Recreational vehicles

Pittsburgh RV Show Sees High Attendance and Continued Interest in Recreational Vehicles

Ken and Katie Wakal recalled their early days of camping.

“We pitched a tent – which was great 30 years ago – but now we have an RV that we love,” said Katie Wakal. “We no longer have to sleep on the floor or worry about bears in the area.

The Penn Township couple rode RVs Monday at the Pittsburgh RV Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh.

The event runs until Sunday.

It offers models ranging from basic trailers to full-fledged motor vehicles with spacious living rooms and conveniences found in homes.

Over nine acres of space inside the convention center are filled with these vehicles, which are used for more than vacation getaways.

The Wakals have a Classic C model, with either a chassis cab or semi-truck and an over-cab sleeping area, which they bought in 2017 for their way to Michigan. They plan to take it to take it Maine. The couple, married 36 years, came to the show to see what’s new.

And they weren’t alone.

Interest in this mode of transportation continues to grow, said Randy Giancola, director of the show. Opening weekend attendance had returned to the crowds before the pandemic, he said.

A 2021 Tribune-Review article said the RV Industry Association reported nationwide recreational vehicle shipments jumped 75.9% from May 2020 to May 2021, the average amount spent on a vehicle. recreational hovering around $ 75,000.

“Motorhomes are great because you can quarantine them and safely distance yourself socially from others, which is difficult to do on a plane, bus or cruise ship,” said Giancola, a former exhibitor of recreational vehicles. “The campsites are outside. You can sanitize your RV and work from home, whether you’re parked in your backyard or sitting in Yellowstone National Park.

The problem is that they are sometimes difficult to obtain. There was a delay in obtaining vehicles due to supply chain issues. Demand is up and supply is down, Giancola said.

Sometimes it takes six to seven months for orders to arrive, according to John Park, general manager of Meyer’s Schreck RV Sales of Pittsburgh, Washington Township.

Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

The interior of a nearly $ 300,000 2022 Entegra Super C on display at the Pittsburgh RV Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Meyer’s RV has the largest display at the show, which features a Super C Diesel Integra semi-truck that can tow 10,000 to 20,000 pounds. It has five televisions, one of which is outdoor. It has bunk beds, a parental bed and a sleeping area at the front, accommodating 8 to 10 people. Equipped with an induction hob, a full bathroom and a fireplace, the 42-foot-long vehicle costs nearly $ 300,000. The price of the show is $ 259,997.

Park said many of his clients were negotiating. The company has grown 300% over the past two years, he said. Park said that, like the auto industry, the recreational vehicle industry has struggled to obtain inventory.

Park predicts that they will sell between 1,500 and 2,000 recreational vehicles this year.

“I think people sometimes panic to buy RVs because they want something to do,” Park said. “They found out that they really love him and want to do more and want something bigger and better. There is a motorhome lifestyle that more and more people are finding they love to be a part of. “


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review

Penn Township’s Ken (left) and Katie Wakal ride one of the RVs Monday at the Pittsburgh RV Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Ken Wakal said that with an RV they didn’t have to make a hotel reservation and the bed was always clean. He said they can stop when they are tired and can be on their own schedule.

“We love everything about our motorhome,” said Katie Wakal.

Low interest rates attract buyers, Park said. Most loans are for 15 to 20 years, and buyers can save hundreds of dollars in payments if they buy now. It also gives businesses time to procure the vehicles.

“More and more people are living in RVs,” Park said. “And you can go on a trip whenever you want without having to plan a plane, bus, or train and then worry about where to stay.”


Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

Paul Willis, general manager of Best Choice Trailers & RV in Irwin, in a nearly $ 143,000 Riverstone 2022 at the Pittsburgh RV Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Monday.

General Manager Paul T. Willis of Best Choice RV in Irwin has been with the company for 39 years. He started out as a washer for Tex RV in Arizona and also worked for Winnebago. Penn Township resident said owner Greg Barrick is familiar with the business.

Willis said part of the growth is because people can’t get reservations for trips and a motorhome allows them the flexibility to take the trip they want when they want. They are also made to be driven deeper into the woods in order to socially distance themselves from others.

Willis said families who saved money for a trip like to Walt Disney World took that money and added it to their stimulus money and put it into an RV.


Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

The living space of a 2022 Riverstone of nearly $ 143,000 on display at the Pittsburgh RV Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

One of Best Choice RV’s top-of-the-line models features a walk-in closet, endless lighting, a 1½ bath, full-size appliances, a 70-inch TV and ‘a desk for working remotely on the road, for a display price of $ 142,995.

Justin Hopkins of Hermitage in Mercer County entered the stuffed RV. He said he hoped to make a living from it someday.

“It’s beautiful,” he said. “It has so many amenities. A motorhome like this is paradise.

Steve and Lynn Kordyak of Carnegie have traveled to 30 states in their RV. They go on the road for weeks. Lynn Kordyak said having an RV is great as they can visit family and friends and can just park in their driveway.

“It gives you freedom,” Steve Kordyak said. “And your room is always with you.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is the editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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