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Range is mainly dependent on antenna and how it is setup. They also need to be tuned for maximum range (and should be tuned reasonably so as not to damage the radio)
The radio itself will have little effect on the range, because all CB's are limited to 5 watts anyway. this is mainly to limit distance to about 5 miles but depending on a lot of factors, you can get MUCH further. (night time, less obstructions, cloud cover)
The radio itself isn't the cheapest, nor is it close to being a "high-end" but like I said, all you get for paying more is more features. I got this one because it had a few extra features that are useful, where for example the 510XL didn't.
The 520 has a PA function built in, where the 510 does not, as well as an RF gain ****. Other than that they are the same. This of course is just a specific example, there are tons of radios by Cobra, Midland, etc that can do the same (or more). Uniden is definitely a quality brand, I've used many Uniden radios outside of CB as well (police scanner, my marine radio) but CB is a pretty simple radio itself, as far as transceivers go.
it's just fun on the highway, or if you're on a trail with some buddys you can talk. It's what truckers use so you can either talk to them, or listen to the chatter, just for fun or if there is a slowdown you can listen (or ask) and see what's up.
Look up a movie called Convoy its from the 70s, not a great movie but one I enjoyed watching. smokey and the bandit is also another good one. These movies realy pushed the CB fad back then, everybody had them. not too many do now, but if you know friends with them you can talk around town.