Published: Jan 20, 2011 2:19 PM EST
Updated: Jan 20, 2011 11:20 AM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.-Entering a new decade of traveling adventure and outdoor family fun, the Fort Myers Recreation Vehicle Show motors into the new year at the Lee Civic Center this January 20-23.  This year's show promises to continue providing patrons the opportunity to see the latest and best camping products available to local RVers and lovers of the great outdoors.

The 26th Annual Fort Myers RV Show will feature 15 dealers from throughout Florida displaying a wide selection of new recreation vehicles of all styles, brands and price ranges, including folding campers, gas and diesel motorhomes, travel trailers, toy haulers, 5th wheels, park models and van campers.

Besides RV dealers, the show offers attendees the chance to browse 100 outdoor and camping vendors displaying equipment and accessories to help outfit RVers or provide information on camping throughout the nation. Items include new braking systems, RV insurance, specialized camping equipment and high-tech engine enhancers for fuel efficiency.

2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the RV industry and currently the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) estimates that 8.3 million American households, or about 7%, own RVs.  And, with the economy pinching consumers' budgets, RV travel remains an affordable option. A 2008 PKF Vacation Cost comparison study showed that a family of four can save 27%-to-61% on vacation costs by traveling in an RV, even after factoring in ownership costs and fuel. With higher fuel prices, more than 80% of RV owners say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of vacation.

To combat rising fuel price, RV manufacturers have improved fuel economy through the use of plastic composite materials that has reduced the weight of RVs by as much as 25%.

In fact, RV parks and campgrounds across the country report reservations this year are 8% better than last year.  The Recreation Vehicle Rental Association reports that in 2009, the most recent statistics, RV rentals were up 12%.

After the nation's recent financial turmoil, the RV Industry is rebounding. University of Michigan economist Dr. Richard Curtin, who monitors the RV industry, recently forecast shipments of 246,000 RVs in 2011, up from a projected 236,700 for 2010 and a deeply depressed 165,700 in 2009. Through November 2010, RVIA reports shipments reaching 224,000 for the year, an increase of 47.7% from one year ago.

The 26th Annual Fort Myers RV Show will be open from 10 AM to 5 PM Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 10 AM to 4 PM on Sunday (January 20, 21, 22, 23). Admission is $8 with children under 16 free. Parking is free.

Thursday's tickets are discounted to $5 each. To reach the Lee Civic Center, take exit 143.