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article imageBest new tech in RV industry for 2014

By Kimberly Reynolds     Jan 27, 2014 in Technology
The technology boom of the past decade has even impacted the recreational vehicle industry. Advances in comfort and safety are changing the perception of the industry.
Fun Town RV experts in always-sunny Texas were asked to steer through the coming 2014 RV season, and in particular, new technological advances in 5th wheels and travel trailers.
It is already evident that the technological boom of the past decade has influenced the RV industry. Wi Fi connectivity and digital appliances are becoming standard. In 2014, significant and incremental advances in design and comfort will take the RV experience to a new level.
Improved “Towability”
Many technological gains have been made in the suspension and braking systems of today’s 5th wheels and travel trailers. You might be surprised to know the same shock absorbers you would find on your truck are tucked under your RV. This helps protect the quality cabinetry and appliances on the inside while giving a smoother, more comfortable towing experience to the driver.
Gone are the days of surge brakes as well. Electric, and in some cases hydraulic, brakes are the norm. Many manufacturers also replace the standard pin boxes with custom, shock absorbing pin boxes that all but eliminate “chucking” and felt sway of the 5th Wheel. In travel trailers, hitch brands like the Trekker and Equalizer drastically reduce sway and improve “towability” and safety.
Technology Improves Efficiency
The new generation of hydraulic slide outs adds a whole new dimension, physically, to the RV experience. The slide out rooms today are a far cry from when they were first introduced to the RV industry, almost 30 years ago. “The slide out rooms back in the late 70’s were actually manual slides, that you pulled in and out by hand, like a drawer in a cabinet,” said David Kidd, Fun Town RV’s Internet Manager, who started in the RV industry right out of high school in 1982. He continued, “So technology has changed that part for the better. It’s all push button now, and you don’t worry about getting it in a bind on the way in or out.”
"Technology has definitely made setup easier," offers Ramirez of Fun Town RV, "by taking much of the time and trouble out of it. Electric stabilizing jacks, automatic leveling, push button electric awnings, and a host of other features have drastically reduced set-up time.” Ramirez says, “This allows for the owner to spend less time setting up camp and more time relaxing.”
Safety Gains
This tech revolution in 5th wheel design is increasing the enjoyment of owning an RV. They are not only easier to operate, but safer when you reach your destination. As Ramirez points out, “besides increases in convenience, the ease and speed of operation of these improved technologies has added safety advantages.”
“Suppose a sudden storm blows in, and your awning is out. Push a button and it is back in quickly and safely. Some of the higher end models even have wind sensors that put the awning up if you aren't around to do it,” Ramirez affirms.
The Comfort of Technology
"As with anything, as technology advances, those advances make their way down into different areas of the marketplace,” says Jarrod McGhee, owner of Fun Town RV. Among the advances are an increased emphasis on comfort and the inclusion of high-end equipment as standard features.
"In the mid 90's, it was a big deal when they put microwaves and CD players in travel trailers or 5th wheels,” McGhee recalls. “Today, it is commonplace to see convection microwaves and surround sound entertainment centers with flat screen TV's. Some of the higher end units even come with a smart pad that controls lights, entertainment features, and many other functions. All of this has come about as technology improved and has become more affordable and accessible."
RV enthusiasts have already begun to count the days until the camping season starts. It is comforting to know the technological innovations in 5th wheel and travel trailer design are charging forward to create the safest and most comfortable experience.
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