After the excitement with the construction barrels that I wrote about yesterday the rest of Saturday went just fine. In fact it went better than fine — it was an outstanding day! Even if I did get my feet run over by mobility chairs and back-ed up into by more people than I can count. Seniors at the RV show are DANGEROUS!
We don’t do a lot of RV shows. This was actually our 3rd such show and definitely was the largest of them. We arrived early on Saturday to the 5 day show. Parking was $6.00 (cash only) and the show was $10.00 per person — but we had a coupon from the show website worth $1.00 so we had a day’s entertainment for $24.00. The admission tickets were could for 2 days (Sat & Sun) so we could have gone back another day for just the parking fee. We arrived early — just after the 9:00 opening — and by the time we left in mid-afternoon the lots were crammed with cars, trucks and RV’s as far as you could see.
As soon as you walked through the ticket gate you walked right into the primary display hall and all the really BIG rigs were there. Fully 1/2 of the huge hall was filled with Prevost coaches — from four different Prevost customizers — and there were lines people queued up to see the insides of the one that was open for tours. Another unit was illuminated inside and they had a set of stairs erected in front of the windshield so you could see INTO the coach — but not enter. For a million smackeroos or two this was the manufacturer of dreams and most of the folks in attendance didn’t even bother standing in line. Why salivate over something you’ll never own.
There were a lot of new ideas to be seen. I liked seeing what’s out there but we didn’t tour through very many RV’s at all. We’re really happy with what we have; it’s nice to see what’s out there; but that doesn’t mean you need to tromp in and out of everything on the lot.
I satisfied my personal objectives. I had two vendors in particular that I wanted to see and talk with. I discovered a third vendor who may be able to help with an upcoming need — so it was a good day. I spent a good hour or more between two I had wanted to visit and learned a lot from them. The third I’ll probably visit in person (in Ormond Beach) and try to tie down a few more details. I’m not quite ready to place an order with any of them but as you’re finding that’s kind of how I reach decisions: a lot of thought, a lot of discussion about options and alternatives and then a purchase decision.
I have to admit that I was stunned by how many coaches, 5th wheels, travel trailers, Class B’s and Class C’s were on the lot — to say nothing of two buildings full of vendor displays with resort representatives, aftermarket vendors and miscellaneous gee-gaw peddlers. A person could have spent two full days at the show if you were seriously looking to buy a new RV.
I’ll be honest when I say that current production — to my taste — has moved beyond what I would ever want. I find myself feeling uncomfortable in a lot of these new coaches. I find them too showy. Some you may not understand what I mean but for a guy who started out in the world of heavy-duty camping — with tents that weight 20 lbs and 5 or 6 lb sleeping bags — because that was the only kind of equipment that was available — our 2005 coach is about as plushed out as I’d ever want. Ok, so I did update the lightbulbs to LED’s, but we don’t have in the ceiling canisters and there’s no tile on the floor and no granite on the counter. That’s not the kind of thing I grew up with and it’s not the kind of thing I feel comfortable with. I’m not into conspicuous consumption. I like seeing what the engineers have figured out to do — but I also cringe when I see the wiring harness with hundreds of wires and I wonder how long it would take someone to troubleshoot the problems caused by some of the designs. I’m just an old skool kind of guy I guess.
One of the day’s highlights was meeting a couple of Life Unscripted readers: Jim and Diana Belisle. They’re from Grand Rapids MI and they are over-wintering in Melbourne FL — not terribly far from us or Tampa. When they learned we’d be at the show the decided at the last minute to bop over to meet us and to check out the show for themselves.
Jim and I share notes back and forth and we have both learned a lot from each other I think. It was good to see them enjoying themselves; After a season of caring for an aging parent, and spending last winter in Grand Rapids – IN THEIR RV — they really deserve a great winter. I was glad to meet them face-to-face and cement our friendship.
On our way out of the show I chuckled when I saw the parking lot — and in particular the number of motorcycles were parked outside the entrance! Seems RV’ers aren’t just into RV’s — a lot of them seem to love their cycles too!
So, there you have it. The cheapest RV we saw was going for $10,000. The most expensive (that had a price tag on it) was $750,000. Of course that did not include the Custom designed Prevost coaches which could easily have topped 1.5 Million or more. I didn’t even look for a price. This is a pastime that a huge part of the population enjoys and can afford. It’s growing each year and it can be almost anything you want to make it. Don’t forget — there’s no right way to RV.
Thanks for stopping by, and what say we chat again tomorrow.