RV And Camping Shows – Why Go?

Throughout North America each year dozens of cities play host to RV and Camping Shows. They all feature two common things…RVs of all types and sizes and people…plenty of people.

Our first visit to the Tampa RV Show early in our journey as full-timers. So much better than the Hershey, PA show in our opinion.

Not all RV shows are the same, sure they focus on showcasing new RVs, but not every show can facilitate having everything from a small pop-up tent camper to ultra luxurious custom built motor coaches, but the one common thing that every RV show has is people. People like you who are there to look, seek answers and find out about questions they hadn’t thought to ask before they delve into the lifestyle or take a step further into it. Not everyone at an RV show has an interest in RVing or camping…for some it’s just a way to pass the time and collect trinkets and freebies. We in the trade show industry refer to them as ” Adult Trick & Treaters” whose purpose seems to be collecting and winning as many free promotional items as possible.

The majority who do go are dreamers…dreaming of someday…if and when. Some are shopping, looking at what’s available and how it fits their needs as RVer and campers. Often, as with a house or a car…our desires easily exceed our budget limits. Some are first time buyers, others are upgrading and even a few are downsizing from what they already have.

Most RVers will tell you to shop for the floor plan that best suits your needs and is within your budget. We agree, but make sure that includes those needs for not only today, but also for the length of the time you expect to keep your RV. What you physically can do today, you might not be able to do so easily tomorrow…think of that when deciding what type of RV you purchase and how it’s laid out.

Once you have a floor plan, take a hard look…no make that a good sit down evaluation of the furnishings. Like anything that doesn’t fit you, you’ll likely not wear it…same holds true for RV furniture. Look at the furnishings offered and those that are optional. You might find that the couch, recliner, dinette and chairs that come with the rig are not comfortable for your body type. Selecting the optional furniture offered by the manufacturer could affect the purchase price, taking an otherwise affordable unit beyond your budget.

Do not forget to look beyond the RVs and accessories…look at the people, those who have driven their RV down that road before you. Those who have first hand experiences both good and bad, who can help you NOT make those same mistakes that they did. Whether that be buying the wrong RV, accessory or club membership/affiliation that doesn’t meet your needs and desires. There is so much information to be had from others, stuff that a sales brochure or smooth sales pitch won’t answer truthfully.

Once you decide you want to become an RVer, then you’ll want to enter the realm by attending as many RV shows/events as you can. Join various online groups and follow blogs, such as this one, to learn about the things you really need to know to make an informed and wise decision. Again, learn from the mistakes others have made so you don’t do things the hard way…make your RVing experience a more enjoyable one. It’s not a guarantee you won’t make mistakes…that’s part of life, just minimize them whenever possible.

Here is a tip: Be patient. Don’t jump at deals too good to be real…they often come with strings attached that only become visible after you paid. Think of buying an RV like you would a home, do your homework and have it inspected so you know what you’re getting yourself into…including NEW units. If the dealer starts pointing fingers at the manufacturer for a problem with the new unit, run. If they dealer is upset with the quality, then you too will be so avoid the hassles don’t waste your time and money.

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Gerald Voigt

Gerald's interests are wide and varied. His work career started in the United States Air Force and since then has worked in logistics management, retail & service management as well as manufacturing. He's an author, photographer, pilot, radio show host and marketing consultant who enjoys RVing which allows him greater freedom to explore, meet new acquaintances and serve his clients.