I went RV shopping for you at the Austin RV Expo

I spent the day at the Austin RV Expo in Austin, Texas, checking out hundreds of different RVs, so you didn’t have to! RV shopping can be a lot of fun at RV shows, but it also can be overwhelming.

Sure, it’s fun seeing some of the new things companies are trying and some of the old things they are improving on. The search doesn’t have to just be about the latest and greatest technology, either. Sometimes, it can just be about having the right color scheme or a layout that makes it the right RV for you.

That’s why RV shows are great. They allow you to check out all the different types of units to see what it is that you like in terms of style. Then you can narrow it down quickly by figuring out what is going to work for you at least 90% of the time.

Usually, we say that if you can’t find an RV that works for you while you’re at an RV show, then you probably shouldn’t be RVing! If you’ve been to the giant RV shows in Tampa or Hershey, a show like the Austin RV Expo may seem too small to matter at first. But they do a great job packing in a lot of different RVs from many different manufacturers at the Austin Convention Center.

That is one downside to RV shows. They may be showcasing hundreds or even thousands of RVs. They can all start to run together in your head; the whole experience can be overwhelming and tiring.

That’s why I decided to highlight just a handful of rigs that stood out to me for one reason for another. Many in this post have accompanying video highlights available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jw_bOOsGS5o.

Travel Trailers

We own an Airstream, which has been a great investment, so I naturally had to check out their latest offerings.

2024 Airstream Basecamp 20X REI Edition

Airstream had the new Basecamp 20X REI Edition on display and it was fun to see this more rugged Airstream firsthand.

I wouldn’t call this a true off-road trailer. But it certainly is going to withstand some rugged trails more than your basic Airstream. This Basecamp is really interesting. It has a lot of different features that you might not expect to see in a smaller trailer. In particular, this one has a wet bath, which all of the Basecamps do. But what’s most interesting about this edition is you can swap out the standard toilet for a composting toilet. The Basecamp also has a rear door, which is an awesome feature. It’s easy to load equipment in and out if you want to, or leave the door open and bring down the screen to have a great view with excellent airflow.

Airstream also had the 33-foot Classic on hand at the Austin RV Expo. The 33 is the largest that they make. It’s interesting that it’s now a dual-axle trailer instead of a triple-axle. This is the top-of-the-line that you can get at Airstream. It has every bell and whistle you could possibly want. It has very nice appointments, including some very comfortable furniture. There is a dining table with a power pedestal for raising and lowering. And a drop-down projector screen with a projector television. When you’re not using it, you just roll that screen up, and there’s a nice big window to look out of.

2024 Airstream 33-foot Classic

The Classic is also known for its massive bathroom, which is huge for a travel trailer. That’s where a lot of that extra three feet comes into play when you go from a 30 to a 33-foot. At over $200,000, not everyone can afford it. But if you can, that 33-foot Classic really is a class act.

The No Boundaries RV Suite is more of a mobile cabin than an RV.

No Boundaries (NoBo) has something brand new and it’s become quite the rage for many folks talking about RVs. It’s the RV Suite. This thing is not designed to be hauled from campground to campground. I talked to one of the manufacturer reps and he said this is after you’ve been off-grid for a while with your NoBo trailer and found a great location that you want to settle into for a bit. You can drop this cabin on wheels there. It feels much more residential when you’re inside with how it’s laid out and squared off. It feels more like a little cabin inside. And it has a flexible area in the back that is either the Murphy bed or the dinette table with barstools. The conversion is quick and easy, too. It also has a combo washer and dryer. It’s a really interesting concept.

Class As

Class A motorhomes are always kind of fascinating to me. I’ve never driven one. I can’t imagine driving something that big down the road but I’ve talked to people who’ve said it’s easier for them to drive their rig down the road than it is for me to haul a trailer. The Fleetwood Discovery was on display in Austin. Again we’re talking high price — it’s up in the $400,000 range. But when you’re inside, it’s like you’re in a high-end home. There’s really comfortable seating, a very nice kitchen and more. The whole thing just exudes opulence and I guess it should at this price.

2024 Fleetwood Discovery Class A Motorhome

It has an induction cooktop, which I noticed this year at the RV Expo. A lot of the manufacturers are starting to do this. We’re seeing either full induction cooktops or a combination of gas and induction on the stoves. And yes, this Fleetwood has a dishwasher. We’re also starting to see that in some of the higher-end units, mostly in the class As and some of the fifth-wheels. Apparently, that has just become a thing now for glamping! This is a very large motorhome. It just keeps going and going. In the back is a big bathroom that appears to be like a home. It’s very richly appointed and includes a large closet with a washer and dryer. I could see somebody being very comfortable in this. It’s quite a rig.


There were fifth wheels galore at the RV Expo in Austin and a Montana High Country I shot because had a really nice layout. One of the things I noticed about this is that it’s also listed as being a four-season trailer.

The big front window in the Montana High Country fifth-wheel living room is delightful.

When you walk into this one, you’re walking into the kitchen, so it’s a center kitchen, with huge counter space that includes a little bar area with stools. What I liked about this one was the front living area you walk up to. It feels like a nice space to hang out and entertain friends. It’s got a television on a televator, so it goes up and down. If you’re not using it, put that down, and there’s a huge front window that gives you a view of whatever you want to be looking at instead of what’s on the latest reality TV. There is a nice decent-sized bedroom. I wouldn’t say it’s huge, but that’s OK, they put more of the space into the living area.

Another thing on this rig, and I noticed it a lot more at this year’s show, are motion sensor lights, not just in cabinets, but on stairways.

An additional fifth-wheel that caught my eye was the Sanibel wide body. It has a unique setup in that when you walk in, if you go upstairs to the front, there is a big bunk room for kids. They have their own TV and their own cupboards. There are a bunch of bunk beds in there. That’s great if you have a lot of kids or you have kids who want to bring friends along.

There is a little desk in there for maybe doing some homeschooling. They also have their own half bath. I just thought that it was a neat layout if you have a family or are traveling with kids. The living area has plenty of seating for the entire family and guests. It has a decent-sized kitchen, plus seating around the center island, and a good-sized master bedroom. In the rear is a nice bathroom with dual sinks.

Another nice option for families is the Influence by Grand Design. This one had a nice outdoor kitchen setup, and inside is a great big kitchen. There’s an island with big sinks, a big stove, a residential refrigerator, a fireplace, and other things you’re starting to expect in fifth-wheels.

There is a decent seating area, although not huge. But there is a large bunk room for kids with two permanent bunks and a fold-down bunk that comes down over a regular couch.

It has a little desk for the kids to work on and decent-sized closets for them when they are traveling with you. All in all, I thought it was another nice rig for families. It even has a second bathroom with a door to the outside, so you can keep the little ones from traipsing through the whole rig when they’re outside and need to come in just to use the bathroom or wash their hands.

The master bedroom is up front on this rig and there’s a really nice closet. They made a lot of room by rounding it into the front cap. It has a lot of shelves, which I’m sure Jessi would fill with shoes, but you could use them for other things.

A beast of a fifth-wheel at the show this year was a Northpoint by Jayco.

Like a lot of fifth wheels, slides make it feel huge inside like you’re in a house. This one was no exception. The kitchen is in the middle, with an island, a full-sized refrigerator, and more. The living area was way too small. But that’s because the space went to the bedrooms. There’s a big master bedroom with plenty of cabinet and closet space. In the hallway between the kitchen and that bedroom is a full bathroom. Just off the kitchen is a sleeping loft for the kids. And then, in the rear, is a full second bedroom. Behind that second bedroom is a second full bathroom, with a door going to the outside.

So, two full bedrooms and two full baths! It was interesting to see this layout. I just wished that with the amount of sleeping space, the trailer could also support people in the living area.

Off-Road Trailers

A huge selection of off-road trailers could be found at this year’s Expo. And it seemed to really be all about the kitchens this year. I don’t know how many of them I looked at that had these really nice outdoor kitchens.

One interesting unit by MDC USA had a beautiful outdoor kitchen that extends out but also another kitchen inside. So it’s not just outside cooking only, like there is on many off-road trailers. This one also has a decent-sized refrigerator for a trailer as small as it is, plus a good-sized bathroom. It’s still an off-road trailer. It’s not huge, but it has a decent layout. I could see this being very comfortable. If you want to go off-grid a little bit but you want some options with cooking inside or being inside to hang out because of inclement weather.

This No Boundaries off-road trailer has an inside sleeping area and a rooftop tent, as did several other off-road trailers this year.

Another thing I found from No Boundaries was an off-road little travel trailer that has a rooftop tent built into it. And it’s not just NoBo. I found several different manufacturers are doing this now. It’s kind of an interesting concept. You have this regular off-road trailer. They’re generally going to have only an outdoor kitchen, and then inside, you are going to have your very basics of a bed and maybe a storage area. NoBo has gone up one level with this because it has a TV and a little fireplace for heat. But then you have a sleeping area inside and a rooftop tent to get outside.

Other items of note

Here is my list of things I noticed that were different about rigs at the 2024 Austin RV Expo:

  • Lighter colors are still popular, which is great for making small spaces feel larger.
  • Motion-activated lights are showing up in closets, cupboards, and stairwells.
  • There was more aggressiveness and marketing in terms of boondocking, from beefier tires to the overall look and feel of some models.
  • A few models, especially toy haulers, have doors on both sides of the RV.
  • Many units have started including inductive charging pads for your phones.
  • Several models now have TPMS integrated from the factory, especially on the larger fifth-wheels.
  • There are now more travel trailers that feel like fifth-wheels when you’re inside them. Some had multiple slides and dual decks but were still a standard hitch pull rather than a fifth-wheel.

1 thought on “I went RV shopping for you at the Austin RV Expo”

  1. If you’re seriously considering buying an RV, then this expo could be a great way to compare different models and get a feel for what’s out there. Even if you’re not in the market to buy right now, the expo could still be a fun way to learn more about RVs and see all the latest trends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *