Lets face it, the RV industry has been behind the curve for way too long. Much of the rv technology is the same as it was 30 years ago. There is some hope on the horizon for RV technology however and in this article we take a look at 10 rv innovations that could change the way you travel.
Changes in RVs Over Time
When we started RVing back in 2015, we noticed how RVs really hadn’t seemed to change over the years. Granted, we hadn’t done a whole lot of RVing prior to our decision to go full-time, but even since our childhood RV camping experiences it seemed that our 2005 RV had pretty much the same fridge, same water heater, same range, similar layouts, and same brown-on-brown interior decoration styles.
Because of that, we get pretty excited when we see something new! Our first taste of the “something new” was when we got a chance to tour the brand-new front kitchen layout in a Montana fifth wheel – that’s right, a kitchen in the FRONT!:
We attended The RV Experience aka RVX in March 2019 to check out the latest and greatest the RV industry had to offer. Here is what we found:
Ten Amazing RV Innovations That Could Change the Way You Travel
RVX 2019 brought with it so much new RV technology and innovations that really signal that the American RV industry is finally making strides towards the future! This is not a comprehensive list of the amazing products at RVX as we just couldn’t see it all, but what we found interesting we filmed.
The Featured Products:
1. Air leveling and ride fifthwheel (Keystone, Moryde and AKTV8) https://aktv8.com/
2. Truma Power Touch RV Mover https://www.powrtouch.com/
3. Truma Vario Heat high efficiency quiet furnace https://goo.gl/UaAMXN
4. Hall Logic Never Dump incinerating black tank – https://goo.gl/iLdhE9
5. Hall Logic Haul Guage OBD2 Truck Weight Measuring device – https://amzn.to/2JqT4fm
6. Keystone Load Safe Collaboration self weighing fifth wheel
7. Dometic RMD10 Dual hinge fridge – https://goo.gl/KTjifL
8. Dometic Portable Battery For DC cooler without ice – https://goo.gl/X7a9Gh
9. Dometic IOT RVC modular control surface
10. Waterproof composite flooring by Keystone
Bonus – campground of the future by KOA – https://campthefuture.com/
Other Innovations Appearing
We later visited the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa in January of 2018 and saw a number of new layouts, decors, and technology coming into the RV market.
That’s when we were introduced the the Truma AquaGo On-Demand Water Heater and the Combi (the furnace/water heater combo) unit that was being installed in many new RVs coming off the line – the Truma sticker seemed to be everywhere and we wanted to get in on it!
Adding RV Innovations To Our 2005 RV
We’ve been slowly upgrading the various systems and look of our RV for the past few years:
Installed a Truma AquaGo to replace our 12 gal Suburban Water Heater
Installed a Solar System with a Tesla Lithium Battery Module and Hybrid Inverter and an Air Head Composting Toilet to enable off-grid boondocking for extended periods of time. As well as the ability to run our A/C off our lithium batteries/solar/generator combined.
Replaced the Cooling Unit on our fridge to convert it to D/C power for 8x the efficiency and ability to run it off the solar system.
Refloored our RV and did a makeover of the interior to make it brighter and more modern looking.
Based on what we’ve been seeing the last few years and at this latest show is that slowly but surely the industry is trying to make some of these changes so you (hopefully) don’t have to.
Big RV Technology Trends
The battery topic is exploding in popularity. The benefits of lithium are becoming more well-known, the technology is getting really good, and the costs are coming down. This is making it easier for RVers to justify the cost of adding them to their RVs aftermarket, and manufacturers have taken notice. Now, more and more models are coming with Lithium-ion batteries from the factory. These batteries are paving the way for even more awesome electrical options and capabilities.
Why is Lithium-ion better? Check out this comprehensive presentation by The RV Geeks on lead-acid vs AGM vs. lithium-ion.
With the increased awareness of power usage, more high-efficiency products are coming out. Furnaces, water heaters, fridges, coolers, and even the RVs themselves.
Safety – With RVs getting bigger, and trucks being rated to tow more and more weight, we were really excited to see all the weight detection and ride improvement advancements.
Convenience/Technology – A common theme was to make the challenges and mundane tasks associated with RVing/camping easier so that you have more time to spend with your family and enjoying the great outdoors. Like the Dometic IOT control panel to montior all your systems in one place.
Modern Interiors – We’re getting there! Some manufacturers are more on point with this than others, but overall we are seeing more European styling, clean lines, lighter interiors, more windows to let the light in, as well as modern appliances and decor.
Voice of the Customer – It seems that many of the companies we’ve talked to really want to engage more with their customers, get feedback, and improve customer service. Turn around time for new ideas and products does take time, unfortunately (we wanted to take home the dual-hinge Dometic fridge right then and there!). Some companies also seem unsure of how to process the large amount of customer feedback out there.
Smaller and More Affordable – We saw many very affordable, smaller trailers designed to make getting away on trips and recreating easier than ever – and not having to change vehicles! Many of these light-weight RVs can be towed with a standard commuter vehicle.
RVX – The First Show of its Kind
This is a new show put on by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) that replaced the previous industry show that took place in Louisville, KY every year that was pretty much restricted to manufacturers, suppliers, and their dealers, and where they would conduct dealer sales.
RVIA created RVX to try and invigorate the industry and to showcase innovations, with a heavier emphasis on media presence and transparency to the public.
While some exhibitors were showcasing “new” options and technology that has already been around for a while, some of the exhibitors really pulled out the stops to showcase some really cool stuff, including the things showcased in our RVX Innovations video above.
Unfortunately, it looks as if RVX will not he happening in the future. Due to challenges with the event this show has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
Hopefully we will see alternatives as this show was a great way for manufacturers to see what others are doing. This helps push everyone to create better RV technologies that will benefit us all.
What Innovations would YOU like to see in the RV industry?
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