RVIA Expo, Nov. 30, 2010
Greetings from Louisville, Kentucky! Today was the opening day for the annual RVIA trade show here, and our initial impressions are that the industry is very upbeat about the future. The day started off as usual, with the opening breakfast and industry presentation by the RVIA. The reports indicated that all segments of the industry, motorhomes, towables, etc, experienced a significant increase in sales compared to 2009. Of course, 2009 was by all reports, a disaster, so beating that sales level wasn’t too difficult. Forecasts for future sales do indicate future growth, and hopes are high that will in fact be the case.
Following the industry breakfast, we made our way onto the convention floor to see what we could see. Today was kind of an overview, with more detailed inspections to come tomorrow. The first thing we noticed was that the various manufacturers had reserved far more floor space than last year with the convention covering over 700,000 square feet. Trying to cover all this will be a daunting task. We walked a portion of the vendor area today and gathered brochures and other information for some future articles. Tomorrow we will spend time trying to get answers for some of the questions submitted in earlier posts, although I did get some information for one comment that was submitted, and will delve into that in a bit.
Some of you who have followed my earlier posts will know that I am not a big proponent of full wall slides in class A motorhomes. We toured several class A’s today with full wall slides and I am even more convinced that the full wall slide concept is a waste of time and produces undesirable floor plans. However, when we visited the Monaco display, we saw a new slide configuration that does work. Pictured below is their “telescope” slide configuration. This slide provides for a very wide floor plan, with deep slides that do not totally obstruct the center aisle when the slide is closed. I don’t know if you can tell how the slide works from the photos, but if you are in the market for a new diesel motorhome, do yourself a favor and check out this feature.
Obviously as you telescope slide sections, you lose ceiling height, but in this configuration, it works nicely. I guess I would say that the telescope slide gives you width you can use while the full wall slide just gives you width.
In an earlier post, Jerry Peters asked me the following:
“When are the RV manufactures going to offer residential size beds in more models. I am over 6 feet tall and a 74 inch bed is too short. How can they legally call this size a queen bed?”
I had never noticed this and decided to look into it here at the show, and found that in most cases, the manufacturers were up front with their bed sizes as shown by the following photos:
And in addition, most supplied a full length, 80″ mattress. I never paid any attention to this feature and want to thank Jerry for bringing it to my attention.
As I said, tomorrow will be a busy day and hopefully we will have a lot to talk about at the end. Until then, happy camping.