September '20

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146 • RV PRO • September 2020 rv-pro.com both 'off-roading' and 'four-wheeling' for search popularity around that time," he says. Brady also points to overlanding's cross- over appeal to the U.S. outdoor recre- ation market, noting that it generates an estimated $770 billion in gross economic output, according to the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. The reasons for overlanding's increasing popularity are many, according to SEMA, including a relatively strong economy; advances in mapping software that can enable more accurate backcountry trip planning; the proliferation of wireless net- works that improve remote communica- tions; and the emergence of an affluent Baby Boomer buyer demographic that is entering its retirement years with the requisite time and disposable income to pursue the activity. Where RVs & Overlanding Intersect The overlanding and the RV markets do intersect. Just one example of this: national distributor NTP-STAG dedicated a large section of its show floor to overlanding products at its January 2020 Expo show. What's more, there are manufac- turers building somewhat non-tradi- tional, rugged RVs that can be used for overlanding. Libby, Mont.-based Sherpa Trailers, founded by Adam Montgomery, Joan Oakland, and Bruce Weatherby, make The Bigfoot, a 5- by 8-foot teardrop off- road unit with 31-inch wheels and tires, on a welded chassis of 2- by 2-inch .120 wall square tubing, and a tongue of 3- by 3-inch .120 wall square tubing. Montana-based Sherpa Trailers is owned by (left to right): Adam Montgomery, Joan Oakland, and Bruce Weatherby.

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