This weekend, Jason and I drove into the city for the St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show. It was our second time attending an RV show and our first visit to this event.
As you may remember, we lost our first travel trailer to a fire in late October 2017. The timing of the fire both wasn’t and was good. It wasn’t good timing in the sense that it happened just weeks before our move to the St. Louis area. What could be good about the timing? It happened in the off-season — between moving and winter, we weren’t going camping for at least six months.
Losing our camper puts us in the market for a new travel trailer. And this time around, we have a better idea of what we want in our next camper. Experience with our Palomini and a visit a couple of years ago to the Madison RV and Camper Show gave us a better understanding of all our RV options than we had when we bought our first camper.
The St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show is one of the largest RV consumer shows in the country. Nearly all styles of RVs were on site, including motorhomes, 5th wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, camper vans, and pop-up campers. We were interested in the variety of travel trailers at the show, and there were plenty to see.
- We love a bed in a slider with NO wall immediately at the foot of it. Jason was never comfortable in the Palomini bed wedged between the front and back walls. He’s 6’6” — a little foot room is necessary. Plus, it will be nice to have open space on both sides of the bed for me to get into and out of bed without climbing over Jason. Both of the models we liked had the perfect bed setup.
- Continuing with the bedroom, we loved how spacious both bedrooms were. I also appreciated the large closets and dressers.
- Both models had sofas AND theater seating in the living area. We quickly found the love seat in our Palomini too small for both of us to sit comfortably for an extended period. In one of these, we could be much more comfortable during our indoors time.
- The other bonus (compared to our Palomini) — these models had dedicated dining spaces. I don’t know how I feel about the free-standing dinette in the Laredo — I appreciate the look of it, but I’m concerned about how it handles travel.
Because these were bigger, more tricked out campers than what we had before, they both included large TVs and fireplaces in the living spaces. Once upon a time, I would have poo-poo’d the TV as not true to camping. But I’m entering this new year embracing who I am, and I’m not the roughing it type. I’m a glamper through and through, and I don’t really care what anyone thinks of it. Give me a recliner, TV, closet, the works!
The primary difference between the two models we liked was the outside kitchen/entertainment space (or lack thereof). The Laredo we saw had an outdoor kitchen and TV in one of the sliders — the Jayco Jay Flight did not. I’m not sure how much we would use it, at least the cooking space. The outdoor TV would be cool, though.
Of course, we had to pop into two of the Airstreams that were at the show. They were both too small for our needs, but I can’t not go in an Airstream if it’s right in front of me. An Airstream is definitely my dream camper, and Jason and I are in deep discussions about whether it’s the best option for us. Even used, it’s a big investment. And while they are more spacious inside than you’d think, an Airstream might not be spacious enough for two people and two larger dogs. We’ll have to see …
We’re just in the preliminary stages of travel trailer shopping, and the St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show was a great way to get started. It would be nice to have something by the time summer rolls around, because I’m excited to explore all the natural areas to our south in Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee. At least I feel more confident this time around in what I want and what we need in a camper to enjoy our travels.