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!
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.