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.
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.
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.