New to RVing? - While everyone is concerned about the cost of fuel, RVing is still a great way for families and individuals to enjoy the outdoors, do a little traveling, and relax. More and more people continue to be drawn to the lure and enjoyment of the RV lifestyle and this article is directed to helping all RVers make informed decisions about this very popular pastime.
Although many of the major book store chains have relatively limited selections of RV books and magazines, RVers should not be dismayed. Fortunately, we have a great combination of excellent RVer clubs and organizations, books, videos, and magazines for the RV lifestyle, maintenance and service facilities, RV dealers and suppliers, and RV-related Internet sites.
RVers can quickly get information about how to keep an RV running properly, the latest information on products, suppliers and repair facilities to maintain and upgrade their rigs, and great places to go.
We recommend that you take as much time as possible to ensure that you find what you want.
RVing Clubs and Magazines – RVing clubs help RVers get up to speed very quickly by providing information about the RV lifestyle, locales to visit, and suggested maintenance tips. They sponsor local chapters all over the country as well as local, regional, and national RV rallies where you can meet with other RVers. The rallies frequently offer seminars and work shops on RVing topics and offer opportunities for recreation, rest, and education.
The RVing clubs also offer valuable discounts for RV parks, services, and other RVer needs. We strongly encourage all RVers to join at least one of the major user groups to keep up with what's happening with RVs, RV products and services, and the RV lifestyle.
The three major clubs are the Good Sam Club, the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), and the Escapees RV Club. All provide excellent magazines directed to helping RVers with information, product information, discounts, and offerings. In addition to these, there are dozens of smaller RVer clubs supported by common interests or sponsored by the RV manufacturers.
The Good Sam Club publishes Highways magazine and is probably the best known. The Good Sam Club provides valuable information as well as discounts, and product and service offerings to its members. The annual fee of $30 is quickly recouped by making use of the discounts on overnight fees and RV service expenditures at their participating campground, RV resort, and RV service providers.
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) publishes the Family Motor Coaching magazine and is directed towards owners of larger motorhomes. Similar to the Good Sam Club, the FMCA fee of $45 to join and $35/year to renew is quickly recouped by making use of wealth of information in the Family Motor Coaching magazine, as well as the discounts on RV services, including health insurance and campground and resort fees.
The Escapees Club, which publishes the Escapees magazine, is very highly regarded by the full-time and extended-stay RVers. The membership fee is $70 to join and $60 to renew. Escapees Club products and service offerings, including discounts of 15% - 50% at selected RV resorts, directly contribute to making life on the road more fun and address the unique needs of RVers with no home base or who are away for extended periods of time.
All RVers should check out the Woodall’s Diamond Club and E-magazine. The E-newsletters offer easy-to-read information and tips that help all RVers and include coupons to provide additional savings.
An excellent additional selection of informative and popular RV lifestyle magazines and newsletters can be found at the NewRVer website.
RV Lifestyle Books and Magazines - The brick and mortar bookstores, such as Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million, carry campground directories and atlases, RVers looking for books about the RV lifestyle will find a much broader selection at Internet RV bookstores.
Two popular magazines available by subscription and in selected bookstores include Motorhome magazine and Trailer Life magazine. They are both available in bookstores and by subscription. Both magazines are loaded with helpful and well-presented information.
If you don’t find what you wanted at your local bookstore or RV dealer, use the Internet and check out the Woodall’s online bookstore, the Trailer Life bookstore, and the RV Bookstore The Camping World website and the Work Kamper online bookstore are also popular with full-timers, work campers, and extended-stay RVers.
RV Catalogs – Since you never know when you’ll be looking for RVing items, we suggest that you keep a Camping World master catalog, and an RV Parts and Accessories catalog available from your local RV dealer Parts and Accessories handy. RVers will also find excellent catalogs available from the RV manufacturers that are customized for many of the small items on their rigs.
RV Suppliers – RVers have a large number of suppliers for the parts, accessories, and systems to get the most out of their RV and the RV lifestyle. The first stop is normally your local RV dealer or RV service shop. They are generally conveniently located and have access to just about any RV part ever made for your RV.
Large independent distributors that offer a wide array of anything needed for RVing include Camping World, known to most RVers for their website, catalogs, and nation-wide chain of large retail supercenters providing RV products, service, and RV sales as well as extended warranties and RV financing. The Camping World website at www.campingworld.com lets you shop from the convenience of your home or RV site.
The J.C. Whitney website also provides a wide selection of RV supplies, systems, and accessories. In addition to Camping World and J.C. Whitney, RVers will find that home supply stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe's can be very helpful. They carry economically-priced, good quality RVing and camping items, such as non-toxic drinking water hoses, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, inverters, extension cords, portable heaters, cleaners, lubricants, duct tape, and small hand and power tools.
Anyone in need of trailer and car dolly tires should check out agricultural supply centers, which usually carry an excellent selection of tires, lighting kits, and related trailer and tow hitch parts and accessories.
For miscellaneous items, check out the camping supplies, automotive, housewares, linen, yard and patio, and sporting goods departments-and just about any other departments--of the big box stores, including Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target.
Camping supply stores, such as Campmor, provide the essentials and durable products you need for camping, hiking, and wilderness areas. Large sporting goods stores, such as Sports Authority, and Dick's, carry an extensive selection of camping equipment and supplies. Many items from the leading Coleman camping equipment line popular with campers since the 1940s will be on the shelves of all the big box and sporting goods stores.
When all else fails and you haven’t found what you’re looking for, turn on the computer and do an Internet Google search for the missing item on the Internet.