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The Right Hardware and Maintenance for an RV

Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are a common sight among Americans who enjoy taking camping trips with more than a tent and a sleeping bag. These vehicles vary in size, shape, and features, from small trailer units to large motor homes that are more like a combined bus and house. RVs vary in shape and price, but a general trend is that RV owners are middle class, middle-aged or elderly Americans who have had time to save up money for such a purchase. RVs are being used more than ever, but this also means that the market for their repair and replacement parts is robust. An RV is comfortable and fun to use, but it’s a piece of hardware like any other, so RV shocks, steering control parts (such as RV steering stabilizers) and more should be installed when need be. An RV with faulty RV shocks or other parts may become awkward or even dangerous to drive or tow, and with faulty RV shocks, such vehicles may get damaged during transit or even go out of control. The good news is that parts such as RV shocks and replacement wheels might not be far away if the owner knows where to look. Who owns RVs today, and what might be done to fix them?

RV Owners Today

General trends show that RV owners are older Americans who have the time and interest for trips and going outdoors. In fact, a University of Michigan study in 2011 showed that RV ownership is higher than ever, reaching new record levels. The RV Industry Association had commissioned that study and found that around 10 million American households owned an RV. This number may grow even more in the near future. After all, the Millennial generation is growing up, those young adults born 1982-1995. For the time being, they are a minority of spenders in industries such as cars, boats, houses, and RVs, but in the near future, they may make up a larger percentage of buyers and the industries may be shaped by their preferences and interests. Many market experts are already paying close attention to the current and predicted spending habits and preferences of these Millennials.

For the time being, meanwhile, most RV owners are in their 40s or older, and plenty of them are in fact old enough to be the Millennials’ parents. The 2011 report from Michigan University found that the typical RV owner is 48 years old and is currently married, and that person has an above-average household income close to $62,000 or so. These RV owners, being established older adults, are likely to own a house and spend an average of three or four weeks per year on vacations. Those vacations may certainly be comfortable and a lot of fun in an RV. On a related note, just over 11% of American households headed by someone aged 35-54 owns an RV, which in fact exceeds the 9.3% RV ownership rate of those aged 55 and over. That 2011 Michigan University study found that the 35-54 age group posted the largest gains in that year.

Replacement RV Shocks and More

Whether a retiree, a Gen Xer, or a well-off Millennial, an RV owner is responsible for the proper care and maintenance of their RV to keep it safe and in good shape. This even includes mundane but essential hardware such a the RV shocks and springs under the chassis. Like with other vehicles, an RV motor home (the self-driven type) will need proper steering and wheel control during driving, and this involves springs. Such springs are found on the axles for all wheels, and their tension will cause the wheels to face forward, or in a neutral position, by default. The wheels “want” to align like that, so when the driver turns left or right, they are going against the springs’ resistance. The wheels will turn as desired, of course, but the springs make sure that the wheels easily return to their correct position. Suspension systems prevent bumps from damaging the RV, and new tires may be put on if the old ones wear out or are punctured. Replacement hubcaps may also be needed for some motor homes before going on the road again.