A recreational vehicle (RV) is a motor vehicle or trailer that includes living quarters designed for accommodation. According to RVIA, there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts, including RV renters across the United States. Motorhomes, camper vans, caravans, fifth-wheel trailers, truck campers, pop-up campers, and more are widely used across the country for RV purposes.

Another popular vehicle for decades is great for recreational purposes, as well: Jeep. In 2018, according to a Statista survey, 2.25% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 owned a Jeep. These vehicles are great for off-roading across muddy terrain as well as commuting to and from corporate office jobs. Recently, RV enthusiasts have been able to transform their Jeeps into powerful vehicles that not only drive well and look cool, but are livable during camping trips and other outdoor excursions.

According to Motor1, the American Fastbacks Badlands Jeep is a perfect Wrangler-based RV.

For decades, drivers who love the outdoors have opted for Jeeps over all kinds of reliable vehicles. For camping trips, these drivers could simply throw a tent, sleeping bag, and a cooler in the back and were ready to go for an outdoor adventure. Rather than only using a Jeep to get to campsites, California-based American Fastbacks has turned Jeeps into campsites.

The typical vehicle on the road in the U.S. is a record-high 11.5 years old. Though older Jeeps can be converted into RV, livable vehicles, as well, the Badlands Jeep is anything but typical. This rugged, one-of-a-kind vehicle offers two sleeping areas, which comfortably sleeps four people above and in the rear section of the Jeep. Additionally, it's equipped with a stove top, refrigerator, and a roof-mounted electric hardtop camper, making it easy to relax, get comfortable, and extend your trip wherever you are in the country.

Here are some of the excellent features and what's included with the American Fastbacks Badlands:

  • Custom grill (badger) paint matched

  • Custom floor mats with ABF logo

  • Stock fender with mudflaps

  • Heavy duty spare tire carrier

  • Off-road style powder coated, front and rear bumper

  • Fairlead and LED light with remote control

  • Custom Lester seats with ABF logo

  • 12,000 lb. super winch with synthetic rope

  • Custom electric running boards with light

  • 35" A/T tires high speed balanced

  • AFB 2.5 in. lift with Fox Racing shocks

  • 20" aluminum wheels with five lug sets

Unlike conventional RVs, Jeeps are much smaller -- which is not a bad thing -- and have the ability to explore terrains of all kinds. And considering the average personal vehicle gets about 27 miles to the gallon, this could make your next adventure more environmentally friendly. Outdoor adventurers can't exactly get a large RV up steep mountains or through muddy pieces of land. Jeeps certainly can, allowing campers to set up and explore areas that could never be accessed with traditional RVs.

In addition to the Badlands Jeep, the Action Camper is another all-terrain Jeep Wrangler that is a drop-in camping RV. The Action Camper, equipped with a chemical toilet, kitchen, and plenty of sleeping space, was designed to enable the Jeep to explore terrains of all kinds and simultaneously offer the convenience of RV campers.

Using Jeeps as all-terrain campsites isn't just a random fad for the year, either. In fact, it's becoming an extremely popular trend within the RV community for both seasoned campers and young adventurers, alike.

"The Millennial generation is one that desires the experience of travel, the experience of seeing great things around the country," said Kevin Broom, RVIA spokesperson. "And they enjoy that sense of adventure."

With there being about 5.4 million non-fatal car accidents every year on U.S. roads, people are always looking for the safest, most reliable car on the market. And thanks to J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, U.S. consumers can now know which car is best to buy and why.

Research firm J.D. Power has been putting together it's annual study for the past 30 years. This study looks at three-year-old models, so this year they looked at 2016 models. The researchers examine any and all problems that original owners of 2016 models have reported within the past 12 months. And to rank the dependability of the vehicle, the researchers also take into account the number of problems that were experienced per 100 vehicles. With this ranking system, a lower score means a vehicle is more dependable.

This year's study consisted of responses from 32,000 vehicle owners and the research was conducted between October and December of 2018. According to the study, the overall dependability of all vehicles increase 4% from last year.

The results had some expected outcomes as well as a few surprises. Toyota, as usual, came out on top. The automaker came in first place again, with the Toyota Lexus brand being ranked as the most reliable in the United States. Tying with Toyota for second place was Porsche, which was quite the surprise, as they haven't done all that well in the past. Power's first award for the industry's most dependable vehicle also went to the Porsche 911 sports car.

The study also looked at which vehicle brands showed the most improvements over the past three years. Although China is the number one car manufacturer in the world, Detroit's Chrysler was deemed the most-improved automaker. And for the first time in 30 years, the major German automakers, including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and BMW all were found to have shown improvements above the industry's average.

And speaking of BMW, one big surprise from the study as that MINI has made big improvements to increase its dependability. With Americans spending an average of 87 minutes in their cars every day, they want a car that can be both fun and reliable. While MINI has had a reputation of having fun cars in the past, their reliability has never been as good. But this year's study ranked MINI as sixth, which is quite the improvement.

Unfortunately, Honda didn't rank as well. In the past, Honda has been right up there with other leading brands, like Toyota. But over the past few years, Honda has started slipping down the last. And the recent problems with product quality have lead the automaker to fall below the industry average.

And lastly, Chevrolet surprised many people by flying up in the ranks. Chevrolet's dependability ranking was better than Subaru, Honda, BMW, Audi, and many others, leaving them ranked as fourth overall. This is its highest ranking in this study ever.

With the auto body industry being valued around $42 billion, it's clear more people are caring about their vehicles than ever before. So if you're looking for a dependable vehicle to last you for year's to come, consider checking out more information from the 2019 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

Pictured Top: 2019 Lexus UX/Photo Lexus USA

A typical engineer's salary can vary widely, from around $50,000 to $150,000. But engineers who happen to design revolutionary innovations within the automobile industry can expect to earn a lot more. For instance, designing everyday vehicles that come equipped with more than 700 horsepower, that kind of innovation is surely sought after in the auto market.

Manual transmission vehicles are outnumbered by automatic transmission vehicles 10 to 1 on U.S. roads. Though the majority of American drivers prefer automatic automobiles, manual vehicles are still quite popular and have a strong following.

Manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox, standard, or stick shift, is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications. It uses a driver-operated clutch, typically engaged and disengaged by a foot pedal or hand lever, for regulating the amount of torque transferred from the engine to the transmission. A conventional 5-speed manual transmission is the standard equipment in a base-model automobile, though some vehicles come equipped with 6-speed transmission instead.

If you're a millennial mom, though four-door sedans with automatic transmission might be perfectly suitable, there are plenty of SUVs and crossover vehicles you can find with manual transmission. Here are some of the best manual SUVs or crossovers on the market today:

  • Kia Soul -- The 2019 Kia Soul can come equipped with a six-speed manual transmission in its base form: Soul Base. This model comes with a 130-hp 1.6-liter non-turner four-cylinder engine. Additionally, each model is front-wheel drive, but can still act as a subcompact crossover. Later in the year, the Soul will likely be replaced by an all-new model that also will offer manual transmission.
  • Mini Cooper Countryman -- Mini pretty much offers manual transmission on just about every vehicle model it manufactures. This Mini Cooper comes standard with a six-speed manual and can even come with a third pedal.
  • Jeep Compass (pictured top) -- Jeeps are great for just about anyone, but if you have kids who play sports -- they are perfect. Jeeps come equipped with both stick shift transmission and all-wheel drive. Additionally, they have standard front-wheel drive options, too, but you aren't restricted to front-wheel, as all-wheel is available. These manual Jeeps come with a 180 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.

Just because you have only driven automatic throughout your driving career doesn't mean you can't pick up on how to properly drive standard. If you have the right model and are serious about learning how to do it, you'll probably enjoy a standard transmission might more.

The crew over at Volo Auto Museum are known to buy-and-sell vehicles on a regular basis, including hundreds of "star cars" - those made famous on-screen. While there may have been occasional regrets on letting one go, now they're bringing one back that they so fully regretted selling that they've bought it for a third time - and they were willing to pay more than they made on its sale: Dominic Toretto's 1970 Dodge Charger R/T from 2001's The Fast and The Furious. It's not a replica, and it's not a stunt car - it's the real-deal hero vehicle.

When I shared the news in November that Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live would be making the rounds for its inaugural U.S. tour, one tantalizing possibility I discussed was the original "King of the Monster Trucks" joining the party... Bob Chandler's BIGFOOT. Turns out, the rumble on the horizon was true, and the iconic blue Ford will be on the tour in 2019! But what version of BIGFOOT will we see? If the artwork above is any indication, looks like a modern spin on the classic BIGFOOT 1.

Thursday, November 29 2018 22:58

Stop Wasting Gas Money with These Smart Driving Tips

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Whether your daily driving consists of a two-hour commute to work or a twenty-minute errand run, saving a little money on gas can significantly impact your budget. With gas prices well over three dollars per gallon in some areas, a gallon saved is a gallon earned. And, as new studies continuously warn of the planet-wide dangers of CO2 emissions, there's never been a better time to make gas conservation efforts.

Though driving fewer miles is the best way to cut back on fuel consumption, for some commuters, driving less is simply not an option. Luckily, there are ways to conserve fuel even while behind the wheel.

If you'd like to increase the miles your car gets per gallon, try the following conservative driving tips:

Friday, November 23 2018 09:02

Holiday Wish Guide: The Simplay3 My Buddy & Me SUV!

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As the holiday gifting is on everyone's mind, those looking for something new and exciting for little ones ages 18 months-5 years should check out this fresh spin on the classic push/foot-to-floor vehicle. The Simplay3 My Buddy and Me SUV transforms from child's push car to kid's ride-on with patented 180° floor rotation. The best part is that this ride is designed for two children, solving a problem we once had when our girls were smaller - no more fighting to get in since it's designed for two to ride! A 2018 Holiday Wish Guide™ Pick, the My Buddy and Me SUV is available in red or blue, and makes a perfect WOW gift for little ones that are ready to rock the road (the sidewalk). Simplay3 Black Friday Cyber Weekend Sale: Use Code GIFT10 for 10% Off + Free Shipping at Simplay3.com through 11/26/2018

Wednesday, November 21 2018 14:04

Top Upholstery Tips For All Of Your Vehicles

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Whether you're an expert with vehicles or a beginner who's never worked on a car, reupholstering your vehicles can be intimidating. How do you know which fabric to pick, and how do you know when you actually need to get the seats reupholstered anyway? Luckily, upholstering your seats doesn't have to be complicated. Use these simple tips to make sure your vehicle's seats are ready to go.

GreenLight Collectibles has been expanding in recent years, locking-down new licenses as they continually roll out new, authentic diecast vehicle replicas. Now they've inked a deal with Turtle Wax to develop a new line of collectibles ahead of the brand’s 75th anniversary celebration.

The Hess Corporation knows Christmas, and following-up the incredibly fast sell-out of their most-limited toy ever, the Collector's Edition First Hess Truck, they've issued their annual Holiday Hess Toy Truck. Officially released on November 1, the 2018 Hess RV with ATV and Motorbike is a beautiful, 3-in-1 set that kids and collectors will love, packed with cool features and 73 LED lights - the most ever offered on a holiday Hess Toy Truck. The folks at Hess sent us a review sample again this year, allowing The Rock Daughters™ and I to go hands-on with the latest addition to a rapidly-expanding fleet. Let's take a look at this Holiday Wish Guide™ pick below!

There's some new MONSTER competition coming to town next year. Earlier this summer, I was one of the first to highlight Mattel's new collection of Hot Wheels Monster Trucks, but in 2019 they're jumping from toys into arenas with Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live! Created in partnership between Raycom-Legacy Content Company and Mattel, this new nationwide tour will create an immersive experience for Monster Truck fans. This new live entertainment tour will visit arenas and stadiums throughout the U.S. beginning in January 2019 - with one of the first events scheduled for the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. 

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