Articles & Opinion
Young Families Driving RV Market
By By RV Travel Staff
Apr 29, 2005, 18:13
RESTON, Va., PRNewswire - Laura and Ben Soussan recently bought their first RV, and it has enriched their lives far beyond their expectations. The Soussans are but one example of a huge influx of young families coming into the RV market, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The Soussans are now doing what most people only dream of - seeing America in an RV. "It's been a mind-opening experience," says Laura. "Each day, we see and learn new things and we've become more well-rounded. We've been to places where we've expected nothing and when we got there, said 'Wow, I would have never imagined this!'"
The Soussans' cross-country RV trip has taken them to Key West, Fla. to celebrate the new year and New Orleans for Mardi Gras. They plan to visit Alaska for the summer solstice on June 21 before heading back home to New Hampshire, where they still maintain a home.
Ben, 43, and Laura, 46, decided they wanted to make a trip of this magnitude now rather than waiting until they retire. "A friend of ours died and that had an impact on us," says Ben. "We thought, do we want to work the rest of our lives and kill ourselves, or have some fun."
The idea began to crystallize when Laura and Ben drove her uncle to an RV dealership in New Hampshire, where he was buying a motorhome. While the Soussans were there, they went inside an RV for the first time and were impressed.
"We began to imagine all the possibilities after our first look at RVs," said Laura. "Then we began to make a plan to buy one and devote a year to being on the road."
Their dream became reality when the Soussans, who have two children, ages 23 and 20, sold their successful computer businesses and bought a state-of-the-art RV with all the comforts of home. Their new motorhome features ceramic-tiled floors, flat-screen TVs, surround-sound CD and DVD players, a washer/dryer combo, queen-size bed, satellite TV and radio, and rooms that expand at the push of a button to create extra space.
The Soussans' RV journey has not only expanded their horizons, but it's added a spark to their 23-year marriage. "It's a comfortable way for the two of us to enjoy each other and see the country," says Ben. "We're like newlyweds in our RV."
Another newcomer to RVing is Dave Williams, 36, and his wife, who bought their first vehicle a year ago. It's a Type C motorhome that's ideal for traveling with a young family because it can sleep up to eight people.
"Our three kids love the RV," says Williams, a contractor who lives in San Marcos, Calif. "They're the main reason we got it. The RV is great for getting away on weekends. We try to use it at least once a month. We're having a lot of fun."
For those thinking about RVing for the first time, the RVIA offers these suggestions on how to get started:
* Surf the Web. The most comprehensive RV Web site, GoRVing.com, offers information on the RV travel experience, including campground listings and vacation planning suggestions.
* Order a free DVD or CD-ROM. Call 1-888-Go RVing for a free DVD or CD-ROM of RV shopping and travel tips. The DVD and CD-ROM also can be ordered on Go RVing's Web site, www.GoRVing.com, where you can link to lists of local dealers and campgrounds that cater to new RVers.
* Rent an RV. There are more than 460 RV rental outlets nationwide. Renting allows potential buyers to try RV travel and determine which type of unit best suits their needs. Check the yellow pages under "Recreation Vehicle-Rentals" for your nearest rental outlet, or access the Recreation Vehicle Rental Association's (RVRA) Web site at www.rvra.org for the RVRA Rental Directory, which lists more than 340 rental companies in the United States and Canada. RV rental costs vary depending on the season and size of the unit.
* Visit an RV dealer. To visit a local RV dealer, go to GoRVing.com and click on "Buying and Renting" or check the yellow pages under "Recreation Vehicle-Sales."
* Attend an RV show. A wide range of RVs appealing to every taste and budget can be found on display at retail shows across the country. For a calendar of shows in your area, go to GoRVing.com under "Buying and Renting;" click on "RV Roundup," then go to RV Shows.
Source: Recreation Vehicle Industry Association
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