|
Item 5: Recreational Vehicles

The fancier the RV, the heavier it gets.

Ove Eriksson/Getty Images

Due to the crumbling credit market that sapped consumer spending, RV sales overall dipped a steep 22.7 percent from August 2007 to August 2008 [source: Recreational Vehicle Industry Association]. But that didn't leave enthusiasts idling at home. On the flip side, RV rentals spiked 18 percent over the same period [source: Recreational Vehicle Industry Association].

Like different types of cars and trucks you can choose from, RV companies offer a variety of models to fit customer needs. They include the self-contained RVs that you drive and those that you tow behind your vehicle. Of the ones you tow, fifth-wheel RVs, also called fivers, are the largest. Fivers are often the recreational vehicle of choice for "full-timers" (that's RV speak for people who live in their RVs all the time). Those models are literally homes on wheels, complete with bed, bath, living and dining rooms.

Of course, the more amenities, such as washers, entertainment systems or additional bedrooms, you add, the more the RV weighs. For that reason, if you're looking into a higher-end RV to serve as your home away from home, check the weight before writing the check. Manufacturers are required to list the weight ratings on every vehicle to ensure that consumers know the type of towing load that may be coming their way.

­

|