In Salt Lake City this week, the RV industry gathered for a new trade show: RV Experience, or RVX. Judges awarded nine brands out of 450 RVs for innovation across the following categories: Outdoor Adventure, Family Friendly, Van Life, City Escape, Destination Camping, Sustainability, On the Horizon, Luxury Living, and Team Tailgate.

Representatives from BACKPACKER Magazine and SNEWS were there to cover it live, and had an exclusive interview with SylvanSport CEO/Founder Tom Dempsey, whose new VAST travel camper took home the award for best Outdoor Adventure vehicle.

“It’s gratifying and humbling for the VAST to be honored as the best in the outdoor adventure category right out of the gate,”  said in a press release. “Our roots in the outdoor gear industry give us the perfect experience to create the ultimate outdoor adventure vehicle.”

The growing intersection of two industries 

The RV industry currently caters to more than 10 million consumers, though Go RVing research has shown that 30 million people have preferences that fit the potential RV buyer. RV Industry Association (RVIA) has revamped the RVX show to further the industry with a space to celebrate innovation that pushes the industry forward and reach those untapped markets. 

“RVX isn’t just another trade show renamed,” said RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer. “It’s an integrated, multi-purpose marketing platform designed to showcase the future of RVing, generate greater consumer interest and drive dealer sales,” said Hugelmeyer. “If we embrace new ways to build, market, and service our products, if we support our customers at every turn, if we innovate, excite, and attract new consumers to our diverse outdoor lifestyles, the future of the RV industry remains bright.”

One element that has been further integrated into this new trade show is a focus on reaching outdoor consumers as highlighted by two of the consumer categories "Outdoor Adventure" and "Van Life." 

SNEWS connected with John Mead of Adventure 16 Outfitters in California. "We see more and more of our Customers and employees traveling and even living in vans, and also using roof top and towable tents. In many cases they are using them as their base camp for exploring and climbing at their destination or as they go," Mead stated.  

He continued, "Last year A16 declared 'Van Lifers' to be among the group of Customers that we want to target. We're still determining what that means in terms of products and marketing, and RVX helped move me closer to what it means. The next step will be to begin developing relationships with local RV dealerships who offer Vanlife and Outdoor Adventure RVs. The hope would be to do some co-promotions like having a Vanlife RV mini show in our parking lots to see how interested our Customers really are at this point in time."

The new trade show has not only created space to celebrate innovation, but brought retailers in to reimagine the ways that the RV and outdoor industries will work together moving forward. 

Here are the other category winners of The Reveal 

Family Friendly: Jayco Eagle HT 264 BHOK, featuring a bunkhouse that sleeps six and convertible furniture and pass-through exterior storage

Van Life: ModVans CV1 Camper Van, a cargo van positioned to become the everyday minivan, pickup truck or SUV, with removable, modular components that adjust the layout

City Escape: Leisure Travel’s 2020 Unity Rear Lounge, built on the all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 chassis and featuring a spacious "rear longe"

Destination Camping: Forest River - Riverstone Luxury 39 RBFL, an RV geared toward the luxury/extended customer featuring separated garages to 1 and ½ bath concepts

Sustainability: Winnebago All Electric/Zero Emission, made for short-range commercialt trips like mobile bloodmobiles, clinics, classrooms, and outreach vehicles

On the Horizon: Airstream Classic Smart RV, featuring Smart Control Technology that allows user to control and monitor important features and amenities from anywhere

Luxury Living: Newmar 2020 Superstar, a customizable and luxury Super C class product

Team Tailgate: Heartland’s Cyclone Ultimate Tailgate RV, featuring a side patio, outside bar, built-in kegerator, multiple TVs, and a sound system

GO RVing green logo on white background.

Related

Image text: Snews we know outdoors First Look with Kristin Hostetter. GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker Camp Chair. Image of the olive green chair next to the text on the image.

First Look Video: GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker

In this episode of First Look, our Editor-in-Chief, Kristin Hostetter, sat down with Jeff Polke, co-president of GCI Outdoor to discuss the technology behind the spring-loaded Kickback Rocker.  Some highlights we cover:  How and why GCI incorporated shock absorbers into this ...read more

A father holding his son stands on a vista next to a Colorado Teardrops RV camper

The paper-thin line between RV and core outdoor consumers

According to Frank Hugelmeyer, the outdoor industry has an elitism problem. The president of the RV Industry Association—and former CEO of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA)—believes that both groups need to relax how they define themselves, because the outdoor and RV worlds are ...read more

Image text: Snews we know outdoors. First Look with Kristin Hostetter. Merrell Moab Speed and Flight shoes. Pictured to the left of the text: navy Merrell Moab Flight and brown Moab Speed shoes.

First Look: Merrell Moab Speed and Moab Flight shoes

In this episode of First Look, our Editor-in-Chief, Kristin Hostetter, sat down with Erika Derylo, brand marketing manager of Merrell to discuss the evolution of the Moab franchise: the new Moab Speed and Moab Flight shoes. Some highlights we cover: The legacy of the iconic ...read more

Image: faded blue snowpants bib in the background. Image text: Snews we know outdoors. First Look with Kirstin Hostetter Flylow Kane Jacket and Smythe Bib

First Look Video: Flylow Kane Jacket and Smythe Bib

In this episode of First Look, SNEWS Editor-in-Chief Kristin Hostetter sat down with Dan Abrams, co-founder and CEO of Flylow, to chat about the Kane Jacket and Smythe Bib. Some topics covered: The evolution of Flylow How the Smythe Bib's snaps ensure a perfect pairing with ...read more

James Schutz top picks

Campers Village's top picks at Outdoor Retailer

Established in 1963, Campers Village is an independently owned outdoor retailer focused on camping, hiking, and paddling. Its three locations across Edmonton and Calgary, Canada, strive to provide expert advice and quality products that promote and enable memory-making outside. ...read more

Pre-Show Outdoor Retailer Daily Summer Market 2017

Read the Pre-Show issue of Outdoor Retailer Daily Summer 2017

In the Pre-Show Edition of Outdoor Retailer Daily Summer Market 2017, you'll find the hottest new gear from dozens of brands coming to the show. For the cover, we camped out in the Roosevelt National Forest near Boulder and set the stage with 2018 gear from Wenzel (which might ...read more

Shoe1

6 hot items from Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show

So much gear, so little time. There were thousands of awesome new products at Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show this year. Luckily, with the help of our sister mag, Backpacker, we had an army of gear experts cruising the floor of the show, scoping out the latest gear for 2018/19. Sit ...read more

OR_WorkingGirl2.jpg

The Best and Worst of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2005

Leave it to the SNEWS® gang to get inside the trade show like no other publication can or would. Our all-access passes and vast industry experience allows us into conversations and observations few others can match -- not that many would even want to. So, with that in mind, ...read more

Denisha Jenkins and Monet Hambrick are chatting through zoom with a white background with colored flecks. Her Voice logo is at the bottom left and a text box below Monet reads: Monet Hambrick Author.

Why representation matters in adventure travel and how brands can do better

Monet Hambrick of The Traveling Child journeys around the world for a living with her children. In 2019, she authored The Traveling Child Goes to Rio de Janeiro, a children's book that teaches culture through the eyes of two traveling sisters. And earlier this year, she became a ...read more