Friday, February 22, 2008

RV show tries to alter RV's image as gas-guzzling motor coach

With record-high gas prices and a sputtering economy, recreational-vehicle dealers at Nashville's RV and Camper Super Show, which runs through Sunday, may be facing a tough crowd of customers this weekend.

Paul Chenoweth, for example, said fuel efficiency would be among his criteria when looking for a new motor coach.

"You have an 80-gallon tank. You can do the math pretty quick that it can be painful every time you pull up to the pump." said Chenoweth, 58, a Nashville resident, who has already cut short the distances he drives on road trips.

Organizers of the show, which is being held at the Nashville Convention Center, hope that some new models help change the perception of gas-guzzling motor coaches, campers and RVs by showcasing more fuel efficient models. Among them is a 24-foot motor home that gets up to 18 miles per gallon. That compares with about 6 miles per gallon for a typical model.

But it's not just fuel economy that dealers are touting. With features ranging from flat screen televisions, rear-view cameras, rooftop solar panels and spacious granite countertops some vehicles, which can top $600,000, resemble a suburban castle-ette on wheels.
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