Alan Jackson said it best in his country song “Remember When”.
He sings of a time when things were simple, sometimes hard, sometimes special, and how things change over time.
And this pretty much sums up recreational vehicles and the RV industry and lifestyle.
As interests and passions changed, the RV industry has kept pace. Since recreational vehicles arrived on the scene a century ago, each decade has brought innovations in construction, design, living space, comfort, and technology.
Remember back when there were only a few RV dealers or repair facilities and they were scattered. Remember when trailers had tip outs (not slide outs), when Coleman was a furnace and Mobile Temp a water heater, and the list goes on and on.
Remember when you had to use a match to light the furnace and hot water heater?
How RVs, the RV lifestyle, and the RV industry have changed!
The future is exciting, fun, and open-ended.
Although the stereotype of RVers may be retired seniors cruising around the U.S. and Canada completing their bucket list, the modern RVer is drastically different than in years past.
The baby boomers are tearing up the industry, demanding superior products and top quality RV parks with all the amenities.
Social media and easy access to the Internet has allowed RVers to share their experiences like never before.
RV park and campground directories include big rig friendly sites and show parks with instant online and Wi-Fi access. More and more RV parks are opening with clubhouses and other facilities suitable for hosting RV clubs and rallies.
RV enthusiasts are making the diesel motorhome market one of the hottest trends. Diesel chassis are being manufactured to meet the growing demand with rear engines, mid engines, independent front air bag suspension, and tag axles that accommodate the manufacturing of 43- to 45-foot diesel pushers.
While there continues to be a demand for large, luxury motorhomes, many new RVs are smaller and lighter, primarily to increase fuel efficiency but also to serve the growth of new RV markets. Recent interest from young families, 30-something singles, and single women of all ages has created a rapidly growing demand for smaller RVs. With the goal of creating a travel trailer that can be pulled by a family sedan or SUV, RV manufacturers are using light-weight composites to decrease tow weight and creative floor plans to minimize weight and size while maximizing living space and usability.
Innovations including slide-out rooms has advanced from one to four slides in motorized and up to five slide-outs in fifth wheel trailers. Toy haulers are available in both the towable and motorized lines.
Energy-efficient kitchen appliances have become the norm, and the industry is starting to roll out RVs with factory-installed solar panels and even wind turbines.
High-tech integration, Wi-Fi capability, BlueTooth enabled electronics, the inclusion of more full-size features, a party deck, and specialized storage space for sports gear are other new RV industry trends.
What an exciting time to be a consumer entering the RV marketplace!
You know the RV industry is having a major impact when you see auto manufacturers building vehicles that are towable four wheels down. Light duty trucks capable of pulling large fifth wheel and travel trailers filled with everything including the kitchen sink. Towing specialists are keeping pace with the industry by increasing the strength and towing capacity of its products.
Imagine dry camping and watching satellite TV in your rig, while using your laptop as you surf the Internet. Or something just as simple as sitting outside under your awning enjoying all that is great and beautiful around you.
The RV lifestyle is changing. It enables us to pack up and go where we want.
If your job allows telecommuting, you can earn money on the go. If you’re retired, what does it matter?
RVing is the freedom lifestyle that enables people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill sets to take to the open road and go on an adventure, for however long they like.
Life is good and we all should enjoy it to the fullest.
The future is the brightest it has ever been for the RV enthusiast.
Happy and Save Travels.
Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookn’ back it’s just a steppin’ stone
To where we are,
Where we’ve been
Said we’d do it all again