Show: Bigger and Lighter Units in RV Industry
Bigger, better and newer was the focus at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex in Springfield, Mo., where people were dreaming of spring and summer camping trips.
Vendors said crowds were good for the weekend Springfield RV Megashow, where those who attended were able to see dozens of new recreational vehicles and trailers on display. Some of those visiting said the vehicles seem to be getting larger, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Kenneth and Jessica Dawn, of Republic, said they would prefer to stick with something not so large, such as their current 26-foot camper.
“There’s a trend, everything is getting bigger and lighter,” Kenneth Dawn said. “I’m not sure I like that. Not everyone wants to have to pull behind a one-ton truck. It’s getting harder to find the smaller ones.”
Dawn also said he, his wife and 2-year-old daughter like to camp in an area where low tree limbs would make it hard to park a large vehicle.
Maurice Guerin, of Columbia, on the other hand, has a 39-foot fifth-wheeler he’s considering trading in for something at least that size. He said he started with a pop-up trailer 20 years ago and keeps upgrading every few years.
“They’re light and they pull better,” he said of the new models. “Like anything else, they keep getting better.”
He said the vendors at the event were competing with each other in price. He thought he could replace his RV for somewhere in the mid-$40,000 range.
Rodney Sullins, of Sullins RV near Branson, said this year’s Megashow was the busiest he has seen in the last seven or eight years.
“The traffic is great,” he said. “The economy for RVs seems to be fine.”
He said there does seem to be a trend toward what he called “bigger and fancier” RVs and trailers. He said customers like many new features, such as self-leveling, that have come out in the last year or two.
He also said the large pickups needed for hauling the trailers get better gas mileage now, making it more feasible for customers to pull a large trailer.
“The same truck is now getting 20 miles to the gallon instead of 13,” he said. “GM and Ford have really stepped up there.”
Melissa Adams, business manager for Mid-America RV of Carthage, agreed that the crowds were good. She said the company brought 14 units to the event and had sold seven of them by Sunday afternoon.