Growing Market, Innovation and Competition Drive Aluminum Trailer Manufacturers Forward
With hundreds of aluminum trailer manufacturers in business, you might wonder how they all stay afloat? Experts state it’s a combination of a resurgence in the RV market, higher numbers of available floor plans, and increased innovation and competition.
A Growing Market
According to RV experts, shipments to dealers have continued to rise in recent years, and the number of RV-owning households has risen, too, which indicates a growing market. Lower gas prices also have fueled the population’s desire to get out into nature — with all the comforts of home.
On a related note, there’s speculation that trailers that can be towed by smaller gas-thrifty vehicles are gaining in popularity among the younger RV population. Aluminum travel trailers manufacturers are expected to be a vital part of this emerging trend because of their production of lightweight and space-efficient models.
Looking ahead, millennials will be the next major RV consumer group. Because this sector of the population grew up on keyboard-, button- and screen-based technologies, it is assumed that the implementation of technology will continue and soar, fueling competition and pushing the innovation envelope.
Flexible Floor Plans
Travel trailers are those connected to a ball hitch on a tow vehicle. Often termed “conventional” or “tagalong,” they can be grouped into the following categories: teardrop trailer, park model, toy hauler and expandable. Generally, travel trailers have more usable living space per square foot than recreational vehicles because the tow vehicle houses the driving and engine spaces. As a result, their floor plans can be adapted to a variety of uses.
Some aluminum trailer manufacturers have increased the number of available floor plans in recent years. Many of these plans feature increased sleeping spaces in a bunkhouse-style approach. An emerging trend features unused sleeping spaces that can be converted into extra activity or storage areas, depending on the needs of the owner.
High Technology and Innovation
In a bid to keep up with — and ahead of — the competition, trailer manufacturers constantly refine their products’ existing features and develop new ones every year. Further, features such as LED lighting that were once considered cutting edge are now available at a lower price and considered as standard features.
In recent years, there has been a surge in the implementation of Bluetooth connectivity and USB chargers for internet- and wireless-based activities and entertainment. Backup cameras and GPS navigation units have also become increasingly common, while some systems such as water heaters and slide-out rooms can be run by remote control from a touchscreen or smartphone. Kitchen appliances and entertainment centers that were once associated with the comforts of a traditional home are now commonplace in many standard and mid-range trailer models.
As the market grows, one of the strongest emerging trends features more family-focused floor plans and amenities. Flexible spaces that maximize activity is the key here. From larger dining spaces to retractable beds, the emphasis is on providing ample space for daily leisure and business pursuits. Speculation abounds that the RVs that are easy to tow and drive will take off in the future. Aluminum trailer manufacturers take note!