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If you’re in the market to buy a used motorhome, there are a few things you should know before you sign on the dotted line. Here is a list of dos and don’ts that will set you up to drive happily into the sunset for years to come!

DO Decide What Is Non-Negotiable

There are so many wonderful options available in many different types and sizes of motorhomes. In fact, pretty much anything you desire can be found inside one of these apartments-on-wheels. The only thing is, you won’t be able to get everything.

It can pay off to be a little flexible in some of your wants while remaining true to what you actually need. Your non-negotiables should cover anything that makes the investment worth it and the lifestyle commitment a joy.

For example, if you’re more of a “glamper” then you don’t want to compromise on the cleanliness of a particular used motorhome. If you imagine yourself staying closer to nature and camping in more intimate sites, don’t compromise on choosing a pull-behind tent trailer. If you have a big family or want to bring guests along, don’t compromise on the number of people your vehicle can accommodate.

Other things you might consider essential could be a dishwasher, the ability to tow, or two bathrooms. It’s all up to you, but realize that the more “essentials” you have on your list, the harder it will be to find exactly what you want.

Besides, since you are in it for the long haul, you can always customize or upgrade down the road. It’s most important to get a solid-running vehicle now and add a skirt, awning, or high-quality speaker system later.

DON’T Overbuy

There are a hundred ways you can overbuy, overspend, or overextend yourself when standing in front of a potential pre-owned travel trailer. You may get excited and then end up with foggy vision about the realities of your choice.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have a truck big enough to pull a fifth wheel?
  • Do I really need that extra bed?
  • Are the places I envision myself traveling to able to accommodate a Class A?
  • Can I safely drive such a large unit?
  • Will my budget allow for a newer model?

Your honest answers may bring you clearer vision so you end up with a purchase you won’t regret in the end.  

DO a Thorough Inspection

You absolutely don’t want to end up with a lemon. Things to look out for are:

  • Leaks: Look for brown spots on the ceiling, or bowing. Check around the windows and doors. Check the corners of the carpeting near appliances and the bathroom.
  • Mold: You will most likely see any mold in the corners or caulking of the roof or laminate floors. Make sure to inspect all seams and creases and inside the cabinets and appliances. Also check the caulk in the bathroom.
  • Rot: Jump up and down in the kitchen and bathroom and very carefully walk on top of the roof. The floors and roof should feel stable and sturdy.  Push on the exterior walls. Inspect around the cutaway.
  • Rust: No matter what, rust is common and not necessarily a big problem. However, a rusted frame is a big deal and a costly replacement, so be sure to check the frame.  
  • Sun Damage: If the roof has cracks, bubbles, or splitting paint, it may be irreparable.  
DON’T Be Put Off By Minor Issues

Although you should be mindful of any issues found in a used camper, you don’t necessarily need to be put off by the minor ones.

If your budget only allows for a fixer-upper model, that’s okay! It’s a big trend these days to makeover a dud and make it your own. After all, ugly can be replaced and minor repairs can be made. You may feel fine letting things slide if the cost of fixing it up still comes out to be cheaper than buying a better one to begin with.    

DO Put Your Finances In Order First

Unless you’re paying all cash up front, you’ll need to take a close look at your budget and figure out how much you can spend each month. Remember, there are quite a few costs to be considered, on top of your loan payment. Depending on the type of recreational vehicle you buy (folding tent trailer, Class C, Class A, etc.), you will have varying purchase and use costs that may include:

  • Parking/storage fees
  • Campsite fees
  • Extra gas
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance and repairs

After your budget is set, get approved for a loan if you plan to finance your motorhome purchase. Doing this before you start shopping will make the purchasing process much easier and you’ll be able to get on the road sooner.

For help getting your RV financing in order, contact Southeast Financial today.

The post The Dos and Don’ts of Buying a Used Motorhome appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Motorcyclists are a special breed, especially those who want to take cross-country motorcycle vacations. Any of the 10 motorcycle trips below can be ridden as an overnight trip or can be the start of a longer adventure. Numbers 8 through 10 are focused on taking a week or more.

1. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia

This 469-mile US National Parkway is called “America’s Favorite Drive.” With a speed limit of 45 miles per hour, it encourages you to take in the forested mountains and pastures of the Appalachian Highlands. Plan for at least two days. You’ll cruise through the Great Smoky Mountains, Civil War sites, and Shenandoah National Park. If you want to explore even more consider taking the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park for 105 more miles. The spring and fall colors on the trees are some of the best in the country, but avoid weekend traffic.

2. Coastal Route 1, Maine

Take this 167-mile, two-lane road between Brunswick and Machias in any season, though summertime is crowded due to tourists visiting the area. This is a different type of riding experience, which is not about high-speed twists but about taking your time to cruise Victorian towns like Bath, stop in seaside parks like Camden Hills State Park, eat in places like The Lobster Shack in Rockland, and stay at a bed and breakfast. Scenic detours off the route include Acadia National Park and the Owls Head Lighthouse in Rockland.

3. Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, Utah

Bikers often start in Panguitch, Utah, then ride US 89 south-east until hitting Scenic Byway 12, which snakes all the way to Torrey, Utah through 124 miles of spectacular desert and forest. You’ll pass Bryce Canyon National Park—worth seeing with its amazing red spires. Then, you’ll go through Dixie National Forest and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and end near Capitol Reef National Park. Take your time and enjoy the red and pink rock formations, dried sea beds, forests, and sagebrush flats. Think about staying overnight to enjoy the colorful desert sunsets and sunrises.

4. Natchez Trace Parkway, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi

Originally a walking trail carved out by bison and the Natchez natives for maximum visibility along a ridge, this ride boasts a consistently great view of rolling hills and cypress swamps for 444 miles between Natchez, Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee. The modern parkway has two paved lanes, no stop signs, and no trucks are allowed. Plan to stay at one of the many B&Bs and be sure to stop to see Civil War battlegrounds, the original Native American walking trail, a ghost town called Rocky Springs, waterfalls, and the Natchez Trace Visitor Center in Tupelo, Mississippi.

5. Pacific Coast Highway, California

The best section of California State Route 1 to experience from a motorcycle is the 123 miles from Carmel to Morro Bay—rugged coastline that includes redwood forest, beaches, seals, mansions, and hairpin turns. The two lanes, curves, cliffs, and fog in the summer will demand your concentration. Stop at any turnout for a beautiful view. This stretch has very little visual pollution to interrupt the natural beauty of Big Sur. Avoid the traffic of summer weekends, and call in advance to visit Hearst Castle. If you want a longer trip, the highway runs about 655 miles from Orange County to Mendocino County and continues from there into Oregon.

6. River Road, Texas

The River Road, one of the most scenic drives in Texas, is a 111-mile stretch of Highway 170 that hugs the Rio Grande from Candelaria to Terlingua, offering plenty of spots to stop and hike in canyons and or walk along the shores of the Rio Grande (watch out for the purple cactus). Hot in the summer, it’s best enjoyed in the spring and fall. You’ll ride past the adobe fortress Fort Leaton, red and purple cliffs, lava formations, and Big Bend Ranch State Park—a good place to camp.

7. San Juan Mountain Skyway, Colorado

This All-American Road is a 233-mile loop through the San Juan Mountains that passes ski resorts, Mesa Verde National Park, two national forests, and mining towns founded in the 1800s. There are lots of stops for pictures of mountain ridges, peaks, river valleys, red rock canyons, colorful aspens, cliffs, and waterfalls. But watch out for the drop-offs, curves, and sudden changes in elevation, as well as mountain goats, bears, and deer. The town of Ouray is called the Switzerland of America because it’s enclosed by mountains on three and a half sides, is a unique place to visit.

8. Route 66

This is a customizable adventure that can take as much or little time as you want. The complete historic route takes you from Chicago to Missouri, then through Tulsa in Oklahoma, northern Texas, and on to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico. In Arizona, you can head north from Flagstaff to see the southern part of the Grand Canyon. Before ending at the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California, you can detour to Las Vegas, Nevada and the Mojave Desert in California. For a shorter trip, decide what part you want to see most, such as Albuquerque to Santa Monica, and look up inns, campsites, parks, and attractions along your stretch. Just plan ahead for intense heat in the summer.

9. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

This is a scenic highway route that commemorates Lewis and Clark’s Expedition of 1804 to 1806 and includes stops at historic sites from their journey. It begins in the city of Wood River, Illinois and ends at the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon after 3,700 miles. A full tour can take one to two weeks and offers the huge open spaces of Montana, the forests of the Cascade Range, and the enjoyable curves of roads that occasionally follow the Cascade, Columbia, and Missouri rivers. Enjoy views that look untouched since the days of the Wild West.

10. The Great River Road

This National Scenic Byway starts in Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota and follows the course of the Mississippi River through 10 states, ending on the coast of Louisiana. As it passes through different states, often along US 61, follow the green steamboat wheel road signs that say “Great River Road” to stay on the route. If you want to ride it all, plan for about a week to enjoy the wildlife, cliffs, forests, swamps, and meadows. One of the best things about this route is that bikers in each state cruise their own section, giving you a chance to meet and talk to local riders.

To make sure your next trip is a breeze or just have questions about financing your motorcycle be sure to contact Southeast Financial to talk to us about our great rates and get a fast decision. Get ready to enjoy the freedom of cruising the roads of America!

The post The 10 Best Cross Country Motorcycle Tours in the US appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Grand Canyon RV Parks: The Perfect RV Trip to the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the most impressive landscapes in the world. Formed by the erosive powers of the Colorado River over millions of years, the Grand Canyon stretches for 277 miles through northwest Arizona. At some points, the canyon is a mile deep and 19 miles across. It is truly a wonder to behold.

Last year 6 million people traveled to Grand Canyon National Park to peer over the edge of the canyon and see the sparkling green waters of the Colorado River far below. Many visitors make a day trip from cities such as Phoenix, Arizona or Las Vegas, Nevada, but some people — the lucky ones — set up camp and enjoy all the Grand Canyon has to offer.

Traveling to the Grand Canyon is one of the best RV trips in the west. In addition to spectacular camping and dining, the Grand Canyon has activities for every age and ability. Whether you’re looking for a fun family adventure or a romantic weekend away, you’ll make lasting memories on an RV trip to the Grand Canyon.

About Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park was created in 1919, just three years after the creation of the National Park Service. Though the canyon stretches beyond the boundaries of the national park, the park’s South Rim and North Rim are the best places to get up close and personal views of the Grand Canyon.

The South Rim, located in North Williams, Arizona, is the most popular destination in Grand Canyon National Park. The South Rim consists of Grand Canyon Village: a bustling small town filled with shops, restaurants, and accommodations. Grand Canyon Village is also home to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and an ideal point to jump on one of the South Rim shuttle buses.

Though located just across the Grand Canyon from the South Rim, the park’s North Rim is a world away. The North Rim takes longer to get to, is accessible only during the summer, and is much quieter than the South Rim. If you’re looking to get away from it all, unplug, and relax in the shade of pine trees as the canyon drops away at your feet, RV travel to the North Rim may be for you.

Where to Camp on the South Rim

Staying on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park puts you right in the middle of the action. Families in particular will enjoy the easy access to all of the Grand Canyon Village attractions at one of these Grand Canyon RV Parks.

Trailer Village is a campground that features full hookups (water, sewer, and electric) for RV’s. Trailer Village offers pull through sites for RV’s up to 50 feet in length. You’ll appreciate how close you are to the canyon rim, and the ability to run your RV’s air conditioner on a hot summer day. The Grand Canyon, after all, is in the desert! Trailer Village is open year-round and sites sell out quickly during the spring, summer, and fall. Be sure to book well in advance.

For a more rustic experience, check out nearby Mather Campground, run by the National Park Service. This campground is tucked into the trees and provides nicely shaded sites for RV’s up to 30 feet long. You won’t find any hookups at Mather Campground, so be prepared for camping off-the-grid.

If you don’t mind a commute into the park, make a reservation at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park. This well-run park in Williams is clean, within walking distance to a brewery, and RV guests have access to the nearby hotel’s pool and hot tub.

Where to Camp on the North Rim

Camping on the North Rim opens each year in May. The quiet North Rim Campground can accommodate RV’s up to 30 feet long, and the spacious sites provide privacy from your neighbors. There are no hookups at the North Rim Campground, but there are bathrooms with running water. A small general store is nearby allows you to stock up on marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers for s’mores at your campfire.

Whether you visit the South Rim or North Rim, an RV trip to the Grand Canyon will give you a front-row seat to this natural wonder without sacrificing any creature comforts. A trip to the Grand Canyon will generate memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.

The post Grand Canyon RV Parks | The Perfect RV Trip to the Grand Canyon appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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When you bought an RV, you thought you were buying a lifestyle. You’d travel, wear cashmere and boat shoes, and call everyone younger than you “Skip.”

Joking aside, there is a certain wanderlust that attracts a lot of different people to traveling in RVs. On top of all the other benefits that come from RV ownership, you’re also entitled to a few tax breaks.

Not many of RV owners know that they can claim these breaks on their taxes, and it ends up costing them perhaps thousands each year. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the most common tax deductions for RV owners, when you should use them, and most importantly, how.

If you want to read the code for yourself, you can see the most up-to-date information about mortgage interest deductions straight from the IRS.

It’s a Second Home

If you bought your RV using a loan from your bank or credit union, you’ve been paying interest on that loan since day one. While no one likes paying interest, it actually benefits you in this situation because of a provision in the tax code that does so.

If you’re a homeowner, you’re aware that you can deduct interest paid on a mortgage. This saves thousands of dollars a year by itself.

Now, if you own more than one home, you can deduct that interest paid as well. And guess what? An RV counts as a second home. Of course, there are a few contingencies in place to make sure that this tax break isn’t abused. You need to have permanent sleeping, eating, and bathroom facilities in place to claim your RV as a legitimate second home deduction. Unless you took all of those features out of your RV when you bought it, you’re fine.

Work Deductions

With the rise in remote workforces across corporate America, more and more people are learning about various opportunities to write off everyday expenses on their taxes. If you’re self-employed, things only get better.

For a remote worker, for example, you can write off things like your laptop, cell phone, internet, and other services or goods that are vital to your doing your job. Whether or not you can write off travel is dependent on the situation, so you’ll want to talk to a tax expert on that.

If you’re self-employed, though, and spend time working in or traveling in your RV to generate income, then every RV-related expense is something you can write off. Gas, food, regular maintenance, RV pad fees – you name it, and you can write it off as an RV tax deduction.

The point of all these tax breaks isn’t to give people who can afford an RV special treatment. Rather, they exist to help everyone in similar situations. The same breaks RV owners benefit from may help others in different circumstances.

If you want to learn more about how to write these expenses off on your taxes, or financing and RV, feel free to get in touch with us today.

The post Tax Deductions for RV Owners appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Choosing an RV can be a remarkably overwhelming process, what with so many different kinds and class types. With the help of this guide, you’ll have no problem choosing the best recreational vehicle for a lifetime of adventures.

In this comprehensive review, you’ll learn the answers to these common questions:

  • What are the different types of RV trailers and classes?
  • What are the different types of motorhomes?
  • What are the different types of travel trailers?
  • What are the pros and cons of each RV type?

Whether you’re searching for your new home on wheels, or you’re looking for the best motorhome to bring you closer to nature, this guide will help you determine which recreational vehicle is best for you!

2 Standard Types of RV Trailers

The type of recreational vehicle you choose will greatly depend on what you intend on doing with the RV, how often you plan on using it, and how many people will be with you during use. While there are many different types of RV trailers, the list can be organized into two popular categories, which we will cover in detail.

Motorhomes

Motorhomes are typically the largest and most expensive type of recreational vehicle complete with additional storage space, a roomy interior, and hookups for plumbing, appliances, and other amenities. This RV option is for the truly dedicated travelers who plan on spending a whole lot of time in their home on wheels.

Pros of owning a motorhome
  • Provides ample space with a roomy interior and slideouts.
  • Operates as one whole unit, which provides freedom to move about the motorhome during travel.
  • Plumbing and appliances make for a comfortable home away from home.
Cons of owning a motorhome
  • Difficult to maneuver and park due to a motorhome’s large size.
  • More expensive to own, insure, and repair than a travel trailer.
  • Eliminates the ability to take day trips unless a separate vehicle is brought along with it.
Travel Trailers

Travel trailers combine convenience and affordability in five different forms of towable RVs that hitch onto the back of your vehicle. A truck, SUV, or minivan with towing capabilities is required to own this type of recreational vehicle.

Pros of owning a travel trailer:
  • A less expensive option to purchase, maintain, and repair.
  • Requires the use of a towing vehicle, which can be used for day trips and quick errands.
  • Easier to maintain, clean up, and store when not in use.
Cons of owning a travel trailer:
  • Requires an additional vehicle that is capable of towing a travel trailer
  • Requires an experienced driver for maneuvering in restricted areas
  • Provides less passenger space that isn’t accessible during long trips.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred type of RV trailer, whether it be a motorhome or a travel trailer, you’ll need to get even more specific before making the final decision. Below, we’ve provided a comprehensive breakdown of the different RV class types.

Popular Motorhome Class Types Type A Motorhome

A type A motorhome is king of the road, as it is the largest and most expensive recreational vehicle one can buy. This is the best motorhome class for the dedicated travelers who spend almost more time in their motorhome than they do their actual home—if they still have one. Type A provides a seemingly endless list of possibilities for amenities and additional space, which makes it perfect for large families and cross-country road trips.

Despite its size, a type A motorhome does not require a special CDL license to operate, but it will require a confident and experienced driver.

Type B Motorhome

A type B motorhome (a.k.a. a camper van) is a more practical option for many due to its smaller size. Although the interior is often cramped, most campervans offer enough room for one or two passengers to sleep comfortably and walk upright. In the limited space available, you’ll often find basic accommodations such as a small kitchen space, a working refrigerator, running water, and even heating and air conditioning.

A type B motorhome is a perfect choice for couples without kids or small families who take occasional trips.

Type C Motorhome

A type C motorhome can range from 20 to 33 feet long and is a pleasing compromise between type A and type B motorhomes. In these mid-sized RVs, you’re likely to find a comfortable living space with additional sleeping quarters in various styles of fold-out beds. You can expect a range of accommodating features and amenities such as a decent-sized kitchen, running water, and more. A type C motorhome is a more budget-conscious option for large groups or families.

Popular Travel Trailer Class Types Teardrop Trailer

A teardrop camper trailer is a 1930’s style trailer in the shape of a teardrop. It’s compact, lightweight, and easily towed by most vehicles with a hitch. A teardrop trailer provides enough space for two people and a small amount of luggage, and most models come with a gallery for cooking at the rear.

Hybrid Trailer

The hybrid trailer is a hybrid between a tent and a trailer (hence its name). The model is crafted with rigid sides and pull-out sleeping quarters that resemble tents. The hybrid trailer is lighter than most RV types and can be towed by common family vehicles.

Fifth-Wheel Trailer

A Fifth-wheel trailer is designed with an in-box hitch that attaches the unit to a pickup or truck so that part of the trailer extends over the truck bed. This RV type is usually equipped with the amenities one can expect from a motorhome, while also providing plenty of sleeping space for a family or group.

RV Financing

Whether you choose a full-sized motorhome and all its amenities, or you find the perfect fit in a lightweight travel trailer, Southeast Financial can provide you with the help you need to finance your dream recreational vehicle. Contact us today for more information!

The post The Ultimate Guide: Types Of RVs appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Selling a boat is a bittersweet moment – unless, of course, you’re buying a new boat.

But either way, selling your current boat can quickly become a headache if you don’t go about the process the right way.

The most important thing to do is to sell your boat as quickly as possible. The longer it sits, the longer it goes without the regular maintenance a boat requires. Boats are notorious for depreciating in value quickly, but that process only accelerates the more your boat sits while waiting to be sold.

So what can you do to sell your boat fast? Let’s go over a few tips.

The Price is Right

“What is my boat worth?”

That’s a question every boat owner needs to ask and answer before they get ready to sell. The biggest problem boat owners have when trying to sell something on their own is that they don’t price it right. Owners usually think that their watercraft is worth a lot more than it really is.

So, how do you know how to price a boat effectively?

If you choose to sell it on your own, instead of a trade-in to a dealer, then it’s a good idea to call dealers and brokers to get a feel for the price points boats are selling at. Once you figure out where your boat sits, based on age, engine hours, and more, then you’re able to more effectively price what you’re offering.

You’ll almost always want to price it higher than what you’ve decided is your “bare minimum.” That gives you some negotiation room to make buyers feel like they’re getting a deal.

Clean that Thing

Selling a boat is just like selling a car – first impressions are everything. If your boat doesn’t look like it could’ve just rolled out from the dealers parking lot, you’re not getting top dollar for it. If you really want to sell your boat, you’ll take the time necessary to clean it thoroughly.

A few things to check off on your cleaning list include:

  • No cracked vinyl on the seats
  • Clean windows and gauges
  • Clean carpet or floor
  • None of your belongings (fishing tackle, water sports equipment, etc.,) left behind
  • Engine prop cleaned
  • Engine oil replaced
  • Full tank of fresh gas

Doing these little things is a surefire way to help your boat sell quickly.

Reach the Right People

Once your boat is priced right and it’s clean, it’s time to let everyone know that it’s for sale.

Local online classified sites are a great place to start but don’t overlook Facebook yard sale groups. These groups are incredibly active, with people always looking for a great deal. If you can price your boat right, you may have it sold within a few days if you post it in a Facebook group.

You can always park the boat near a high-traffic area to generate interest that way, but you run into the problem of potential damage to the boat. Keeping it at your home, or in dry storage, is the best option.

Selling your boat isn’t a process that has to instill fear or dread in you. It’s simple, straightforward, and if you do it right, you’ll have the boat sold quickly and walk away with a bit of extra change in your pocket.

Learn more about financing a boat with Southeast Financial today.

The post Sell Your Boat: How to Sell a Boat Fast appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Buying an RV opens up an entirely new world of vacations.

The hassle of hotel reservations, small rooms with bad A/C, and out-of-the-way cheap dives are gone now that you’re driving around in living quarters nicer than your average American motel room.

But not every RV trip has to be a cross-country tour to America’s national parks or something like that. In fact, one of the best benefits of owning an RV is the opportunity to have a unique staycation.

This RV trip planner will look at a few different ideas and tips to help you plan your perfect RV staycation.

Why a Staycation?

If you’re going through all the trouble of buying an RV, why bother with a staycation? Isn’t the point of an RV the thrill of the open road and promise of adventure?

Well, yes, it is. But before you embark on a longer trip, it’s a great idea to take a shorter one to work out all the kinks. If your family hasn’t ever traveled together like this before, you’ll want to get a feel for how everyone likes to sleep, play games, and eat.

Think of a staycation as a “dry run” for a longer road trip.

Get Excited

What do you most look forward to when you ink down vacation dates on your calendar?

The day you get to leave work and the other worries of life behind and actually go on the trip, right? Well, a staycation shouldn’t be any different. Just because you’re not driving for hundreds of miles doesn’t mean there’s not a reason to get excited.

With all the different countdown apps available today, putting one on your phone is the perfect idea for a trip like this. You’ll get to see the days tick off with every passing project at work. Soon enough, you’ll be off on your staycation.

Pick a Spot

If you’re really not in the mood for a long drive, you don’t have to find a KOA or other kind of campground out on the edge of town. Some of the best staycations are right in your own driveway!

Generally, though, you’ll want to pick a spot that’s about a half-hour to 45 minutes from home. It’s far enough away to feel like a trip, but not so far that driving there after work on a Friday evening feels like a chore.

Local campgrounds are a great choice, though if you plan on going up in the mountains you’ll want to make sure you have enough power to keep the RV running. This is another good thing to dry-run before a long trip.

Grab the Food

Part of a great tip is the food, right? It shouldn’t be any different for your staycation, which is why we recommend going all-out on the food. If you’re headed to a place that allows for campfires, make sure to bring hot dogs and stuff for s’mores.

This also gives you a chance to get a feel for how the cooking appliances in the RV function. They do a great job, but most stoves and ovens cook a bit differently than what you’d have in your house. When you’re on a staycation, messing up the food in the RVs kitchen isn’t a huge loss. There’s always a burger joint around the next corner, right?

Get Ready to Have Fun

Lastly, the best way to have a good time on your RV staycation is to expect it to be fun. Whether it’s you and the whole family getting out, or just you and your significant other, you need to look forward to the time you get to spend away from work, the house, and other detritus of daily life.

Owning an RV is a great way to get something new and unique out of your vacations. You’ll probably have an easier time convincing your kids to have fun on the trip, too!

The post RV Trip Planner: The Perfect RV “Staycation” Vacation appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Interested in buying a pontoon boat?

It can be a good investment for recreational fun and family bonding.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the pontoon boat, including 5 buyer tips.

What is a Pontoon Boat?

A Pontoon Boat is often flat and large, providing ample space for guests, storage, and a great time. What makes this boat unique is its flat shape and the several buoyant pontoons it relies on to stay afloat. The Pontoon Boat is the ideal watercraft for anyone who plans on spending long days on the water accompanied by friends or family. It’s a great choice for watersports, fishing, or just hanging out at the lake.

Why Choose a Pontoon Boat?

There are plenty of advantages of owning a Pontoon Boat, but we’ll start you off with the top three:

Storage Space: There are several advantages to owning a Pontoon Boat, but the greatest of all may be the storage space this watercraft offers. Thanks to its shape and size, this particular type of boat can comfortably store all of your safety equipment and day trip necessities like extra towels, dry clothes, lunch fixings, ice chests, life jackets, and more.

Family Friendly: Unlike other small and speedy vessels, a pontoon boat is the ultimate family-friendly watercraft. There’s plenty of room for children to move about the deck without being in the way of the driver or preoccupied adults and all that storage space really comes in handy when planning a day at the lake with the whole family.

Beginner’s Choice: Whether you choose a small pontoon boat, or you spoil your family with a luxury pontoon boat, you’re choosing the perfect watercraft for beginners who don’t have much experience in the boat owner arena. Compared to other watercraft options, the pontoon boat is relatively easy to drive with a simple control panel and steady handling. It has also been said that a pontoon boat is much easier to dock than other vessels.

5 Tips for Buying a Pontoon Boat

1. Do Your Research

It would be rather unfortunate if you jumped at the first deal you found and ended up with a boat that was too large, too small, or too expensive. Before you even think about buying a pontoon boat, do your research to find out which size would be best for your situation, if you’ll be needing any extra amenities, and what your ideal boat is worth.

2. Buy Used

Buying a used pontoon boat can be a fantastic way to get a good deal on a fully-functional watercraft. Why buy brand new if you can find the same boat for a cheaper price simply because it has been used a small handful of times? If you do choose to buy used, we highly suggest you a hire a trained marine surveyor to make sure you’re not about to blow your money on a dying watercraft.

3. Survey Meticulously

Whether you hire a marine surveyor, or you choose to investigate the boat yourself, make sure the boat is surveyed from top to bottom, back to front, and inside out! The best way to make sure you’re getting a quality watercraft that’s in great shape is to survey the boat in and out of the water. If you or the marine surveyor detects any noteworthy issues, do even more research to determine whether or not the boat is still worth it and how much it will cost to bring it up to par.

4. Get the Warranty

Always get the warranty on a boat purchase and make sure the warranty covers every last detail. Above all, make sure your warranty covers the electronic components that are at the highest risk for damage and among the most expensive to repair.

If you’re interested in learning more about getting a warranty to protect your boat, Southeast Financial can help you find the ideal boat protection plan.

5. Finance the Boat

Depending on the size, condition, and extra amenities, a pontoon boat will cost anywhere between $14,000 to $47,000. Unless you’ve got the cash on hand, you’re going to need to finance your family’s new investment.

At Southeast Financial, we provide specialized financing for an assortment of recreational vehicles, including pontoon boats. Get in touch with us to learn more about financing your pontoon today!

The post 5 Helpful Tips for Buying a Pontoon Boat appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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We believe that the best RV trips involve fantastic food.

Getting a taste of different cities, and what they have to offer, is perhaps one of the greatest perks to RV travel, wouldn’t you agree?

We’ve scoured the most popular foodie blogs and travel guides for the 17 best food destinations in the USA from the west to the east coast! As you plan your next RV trip, add a few of these foodie destinations to your RV road trip planner for a meal you won’t soon forget.

1. Seattle, WA.

Due to its location and agriculture, Seattle chefs have access to fresh seafood, game meats, and wild produce. In this city, you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving local fare deliciously combined with cuisine concepts from all over the world. Visit Pike Place Chowder for America’s #1 Chowder and a seafood roll. Dine at Cafe Flora for delectable vegetarian entrees or Altura for upscale Italian.

2. Portland, OR.

Portland, Oregon is abundant in fresh picks, organic finds, experimental cuisine, and more than 600 food carts! Pair all that with Oregon’s beauty and you’ve got one of the best places to RV! This city offers a diverse selection including Argentinian-inspired dishes at Ox and creative Peruvian dishes at Andina. If your taste buds favor classic American, track down a Burger Stevens food cart for one of the best cheeseburgers in the city.

3. San Francisco, CA.

San Francisco sits at the top of nearly every list of cities that dish out foodie favorites, which makes it a must-visit for some of the best food in the USA. The Bay area is fully stocked with Michelin-starred restaurants, diverse eateries, and thriving farmer’s markets. Reserve a table at the Restaurant Gary Danko for exceptional French cooking or choose a casual seat at Boudin’s bakery for a bread bowl or a sandwich on famous San Francisco sourdough.

4. San Diego, CA.

San Diego is a crowd favorite for many reasons, one of which being their ample selection of authentic Mexican cuisine. Enjoy the taste of modern Mexican dishes at Coasterra, dig into a plate of unique taco creations at City Tacos in North Park, and end the day with a tasty dessert from Panchita’s Bakery.

5. Los Angeles, CA.

Los Angeles is often recognized as one of the best foodie destinations in America due to the fusion cuisine crafted by the city’s booming diversity. Dine on fine Italian at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood, join the popular sushi scene in Little Tokyo, or order “The fine foods of Mexico” at an authentic Mexican joint called El Compadre.

6. Napa Valley, CA

For a pricier selection of award-winning wine and delectable dishes, travel to Napa Valley. Enjoy fine French cuisine at Bistro Jeanty or classic Italian meals at Genova Delicatessen. Bonus points to the RV trip planner who makes time for a famous Napa Valley wine tour!

7. Houston, TX

Known best for its barbecue and a Texas twist on Mexican fare, Houston is known for offering plates of spicy, tangy, mouthwatering dishes. Get a taste of first-rate Tex-Mex at Picos Restaurant, chow down on some tender baby back ribs at Jackson Street BBQ, or step outside the Texas norm for a plate of Cajun Cuisine at Brennan’s of Houston.

8. Austin TX

Like Houston, modern diversity has recently mixed with this city’s classic barbecue style, resulting in some unique and scrumptious restaurants. You can order the usual lip-smackin’, finger-lickin’ brisket and coleslaw, or you can take a chance on something new and visit H Mart Korean Cuisine, Be More Pacific, or Yoshi Ramen.

9. New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is a given for any traveling foodie and a must for the RV trip planner. This city will provide a dining experience unlike any other with a vibrant culture and spicy Cajun and Creole. Visit the historic Cafe Du Monde for a cup of freshly-ground coffee and a beignet or stop in at the local favorite, Cochon Butcher, for a tasty Cajun sandwich.

10. Miami, FL

Miami has only recently become a top foodie destination due to the dining scene’s sudden upgrade, incorporating tastes of all kinds and cultures. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink serves popular Mediterranean-influenced meals, Makoto dishes out “life-changing” sushi, and Mandolin Aegean Bistro provides some of the best Greek entrees you’ll ever have.

11. Savannah, GA

Dive into fresh seafood and southern comfort food at a riverfront restaurant in Savannah, GA. Whether you choose classic cuisine at The Olde Pink House or Sandfly BBQ, or you get a taste of Australian fare at Collins Quarter, you can expect to be fully satisfied.

12. Nashville, TN

Nashville is famous for two things: legendary country singers and southern comfort food. Enjoy the popular southern favorites at Arnold’s or fill the table with hot chicken at Hattie B’s.

13. Chicago, IL

Chicago is applauded for serving up some of the best food in the USA and is well worth a long day of RV travel. This thriving city is packed with an abundance of noteworthy restaurants, some of which include Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Owen & Engine, a British-inspired with a menu full of American favorites.

14. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is steeped in diversity and history, which makes it a choice destination for foodies. Ever had modern Israeli? You’ll find the best of it at Zahav. And of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Philly without a mouthful of Philly Cheesesteak from John’s Roast Pork.

15. Washington DC

This compact city has a lot to offer in terms of marvelous views, spectacular architecture, and exceptional Indian food. Try something new and delightful at Rasika: Flavors of India, or enjoy an upscale American entree at Old Ebbitt Grill.

16. New York City, NY

New York City is a top foodie destination for reasons that should be obvious. Get a taste of the thriving dining scene in The Big Apple by visiting Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, South Of The Clouds, or Chef’s Club.

17. Charleston, SC

Take a trip to Charleston for culinary events, seafood staples and low country cuisine. Dine at Husk for contemporary southern meals, visit The Ordinary for fresh and delicious seafood dishes, or grab a seat at 167 Raw’s Oyster Bar.

Wherever your RV travel takes you, we hope you have the opportunity to visit at least a few of these marvelous eateries across the country!

The post RV Trip Planner for Foodies | 17 Best Food Destinations In The USA appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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Deciding to own an RV isn’t just a purchase, it’s a lifestyle decision.

It sets you free to explore anywhere the road can take you while at the same time keeping many of the comforts of home close by.

As anyone who has purchased an RV can tell you, owning a motorhome brings a whole new set of sights, sounds, experiences, and freedoms, but also a new set of things to worry about. Don’t worry, it’s still worth it, but you never know just how important gas mileage is until you own a motorhome.

Since having an RV is supposed to be about fun and enjoyment, and not about stress, we put together a list of ways you can improve your gas mileage. If you follow these simple steps, your RV gas mileage is going to be about as good as it can be. You may even double it in some instances! With these tips in hand, you’ll be able to worry less about the cost of gas and spend more time enjoying the open road.

How Many Miles to the Gallon Does a Standard RV Get?

The average RVer will drive about 5,000 miles per year, which makes fuel consumption an important consideration.

And while the standard RV will average about 10 miles to the gallon, the size of your RV can have a positive or negative impact on fuel economy. As illustrated by the chart below, the larger the rig, the more gas it consumes.

  • Larger RVs (class A) will consume the most fuel. The average range for this type of motorhome is 8-13 MPG.
  • Smaller class C’s can provide a better rate of 10-15 MPG.
  • The van style class B offers the highest range with 18-20 MPG.
  • Opting for a diesel-powered engine in any size could give you as much as a 30 percent boost in fuel economy compared to its gas engine counterpart.

There are also some other factors to consider when it comes to gas mileage in your RV:

  • Rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by 15 to 40 percent.
  • Idling for long periods of time can decrease MPG.
  • Driving at higher speeds will reduce fuel economy.
  • Running electrical accessories, such as air conditioner, can decrease fuel economy by 5 to 25 percent.

While the size of your RV can affect how fuel efficient it is, there are several other factors that influence MPG. We’ve outlined some tips below to help you identify how to get the most out of your RV.

Step 1: Make Sure to Follow Your Service and Maintenance Schedule

Did you know that a dirty air filter can decrease your gas mileage by up to 10 percent?

Even that pales in comparison to a faulty oxygen sensor which can decrease your gas mileage by 40 percent. Using the correct grade synthetic oil can also have an impact on your gas mileage.

There are more maintenance factors to consider including engine tuning. This might seem like a lot to keep in mind, and for most people it is. Unless you have spent significant time under the hood of a car or under a lift in a shop, it is usually best to let professionals handle RV maintenance. Regularly check your service and maintenance schedule and go in as soon as you are due for service. Not only will it decrease your chance of breaking down or having serious engine problems, but it could also give a serious boost to your gas mileage.

The one exception to that rule is tire pressure, which you will need to check regularly yourself. Check your tire pressure even when your tire is not looking low; even small reductions in tire pressure can decrease your motorhome gas mileage.

Step 2: Adjust the Way You Drive

Bad news: I am about to tell you how to drive.

I know, you don’t even let your spouse do that, but I promise these are just small tweaks. And even though they are small, these adjustments can have dramatic results when used together.

First: it’s important to use your cruise control. Accelerating and decelerating are generally bad for gas mileage, and cruise control keeps you doing that as little as possible. All of us think we have a steady foot, but no foot is as steady as a machine that keeps your vehicle at exactly the same speed at all times. At low speeds, you can’t use cruise control, but you can accelerate slowly and evenly to ensure you use as little gas as possible.

Second: spend as little time idling as possible. Think of it this way: Every second you spend idling is a second in which you are using some fuel and getting zero miles to the gallon. Yes, you use a little extra fuel when you start your RV up, but generally, it’s better to shut off your engine if you are going to be idling for more than a couple minutes. This is especially true if your RV has a gas engine, as those use more fuel to idle than a diesel engine.

Third: travel light. I know it can be tempting to pack your entire closet and garage into your RV, just in case, but that extra weight brings down your gas mileage. Regularly go through and see if you have anything stored in your motorhome that you don’t really need to be carrying around with you. You will be giving up a little convenience for a lot of savings in gas money.

Fourth: drive a little bit slower. For the vast majority of vehicles, optimal gas mileage is achieved around 60 miles per hour. For every 5 miles per hour faster than 60 that you drive, your gas mileage decreases by up to 7 percent.

The way you handle your RV can have a big impact on fuel consumption, which might make it more than worth it to adjust some of your driving habits.

Step 3: Adjust Where You Drive

A little bit of planning will go a long way toward saving you money on gas.

Driving in traffic is one of the best ways to kill the fuel efficiency of your RV. Plan to drive as much as possible during non-commute hours and you will save yourself some money in addition to preventing a lot of headaches.

While you are planning, also try to avoid routes with a lot of stop signs and traffic lights — and take advantage of pit stop research tools to get the best prices possible. If you really want to plan the best route, you can even figure out which gas stations you will go to. You can save money by finding the cheapest gas on your route, but if you want to save money, in the long run, make sure you stop at reputable gas stations. They have additives in their fuel that helps your vehicle to run clean. This will reduce engine build-up and improve gas mileage over time.

With these steps in hand, you are ready to get the best mileage out of your RV. Get the best gas mileage you can to stress less and enjoy your motorhome more.

The post How to Improve RV Gas Mileage [Fuel Economy Chart Included] appeared first on Southeast Financial.

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