(PRWEB) November 12, 2004
For the first time, fractional ownership of luxury RVs ranging in price from $250,000 to well over a million dollars is possible, with national delivery, pick up, provisioning, repair/maintenance, storage/cleaning, and roadside service included.
Like fractional jet ownership - which has made VIP business jets available to executives and corporations - fractional RV owners enjoy use of a luxury capital good while jointly sharing expenses such as depreciation, maintenance, storage, and insurance. Once the typical three-year ownership agreement is completed, these high end RVÂs are typically sold, and the proceeds returned to fractional owners to further recoup their expenses. The result: individuals who only expect to use an RV for a portion of the year can buy into ownership of a million dollar Âpalace on wheelsÂ at a fraction of the full cost of ownership.
Companies such as Burr Ridge, Ill.-based American QuarterCoach (americanquartercoach.com) (AQC), the first to introduce fractional ownership of luxury RVs on a national scale, are lowering costs as much as ten-fold compared to sole-ownership, while making the RV experience sheer vacationing pleasure.
AQC, for instance, not only delivers deluxe RVs worth from a quarter-million to over a million dollars to the fractional ownerÂs doorstep from coast to coast, but also picks them up on return, plus stores, cleans, repairs, maintains, and outfits them. All the details, such as insurance, licensing, and even roadside service are included, as is an initial driverÂs training program/orientation to ensure maximum safety and comfort.
Fractional owners can purchase shares from one-eighth (5 weeks annual usage) to one-half of a desired luxury RV (24 weeks annual usage) or a combination of shares depending on how much annual usage time they desire.
There are three levels of RVs to choose from, including multi-million dollar units with amenities like 42Â plasma TVs, Corinthian leather, monogrammed linens, and custom-inlaid Italian marble flooring and bath. On a still deluxe but less lavish scale, in the several hundred thousand-dollar vehicle price range, are 40-foot motor coaches such as the Monaco Camelot with in-motion, satellite TV and multiple slide-outs for extra living space.
ÂI bought a 5-week a year share for about one-tenth the annual cost I wouldÂve spent on my own RV,Â says Chris Turner, an Ann Arbor, Mich. helicopter company owner. ÂAQC allowed us to own a $300,000 motor home at a price we could justify. With the savings freed up, we can take both deluxe RV and non-RV vacations as the mood strikes, with no waste or guilt.Â
High Cost, High Headache Traditional RV Ownership
Until now, hard-working professionals wanting a quality RV experience have had little choice in the marketplace. TheyÂve typically had to tie up from a quarter-million to a million dollars or more to buy an RV they may use just several weeks a year. Rental RVs, because they are a mass-market product, simply donÂt offer the size, style, or features desired.
Before turning to fractional RV ownership, Chris Turner faced the dilemma confronting many upscale professionals wanting to provide a quality RV experience for themselves and their loved ones. Though Turner treasured the togetherness, natural beauty, and variety that RV-ing brought his family, he found it hard to justify the purchase of a high-end RV for the occasional family outing. When he bit the bullet and finally bought one, he found his family used it no more than several weeks a year.
ÂThe total expense - including provisioning, depreciation, maintenance, storage, insurance, and licensing, as well as the hard work of prepping it for each trip and cleaning/storing it afterward began to grate on my nerves,Â explains Turner. ÂI felt guilty every time I drove past my storage facility, with $300,000 of RV sitting there, unused.Â
Turner sold his RV. He didnÂt miss the thousand-dollar repair/maintenance bills, paying for insurance, or licensing. He didnÂt miss the full day of work it took to prep the RV for use, including pulling it from storage, sanitizing the tanks, loading fresh water and supplies, and checking the air, oil, fluids, battery, and generator. He certainly didnÂt miss cleaning the entire RV, including linen and utensils, plus winterizing it for storage on the return trip.
What Turner missed were the look in his wife and daughterÂs eyes when they were on the road, in the midst of an adventure, when their focus was on each other, and not the never-ending Âto doÂ list in each of their lives.
ÂI tried renting an RV,Â says Turner, Âbut we ended up with a bottom-of-the-line, 25-foot, class C unit. It was completely unequipped, with just 100 miles a day for mileage. That wasnÂt what we were looking for.Â
Turner was about to buy another high-end RV, with the caveat that RV-ing would be the familyÂs primary vacation experience. Cruises, flying to Mexico, and other more typical vacations, would be out, to avoid keeping a quarter-of-a-million dollar RV sitting around unused. TurnerÂs wife, Sherri, was not pleased with having to choose between RV-ing and taking other types of vacations.
ÂWe realized we wanted the quality RV experience, but without the expenses and responsibilities of a full-time, lifestyle commitment,Â explains Turner, who found what he was looking for through fractional RV ownership with AQC.
High-End, Worry-Free RV Ownership
In traveling to locations such as CaliforniaÂs Sequoia National Park from his home in Ann Arbor, Mich., Turner discovered that AQCÂs RV drop off and pick up capability is a major benefit for those living far from their destinations. At TurnerÂs request, the company arranged to have his motor home waiting for him in California, so he was able to fly in from Michigan, board his fully-equipped RV, with gas tank topped off, and hit the road bound for redwood country.
ÂWhile driving the RV is fun anywhere, my pressed schedule doesnÂt allow me to drive for thousands of miles to and from a destination,Â says Turner. ÂBecause we were able to fly to California, board our ready-to-go RV, and spend most our time enjoying the scenic route and destination, our trip was that much more memorable. On leaving, AQC picked up our RV, allowing us to simply fly home, while they took care of the details.Â
On other trips, such as a family jaunt to enjoy a Nascar race, the company has delivered the motor coach right to TurnerÂs door in Ann Arbor, Mich. What Turner enjoys is that fractional ownership has taken the hassle and cost out of RV-ing.
ÂEverything we need is right there, whether dishes, towels, grills, or lawnchairs,Â says Turner. ÂThereÂs nothing to forget, and no mechanical problems to speak of because the coach is superbly maintained. If thereÂs ever a problem, we just call AQC (http://www.americanquartercoach.com) and they send someone to fix it. ItÂs worry-free with no out-of-pocket costs, other than what you spend on gas and groceries.Â
RV-ing that Suits Your Lifestyle Now and into Retirement
Those new to RV-ing are finding that fractional ownership fits their needs as well. Norm Yop, a realty company owner in Salinas, Cal., was looking for a way to test if RV-ing was right for he and his wife.
ÂMy family and friends loved RV-ing and I was intrigued by it, but reluctant to tie up a large amount of capital in a venture that might not suit us,Â says Yop. Like Turner, Yop found renting a turnoff because he could not find a RV in the size, style, or with the amenities he wanted.
Jointly, with his real estate business partner, Yop purchased 5-week a year fractional RV ownership through AQC. Yop appreciated the RV training program, which helped him get up to speed quickly on driving the vehicle and its use. So far, Yop and his wife have RVed to Banff, Canada and Glacier National Park, and love the experience.
ÂThe program allows us to own a first-class motor home that suits our schedule, without tying up capital,Â says Yop. ÂWe can use the RV for a few weeks and not worry about maintaining it all year long.Â
ÂAs I wind down the pace of my business in the next few years, IÂm planning to buy a larger fractional share with even more deluxe amenities,Â concludes Yop. ÂItÂs the perfect way to enjoy RV-ing both when youÂve got a demanding career, and when you want to ease into retirement.Â
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