Green Bay RV show logoRoughing it took on a whole new meaning at the four-day 47th Annual WBAY Camping and RV Show, which ended Sunday (Jan. 24) in Green Bay, Wis., according to the Green Bay Gazette.

Joining the ranks of mammoth travel trailers and goliath recreational vehicles at Shopko Hall were the petite Forest River Inc. R-Pods, one of the latest incarnations in the tow-behind camper.

“It’s the next generation of pop-up trailer, without the pop-up,” said salesman Kevin Klujeske of Horns RV Center based in Sheboygan. The lightweight R-Pods can be towed behind a vehicle as small as a minivan, but come with a fully enclosed bathroom, kitchen appliances, air-conditioning and satellite TV.

Klujeske noted that the R-Pods were popular with people looking to conserve fuel while traveling. It’s small enough not to break the gas budget when towed on a long trip.

The R-Pods at the show priced out about $14,000; bare bones models started around $10,000.

Roy and Kathy Krouse of Suamico poked their heads into an R-Pod. It wasn’t for them, they said, but might be for someone getting into camping, or maybe their kids.

Krouse said he travels with a 36-foot fifth-wheel and didn’t plan on upgrading this year.

“We’re here to stay current on what’s going on … the nuances,” he said.

The kitchen units built into the outside of larger travel trailers caught his eye this year.

“That’s the new thing this year,” Krouse said. “We’ve never seen that before. Some of them even have TVs mounted out there so you could watch the game.”

Wally Schmid and his fiancee, Sheryl Fredin, traveled from Van Dyne, about 10 miles north of Fond du Lac, to check out this year’s wares. He too, scouted the smaller, pop-up campers but was really interested the bigger units. He already has a 34 1/2-foot Big Sky trailer.

Schmid said he doesn’t get out in his camper as much as he wants. He has come to the RV show two years running to see what’s new in this year’s campers.

“Once I retire, then we’ll be out all the time,” Fredin said.