It used to be, RVing was the activity. You had an RV to go camping. That was pretty much the main goal. To camp. Sit around a campfire on some chairs and breathe in the fresh air.
But at the 2017 edition of National RV Trade Show here in Louisville, the industry says RVing has become much more of a lifestyle. An RV lets you live an outdoor lifestyle. Sure, you camp. But the reason you have an RV and camp is so you can be closer to the lifestyle you want to immerse yourself in – hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, rock climbing, river rafting…etc.
Thus, many of the vehicles we are seeing here this week are focused on that lifestyle. They come with roof racks for kayaks or bikes, lots of solar and lithium batteries for extended boondocking stays and and an emphasis on doing things.
Roadtrek Motorhomes and the Erwin Hymer Group of North America have brought 30 Class B motorhomes to this show, in one of the largest displays we've ever seen the company set up. All of the vehicles can come with most of those extras that today's more active RVers are demanding. Winnebago, Airstream, Forest River, Jayco and other manufacturers have also added new models aiming at this changing marketplace.
Some of it is brought about by demographic changes. One of the seminars they're holding here today is titled: “Move over Boomers, the New Mainstream Hits the Road.” It's talking about the Gen Xers and Millennials who have replaced the Baby Boomers as the biggest segment of RV owners.
Almost a million new RVers came on the scene in 2017 as the industry experienced it's biggest sales gains in history. At the very least, another million will come into play in 2018.
On our podcast, out Facebook Page and Facebook Group and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel lately, we've been asking our audience to identify the main issues they see affecting the RV world today. From their considerable feedback, Jennifer and I have identified three main issues brought about by RVing's surge in popularity. Here's a video we did from the show floor yesterday outlining those three issues.
We have asked some of the main movers and shakers of the RV industry their take on those issues and you'll hear their perspective on tomorrow's RV Podcast. But here's a Spoiler Alert: The industry is even more aware of those issues than most consumers think and it really is working hard to solve them. I think you'll find their responses encouraging and their advice helpful as you start planning for the 2018 RV travel season.
Come back here tomorrow for the podcast!