RV News: Storyteller Overland Goes Retro, Vanlifers Stranded in the Arctic, Best Vehicle Awnings, and More

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As usual, It has been another busy week across the RV industry. Here are a few stories you may have missed over the past seven days:

  • Storyteller Overland Announces Limited Edition Anniversary Models: It has been five years since the first Storyteller Overland vans rolled out of the company’s garage in Birmingham, Alabama. To celebrate, the company is making a limited-edition model that mimics the original in appearance. Those first Class B adventure vehicles were built on the Mercedes Sprinter platform and came with a Selenite Grey Metallic paint job with a distinct orange sunset pinstripe. Only 17 of those vans ever left the factory before Storyteller switched to a different color scheme. Now, the original look is coming back as part of the anniversary version. Once again, only 17 of these vans will be made, each of which will include the retro look but paired with modern tech. Find out more here.
  • Encore RV Reveals New Lightweight Toy Hauler: Encore RV is best known for its line of off-road adventure trailers. But this week, the company unveiled a new addition to its lineup in the form of the Rǒg 20TH2 toy hauler. This lightweight towable tips the scales at just 4,147 pounds yet has a garage large enough to carry a full-size, four-door UTV. Pricing starts at $43,976. Check out all of the vehicle’s specs on the Encore website.
  • Vanlifers Get Stranded in the Arctic: What happens when a married couple sets out to drive the entire length of the Pan-American Highway in their camper van, only to break down in the Arctic? That’s exactly what happened to Kathy and Peter Holcomb, who embarked on that 19,000-mile journey recently, only to run into trouble before they could even turn their vehicle south. Read all about their experience at GearJunkie.
  • The Best Car and Truck Awnings of 2023: Speaking of our friends over at GearJunkie, this week, the outdoor gear site shared its picks for the best awnings to add to your adventure vehicle. If you’ve been in the market for an aftermarket awning, you may want to have a look at their recommendations first. And while you’re at it, check out their picks for the best rooftop tents, too.
  • German RV Rental Company Announces Expansion: This week, Roadsurfer—a German brand specializing in RV rentals—announced plans to expand its operations in North America. In 2022, the company launched its first rental station in Los Angeles. By the spring of 2024, four more outlets will open in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Calgary, and Vancouver. In addition to these new locations, Roadsurfer is also coming to Norway and Ireland for the first time.
  • RVshare Report Indicates 2024 will be a “Monumental Travel Year”: A new study from online motorhome and travel trailer rental website RVshare indicates 2024 could be a big year for RV travel. The company’s latest Trend Report says that 57% of those surveyed said they’re planning an RV road trip next year. 86% of respondents plan to travel at least as much as last year, with 44% indicating they plan to travel more. So, who are these travelers? According to the report, 74% are millennials, 67% are Gen Z, and 56% are Gen X. As for Boomers, they represent just 31% of these travelers.
  • 20 Million RVers Plan to Travel During the Holidays: Another indication that Americans are embracing travel once again comes our way via the RV Industry Association. In a press release sent out this week, RVIA reports that 122 million people have plans to travel this holiday season, which runs from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Of those, 20 million will embark on an RV journey, which is a 30% increase over the same period last year. For further insights, click here.
  • Winnebago CEO Named Entrepreneur of the Year: Professional services company Ernest & Young has named Winnebago President and CEO Michael Happe its 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year. The award winner is selected by a panel of independent judges each year in celebration of business leaders who disrupt markets and transform industries. Happe beat out 224 regional winners from 197 US companies to take home the price this year. Learn more about Happe in his E&Y profile.
  • Village Camp Flagstaff Resort Announces Upgrades for Winter Camping:  RVers and Glampers heading to Arizona this winter may want to put Village Camp Flagstaff on their list of places to visit. Ahead of the start of that season, the resort—which boasts adventure cabins and luxury RV sites—has announced a slew of new amenities. Those include a guest shuttle to the nearby Arizona Snowbowl ski resort,  clubhouse fire pits and s’mores kits, an expanded schedule of live music and events, and a year-round hot tub for escaping the chill. To book a stay, click here.

These are the biggest headlines from the past week. Join us next Friday for another rundown of the top stories from the RV and camping space.

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