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Behind The Scenes: Louisville RV Show

When we were invited to the exclusive Industry Only RV Show in Louisville Kentucky we didn’t know what to expect.  Would this RV show be a whole lotta more of the same, or would it be like an auto show full of futuristic RV concepts?  To be perfectly honest it was neither…well…sort of…let me explain.

The RV show is loaded with vendors (lights, water pumps…), RV mfrs (looking to sell to dealers), pipe dreamers (great idea but no where near ready), and the occasional sales rep looking for a new job!

WynnsExcursion

First and foremost we had the opportunity to meet our new home, the Fleetwood Excursion 33D.  It’s going to be a little different from our Monaco Vesta!  Once we had that out of the way, we were able to focus on the rest of the show and there were a few surprises worth sharing.

First we browsed the vendor areas which were very promising.

We found a new 12V DC powered A/C that would be awesome if it didn’t require 8 batteries to power it.  That said, its a fantastic step closer to having the luxury of A/C that can be powered by solar while Wild Camping.  Brand is Kingtec.

DC powered AC

We found this (kinda wished we had one) lightweight Murphy bed frame maker, which seems perfect for small RV spaces.  This one goes from Sofa to Bed with one simple button.  Brand Ultrade by HSM (not a lot out there on the web yet).

Murphy bed  _MG_1118

These stick on tiles are genius!  Lightweight, come in lots of colors and styles, and they don’t break like regular tiles.  We’d love to see more of these in future RV models.  The brand is Smart Tile (for those of you currently remodeling).

stick on tiles

There’s this cool company making walls, cabinets and chairs with grass that’s bound together with soy flour!  Zero chemicals, zero VOC’s, lightweight, stronger than wood and 100% eco-friendly.  If RV mfrs. used these products instead of their regular stuff we’d worry less about toxic off gassing inside our tiny living space.

eco cabinets

Are you afraid to get a composting toilet like us?  We ran across this toilet seat with built in suction that keeps the smells from escaping the toilet when going #2!  Pretty genius!  Brand is Miracle Seat RV from Diamond Shield.

cool toilet seat

For the ultra luxury RVers there’s a new 3-D fireplace that uses water vapor to create the most mesmerizing “fire”.  There’s a 1500 watt heater installed so it not only looks cool but it keeps you warm too! Brand is Dimplex.

vapor fire place

From the boating world comes these sleek all electric stainless fridge units.  What’s unique is this fridge system runs off 110V AC when plugged in and switches to 12V DC power while driving or Wild Camping.  GENIUS and no safety concerns like a propane RV fridge and doesn’t need an inverter to get power like a residential fridge.  (if anyone has one of these, or a similar brand, we’d love to know how you like it) Brand is Vitrifrigo.

dc powered fridge

Our last find is a wind turbine that’s being manufactured to work for trailers (not available yet as its still in production).  We love the idea of wind power for those not-so-sunny days, but the mfr. claims they don’t have a mount that will work for class A motorhomes…yet.  Company is Primus Windpower.

wind power for RV

Over on the RV side of the show at first glance it looks like more of the same, almost like any RV show.  The difference is the access to the people who design, manufacture and represent these brands: so you don’t just walk through the RV you get an education about the RV (if you ask for it).  Its a very different experience walking through and RV talking to the experts vs a salesman.

Leading, as always, with the most sex appeal is Leisure Travel and Airstream.  Wish the rest of the RV industry could take note that there are many of us out there that want to own an RV with a contemporary design.

most contemporary RV _MG_1126

ARG’s American Coach is tackling head on one of my biggest pet peeves: Front Cabin Audio!  When you spend hours behind the wheel don’t you want to Rock Out with face shredding guitar solos and bone shaking drum beats while cruising down the road?  Duh!  They partnered with Harmon Kardon to supply concert worthy audio performance.  Only downside is Fleetwood says the “trickle down” is a couple years away from being in the more wallet friendly RV’s.

best RV sound system

Also in the American Coach is the world’s first 4k TV in a production RV (meaning not a custom built unit)!  Giant, Sharp, Clearer than Crystal…sure it’s a little overkill but hey, if you have the budget to buy a coach like this why not get all the coolest toys?

Fancy RV TV

On the more affordable end Thor has just launched 2 new products that are even less expensive than the ACE.  The floor plans look similar to the Winnebago Via, just on a gas chassis and $40k less.  One model is the Vegas and the other is Axis, both are being dubbed RUV’s.

new thor ace

Winnebago brings a new face to the game with the Trend which sits on a very aggressive and sporty looking Dodge platform (not sure if everyone’s going to like this, the front lacks the classy look of the Mercedes chassis).  The coolest part on this RV is the “Safari esque” drop down loft bed in the center of the coach, what a great use of space for a small RV.  We liked the concept and the clean contemporary interiors.

new winnebago  _MG_1131

One of our old top choice RV’s, the Tiffin Allegro Breeze, nearly made Nikki throw-up upon entering, I mean seriously does anyone like this wallpaper coupled with the sconce, leaf valance and woodwork?  Please if you like this (or dislike it) let us know, it’s just so far from our taste we cannot comprehend why a designer would do this in such a small space.  It was like stepping back in time instead of forward.

tiffin breeze

Its official: we’re smitten with the expandable L-Shaped sofas!  Now if we can only get the manufacturers to put these in a sub 32 foot RV!  Fleetwood has one of our favorite floor plans for entertaining in the Bounder 36E (I forgot to take a photo…oops, the photo below is the 33C).

rv interior

Dream RV kitchen which we’ll likely never afford…but hey one can dream, right?!?  Dishwasher, giant sink with a tall faucet, a pull-out island, induction plate range, pop-up outlets and plenty of storage.  Brand is American Coach.

dream RV kitchen

So, as you can see, it’s not exactly the big innovative Vegas style Car Shows but none the less, we found some promising ideas.

While we were in Louisville we also made it our “job” to eat and drink well…in fact so well we forgot to take photos!  If we make it back for the Kentucky Derby we’ll do a better job.  If you’re salivating for our recommendations you’ll just have to do a search online for these places:  Garage, Hillbilly Tea, and Rye.  Yes, all are fantastic.

If you like any of our selects (or dislike any) please let us know in the comments below, we need your opinions to make an impact in the industry and help show them what the consumer wants (vs what they have been doing for the last 50 years).

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (55)

  • Kevin Hamler

    Really, RV industry… why the gawdy, cheap, tacky, antiquated interior design? (If only Airstream did a full-sized Class A… although it would probably cost a small fortune.) We’re considering full-time RVing, but can’t find an RV that suits our needs – modern, contemporary interior design, lots of living space for just the 2 of us, storage space for bicycles, kayaks, etc. We want windows, not 5 cheap TVs. Living space, not sleeping for 8. Stainless steel, solid wood and ceramic, not cheap vinyl and tacky stapled fake veneer. C’mon, RV industry. How about joining the rest of us in the 21st century?!

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    • Brian Benson

      i second you there. i have been looking for 2 years and its like rvs are only made for grandma and her 20 grandkids. with the rise of the tiny home movement that is attracting 20-30 year olds, there is a huge segment left out because they dont want to buy a tacky trailer

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  • Terra

    I know this is an old article, but I just have to toss in my two cents. We plan on hitting the road as full timers in a couple years and we’ve started looking for something that suits us. I’m amazed at how much the floor plans do not work for what we need. They make sense if a group of people are camping with friends and the focus is on being outside doing campy things, then converting everything inside for sleeping. And they’re obviously good enough for a young, adventurous couple. It just seems the industry is not acknowledging full timers. For a family who wants to use it like a traveling house, with a focus on being “homey”, I haven’t found anything that meets our needs.

    Things like:
    Dedicated office space for two desks. Unfortunately we can’t just work at the dining table. An ergonomic setup is a *requirement*, not just a “nice to have”. Our entire plan hinges on finding a way to accommodate this. So far, no luck…
    We also need a second bedroom suitable for 2 growing kids.
    A second bathroom – even if “just” a tiny wet bath.
    A kitchen that doesn’t take up 1/4 of the space or more would make room for the other needs. The layouts of RV kitchens I’ve seen are bigger than what I use at home, and even that has unused space.
    A living room where the couch and actually *faces* the TV instead of being at a 90 degree angle (do people really watch movies like that?)

    After looking over hundreds of floor plans, we’ve found nothing that even comes close. We *could* gut and remodel a rig, and we very well may have to go that route, though we’d rather not. What I would *love* to find, is an RV company that offers highly customizable floor plans.

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  • Great report! My husband and I just bought an rv park on possum kingdom lake about 80 miles west of Fort Worth if you plan to be here for the ft worth rv show this weekend you should come check out our beautiful spot right on the lake! Check out our new website (went live yesterday so still working out the kinks) possumkingdomrv.com

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  • Annette

    We bought an older 1998 Class C RV with valances (someone tell me why anyone thought that was a good idea?) And carpet on the floor (just to catch massive amounts of dirt), swirly patterns galore Spring of 2013. We looked at my friend’s 2013 travel trailer and it still had valances and swirly patterns. No one decorates like that anymore. I agree with the comments that the interior designers should go on house tours to see decorating trends and adapt. No more carpets, wallpaper or valances. Let people choose cabinet, fabric and flooring options. We already changed the fabrics on the cushions, we will be painting the cabinets cream, adding cool backslash in kitchen and ripping out the carpet for wood or woodlike flooring. Love my Pinterest.

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  • drke

    Great site. My wife and I are retiring in a year. We have been backpackers and tent campers. Now having a little comfort and even luxury is attractive. We went to an RV show in Albuquerque today and what struck me was how dark most of the Class A campers are when the lights are off – 5 TVs but very few windows. I think that being outside is best but sometimes it rains. Some of the Class B and C weren’t so dark inside but not great. I would happily ditch the TVs for a few better windows – it seems to me that last time I looked – 10+ years ago there were more windows. Are there any good Class A campers that aren’t so dark?
    With regard to modern cabinetry and design – looking at boats, it’s available but very expensive because it means custom to fit cabinetry. For a manufacturer this is not easy.

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    • Kevin

      While shopping for an rv the No.1 issue was which model had the most glass. My old Fleetwood Bounder is a greenhouse compared to most of what is offered today. I like the light, views and the natural breeze windows provide. We only used the air conditioner about a dozen times in 22 years and 200k miles of travel.

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  • I have started to take an interest in RV’s but to be honest I hate most of the interior designs. They are to old fashion for my tastes and seem geared to the Midwest market. I have seen many YouTube video’s and even the very expensive RV’s have the most disgusting beddings. Who are the people that design the interiors for these RV’s. I do love modern or mid century modern design . Airstream has some interesting designs I like but I have not seen those kind of designs in the larger RV coaches. Hopefully things will change in the coming years. Please tell the manufactures to be open minded toward modern designs and to please forgo the crappy wallpapers, glossy woods that look like plastic and crown moldings. Maybe they need to hire outside designers who understand modern design. I love what is happening with solar power, led lighting, toilets and newer storage ideas. As a newbie these are my two cents worth of opinions.

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    • Dale, we feel the same way. We are trying to convince the industry to get with the modern look and times. Thanks for chiming in and sharing your thoughts!

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  • Kim

    Nice review guys!! I have to admit I’m in the same camp being disappointed in the color and fabric design choices. It’s clearly obvious there has been NO research by the RV manufacturers
    as to color schemes and design. Everyone got together and decided Brown on Brown and we’ll stick with that for the next 20 years.

    For people who like that, that’s fine. But RV manufactures are missing out on a whole other market of people who want something contemporary.

    I think I’ll send emails to manufacturers expressing these very sentiments. If you feel the same so should you. Maybe they’ll get a clue…

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    • I agree Kim, the more people start getting vocal to the manufactures with their wants/needs the more likely they are to respond to them.

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  • Benny

    Great report!!! That wind turbine looks promising!! I wonder if you could mount it in a way as to catch wind while going down the road!!!! Perfect!!!!

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    • Mark

      Great idea, Benny but you can’t. Wind turbines are built for maximum sustained winds usually below 50 mph and are usually optimal in the low 30’s to high 20’s mph. You would burn it out before you were a hundred miles down the road

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  • Xerofly

    I work for a very large, industry leading RV dealer and totally agree with you about the Tiffin Allegro Breeze and many other brands that go for a gaudy, outdated, “grandparent”decor. I don’t know if those ugly designs were ever in style, but too many brands do similar things with the interiors and after a while, they all starts to look the same. As a salesperson, I encounter lots of customer opinions at shows and in the dealership. From my experience, most people wish that RV manufacturers would do something different.

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    • Good to know that even on the sales side, you feel the same way! I do see changes coming from some of the manufacturers, they just come at a turtles pace. 🙂

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  • Brendan

    Love your site and stop by once a week or so. You two are so fun and I’m excited to see what you’all think of the new Fleetwood! Anyway, the expandable L-Shaped sofa is available in the two compact Winnie View Profile models and is one of my favorite options as well.

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  • We were in Louisville just a couple weeks before you guys, super dug Garage Bar too! Fantastic pizza, salads and beer selection. Also – we lean more towards a vintage, funky aesthetic than a more contemporary feel but we totally agree with Nikki on the wallpaper and sconces – woof. Hope to run into you guys soon!

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    • Hey guys! I would be all over a vintage funky aesthetic…unfortunately, I think the only way to get that, it to make it yourself. I am thinking that is the direction I am going to try with our new coach. Gotta do something with all this black…mind as well go 60’s retro!

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  • Irene Petree

    I loved the review of all of the products! And it’s great that you were able to talk to the experts and not just the sales crew; I’m sure you learned a lot more that way! My husband is really following the electric car industry advancements, so I’m very excited about the electric fridge units, as well as the wind turbines. I’ve wondered for years when we were going to be using wind power more. And the 3-D fireplace using water vapor is awesome! We don’t own an RV and are years from being able to, but so many of these products could be utilized in small home spaces as well as RV’s, so it’s great that you’re sharing them!

    I don’t care for the sconces, etc., in the RV you pictured! I love bringing the outdoors in, just like the other reader, but there are far better ways of doing it! It was WAY too busy for a small space! What were they thinking? 🙂

    Great job you two! I’m never tired of seeing what you’re up to!

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  • Juergen

    Hi Friends,
    a great informative report, thanks for writing it. About 20 years ergo when we were locking for our full- timing RV, I desperately wanted to get in to the Louiseville RV show and being not a dealer etc. managed only the than part for the public show, but it was interesting. There and at other big RV shows it was very dissapointing to observe the mostly glitzy but poor quality and designs. On most travel trailers and fifth wheels just kneeling down and checking the undersides eliminated at least 80%.
    In the interiors trying the dinette seats eliminated most of the rest. Nearly all where impossible to sit on with comfort.
    Because we did not like the stairs going up to the bedroom in a fifth wheeler, we finally decided on a Holiday Ramble 32 ft. Travel trailer with 2 slide outs. (Airstream was not affordable and had no slide outs). Our Dodge Ram Diesel pickup with a cab over provided extra space and made a good “Doghouse” for our German Shepherd.The HR trailer with Mooride Suspensen and Hensley Hitch worked very well for our full time retirement. We hated the loud furnace and replaced it with a much more efficient and quiet Catalytic Gas Heater.
    Even now, this loud and inefficient furnace still is the norm. It is hard to believe that with today’s technology not a better unit is made available in most units.
    You are so right, the RV Industry needs badly new and better, more efficient designs. A few are out there, but most units are built for looks and not quality. But, as long they get away with it and the general public is is purchasing these mediocre units, why change.
    Of course, it is difficult to build affordable units and maintain quality, but that is the easy way out. Good ergonomic design and modern design is possible.
    Good luck with your new “Home” and keep your very interesting reports coming.
    Save travels and many regards.
    Juergen

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  • Karen

    I guess I’m the only one, then? I LIKE the leaf valance and the leaf sconce, because (1) I’ve always liked a “natural” (outdoor) theme, and (2) I really hate the modern, streamlined look in the Airstreams, et. al. It just looks sterile and uninviting to me and I would never, ever decorate a house that way, myself.

    But I agree about the wallpaper. You’ve already decorated with the valance and the sconce; now leave the walls alone.

    And since you have the ear of the manufacturers: WTF is with not installing a handrail next to the interior stairs in a 5er? Last RV show we went to, they were the exception and not the rule.

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  • Julie Bennett

    Agree with your comments guys. If Airstream can get it so right with their contemporary interiors, why can’t the others? If could start with being as simple as offering one of the three interior decor themes in more neutral contemporary colors and fabrics (ie. no leaves or swirls!) and cabinetry – something clean and simple that measures the same as traditional cabinets but in different colors/moulding.

    Think IKEA kitchens – they offer a range catering to both modern and more traditional tastes. Now that could be a really smart move – for an RV manufacturer to partner with IKEA to design an RV interior that maximizes space, storage and organization while introducing modern kitchen, cabinets, soft furnishings and even their ‘fake wood (laminated) floorboards’. While I know ikea quality isn’t always as long lasting, especially for a moving vehicle, it be affordable and livable and you could order replacement pieces in a range of colors as needed.

    Next item for rv manufacturers to consider – with enhanced technology and an increase in mobile, remote working employees/entrepreneurs, more people like you and us can – and are – taking to a mobile lifestyle.

    Really great working options for an effective, ergonomic workspace are very limited. While my work (self employed – blogging, photography, multimedia) means I can move around and work from a variety of places (just cos I do that) my husband works a full time 40 hour week for a company with all virtual employees that work from home (or an RV). He has a brilliant ergonomic work chair and a small ikea desk with a keyboard tray that work perfectly for him. So the makeshift “office/desk” solutions presented in RVs don’t really work. He pretty much stays at his chair/desk 8 hours a day with a few breaks to lunch, stretch etc.

    This is severely limiting our options in a <35 foot coach, to the point we are considering a bunkhouse to be able to accommodate his chair and a small desk. Benefit would be ability to close off the office after hours!

    A great idea would be for a coach manufacturer to offer a more easily convertible bunkhouse option as a separate office, with its own floorplan/layout that works for people like us.

    Another option we are also looking at is a 36-38 foot coach with opposite sofas, so we can remove one to create a better dedicated workspace that works for us.

    Thanks for sharing your learnings – we truly hope an RV manufacturer does listen up and create some more appealing options for the younger, non retired market and/or people with more contemporary tastes.

    We look forward to seeing and hearing more about your new rig – have you named him/her yet?

    Cheers for now

    Julie & Marc Bennett

    Ps. Shame Tiffin's Breeze has striped back in time – I can't stand those sconces or leaves either.

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  • Robert B

    We Just love you guys .If you ever make it to south florida we have a place you can go and stay and have a great time .

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    • Hey Robert, its not a matter of if but more a matter of when we will get to south Florida! It’s bound to happen eventually!

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  • NSA

    How about materials made from Hemp? hemp was used for rope during WW2. It’s crazy industrial hemp is banned in this country because of it’s relation to MJ. stupid, stupid stupid. Both political parties need to stop this non-sense of telling us what we can and cannot grow. It would do more for the farmers than anyone. Plus hemp is better for making ethanol, if you’re into that.

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  • Terry

    Hi guys! Very nice job on the review. The manufacturers should really not take the cheap way out in designing.. I realize that is is more expensive to hire a real designer (say, just about anybody on any one of the DIY shows) than it is to pick a pattern and style from YOUR GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE (free). Yikes!!! Scary bad!

    Thor front end looked very cool, but I’d think that that much sun exposure cannot be that good for the eyes or the skin. Also, how you gonna clean it? I’m not sure leaning a ladder against it is a great idea, and I’m not sure the top middle is reachable from the side? I like a nice view also, but at what cost… Just my 2 cents.
    Thanks again for the review.

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  • If you want to see a nice floorplan, look at a Fleetwood 35K Bounder.
    L-Shaped sofa with TV/Fireplace across from Sofa

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  • Why can’t RV manufacturers make RV interiors similar to stick & brick house interiors? I didn’t have leaf valances in my house – so why would I want them in my RV? I sure hope RV manufacturer interior designers are reading our comments and getting a clue.

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  • James

    Its the little things that get me. Our new 2013 coach, a diesel pusher does not have a 12VDC port at the passenger seat to charge a cell phone.

    The DW and I love to follow your adventures. I’ll soon be retiring and we are getting ready to head out. Hope to see y’all on the road.

    Enjoy that new coach.

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    • It’s all in the details! I do hope we see you out on the road!

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  • Adrian C

    I have no idea why rv manufacturers continue to make horrible design choices. I like modern but you know what?…I would settle for not butt ugly! My wife and I are currently looking at rv’s and we are pretty much decided on the Fox Mountain Fifth wheels. So far they seem like they would need the least amount of remodeling. Those valences and curtains, GONE ASAP! Eventually the booth and couch will be reupholstered. We love the design of the airstreams but the price is so out of line with what you get. If only I could put an airstream interior in a fifth wheel!

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    • Adrian, we couldn’t agree with you more! Good luck with the new coach and consider starting a pinterest board of your RV mods!

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    • Laurie The Cruisin Camper

      Adrian – Can I recommend that you look at Grand Design? If for no other reason than the interiors are great! What we like about our Solitude Fifth Wheel are the great use of space, the quality of workmanship and great pricing. I know I sound like an advertisement, but can’t say enough good things about our coach.

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      • Glad to hear you have had such a great experience with your RV. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Debbie

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing the inside news in the RV business. I agree with Nikki, the American RV makers need to change up their decor. Look up German RVs and see how sleek and modern they make them.

    Can’t wait to see more on your new Fleetwood.

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  • Mike Welch

    Soy Flour: Some of the new electrical wires for vehicles is being made out of soy flour. Guess who loves the soy flour insulation? Rats and mice. So much for helping the environment.

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    • interesting point mike…I do feel the need to point out that rats and mice also love rubber, plastic, wood or just about anything they can sink their teeth into! We recommend cats as deterrents/traps, ours are highly effective! 🙂

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      • Kathy Parker

        tI love that you travel with a cat. Years ago I saw an article about a pair of full-timers that had their basement storage ( in a 40 ft. bus ) converted to a cat house. ( no puns ) lol BUT if you travel in something smaller, where do YOU put the litter pan???

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  • Awesome reviews of all products! Love the L-sectional sofa and the solar powered AC units. Yes, the Tiffin décor is dated, however I think they do build a quality coach.

    Love the idea of wind power to power batteries, will be interesting to see if that takes off at all.

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    • Matthew, glad to hear you like the idea of wind power too! I think it’s going to still be a while before we see it in action but cool none the less! we have always loved the Tiffin quality which is why it has always been one of our favorites and it was so disappointing to see their new (dated) design.

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  • Janet

    Thanks for all the inside info, you guys are awesome!!

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  • Rick

    Correction to my comment just submitted above – somehow it cut out a section, which should read as follows:

    While I love the Mercedes Sprinter chassis on which they build most of their models, it is limited to Class C due to weight constraints, which then limits lengths to mostly More focus on building an RV which better supports the lifestyle of a couple living – and entertaining – in their RV, like both of you. . . .

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  • Rick

    I attended the Pomona RV show fairly recently, and after getting dizzy from days of walking through all the models (mostly Class A’s & C’s) my overall impression was that most RV manufacturers copy each other – in floor plans, in interior decorating choices and in power trains (though they do have less choice here). There needs to be more innovation in design, and some effort to get rid of interiors with flowery / swirly patterns draped around heavy, dark woodwork that looks like they were straight out of an 1890 Victorian house. So yes – I totally agree with your assessment of the Tiffin Allegro Breeze photo above – what were they thinking? That design would probably have appealed to my grandparents – who were literally born in the 1890’s – but unfortunately they are long gone, as should those design choices in a modern RV be.

    I totally agree with you that LTV has the best interior layouts and designs out there in terms of being high class, contemporary and absolutely as space efficient as you can get. While I love the Mercedes Sprinter chassis on which they build most of their models, it is limited to Class C due to weight constraints, which then limits lengths to mostly More focus on building an RV which better supports the lifestyle of a couple living – and entertaining – in their RV, like both of you. I believe that many new RV converts are, and will be, recently retired empty nesters who are still active and social so want some entertaining space (meaning couches & chairs) yet with enough storage to hold all the stuff they want to bring along for extended RV travel and boondocking. At the same time they are more “green” conscious so appreciate energy efficiencies in engines and chassis power systems. I think there are some examples out there which come close but as you have noted still have outdated interiors and older, inefficient appliances. For example – All still utilize the std toilet/blackwater design – but do any even offer a composting toilet as an option?
    > Better recognition of the need to support boondockers – with quality built-in solar and electrical systems, efficient battery storage (meaning – Lithium Ion), 12 volt appliances, real water filtration systems, etc.
    > A slightly larger M.B. Sprinter chassis that would support greater Gross Vehicle weight limits and lengths of 30′ or so. I think Mercedes Benz is missing an opportunity here to build a larger chassis around maybe a 4 – 5 litre diesel. Their current offering is about the best out there in terms of economy and modern design, but just not quite large enough.

    As you can tell I get a lot of these thoughts from reading sites like yours and Technomadia – where you guys are on the cutting edge of trying out, in the real world, new and better ideas for RV living.

    Thanks for sharing some of the new boat / RV accessory offerings out there – it’s good to see innovation from these companies.

    It will be very interesting to read your comments on your new Fleetwood. I must say they have already increased their brand recognition by your site telling us about their deal with you. Because of this I have now looked much more closely at Fleetwood models than I did before.

    Thanks – and keep up your reporting on real-world RV improvements!

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  • al ciauri

    So many neat items when you go to a show like that, I like the Smart Tiles and the new Thor Via and Axis. I’m going to look at those on line. Your doing such a good job giving us great information and I thank you for it. Love the cats, see you soon
    Big Al

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  • I toured RVIA this year with a couple of friends. Our universal comment was, “Too much brown!” And if you prefer contemporary decor – you’re outta luck. Motorhome manufacturers are in desperate need of talented interior designers. In fact, all the inspiration they need is exhibited in the splendid interiors of Air Stream travel trailers.

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  • DeanP & MarvelKay

    OK guys, I’ll take the prize for “old guy taste”… I actually like the Allegro Breeze interior design…. It kind of reminds me of classy art deco…. which I’ve always loved. Anyway, I also agree with you on the ‘L’ shaped couch…. that, coupled with a nice flat screen sitting across from it, would make me a happy camper…. I still wonder why so many RV floor plans include TVs that you have to turn your head 90 degrees to watch….. especially the ones with the TV up above the driver’s cockpit.

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  • Brenda

    Great show and review! When I was first looking for a Class A, every time I went into one and saw the cloth used I thought, Where did they get this stuff, “Ugly R Us?” They seem to find the worst looking material on the planet. I’m glad to see the furniture coverings getting a little more normal. But the Allegro…. uh…. no thanks. Tiffin is better than that. Again, great tour!

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  • You are right, the “leaf” design is out. Wouldn’t it be interesting “if” they could figure out a way for rotating the sticking out part of the “J” so that it could double for table seating, and rotate back into a couch for lounging. Seems it would save a few feet, and as we know, every few feet of savings makes a difference. Not sure this is possible, but if a smart engineer was able to do it, it would sure be nice.

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  • sandra

    Wowzers! what a great show to get into. Love the companies who are blazing the trail with low to no VOC’s (one of our primary concerns). Did you notice any other materials like cork and bamboo for interiors. We are chomping at the bit to get a MH, however, we are still in researching mode, looking at a possible renovation on a used coach…ok back to work. Big thanks to Nikki & Jason for an informative and always entertaining post.

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  • KathyP

    If you’re heading south on I-65 between Louisville and the Tennessee state line, stop at Big Bubba Buck’s Belly Bustin BBQ Bliss for some of the best BBQ anywhere in the country. They’re located at Exit 58 at the Gulf station. Don’t think they are open on Sunday.

    No website, but they’re on Facebook.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Bubba-Bucks-Belly-Bustin-BBQ-Bliss/150179118399891

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  • KathyP

    I have to agree with you on that interior in the Allegro Breeze. Ugly. A modernized version of a 1970s interior. I too think there are many people who would really like a more contemporary interior. Surely RV manufacturers could do some research on what’s selling in regular furniture stores today to get a clue.

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