Sneak Peek at National RV Trade Show in Louisville, KY

 Sneak Peek at National RV Trade Show in Louisville, KY

The annual Recreation Vehicle Industry Association trade show in Louisville is the big one for the RV industry, providing a sneak peek at what’s new aimed at dealers and industry insiders to help them get ready for the next year. Held at the Massive Kentucky Exposition Center, this year's 51st  edition of the show opens Tuesday. But Jennifer and I got in early for a sneak peek of our own.

The RVIA expects  more than 8,000 attendees this week. Over 300 acres of display space will be filled by 61 manufacturers and 225 suppliers. On Monday, many of the displays were still being readied.

The Roadtrek display at the RVIA 2013 trade show in Louisville

Naturally, we made our way straight to the Roadtrek area where we found six of Roadtrek's nine different models all polished up and surrounded by rows of bright red holiday poinsettias.

Showing off this week in Louisville are the 170 Versatile, the eTrek, the CS Adventurous, the 210 Popular, the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of the 190 Popular and the newest Roadtrek model which goes on sale next year – the TS Adventurous, for Touring Series. We’ll show you more on each of them later this week.

The new Winnebago Travato

All the major Type B small motorhomes are also here, as well as the Tupe A and C coaches, travel trailers and other RVs. We got a look at one of the more anticipated new models – the just released Winnebago Travato, a 20-foot long Type B motorhome built on the Dodge Ram Promaster chassis. This one has a rear bed that folds tight along the side, leaving room to load bicycles or golf clubs or other storage items through the rear doors onto the back area of the coach.

Once you reach your destination, you haul the storage items outside and fold down the bed for sleeping.

There is no sofa area on the Travato and it seems that, while driving, the entire rear section of the motorhome would be pretty useless. Still, it's interesting to see what the different manufacturers can do with the various chassis.

We'll be here all three days of the show. So stay tuned.


Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


  • Would love to have one

  • it’s been a few years since we could be comfortable on a bed as narrow as the Travato’s. i’m not optimistic about mattress thickness, either. call me a fuddy-duddy, but the permanent rear bed is the only design that makes sense to me as a fulltimer. i don’t need all that haul your toys functionality – if you gave me some mountain bikes i’d sell ’em 😉

    • Good for you! I personally, once my dream come true, might want to have fold able bikes and fold able canoe (orukayak ?) inside my road trek.

  • You two produce great “duo” reports! Mike, of course, you’re a pro & Jen, you’re a natural.

  • I was greatly disappointed in the film clip!!!!! I expected to see the campers not the building ,not the people walking not the camper name signs , not the outside of the building, I wanted to see the motorhomes, both inside and out!!!!!! That is what was shown the least!!!!!! Darn!!!!

  • Gotta love people like Verna who apparently didn’t bother to listen or read the fact that the show has NOT YET OPENED and therefore not ready to be displayed beyond the “sneak peek” you provided. We think you did a great job Mike and Jennifer.
    Looking forward to what you bring when it opens.

  • How exciting! Another year has come and gone….can’t wait to see your reports on all the new stuff!

  • Keep up the great work Mike and Jennifer. I look forward to your reports.
    We are really lucky to have you onsite and reporting!
    Bigfoot Dave

  • Lookin goooooood! Can’t wait to see more tours. Thanks Mike and Jennifer.

  • Mike, Were you able to put together any information following the trade show? Videos, etc? Would love to hear/see your impressions from the show! I just looked through the videos so if you’ve posted it somewhere else, I might’ve missed it.

  • I’ll have the one on the left please 🙂

  • Ok then, I’ll take the one on the right.

  • Wow,I really want one …not a Mercedes though

  • I’ll take the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter….the more diesel, the more MPG’s 🙂

    • shucks I’m to late , that was the one I was getting. ha

  • I’ll take anyone.

  • I’ll love to have one pls

  • I like to be a LOOKIE LOU at RV shows and start with the ones not are wildly elaborate.

  • Yummy ROADTREK

  • Giti Attar

  • I would love to do this. Just up and go

  • Wish they were not so expensive and that each RV was provided with through training on every aspect of the RV before taking one out on the road.

  • That’s going to be my baby in a couple of years.. ilove roadtreks…

  • I would love to be able to do this.

  • Is this open to the public? If so, when is it?

  • Old news – isn’t this from last year?

  • Whoa. I thought it was an RV funeral at first. 😉

  • Jean Sanders Brown

  • Gina Pacheco Gallegos

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