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Experts are waiting

Bring your questions to the show

RVs are a great way to get out and see the country.

RVs are a great way to get out and see the country.

By KATE UPTERGROVE

What is a recreational vehicle?

That may seem like a silly question, unless you’re asking it of Tammy Wildman, executive director of the Midwest Gateway RV Dealers Association. As Wildman explains it, RVs are everything from pop-up campers to self-contained motorhomes – and the 2016 Fall RV Show & Sale will feature them all.

Wildman added that the RV show is the perfect place for people who like to camp, but no longer want to sleep on the ground, to come out and see what might be next – or for families who travel a lot because of sports tournaments and who want an alternative to staying in hotels – or young couples who want to get out and explore.

“It’s also perfect for people who’ve seen a fifth-wheel or motorhome rolling down the highway and said ‘there goes the dream,’ because maybe it doesn’t need to be a dream,” Wildman said. “The point is, when you’re talking about recreational vehicles, there’s literally something for everyone.”

She added that people attending the fall RV show will have the chance to talk not only with RV dealers, but also with the people who own them.

“This show attracts a lot of current RV owners because fall is a good time to get some great deals,” Wildman said. “And RV owners are a really friendly bunch.”

Wildman said sharing information about the “RV lifestyle” is an important reason why the Midwest Gateway RV Dealers Association exists and why it hosts its spring [at America’s Center] and fall RV shows.

“We want people to come with lots of questions,” Wildman said. Which is good, because according to GoRving.com, there’s a lot to consider when deciding if the RV lifestyle is right for you, starting with a realistic budget.

There are some obvious benefits, such as being able to travel with family pets at no additional cost or being able to get up close and personal with nature while feeling right at home. But what about the costs?

Some costs are flexible, others are not. Insurance is one of those non-negotiable expenses. Not only does it protect your RV and belongings – think homeowners insurance meets auto coverage – but it’s also the law. As with other forms of insurance, annual costs vary widely depending on coverage limits and customer service.

Maintenance and annual fees also can vary widely among RV models and from state to state, according to GoRVing.com, so prospective RV owners may want to ask current RV owners and dealership representatives about typical maintenance costs and annual fees.

Resources available online under the “affordability tab” at GoRving.com can provide additional food for thought and generate questions to ask at the fall RV show.

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