I know I have said this before, but I am the first to admit that I am a camper geek! I love new campers, floor plans, build quality, innovative options, etc.! We will not be buying a new camper anytime soon (although I’d be happy to help if any travel trailer manufacturers need someone to test their latest models!), but I still look forward each year to going to the RV show and taking a look at all the great campers.
For the past few years I have attended the Pittsburgh RV Show but this year we headed to the Ohio RV Supershow at the Cleveland, Ohio, IX Center. It is advertised as the largest indoor RV show in the country. Thus, the kiddos were tired after about five rows and there were still four times that to go! Although time and kids’ patience did not allow me to cover the whole show, we did get to tour many new models.
Here’s a quick look at some of our Ohio RV Supershow highlights:
New Retro Campers:
On Twitter, RV Circus has shared that they are looking for a second camper to use for “adults only” camping trips. Since Kristin likes the Retro and Vintage camper brands so much, maybe I could convince her to add one of these as a second unit in the driveway!
Off-road or Overland Campers:
While we are adding campers to our fleet (because once you have two in the yard, what is a few more, right!?), I think I need to get one of these increased ground clearance or ultralight campers to tow behind my Subaru for Flash and Dash to go overlanding with me!
Cool, but not for us …
… because I would have to buy a larger truck to tow some of these. (The kiddos’ favorite camper was too heavy for the van to tow, so Flash and Sweet Pea said we just need to buy a big truck. If only things were so simple. :))
If we ever trade in our camper, it would still be a bunkhouse, with the following criteria:
- At least four dedicated beds for kiddos
- No (or only a small) outside kitchen due to the added weight and reduced interior space
- A three (or more) season camping package
- Larger tank capacities than our current camper so we can go more than two nights without dumping. (With three young kiddos, we are not the best on water conservation.)
- Under 8,800 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight so that our GMC Savanna 2500 can still tow it.
Here are some of our impressions (in no particular order):
- Keystone Passport continues to have the largest square footage at the lightest weights. Our favorite Passport is still the 3290BH but there are other companies with similar options.
- Venture RV SportTrek has some really innovative bunkhouse floor plans that are still in the towable range for us as long as we make sure to stay within the lower cargo allowances. We were very impressed with the ST320VIK and the new ST327VIK, which is an innovative bunkhouse floor plan that we could tow but does not gain us any extra bunk space. We wish we could have seen a ST312VBH as it has dedicated bed space for seven in the bunkhouse … no that is not a typo. There are beds for at least seven kids in the back!
- Keystone Cougar X-Lite has a few innovative new floor plans that caught our eye. It is clear that this line of Keystone is a higher build quality but is still in our towable range. We were intrigued by the 32FBS that has a front bunkroom and a rear king slide-out suite (very nice). But this does not gain us any bunk beds. We wish there had been a 31SQB at the show because it is a floor plan we think we would like. Keystone also has a Cougar 1/2 Ton series camper that is available on the West Coast that has similar floor plans but with bigger tank capacities, which makes it very tempting to drive to the West Coast and haul one back (the 32SQB has 43/30/60 versus the 31SQBWE with 60/38/76 tank capacities).
- Keystone Bullet 311BHS was a nice floorplan, but we wish we could have seen the 335BHS, which is in our towable range and has an extra table/booth in the back.
- Rockwood Signature Ultralight 8327SS was really nice (Kristin’s favorite kitchen) but the Rockwoods tend to be about 1,000 lbs more than other similar camper floor plans, putting them outside our towable limits.
- Wildwood 30LOFTK was the kiddos’ favorite, but there is no way we are towing a two-story travel trailer with the van!
- Grand Designs Imagine 2800BH was our first look at the new Grand Designs Imagine and Reflection line of travel trailers and I had high expectations based upon my research: I was not disappointed. All around, Grand Designs is setting a new standard in the industry with features like aluminum steps, dog bowl drawers, modern decor, back-up cameras, high quality materials, solid build, etc. Currently there is not an Imagine floor plan that has at least four dedicated bunks. The Reflection line has the 308BHTS floor plan, but unfortunately it is too heavy for us to tow. Now if Grand Designs removed the outside kitchen from the 308BHTS and added an inside bunk, it might just be the perfect next camper for us!