What picture do the letters RV conjure up for you? If it’s an empty-nesting retiree hitting the road in a gas-guzzling land barge, your mental image is somewhat out of date. Recreational vehicles can be compact camper vans or travel trailers, letting you get closer to nature than a hotel room outside a national park. They can also let you bring your fur baby along. Pets and nature are both proven stress busters, so why not reconsider this option for your summer vacation? Here’s the latest on recreational vehicles and all that they now include!

PS: There’s a solution in this Forbes.com piece for those who don’t want to buy an RV, but still want the fun of traveling with one.

This is not your father’s RV!
(Photo courtesy: Taxa Outdoors)