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RV Shoppers Hunting ‘Feature-Rich’ Trailers

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May 19, 2011 by   Leave a Comment

Take a visit to any RV dealership and you’ll immediately notice the trends in motorhomes and trailers these days. As reported in Canada’s Saskatoon Star Phoenix, words like luxurious, amenities and conveniences are becoming a constant part of the RV salesperson’s vocabulary.

“People are spending more time in their RVs,” says Patti Gryzbowski from Sunridge RV in Radisson, “so they’re looking for more functional features.”

At the same time and for the same reasons, she says people are also looking for RVs that are more feature-rich. “A few years ago it was our base models that were the better sellers but now we’re finding people want the loaded models. Again, because they spend more time in their RVs, people are wanting more and more comforts and conveniences of home.”

Gryzbowski points to one particular model – the Prowler Shadow 29 PS RKS by Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, which recently acquired the Fleetwood towable brands, including Prowler.

“We’re really excited about this model,” she says. “It has a really good fl oor plan and two slides but one slide is half in the bathroom and half in the bedroom, so it gives more storage space in an area where RVers really want.”

In addition to storage space, Heartland also engineers RVs to maximize headroom wherever possible. They feature a full seven-foot ceiling height, making for taller showers, wardrobes and more overhead storage possibilities.

Gryzbowski says there are other hot selling features that indicate people want to take it with them.

These include portable satellite dishes and camp kitchens – where a cook stove, fridge and sink are all handily located on outside of vehicle.

At Kehoe RV, Darryl Kehoe says Sunset Trail’s Reserve Package is the model of the moment.

“It’s a lightweight travel trailer with a large slide, a champagne exterior and a dark brown exterior. It looks real sharp.”

He says it’s notable for some features that you might not expect in an ordinary RV. “For instance, it has a fireplace that spins so you can choose to have it facing towards either the living room or the bedroom. There’s also a flat screen television that does the same thing.”

Other features include solid-surface countertops, a fully mounted stainless steel sink, an antique nickel faucet, a power package that includes awning, stabilizer and tongue jacks, and leather throughout the interior and furniture.

The bedroom features a queen bed and is styled with Tuscan decor overhead wood cabinets and spacious wardrobes for ample storage.

“Simply put, they just look great,” Kehoe adds, agreeing with the trend. “The features such as fireplaces and large screen TVs used to be features you’d only find on only high-end trailers but they’re more commonplace on all ranges of trailers today. People want to have all of the amenities of home so, as houses get nicer, so do trailers. They’re like luxurious homes on wheels.”

Similarly, Kehoe says the typical customer demographic is changing. “It used to be the market was mainly seniors but now we’re seeing people from all age ranges, including people in their mid-20s.

Everyone wants to get out and do something on the weekends. RVing seems to be the way to do it these days.”

Tom Oakes at TRX RV says the new Earthbound Recreational Vehicles LLC line of trailers is paving the way in the industry.

“Earthbound is a new company that started two years ago with the goal of becoming the logical alternative for Airstream buyers,” he said. “It features high end interiors and exteriors.”

He says those interiors see stunning features like birch wood, enhanced light fixtures, and high gloss walls. Extra aluminum cladding on the exterior gives the RV a unique look.

The overall effect is stunning, he reports. “When people walk into the Earthbound trailers, we hear comments like how much they look more like a yacht than a trailer.”

One of the most outstanding features, Oakes says, is a panoramic front window. “It’s a curved front window so it’s really aerodynamic but they’ve also put in a huge glass window in some models. You can look out but you can also look up and see the sky or stars in the same uninterrupted piece of glass.”

He says another unique product is the Element, a trailer from Evergreen. The completely woodfree trailer is ultra resistant to the rot, mold or mildew that are seriously damaging to most RVs.

At the same time, it’s durable and lightweight, able to be towed by most mini-vans or mid-sized SUV’s.

“With the Element, they’ve created a trailer that doesn’t have the typical chassis frame rail confi guration but instead has an exoskeleton that surrounds the exterior and makes for a very rigid body,” Oakes explains. “That means you buy a 26-foot trailer with a single axle. It’s a very unique product in the market.”

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