In searching for the right RV there is no better place to tour, toy around with and explore multiple RV styles than an RV show. Depending on your location you may need to travel to a nearby city to see styles from multiple dealers. We live in a coastal area where people come with their RVs, but sadly only have 3small RV dealers nearby with limited selection on styles. We ventured to each of our local dealers many times to see what they had to offer, to ask questions about the rigs they offered and to sit in each style of RV we could find to see if it was a good fit for us, but with the limited selection we often felt we were missing out on other styles/manufactures.
We started looking for reputable RV shows within driving distance of our home,meaning we would not incur debt to travel and would have the ability to come home and process information between each day of the show. I cannot stress this enough: if you plan to RV with another living being take the time to process the pros and cons of each unit with them!
In our first RV show we found we were more in tuned than we originally thought about our desired overall length of our future RV. We found though storage and weight capacity was on the forefront of hubby’s mind I was more focused on the kitchen layout, the entrances (I’m short!), the drivability of the vehicle and if it felt like home. By looking at a large number of styles (Class A, B, B+, C, 5thwheel, tow behind and pop ups) we were able to narrow our focus a great deal.
RV shows are great to really explore all the options out there, but they can be very overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help make your RV shows a success:
- If it is a large RV show, print off the map of vendors a few days before you head to the show. This gives you the opportunity to plan ahead to see the vendors/models you want as well as helps ensure you and your partner in crime are on the same page.
- Go on a weekday if possible, there will be far less crowds and I can say from experience on the weekdays there seems to be more “seasoned”attendees. Don’t forget how valuable a resource this crowd can be, ask them questions let them talk about their set up, ask them those “stupid” questions you have been afraid to ask a salesperson.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes which will allow you to explore all aspects of the show as well as each rig.
- Take pictures in a way which will help you remember key things about the ones you like the most. We typically take pictures in the same order to keep me from getting confused. For us it worked best to take the following pictures: an outside picture of the whole unit, a photo of the show price displayed on the door, internal photographs, external storage photos, a photo of the flyer/booklet for the model and then a final picture of the specification sheet if they had one. Thank goodness for digital cameras! Do what works best for you!
- Take snacks with you or be prepared to pay increased prices for food while at the show. When you start getting hangry EAT! Take a break from the excitement/overwhelming amount of incoming information and fill your belly.
- Don’t feel you HAVE to buy it today! If you are going to a show with the intention of purchasing an RV please look at our other posting about purchasing from a show.