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One of my favorite things to do while traveling is get outdoors and experience all that nature has to offer. That’s why I was ecstatic when I was invited by Go RVing to attend the RVX conference in Salt Lake City earlier this month to explore the newest models of RVs for 2019 and learn more about how RVing can fit into my – and any – lifestyle. The exhibit hall and big reveal (which I’ll share more about below) got me excited and anxious to embark on my very first RV trip this summer to a secret destination that I’ll reveal at a later date. While I walked in with a preconceived notion of what RVs look like, feel like, and the audience for whom they serve, I walked out with a completely different perspective and understanding of just how versatile, fun, and comfortable RVing can be for anyone. Hopefully my recap of the event will get you just as excited as I am to kick off camping this summer with Go RVing.
Exploring Different Types of RVs
My first impression when I walked into the RVX exhibit hall was that there are so many different kinds of RVs I never knew existed. In my mind, I had pictured all RVs as mid-sized travel trailers that hooked on to the backs of trucks. While this describes one type of RV, it certainly doesn’t describe every type.
RVs come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are so large that they can practically hold an entire football team, while others are so small that they may comfortably hold only one person. Some can be towed by small sedans, some require a larger truck to tow them, and others can be driven without an additional vehicle. Some contain minimalist features, while others contain all the amenities like fireplaces and multiple bathrooms. Some are decorated with more traditional decor, while others have a much more modern aesthetic. Some cost as much as a high end car, while others cost as much as a large house. So, as you can see, there is no single prototype for an RV, but, rather, RVs can be found in all shapes, sizes, and budgets, and customized for every taste.
Here are a few of my favorite RVs, of all different shapes and sizes, that I found at the RVX conference:
RVs Are For Every Lifestyle
Just as RVs come in all shapes and sizes, they are built for all types of lifestyles. Whether you’re a city slicker or a rugged outdoorsman or something in between, you’ll be able to find an RV that fits your lifestyle.
Here are just a few examples of the different types of lifestyles that RVs cater to:
The Big Reveal
The most anticipated event at RVX was The Reveal, where one RV from each of nine categories would be dubbed the “spotlight,” or winner, for 2019. My top three favorite categories were Van Life, Outdoor Adventurer, and City Escape, but I’ll include a description of each of the nine categories below.
1. Family Friendly
Family friendly RVs are spacious RVs that comfortably sleep 6-8 people. Top of the line family friendly RVs typically include plenty of convertible furniture, pass-through exterior storage, and separate areas for kids to sleep and play in while adults enjoy time to themselves.
Spotlight: Jayco Eagle HT 264 BHOK
Judge’s Choices: Forest River Vengeance 385 FK Touring Edition, Forest River Sabre Fifth Wheel, Forest River Rpod, Winnebago Outlook, Coachmen Catalina 39 RLTS
2. Outdoor Adventurer
The outdoor adventurer wants to bring all the adventure gear with them when they travel, so the perfect outdoor adventurer RV has to have the capacity to hold all that gear, without sacrificing comfort. Top of the line outdoor adventurer RVs will allow you to bring your bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, and any other gear you can’t live without on your trip and still have all the space to live and sleep comfortably.
Spotlight: SylvanSport VAST
Judge’s Choices: Airstream Basecamp, Forest River No Boundaries, Taxa Tiger Moth, Taxa Cricket, Lance 855 Rule Maker
3. Van Life
Having lived in a city with excellent public transportation options for the past eight years, I haven’t felt a need to own a car. Thus, when I think about roadtripping with an RV, the first image I get in my mind is of an RV campervan that operates as a standalone vehicle rather than an attachment on another vehicle. Van life RVs are most popular amongst minimalist millennials, but they can also attract anyone who prefers to keep it simple.
Spotlight: ModVans CV1 Camper Van
Judge’s Choices: Winnebago Revel, Winnebago Travato Pure 3, Leisure Vans 2019 Wonder Rear Twin Bed, Coachmen Galleria 24 A
4. City Escape
For those who live in the city, the perfect RV is one that can drive just as easily in the city as it can outside of the city. Top of the line city escape RVs are not only versatile, but they also come with the same comforts and amenities that the typical city slicker is accustomed to having back home.
Spotlight: Leisure Travel’s 2020 Unity Rear Lounge
Judge’s Choices: Airstream Interstate Nineteen, Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side SE Camping Trailer, Venture Sonic, Winnebago Boldt
5. Destination Camping
The destination camper wants to be able to drive their RV to a campground and park it there for days or weeks while exploring the area. Top of the line destination camper RVs are spacious and make the RVer feel at home while parked in a new destination.
Spotlight: Forest River – Riverstone Luxury 39 RBFL
Judge’s Choices: KZ-RV Durango, Winnebago Horizon, Forest River Cedar Creek Cottage, Forest River Wildwood Grand Lodge 42DL
6. Team Tailgate
The team tailgate RV is for the RVer who loves to get all their friends together for a sporting event or chauffeur their child’s sports team to away games and tournaments. Top of the line team tailgate RVs have features like multiple TVs, quality sound systems and speakers, an outdoor bar, an excellent lighting system, and for the overachievers like Heartland’s Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV: a kegerator.
Spotlight: Heartland’s Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV
Judge’s Choices: Coachmen Sportscoach 366BH, Venture RV’s Sport Trek Touring, KZ-RV Venom V Series, Lance 1975 Ultra Light Travel Trailer
Just because RVs are large in size doesn’t mean they have to have a large impact on the environment. The sustainability category focuses on RVs that strive to leave as small of a footprint as possible on the environment so that we can take care of our beautiful earth and continue to enjoy it for generations to come. Electric RVs take center stage this year and will hopefully become the industry standard one day in the near future.
Spotlight: Winnebago All Electric/Zero Emission
Judge’s Choices: Taxa 2019 Mantis, Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro, Attitude F35GSG by Eclipse, Forest River Work and Play
8. Luxury Living
One thing I love about RVs is that it makes camping and the outdoors feel more accessible to a larger demographic of people. Those who typically would shy away from anything that takes them away from their lush bathrobes and leather couches can now enjoy all the comforts of home while camping out in a luxury RV in the middle of the woods.
Spotlight: Newmar 2020 Superstar
Judge’s Choices: Stratus SR261 VRK by Venture, Entegra Coach Cornerstone, Crossroads Redwood RV, Forest River Cardinal
9. On the Horizon
The On the Horizon category focuses on new and developing technologies that have been incorporated into RV life. For example, the new Airstream Classic Smart RV contains a new technology that allows you to control your RV’s temperature and other features with a remote control, so that you can prepare your RV to be as comfortable as possible for your return.
Spotlight: Airstream Classic Smart RV
Judge’s Choices: Keystone Fuzion 427 FW w/Onboarding Weighting System, Keystone Raptor 356 w/Pneumatic Suspension, Winnebago All Electric Zero Emission, Winnebago Micro Mini Fifth Wheel 2405 RG
Not only was the RVX reveal an educational experience for someone like me who didn’t know much about RVs before attending, but it was also an inspiring experience that has already gotten me counting down the days until my RV trip this summer. Whether you’re a serious camper or have never experienced RV life before, why not partake in Go RVing’s Kickoff to Camping Season and see where your summer adventures take you?
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It must have been really interesting to visit and see so many different types of RVs. I’m not sure which was my favourite, they all had different features I liked. I like to camp but a bit of luxury is always nice so an RV is a good way to do that.
I honestly do not know much about RV’ing but I have learnt so much reading your article. I can’t get over the RV with the fireplace – how comfortable that would be on cold winter nights. After reading all your descriptions I think my favourite would be the Vintage Cruiser. I am now keen to try RV’ing for myself.
Right?! I was stunned when I walked into the RV with the fireplace. And the Vintage Cruiser is one of my favorites too! You would be popular at the campsites for sure in that beautiful RV!
Very cool looking RV´s, wow! When I was a kid we used to go out with an RV every year. Now that I have my own kids, I would like to do it again with them. We were actually looking to rent one for spring break next month but ended up booking hotels instead. I would like to experience the Airstream someday, it is iconic.
I have always wanted to rent a RV and go on a very long drive with my family. The thought of planning a trip with RV has been my dream. I am so in love with the RVs you mentioned here and this makes me want to plan my next trip ASAP. Thanks fo sharing such a useful post.
Wow. What a unique compilation. I’m planning an RV trip to New Zealand and this post could not have come at a better time. I too would love to get outdoors and experience nature RVing!!!
I’m going to New Zealand later this year too and will definitely be planning some RV adventures there as well!
Wow! Some of my friends bought a van, converted it into an RV and drove from Patagonia home to Canada… with their two kids! That’s definitely not something you’d want to do in a tent!
Wow, that’s incredible what your friends were able to do! That sounds like the adventure of a lifetime, and I’m sure their kids will remember it forever too!
I didn’t even realise there were that many different styles of RV that you could get, they are all so cool!
I can’t believe how luxurious some of those RVs are!!! I’m totally one of those folks that shy away from camping but have tried glaming and loved it. Would defs be down to spend a weekend in one of these too!
I love glamping too, and I think if you’re a big glamper, you would love some of these more high end RVs!
I know that there is an RV movement where travel lovers or minimalist souls are making RV’s their home! It is a really interesting movement. I own an airstream trailer but a much larger one than you showed. It is currently being renovated and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!
Would you ever live in an RV for traveling purposes?
That’s awesome, I’d love to see how your Airstream turns out too! I would definitely be open to living in an RV, but it may be near impossible to convince my husband to get on board with that, so I think for now I’ll just settle with using RVs for shorter roadtrips 🙂
I’m so jealous that you were able to attend RVX! I love going to RV shows and seeing all the new products on the market. We usually go twice a year to the local RV show to see what’s new. I love the toy haulers and the massive 5th wheels!
My husband would have loved to go to this event! He loves looking at RVs and travel vans. It’s really amazing the amenities they have on some nowadays. I need something comfy but not too big…I’m scared to drive some of these bad boys!
I’m totally with you on that, which is why I love campervans the most! They are so versatile, as you can easily take them through cities or backcountry woods – it’s perfect for any adventure!
Great tips! I too didn’t realize the different variety of RVs. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of rving.
Sounds like a really cool show to see the many variations of RV’s out there in the market. I didn’t realize there were so many different kinds. I’m happy to read about the models that are eco-friendly. I’ve never been on an RV and some of these models are intriguing.
After moving to the USA, I came to know about RVing. I would love to do a long long road trip for days with one RV. I didn’t know there exist so many different kinds of options to choose from. After reading your article, I came to know so much about RVs. I especially liked the one with a fireplace.
The RV with the fireplace is nice, isn’t it? I knew there were different kinds of RVs but didn’t realize just how much variety there actually is until I went to RVX. I was certainly appalled that some RVs are better equipped and more luxe than my house!
OMG so many cool RVs! I’ve been eyeing the vanlife for next year, and I keep going back and forth between RV and van build. There are too many choices!
That’s so exciting, Alexis! I personally love campervans the most because of how versatile they are – you can just as easily drive them through cities as you can backcountry woods, which makes them perfect for full-time living (in my opinion). Have so much fun with vanlife!
I’ve been dreaming about owning an Airstream RV since I was like 4! I love road trips, though I often tent camp, I think an RV would be great for more relaxation and adventuring with little ones. You’re definitely right, an RV can fit every lifestyle. They aren’t as closed off from the outdoors as they used to be.
Absolutely! There are some RVs that get you closer to nature and others that make you feel like you’re in a luxury hotel – it all depends on what you’re looking for! I’ve found that it’s also a great way to convince my less nature-inclined friends to go on a camping trip with me if they don’t have to sleep in a tent. 🙂
Looks so much fun to me. I didn’t know much about RV’s but now I do. I knew about the camping luxury aspect but these pictures looked great. There is truly an RV for every lifestyle.