With RV show season in full swing, we thought it would be a good idea to share a few tips on how to make the most of your RV show visit. One of the big benefits of attending a show is that all the RVs are inside, in an air-conditioned, walkable space. This indoor arena means bringing even the littlest travelers to check out the home-on-wheels you are considering is a lot easier. It also makes it easier for older campers to see all the models they are considering in one day. This convenience means that being prepared to make the most of your visit is worth a little extra effort.
Below are our top six tips to make the most of your RV Show days.
Wear shoes for a full day: While there is carpet down many of the aisles at the show, the shows are often in convention centers and arenas with concrete floors. Have you walked on concrete for 5-8 hours lately? If not, be aware that you (and everyone in your group) will want to wear tennis shoes, or walking shoes, or some kind of shoes made for a full day of walking on concrete and up and down RV stairs.
Plan your snacks: The dealers at the show, and the show promoter, want you to stay and enjoy the show. However, they often have little control over the food provided at the event. This means that you may be limited on what you can buy (like hot dogs, corn dogs, popcorn, etc.). If you, or anyone in your group, is on a special diet you will want to pack snacks. So your gluten-free shoppers will need go stash some gluten-free goodies in their purse or backpack. Or parents might want to bring a few low-sugar juice boxes or refillable sippy cups for water.
Assess your parking options: For couples and young adults, the walk from a parking garage at the convention center may not be an issue. However, for those with strollers, or canes, be sure to consider parking near an elevator that will help provide access to the exhibition hall. Looking on-line to make sure you and your group know how to best get to the exhibition hall can save loads of extra walking and problems getting a stroller up and down stairs.
Plan what you want to look at: There are SO many RVs at these shows that it is extremely easy to get distracted and off track. And we understand that is half the fun! However, it is also a rare opportunity to walk through multiple floor plans without having to navigate acres on an outdoor lot in the afternoon sun. So make yourself a list of what you want to see while you are there. For example, if you have narrowed your search down to travel trailers of a certain weight, be sure to ask the dealer at the show where those are grouped in their display. The dealer will often have them grouped together within a specific area, whenever space permits. And don’t be afraid to ask the dealer’s salespeople to help you find what you want to see. The dealership invests a lot of resources in the shows to make it easier for customers to compare several units and shop with ease.
Take the people you plan to travel with to the show: This is important because you will want to see how everyone fits in the space at the same time! For example, you will want to experience how the kitchen feels if you imagine cooking with your partner while you travel. You will also want to experience how the passing in the hallway feels when the slides are out, which you can do at the show. Not sure how your kid will feel sleeping up high in a bunk over the cabin? Going to the show lets your kids see how high the loft is & determine if it feels cozy to them or not.
Decide if you want to learn more about a certain brand before you go: Some RVers have decided on a brand but are struggling with which model to choose. RV shows are a great way to meet & speak with the manufacturer’s representatives. These reps often have very deep knowledge about their specific brand and/or a line within that brand. For RVers with specific concerns, these reps are a gold mine! For example, if you are a huge fan of Lance travel trailers and are having a hard time narrowing down which model, the Lance rep can help you with that. Or maybe you love Wildwoods- but wonder how the murphy beds hold up over time. The Wildwood rep would be good to speak with about the construction of the murphy bed feature and how Wildwood has engineered the features for durability. Unfortunately, not every manufacturer will have a rep at every show. This means it’s important to ask one of the dealership’s team members if they have a rep on-site for the brand you’re interested in.
In closing, you and your fellow travelers will want to pace yourselves. There is so much fun to be had at the shows! It can really be a great day for the whole family to see the wide range of RVs! And with a little advanced preparation, everyone can have a good time & learn which RVs seem like they would be the best way for your group to travel together in comfort & convenience.