Bob Livingston, Publisher
December 10, 2012
Filed under MotorHome Blog
Clearly, motorhome enthusiasts enjoy luxury and have a low threshold for discomfort. Consequently, all classes of motorhomes have evolved into well-equipped machines that provide the comforts of home with the added benefit of being able to explore new horizons. Case in point: Winnebago. The iconic motorhome builder from Forest City, Iowa, can trace its roots to coaches that were Spartan compared to today’s offerings, but still provided a level of comfort that spearheaded mobile living to what it is today.
What do the early Winnebago motorhomes have in common with a new luxury liner like the Tour? To most people the answer will be “nothing,” but when you think about it, the answer could be “everything.” Each motorhome offers a place to sleep in comfort relative to the available mattresses, and although appliances and accessories were products of current technology, it was still easy to cook and lounge in comfort — and have a fully equipped bathroom. The truth is, RV life was pretty simple in the old days and while I’m the first to admit I relish creature comforts and enjoy hanging out in nice RV resorts, I kind of miss the minimalist trips when we spent less time inside our rigs. Heck, having a TV was almost a sin.
I remember buying a battery powered, portable TV to watch the Olympics in 1976 while on an RV vacation, which upset my wife, Lynne, because she hated the idea of watching TV in a campground. In her words, “We were supposed to be getting away from it all.” That box with a wiggly rabbit ear antenna and 5-inch black and white screen gave way long ago to HD screens driven by satellite signals. And my wife has softened her stance about watching the tube while on RV trips.
The inability to afford a luxury coach does not preclude us from enjoying trips and residing in great comfort. There are plenty of motorhomes with price tags south of $100,000. Winnebago’s Vista 26HE, for example, is a well-equipped Class A with a promotional price of $69,999. We’ve got this coach in our testing program and will publish the results in the near future. From our initial observations, get ready to be pleasantly surprised. Undoubtedly, the company’s reputation as a versatile, quality builder has earned our readers’ respect.
When you factor in attractive interest rates, it could be argued that it’s never been easier to afford a new motor-home. Historically low interest rates and generous terms have made coach ownership easier on the budget. And the good news is the banks and finance institutions have strayed from the Draconian requirements for loan qualification prevalent when the financial crisis reared its ugly head.
Finance companies are actively seeking your business. Good Sam’s finance program, for example, is just one of a number of players offering very low rates for new and used motorhomes — and are tied to liberal terms.
Owners who desire to pursue the full-time motorhome lifestyle are no longer dissuaded from securing long-term financing. In the past, people without a permanent address had to scramble for financing. Good Sam RV Loans is one of only a few companies actively approving loans for full timers.
These are good times to be a motorhome enthusiast.