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Old 11-06-2019, 11:34 AM   #1
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School me on RV Shows

We are interested in visiting an RV show or two this or next year. I am noticing that GoodSam (GS Media) is putting on some of these. Im not interested in a "campingworld show" as I have no interest in dealing with them.

I am located in South Carolina, but dont mind travelling.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:40 AM   #2
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One of the biggest and best shows is in around Hershey, PA every year. It is generally held right after Labor Day. If you are going to RV up you have to make park reservations early because it gets crowded.

Here is the link and I notice they already have the 2020 dates listed.

https://www.largestrvshow.com/explore/
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:49 AM   #3
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"School me on RV Shows"

Keep your checkbook and credit cards at home.

IMO an RV show floor isn't the place to make a purchase unless one has already completed all associated dealership, tow vehicle, and specific RV selection do-diligence. RV shows are fine for viewing different brands, floorplans, features, and pricing.

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Old 11-06-2019, 11:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rustic Eagle View Post
"School me on RV Shows"

Keep your checkbook and credit cards at home.

IMO an RV show floor isn't the place to make a purchase unless one has already completed all associated dealership, tow vehicle, and specific RV selection do-diligence. RV shows are fine for viewing different brands, floorplans, features, and pricing.
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X2. Atlanta has one in the January time frame that might be closer than PA. Only go if you are window shopping.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:15 PM   #5
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The Hershey Show is a manufacturer sponsored show and can have very good pricing, as compared to a local RV dealers show. We bought our Hummingbird at Hershey a couple years ago. We had it narrowed down to three different trailers and done our cost comparisons. The Bird's price and the trade in we got was as they say a Show Stopper.
The dealer we ended up with is good and is easy to work with. We did have a couple warranty claims that were quickly resolved.

Were we lucky, perhaps but...........
Two Snowbird trips, one Nova Scotia trip and one mid west trip later we are still happy.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:44 PM   #6
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I am located in South Carolina, but dont mind travelling.
The Tampa show is huge as well. It's at the Fairground and you can even camp on site.

https://www.frvta.org/show/florida-rv-supershow/
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:57 PM   #7
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I think you go to an RV show to get a feel for what you might want. After that you go to a dealer lot to take a long hard look at the ones your interested in from the show without 50 other people saying “excuse me” as your all trying to look at the same unit. It’s crowded and overwhelming in every way and no place to strike deals IMO. I go every year to see what’s new on the market but it’s hard to have any “one on one” time to crawl around and really see what’s under the skin. Most dealers will honor show prices if you say your interested and want to take a closer look on your own terms.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:28 PM   #8
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There are 2 RV shows in the Milwaukee area. One downtown which is a newer show that we have not been to. The other is at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis. That's the one we go to and they've been doing that one as long as I can recall.

We go to look. With both of our last 2 trailers we had a pretty good idea what we wanted. The shows are a good way no-pressure way to look at what ever you want even if it's not in your budget.

They always offer "show pricing" to entice people to buy on the spot. It generally is pretty good pricing. At least a couple of the dealers offer the same pricing for several weeks after the show so we simply go to the dealer after the show.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:14 PM   #9
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Yup, dittos to above replies saying/indicating "do not buy at RV shows" unless you've already done all of your due-diligence research, which, based on your question, I'd expect you'll be like me when you go to one and won't have much clue yet about all of the stuff you really need to know to make the best deal and avoid bad surprises (like ending up with a trailer quite a bit heavier than your tow vehicle can actually handle).

Once you've gotten ideas on models, features, etc. that you're interested in, and get things narrowed down to one or a few brands and models, google up "RV Wholesalers" and see what kind of deals you can get from one of them. You'll most likely be very surprised at how much less you can actually buy one for than even the RV "show prices" are at, although you may have to drive a long way to go get it, and then you could have problems getting warranty service from a local dealer since you didn't buy it there, etc. But you [U]can[U] use the RV wholesale price info to most likely get a few thousand more off the local dealer's "show price" or "sale price" if you negotiate nicely. At least based on my limited experience. Anyway, have a good time at the show, and don't sign anything.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:29 PM   #10
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Ok now for the other side of the story.

At a manufacturer's sponsored show like Hershey the manufacturers are there competing with each other. The dealers that are showing the brands are given a considerable pot of money to discount price the RVs for sale (show pricing). If someone knows what they want a large show like Hershey can provide a substantial discount in price.

Also, since the manufacturers know which units are going to be at the show they may also include "Show Options". My 2015 Challenger was a Hershey show coach with the show option package. That package included upgraded decor, sound system and a few other tidbits not available on coaches not at the show. We bought that coach after it returned from Hershey.

The biggest advantage to a show is if you are on the fence about different models or brands a show will generally allow you to look at them in one location on one or two days.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
One of the biggest and best shows is in around Hershey, PA every year. It is generally held right after Labor Day. If you are going to RV up you have to make park reservations early because it gets crowded.

Here is the link and I notice they already have the 2020 dates listed.

https://www.largestrvshow.com/explore/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Davis View Post
The Hershey Show is a manufacturer sponsored show and can have very good pricing, as compared to a local RV dealers show. We bought our Hummingbird at Hershey a couple years ago. We had it narrowed down to three different trailers and done our cost comparisons. The Bird's price and the trade in we got was as they say a Show Stopper.
The dealer we ended up with is good and is easy to work with. We did have a couple warranty claims that were quickly resolved.

Were we lucky, perhaps but...........
Two Snowbird trips, one Nova Scotia trip and one mid west trip later we are still happy.

I went to The Jayco Dealer about 2 weeks before the Hershey show and they did give me show pricing for my 1st trailer. That way, they didn't have to drag the trailer from Mountville to Hershey.

Yes, as mentioned above. The Hershey is a MANUFACTURER sponsored show. not dealer sponsored. Therefore sales competition is intense.

As mentioned above. Go to the various trailer manufacturer websites and look at floor plans and look at make and models you are really interested in BEFORE going to Hershey. There are a lot of all different manufacturers Rv's there.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:41 PM   #12
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I went to The Jayco Dealer about 2 weeks before the Hershey show and they did give me show pricing for my 1st trailer. That way, they didn't have to drag the trailer from Mountville to Hershey....
Yes some dealers will have show pricing, however, the manufacturer's rep is at the show with his pot of money as well and will sweeten the pot for a potential buyer. That money is usually not available before or after the show.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:03 PM   #13
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Yes some dealers will have show pricing, however, the manufacturer's rep is at the show with his pot of money as well and will sweeten the pot for a potential buyer. That money is usually not available before or after the show.
Excellent point.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:41 PM   #14
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attending RV shows are good just to see what’s out there but leave wallet at home.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by chaznsc View Post
We are interested in visiting an RV show or two this or next year. I am noticing that GoodSam (GS Media) is putting on some of these. Im not interested in a "campingworld show" as I have no interest in dealing with them.

I am located in South Carolina, but dont mind travelling.
Chaznsc,
Greenville SC has a pretty good show at the TD Convention center around the first of January.
Not a huge show but has multiple dealers and most have factory reps that will answer your questions. Good show to go to.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:56 PM   #16
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https://www.scrvshow.com/
Jan 3-5 2020 at the Greenville convention center.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:03 PM   #17
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In 2012 I was at the Indy RV Show intending to buy an camper. I had it narrowed down to 2 floor plans, one was a Rockwood and the other was the Eagle. The Rockwood floor unit was still available but the Eagle floor unit had sold. Both were nice campers but the Eagle had more amenities so I ended up ordering my '12 Eagle right there at the show at an incredible price. I got them to throw in Maxxair covers, slide toppers and an Adco cover at no extra charge. So yes, great deals are available at the shows. I brought my wallet and I'm glad I did. FYI, most of the time if you purchase an RV at a show, they'll tow it back to their dealership, prep/clean it so you pick it up there.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:05 PM   #18
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RV shows

From a dealers perspective we would much rather the customer visit with us at our lot. First we have unlimited amount of time to work with you at the store, unlike at a show where there is way to many people. Secondly the manufacturers do not support these show with $$$ to help make deals, so when you consider the cost of a dealer participation in the show which is $600-800 a unit you need to understand the dealer undoubtedly passes the "show" cost along to the buyer. That being said you CAN ALWAYS get a better deal when you go direct to the dealer's lot. In addition dealers typically take what's been sitting on their lot for the past few months, so you often aren't looking at he freshest models. Having been in the RV business for over 30 years, My experience is that RV shows are simply entertainment put on by a for profit producer. Best advice....go see your local hometown RV dealer, enjoy the visit, and buy from them as that's where you'll need service too.
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Old 11-13-2019, 02:58 PM   #19
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School me on RV Shows

We enjoyed the RV shows. We hit the Greenville SC and Atlanta shows (as well as all the area dealers) AND especially benefitted from the Tampa show. (not all in the same year.)
Married to Mr Research. We enjoyed this hobby for a couple years.
Tampa was really fun - SO large. What a time saver ! Easier to walk dealer to dealer on a big field (or by tram) than to drive city to city.
Our routine: Go during the week & start early so you get more 1 on 1 Rep time to pick their brains. The Tampa show (like the Hershey show) is really great because ALL the dealers are there. At each dealer compare all their trim levels/floor plans/storage. Then go compare brand to brand. Easier to remember details, write all over your brochures. Back and forth we went. Then enjoyed oggling the crazy fancy ones. We were at Tampa for at least 2-3 days. Yes, overwhelming but fun! Figured what we'd really love, what we should actually buy on budget & what is not acceptable. (yes, goes w/o saying)
(Hint: A Kool thing about the Tampa show is the big Mecum Antique Car Show & Auction in Kissimmee FL is right after it. Side trip!)
Oh & ANOTHER fun research was when we stopped in Elkhart, Indiana, and thereabouts for a couple days to take Camper Factory tours. (Yes, TourS.) See it from the studs up. Go for it - Theme vacation >> tour them all!
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:37 PM   #20
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Secondly the manufacturers do not support these show with $$$ to help make deals, so when you consider the cost of a dealer participation in the show which is $600-800 a unit you need to understand the dealer undoubtedly passes the "show" cost along to the buyer. That being said you CAN ALWAYS get a better deal when you go direct to the dealer's lot.
Hmmmm, I had the exact opposite experience.

I stopped at the dealer previously and got his "best price" (so he claimed) and went on my way.

A few weeks later, I went to a show to make a deal. My rig wasn't on display at the show, but back in the dealer's lot. I went to the show late in the day, figuring they would be hungry for a deal, and after the bulk of the traffic died down.

After "leaning" on the dealer for better pricing, since I brought a handful of competitive prices from other dealers, my dealer went over to the Jayco rep, who was at the show, for some help.

The Jayco rep reduced the price on my rig by a few more thousands... I doubt I would have received the deal I did if the rep wasn't there and wouldn't support the dealer.

I think it all comes down on how hungry the dealer is for a sale. These dealers are definitely not as sophisticated or smart like car dealers.
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