Having slept in everything from the back of our car to a 40-foot fifth wheel, my husband and I decided to take a look at just how far from “roughing it” you can get with today’s high-end RVs. We asked two RV dealers in Alvarado, Texas (just south of Fort Worth), to show us their best models. We looked at motor homes ranging from a mere quarter million dollars to a Prevost Outlaw that had a sticker price of $1.6 million. In this price range, even the shopping experience is impressive. The Prevost had its own red carpet garage at Motor Home Specialist. RV dealers like the ones we visited often offer VIP services like airport pickup and overnight accommodations for shoppers in the upper end of the price range.
What does a million or so bucks get you in a motor home?
You will travel in style
Detailed hardwood cabinetry and granite countertops. (Photo: Melinda Crow)
Manufacturers of high-end RVs do not skimp on quality materials. Butter-soft leather upholstery, hardwood cabinetry, and granite countertops are standard. You can forget faux anything. Inlaid marble or slate floors come with built-in heating so your tootsies stay toasty. The just-under-a-million King Aire by Newmar we saw at Ancira RV features wood accents and cabinets that are hand-built and finished by Amish craftsmen.
You will eat well
Forget a cooler, this RV has a stainless steel refrigerator. (Photo: Melinda Crow)
Kitchens come equipped with powerful convection ovens, induction range tops, residential refrigerators, and dishwashers. The Prevost also had a trash compactor and a wine cooler. Outdoor refrigerators and grills appear at the touch of a button from hidden compartments in the side of the coach.
You will sleep like a baby
No sleeping bags needed here. (Photo: Melinda Crow)
Leave the sleeping bag at home when you travel in one of these rigs. Many come equipped with Sleep Number Beds, and the Foretravel IH45 even has a fully adjustable bed system (the kind that props you up) with dual remotes. Additional travel guests can sleep on foldout couches equipped with air beds, not lumpy folding mattresses. The quarter-million-dollar Charleston model we saw even has bunk beds so that kids can go along for the ride.
You will be entertained
The glitz and glamour of a high-end RV. (Photo: Melinda Crow)
All of the models we toured had plenty of options for entertainment. LCD TV screens rise from countertops, pop out of outdoor compartments, or tuck into closets when not in use. Even the bedroom TV is likely to have a top-of-the-line sound bar to complete its own entertainment system.
The details are varied and vast
There’s nothing quite like washing your hands in a gold sink. (Photo: Melinda Crow)
Little things distinguish higher-priced units on the lot from those below the $500,000 threshold. Handcrafted glass sinks with embedded LED lights were one of the highlights of the King Aire, as was the massage feature on both the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat. All of the models that cost more than $500,000 had an extra half bath so that visitors (or your hubby) won’t have to use your privy. The Entegra Coach (just over the $500,000 mark) had a fireplace in the living area and loads of storage. Cedar walk-in closets come complete with a safe for your valuables. And there was not a fiberglass shower to be found. In this price range, it’s all glass, tile, and marble with multijet or rain showerheads.
Sleek innovations and high-tech conveniences abound
Now that’s an engine. (Photo: Melinda Crow)
LED lighting throughout adds a vast array of lighting options and reduces power consumption. We saw rows of mood lights in the floor, inside cabinets, under cabinets, at the edge of the bed, in the window treatments, and even in the door trim of the Prevost. Everything moves or turns on and off electronically, much of it controlled remotely with the tablet computer that comes with these rigs
The King Aire has optional solar panels capable of fully charging the bank of onboard batteries. Diesel is the fuel of choice for the massive engines that push these behemoths down the road, and onboard generators can run everything when you “rough camp” without hookups.
Who buys the priciest big rigs?
Got some extra cash? Why not buy an RV? (Photo: Melinda Crow)
While you may think that spending this kind of money is more like buying a home, sales coordinator Scott Hunter at Ancira RV tells us that the million dollar babies are popular more as toys for people with extra cash than as homes for RVing full-timers. Though financing is available, Hunter says that it is rarely used on the higher-priced units.
As the camping season winds down throughout most of the United States, the RV and outdoor show season is gearing up. Find one near you for a fun way to spend time dreaming of what camping might be like if you had a million dollar ride.