RV News: SylvanSport Reveals Vast Travel Trailer, TireMinder Comes to Apple CarPlay, A Breakthrough in Battery Recycling, and More
Thor Invests in an EV Startup, ChatGPT Comes to RVshare, and 45,000 People Attend Hershey Event
Each week there is far more news from the RV and travel industry than we have time to cover. To make up for that, every Friday, we offer a roundup of the most interesting and important stories that you may have missed over the past seven days. Here’s what you need to know:
- SylvanSport Reveals Vast Travel Trailer: SylvanSport is an RV manufacturer that focuses on lightweight towables built to enhance your outdoor adventures. Last week, the company unveiled its latest model—the Vast Travel Trailer—which promises to be a versatile, easy-to-tow model for active RVers. The trailer starts at $69,995 and comes with a suite of great features, including a two-burner gas stove, a mini-fridge, a microwave, and plenty of onboard storage. Best of all, it has lots of room for all of your toys, including bikes, kayaks, gear, and more. Check it out here.
- TireMinder Adds CarPlay Integration: Apple CarPlay is a system that allows iPhone owners to interact with their smartphones through their vehicle infotainment system while driving. This makes it safer and easier to use map apps, play music and podcasts, read texts, and much more. Last week, TireMinder announced that its official iOS app is now CarPlay compatible, allowing owners of its tire-pressure management system to monitor their tires directly from their infotainment screens without the need to add a separate monitor.
- Dragonfly Energy Makes Major Breakthrough in Battery Recycling: Lithium batteries have helped usher in a new era of energy storage and management, powering everything from smartphones and laptops to electric vehicles. However, questions have remained about how we recycle those batteries at the end of their life and the impact it will have on the environment. But this week, Dragonfly Energy announced a major breakthrough in that recycling process, discovering a way to reclaim some of the lithium from those power cells and reusing it to produce new batteries. Find out more about this exciting development here.
- Cruiser RV Debuts New ‘Entry-Level Luxury” Model: Indiana-based Cruiser RV is expanding its lineup, bringing the all-new Avenir travel trailer to market. Described as an “entry-level luxury RV,” the trailer promises to be easy to two and have a “competitive” price point. Features include an air-fryer oven, a configurable dinette/lounge area, a queen-size bed, a glass entry door, LED lighting, Bluetooth speakers, and much more. Check it out here.
- KOA Says Twice as Many People Could Be Camping This Fall and Winter: Kampgrounds of America has released its Monthly Research Report for September, and once again, it is sharing some interesting statistics. According to a survey conducted by the company, 85% of respondents say they are already planning fall camping trips. Perhaps more interesting, 38% indicated they will be camping during the winter this year, which is up from 17% from the same time last year. Furthermore, 63% say this will be their first winter outing ever, reflecting on industry trends that show growing interest in four-season camping. Check out the full report here.
- Thor Invests in EV Startup: In November 2022, Thor Industries signed a strategic partnership with Harbinger Motors, a company focused on making next-generation vehicles. At the time, the move was seen as a way for the RV manufacturer to begin exploring ways to develop electric motorhomes to bring to the market in the future. This week, the connection between the two companies deepened when Thor invested in Harbinger as part of a $60 million funding round. Where will this partnership go? We’ll have to wait to find out. In the meantime, you can read more about it here.
- RVshare Adds ChatGPT-Powered Virtual Assistant to Help with Travel Planning: ChatGPT seems to be popping up everywhere these days, bringing artificial intelligence to every facet of our lives. This week, RVshare became the latest company to add the chatbot to its website, giving users the chance to use the AI to help make travel plans and find the right RV to use on their journeys. To learn more about how this technology can help, click here.
- More than 45,000 People Attend Hershey RV Show: Last week, the largest RV show in the country took place in Hershey, PA, where large crowds gathered to take in the latest models from all of the top manufacturers. According to the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association—which hosts the event annually—45,535 were in attendance. That’s a 7% decline from last year but still above expectations. That’s a sign that the industry is healthy, growing, and continuing to draw new RVers.
That’s all for this week. Join us next Friday for another round-up of the most important RV news stories.