There is vacationing in tents by a cold lake under the shadow of Mt. St. Helens, and then there is … well, relaxing in the skylounge of a $3 million Italian Marchi Mobile recreational vehicle near a major sporting venue.
When the event is finished, you can push a button, roll out the sleek convertible stowed in the belly of your rolling mansion, and tool around town in style.
Whether you call them mobile RVs, motor homes, motorcoaches or rolling mansions, they speak luxury and – in the next year or so -they might appear on the traffic arteries of Bluffton when the proposed luxury RV park opens on the grounds of Hilton Head National Golf Course.
Depending on the RV manufacturer, the model, and one’s bank account, owners can choose such details as Incan marble, Swarovski crystal chandeliers, and perhaps a bed made by the company that serves the Royal family.
The Marchi comes with Italian linens, a wine cabinet, spa and furniture that converts with the push of a button. This model has 732 square feet of living space and measures 45 feet in length.
That is the high end of the mansions on wheels, but one could own a nicely appointed Newmar King Aire model for the modest starting price just under $1 million, also at 45 feet. It comes with luxurious details, from Ralph Lauren fabrics to a lane-departure warning system.
One of the more familiar names in mobile travel in the United States is American Coach. Headquartered in Decatur, Ill., the company offers high-end 45-foot models at a more modest $600,000.
Prevost is headquartered in Sainte Claire, Quebec, with its U.S. offices in Greensboro, N.C. One of their top models offers nearly 500 square feet of under-floor storage space. Prices for newer models range from about $400,000 to $900,000.
For those who can afford it, luxury recreational vehicle manufacturers around the world have made RV travel a way to see the world on wheels without leaving luxury behind.
Like the yachts that dock in Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island, the RVs are custom designed by the buyers and can include extensive entertainment systems, satellite wifi and even removable remote control pads.
Gwyneth J. Saunders is a veteran journalist and freelance writer living in Bluffton.