There are RV shows all over the country every year. Some are huge events with on-site camping and YouTubers coming from near and far to film and meetup with fans and friends alike. But…are they really worth attending? Do you learn anything from them? Can you buy a good RV at an RV show? What’s the dealio? Find out in this post.
RV Show Overview
First off, I’d like to share a bit about the shows themselves.
Of course, there are tons and tons of RVs and RV dealers, but there are also a lot of vendors and speakers.
The vendors include RV gear, household items, backyard furniture, food, and so much more.
As for the speakers, some of them are full-time RVers sharing what they know, like our friends over at Chickery’s Travels. They actually share their event schedule on their site. You can check it out here.
Learning About RVs Made Easy
RV shows can be a great way to learn. Not only about the different RVs out there and the different RV dealers out there, but also about RVing in general.
As I already mentioned in the “RV Show Overview” section, there are speakers at RV shows. They will share their knowledge of RV buying, RV batteries, solar systems, safe RV towing practices, workamping, tire safety, choosing a domicile, and so much more.
A big bonus about attending seminars at these shows is that the pricing is minimal. It is included in the RV show admission. There are a lot of RV related conferences out there that cost a lot more. So, this could be a great way to learn in a live presentation with Q&A at the end on a tighter budget.
Should You Buy an RV at an RV Show?
This is a tricky one.
Every single RV is out and all shiny with ribbons and balloons and popcorn and music and…RV show pricing.
It can be really easy to fall in love with an RV at a show and feel very pressured to make a purchase on the spot. Robert and I always joke that the last thing RV dealers want to do is to take those RVs back to their lot unsold.
This can be a good or a bad thing. Maybe you can get a super great deal because they want these things to sell. But it can be bad because you might be riding on high emotions and jumping into something that you might not be ready for yet.
So what should you do?
I recommend that you purchase multi-day tickets and go more than one day. See as many as you can. Make notes on the RVs that really caught your eye. Go home. Look up the make and models of the same RV and read about them. Go back to the show and look at the RVs again. Give yourself time – time to research and time to think. You don’t want buyers remorse!! If you are ready and done the research and feel like you’ve got a good deal, go for it.
RV Shows Can be FUN!
If you love RVs and don’t mind hanging with a bunch of other people that RVs, you will love going to an RV show.
It’s a great time to check out all kinds of RVs, from a super tiny camper to a beastly motorhome… you can see them all at a show without having to hunt down a salesperson.
There is a lot of freedom to look at RVs in a festive environment. If you have questions, it’s easy to flag down a sales rep.
If you enjoy a little low impact shopping, the vendor area can be a lot of fun too. There’s all kinds of things to see and maybe buy for your everyday life, not just RV related.
Something that might not be as fun, are the prices for food and drink at RV shows. These are super expensive. I purchased 1 Sprite at one of these shows and it was more than $3! So, if you go to a show, plan ahead and know that you will either be gouged at the food stand, go hungry, or head home. Call ahead and see if you can bring a picnic lunch so you won’t end up overspending.
If you have kids, there are sometimes kids’ events and fun on the weekends.
Best Day and Time to Visit
This is always dependent on the individual. If your schedule allows, go early and go often. Saturday is usually the busiest day because, well, a lof people have Saturdays off and want to spend a fun day at the local show.
So, usually, the first day and last day are the least busy, especially if those days land on a weekday or Sunday. If you get there super early, you will beat out all those late sleepers (like that my family and I) getting you the better parking spot and maybe even get you in and out before the crowds arrive later in the day.
And of course, if it is a multi-day event, try to go for more than 1 day. That way you don’t have to worry about too many crowds and you can come and go and not feel pressured to try and see everything in just a few hours.
What are the Biggest Shows?
If you want to go to the biggest RV shows around, the list is short, but hard to get the numbers.
I asked online in a trusted Facebook group, I searched online, and…Here’s what I got.
The Tampa RV Supershow and the Hershey RV Show seem to be nearly tied. Followed in next by the California RV Show. We might have another contender with the Houston RV Show.
There are varying reports on the show in Quartzsite. I mean, are they there for the general Quartzsite cool experience for the winter or are they really attending the RV show there??
If you have your vote for the largest RV show out there, make sure to share it in the comments.
|Tampa RV Supershow||2019||74,287|
|Hershey RV Show||2017||64,000+ (estimated)|
|California RV Show||2019||26,000 (estimated)|
|Houston RV Show||2019||30,000 (estimated)|
|Quartzsite RV Show|
(Click here to see where I got this number!)
How to Find a Show Near You
This is probably the easiest thing about an RV show, finding one near you. There are so many all around the country, it should be easy to find one.
Just search for the following in your favorite search engine: “RV Show Near Me” and the year. You should get a very comprehensive list.
If you are interested in attending some of the large shows out there, start researching early just in case you aren’t usually in that area. Some shows are worth the trip, especially if you can make it a fun destination where you meet up with friends.
I hope this blog post gave you a little bit of information about RV shows and you can now determine if it is something that you should attend.
If you need more information about RV shows, check out RV Texas Y’all’s post and video all about it here.
We attend the 2020 Florida RV Supershow and found 7 RV models perfect for families, check them out here!