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“Right-sizing” seems to be the catch phrase when RV trends for 2012 are discussed. At the annual Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) National RV Trade Show in Kentucky last December, 67 RV manufacturers trotted out their new 2012 models, showcasing new developments in the RV industry and revealing emerging RV trends.
In a 2011 consumer survey conducted by the University of Michigan for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), 1 in 5 American households expressed interest in purchasing an RV. The two fastest-growing demographics in the RV Nation are retiring Baby Boomers and empty-nesters over the age of 55, and singles and young couples under age 35. To accommodate an increasingly diverse RV buyer pool, RV makers are starting to mix and match amenities to create a variety of standard-option packages at a wide range of price points, allowing RV buyers to choose “the right size RV” for their lifestyle and budget.
In tandem with right sizing is a trend toward greater customization. Many of the pick-and-choose options typically offered in luxury RV models are beginning to filter down the production chain, allowing buyers of more modest RVs to create unique personalized living spaces.
Using multiple and deeper slides, RV manufacturers have been able to abandon the traditional shotgun layout and introduce exciting new L-shaped floor plans in select 2012 RV motorhomes and travel trailers. The new floor plans provide RV buyers with greater flexibility in creating living spaces that suit their lifestyle.
The general trend in the RV industry is toward smaller, lighter, greener, cheaper RVs as RV manufacturers move to make recreational vehicles more budget-friendly and financially accessible to a broader range of consumers.
At the same time, consumer demand for RV customization continues to rise. RV buyers crave the freedom to create unique, personalized living spaces. In response, RV manufacturers are offering buyers a wider range of options and luxury amenities as standard features in mid-range and even some economy RVs.
Greater use of panoramic views, picture windows and skylights is brightening up RV interiors and creating a more fluid bridge to the natural world outside. Specialized built-ins and more efficient use of vertical space are giving RV owners the storage space they need for prolonged trips and full-time living. In recognition of the increasing interest in full-time RV use, RV manufacturers are offering full-sized kitchens and bathrooms as an option in a greater range of RV models. New RVs are also coming off the production line fully wired to accommodate advanced electronic, digital and wireless technology.
Some of the other interesting trends to emerge from the RVIA trade show include:
- Greater use of light-weight construction materials to cut fuel consumption and make RVs more budget-friendly.
- The continuing development of light-weight, composite construction components, moving the RV industry one step closer to its goal of producing a new class of smaller, lighter travel trailers that can be towed by the average family sedan.
- Adoption of green construction strategies to minimize energy consumption, including more efficient thermal barriers, improved solar panels, tinted windows and installation of Energy Star appliances.
- Increased use of sustainable materials both in core construction and interior décor.
- Installation of LED lighting on dimmer switches.
- Factory integration of advanced technology, including wireless capability, elaborate entertainment systems, HD capability, satellite prep, HDMI routers and plug-in charging stations.
- Insulated/heated holding tanks and on-demand water heaters.
- Remote control-operated power awnings, stairs, tongue jack, stabilizing jacks and slides.
Here’s a featured model we have in stock right now: The 2012 Keystone Raptor. Take a look: