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Motorhome Sales Thrive at Alabama RV Show

February 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Von Braun Center, site of the Alabama RV Super Show

Von Braun Center, site of the Alabama RV Super Show

Eric and Paula Twitchell of Huntsville, Ala., walked up the stairs of the Allegro Breeze 28-foot motorhome Sunday afternoon (Feb. 20) during the annual Alabama RV Super Show at the Von Braun Center’s South Hall in Huntsville, Ala., The Huntsville Times reported.

Paula sort of stood in the doorway, but Eric walked through the vehicle’s kitchen/lounge area back to the bedroom. He appeared to be mesmerized as he gazed all over the inside of the fancy motorhome, or maybe that was just stars in his eyes.

“I’ve got champagne tastes on a water budget,” Eric said with smile. “Man, this is the way to go and live.

“We had a boat, a pontoon camper that was part barge. Before that, we had a sailboat, so we like being on the water. But we’re looking to park on the land for a while.

“What’s the gas mileage for these?” he asked Bankston Motor Homes manager Tim McCarthy.

“Oh, about 12 to 14 miles a gallon,” McCarthy said.

And what did Paula think?

“When you have a boat, you have to swim to shore with the dogs (to go to the bathroom),” she said, laughing. “In one of these, you just go to the back.”

We all know how important clean – and easily reachable – bathrooms are to women, right? So, Eric may be in luck.

RVs on display at the Alabama RV Super Show

RVs on display at the Alabama RV Super Show

They were just two of the many people who were checking out all of the luxury motorhomes, fifth-wheels, pull-behinds, campers and other vendors as the three-day RV show came to a close.

With all the motorhomes jammed inside, the South Hall looked like the parking lot of an Alabama or Auburn football game. There were 45-foot motorhomes in the $475,000 range to 36-footers for $170,000 to even small campers for much less money.

One of the newest ideas for this year’s show is the Breeze, the nation’s first 28-foot diesel motorhome ever designed from Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. of Red Bay. McCarthy said it can be for people who have owned a larger motorhome in the past and now want to downsize. The 28-footer is a little easier to handle on the road and park in the RV parks than some of its bigger counterparts. It also has its engine in the back, giving it the diesel pusher distinction.

The Breeze retails for $140,000 to $155,000, McCarthy said.

Diesel is actually more expensive than gas now, so what’s the advantage?

“We got a 39-foot Fleetwood gas motorhome and we should have bought diesel,” said Mike Chapman of Huntsville, who was at the RV show. “On the road, it wobbles with the wind and when trucks pass you.

“Diesels are heavier and push you. We took the grandkids up to Mount Rushmore and the diesels were whizzing past us. I thought I was going to have to get out and push. Gas motorhomes don’t have the torque that diesels do, that’s the biggest difference.”

McCarthy and Gene Benson, who has been at Bankston for 12 years, said the motorhome industry is surviving the downturn in the economy, many buying the motorhomes to tailgate at college football games. During the RV show, Bankston sold 16 to 18 motorhomes, Benson said.

“We’ve survived the good, bad and ugly,” McCarthy said. “It’s coming back.”

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