PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - For the first time in over a year the David L. Lawrence Convention Center will open its doors to a major event.
The Pittsburgh RV Show has rolled in fueled by a pandemic bucking popularity wave.
"Starting last spring, the RV industry just kind of took off," says RV Show Producer Rob Young. "I mean, people were realizing that maybe traveling in their own home, home away from home as the way to go."
The RV Show on PTL:
Young says it's like quarantining without quarantining.
"They'll see you have your own bathroom your own bed, you can make your own meals," he says. "So, even though you're out, seeing the country, you're still at home."
And it's not just Boomers looking to hit the road.
"Younger people are getting into it will say the millennials are getting into it now," Young says. "I just saw some statistics were 29% of RV owners are actually working from their RV, 21% of people are homeschooling their children from an RV this year."
Much of the demand is in the smaller units.
"Like 13 to 15 feet long, that can be towed with a small SUV or a mid-sized car anymore you're looking 10 to $15,000, for something like that," Young explains.
But the homes on wheels get much larger. Young says they can run up to a million dollars but the largest they'll have under the convention center roof is about a half-million dollars.
He says it's a crowd magnet.
"It'll have a full-blown entertainment system, and it was probably three or four televisions, sometimes I think why do they have to put so many televisions in here but they do, it'll have a fireplace, WiFi capabilities," he says. "They're starting to come with dishwashers now of course and a microwave and all the kitchen amenities king-size beds. Nice big showers in them."
An upgraded Pennsylvania driver's license is only needed for the really big units.
The RV Show arrives near the tail end of COVID mitigation efforts and Rob says they are ready.
"We will be practicing the show, social distancing, masking, and cleaning, everything will be periodically wiped down and sanitized," he says. "You know the building here is so big and our show is so big that it's not too hard for us to do this show and keep it safe."
He doubts they will need to limit the crowd coming into the center.
"We don't typically hit those numbers," Young says. "Now, if for some reason because the business is so good that, that we do, then we would have to, you know, hold people that I don't, I don't see us hitting that."
Young says the past year has shown a lot of first-time interest in RVing and he expects that will be true in the crowd coming into this year's show.
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