Houston, Texas RV show for 2012

Today was the last day for the 48th annual Houston, Texas RV show. We try to go each year but haven’t made all 48 shows. We went this past Wednesday which was the opening day and there was a pretty good group of folks there for the first day.

It is always fun to go to the RV shows each year to see what has been added to the latest models of RVs. In terms of floor plans, it is difficult for the manufacturers to do much different with floor plans but they always seem to add new gadgets each year. One of the different things that we saw in floor plans was in the bathroom area of 5th wheels. Several models had a large shower across from an enclosed commode and sink area. There was a door on each end that enclosed the area from the bedroom and the lower living area. At first blush, it seemed like a good idea but the more my wife and I thought about it, we decided we didn’t like it at all. Perhaps people will like it, but we don’t think it will be well accepted.

There were three things that seemed to be more pervasive in the travel trailers this year. More manufacturers are adding hydraulic self leveling systems to their trailers. A few years back, the “Big Foot” leveling system was only available on the Hitch Hiker trailers. Now the systems are available on any number of trailers and can even be added to an existing trailer. Another thing that we saw were more trailers with outdoor kitchens. It seems like a good idea and will appeal to families who like to cook outside. I’m not sure that we would go for that concept. The other thing that was more prevalent this year, is the addition of outdoor TVs. Several models had a boxed in area in the living room slide out where a door was installed and a TV inset. You open the door from the outside and there is the TV with a stereo system. I think I could go for that. Other trailers, like ours, have a bracket in the baggage area where you can mount a TV for viewing outside.

Some other things that we saw were key less entry systems for travel trailers. The motor homes have had key less entry for some time but now it has been added to travel trailers. You can also get a wireless backup video camera with a monitor that sits on the dash of your tow vehicle. Of course, the motor homes have had those for some time but now they have been added to the travel trailers.

Another feature that has been added had to do with the toy haulers.  They have added a platform off the back that can serve as an elevated patio complete with table and chairs.

Remember, if you are looking to buy your first RV, going to a RV show is a great way to shop. Not all dealers carry all makes and models of what you might be interested in buying. If you go to a large RV show, you will see a larger variety of RVs without having to go all over town. You might also meet some friendly folks who will tell you what they like or don’t like about a particular model. RV people are very friendly and willing to help.

If you are interested in attending a RV show, check out our RV show page and find a show near you.


Outdoor Kitchen



Outdoor TV on a 5th wheel


RV travel trailer

Platform on back of toy hauler


RV Show

One of the aisles at the RV Show




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