Here is a transcript of the interview involving Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Dave Humphreys and Lester Holt, co-host of NBC’s “Today Show,” that was broadcast on Sunday (May 25):
Holt: If you’re looking to drive on your vacation this summer, how about RV-ing it? RVs are a hot item right now, whether you’re looking to rent or own, they provide unparalleled comfort on the road. David Humphreys is the president of the Recreation Vehicle Association. David, good morning.
Humphreys: Morning, Lester.
Holt: Thanks for joining us. This is catching on. Even in a slow economy, sales of RVs are increasing. Why?
Humphreys: We’re actually booming. And I think it’s just because people really do want to stay closer to home. They want to be comfortable with their families.
Holt: Or take home with them, as the case may be.
Humphreys: Well, that’s right. But they don’t want surprises. They want to be really comfortable and be able to enjoy the outdoors.
Holt: This is a pretty high-tech thing we’re standing in front of. This is the Airstream. I’ve seen these on the road before.
Humphreys: You bet. You bet.
Holt: Twenty-eight footer.
Humphreys: Yes, sir.
Holt: Can we go on, take a look inside? See what – see what it comes with?
Humphreys: Let’s do. Let’s do.
Holt: And, oh, looks like we can actually have a seat here and take a tour here. Tell me about this unit. This is a trailer.
Humphreys: This is a travel trailer. It’s a very popular type of vehicle. And what you’re going to find out here, Lester, is we’ve got complete living facilities. I mean, heating, air conditioning, refrigerator, freezer, kitchen, bathroom, the whole deal.
Holt: Is that a gas stove?
Humphreys: That’s a gas stove. You bet.
Holt: And, and a full refrigerator. And, and you’ve even got a freezer in this thing.
Humphreys: Absolutely. It will keep your ice cream nice and hard, just like at home. So you’ve got all the living facilities and this decor is real modern.
Holt: Is that a queen bed in the back?
Humphreys: Absolutely.
Holt: All right. Good stuff. How much is this one?
Humphreys: This one will be $50,000.
Holt: Let’s take a walk because we’ve got some more stuff out here on the plaza I know you want to show me and our time…
Humphreys: OK. Well, the variety is really…
Holt: … is short. Now this – this is for someone who’s going to be on the road for a long time, but let’s say you’re taking a long – just a long road trip. You’ve got the kids and grandma and everybody. Is this the van to, to do the job?
Humphreys: Well, the van could actually be a good tow vehicle for the travel trailer we just looked at, but it can also be great for just a long highway trip or even around home. These seats are easily removable. These conversion vehicles have a 22-inch television inside.
Holt: Twenty-two-inch TV.
Humphreys: Tremendous stereo. And the people in back can listen to different music than the people in the front. So if the kids want hard rock and we want to listen to decent music, we can do that.
Holt: You’re not going to live in this thing, but it’s not bad for a long trip.
Humphreys: Well, it’s multiple use. You can tow with it, you can use it around town, or just a long trip. It’s a great way to travel.
Holt: Take the two of these in tandem, that, that trailer on the back of this and you’ve got it made.
Humphreys: It’s a great combination. That’s right.
Holt: Let’s take a look at – RV-ing we think of as a relatively new thing…
Humphreys: Right.
Holt: …of maybe the ’60, ’70s, but this is, what, a 1917?
Humphreys: 1916.
Holt: Sixteen.
Humphreys: Yeah, this is actually a Model T Ford, and the company made this attachment.
Holt: This is sort, this is like the first camper shell, in other words.
Humphreys: That’s right. They – it’s a telescoping unit. The sides folded in and the whole thing folds together. It cost $100 in 1916.
Holt: All right, let’s move on down here. I’ve seen these things. I always refer to them as–as pop-up tents. I know there’s something more–this–this is the Starcraft.
Humphreys: Yes, this is the –
Holt: And we’ve taken the side off. Explain what you’ve got in something like this.
Humphreys: Well, the big thing is it all folds up and the top comes down … they’re very, very easy to tow. But when it’s up like this you have absolutely full living facilities. You can have heating and air conditioning. This is actually a refrigerator with a freezer in it. We have a microwave. It’s unbelievable. Ice chest inside and out. Storage for the things that don’t smell too good like your fishing gear.
Holt: How – how much does this go for?
Humphreys: This is $9500.
Holt: All right. Now this thing, I, I saw this coming to work this morning, and I thought maybe the Transit Authority had moved to a different look here. This is an RV, a double-decker.
Humphreys: Well, this is like you’ve died and gone to heaven. This is sort of the ultimate deal.
Holt: This is a ‘I’m going to live on the road.’
Humphreys: You could live in this very, very comfortably. This is a great, great vehicle.
Holt: Can we go on board?
Humphreys: Absolutely.
Holt: All right. Let’s see what we got in here. This is–now this is the one–this is a couple hundred grand, right?
Humphreys: Two hundred and fifty thousand.
Holt: OK. Nice music playing, got a television set. You can’t watch that while you’re driving.
Humphreys: No, no. It turns off. When you turn the ignition on that goes off. This wall actually is moved out right now a foot, so this is bigger. This is also kind of traditional, nice warm wood.
Holt: Got a full kitchen.
Humphreys: Full kitchen. You’ve got everything you can imagine. In fact, this little oven here is both a microwave and convection all in one.
Holt: This is an apartment almost, we’re looking at. Full bedroom.
Humphreys: Full bedroom.
Holt: And you’ve got an upstairs?
Humphreys: That’s the most unique feature.
Holt: Would you mind? Can we go up there?
Humphreys: Absolutely.
Holt: Why don’t you lead the way? I’ve never been in an RV with, with an upstairs.
Humphreys: OK. A two-story RV.
Holt: Who’s buying these things by the way?
Humphreys: Well, the most exciting thing I think is that younger people are. You know, it used to be just for retirees.
Holt: Not just retirees?
Humphreys: No, it’s not anymore. Now the boomers are.
Holt: Oh, we’re, we’re barbecuing up here. You could have, you could have a whole party up here, look at this.
Humphreys: Well, what you do here, Lester, is that when you …
Holt: Come have a seat, if you don’t mind. Join me.
Humphreys: Sure. After you park it then you open all this up. This folds down when you’re …
Holt: Have a seat.
Humphreys: … driving, of course. And we don’t want anybody up here when you’re driving.
Holt: Now how do you find out – I mean, if you’re, if you decided you want to do this whole RV thing, where do you start? Obviously you don’t buy something like this right off.
Humphreys: Well, we have about 200 manufacturers. The best way is to go to a Web site called gorving.com and that tells you everything there is to know about all the products, all the companies, all the dealers.
Holt: All right. Well, David Humphreys, thanks very much for the tour. These are terrific vehicles.
Humphreys: You bet.