From the models on prominent display and the messaging on the floor of the Toronto RV Show in January, you wouldn’t have known that the RV industry is in the midst of a renaissance. Baby Boomers populated the crowd, at a time when experience-craving young people are truly propelling RV sales in Canada, according to The Globe and Mail

Likely it will be a different scene at the Toronto Spring Camping and RV Show, today (Feb. 28) through March 3, at the International Centre in Mississauga. Nicknamed “the Big One,” the event brings together a wider range of outdoor exhibitors, including those from the fishing, hiking, hunting and mountain-biking industries – all areas of interest for millennials who are driving much of the growth of camping in Canada and the U.S.

The strong employment rate, cheap gas, low-interest financing, lightweight materials that boost fuel efficiency are factors attracting millennials, especially to compact RVs, said Christopher Mahony, president of Go RVing Canada. Moreover, “the rise of the nomadic lifestyle … and increasingly technological sophistication” are underlying the movement, he says. RVs complement activities they already enjoy such as road trips, camping and music festivals.

The three qualities they seek in an RV are towability, technology and affordability.

A gigantic pickup truck is no longer required to tow a 22-foot travel trailer, and cars and SUVs are more fuel-efficient these days, Mahony says. That’s drawn Millennials who don’t want to bring a Class A motorhome to a quick weekend camping trip. Manufacturers have responded by creating ultralightweight trailers such as the Happier Camper HC1, Timberleaf Trailer and Safari’s Alto R Series, to name a few.

The ability to stay connected is also critical for millennials, even as research indicates this generation allegedly wants to unplug while on vacation. “I don’t think millennials want to disconnect,” Mahony explained. “The reality is, we’re just not going to. In fact, having our device accessible sometimes takes the stress away.”

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