March 7, 2023
In January, we camped at the Tampa RV Show, as did many other RVers. Many we talked to that came over for the day asked us if it was worth it. This was a question we asked ourselves before deciding to commit to it. Since there are RV Shows all over the country at varying times of year, it’s a great question to ask! Here are the things that draw people to the RV Show and some things to think about to help you decide if staying for all or part of the show is right for you.
WORKING AS A VENDOR If you have a product to sell and the RV and travel community is your target demographic, then you want to be at the RV show! Often the shows have requirements to be on site start to finish every day of the show, so staying on property can definitely make this easier.
RV BLOGGER/VLOGGER If you make a living off of this lifetstyle, then attending them is a great reason to be here and since people attend on different days, you will want to be here to connect with them, whether in passing or at a scheduled meetup you share with your followers. It’s also a great chance to let you preview the new coaches available and see the updates to share with your audience that couldn’t attend but wants to keep up with it.
ATTENDING MEETUPS If you are on social media and in this lifestyle, chances are you follow at least one Blogger/Vlogger. Many of them attend the RV shows around the country and host meet ups, giving you a chance to say hello or hang out with them, just depending on the details of the meetup.
GUEST SPEAKERS AND SEMINARS Learning new skills from those more experienced in the industry is very helpful, especially when you can ask questions, and there are many opportunities for this during the show on each of the days. Some will repeat on different days, but we also found some were only available on one day. You can learn about gear, maintenance, various experiences, and even get involved in volunteer events or with companies while you are there.
SHOPPING FOR A NEW RV OR GEAR If you are in the market for a new coach, then an RV show is a great place. It’s great to do your research ahead of time to have an idea of features or styles you may want in a coach, but nothing beats having time to walkthrough and hang out in it. What’s better is that many different dealerships will be present, so you can see a variety of them just by walking around instead of driving all over, and you can work out deals on site–even going back and forth for a little competition. Not to mention, they often have great deals at the shows that are the best all year. The same can be said for all the gear you may want or need that doesn’t come standard on a coach. If it works for an RV, you can bet there’s someone there selling and demonstrating it!
NETWORKING WITH OTHER RVERS Since everyone is staying on the grounds in the same area, this is great chance to meet people! This year in Tampa, our stay included donuts and coffee in the mornings, live entertainment in the evenings, and people were set up outside with firepits and folding chairs, spending time with friends-both new and old–after the show closed up for the day.
LEARNING THE LIFESTYLE If you are new to the lifestyle, this can be a great chance to meet and learn from other RVers as well as those in the industry. With so many people around you in the lifestyle, you can learn a lot from a lot of people! If you are considering swapping to another type of coach, this can be a great chance to sit and talk with someone who lives in that style and learn about the day to day life of it to see if it is a good fit for you.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT IF STAYING AT A SHOW If your thinking about staying at an RV show, a few things to think about are the hookups and how long to stay. Some people come to stay for a couple days, some stay for the entire show. Also, some shows will have no hookups available, or, if you are lucky, they may have 30A electric available. However, be aware they are portable generators and there can be issues. When we arrived, we didn’t have power for a few hours. Some folks never got power the entire show (don’t worry, they made good on it for them!). Be sure you empty your black and grey tanks and have fresh water in your tank at a minimum. Having a generator or solar is also a good idea, especially if you plan to stay more than a night or it may be hot.
We had a really enjoyable time at the RV show. We got to meet Vloggers we’d been following online, caught up with old friends, learned a lot from the seminars and speakers, purchased gear we needed at a great price and even found a new coach that we’d been hoping to find for months.
We don’t plan on staying at this one again, as of now, but we do hope to attend others around the country in the future. We will probably attend for at least a day, especially to see old friends that may be there. We may also stay at other types of events like air shows, balloon shows, races–so many options! But who knows what the future actually holds–that’s the beauty of this lifestyle, right?
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