With hardwood cabinets, a full refrigerator, an attached motorcycle garage and a $73,000 price tag, the Heartland Cyclone recreational vehicle is like a rolling house, according to the Windsor (Ontario) Star.
The 40-foot-long grey trailer was one of the prize rigs at the Windsor RV Show this weekend. It was among about 100 vehicles from nine local dealers on display at the Windsor Expo Center.
A staffer for Tilbury Auto Sales, the merchant displaying the Cyclone, said the goliath RV came fully loaded, with no option spared. Its motorcycle lift can even carry a Smart car. But for some Windsorites the vehicle’s size and price tag proved prohibitive.
“We need something you can get through the mountains,” said John Hinton, an Amherstburg man who was checking out the Cyclone. Hinton, 58, said he was looking for something smaller and easier to move around in.
Todd Reeb, 38, of Amherstburg said the Cyclone was out of his price range, but he’d want one “if I had that kind of cash.”
He’s never owned an RV. But if a fully loaded trailer landed in his driveway tomorrow? “I’d probably go up north, North Bay area,” he said, with his wife and two daughters.
Hinton and his wife Gwen have never owned an RV either, but they’ve been talking about it on and off through 25 years of marriage. They’ve been going to RV shows for about five years.
Gwen has traveled across the country before, and she wants to take her husband with her now that they’re approaching retirement.
“We still love just being outdoors,” said John. “You can take (an RV) places where there’s no hotels.”
Lorie Giusti of Merlin, was looking for her first RV, too.
“We go camping with friends who have them and it’s just so much fun,” she said.
“You don’t need to go far. You can just go down the road to a nice little trailer park.”
Giusti, who says she loves camping, had her eye on a smaller RV than the Cyclone. She wanted one with a big bathroom and a small price tag, as well as leg room and space to move around.
Show organizer Larry Boyd said people are still buying RVs despite a struggling economy. Friday, the first of three days of the show, saw sales jump 34% from last year’s first day, close to an upward trend he’s seen in other RV shows this year.
“People are not willing to give up their vacation time,” he said. “People are travelling not as far and becoming more family-oriented.”
Part of the appeal of an RV, he said, is freedom. “You can decide Friday morning, ‘We’re going out for the weekend. Weather looks good, so let’s go.’”
The popular fifth-wheel RVs like the Cyclone and Heartland Landmark, which attach to the bed of a truck, weighed in at close to $80,000. But a smaller R-Pod trailer, which could be towed by a small car like a Dodge Caliber, was being sold for $16,000.
Boyd said recreational park trailers were popular. Essentially portable minicottages, they can be dropped in a park for three months of the year, but they can be moved only by tractor-trailer.
It’s Boyd’s second year organizing the expo after taking over from a previous organizer.
“The public has been a very strong RV crowd,” he said. And they don’t just come to look, either. “People come here and have an RV in mind.”