RV News: The Mercedes eSprinter is Here, an NFL Coach Goes RVing, Sony’s Portable Home Theater System, and More
Happy Friday, RV.com readers. Welcome to another edition of our weekly round-up of the biggest news and headlines from the RV and camping industry. Here are a few stories you may have missed this week:
- Mercedes eSprinter Impressions: We’ve known that an electric version of the Mercedes Sprinter van is coming soon for some time, but this week we finally received some impression of the vehicle. Several media outlets had the chance to take the eSprinter for a test drive and posted their thoughts online. Those include our friends at GearJunkie and Jalopnik, both of whom came away impressed. The vans that these reviewers had a chance to drive were cargo haulers, but it won’t be long before the platform makes its way into the hands of RV manufacturers. The question is, which major RV brand will be the first to offer a fully-electric production model?
- Los Angeles Chargers New Head Coach Will Live in an RV: The Los Angeles Chargers hired a new head coach recently, bringing on Jim Harbaugh to take over the franchise. Harbaugh—who just led the Michigan Wolverines to an NCAA national championship—made headlines last week when he casually mentioned he would be living and coaching from an RV. The plan is to drive the vehicle cross-country, then park it at an RV resort while he gets settled in the LA area. No word on what kind of RV Harbaugh owns, but based on his comments, it appears to be a towable of some kind. The travel trailer will serve as his living quarters, putting him close to the Chargers facilities while he gets settled in at the new job. Sports Illustrated offers the details.
- Yakima Debuts New Products for Spring: Vehicle accessories manufacturer Yakima announced a slew of new products this week. Those included the new Mod Drawer System, which adds internal storage and organization options, and the OnRamp LX, a new heavy-duty bike rack built to securely transport e-bikes. The brand also announced the RuggedLine HD Collection of reinforced platform mounting systems for the Toyota Tacoma, 4Runer, Rav4, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and RAM 1500. The HighRoad and HighSpeed rooftop bike racks also get an upgrade for 2024 to better support longer wheelbases and heavier off-road bikes. Look for these products to go on sale later this spring.
- Sony’s New Sound System is Perfect for RVs: Looking for a way to upgrade your RV’s entertainment system? Sony has just the product for you. The company’s new HT-AX7 Portable Theater System is small, compact, and jammed with technology. The device uses 360º spatial sound to map the environment to offer the highest audio quality, and it comes with three speakers—two of which detach from the main base station—to create a surround-sound experience in any space. The unit is Bluetooth-compatible for wireless playback of music, podcasts, and audiobooks and is light enough for portable use in and out of your vehicle. MSRP is $499.99.
- Global RV Rental Market to Expand to $1.1 Billion by 2031: The RV rental business has grown in popularity over the past few years, and that trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. According to a new study conducted by Transparency Market Research, the business will expand to $1.1 billion globally by 2031. Other interesting facts that emerged from the study include Class C models being the most popular options for rental and most renters’ preferred options that support seven or more people. Renting RVs is also popular with travelers looking to be more eco-friendly, and the ability to work remotely is spurring the rental trend, too. RV Pro delves further into the report.
- Truma Offers Service Training in 16 Cities: Truma makes a wide variety of RV accessories and has some of the best service in the business. But, the company isn’t resting on its laurels. This week, it announced that it is expanding its training for certified technicians by offering courses in 16 cities across the country. Those include Atlanta, GA; San Antonio, TX; Denver, CO; Minneapolis, MN; Baltimore, MD; Kansas City, MO; Portland, OR; Buffalo, NY; San Diego, CA; Boise, ID; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, ME; San Francisco, CA; New Orleans, LA; Columbus, OH Raleigh, NC. For specific dates and more information, click here.
- Aqua-Hot is Offering In-Person Training, Too: Truma isn’t the only brand offering training sessions for RV techs. Aqua-Hot also announced several in-person opportunities, each of which will be held in Longmont, CO. The classes will focus on the company’s hydronic heating systems, covering everything service technicians need to know to maintain and repair those products. The February 27 class is already sold out, but courses scheduled for March 26, April 30, and May (date to be determined) remain available.
That’s all for this week. Join us again next Friday for another rundown of everything happening in the RV space.