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Old 09-11-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
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First RV Show

My wife and I are headed to Hershey, PA next Friday for the PRVCA, 'America's largest RV show'. We only get ONE DAY so we need some advice on how to get the most out of our first-ever show. What is a must see? Waste of time? Advise on talking to manufacturer reps, etc.

The background: We're RV newbies, just under one year away from buying a 5er and 1-ton diesel to hit the road FT with our three children (16 months, 2 1/2, and 4 1/2). This thread goes into more detail:
It's RIG time, almost


I assume most of our time will be spend touring floorplans to get a 'feel' of what 'feels like home' and quality. It will be very interesting to see the RVs in person after months of online research. We plan to buy used, which this year's models will be when we pull the trigger next year.

We think we will only have time to attend one seminar so we plan to be there for the 'Extended and Fulltime RVing'. Afterward, we hope to have a brief conversation with the presenters who also host the 'Choosing your RV' seminar.

Thanks
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Old 09-11-2015, 05:01 PM   #2
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The "must see" is what ever types and sizes of RVs you are interested in.

Leave your checkbook home, so you don't get overwhelmed by the sales patter. Those "once in a lifetime show special" deals will still be available the day after the show.
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Old 09-11-2015, 06:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Dan View Post
My wife and I are headed to Hershey, PA next Friday for the PRVCA, 'America's largest RV show'. We only get ONE DAY so we need some advice on how to get the most out of our first-ever show. What is a must see? Waste of time? Advise on talking to manufacturer reps, etc.



The background: We're RV newbies, just under one year away from buying a 5er and 1-ton diesel to hit the road FT with our three children (16 months, 2 1/2, and 4 1/2). This thread goes into more detail:

It's RIG time, almost





I assume most of our time will be spend touring floorplans to get a 'feel' of what 'feels like home' and quality. It will be very interesting to see the RVs in person after months of online research. We plan to buy used, which this year's models will be when we pull the trigger next year.



We think we will only have time to attend one seminar so we plan to be there for the 'Extended and Fulltime RVing'. Afterward, we hope to have a brief conversation with the presenters who also host the 'Choosing your RV' seminar.



Thanks

There are a couple of ways to "skin" this particular cat. Sounds like you are pretty far down the "rabbit hole" with on line research. I'm guessing that you have a short list of 2-6 manufacturers & models. One way to spend your day is to take your prioritized list & head straight for those manufacturers display areas. Go in & spend time just sitting in the units & letting people come & go. Gauge the comfort & quality of the furniture. Look at how traffic flows through the interior. Instead of trying to pick an absolute winner, pick losers. Knock off any unit with a fatal flaw. Try to leave the show with 2-3 possibles. Since you are looking to buy used, don't get so in love with a one particular unit that you will only settle for that one. Manufacturer reps are much more informed about their units than the dealers salesmen.

The other approach would be to make no attempt to identify the best units and spend the day going in as many units as possible and getting a comfort level with variations of floorplans and determine that you are indeed looking at the right criteria in trying to choose a unit.

I recommend that you look at trying to take the kids on an early road trip next year and go to the Tampa Super Show in mid January. I know people who go to both shows & seem to like Tampa the best.


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Old 09-12-2015, 04:50 AM   #4
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Good advice so far, I would add stick to looking at what you really want don't wonder looking at motorhomes if you really want the 5th wheel. Also take pictures of the units( digital is cheap now delete later) because eventually you will forget what unit had what, it is nice to have as a reminder. Good luck & enjoy, oh and wear comfortable shoes.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:43 AM   #5
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My 2 cents would be to check the "build" of the particular models you are looking at, meaning the sturdiness of the frame. Salesmen (and factory reps) are going to tell you "this is the only rv that . . . .", insert any lie you can think of. All rv manufacturers use the same components, Dometic, Norcold, Atwood, Suburban, etc., so not a lot of choice there. There's a lot of info online but ask actual owners. You can seek out owner's forums and ask owners what they think. Drv is www.suitesowners.com, there's one for Excel, Jayco, Montana, etc. If you have more questions, then ask that rep at the show. You have made the right decision to buy used. It's really hard to pick a floorplan without spending some time in it. Have you rv'd before? Have you rented rv's? Although you don't have a choice of floorplans when you rent a class c or class a (and can't rent a 5'r) it helps to rent one or two for a weekend. We rented 2 class c's and a class a for vacations, then bought a 5'r because it was a great deal. We are now on our 3rd one. Also, have you checked out Fulltime Families on FB?
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:14 PM   #6
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My two cents. We spent our first trip to a larger show just to decide upon a fifth wheel or motorhome based on our anticipated style of travel. I see from the original post you have already decided, so that's a good head start.

I looked over the list of vendors who were going to be at the show and came up with a short list of what I wanted to look at (believe another person suggested the same thing). Then I spent the time I had before the show researching the rigs I wanted to look at.

Our next trip will be focused on floor plans. I've been researching the construction methods and after we find a floor plan hope to narrow the list down.

Really helped a lot to have come up with the list of rigs that were going to be at the show before we attended. We found those factory reps to be the most informative.
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by missourijan View Post
My 2 cents would be to check the "build" of the particular models you are looking at, meaning the sturdiness of the frame. Salesmen (and factory reps) are going to tell you "this is the only rv that . . . .", insert any lie you can think of. All rv manufacturers use the same components, Dometic, Norcold, Atwood, Suburban, etc., so not a lot of choice there. There's a lot of info online but ask actual owners. You can seek out owner's forums and ask owners what they think. Drv is www.suitesowners.com, there's one for Excel, Jayco, Montana, etc. If you have more questions, then ask that rep at the show. You have made the right decision to buy used. It's really hard to pick a floorplan without spending some time in it. Have you rv'd before? Have you rented rv's? Although you don't have a choice of floorplans when you rent a class c or class a (and can't rent a 5'r) it helps to rent one or two for a weekend. We rented 2 class c's and a class a for vacations, then bought a 5'r because it was a great deal. We are now on our 3rd one. Also, have you checked out Fulltime Families on FB?
Great points. I will start with the owner's forms of of our top picks. As a kid, I did some weekend and short vacation trips in our little travel trailer. I loved it, especially since my parents handled all the hard stuff. To experience family life for in an RV for ourselves, we plan to do week rental in a Class C the Feb or Mar (probably SE US, or wherever it's not bitter cold and we can get a lat minute deal). I also did a few weekend trips in college in a friends parent's TT. They are insisting we take their Ford Excursion and 25' TT for a 1-2 week trip , which we are planning to do in Late April or early May.

We did find Fulltime Families on FB and a few other blogs and FB pages of families living the dream. It has been a great resource. Thanks again
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