Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Kid-Friendly Trips, Preparation & Readiness, Space Saving
Part II – RV Shows Can Help Cure the Winter Blues
The Richmond RV and Camping Expo was great!
More dealers than I ever expected participated in this years show with a collage of RV types and models to fit most any camping style or budget.
Shedding pounds is big this year. A very large percentage of RVs at the show were considerably lighter than previous models of the same size. With the emphasis on fuel efficiency and downsized tow vehicles manufacturers have developed innovative ways of shedding weight by the use of composites and other light weight materials. The difference can be as much as 1,000 pounds for a same-size RV from a prior model year.
Heartland Recreational Vehicles exhibited their new Edge M 21. This 22 foot trailer weighs in at a mere 3200 pounds (dry weight), features a queen bed, huge bath, center slide out and a list of amenities often only found on larger high-end RVs. It can be towed by most any SUV equipped with a sturdy hitch. Fully loaded weight is rated at only 4,000 pounds.
The Keystone Premier Ultra Lite was a big hit. Its sleek, aerodynamic lines and styling combined with a full complement of amenities can comfortably accommodate even the most fastidious camping family. It can be easily towed with a 1/2 ton pick-up truck equipped with an optional factory tow package.
Yet another eye-catching travel trailer was from Coachmen, a company with a 40 plus year history of building quality RVs. Equipped with both an inside and outside kitchen, it offers the best of both worlds for campsite food and beverage enjoyment. I was impressed with the convenience afforded by this ingenious setup. Most all folks carry an accessory grill along with other outdoor cooking and refrigeration equipment. With this RV it is all there, ready to enjoy without a lot of unpacking and moving! The Freedom Express is fairly long for a travel trailer at 33 feet but light enough to be pulled with an adequately equipped 1/2 ton pick-up trucks such as the Ford F-150 with the optional trailer tow package.
The most impressive RV on display was, in my opinion, the new Cedar Creek Silverback fifth wheel trailer. Now, this is a BIG trailer and requires at least a 3/4 ton, if not a 1 ton pick up with a heavy duty tow package. A 1 ton diesel dually would be the preferred tow vehicle. But, boy oh boy did Forest River put it all together with this model. Buyers that want residential livability while RVing will love this rig. As a friend commented, taking this behemoth along isn’t camping – it is a resort on wheels!
The Silverback features two HUGE rear slide-outs with an industry first “A” frame roof on the slides. This roof style negates the need for slide toppers, sheds rain quickly and does not collect leaves and trash like conventional slide-outs. It is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that” design modifications.
Inside the Silverback there is no feeling of claustrophobia. The tall ceilings and wide open floor space are more airy that many stick built homes. Think of all the sleeping bags and children that would fit on that floor. Shucks, it would accommodate a super camping trip slumber party!
In the area where we live, the Silverback and other RVs from Forest River are sold and serviced by Cheek and Shockley RVs. Cheek and Shockley is a long standing and extremely responsive dealership offering the best possible service, accessories, parts and sales to the Richmond, VA area. I guess that is why we keep going back there for all of our RV needs. We have bought four brand new RVs from Cheek and Shockley since 1996 with nary a disappointment in their service.
There were perhaps a hundred or more RVs on display. Many, many more than we had time to tour.
Many campgrounds were represented as well, offering literature, event schedules and friendly conversation. Nancy won a free nights camping at Gloucester Point Campground by spinning their “Wheel of Fortune”. My spin only gave me a free key chain.
Not only could you find RVs and campgrounds, but golf carts, folding boats, custom made mattresses, cookware, Good Sam Chapters, and of course all of the excellent Woodall’s publications including the coveted camping directory.
It was a great way to break the winter blues. If you are feeling the effects of “cabin fever” like Nancy and I have experienced with all of the cold air, snow and ice, attending a RV and camping show in your area will surely raise your spirits and make spring seem much closer.
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