV ownership. “Try Before You Buy” is smart, and an RV rental is a great way to see if you’re ready to jump into the RV lifestyle with both feet. Contact Guaranty RV Rentals to schedule a Try Before You Buy RV trip.

If you’d like to travel more, but the cost of vacations gets you down, owning an RV may be exactly what you need to get to all the places you’re dying to see in an affordable way. If you’re wondering what it would take for you to bring home the RV of your dreams, contact the Guaranty RV Finance department to find out about budget-friendly RV financing.

If you’d like to read more about RVing and see a video that might help you decide if RV ownership is for you, check out GoRVing’s “ Discover RVing” page, or contact us here at Guaranty RV.

Photo credit Show Us Your Togwotee

2016 RV Awards: The Best Motorhomes and Towables - Part 1

It’s the time of year again when we get to see which RVs, campgrounds, resorts and RV dealers came out a cut above the rest and won the big annual RV awards. We’ve just seen the 2016 results, and they’re pretty exciting! If you’ve been thinking about a new RV, or you’re starting to plan your 2017 camping and road trips, now is the time to read up on what other RVers think is the best of the best. The folks who are handing out these awards are some of the most knowledgeable in the industry, and they’ve taken the time to solicit the opinions of thousands of other RVers, dealers and industry leaders who know the RV lifestyle inside and out.

Motorhome Magazine’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards gives motorhome enthusiasts the opportunity to vote for their favorite motorhomes and everything that goes with them, from cleaning products to dinghy vehicles. In other words, these are “simply the best” motorhomes, RV destinations and auxiliary products chosen by other RVers just like you.

The National RV Dealers Association (RVDA) is the only national association dedicated to helping RV retailers with education, member services, industry leadership, etc. They bestow their annual Quality Circle Awards to RV manufacturers that “achieve the highest rating in the association’s Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) Survey”. This award is chosen by dealers like Guaranty. We keep a close eye on the RVs that come through our inventory, looking for the best manufacturers, those who give top of the line service and build the highest quality RVs on the road today. Those are the only ones we vote for.

For the next couple weeks, we’re going to talk about some of the motorhomes and towables that won the big prizes for 2016. As we turn the corner to 2017, we’ll also take a look at award-winning campgrounds, resorts and the best states to RV, so you can start planning your next adventures!

Motorhomes: Best of 2016—Class As


The Motorhome Magazine Reader’s Choice Award voters and the RVDA DSI survey agree that Newmar and Winnebago continue to be excellent choices in the Class A division of motorhomes, and we couldn’t agree more!

Since Winnebago Industries was founded in 1958 in Forest City, Iowa, they have worked hard to become one of the foremost RV manufacturers in the nation. They’ve literally built hundreds of thousands of motorhomes, and their commitment to quality, safety and innovation has never wavered. Winnebago is the only RV manufacturer who has consistently received the RVDA Quality Circle Award every year since 1958. It’s no wonder they’ve become a household name—when America thinks of motorhomes, they think of the iconic Winnebago “W”. Whether you’re looking for a gas powered Class A like the stylish Sunstar, or a Suncruiser with high end amenities, or you’ve got your eye on a high powered diesel pusher like the opulent Grand Tour or the stunning Solei, Winnebago will give you the level of long lasting value you’re looking for.

Newmar is another iconic American RV manufacturer who has been doing things right since the very beginning. They have been building some of the best motorhomes in the industry for nearly 50 years and are widely known for their craftsmanship and innovation in design, as well as their rockstar customer service. They’ve brought innovations to RV manufacturing like a unique chassis welding process to make a quieter, smoother ride, and the Newmar Full-Paint Masterpiece™ Finish for a gorgeous exterior that lasts the lifetime of the motorhome. In the gas powered Class A division, we’ve long been fans of Newmar’s Bay Star model for its sleek livability and ease of driving. And for a step up in gas powered elegance, we also love the Canyon Star. (Note: Newmar’s Canyon Star 3911 has an excellent wheelchair accessible floorplan– give us a call if you’d like to learn more about this option.) Newmar also scores big points in the diesel Class A category with their beautiful Ventana and Dutch Star models, which bring a perfect blend of high end amenities and supreme comfort to life on the road.

Motorhomes: Best of 2016—Class Cs


Whether you’re looking for a motorhome to transport the whole family, or you want a little more fuel efficiency than you can get from a big Class A motorhome, a Class C model is a great choice. 2016’s three big winners in this category are Winnebago, Jayco and Thor Motor Coach.

Winnebago’s Class C lineup includes models built on both Ford and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, and integrates powerful body design, versatile livability and high tech electronics. So whether you’re looking for a sleek turbo diesel Navion on a Sprinter chassis, or a supremely family friendly floorplan like you’ll find in the Spirit, there is a Winnebago Class C motorhome to fit your needs. Whichever model is right for you, you’ll know that you’re getting top of the line quality that will serve you for years to come.

Jayco is another American RV manufacturer that has been around a long time (since 1968) and has shown a consistent commitment to build the best Class C motorhomes at a great value. Jayco is currently the nation’s largest family-owned and operated RV manufacturer. These family-favorite Class C’s blend old-world Amish craftsmanship with state of the art technology, and give floorplan options that sleep as many as 11 people! For high quality at a good price, we recommend looking at Jayco Greyhawk or Melbourne models, and if you want to go up a step in power, the diesel powered Seneca has what it takes to travel anywhere you want to go.

Thor Motor Coach was founded in 2010, so might look like a newcomer to the motorhome market. But this powerhouse manufacturer was actually created from a merger of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International, so puts decades of RV manufacturing expertise into every Class C motorhome they build, and the quality shows! Today, Thor Motor Coach builds nearly one out of every four motorhomes sold in the U.S., including some of the most recognizable Class C’s on the road. The ever family friendly Winds models are a Guaranty RV favorite!

Next week we’re going to continue looking at the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards and RVDA winners. If you’re curious about this year’s top Class B motorhomes (campervans) and towables, be sure to check back in. And give us a call if you have any questions.