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Younger Consumers Flock to Denver RV Show

Jeff and Dorenda Bell threaded their way through a majestic fleet of Berkshires and Charlestons, as well as the more modest Ever-Lites and Grey Wolfs during last weekend’s 56th annual Colorado RV, Sports, Boat and Travel Show at the National Western Complex in Denver, Colo.

As reported by the Denver Post, they’re not in the market for a high-end recreational vehicle but wanted to fantasize just a bit about tooling around the country in a $600,000 McMansion on wheels.

“We just like to look at everything and dream,” said Dorenda Bell as they checked out the newest models displayed at the

The Bells are in good company. Last year’s RV show drew more than 30,000 people, and more were expected at the show this year.

Most will also be merely looky-loos. But others will arrive with intent to buy one of the 150 motorhomes, fifth-wheels and travel trailers off the lot. After all, financing is available.

“There really is a price range for everyone,” show spokeswoman Laurie Hallowell said.

This weekend’s offerings range from simple pop-up camping trailers for $4,000 to 44-foot-long Class A motorhomes with bedrooms outfitted with queen size beds, satellite, 32-inch LCD TVs and three-burner ranges with an oven. The base retail price for a Class A starts at about $120,000 and runs to $550,000 — or more.

And people are buying them, despite a massive hit delivered by the Great Recession of 2008. In that year, RV sales plummeted by 32.9%t with only 237,000 shipments. Another bad year followed in 2009, but in 2010, the industry rebounded with a 46.2% hike in RV shipments, followed by 4% growth in 2011 and a 13 percent increase in 2012, industry officials said.

In Colorado, sales of fifth-wheel campers and other recreational trailers were up 14% in 2012, said Windish RV Center manager Jim Humble.

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