Rising costs are everywhere. From grocery stores to gas stations to RV dealerships, today’s consumers are finding it harder than ever to stay on budget. And at the first major RV show of 2023, the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, appealing to consumer pocketbooks was also a top priority for RV dealers and manufacturers. Dealers showed an increased willingness to strike a deal with potential buyers, and RV manufacturers showcased a variety of new models and features aimed at helping campers get the most use out of their rigs.
Here are some of the biggest trends we saw at this year’s show, and what we think RVers will be excited about while shopping for a new camper in the year ahead.
1. Electric Vehicles Break New Ground
At last year’s RV SuperShow, the electric THOR Vision Vehicle wowed audiences with new technological innovations. Likewise, some of the biggest buzz coming out of the 2023 RV SuperShow was around Winnebago’s new eRV2 prototype all-electric van. Built around the Ford E-Transit electric chassis, this innovative RV provides zero-emission power to both the drivetrain and the house. Boasting up to 7 days of boondocking capabilities, this Class B motorhome also offers numerous features crafted from recycled and sustainable materials, which allow you to further reduce your environmental impact.
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2. Dedicated Office Spaces Continue to Hold Major Appeal
As people continue to embrace remote work, RV manufacturers have leaned more into crafting floor plans that allow workers to ditch traditional workplaces in favor of a digital nomad lifestyle.
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This year, Keystone launched the new Montana 3941FO fifth wheel, which features a sizable, private front office space. Forest River rolled out an easier-to-tow option in the 23-foot Wildwood 163RDSK couple’s travel trailer, which serves up a dedicated desk in the rig’s main living space.
Meanwhile, THOR Industries is working to make its motorized RVs the ideal digital workplace by providing reliable, robust internet connectivity. The company recently entered into an agreement with SpaceX’s Starlink to provide high-speed, low-latency internet even while in motion in select Airstream, Entegra Coach, Jayco, and Tiffin models in 2023.
3. Gathering Spaces Extend Beyond the Traditional Dinette
Those more concerned about enjoying their rigs after the workday is done will find that entertainment spaces are also taking front and center in new 2023 floor plans, with outdoor TVs, abundant seating, and onboard bars becoming more prevalent. Keystone introduced the all-new Fuzion Convertible Garage Bar add-on option, which easily folds down into a bed come nighttime, allowing travelers to make even more use of their toy hauler garage and patio space.
This greater emphasis on expanding entertaining spaces has also led many RV manufacturers to begin shifting away from including bulky dinettes as the standard within floor plans. Instead of traditional dining spaces, many RVs now offer more compact high-top seating and expanded lounge seating with removable tables. Kitchen islands are increasingly serving double duty as dining space, as found in the new Brinkley RV Model G prototype toy hauler, which features an expandable island countertop that adjusts to seat more diners as needed.
The flexibility of these dining and entertaining spaces allows campers to better maximize the comfort and functionality of their RVs.
4. The Ability to Customize to the Max
Whether you’re looking to work hard or play hard, manufacturers are striving to meet the increasingly diverse needs of today’s RVers, with many creating floor plans that offer the opportunity for easy customizations on the part of the consumer.
Ember RV has found success with several travel trailer floor plans that offer a tandem trailing-arm independent suspension system. In these models, the area traditionally occupied by a kid-friendly bunk can be configured in several ways to allow for additional toy storage, an office workspace, or even an open-air environment for a hammock to reside, all while still accommodating bunk bed sleeping space. For 2023, the brand continues to expand on this popular option with the new 221MSL floor plan.
For those looking to customize their own adventure van, the new Ford Transit Trail Van promises “the perfect platform to design and build a campervan.” This rig is designed specifically to be easy to configure and customize yourself, or through Ford’s network of modifiers, giving DIYers a range of options to suit their travel needs.
5. An RV That Feels Like Home Sweet Home
The ability to customize, along with the continued move to residential-style features and finishes within RVs, allows travelers to make their rig feel even more like home. So, it’s no surprise that sales of the most “homey” of all RVs, destination models, are on the rise. Though they’ve traditionally made up a small portion of the RV market, these larger trailers took up a lot of space—literally and figuratively—at the RV SuperShow, with manufacturers showcasing an ever-expanding lineup of expansive rigs designed for more stationary living.
From new two-story, family-friendly loft floor plans, such as the Forest River Salem Villa 42VIEW, to the Crossroads Hampton HP374BAR, a not-so-tiny home that makes the perfect couple’s retreat, there are more destination options than ever before. And for many consumers, rising housing costs have made RVs an even more appealing and cost-effective option for full-time or seasonal living.
Disclaimer: Togo RV is part of a joint venture, partially owned by THOR Industries, Inc., of which Crossroads and Keystone RV Company are subsidiaries.