Join Date: Oct 2012
RV Shows - Overview and opinions
This is a duplicate of a summary that I wrote for another thread on here but for the information value, thought I would start a new thread with a more specific title as it might be helpful to other potential RV show attendees planning on what they might try over the next year. Of course, this is only my opinion and I invite other observations by other owners
Copy of other post:
've been to three RV shows: Hershey (reportedly the "largest"), Tampa Supershow, and Quartzsite. They all are very different. My opinions:
Hershey has lots and lots of units (trailers, motorcoaches, Super Cs, everything). If you want to walk through a lot of competing units of whatever you are looking at, Hershey is the place to go. However, the inside displays of Hershey were a real disappointment. Inside you should find hundreds of RV relevant vendors and can see and talk to all the tow bar people, etc. etc. etc. On that scale, Hershey, the year we were there, was a complete waste. I would guess that 70% of all vendors were simply giving out state-generated brochures on State Parks, and RV Park brochures. For travel literature, it was hard to beat. For RV accessories and vendors it was a complete disappointment.
The Tamper Supershow, however, was wonderful for both things. Major coach, trailer, and C vendors were there heavily and the displays were seemingly just as big as Hershey, but the inside vendors separated them from everyone else. You could talk to virtually all the major RV equipment vendors.... for example, all the major vendors of tow bars were there with full displays of their products. . Aqua Hot was there along with the other two major hydronics manufacturers were there..... In that one show, we felt we saw and could talk to reps of virtually everything on our coach (at the time, a Monaco Dynasty tag axle). We walked away with a lot of vendor knowledge and info. There were park and RV park people giving away discount and inducement and free days at their parks, but the travel and park information was second to the equipment and technical information.
Quartzsite, which we have been to 4 years now really is not much of an RV show. At quartzsite, there are a few coach and trailer vendors but most are off site distributed around town, not at the show. Only one or two coach vendors are located at the show. The inside of the show is really more peripheral stuff and frankly junk sales (camping chairs, camping rugs, steam floor cleaners, barkers demonstrating the benefits of their dishes or pans, etc.. etc. .... very few real equipment vendors. No or little real educational offerings (other than barkers telling you about the newest non stick pans). Lots of RV parks there giving away three free days at their park, or big RV resort developers trying to lure you into buying a $100,000 lot at their new resort. People don't come to the Quartzsite RV show for the show.... they come for the camaraderie of spending 7 to 10 days with other Entegra owners learning, talking, socializing, making contacts and friends, etc. etc. But not for the show.
We have not been to other shows, but that is a brief description of the three that we know well.
In a separate category are the big FMCA shows like Perry. To us, we attended Perry on three months after we took our first all winter long trip to Florida when we first bought out Dynasty. There are a lot of vendors there with equipment, but what distinguishes the FMCA big rallies is their educational offerings.... Dee and I attended separate sessions from 8 in the morning to 5ish is the afternoon on issues like engine fires, AquaHot function from AquaHot techs, tire talks from Michelin techs, chassis talks from Spartan and others..... on and on. Dee attended sessions on living in a bus and on the road, cooking, travel, researching RV parks etc. etc. It is hard to beat a big FMCA rally if you are new to RVing and feel you have a lot to learn.... There is a session on just about everything. The down side in our experience is that once you have done that and been serious about the educational parts of the show, then a second show just is more of the same..... our opinion is that you go to FMCA a second or third time for the camaraderie of seeing friends and social activities, or you are looking for a new unit and hope to find it and a great deal at the show.... but less so on educational/knowledge sorts of things. J.M.E.
Gary and Dee, Zowie and Bowie (traveling cat sibs)
2019 Cornerstone 45B, X15-605hp, Imperial, Spartan K3,
2013 Honda CR-V toad, Demco Excali-Bar II,
Demco Baseplate, Demco Toad Light system, 73 de W5FI