SEFFNER — Shopping for an RV at Lazydays is the focus of a reality show premiering Sunday on the Travel Channel.
Big Time RV takes viewers behind the scenes of the country's largest recreational vehicle dealership as customers tour and test different makes and models, from $18,000 travel trailers to $1 million tour buses.
The half-hour premiere, which airs at 8 p.m., follows a single father looking for a camper to wow his daughter in time for her birthday and two friends on the hunt for a million dollar party pad on wheels. A second episode will air at 8:30.
"There's something awesome about RVs in America,'' said Patrick McManamee, the show's executive producer. "They are part of the American fabric. Whether you live in the city or out in the country, you've been touched by an RV.''
The six-episode series was taped this spring at the dealership, which sits on 126 acres off Interstate 4 near Mango Road. If well-received, episodes will be added.
Produced by Half Yard Productions in Bethesda, Md., Big Time RV looks at the grandiose features available on motor homes, from outdoor entertainment systems to granite kitchen countertops.
In one episode, a woman whose family was considering buying a large motor home took it for a test ride, driving erratically over cones before getting the hang of it.
The show is the first major TV production for Lazydays, an RV dealership founded in 1976 that includes a 300-site campground and the luxury Crown Club for qualifying buyers. It coincides with an effort to broaden its reach and boost revenue, now at about $500 million a year.
The Travel Channel has aired programs about RVs but never one that focused on the shopper experience of buying or renting one, McManamee said.
Another show, Mega RV Countdown, looks at the most tricked-out and retrofitted RVs in the country.
Half Yard also produces Say Yes to the Dress, a show on TLC about brides-to-be looking for wedding gowns.
Contact Susan Thurston at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110. Follow @susan_thurston.