Living life on the road and cruising the wide open highways has never been more popular. Even with ever-climbing gas prices, sales and rentals of recreational vehicles continue rising and are attracting more younger clientele – the sporty, 30-somethings who enjoy the outdoors speeding away on their all-terrain vehicles. The reasons for the sudden appeal to the young and hip generation vary, but Simon Hickey, president of RVweb.com, said that RV companies are designing the vehicles with the younger consumers in mind. One brand, the Weekend Warrior, is “pretty much painted and decked out for the young crowd,” Hickey said. That means lots of bold colors and eclectic patterns, like long swooshes and checkerboards. While showrooms may see a younger crowd inspecting floor plans on a Class A or Class B motorcoach, loyal fans – typically those nearing retirement – still flock to RV conventions to accessorize their four-wheel homes on wheels. Which means thousands of RV owners will descend on Fairplex for the Pomona RV and Travel Show that runs from April 19-22. Every consumer – young or old – has already done their homework before they set foot in the showroom, said Loren Lirette, BDC Manager at Stiers RV Center in Bakersfield. The only question that remains is finding the floor plan that meets their needs,” he said. The two general RV categories are towables and motorized. Prices can range from as low as $4,000 for folding camp trailers and $58,000 to $400,000 for Class A motorhomes – the biggest RVs. Families see RVs as a comfortable way to travel, like a home on wheels with beds, kitchen, bathroom and TV, Hickey said. Helen Gray, 70, and her husband have owned different types of RVs throughout their 54-year marriage. Having a home away from their Glendora residence is why Gray loves her $400,000, 40-foot RV purchased in 1999. The details are astonishing – four-door refrigerator, washer and dryer, ceiling fan and leather interior. “RVing was the most wonderful thing for our family,” she said. “It was a beautiful life.” Aside from family trips, the RV has come in handy during natural disasters, such as the rolling blackouts due to the energy crisis a few years ago. The Grays powered up the RV, stored food, baby formula, and had the air-conditioner blasting to grateful neighbors. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said that nearly one in 12 households owns an RV, a 15 percent increase from 2001 to 2005 and a 58 percent gain from 1980 to 2005. The RVIA estimates that 8.2 million RVs are on the roads and, according to RV-n-Motorhomes.com, the RV industry is estimated to be $15.75 billion a year. Even though more people are looking to buy RVs, the home on wheels is still in the “want” category. “RVs are behind the house, car and food. It is not in the need category,” Lirette said. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!