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While our FAVORITE part of attending RV shows is the opportunity to meet FitRV followers in person (thanks to everyone who swung by our Meet & Greets!), our second most favorite part is seeking out new and interesting industry trends.
In this video, James and I go over 5 different things that stuck out for us at the Florida RV SuperShow. In a nutshell, we discuss:
- Revel influence once again showing itself in vans with a sported-out look, like the one in the video from Midwest Automotive.
- Inexpensive pop-top shorty vans like the Tofino by Pleasure-Way!
- SpaceCraft’s technology focus with recirculating shower water and powerful lithium systems.
- SVO Embassy van’s interesting drop down patio off the back and their grey/fresh water bladder systems instead of tanks.
- Winnebago’s new Ability Equipped Class A’s. I’m really proud of them for making RVing accessible for EVERYONE!
The video says it all, hope you’ll take a look; and then GO EXERCISE!
Do you do reviews on products for the RV to your viewers?
Yes we do – but we only review stuff we actually like.
Latest review was a roof vent cover from MaxxAir.
@James mentioned that he really liked the ability to walk on the roof of the Passage Sprinter, despite it not being much good for storage.
We had very robust roof-racks fabricated for our Leisure Travel (Sprinter Van) and soon realized the amount of space gained isn’t really worth the expense, primarily due to the reasons you noted, there is too much going-on up there, to make for efficient storage.
On our Winnebago Trend RV, we went a different route. We primarily use our Trend RV for adventure travel, including an month-plus in Park City, and the flat roof (seemingly odd choice by Winnebago) didn’t seem sufficient.
The roof of the Trend is flat and would bend as we walk over it. Rather than fabricating roof-racks, this time around we commissioned a custom carbon-fiber/epoxy roof with integrated kayak racks (technically kayak/trimaran racks for a set of Hobie Adventure Island kayak/trimarans). This is based on an eight-layer cross-lam epoxy layup.
While carbon-fiber fabrication is horribly expensive, you’d be shocked by the difference in the rigidness of the roof. Not only is it warmer in Utah (or cooler in our native Florida climate), you can jump on the roof without a bit of flex.
Being that you also over-build and over-spend on your RV (lol), I thought you might find this information interesting. Best of all, the _effective_ width of the Travato Promaster roof isn’t much more than about 64-ish inches, making it much less expensive to line with composites.
One other minor sidenote — the RV with the “marine grade plastic” interior that you pointed-out — this is typically HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) aka Starboard (by trade-name). When we commission fabrication for our RV, we primarily use HDPE as it is impervious to the elements/organic decay. The one downside is that nothing sticks to it, meaning that all bonds must be true-mechanical, no adhesive can be used as a permanent solution.
I’m sure you’re well-versed in HDPE, I just thought this might help some of your viewers.
Before I forget … Thanks again for the great videos/content!
BTW, the pacing of your videos is very impressive considering you’ve never mentioned any history in post-production. Do you do your own editing?
I’ve dabbled in carbon fiber a bit, and I can’t imagine how expensive a carbon fiber RV roof would be.
BUT DANG IT SURE WOULD BE COOL!
Are there pictures of this beast out there somewhere? Did you replace the existing roof (I think unlikely), or did you make essentially a cap over it?
I pressed the SVO guy on his choice of materials, but he was off-puttingly evasive and vague on the details. He did at least mention that they didn’t use any PVC.
And glad you like the videos. I do pretty much all of the editing – so it’s good to hear I don’t suck!
While I applaud Winnebago for installing accessibility equipment. They are neither the first or only ones doing so. Newmar offers Braun accessibility lifts on both their gas class “A,s” as well as in their diesel pushers. They have offered them for years. The accessibility floor plans have an “11” as the last two digits in the floor plan model number. While not every unit has the space, the Newmar units because they are class “A,s” can install the lifts that store in the basement area. Because unfortunately the ones that fold up behind the exterior door tend to intrude into the interior space.
Awesome to hear; yet another reason to love Newmar! Even better, more variety now and likely a very different price range so something for everyone.
The lowest roof Promaster at 88.7 inches high will not fit in a standard 84 inch high residential garage door.
Perhaps not a 7 foot door.
Pleasure-Way lists the height of the Tofino at 8’2″. So it would require a larger-than-normal door. To be clear, Pleasure-Way didn’t tell us it would fit in a garage… that was my assumption.
Great informative video as always you guys! You are truly an asset to the RV community! Keep doing what you’re doing!
You are an invaluable asset to the RV community and then some!
Awwww, thanks Maggie for your encouragement and kind words! You made my day!
For more info on recirculating showers, check out showerloop.org – a bunch of people who have designed just that. it’s really not that complex. I mean, the water starts out as pure drinking water basically, and filtering it through a filter, a carbon block and whatnot you can easily clean it until it’s drinking quality again. So that means endless showers in a small van, and using maybe 5 gallons for that endless shower. It’s a seriously compelling notion to build that into a vehicle in my opinion (and honestly, it should be in every home, we literally waste billions of gallons of clean water on showering, and more billions of gallons on toilet flushing – and that’s in America alone.) And putting together a system isn’t even that expensive, between $500 and a grand, tops.
I am surprised about 4 things:
Your not familiar about Aluminess (roof racks and ladders)
You’ve never heard of Space Craft Manufacturing (ultra Custom 5th’s)
You never discuss the best Class B’s in North America – Safari Condo.
You don’t own water pumps that will take ditch water and make it drinkable (Its a hiking thing).
Otherwise another great effort.
Jon Moran, Your entire list of things is inaccurate, LOL!!!
1. We know Aluminess very well! In fact they’re coming in full force to support a March rally I’m hosting. Are you talking about because we didn’t mention the maker of the roof rack? It was unbranded. There are many Aluminess-like companies and we couldn’t say for certain if that was actually an Aluminess product.
2. And we know SpaceCraft as well too, not sure where you got the impression we didn’t? We just meant we have never done a “video review” of any 5th wheel.
3. We actually own 2 hiking water filtration pumps, again, not sure where you’re surmising this either? We didn’t discuss hiking filters at all so I’m confused how this is relevant unless you’re trying make some connection to them and the shower water recirculating system? Two different things… hiking pumps don’t operate anywhere near the same speed or scale.
4. Safari Condos rock, they are included in our Class B list and we’ve had the pleasure of meeting the owners. We just haven’t had opportunity to review them because they are so hard to come by! And besides, THIS IS A VIDEO ABOUT THE TAMPA SHOW. Safari Condo does not come to this show.
Hey thanks Cr0ft (original poster up above) for sharing the link! We’ll give it a look. Interesting as simple as the system is why we don’t see it more.
I think it’s a strange concept at first- shower more than once with the same water? Ewww. 🙂
But simultaneously we also have commercial filter systems readily available – for instance, a two or three jumbo canister system – for RV’s you can install on the water intake to convert even stuff like lake or river water that’s full of microorganisms into sparkling clean drinking water. A system like that is a couple hundred bucks, plus replacement filters once a year.
Compared to water like that, shower water is very clean, so removing whatever is in there when it hits the drain after you’ve washed and recirculating it and cleaning it by the time it comes back out of the shower head is really quite easy. The only potential concern is bacteria from umm the nether regions, but that’s what the filters take out.
One challenge for doing it in a home is that a pipe is required from the drain to the water pump that drives the recirculation, and putting that in under a residential shower is potentially huge amounts of work. But, in an RV, that problem too is far smaller, though the same thing does apply to retrofitting it, it all depends on how much access you can get to the drain and what’s underneath there. You also need the brains of the system, of course, a computer to switch between recirculation or straight through.
But the principle is simple, and I really hope it catches on, especially in places where there are massive issues already with water access. South Africa springs to mind, but that list will grow longer in the coming years.
Noticed that the SVO unit had a ProAir 12V A/C unit, like the Coachmen! Hopefully more of those start showing up in other Class Bs
Yes, it’s certainly exciting seeing new options becoming available!
That’s a nice score spotting one of the “B-Van Unicorns” that we never seem to encounter out on the road …. maybe one day we’ll get to see James crawling into the bike garage of an Outside Van.
The “B-Van Unicorn” Yes!!
I should start a list. Or maybe a video in the style of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”.
“In Search of the B-Van Unicorns”
Ha, ha, ha…. Unfortunately you’ll probably be “Jim” since he’s the one wading into the creek to wrestle with the giant python. Stef will be “Marlin” who stands safely at a distance making observations like “Watch out Jim! That looks like a lively one!”
I really enjoy your videos from van to exercise to garage/workspace design. But I’ve noticed that the last few videos had disabled comments. I’m sure you have a good reason for doing this, but it makes it more difficult to respond to a specific video.
Hi Christina! We keep comments disabled over on YouTube in an attempt to keep all the comments in one place on our website so we can easily see them all and respond. In every video we do, we always put the link to the corresponding article in the YouTube description, and we encourage people to come over to the article to leave comments. It’s just one extra click on your end, and being FitRV is a part-time hobby of ours, it helps keep things easier for us. Hope you understand!