Yes, I know. It is the Twenty-First Century and it has been for over ten years. But some things like the motor home offerings for 2011 make me think I've been teleported back 15 years or more.
We went to the 21st Annual North Carolina RV & Camping Show in Charlotte this past weekend. Looking at RVs and all thing camping related is a favorite past time of mine so that always makes for a good weekend.
We have had a couple of travel trailers in the past but motor homes better fit our lifestyle. We saw some interesting models of fifth wheels and travel trailers but that was not the case with motor homes. We felt like we were put into a mold that family camping was supposed to involve fifth wheels or travel trailers and not motor homes.
Our class C motor home is a few years old and has served us well. However, it is styled inside and outside like something out of the 1990s. That is still the case with the 2011 models that we saw of class C motor homes. There was little innovation on the inside regarding use of space and the 21st century family's lifestyle and little on the outside reflecting modern aerodynamics and style.
It is the same with the 2011 class A motor homes. These exhibit even more lack of exterior styling and have the profile of a shoe box. They would be better classified as ancient relics rather than a modern family's home away from home.
Aside from the lack of aerodynamics that would improve fuel economy, something important to today's families, the interiors also leave something to be desired. It's nearly impossible to find anything larger than 32' that are efficiently using space with floor plans that meet the needs of today's active lifestyles and even those models 32' and under are few and far between.
To add to that, a vast majority of motor homes are designed with retired couples in mind. No wonder, with the lack of styling no twenty-first century family dreams of being seen in such outdated styling. No wonder the RV industry seems to continue to focus on older couples.
The one semi-bright light in the show was the Monaco Vesta. They did a nice job making a sleek, aerodynamic look outside. While the inside is excessively modern for our style, the biggest drawback is the price tag. At around $200,000 it is cost prohibitive for today's average family.
The only thing in the average middle price range is a box on wheels with outdated styling and floorplans. While you can get a brand new full ton dually truck (which is diesel) for around $50,000, and a nice option of quality 34' fifth wheel trailers for around $50,000, you can't find a diesel, stylish, innovative, and sleek class A motor home for around $100,000.
It is time for us to demand that the RV manufactures start providing us quality, affordable motor home alternatives without breaking the bank. Anybody can throw together something in the $200,000+ price range but it takes real engineering, commitment, and care to build a quality, functional and innovative motor home for today's modern family.