One of my favorite reasons for attending RV shows is to see what’s new. And it’s not just debut models and updated floorplans that interest me – although we highlight those here. I also love seeing the technological RV innovations from RV and RV equipment manufacturers that often have applications across many models.
The 2024 Florida RV SuperShow didn’t disappoint. After four days of searching for the industry’s latest and greatest technological RV innovations, I compiled this collection of my favorites.
Keystone RV and MORryde Change E-Bike Storage
Rarely do I pull into a campground without seeing people riding e-bikes or storing them on the back of their RVs. They’ve become a great addition to any RVers setup, making it much easier to get around a destination.
We’ve reviewed several e-bikes and offered advice on RV bike racks in previous articles, but Keystone may threaten to render the latter obsolete with its innovative new approach to bringing e-bikes on your next camping trip.
Check it out!
The patent-pending bike rack was co-developed with MORryde to create an innovative e-bike storage solution with an assisted method for loading and unloading the bikes into a slide-out on the off-camp side of the floorplan. That’s pretty crafty if you ask me.
The rack is secured directly to the slide-out floor and is extremely easy to use. A quick-release lever slides the bikes out and drops them down. The tilted lowered position makes them easy to load and unload. When unloading, the rear tire ski drops to the ground. Then, you simply unhook the front tire from the locking loop and roll the bike down and off the rack.
I first saw the e-bike storage from the outside, but I wanted to see how it integrated with the interior of the Keystone Montana 3623EB. Initially, I wasn’t sure where to find the e-bikes once they were stored inside. But take a look more closely at the entertainment center…or should I say the door to its right.
It’s unassuming and doesn’t interfere with the spacious interior floorplan, which includes a large kitchen island, a tri-fold sleeper sofa, a dinette with freestanding chairs, and theater seating.
Here’s a preview of the entire living area:
When you open the door, it’s easy to access the e-bike storage area and double-check that they’re secure before towing. There’s also cabinetry for your bike essentials or anything else you want to store and a dedicated 110-volt outlet wired to solar for e-bike charging.
Here’s what the slide-out looks like when the bikes are lowered to be unloaded:
With this innovative design, Keystone and MORryde have removed the need for a hitch, bumper, or tongue-mounted bike rack. They’ve also designed a solution to keep your bikes in better shape, as they won’t be subject to weather and road debris. You also won’t have to deal with one of those awkward-to-install (and remove) RV bike covers.
Keystone RV Debuts The Lippert Anti-Lock Braking System
Before the Florida RV SuperShow began, I was invited to attend a test event for Lippert’s new anti-lock braking system for towable trailers. We drove into a beautiful racing facility to find a Keystone Cougar travel trailer and a fifth wheel connected to tow vehicles, ready to hit the track.
Keystone is one of the first RV manufacturers working to implement this ABS system across an entire product line. When it comes to safety, we’d love to see these ABS systems become standard on most, if not all, large travel trailers and fifth wheels.
Compared to other RV innovations, this is less about comfort and luxury and more about saving your life and protecting that RV investment you’re pulling behind you.
The modern anti-lock braking system was developed in the early 1970s and is now found on almost any passenger vehicle imaginable. However, anti-lock brakes are only now becoming a standard feature in towable RVs and trailers.
Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI) is one of the leaders adding this important safety feature to towable RVs. Keystone RV is working to install the LCI ABS system on most 2024 Cougar models, typically identifiable as those with red brake hubs*.
Lippert’s ABS system utilizes its own computer module installed in the chassis and integrates with your trailer braking system to prevent wheel lock-up and improve vehicle and trailer control in slippery or abrupt braking scenarios.
The system works with up to 6 wheels and for towables with 1-3 axles. It requires a 7-way wiring connector but is fully compatible with or without OEM or aftermarket brake controllers. It also includes a Dynamic Brake Boost feature that enhances stopping performance in emergency situations.
Another tidbit I loved when speaking to LCI’s lead engineer on the project was the integration with LCI’s OneControl app. This allows you to monitor the system remotely and view a digital odometer. To me, a major fringe benefit of the Lippert ABS is knowing how many miles you’ve traveled since your last trip to a service center, allowing you to better track your trailer’s service and maintenance needs.
I can’t tell you how many overturned recreational vehicles I’ve seen on the side of the road. I can nearly guarantee that an abrupt braking scenario or attempted evasive maneuver was the downfall for many of them. And those scenarios will be reduced if more manufacturers make safety (and the installation of an ABS system) a standard priority.
*All ABS units will show it on the invoice/MSRP and on a sticker on the sidewall. Please check the MSRP to confirm.
Grand Design Integrates TravlFi Wi-Fi Routers
So, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Grand Design has included a TravlFi JourneyXTR Wi-Fi router as a standard feature on all new Solitude, Influence, and Momentum fifth wheels. You’ll also find it on Reflection fifth wheels and travel trailers (excluding the 100 Series), and the Momentum travel trailer lineup is prepped for a TravlFi installation.
This hotspot differs from those in modern cell phones for one important reason: It can pull the most reliable signal from the best of the five major US carriers to deliver a reliable service. In contrast, your cellphone is limited to the signal from your carrier alone.
To activate the TravlFi device, you’ll need to enroll in a pay-as-you-go data subscription plan, which also includes a one-time activation fee. In other words, you only pay for Wi-Fi when you need it. If you only travel in your RV a few weeks each year, you’ll only pay for the data plan you require during those trips, and the device can effectively be shut down between uses.
To test the device’s effectiveness, Grand Design installed the TravlFi in a camper van and set up a passenger with a gaming console in the back. In over 2,000 miles from Northern Indiana to southern Georgia and back, they only reported losing Wi-Fi connectivity once, and only for a few minutes.
That’s a solid test!
I’ll be curious to see how the TravlFi functions off the beaten path and in more remote locations. Still, the fact that it obtains the best signal from five major US carriers, rather than boosting or converting the signal from my specific carrier, makes me hopeful for the remote work applications of this Grand Design TravlFi integration.
You can use these links to investigate new 2024 Grand Design models with this integration:
Winnebago Reinvents Their Power Max System
Designed to deliver unparalleled off-grid capability, you’ll find Winnebago’s Power Max system in their newest Winnebago® Revel® camper vans. Easier boondocking is one of the biggest benefits of opting for a Class B motorhome, and the Power Max system will extend your off-grid adventures without relying on campground pedestals for battery recharging.
Exclusive to Winnebago motorhomes, Winnebago developed the 5-in-1 Power Hub for this system in partnership with EcoFlow. This hub streamlines power management and optimizes performance. The redesign also creates more space inside each motorhome and reduces overall weight.
Another major development for this system is dual-alternator charging. The system is tied into the vehicle’s OEM alternator and a second auxiliary alternator. The 48-volt, high-output alternator can fully charge both lithium batteries in two hours of driving. The system can also charge batteries at idle and generate enough wattage to run a 13,500-BTU air conditioner.
The centerpiece of this system is a Lithionics® GTO lithium-ion battery (or batteries). Depending on your chosen options, this system can be built with anywhere from 8.4 kilowatt-hours (kWh) up to 16.8 kWh of battery capacity.
A kilowatt-hour is a measurement of how much energy can be delivered for one hour.
For example, a 10 kWh battery storage capacity translates to the delivery of 1 kilowatt per hour for up to 10 hours.
The Power Max system uses a Lithionics® External Battery Management System (BMS) to govern energy usage. The BMS ensures reliable communication between the various charging components to deliver optimal charging. It also includes safety features that regulate and shut down the system if issues arise.
Of course, each system is also equipped with roof-mounted solar panels. This provides an additional off-grid energy source and helps to reduce energy loss when stationary for a day or two while boondocking
The Debut of the Winnebago Connect Control System
Winnebago’s first-of-its-kind onboard control system is the RV co-pilot you didn’t know you needed. Modern control systems are becoming more popular in motorhomes and larger towable RVs, but few rival the performance and versatility of the Winnebago Connect System.
So what is the hype all about? Let’s explain using some common pain points many RVers experience.
Worried about how long you can stay out boondocking?
The energy management system delivers projections of how long your off-grid power supply will last based on usage.
Constantly adjusting your RV’s thermostat?
Take that time back with an energy management system that delivers your desired interior climate in the most efficient manner possible.
Tired of checking holding tank levels?
Program the system to notify you when your fresh water tank is low or your waste holding tanks reach capacity.
Want LED light controls without getting up from your laptop?
Customize the system’s preset sleep, wake, and work light modes to adjust the interior and exterior lights at the push of a button.
Worried about leaving your pet behind in your motorhome?
Use the Pet Minder feature to program climate control settings and receive automatic push alerts should a power loss occur or the coach cannot maintain your defined temperature range.
Going to be away from your RV?
By downloading and pairing the Winnebago mobile app to the Winnebago Connect system, you will have complete command and control of your coach functions in the palm of your hand from any location. The Winnebago app will also help you prepare for your trips via maintenance checklists, walkaround videos and tutorials, as well as the ability to find and contact your nearest dealer should you need assistance.
Running into issues with your RV or not seeing a feature you wish you had?
With the ability to push Over-The-Air software updates to the coach, Winnebago will be able to address certain issues without bringing your vehicle into the dealership. Since the RV is connected, you’ll have a higher level of support from Winnebago, as they can understand and diagnose issues from the collected data. Learnings from this data will allow Winnebago to provide new features and improve existing ones to keep your experience fresh and feeling new.
Beginning in the spring of 2024, this intelligent control platform will be available on new Winnebago View and Navion models, beginning with the 24T. The platform will be included in other future models.
We hope staying updated on the latest RV innovations helps you revise your RV vision board. Even RVers who are happy with their current RV often have a list of features they’d love if they were to trade in and upgrade to a new model.
If these RV innovations inspire you to learn more about trading in your RV, these resources might be helpful:
Do you have any questions about these RV innovations? Or are there others you’d like to learn more about? Let us know in the comments below.