The RV Industry’s Annual Trade Show Sponsored by the RVIA

Bob Ashley
Photos by Shawn Spence
March 8, 2013
Filed under Feature Story, Top Stories

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New fifth-wheel and travel trailers for 2013—many with innovative floorplans focused on value and livability—were unveiled late last November in Louisville at the RV industry’s annual trade show, sponsored by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

HR Presidential

A stunning interior design was among the new HR Presidential’s most impressive features.

Among the stunning new entrants was Holiday Rambler’s Presidential fifth-wheel, a name from the past resurrected this year by Navistar. Named Best of Show by RV Business magazine, the astonishing Presidential graces the cover of this issue. Also drawing a great deal of attention was the redesigned Montana fifth-wheel from Keystone RV, the top-selling fiver for 11 years running. Keystone recently received the first annual Readers’ Choice Award for Fifth-Wheel Trailers from the readers of Trailer Life magazine. Others creating a stir included the Heartland Gateway, EverGreen Bay Hill and CrossRoads RV Rushmore fifth-wheels, along with smaller travel trailers such as the Livin’ Lite Axxess and Trail-Lite Cobblestone. One of the show’s most unusual travel trailers—the Airstream Land Yacht—featured an elegant European-flavored design concept
and may go into production in North America.

Eye-Catching

Livin’ Lite’s new Axxess toy hauler travel trailer (featured in this issue) is available in 22- and 26-foot floorplans, with a 20-footer on the drawing board. The all-aluminum Axxess has chrome-look sidewalls contrasted by black diamond plate on the rear and the aerodynamic front end.

Columbia Northwest/Aliner has added one new 10-foot floorplan for 2013 to the Grand Tour and Evolution lines. The Evolution, with black sidewalls and diamond-plate accents, has a heavier suspension, larger wheels and greater ground clearance. All Somersets have either two king- or king/double-bed extensions. New 10-foot Grand Tour models retail for $11,000; the off-road counterpart goes for $12,000.

With an eye toward the full-time RVer, Peterson has added a 31-foot triple-slide fifth-wheel to its Winslow by Excel lineup. Boasting a thermal guarantee down to minus 10 degrees, Winslow offers 30 floorplans with amenities that include heated and enclosed underbellies, 6-foot, 5-inch front-bedroom ceilings, queen innerspring mattresses, 48-inch seated showers, solid wood cabinet doors, cedar-lined closets, solid-surface countertops, swivel recliners, sofa beds and solid wood dinette tables. MSRP is $77,000.

EverGreen Bay Hill

EverGreen Bay Hill series fifth-wheels are offered in six floorplans, all with beautiful interiors and as many as five slideouts.

EverGreen has entered the high-end fifth-wheel segment with the introduction of the Bay Hill series, offering six floorplans with as many as five slideouts. Indeed, Bay Hill has little touches that aren’t usually seen in fifth-wheels that retail in the $58,000 range, The five-slide 385BH offers opposing rear-bedroom slideouts along with others in the living room, kitchen and front bedroom. Features on the welded-aluminum-and-fiberglass Bay Hill include large pass-through storage with slam-latch doors, frameless deep-tinted windows, electric awning, six-point auto-leveling system, LED lighting throughout, residential style furniture and Martha Stewart Corian countertops. Also for 2013, EverGreen introduced the Ascend lightweight 17- to 23-foot travel trailers with MSRPs starting at $18,000, and an affordable Sun Valley travel trailer series with a welded-aluminum frame and a base price beginning at $19,900. 

Lifestyle Luxury RV builds its own box tubular-steel Titan Structure chassis for its upscale fifth-wheel line in seven 34- to 38-foot floorplans. Available with white or umber exteriors with high-gloss front and rear caps, Lifestyle fifth-wheels feature Corian countertops with double stainless-steel sinks, large bathroom showers, cherry hardwood doors, interior hallway steps and slideout fascia. Most floorplans have island kitchens, side-aisle baths and entertainment centers with a pullout desk. Full-body paint is optional, as are island-kitchen cabinets and fireplaces. Base MSRP is $79,950.

Believing that kids spend most of their time outside when the family is RVing, Riverside Travel Trailer has introduced the single-slide 34 1/2-foot 29BKSK floorplan that provides a larger bathroom and a more private front bedroom for the parents while minimizing the children’s rear-bunk bedroom. With 14 floorplans, three with lofts, the Riverside lineup includes standard features ranging from radius entry and baggage doors to an entertainment center, recessed lighting, fiberglass sinks and upgraded cabinet doors. An outside kitchen on the two-tone wood-and-aluminum Riverside has a fridge, sink, cooktop, storage and designer lighting. The MSRP for the 29BKSK, with a living room slideout, is $29,000. Also for 2013, Riverside introduced its first toy hauler—the 28-foot 24FB RPM—with a 13-foot garage and a $26,000 MSRP.

Big-boy toy haulers

Big-boy toy haulers were a big part of the show this year.

In the bigger-is-better category, Dutchmen introduced a 44-foot floorplan with an 18-foot garage in the Voltage fifth-wheel toy hauler series. The garage in the 102-inch wide-body 3818, separated from the living area by a vapor wall, is one of the largest contained toy-storage areas in the industry. MSRPs range from $46,900 to $124,035. Also for 2013, Dutchmen introduced four 36- to 42-foot floorplans in the more affordable Voltage V-Series toy hauler, including the first Voltage travel trailer. In addition, Dutchmen completely redesigned the Coleman travel trailer brand for 2013 as it streamlined the product offerings. With MSRPs starting at $8,950, Coleman travel trailers are available in 16- to 33-foot lengths.

Founded last July, Venture RV augmented its lightweight SportTrek travel trailer line with the addition of a 35 1/2-foot triple-slide floorplan. With limited options, the Venture line features eight 26- to 35 1/2-foot floorplans, including the SportTrek 320VIK with a dry weight of 7,200 pounds that features an island kitchen and opposing living room and kitchen slideouts. MSRPs range from $22,000 to $31,000.

KZRV added an interesting bunk configuration to its double-door Spree lightweight travel trailer series. The 29IK, one of three Spree floorplans introduced for 2013, has an island kitchen and features a living room and double-bunk slideout with a pullout trundle bed providing three sleeping positions. Another bunk is positioned over the rear entertainment center. The front-bedroom 29IK, with radius cabinets and two large pantries, is among 16 of the 24- to 36-foot floorplans in the fiberglass-and-aluminum Spree series. Also for 2013, KZRV offers an attractive Sandalwood Edition with champagne-colored sidewalls trimmed with black accents and an aerodynamic front cap, selling for a $23,900 base MSRP.

RVIA show

The RV industry’s annual trade show

Forest River has upgraded the Trilogy fifth-wheel from its Dynamax division for 2013 with the addition of two triple-slide floorplans with full-body paint. Featuring radius sidewalls and ceiling, LED lighting, a pullout desk above the fireplace, a remote control that operates the slideouts, awnings, front landing gear and exterior lights, Trilogy is available in four 39- to 42-foot floorplans with a lofty 8 feet, 5 inches of headroom in the living room and 6 feet, 7 inches in the upper deck. Interior amenities include hardwood cherry cabinets, solid-surface countertops with mosaic-tile backsplashes, walk-in closets, padded ceilings and specially designed sofas and chairs. Base MSRP is $105,000.

Lance Camper ventured into the towable market a few years ago and has introduced a lightweight travel trailer for 2013, the versatile 2185 (featured in the February 2013
Trailer Life) that sells for less than $27,000, well-equipped. Lance has also designed a double-slideout truck camper for 2013 that includes a 25-inch rear-extending sofa-and-pantry extension. With a $37,693 MSRP, the Lance 1172 has a 3,690-pound dry weight due to extensive use of lightweight Azdel and Lite-Ply panels. New for 2013 across the Lance lineup are high-gloss fiberglass exteriors, one-piece TPO front caps, new wood and wallboard choices, one-piece molded countertops and raised-panel cabinet doors.

Heartland RV has given its Gateway fifth-wheel—new for 2013—an edgier look on the outside coupled with a more residential feel inside. Available in four 35- to 38-foot triple- or quad-slide floorplans, Gateway retails in the mid-$50,000 range. With colored fiberglass walls and standard frameless windows, Gateway has full pass-through storage, heated and enclosed holding tanks and slam-latch compartment doors. Interiors include solid-surface countertops with stainless-steel sinks, leather furniture, solid wood cabinets, two-chair dinettes with matching folding chairs, fireplaces and a multi-tiered movable island in some models.

Keystone’s Montana

Keystone’s Montana was redesigned for 2013 and among the big attention-getters at the show.

Keystone’s Montana series underwent significant changes for the 2013 model year with all-new interior decors and furniture. Additionally, automotive high-gloss gelcoat fiberglass exteriors sport frameless windows and distinctive front caps with built-in LED lighting. New for 2013 among Montana’s 10 floorplans is the 3900FB, a 39-foot, 8-inch bath-and-a-half triple-slide floorplan with a large double-sink front bathroom with an oversize shower. Keystone also enhanced Montana’s pass-through storage, thanks to a new 12-inch I-beam drop frame. Available in 35-foot, 9-inch to 39-foot, 8-inch floorplans, the four-season Montana features an upgraded interior with an arched ceiling. MSRPs range from $58,000 to $90,000.

Yellowstone RV has designed a large two-person front-bath floorplan with his-and-her vessel sinks along with a full-height linen closet and large wardrobe across the front wall in its 2013 Canyon Trail Advanced Profile fifth-wheel series with a base MSRP of $35,938. The midprofile 40-foot quad-slide 36FBQS, also featuring a midship half bath and island kitchen, is among 10 floorplans the Gulf Stream subsidiary is offering for the new model year. Built with laminated vacuum-bonded fiberglass sidewalls on a welded aluminum superstructure, the Yellowstone Advanced Profile series has light cherry-stained maple raised-panel cabinet doors and drawers, full-size residential stainless-steel sinks, jackknife sofas, booth dinettes, pass-through storage and LED accent lighting on the front cap. 

Travel-Lite offers its 15- to 18-foot Cobblestone travel trailers with dry weights between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds to appeal to owners of SUVs and small pickups. Among the hung-fiberglass Cobblestone’s most dynamic features is a Granicote finish on the front cap that sports specs of white, black and dark brown, creating a textured look. With retail prices starting at $17,995, the Cobblestone lineup includes standard power awnings, electric A-frame jack, 19-inch flat-screen TV with a DVD player, roof air, molded Granicote countertops, raised panel cherry cabinets, dinette table, 3-cubic-foot three-way refrigerator, two-burner stovetop with built-in microwave, beveled-edged hardwood floors, heated holding tanks and heavy-duty insulation with R-values exceeding 40.

Jayco Pinnacle

Jayco added a 42-foot, five-slide model to its Pinnacle line of fifth-wheels with a front-lounge living room and 60-inch HD TV.

Jayco has added a 42-foot, five-slide floorplan to its Pinnacle fifth-wheel series with a front-lounge living room equipped with a huge 60-inch HD TV. The 38FLFS, retailing for $81,500—one of eight 2013 Pinnacle floorplans—features opposing slides in both the front lounge and rear bedroom in addition to a kitchen extension. Stairs on the door side give the fifth-wheel a wide-open feeling. Built on a drop frame to increase storage, the Pinnacle has standard features that include chocolate-glazed caps and skirts, an outside entertainment center, vacuum-bonded laminated sidewalls, pass-through storage with slam latches, DiamondFlor linoleum floors, hardwood cherry cabinets and slideout fascia, solid surface countertops and halogen ceiling lights throughout.

Starcraft has updated its inexpensive, lightweight 7-foot-wide Launch travel trailer series, designed for towing by minivans and crossover vehicles. With a dry weight of 3,500 pounds, the fiberglass Launch is available in four 15- to 18-foot entry-level floorplans, two of which come equipped with soft-sided rear-bed extensions. Standard in the Launch are 6 1/2-foot ceilings, front diamond plate, rear stabilizer jacks, outside storage, an 18,000-Btu air conditioner, a two-burner range, hardwood beech cabinet doors and an inside-outside dining table. MSRPs range from $12,000 to $14,000. Also available in the Launch, as well as the Starcraft AR-One, is an off-road option with 5 inches of additional clearance, 15-inch mud tires, an enclosed underbelly, added FlexFoil insulation and a black awning. The 2013 AR-One is available in five 14- to 18-foot floorplans retailing from $12,000.

DRV Estates 39RBSB

DRV showed its Estates 39RBSB luxury fifth-wheel sporting a straight-line roof and four slides.

Sporting a straight-line roof design and four  slideouts, the Estates 39RBSB luxury fiver from DRV Luxury Suites stresses an open-living concept that extends to the front bedroom with a north-south queen-size bed that leaves ample walk-around space. A rear booth housing additional seating and a dining table distinguish the layout, along with an innovative bathroom-and-bedroom space. The entertainment area is appointed with dual recliners, a slideout sofa and theater seating offering a view of the big-screen LED TV positioned over a fireplace. Known for offering high-end amenities as standards, DRV includes residential refrigerators, dishwashers, garbage disposals, Lane furniture, Shaw flooring, solid-surface and quartz countertops, and soft-close drawers in the 39RBSB. Also enhancing the homelike feel are real tile backsplashes and 60-inch showers. Base MSRP is $112,295.

Targeting the entry-level toy hauler market, Echo RV introduced a wood-and-aluminum 280APH floorplan in its Bandit line, offering a 3,000-pound-capacity ramp door and a 12-foot-deep garage area. With a dual-axle platform and a 10,400-pound GVWR, the 280APH is capable of bearing 5,000 pounds in the garage while still maintaining a 5,500-pound dry weight for towability. Equipped with a full kitchen and 13,500-Btu air conditioner, the 280APH provides a comfortable living area with neo-angle showers, a 76-inch sofa, a porcelain foot-flush toilet and a 60 x 74-inch queen bed. Available in a choice of gray or white, the 280APH comes with hung fiberglass sidewalls. MSRP is $21,038.

Cruiser RV initiated a complete redesign of its lightweight Fun Finder luxury travel trailer, creating a sleeker exterior while dressing up the interior with an emphasis on comfort. One of the more striking additions is a laminated, fully ducted barrel roof that creates a vaulted ceiling and, coupled with a wider 8-foot platform, creates a more spacious living area. Cruiser also engineered an auto-inspired fiberglass front cap set off by a two-tone exterior. The F-266KIRB floorplan showcased at the Louisville RV show sported an interior featuring a large pantry, a neo-angle glass shower, toasted pecan cabinetry, upgraded furniture and a 32-inch TV. Other standards include an enclosed underbelly and LED lights. Fun Finder lengths range from 18 to 33 feet, and dry weights start at 3,155 pounds. Base MSRPs run from $17,000 to $29,000.

CrossRoads Rushmore

All six floorplans of the CrossRoads Rushmore fifth-wheel come with super-sized bedrooms.

CrossRoads RV took a creative approach, revamping the all-new Rushmore fifth-wheel. Among Rushmore’s six floorplans is the 39-foot five-slide Lincoln, a front-living-room layout with an extra-wide windshield in the front cap. The Rushmore design team super-sized the bedroom in all six floorplans, making it a comfortable living area with two opposing slideouts in the main sleeping quarters. Aside from the additional bed slide, the master suite features an entertainment-and-vanity slideout with a standard 32-inch HD TV and hidden storage. Available in lengths of 34 to 39 feet with retail prices in the low- to mid-$60,000 range, the Rushmore features two-tone black-and-tan exteriors with standard partial paint, hung fiberglass with four-season insulation and standard dual 8-cubic-foot double-door refrigerators.

We just don’t have enough room here to tell you about all the new rigs seen at this year’s trade show, but we gave you what we thought were the biggest hits. And for some of the towables we couldn’t fit in and deeper dives into some of what we did tell you about, keep your eyes peeled for more information in future issues of Trailer Life.

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