Today’s automobiles are available with a tremendous selection of innovative features and options. However, the need and actual applications of some of these “High Tech” offerings may be more bling than real value. For example, what exactly are drivers going to do with paddle shifters on their family SUVs? Likewise, who really needs a 550-horsepower engine in their cross-over rig? Maybe an always-running-late “Soccer Mom?”

Well, while some of these automobile features are just overkill or for bragging rights, the same cannot be said for similar items for motorhome applications. Paddle shifters, for instance, would be a welcome addition to most motorized RV’s, as the need to manually downshift in some driving scenarios can be quite common. And horsepower? Well, 550 or more will probably not go to waste on some of the heavy rigs sold today.

So, what other options or features found today in the auto showrooms would benefit the RV world? Here are some that are mostly not even an available option on a Class A motorhome.

  • Power folding exterior mirrors. Many class “A” mirrors get damaged by other vehicles that pass in campgrounds and parking spaces. Additionally, folding mirrors can make clearing tight toll booths much easier.
  • Auto-dimming external mirrors. Large coaches have large mirrors. These highly reflective surfaces can be near blinding at times.
  • H.U.D. (Heads-Up Display) presents crucial information such as speed, engine RPM, and driveline temperatures. The need for this eyes-front performance data is far more justified given the size, weight, and operating mechanics of these oversized vehicles.
  • Parking assist (Radar) sensors front, back, and sides. These are even capable of detecting a person. While some high line coaches may be so equipped, such a safety feature should perhaps be mandatory on all.
  • Self-leveling headlights. Spring sprung motorhomes level can fluctuate substantially depending on their loading. Additionally, unlike an automobile, the possibility of people moving throughout the coach adds to this issue. Self-leveling light assemblies would assure the right light ahead at all times.
  • Directional sound backup horns. These uni-direction warning tone devices focus the sound to the rear directly in the needed attention area. This is less annoyance to others not affected by this vehicle’s maneuver and may also result in less owners disconnecting the 360-degree offender.
  • Low tire pressure warning. If only a warning light as mandated for all today’s automobiles. Full tire pressure monitors could remain options, however, a generic low-pressure warning light should be standard. Heavy large Class A coaches can suffer substantial body damage and catastrophic collision events in the case of a blowout. The majority of blowouts are caused by underinflated tires.
  • Auto nighttime lighting. This is merely a photocell controlled on/off switch for the headlights. It is found on most autos today yet not on Class A coaches. This is a low-cost item that should be standard on all Class A motorhomes.

Well, that’s just some of the options and features that we would like to see in future Class A coaches. I hope you are listening, RV industry executives.

In the meantime, enhance your RV with products and accessories available at Camping World.

Peter Mercer – Looking For New Features on the Horizon

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2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    I would love to see more controls right on the steering wheel.

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      The Smart Wheel, found on many diesel pushers, has perhaps the most multi-function controls available on a class A coach today. Their focus has always been on vehicle control and lighting signals not audio and entertainment operation as many other automotive type offerings. It would be nice if auxiliary brake control could also be encompassed in the Smart Wheel feature.
      Thank you for bringing this up in this discussion and for taking the time to comment.