RV Buying Advice
by Pat Goss
Pat Goss: A lot of people are considering buying motor homes or RV’s these days. Now, to help us sort through some of the complexities of this, we have Mr. Dave Humphreys of RVIA. Hi, Dave.
David Humphreys, President, Recreational Vehicle Industry Association: Hi, Pat.
Pat: Now, number one thing, what should they be looking for?
Dave: I think the main thing is, you want to be sure the vehicle’s properly built. And the best test for that is to look for the RVIA seal. It says right on it that the manufacturer is building to a national code. It’s 100 pages long, and we have our own inspectors who go out and make sure they do it right.
Pat: Ok, now this is going to be after they’ve decided what they need and what they want. Right?
Dave: Right, you bet.
Pat: They’ve got to do some research first. Now, one of the things I noticed on this, and it shows the thought that goes into them today, is the rounded top on the doors.
Dave: Well, it’s a very practical reason. When you open that door if somebody lowers the awnings, you have a ruined awning. So, it’s a simple solution to an annoying problem.
Pat: The step was something else that I liked.
Dave: It comes out automatically, and it goes back automatically.
Pat: Well, it used to be a problem, because people would drive off with them extended, and crash.
Dave: Right, curbs don’t like steps.
Pat: OK, let’s go inside and take a look.
Pat: Now, one of the things in here that we’ve heard horror stories about on much older vehicles, were the slide outs, that they were unreliable and had all kinds of problems. Is that still the situation?
Dave: No, the slide outs when they first came out weren’t really ö whoa, there it goes. Now, they’re great. In fact, I can even sit on it, it’ll just keep right on going…you could have several other people….
Pat: Uh-huh, so they’ve addressed all of the problems and…
Dave: They’re very popular, very strong, they don’t leak.
Pat: What about activation if the vehicle is moving?
Dave: Well, we have a safety, several safety features. There’s a latch that you fix right here, so it won’t come out accidentally. But we also have to have the emergency brake on before that switch will work.
Pat: Gotcha, and this really extends the room in here.
Dave: Well, if you like a big kitchen, that’s how you get it. You move the other wall out. And, it really gives you the whole eating area and the kitchen much, much better.
Pat: Now the other thing I understand is that you can tailor these to whatever your taste is, as far as the decor.
Dave: That’s right. We find that styles change. Light wood is “in” right now, so we’re providing light wood. And the ladies help us with what the fabrics should be. So, it’s an interior decorating challenge. And the industry is very, very flexible.
Pat: But, if they want different floor treatments, it’s something that’s easily doable?
Dave: I think you’ll find, absolutely, if you compare this industry to the automobile industry, these are custom-made vehicles, by that standard.
Pat: Now, one other thing, is the roof. A lot of people like to get on these and watch races and so on. Is that a concern?
Dave: Well, it is. And I think it’s the kind of thing a person should be very careful about. That’s sort of a specialized issue. And some of these have reinforced roofs, and some don’t. So, I would say to the consumer, ask the dealer very carefully about how you intend to use it, and be sure that it meets your requirements.
Pat: And some of them also have railings.
Dave: That’s right. Well, we don’t want anybody falling off. So, if you really want to do it right, you should have railings and a reinforced roof.
Pat: Now, where could they get more information?
Dave: Probably the best place to go is an industry-wide website, called GoRVing.com. There’s more there than you could imagine about the whole industry.
Pat: Help them do their homework.
Dave: You bet.
Pat: Thanks, Dave.