ATLANTIC CITY - With heated marble floors, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, Sony surround sound and more flat screen TVs than a respectable man cave, a 45-foot Class A motorhome can feel like a home away from home.
And with a show price tag of $389,000, it can be more expensive than that home too.
Steve Minghenelli, owner of Dylans RV Center in Sewell, Gloucester County, expects to sell all 14 of the motorhomes he brought to the annual Atlantic City RV & Camping Show, which runs through Monday.
Their prices - ranging from about $100,000 to about $600,000-represent the high-end of the recreational vehicle market, but have been a strong point for the industry and for Minghenelli's business.
Some of his motorhomes have 600-horsepower engines and enough "trunk space" and power to lift passenger cars into compartments and drive away.
Some have built-in bars, three-air conditioners, boilers to produce hot water, and the capability to store 200 gallons of water onboard, Minghenelli said.
"I can go in to a school parking lot and stay there for a week," he said.
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association says RV shipments hit a four-year high in 2013-with 321,127 units, a 12 percent increase from the prior year.
Motorhomes - the bigger and costlier segment of the market-grew nearly 36 percent last year, the industry group says.
Across the board, the industry has been gradually rebounding from the recession. The industry group predicts more growth this year.
Anthony Tedesco, manager of the Atlantic City show that started Friday and continues through Monday at the Atlantic City Convention Center, said he has seen more motorized sales at the higher end of the market.
"We still offer the basic entry level RV, about $10,000 and up for people in that market. But we're seeing more of the higher end products starting to sell, where that kind of tapered off during the recession," he said.
"We've probably got more motor homes out there that are $200,000 and up than we ever had because the dealers are bringing those. That's good for the industry period because it means people are spending money now," he said.
The show drew about 12,000 people last year, Tedesco said.
This year, the show is about 15 percent larger - there are about 250 RVs on display of different models and prices, he said.
Minghenelli said he sold all 16 motorhomes he brought to the Atlantic City show last year.
"Most of our customers have a high-end home, and they're looking for the same thing with wheels on it. That's why the high-end market's doing so well right now," he said.
Added Minghenelli, "We're the king of toys."
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