Spontaneous adventures can be the best. Spontaneity is part of the RV lifestyle, where you have the ability to travel freely and see Michigan at your own pace.

Those seeking the latest and greatest in RVs headed to the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds show last weekend at Kellogg Arena.

“I’m a Michigan native and I love the idea that I’m helping protect and promote the RV and camping lifestyle,” said Darren Ing, director of MARVAC.

“We’re uniquely situated to be surrounded by the beauty of the Great Lakes.”

Darren said camping allows tourists to visit a variety of places around Michigan, with no fear of bad motels and bed bugs.

MARVAC has held the show at Kellogg Arena for 33 years now. It takes a lot of planning to get a complete supply store and 51 campers under one roof. People from as far as Detroit and Traverse City came to Battle Creek to check it all out.

If 51 campers sounds overwhelming, we narrowed it down to seven that caught our attention, from the cute Aliner to the massive Sierra.

When you want something small and easy

The 2020 Aliner Ranger 12 looks like a rectangle box, until the top unfolds like origami, creating a little cabin. It only takes about a minute to set up and it’s more solid than a pop-up camper. Inside, it’s about the size of a big tent, but you have a kitchen and air conditioning. At 1,450 pounds, it’s relatively easy to tow around, as well.

The Aliner is a good one if you want to, as Darren put it, “Get back to nature, unplug, unwind, relax.”

Vendor: KreneK RV Center

When you want to hit the open road

Do you want to be able to travel around easily without feeling like you’re driving a semi? Then check out a Class B RV, such as the Roadtrek Zion SRT. It’s built like a van, but has space for a bed, kitchenette and a very small bathroom. The back opens up if you want to catch a breeze while relaxing.

Vendor: KreneK RV Center

When you want a light load

The Apex 193BHS goes by another name: The Nano. It’s built small and light, but it feels like a much bigger camper on the inside. For 3,490 pounds, you still get a full-sized bathroom, bunk beds and a queen bed. With the slide-out, you can choose between a table or sofa seating.

Vendor: Haylett Auto & RV Supercenter

When you feel nostalgic

The 2020 Gulf Stream Vintage 19CSK is like listening to Elvis Presley and Motown on your iPhone -- a retro feel with all of the modern conveniences. Colorful touches include a rec room sofa and matching trim. But it still has LED lighting, back-up camera prep and is Bluetooth enabled.

Vendor: KreneK RV Center

When you can’t leave behind movie night

The centerpiece of the Cougar 26RBS is its entertainment center. It has a giant flat-screen TV above an electric fireplace and Bluetooth system. Facing the entertainment center are two deluxe recliners, with power reclining and USB ports, so you can charge your tablets and phones. Lights can be dimmed for the full movie night experience. And if you want to have some TV on while you’re at the sink or eating in the dinette? The TV can swing out -- also uncovering extra storage room.

Vendor: Haylett Auto & RV Supercenter

When the entire family comes along

If you want to load up your RV with people, then check out the Wildwood 31KQBTS. It calls itself the “ultimate bunkhouse,” so bring along the entire family to experience the RV lifestyle.

“It’s a great opportunity to create memories,” Darren said.

The back room includes four bunk beds, the lounge has a dinette and couch which can be turned into two large beds, and the master bedroom has a queen bed. That’s enough for 10 people to sleep comfortably. Speaking of comfort, there’s also two entertainment centers, one in the bunk room and one above the electric fireplace.

Vendor: Larry’s RV Center

When you want a castle

It’s almost impossible to get all of the Sierra 379FLOK into one photo.This multi-level RV requires a one-ton vehicle to haul it. This Sierra is more for the prolonged cabin experience than traveling around. But it’s beautiful inside. The full-sized kitchen and living room have all the convenience of home. There’s space for a washer and dryer in the bathroom. The bedroom has a king-sized bed. Stylish touches include pendant lighting above the kitchen counter island. And if you feel like cooking outdoors, there’s an exterior kitchen, as well.

Vendor: Gander RV & Outdoors

For more information about shows or camping in Michigan, visit MARVAC.org. Follow them on Facebook for tips on how to enhance your camping experience, such as recipes, how to pack and year-round travel.


Nearby camping sites

Fort Custer Recreation Area https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=448&type=SPRK

City: Augusta

This state park is home to three lakes and abundant woods with 28-miles of hiking, biking and horse trails. Camping facilities include 219 modern sites with electrical service. Modern restrooms are mid-April through mid-October. Activities include swimming at Eagle Lake beach, disc golf, hunting, fishing, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. 

Camp Turkeyville RV Resort


City: Marshall

Right next to the famous Cornwell’s Turkeyville, which serves up an all-turkey menu. Amenities include modern facilities, heated pool, store, showers and laundry, internet access and cable, volleyball court and horseshoe pits, fishing pond and playground.

Rockey’s Campground


City: Albion

Sixty-two shaded, grassy sites on a chain of five lakes. Enjoy the sandy beach with cement boat ramps, fishing game room, large recreation hall for groups, minigolf, playground, grocery store and bait shop. You can rent a boat, from a small canoe to a big pontoon.

Quality Camping


City: Marshall

Sites cover 30-50 AMP. Amenities include camp store, bathroom and shower facilities, laundry facility and dump station. Enjoy the pool, mini-golf course, horseshoe pits, basketball court, several playgrounds, shuffleboard, hiking, fishing on Nottawa Lake and more.