Affording an RV: Fuel Saving Tips

When it comes to miles per gallon, size isn’t all that matters. Compact, aerodynamic and lighter-weight motorized models are more fuel-efficient than ever. Towable RVs account for more than two-thirds of RV sales, and innovative designs coupled with lightweight, durable building materials mean there are many that can be towed by family minivans and small to mid-sized SUVs.

Check out how savvy RVers save on fuel:

  • Camp closer to home. With more than 16,000 campgrounds nationwide, RVers can enjoy the outdoor experience whether they travel five miles or 500 miles.
  • Stay longer in one place. Many RV parks are vacation destinations in their own right, offering pools, playgrounds, hiking trails, entertainment centers, organized activities, convenience stores and so much more.
  • Pack lighter by not topping off fresh water tanks until at the campground and by purchasing firewood and other camping materials on-site to keep the RV lightweight while traveling. Be sure holding tanks are dumped before heading out to further lighten the load.
  • Tune up the engine of your motorhome or tow vehicle, inflate tires properly and conduct regular maintenance to maximize fuel efficiency.

 Some other facts to keep in mind: 

Fuel is typically only the fourth largest expense on a road trip, behind lodging, food, vehicle payment and maintenance. Airfares and hotel rates also rise when fuel costs increase and fuel surcharges are added. You can avoid those costs in an RV. Fuel prices would need to more than triple from their current level to make RVing more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel.

Article originally appeared on GoRVing.com.

Read our other articles on RV Affordability – 

Affording an RV – Buying and Renting

Affording an RV – RV Specific Insurance

1975 FMC Model J RV

Occasionally we have super unique, vintage trades come through Lichtsinn RV and the 1975 FMC Model J we recently took in is no exception. 1975 FMC J

The History of the FMC Motorhome 

The FMC Motorhome has an interesting lineage, FMC is the acronym for Food Machinery Corporation. FMC got its started in 1883 when inventor John Bean developed an innovative insecticide pump. The name was changed from the John Bean Manufacturing Company to the Food Machinery Corporation in 1928 when the company got into the canning machinery business. The company kept adding mechanized products and eventually started producing amphibious vehicles for the military.1975 FMC J

During a lull in its military vehicle contracts in the late 1960s, FMC turned its sights towards recreational vehicles. By 1972, FMC had transferred personnel from its ordnance division and formally launched a motor coach division in Santa Clara, California. Initial prototypes were 19 and 23 feet long, but neither went into production. FMC settled on a 29 foot size, and the first one was completed in late 1972.1975 FMC J

The well-made and pricey coaches, which sold for between $27,000 and $54,500 or about the same price as an average home of that era, were popular among upscale Motorhome buyers. Race car drivers Mario Andretti and Parnelli Jones owned FMCs, as did entertainers Clint Eastwood, Carol Burnett, Pat Boone and James Brolin. But the most famous FMC owner was CBS reporter Charles Kuralt, host of the popular news feature On the Road With Charles Kuralt. An FMC was the last of Kuralt’s six motorhomes. It is on public display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. FMC coaches were manufactured from 1973-1976.1975 FMC J

The 1973 energy crisis put a damper on the manufacture of all brands of motorhomes, so FMC was in a difficult position from the beginning. By 1975, FMC had a contract to produce the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and in September 1976 converted all tooling in
its factory to the manufacture of tanks. The FMC motor coach had reached a dead end. The final tally for the FMC was slightly more than 1,000 units, approximately 135 of which were transit buses.

About half of the transit buses were eventually transformed into motorhomes. There is believed to be 7-800 units still out there.

1975 FMC J Features and Options 

During trade in, we have taken this FMC through a major operating systems inspection.

This coach is powered by the tried and true FMC powertrain:

1.  Converted from a Chrysler gas powertrain to a diesel pusher in 1990, it has a General Motors Detroit Diesel 8.2 liter engine installed at 86,358 miles on the RV

2.  500 lbs ft of torque or power

3.  New Allison transmission installed in 1990

4.  New chassis battery December 2017

5.  New house battery July 2018

Includes the following aftermarket installations:

1.  New 6000 watt gas generator in 1996

2.  Duo Therm water heater in 1994

3.  22.5 inch Alcoa chrome aluminum wheels

4.  Full body Imron paint in 1990

5.  Upgraded driver and passenger seat

6.  New Maxx air fan

7.  New black, grey, and fresh water piping

Includes the following factory installed features:

1.  Custom steel chassis with aluminum upper cage frame and fiberglass exterior

2.  Twin bed floor plan with bunk beds

3.  Master bedroom game Table

4.  84 cubic ft of interior storage

5.  Winterization kit

6.  4 burner stove

7.  Oven

8.  33 foot Turning Radius

9.  Sofa bed

10.  Rear twin beds

11.  Drop down beds in master bedroom

12.  Wardrobe

Includes the following exterior highlights, in addition to the specifications on our website page and brochure:

1.  60 gallon fuel capacity

2.  20 gallon LP capacity

3.  6 gallon LP water heater with engine preheat

4.  50 amp electrical service

5.  Central air conditioning system

6.  Trailer tow package

 

Families Save Money When Owning RVs Compared to Other Vacations

A new study conducted by CBRE Hotels Advisory Group has found that RV vacations cost much less than other types of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership. According to the study, commissioned by Go RVing and the RV Industry Association, there are cost savings of 21 to 64 percent for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party saves 8 percent to 53 percent, depending on factors such as the type of RV and type of vacation.

“The study reaffirms that RVs are a great way to save on family travel, and it’s equally important to remember that RV ownership provides benefits that go well beyond affordability,” says RV Industry Association president Frank Hugelmeyer. “To take an RV trip is to experience togetherness with family and friends, along with the flexibility to travel whenever and wherever you want.”

The CBRE study analyzes vacation costs using two sets of hypothetical travel groups: a four-person travel party of two adults and two children, and a two-person travel party of two adults. CBRE analyzed major costs these hypothetical travelers incur traveling to nine popular vacation destinations. For each destination, researchers analyzed vacations lasting 3, 7 and 14 days.

The study compared different methods of travel, including a folding camping trailer; a lightweight travel trailer; a compact motorhome; a type C motorhome; a type A motorhome; traveling in a personal car, staying at hotels/motels, and eating meals in a restaurant; traveling by airline, renting a car at the destination, staying at hotels/motels, and eating meals in restaurants; and traveling in a personal car or airline (as appropriate), staying at a rental house/condominium, and eating the majority of meals in the rental unit. The type A motorhome, typically the largest and most luxurious RV, was compared to travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.

RV vacations show a clear family budget benefit over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. According to the CBRE study, a four-person travel party can expect to save (by unit type):

Folding camping trailer: 50-64%
Lightweight travel trailer: 31-50%
Compact motorhome: 31-50%
Type C motorhome: 21-43%
Type A motorhome: 41%

A two-person travel party saved, according to the CBRE analysis:

Folding camping trailer: 43-53%
Lightweight travel trailer: 20-34%
Compact motorhome: 20-34%
Type C motorhome: 8-24%
Type A motorhome – 19%

The study included analysis of how fluctuations in fuel prices could affect the economic advantages of RV travel. Researchers found that for a four-person travel party it would take a rise in fuel prices to nearly $13 per gallon for a Type C motorhome vacation to be more expensive than the least expensive non-RV vacation. None of the fuel increase scenarios for a four-person travel party resulted in other RV vacation types being more expensive than the least expensive non-RV vacation.

For a two-person travel party, fuel prices would still need to rise significantly (from $5.50 to more than $13 per gallon) from current levels for RVing to lose its economic advantage.

“While fuel costs are a component of the overall vacation cost, it isn’t significant enough to materially affect the outcome of our analysis,” says Kannan Sankaran, managing director of CBRE’s Advisory Services, and lead researcher.

Article originally seen on RVNews.com.

Lichtsinn RV Featured on Going RV

Lichtsinn RV will be featured on an upcoming episode of Going RV airing August 15 at 9:00 PM ET/8:00 PM CT on Great American Country.

Going RV is a show about hard-working couples and families who decide to ditch ordinary daily life for an adventure out on the open road. Take the ultimate ride as they go on a shopping trip to find their perfect RV. Whether it’s upgrading an existing motor home or going all out for a new one with all the bells and whistles, find out what happens when daring homeowners trade walls for wheels. Several dealerships across the country have been featured on Going RV since it one of the few shows on television that focus on the RV lifestyle. In fact, RVBusiness Magazine wrote a feature story on Going RV and Lichtsinn RV appeared in the article. You can read the article here.

Lichtsinn RV will be featured on the 2018 season finale – Early Retirement in an RV. In this episode, Lichtsinn RV guests Ann and Lin have decided to retire early and hit the road to travel full-time in an RV. They’re looking for a Class A Diesel with plenty of room for their three dogs. Ann would like extra storage for their workout equipment, and Lin wants a washer and dryer. Lichtsinn RV Sales Consultant Reed Burkholder helps them find the perfect RV for their needs. Reed tours Ann and Lin through two Forzas and the all-new Winnebago Horizon.

Going RV: Behind-the-Scenes 

The Going RV crew arrived at Lichtsinn RV to unseasonably cool weather. Shooting began early the next day with Lichtsinn RV Sales Consultant Reed Burkholder.

Lichtsinn RV Sales Consultant Reed Burkholder Shows Ann and Lin a Winnebago Forza in an Upcoming Episode of Going RV
Lichtsinn RV Sales Consultant Reed Burkholder Shows Ann and Lin a Winnebago Forza in an Upcoming Episode of Going RV

 

Ann and Lin Check Out the Winnebago Horizon. Will the Horizon be the Perfect Home for Them?
Ann and Lin Check Out the Winnebago Horizon. Will the Horizon be the Perfect Home for Them?

 

Ann and Lin Look at Another Forza with a Different Floorplan.
Ann and Lin Look at Another Forza with a Different Floorplan.
The Going RV Crew Takes a Break from Filming to Check Out the Winnebago Revel 4x4.
The Going RV Crew Takes a Break from Filming to Check Out the Winnebago Revel 4×4.
Lichtsinn RV Sales Consultant Reed Burkholder Answers Ann and Lin's Questions Before They Make Their RV Selection.
Lichtsinn RV Sales Consultant Reed Burkholder Answers Ann and Lin’s Questions Before They Make Their RV Selection.

 

Tune in to Great American Country on August 15 at 9:00 PM ET/8:00 PM CT to see which Winnebago they select.

Affording an RV – Buying and Renting

Affording Your RV Begining the RV lifestyle may seem like a daunting task, but our blog series Affording an RV will clear up misconceptions and reveal that RVing is an affordable, enjoyable way of traveling with family and friends.

Buying an RV

From family bonding to affordable getaways to spontaneous road trips – the reasons to buy an RV are endless. Here are some of the top reasons why there’s never been a better time to buy:

  • Many RV models allow a family of four to save up to 59% on vacation costs over other forms of travel. That’s a calculation that takes into account RV ownership costs, including payments, insurance, maintenance, tires, tax breaks, registration and depreciation.
  • In today’s economy, there are great deals available on new RV models. Consider pre-owned units for more savings.
  • Financing is readily available for qualified borrowers.
  • You may qualify for a tax deduction because the interest on your RV loan is generally deductible as second-home mortgage interest. Check with your financial advisor to see if you qualify for the deduction.

Pre-Owned RVs

Buying a pre-owned RV is a great way to make your vacation dream a reality for less. Whether you’re looking for a towable or motorized RV, check with Lichtsinn RV because we often receive RVs as trade-ins on new vehicles.

Just like buying a pre-owned car or truck, RV dealers provide a thorough predelivery inspection of the used RV. You can visit Lichtsinn RV to compare units and features and to find out about extended service agreements.

Renting an RV

There’s no better way to try before you buy than by renting an RV. Many people rent RVs simply for a change of pace by taking an RV trip to a special event or destination.

You can rent near home and journey to your final destination, or fly and pick up your RV at the other end. More than 460 national chain outlets and local RV dealerships rent RVs, including state-of-the-art, late-model-year units. A growing number of campgrounds offer on-site RV rentals as well.

Even if you’re driving or towing an RV for the first time, features like automatic transmissions, power steering, large external mirrors and rearview cameras make it easy for experienced drivers to adjust to the difference in size, height and weight.

Article originally seen on GoRVing.com.

Lichtsinn RV Welcomes the Winnie B’s to Forest City!

Lichtsinn RV welcomed the Winnie B’s – a WIT Club special interest group focusing on Winnebago’s Class B (Travato, Paseo, Era and Revel products) owners. On the first day of WIT Club’s Grand National Rally we kicked off the week with a reception for the over 85 Winnie B’s. We were excited to see familiar faces in the group and meet new Travato owners!

IMG_0345
Ron Lichtsinn Welcomes the Winnie B’s to 2018 Grand National Rally in Forest City, IA
IMG_0346
The Winnie B’s Lineup for Lunch Served by Lichtsinn RV Employees.
IMG_0347
Winnie B’s Gather for Fun, Friendship and Food with Lichtsinn RV.
IMG_0348
Lichtsinn RV Sales Consultant Nicole Lovik-Blaser Serves The Winnie B’s Signature Drink the Red BUZZer!

Save Money Owning an RV Compared to Other Vacations

Article originally seen on RVNews.com

A new study conducted by CBRE Hotels Advisory Group has found that RV vacations cost much less than other types of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership. According to the study, commissioned by Go RVing and the RV Industry Association, there are cost savings of 21 to 64 percent for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party saves 8 percent to 53 percent, depending on factors such as the type of RV and type of vacation.

“The study reaffirms that RVs are a great way to save on family travel, and it’s equally important to remember that RV ownership provides benefits that go well beyond affordability,” says RV Industry Association president Frank Hugelmeyer. “To take an RV trip is to experience togetherness with family and friends, along with the flexibility to travel whenever and wherever you want.”

The CBRE study analyzes vacation costs using two sets of hypothetical travel groups: a four-person travel party of two adults and two children, and a two-person travel party of two adults. CBRE analyzed major costs these hypothetical travelers incur traveling to nine popular vacation destinations. For each destination, researchers analyzed vacations lasting 3, 7 and 14 days.

The study compared different methods of travel, including a folding camping trailer; a lightweight travel trailer; a compact motorhome; a type C motorhome; a type A motorhome; traveling in a personal car, staying at hotels/motels, and eating meals in a restaurant; traveling by airline, renting a car at the destination, staying at hotels/motels, and eating meals in restaurants; and traveling in a personal car or airline (as appropriate), staying at a rental house/condominium, and eating the majority of meals in the rental unit. The type A motorhome, typically the largest and most luxurious RV, was compared to travel options such as flying first class, renting a premium car, staying in upscale hotels/resorts, and eating meals in restaurants.

RV vacations show a clear family budget benefit over other forms of travel, regardless of the RV type. According to the CBRE study, a four-person travel party can expect to save (by unit type):

Folding camping trailer: 50-64%
Lightweight travel trailer: 31-50%
Compact motorhome: 31-50%
Type C motorhome: 21-43%
Type A motorhome: 41%

A two-person travel party saved, according to the CBRE analysis:

Folding camping trailer: 43-53%
Lightweight travel trailer: 20-34%
Compact motorhome: 20-34%
Type C motorhome: 8-24%
Type A motorhome – 19%

The study included analysis of how fluctuations in fuel prices could affect the economic advantages of RV travel. Researchers found that for a four-person travel party it would take a rise in fuel prices to nearly $13 per gallon for a Type C motorhome vacation to be more expensive than the least expensive non-RV vacation. None of the fuel increase scenarios for a four-person travel party resulted in other RV vacation types being more expensive than the least expensive non-RV vacation.

For a two-person travel party, fuel prices would still need to rise significantly (from $5.50 to more than $13 per gallon) from current levels for RVing to lose its economic advantage.

“While fuel costs are a component of the overall vacation cost, it isn’t significant enough to materially affect the outcome of our analysis,” says Kannan Sankaran, managing director of CBRE’s Advisory Services, and lead researcher.

Research by Go RVing and the RV Industry Association shows that when fuel prices are higher, RVers save on fuel costs by driving fewer miles, taking trips closer to home, and staying longer in one destination.

CBRE Hotels Advisory was commissioned by Go RVing to provide an objective comparison between the cost of a summer vacation using recreation vehicles (RVs) and the cost of other types of vacations during that same timeframe. CBRE factored in an estimated cost of ownership of the applicable RV equipment that was based upon published data regarding average ownership periods, residual values, annual days of utilization, insurance, and other costs of ownership, as well as any applicable tax benefits.

CBRE Hotels Advisory is a division of the CBRE Group, Inc., the largest full service real estate and investment organization in the world with more than 70,000 employees located in more than 400 offices worldwide. CBRE Hotels Advisory is a leading advisory group to hospitality and real estate industry professionals.

With offices in Reston, VA and Elkhart, IN, the RV Industry Association is the leading trade voice representing the $50 billion RV industry. RVIA represents approximately 400 manufacturers and component suppliers producing 98 percent of all RVs made in the United States.

Formed in 1994, Go RVing is a partnership between America’s RV manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and campgrounds to provide the public and media with information about the benefits of RV travel, and to cultivate a positive RV experience for all consumers.

RV Connectivity… Stay Connected with Cell and WiFi Options

RVers increasingly are looking for technology that enables them to stay connected to family and friends, work remotely, or stream media. So, we created a step-by-step tutorial for finding the perfect option for you. See it here.

There are 2 main ways to access friends, family and the internet while on the road:

  • Public or private accessible WiFi networks (RV parks, libraries, rest stops, Starbucks, etc.)
  • Wireless service providers (cell phone networks – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, etc.)

Or, you can access the internet with a combination of cellular internet and free WiFi.

Public or Private Accessible WiFi Networks – Standalone WiFi Boosters 

The goal of WiFiRanger products is to enhance existing internet sources and make them more usable, while also combining these internet sources as desired for the most speed, reliability, and automatic backup. WiFiRanger products can reach weak WiFi at extreme distances and also tether to your USB MiFi, Aircard, or Smartphone.

Wifi Only

Cost of WiFiRanger products: $359 – $749 + installation

How does the WiFiRanger work?

  1. Boosted WiFi – Find 4-10x wifi networks, the WiFiRanger boosts weak WiFi from up to two miles away. Overcome the challenges of line of sight with our rooftop mounted outdoor WiFi receivers.
  2. Interconnect Everything – Hook up all your favorite devices. The WiFiRanger interconnects everything with WiFi and ethernet ports for laptops, tablets, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, printers and more.
  3. Robust Security – Secure WiFi and safe browsing mode. WiFiRanger secures your network with WPA2 encryption, firewall and SafeSurf which allows using public networks securely.

Wireless Service Providers – Cellular and Internet (4G)

RVing allows you to see the country, which often then comes with the price of poor cell phone reception due to distance from the nearest cell phone tower and objects, including your RV, that obstruct the signal.  Using your cellular phone or a cellular hot spot to provide internet can be the most economic way to stay connected via the internet as you can use your existing data and you’re not tied down to a facility with internet.  There are options for improving your cell signal so you can stay connected via voice or for using your data for internet connectivity, even when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

WeBoost

weBoost Drive 4G-X RV
$529.00 Parts
$951.99 Installed

The weBoost Drive 4G-X RV is our powerful RV cell phone signal booster kit certified for use anywhere in the US. The Drive 4G-X RV boosts voice and data with max FCC allowed 50 dB system gain, enhancing 4G LTE, as well as 3G network signals, up to 32x.  RVers get fewer lost connections and dead zones, better call quality as well as faster data uploads and downloads whether parked or in motion in their RV.  Works in all classes of RV; Class A, Class B, Class C and all towables.

How the weBoost Drive 4G-X RV works:

  1. Receives Signal – the booster reaches out to the cell tower to access voice, text and data signals while parked or in-motion.
  2. Boosts Signal – the booster receives the outside signal, amplifies it up to 32 times and sends it to the inside antenna.
  3. Expands Signal – the inside antenna broadcasts the boosted signal to devices inside the RV.

Combined Cellular and WiFi Boosters

As pricing of combined cellular voice and internet boosters have continued to drop, these boosters make it simple and affordable for improved voice and data coverage.  The Winegard ConnecT 2.0 combines cellular and WiFi boosting and can even use your own existing wireless provider!

Winegard ConnecT

Winegard ConnecT –
$480.00 Parts
$902.49 Parts and Installation

How Winegard ConnecT works:

  • Connects to Winegard data plan: 30 day, no contract plans
  • Capability to swap SIM card to add to new or existing data plans from other carriers.
  • Step-by-step on screen instruction makes setting up a breeze.
  • Connect your WiFi devices to your new extended network instantly.
  • 4G models connect to 4G LTE when WiFi is not available.
  • Easily connects your mobile devices, smart TVs, and gaming controls.

If you want to learn more about connectivity devices Contact us at 1-800-343-6255 or email parts@lichtsinn.com

Featured Parts Special – 303 Aerospace Protectant

303 featureNo other product provides this much protection for your RV. Use Aerospace Marine and Recreation to keep your RV’s exterior paint or graphics colorful and clean. Aerospace’s formula is a premium protectant designed to safeguard RVs against the damaging effects of daily exposure to UV rays. It’s safe for use on outdoor gear and apparel, too. Simply spray on and wipe dry to restore color and luster, repel stains and prevent fading even in the harshest marine conditions and sunniest climates. And because it’s 100 Percent free of grease-producing silicone oils and petroleum distillates, Aerospace is safe to use on all your outdoor materials – vinyl, rubber, fiberglass and more. No other protectant beautifies as intensely or preserves as powerfully. Keep your RV and outdoor gear shiny season after season.

To learn more about 303 Aerospace Protectant please contact Lichtsinn RV Parts at 1-800-343-6255 for more details on this offer.

Ron Lichtsinn Featured in RV Pro Magazine’s RV Origins Issue

Ron Lichtsinn, Owner and Dealer Principal of Lichtsinn RV was featured in the July issue of RV Pro Magazine. The July special edition featured the “origins” of several professionals in the RV industry. You can see a digital copy of the issue here.

Ron Lichtsinn, Owner and Dealer Principal Lichtsinn RV 

Capture - RV PROCapture - RV PRO 2

My father, who at that time owned a GM dealership in Forest City, Iowa, started selling Winnebago conversion vans in 1979 after a conversation and a handshake with John K. Hanson (Winnebago Industries Founder). I grew up in the business. I started by doing odd jobs, including detailing RVs in 1984. I left the business in 1989 when I went to college, then had a career in public accounting and then in financing for Pillsbury Inc. in its previous headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. I then came back to the family business in 2001, moving back to Forest City with my wife and buying the dealership from my father. I looked at the future of the RV industry, looking at demographics, and the number of baby boomers entering retirement. I knew there was a huge opportunity in the RV business. When I came back in 2001, I brought the entire team of Lichtsinn Motor employees together (at that time, a total of 13 including GM and RV employees) and explained I wanted to continue to build upon what my father had already started and become the true force in the RV industry. During the recession in 2008 was a very challenging time. We sell to guests throughout the country, so we saw the struggles of our guests in the places hardest hit, like California. We saw our friends and neighbors lose their jobs at Winnebago Industries. During this time, we evaluated what we needed to do to help insulate dealership family from events like this. We evaluated processes, everything from every touch point in guest interactions to our lender partners, we brought down to the very basic level and focused on improving these processes every step of the way. We focused on parts and service, increasing our staffing and our facility. We focused on training our entire team not only on their specific job skill requirements, but on guest service, focusing on internal and external guests. This groundwork is the foundation for what we continue to do each and every day. With the team of Lichtsinn employees, we have taken Lichtsinn Motors, with a staff of 13 (GM and RV) and average Winnebago Motorhome sales, to a team of 40 at Lichtsinn RV, in a new state-of-the-art RV facility built in 2014. We have been the largest volume Winnebago parts dealer in the country for the past several years and for the past four years we have achieved the Top Winnebago Dealer in North America award.