With winter rains bringing yet addition black weekend to the Baltimore area, abounding Marylanders are wistfully absorption escapes to sunnier climes. One accepted way of accepting there is the time-tested recreational agent or RV. From small, simple, tow-along trailers – to adequate motorhomes, RVs accept become the go-to advantage for millions of Americans gluttonous a defended and adequate biking experience.
This weekend, biking pros from above the Mid-Atlantic arena and above are announcement the best the industry has to action at the 2018 Maryland RV Show.
The all-embracing appearance wraps up this Sunday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.
Filling three exhibition halls are the newest motorhomes (Class “A” through Class “C”, mini low contour van band and about-face vans), forth with accepted biking trailers, fifth caster models, toy haulers, and covering campers. Additionally on duke are dozens of vendors with different add-ons and affected armpit reps with admonition about bags of alluring destinations.
More than 30 brands of RVs are on affectation including:
CrossroadsKeystoneJaycoRiverside RetroGulfstreamWinnebagoPleasure Way
An Airstream is additionally on site, admitting it charge be acclaimed the aflame archetypal on the exhibit attic is of the mid-sized Touring Coach variety, not the all-over biking trailer.
Scott West – artefact administrator for the Light and Ultra-Lite articles analysis of Highland Ridge RV in Shipshewana, Indiana – said the curve he represents are advised about half-ton auto trucks and full-size SUVs.
“We apply on ancestors attic affairs with bunks and an array of sleeping positions. Price-wise, we’re the low twenties – mid-forty thousand dollar range.
“Our units are family-friendly, but we acquisition that a lot of baby-boomers are downsizing, so we accept RVs advised accurately with earlier couples in mind.”
Given the ample advance of what are primarily absolutely amusement vehicles, we asked Scott who is accomplishing the buying?
“Millenials are our fastest growing demographic appropriate now. On the weekends, they appetite to get out, unplug and unwind. We’re seeing a lot of adolescent families starting to access the RV market. In my accurate market, sales are up about 12-13%. As a company, we are up about 20%. We’ve been in business for a decade now, and we accept developed every year.
“The industry, on the whole, has been on an eight-year rise, and we aspect that to the economy.”
Scott told us that the licensing to drive or carriage an RV varies state-by-state, but for the best part, any one in Maryland with a accurate Class D authorization is acceptable to go.
We asked Scott what’s the cardinal one catechism he is asked by first-time buyers?
“I assumption that would be, ‘What does it booty to cull this trailer?’ Young families usually don’t accept the agency to acquirement an $80,000 one-ton vehicle. They appetite article they can booty with their SUV or added blazon of ancestors vehicle. A Jeep Cherokee – if it is geared aloof appropriate – will absolutely do the job, but a Chevy Tahoe or a Ford Expedition or Explorer is a bigger choice. Some of the newer cross-overs will do the job, as will a half-ton pickup, like an F-150, a Chevy 1500, or a Dodge Ram.”
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Greg Merkel – client of Leo’s Vacation Center in Gambrills, Maryland – got his alpha in the RV industry at the age of 14, aback his parents launched the ancestors business in 1972. Over the years, he has done aggregate from application RVs, to bartering and rentals.
We asked him how the industry has afflicted in the aftermost 50 years?
“Well, the demographics accept gotten a lot wider. Aback my parents started the business, buyers tended to be abundant older. But with the abridgement advancing back, we are seeing a lot added adolescent buyers – Millenial families. Bodies who are adequate a broader ambit of activities. Not aloof campers, but bodies who appetite to go hiking, aisle biking and kayaking. We’re seeing a lot of action SUVs, too, so it’s absolutely bodies from their backward 20s through their 70s now. Aloof a broader ambit than it acclimated to be.”
What about changes in the trailers and motor homes back the 1970s?
“All of the articles are now application recycled materials. They’re a lot lighter, and abounding are advised to be towed with abate cars or your accustomed SUV. There’s absolutely article now for everybody.”
What is the life-expectancy of an RV?
“Oh, we accept RVs that appear in for account or barter that are 20-25 years old. If you do your approved maintenance, it will serve you well. It’s aloof like a abode – you’ve got to advance it. If you pay somebody to do the appointed maintenance, you’ll absorb $200-300 a year, but it’s absolutely account it to accept the assignment done by a pro.”
Greg said his business offers a complete band of sales and account options.
“If you appetite to go camping tomorrow and charge something, we’ve apparently got it on our shelves.”
What admonition does he accord first-time buyers?
“Do your research. Write bottomward your 6-10 basal needs, again appear to a able like us. We’ll beacon you in the appropriate direction. There’s a lot you can do online, but annihilation replaces speaking with a professional, who can point out things you’d never apperceive as a first-time buyer.”
* * * * *
Navigating the exhibition halls on a Friday afternoon, we spied a few families with accouchement but didn’t appointment any abeyant first-time buyers. We did about allege with two couples who were actively perusing the accepted crop of RVs.
“I was blame about the abstraction of toy hauling, but they don’t accomplish too abounding of them in a Class ‘A’ RV,” said Severn citizen Robert, who forth with his wife Patty, took a moment to analyze a few high-end models.
Robert told us he bought his aboriginal pop-up camper some forty years ago aback he was alone sixteen. “Basically, I grew up in a ancestors of alfresco people. It’s a affairs that you can’t acquaint addition how acceptable it is. You’ve got to go out and acquaintance it for yourself.”
Robert said the high-end RVs on affectation were added than he and his ancestors would anytime need.
“A lot of these are for glamping, and I accept that everybody has their own motive for authoritative a purchase. But we still work. We aloof appetite article with a adequate bed, a bath and a kitchen.
“What we’re attractive for appropriate now is article we can adore with our grandchildren. We’d like to canyon the fun forth to the kids.”
Patty acclaimed that one of the things she has appear to adore is the continued RV family.
“We’ve met a lot of admirable bodies from all over the country. Aback our son was in the Marines, we catholic to California to appointment him there. Places like aggressive bases and alike Walmart will board brief camping.”
“In the summer,” added Robert, “we biking about every weekend. And we will do brief trips. We like our beer, and accept acclimated it for parties, breadth we’ll go to a accompany house, esplanade the RV in the driveway, put abroad the keys, alcohol our beer, and again break the night. Our RV amount us about $110,000. I amount that’s beneath than the amount of ten DUI’s, so it’s been able-bodied account it to us.”
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Jim Ammons – a afresh retired law administration administrator – currently owns a fourteen-foot camper.
“We’ve been out in it about four times, back we fabricated our acquirement about a year ago, and we aloof accept a ball. We’ve mostly gone out to arctic and aloof get abroad from everybody. We’ve been to Point Lookout, to the Shenandoah Valley, and the Lake Anna area. This year we’re cerebration about activity south through Missouri, with a stop in Branson, maybe Louisiana and Texas, again on to California to see our grandchildren.”
Jim said the nicest affair about owning a camping bivouac is the affluence of travel.
“I can backpack it up and go breadth we appetite to go. Setting it up is easy, and you can plan your beat by aloof calling advanced and absolution the campsites apperceive aback you will be arriving.”
What’s the best affair about the RV lifestyle?
“I aloof like the abstraction of alive that I don’t accept to leave until I’m ready.”
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The Maryland RV Appearance runs through tomorrow, Sunday February 25, at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road in Timonium. Tickets are $10 for adults and accouchement beneath 12 may access for free. Added admonition is accessible online or by buzz at 443-356-5857.
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