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RV SHOWS: 7 Essential Rules to Keep You Prepared

Are you planning to attend an RV show this season? They’re the perfect way to tour new RV models and check out new products and gear.

But we want to make sure you’re prepared. 

Keep reading to learn how to get ready for an RV show and make the most of it. We also reveal the biggest show in the U.S. and where other popular RV shows can be found. 

Let’s get started! 

What Is an RV Show? 

An RV show is an event where RV manufacturers and creators of accessories and parts come together to show off and sell new products. 

There are motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, campers, campervans, truck campers, and more at shows. You can walk through them to get the look and feel of new models on the market. And RV dealers or manufacturers typically offer show prices that are discounted during the dates of the event.

RV shows also have an expo area where vendors display and sell new products. You’ll find RV accessories, outdoor gear, auto parts, and more. Some examples of specific products include RV awnings, tires, and inflatable paddleboards. In addition, various campgrounds and camping memberships are often exhibitors.

What Is the Biggest RV Show in the Country? 

The biggest RV show in the United States is the Hershey Show in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It’s an annual event that brings in more than 1,400 RVs from over 40 manufacturers. The show is ideal for shopping for a new RV or seeing new models and innovative prototypes. 

The Hershey Show also has over 100 vendors to demonstrate and sell everything from RV parts to accessories, outdoor gear, and camping. 

How to Find Where RV Shows Are Located?

An online search will lead you to RV shows close to your location. Events are happening across the country. Some of the biggest shows this season include the Hershey Show, Florida’s RV Super Show in Tampa, and the Quartzsite Show in Arizona.

7 Rules for the Upcoming RV Show Season

So, you’re ready to attend one or more RV shows. Perfect! But let’s create a game plan first. 

1. Have a Game Plan to Get the Most Out of Your Time

RV shows can be overwhelming. A lot’s going on, way too many RV models to walk through, and typically a lot of walking. All things combined can lead to wasted time or off-railing the reason you went in the first place.

One of the best rules is to go to an RV show with a game plan. Before attending, write down your top five priorities. They might include something like looking at the new Winnebago campervan, getting information on extended warranties, or purchasing new windshield coverings for your motorhome.

Having a specific list of five things can help you stay focused. After they’ve been checked off your list, give yourself the freedom to look at and do whatever you want at the show. 

2. Bring a Camera

As we said, RV shows can be overwhelming. There’s a lot to see, and you’ll likely talk with many salespeople. It can be challenging to remember everything you’ve seen, let alone details about products. We recommend taking photos of products you like or are considering purchasing. 

But don’t just snap a few photos of the interior of an RV. That may not help you remember it. Instead, start by taking a photo of the sticker with the model number, specs, and price. Or at least the model number. Next, take a photo of the exterior of the RV. Then, take as many photos of the interior and details on the exterior as you want. 

When you get home and look at your photos, you’ll know which RV you’re looking at based on the sequence of photos. The model number will be the first photo. 

3. Take Notes

Similar to taking photos, as a rule, it’s a good idea to take notes when you’re at the RV show. Keep track of the products you want to purchase or things you want to look into further when you get home. Something you may find helpful is making columns. For example, one column is for products you want to purchase, and another could be a wish list for the future.

4. Don’t Give Away Too Much About Your Payment Method

You’re going to run into many salespeople at an RV show. It’s typical for RV dealers to offer show prices, which are discounts, at events. But you can still negotiate a price. Treat the deal the same as you would if you were on their lot.

If you start to talk with a salesperson, don’t give away too much about your payment method. Sometimes revealing you have a trade-in RV or need to finance may affect your deal. And some dealerships get incentives from banks, so they’re motivated to get you to finance. In that case, telling them you’re paying cash may hurt your deal.

5. Ask Questions

Don’t walk away from an RV show this season with unanswered questions. Whether you’re seriously looking for products to buy or you’re simply interested in seeing new RV models, ask vendors questions you may have. 

At the very least, make sure you get any questions you have about the items on your priority list answered.

6. Signing Up to Get Free Stuff May Give You a Lot of Spam Mail

Vendors at RV shows typically have a sign-up sheet to get your name and email address. And to get you to put your information down, there’s often an incentive involving free stuff. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

But the reason vendors want your name and email is to grow their marketing list. And unfortunately, that can come with an exuberant amount of emails. Rest assured, you should be able to unsubscribe to unwanted email lists. But a way to keep from getting them in the first place is to not sign-up with every vendor you meet.

7. Purchase RV Parts and Accessories

RV shows are an excellent place to purchase RV parts and accessories. The exhibit halls at the events often have many options. And you’re likely to get a discount when you purchase at the show. 

Most RV shows have a website and a page on the site is dedicated to which vendors will be in attendance. It gives you the opportunity to plan ahead for booths you want to be sure to get to.

Is It Worth Buying an RV at a Show? 

Whether or not it’s worth buying an RV at a show depends on a various factors. The main reason anyone would want to purchase at a show is price. If the price is significantly discounted, it makes sense to get the show deal. But sometimes the show discount and the everyday price aren’t too far from one another.

So, the bottom line is, do your research and don’t jump into a sale just because it appears good on the surface. And, remember, to negotiate. 

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