Recreational vehicles are not necessarily getting smaller, but they are getting lighter, according to a report in New Jersey’s The Press of Atlantic City.
John Sulano, finance manager at Driftwood RV Center, pointed to a 3,200-pound, 21-foot-long model on the floor of the Atlantic City Convention Center during last weekend’s Annual Atlantic City RV Show. Ten years ago, a similar model may have weighed 1,000 pounds more, he said. “Weight is always a factor in the trailer business,” he said.
Manufacturers have been building recreational vehicles using aluminum framing instead of wood, and even making interior cabinets with lightweight compressed fiberboard or balsa wood, Sulano said.
“Every year the trailers get bigger and weigh less,” said Bob Burnett, rental manager at Driftwood.
Show Manager Anthony Tedesco said RV shows have had a good year so far with both attendance and at-show purchases, a change from several years ago when the economy had fewer people buying.
Kevin Broom, media relations director for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) said many manufacturers redesigned and innovated during those down years.
“Take a look around and you’ll see light, or ultra-light or super light. What you’re going to see is a lot of RVs that are smaller, lighter, more aerodynamic, more fuel-efficient,” Broom said. “While they’re getting smaller, they’re not really sacrificing living space. They’re using different materials to build.”
Meanwhile, as newer electronics such as flat-screen televisions became popular, they take up less space inside RVs, he said.
“Ten years ago, the tube TV took up a couple feet. Now a flat panel takes up 2 or 3 inches and you can hang it on a wall,” he said.
Lighter materials allow people to tow their RVs with smaller SUVs, he said.
Driftwood, with locations in Dennis Township and Egg Harbor Township, is one of the largest exhibitors at the show. The company typically has six to eight salespeople there, as well as managers, Sulano said.