EXCLUSIVE: New Technology Displayed at Tampa Bay Fall RV Show

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Attendees of the Tampa Bay Fall RV Show will see a variety of RVs — from pop-up campers to motor homes — but will also see the evolution of RV technology.

The show is scheduled for Nov. 11-14 at the Florida State Fairgrounds and will be hosted by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA). The event was canceled last year.

Dave Kelly, FRVTA executive director, said there could be plenty of snowbirds at the show, in addition to RV accessory vendors, RV manufacturers’ representatives and finance and insurance company representatives.

“You know it’s hard to tell how many snowbirds we will have — it is a little early,” he said. “We will know a lot more in January. But we are expecting more Canadians this winter, we are certainly anticipating having more at our January show.”

FRVTA Show Coordinator Patty Flanagan said RV manufacturers have shifted away from catering to baby boomers entering retirement in the past 15 years.

“Today, the millennial generation is powering the new wave of upgrades to recreational vehicles,” Flanagan said. “There is no better place to see it on display than an RV show where you have multiple dealers and manufacturers represented.”

RV manufacturers are keeping pace with the expectations of new, younger buyers with new, innovative floorplans and technologies. FRVTA Region 3 President Deanna Pearce said that slide-outs and lighter construction material were groundbreaking technology 20 years ago, but those features are now commonplace.

“Twenty years ago, smaller RVs expanded as slide-outs were introduced to floorplans, and manufacturers focused on lighter construction materials so travel trailers and toy haulers could be pulled by smaller trucks and sedans,” Pearce said. “Today, those pull-outs are commonplace and wireless components are all the rage.”

New technology has made RVs voice-controllable or controllable through apps.

“Remotes are disappearing in these new RVs coming off the assembly line and are being replaced with … Bluetooth or voice-activated controls using either a single remote or a tablet,” Pearce said.

The technology will be on display in hundreds of 2021 and 2022 RV models at the four-day event. Participating dealers include General RV, Gerzeny’s RV World, Lazy Days and Tampa RV.

For more information, contact the Florida RV Trade Association at 813-741-0488, or visit the association’s website at www.frvta.org.

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