Waiting for the annual SEMA Show, (Specialty Equipment Market Association), in Las Vegas has been sort of like waiting for Christmas. We never know what surprises we’ll find under the tree, or in this case, spread out over the roughly 1,000,000 square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center. As the premier automotive accessories trade show in the world, the SEMA Show is where new trends and hot products are unveiled for the first time. Thousands of exhibitors from all over the globe come to show their newest ideas.
Click on any image to see the full slideshow of our trip to the SEMA show.
As we wandered the miles of tires, bumpers, lights, wheels, hitches, and every automotive tool and gadget you can image, we were keeping an eye out for everyday functional items that could make RVing safer and more fun.
We were happy to see that Transfer Flow has completed the design of a 60-gallon replacement fuel tank for the 2011 Dodge Ram Crew Cab 8 ft box diesel pickup, significantly increasing the fuel capacity and driving range. Also for Dodge RAM trucks, Dynatrac’s Free-Spin™ Heavy Duty Hub Conversion Kit is now available, designed to replace the factory unit bearings with fixed spindles and serviceable bearings. Unitized bearing systems, also known as “unit bearings”, were designed to make vehicle assembly easier but are prone to failure due to a very narrow bearing design and plastic bearing cages. When a unit bearing fails, the vehicle is often immediately disabled and cannot be driven anywhere until the unit bearing has been completely replaced.
As another step in the “green” direction, K&N Filters introduced a new washable oil filter with superior filtration compared to standard disposable filters. It features their One Million Mile Limited Warranty. Used oil filters are a major source of pollution.
Covercraft TireSavers make protecting your tires from the sun’s damaging UV rays and other environmental hazards a snap. They install in seconds thanks to their exclusive spring-steel ring design, eliminating the hassle of crawling around on the ground to secure straps or bungee cords. We also liked Covercraft’s Sofa-Savers that will fit couches in both trailers and motorhomes.
Golights have been around for years, and they keep getting better. Their new Golite Stryker features a hand-held wireless control that operates its 370° rotation and 135° tilt. The five-sided parabolic Cr5 Pentabeam can reach distances of up to half a mile away. The Golite Stryker can be fix-mounted or with a magnetic base. We want one!
Always looking for better ways to tow our travel trailer, we were intrigued by Andersen’s Silent ‘No-Sway’ Weight Distribution. Using chains and shock absorbers, the system eliminates the heavy greasy torsion bars. Andersen says it is a first in the industry, giving trailer owners the best anti-sway choice and the only true Motion-Dampening system around, with up to a 6” leveling capability.
On the got-to-have side, we loved the new DU-HA TOTE box. Great engineering! It locks in place in a basement compartment or the back of an SUV or truck bed. It rolls like a wheel barrel. Its adjustable compartments are weather tight, and it can be transferred to a different vehicle in seconds.
The Flag Pole Buddy solves a simple problem of where or how to fly your American flag. Most RVs have a ladder, and the Flag Pole Buddy easily clamps to the ladder’s side rail. No more need to climb up. Equally ingenious, the BreezeGuards® Mutt Manager is a custom-made cage metal screen that fits your vehicle’s window opening. They install from the inside of the vehicle, which allows for free movement of the window glass. Be kind to your dog when you need to run into the mall.
Always looking for a way to get to the bottom of things– like the underside of our truck, — The Bone Creeper is the best answer we’ve seen. Its oversized wheels will roll over cords and cracks smoothly, and the headrest is nice if you just want to take a nap under your transmission.
Back in the cab, how about all those little things like cell phones, ballpoint pens, loose change—you know the stuff that’s always sliding across the dash? The Cobra Universal Anti-Slip Double Stick Pad magically holds all that stuff in place. The pad can be relocated as needed. No mess, glue or tools required. You can view a demo video at http://cobrahandsfree.com/sp.html.
Finally, we’ve all seen those signs on the highway, “Next Rest Stop 63 Miles”, just about the time your 3-year old says, “Mommy, I need to go potty! Maybe you’re on a boat, or just stuck in a traffic jam when nature urgently calls. The cute and very functional Portable Magic Toilet folds flat and stores in a neat zippered case under the seat. When needed, just pop it open, put in a disposable plastic bag, and heed your need. The Portable Magic Toilet will support over 300 lbs, comes with a roll of leak-proof bags and packages of absorbent odor eliminators. There is even a child’s size. Toilet paper not included. “Mommy, I need to go now!”
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you have the SEMA “Christmas Tree”. Let your eyes do the shopping and start your wish list for Santa.