12. Feel at-home … in a motorhome
Motorhomes are equipped with comfortable living, dining, sleeping and bathroom facilities. Propane tanks fire up the stove and refrigerator. Electrical systems run off the motorhome’s batteries or gas- or diesel-powered generator. A water tank holds fresh water, and holding tanks separate waste water into gray (from sinks and showers) and black (from the toilet.) In a motorhome, it’s all systems go.
11. The great outdoors
Experts are always touting the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor recreation. Well, motorhoming is a springboard to all sorts of recreational activities. Visit state and national parks, tour famous landmarks. Go hiking or fishing. Try whitewater rafting or canoeing. Play golf or tennis. Or, simply enjoy fresh air and natural settings. With a motorhome, you can carry your recreation gear with you, and you don’t have to worry about finding a place to stay.
10. Freedom and convenience of motorhome travel
A motorhome’s on-board closets and storage space eliminate the need to pack, unpack and carry bulky suitcases. You can keep the motorhome stocked with food, clothing and essentials so you can just hop in and go. Take off on last-minute mini vacations, tailgating events and weekend trips. Create your own adventures along the way. Stop and take a break when you choose. The destinations are endless, from famous attractions to hidden treasures along a rural byway. And just think … all the while, you’re avoiding tight schedules, long lines, luggage restrictions and the security gauntlet at the airport.
In a motorhome, you can go almost anywhere, any time. When traveling in small towns, backcountry or metro areas, you might encounter narrow roads, clearance limits or other large-vehicle considerations. In these instances, towing a smaller vehicle behind your motorhome is a viable option and can extend your travel range. Auto manufacturers have approved certain cars, trucks and SUVS for towing behind a motorhome, provided the motorhome has adequate towing capacity. If you tow, FMCA recommends using a supplemental braking system. It’s required by law in some jurisdictions, and is needed to safely slow down the extra weight of the towed vehicle, without overworking the brakes of the motorhome.
9. Multiple uses for motorhomes
A motorhome is a recreation vehicle that can be used for much more than the occasional short trip or cross-country odyssey.
Motorhome owners use their coaches for business endeavors or to pursue hobbies such as antiquing, sightseeing, geocaching and many others. They follow (and enter) pet shows, model train shows, favorite sports teams and other special events. They volunteer: A motorhome provides innumerable opportunities to help individuals, families, communities and charitable causes during your travels.
Many motorhomes can be safely used in cold weather, if the motorhome is capable of being winterized for such circumstances. Snowbirds, meanwhile, opt to head to warmer climes for the winter months to enjoy white sand beaches (Gulf Coast), 80-degree temperatures (Yuma, Ariz.) and other activities in various locales.
Motorhomes, equipped with a generator and propane, are also ideal in emergency situations when you have lost power in your house because of a storm.
8. Purchasing a motorhome: selection, types and prices
Motorhomes come in assorted sizes and price ranges, from a 22-foot Type B unit to a bus-size luxury vehicle. Whether you’re entering the market, upgrading, or prefer a motor coach with all the bells and whistles, you’re in luck. Options and versatile floor plans make it easier to find a motorhome that matches your lifestyle and budget.
Slideouts are a popular feature, a must-have for some motorhome enthusiasts. They dramatically expand the interior living space, at the touch of a button. It’s not uncommon to see a motorhome with two, three, even four slides. Forget about the narrow, cramped feeling of motorhomes of yesteryear.
Manufacturers continue to develop other innovative products to meet consumers’ needs. For instance, toy haulers feature a fold-up ramp on the back used for loading ATVs, Jet Skis, motorcycles and mountain bikes. Some models have built-in garages large enough to stow a small car to be used for local jaunts.
One manufacturer offers a model with a patio deck that can be lowered to create an inviting outdoor living space. Another offers a model with a rooftop patio that includes cushioned seating, a barbecue console and built-in wet bar.
If a production-line motorhome doesn’t suit you, a custom coach conversion company can build a coach to your specifications.
7. Motorhome loan interest can be tax-deductible
For most motorhome buyers, the interest on the loan is deductible as second home mortgage interest. To qualify, the motorhome must be used as security for the loan and must have basic sleeping, toilet and cooking accommodations.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes two booklets that contain helpful information regarding tax deductibility of RV loan interest. Copies of “Publication 936-Home Interest Deduction” and “Publication 523 — Selling Your Home” are available online or by calling the IRS at (800) 829-3676.
6. Bond with family in a motorhome
Whether it’s a long excursion or a weekend getaway, motorhome trips can strengthen family bonds weakened by busy daily lives. Family members tend to connect with each other when they are away from their normal routines and enjoying a simpler lifestyle. Motorhome trips can foster communication and churn out good times to share and then treasure.
In addition, a motorhome is a great, nonintrusive guesthouse while visiting friends and family.
5. Motorhome travel can broaden kids’ horizons
Because sleeping quarters, kitchens, dining areas and bathrooms are readily accessible, motorhoming is a great way to travel with children. It’s much more relaxing when you don’t have to continually look for rest areas and restaurants. Plus, seeing the world through kids’ eyes opens up a new set of wonders for adults.
Motorhome travel can help children learn to appreciate the outdoors and gain insights into different people and places. Traveling to battlefields, presidential libraries and historic villages makes history come alive. The opportunities to learn about geography and nature are endless. The kids may forget it’s a learning experience.
4. Motorhome campgrounds abound
Private campgrounds and government-owned campgrounds are often located near popular tourist attractions. Some RV parks are small and bucolic, while others are large, upscale resorts.
Campgrounds may have swimming pools, playgrounds, recreation centers, entertainment, walking paths, camp stores, crafts and social events. Many now include cable modem and Wi-Fi Internet access. Commercial campgrounds usually have hookups for power, water supply and waste disposal. After a day of sightseeing, families can return to their motorhomes, cook their favorite meals at leisure and relax in a comfortable and familiar atmosphere.
Camping fees vary depending on the location, season and amenities offered. Public campgrounds and some retail lots offer convenient and low-cost places to stay overnight.
3. Your pet can travel in the motorhome
See Spot run. See Rover ride in a motorhome and enjoy it with you. You don’t have to board your pet in a kennel or leave it with a family member. Most pets adjust to motorhome travel just fine.
2. Affordability of motorhome travel
Pre-owned motorhomes can cost substantially less than new models (check the classifieds and Internet postings for deals). Dealers have been known to offer low-rate loans. Many motorhome loans are treated as second mortgages, making the interest tax-deductible. And while fuel costs have been a concern …
Cost comparison studies by international accounting firm PKF Consulting have found that RV vacations still are more affordable than travel by personal car, commercial airline or cruise ship, even when factoring in RV ownership costs.
A 2008 PKF study concluded that fuel prices would have to more than double for typical motorhome vacations to cost more than other forms of travel. The savings on air, hotel and restaurant costs offset the cost of fuel. And, motorhomers can adjust to higher fuel prices by staying longer in one place and/or closer to home.
It’s worth mentioning that fuel price hikes can increase the cost of other means of travel and transportation as well, including airfares and hotel rates.
And the number-one reason to own a motorhome …
1. So you can join FMCA
Motorhoming fosters a sense of community. By joining FMCA, you become part of a valuable network of friends who share a common interest. FMCA’s chapter rallies, area rallies and semiannual conventions bring motorhome owners together. By joining FMCA, you also become eligible for more than 30 member benefits, including the FMCAssist emergency medical assistance program and a subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine — both are free with paid membership.