Shopping for a new RV can be more complicated than you think. You would have to consider different factors that come with the RV, such as the layout, your needs while on the road, and the features that you want to include in your rig. The RV industry has exploded with plenty of options of brands and styles. There are plenty of toy haulers, travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and Class A and C motorhomes with their own advantages.
The best brands that you can choose from when it comes to RVs are Coachmen, Airstream, Jayco, Winnebago, Tiffin Motorhomes, and Keystone RV. On the other hand, if you are not ready to buy an RV, you can opt to rent them through different companies such as RVShare, RVnGo, and Outdoorsy.
Coachmen: A Well-Known Company
Coachmen have been manufacturing RVs for more than 50 years, and plenty of RVers have trusted their brand. They started out as a 5,000 square foot plant production and managed to build 12 travel trailers, a single truck camper, and 80 truck caps in their first year. Since then, they have manufactured over 750,000 RVs, and the brand operates on the principle of enriching their customer’s life. The foundation of the company is to bring value and quality to everything they produce.
They make sure to focus on including simplicity and functionality in each model. This company incorporates the feedback and requests of RV owners into each model so that it can be a great fit for every person who wants to live on the road. Now, the company has been bought and sold by a few companies since then but remains one of the industry’s trusted names.
The best thing about the Coachmen brand is that there are no two models alike. There are significant differences between models, and it seems like it is made by different companies. There are plenty of reviews from buyers where the floorplans are praised because of the features and dependability it offers.
Now, if you are considering buying an RV from the Coachmen company, make sure that you research specific models to see if the brand fits your needs and wants. As mentioned above, each model is different from the other, which is why proper research is needed when you are planning to buy their RVs.
The popular models of Coachmen include the Pursuit, Freelander, Prism, and Leprechaun.
Airstream: Most Customizable Option
Airstream is considered to be one of the easily recognizable companies because of its aluminum bullet shape. It has been in the industry for over 80 years, where the company started out as a dream to offer people a way to be comfortable while on the road.
The company’s philosophy is not to make changes in their brand but only make improvements. Every inch of the Airstream model has a functional purpose and no planned obsolescence. You can rest assured that when you buy an Airstream, it will always be in style as it is constructed and conceived as a lifetime investment.
Airstream features include fog lamps, Bi-Xenon headlights, heated windshield, and power mirrors, Dupont Corian tables and countertops, parking assist, and so much more. The company also offers a ‘build your coach’ option that allows you to select everything, from paint colors to floorplans to cabinet styles. When it comes to optimum customization, Airstream is the best brand for you.
You can find different sizes of Airstream that can fit up to five people, which is perfect for RVers that have families. However, the price for the Airstream models can be very high, and you can find more affordable RVs in the market. Popular models of Airstream include Interstate, Flying Cloud, International Serenity, Basecamp, and the Grand tour.
Airstream is easily one of the favorites when it comes to travel trailers, but the price is what hinders most RVers from purchasing this brand. The features that it offers are amazing and great for RVers that want to live on the road full time as well as those with big families. If you have the money to splurge on your RV, this is probably the best brand that you can purchase.
Jayco: The Best RV for Extreme Weather
Jayco, Inc. was started in 1968 by a man of strong faith and vision. It was founded by Lloyd J. Bontrager, who felt that he could build the world a better RV. He wanted to create a company that reflected his ideals which is a company where everyone would be treated as a family.
With the Jayco company, you can live in the RV comfortably in a four-season RV in any weather that you may face while on the road. When it comes to a designated RV being genuinely suitable for all types of weather, Jayco is on the top of the list.
They have a Climate Shield, which is a system that protects the Airstream against extreme temperatures ranging from 0 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Jayco tested their vehicles in a climate-controlled facility by professional and expert technicians. The result is eight hours of extreme heat, and the cold resulted in an interior temperature of 71 to 68 degrees.
Jayco has over 25 RV models ranging from travel trailers to Class A motorhomes. Some of the best models of Jayco include Eagle, Greyhawk, Jay Flight, and White Hawk.
Winnebago: Most Class and Size Option
Winnebago is the brand that you most likely have heard of since they are pretty famous. The Winnebago company has built a respected and trusted brand in the industry and has been around since the 1950s. The main vision of the company is to be the trusted leader in outdoor lifestyle solutions. They would achieve this by providing unmatched innovation, quality, and service in the industries that they engage.
With their motorhomes, they come with customized metal license plates, a subscription to their monthly newsletter, access to social activities, discounts on travel through Winnebago Outdoor Adventures. The monthly newsletter includes information about different events and news about the brand.
The Winnebago motorhome’s exteriors are made with high gloss gel coat fiberglass that is available in six great colors, which are typically white, platinum, and champagne. Aside from that, they also offer colors like royal blue, cherry, and hunter green.
Another great thing about the Winnebago exterior is that it is built with thickness so that most scratches can easily be buffed out of the surface and don’t reach deeper layers.
Now, there’s a concern when it comes to Winnebago’s interior features, as some owners love the stainless steel sinks and fixtures, but the solid countertops are not standard in all models. The main problem with this is it can be a problem when water collects on the counter, where the top edge meets the side. Once the bottom begins to swell, it can weaken the bond with size and can cause a gap between them.
There are also some concerns when it comes to the floor registers in some models. Floor registers can be a pain to maintain and keep clean, most especially when you have pets with you. Make sure that you check most of the models that you are interested in to see if this would be the main concern for you.
One more issue about the interior of the Winnebago is the mattress tends to be on the thinner side but can easily be corrected by just adding another foam topper. However, most motorhome owners would rather replace the mattress altogether.
On the better side, customers generally found that the interior layouts are varied enough to be exciting and well accessible. Most people can find at least one floor plant that works for them in any given model. It also offers a vast amount of storage where the cabinets are deep and well-constructed with a thoughtful layout which makes essentials easy to place as well as retrieve.
When it comes to Winnebago’s customer service, there are a few customers that complained they’re not helpful about their towables over the phone and the owner’s manual is too generic. However, there are customers that find the dealerships helpful, and they are able to get the needed information that is hard to come by.
The best models that Winnebago can offer are Forza, Vista, Navion, and Horizon.
Tiffin Motorhomes: Provides the Best Warranty
Tiffin Motorhomes was started by a family back in 1941 and has become the leading luxury motorhome brand located in Red Bay, USA. Since a family runs this business, they operate differently from the rival manufacturers. The company is obsessed with providing quality and takes this as a matter of pride.
Tiffin joined the Thor industry in 2020, which majorly built Class A and Class C motorhomes. This brand focuses on structural quality so that it can provide the best to its customers. Also, Tiffin has a custom-built chassis that comes with a limited three years or 50,000 miles warranty.
However, not all chassis are built using precision engineering like dynamometer testing, towing capacity, and so much more to check durability, reliability, and performance. When it comes to the motorhome’s parts, you can join the Tiffin Allegro Club or contact Tiffin service depending on the type of question and motorhome that you have.
It is best to consider this brand because of its innovation since it uses top-of-line technology to stay competitive in the industry. The motorhomes have different features like climate control, LED lighting system, multiplex wiring, smart slides, fiberglass one fitted roof, and so much more.
As mentioned above, Tiffin Motorhomes is operated by a family business which means they take care of its reputation through service the best quality RVs to their customers. They also offer a warranty that covers ten years on the frame construction, five years on fiberglass delamination or wall separation, and one year of 24/7 roadside service and ongoing owner support for as long as you own the RV.
The best models that Tiffin Motorhomes offer includes Phaeton, Open Road Allegro, Mercedes Wayfarer, and Zephyr.
Keystone RV: Owned By Thor Industries
Keystone RV was founded in 1996 and was purchased by Thor Industries back in 2001. They are the most popular and largest RV producers in the United States. Keystone RV is known to be the biggest producer of fifth-wheels and travel trailers. Their main goal was to build quality RVs that are loaded with tons of features and more affordable than other options in the market.
This company always puts its customers first and always aims to provide the highest quality of products that will last for years. There’s a huge chance that you have seen several different Keystone models on the road or different RV campgrounds. Some of the most popular Keystone RV models are Montana, Bullet, Laredo, Outback, Passport, Raptor, Hideout, Avalanche, and Alpine.
Montana is one of the most popular fifth wheels in the market. It has 22 different floor plans that are spacious with luxury touches. This model is a four-season package that keeps you comfortable all year round. On the other hand, the Bullet model is ultra-light that gets good reviews for using quality materials and being durable.
The Laredo and Outback model is long-lasting and gets a good review from those who live full time on the road. Passport is a trailer that gets great reviews for stable towing and great appliances, while Raptor is a fun toy hauler with cozy decor, luxury touches such as a large shower, and plenty of room overall.
The Hideout model is a travel trailer that has high marks for luxury touches and affordable pricing. Avalanche is a fifth-wheel trailer that includes fun touches such as a fireplace, glass shower door, and power theater seats. Lastly, the Alpine model is also a fifth-wheel trailer that has hydraulic selector valves for slide-outs and a MaxTurn technology that can assist you in driving.
With all the models that Keystone RV offers, you can find the right travel trailer for your needs.
RV Share: Great for Renting RV
When you don’t have the budget to buy your own RV, you can contact RVshare to rent an RV. This company was founded by Mark and his wife Rachel back in 2012, who decided to RV across the country for their honeymoon. They fell in love with the freedom they felt while on the road and shared it with others.
Once their honeymoon was done, they decided to rent their RV to couples who were interested in life on the road but not yet sure if it was right for them. RVshare was the first peer-to-peer RV rental company and is currently the largest rental company today.
RVshare is like the Airbnb of the RV world, where anyone who owns an RV can list it for rent and for prospective renters to browse the listings. Both the owners and renters have profiles to complete with reviews that are written by people they have rented to or from.
Now, unlike other peer-to-peer rental companies, there is little emphasis on the said profiles. Plenty of users neglect to fill them out, and finding them is a bit challenging. You would need to scroll down the page to find the RV owner, and the only thing you can do is to contact them and not have all the information you need.
RVshare has everything from Class A, B, and C RV rentals, as well as toy haulers, fifth-wheels, pop-up campers, travel trailers, and so much more. All you need to do is create a renter’s profile to have access to thousands of listings. The requirements that you need to meet are you need to be at least 25 years old, have a valid driver’s license, at least three years of driving history, and pass the DMV check.
The DMV check is quick and automated, as long as your record doesn’t reveal any red flags such as suspended license, recent DUI, two 20mph speeding tickets in the past 12 months, and two negligent collisions in the past 12 months. When browsing for RV listings, you can browse through by date and location.
Once you’ve found an RV to your liking, you can contact the owner through the built-in messaging system. When you are good to go, all you need to do is click ‘Request to Book’ and wait for the owner’s approval of your request. Once your request has been approved, you will be entitled to rental insurance.
It is just as important as the RV you pick, if not more important. When you rent through RVshare, the renter’s insurance will be included in the price. However, the price would differ on the type of RV that you choose. The rental insurance would cover everything such as tree falls on RV, animal impact, windstorm, hail storm, earthquake, stolen RV, vandalism, fire, lighting, and backup accidents.
As mentioned above, the rental insurance would depend on the RV you choose. They will look at the make, model, year, whether you want pets to come, how long you plan on renting it for, and whether you’re picking up the RV or having it delivered.
RVnGo: Perfect Peer-to-Peer Network
RVnGo is just like RVshare, where you can rent RVs, trailers, and pop-ups. Now, the only difference with RVnGo is the site is unique and provides marketing service 100% free to owners while renters pay all of the platform fees. Site terms state that the free-to-owners features may not last forever. However, for the moment, it makes renting out RVs via RVnGo an unusually good deal.
Now, this feature may appear great for RV owners, but it’s not a good deal for renters. The site’s mandatory insurance policy is high-priced and tacks other fees onto the renter’s bill. This would lead to the check-out price for the renter to be high or higher here than other platforms that charge fees to owners.
With the payment process, RVnGo will collect rental payments ten days before the rental and release the funds to the owners as soon as the renters receive the RV. It’s similar to the other RV rental sites, which typically release the payment to owners 24-hours after the RV has been picked up by the renter.
Once the RV is returned, the owner and the renter will inspect it for any damages. When damages are found, they would need to agree on the final charges for things like sewage dumping or fuel. If all is well, the deposit that the customer placed will be returned. If there are damages, insurance claims are due within two days after the rental return.
The only issue with RVnGo is it doesn’t appear to have anywhere near the web traffic that RVshare or Outdoorsy have. Other rental RV sites have millions of customer visits each month, which makes RVnGo a site that may have the challenge of finding a renter.
Having said this, this shouldn’t stop you from listing your RV on all three sites, which will bring the most activity. It never hurts to list your RV on different sites since it would mean it would reach more renters.
Outdoorsy: Another Great RV Rental
Outdoorsy is another RV rental company that you can take advantage of when you have not decided if you want to live on the road permanently. This company was founded by Jeff Cavins and Jen Young back in 2015 with the goal of connecting travelers to outdoor travel. They wanted to make it easy for travelers to experience the joy of traveling in an RV without having to own one.
Here you can book a vehicle directly from the RV owner, and you can find millions of rentals around the world, from vintage airstream trailers to luxury motorhomes and everything in between. You can also make extra money on the side by listing your RV on the platform for others to rent, rather than letting it sit for weeks or months.
Outdoorsy operates in over 14 countries and has millions of vehicles available for rent. They provide excellent 24/7 technical and customer support with friendly, helpful, as well as easy to reach representatives. Most rentals are covered by a comprehensive insurance policy which means there’s no need to take out an additional policy when you plan to drive an RV or campervan.
When you have decided the destination for your road trip, the next thing that you need to do is to pick out the best vehicle for you. You can start by entering the location and the pick-up as well as drop-off date on the Outdoorsy website. Once that’s done, hit search, and you will see a list of compatible vehicles in the area. You can also refine your search based on different criteria like price, amenities, and rating.
When it comes to searching for a vehicle, the best feature is you can filter your search by vehicle type. You will find the right vehicle for your trip from campervan and mainstream trailers to luxurious Class A, B, and C. The next step is pretty straightforward, and it’s just like booking a hotel.
You will find all the details, amenities, and rates that you need to know on the rental page. When the RV is available for automatic booking, you will find the ‘Instant Book’ button. However, most of the owners would require renters to go through an approval process where you submit a booking request and the owner either approves it or not.
Once you’re done with the booking process, picking up your rental RV is the next step. You will pick up the rental directly from the owner, but some owners will agree to meet in a specific location or deliver the rental to the airport. When the owner hands over the keys, you are ready to start your adventure on the road.
Now, when it comes to renting an RV, the quality is not guaranteed. Just like any other RV rental company, they do not verify the condition or quality of the RV rentals. It will be your responsibility as a renter to look at the rental reviews and photos to see if the RV meets your standards.
Another disadvantage of using Outdoorsy is that you can expect them to take 20 to 25 percent of the booking cost when you are renting out your RV when you plan to rent out your RV. Aside from the daily rental price, it would be best if you took note of the extra charges that you may incur during the trip. These would include extra miles, fuel refilling, cleaning fees, and pet deposits which can add up to the total you need to pay.
If you want to live on the road without any hassle or problems with your RV, you want to choose only the best brand that will last for years. Knowing the company’s goal and reviews is important so that you can have peace of mind that your rig can last for a long time. Features and floor plans are not just what you need to look at but also the brand’s reputation.