Recreational vehicle manufacturers offer an array of products that provide accommodations ranging from hard-side tents to custom recreational vehicles rivaling sumptuous hotels. You can’t help but notice the big rigs trundling down the highway, but you can choose from a variety of camper vans and non-motorized trailers.
While the motor homes may catch consumers’ imaginations, towable RVs, which comprise nearly 80% of the market, may better fit their budgets. Here again, recreational vehicle manufacturers market an assortment of products from folding campers to 40 foot long trailers. It’s easier to visualize the right mix to showcase on your franchise floor by keeping three basic size categories in mind:
1. Lightweight folding campers for quick getaways
2. Large-scale trailers for longer-term vacations
3. Full-size recreational vehicles to take up residence in
Get a broad overview of RV manufacturer products by type and weightRV manufacturers categorize their wares both by type and by weight. Take time to understand how the manufacturers define weight. They report ratings one of two ways: actual weight, the measured weight of the RV (which may be averaged or estimated rather than an actual measurement), and the rating, which is the limit placed on the RV-the maximum allowed weight it can handle.
Research RV manufacturers online for travel trailersAll things considered, travel trailers offer the biggest bang for the buck, with all the amenities of full-sized motorcoaches without the added expense of an engine. Just plant your trailer at the destination then use the transport vehicle to get around and see the sights. Travel trailers have fixed sides and can be up to 40 feet in length. Fifth-wheel trailers have part of the body that extends over the bed of a pick-up truck, attaching to the bed with a special hitch. Others, called toy haulers, have garage space in the rear for ATVs or motorcycles.
Contact RV manufacturers for your own true home away from homeRV manufacturers can categorize a self-propelled motor home in one of three classifications. Builders typically custom build Class A motor homes on a commercial truck or bus chassis; some are even passenger bus conversions. Class B motor home manufacturers either start from scratch, building a custom body onto a full-size van chassis (called coach-built) or raise the roof on a passenger van (a conversion). RV manufacturing companies of Class C camper vans cut away the back of a full-size van or the bed of a pickup truck and build a custom cab body onto the chassis. You can distinguish a Class C from a Class B by size (they're usually larger) and sometimes by a protruding cab-over profile with a bunk bed.
- Before checking out RV dealers for a trailer, match the right towing vehicle to the trailer. Your van or truck not only has to pull the weight of the RV, but the tow bar and rear suspension needs to handle the "tongue" or "pin" weight, anywhere from 10% to 25% of the Gross Trailer Weight.