The Atlantic City RV & Camping Show was busy right from its noon opening last Friday and there were plenty of buyers for its travel trailers, fifth-wheels and motorhomes in Atlantic City Convention Center — buyers from the past, present and future, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Bill and Elly Sulzmann of Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J., came to the show to see what’s new. They already own two recreational vehicles, one a 25-foot trailer they use for travel. The other is a trailer with two slideouts they keep on a site at their favorite campground, Timber Lake Camping Resort in nearby New Gretna.
That one has double bunk beds in the back, Bill Sulzmann said, to accommodate the frequent visits from the couple’s 12 grandchildren.
Sometime in the future, he said, they’d like to trade both RVs in, get a motorhome and take it out West.
“But right now, there’s no need to get into a big loan,” he said, prompting his wife to add, “Not in this economy.”
Fred and April Watson of Atco are preparing to buy their first camper, a travel trailer that has three things a guy 6-feet-6-inches tall needs: a 7-foot ceiling, and 80-inch long bed and a big bathroom.
With their twin 3-year-olds nearly ready for recreation, the Watsons weighed April’s camping background against Fred’s time on large houseboats. The camping won in part, Fred Watson said, because anything on the water uses lots of extra expensive gasoline.
They liked the Sundance by Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC they saw Friday, but still have more work to do before buying.
Karen O’Conner, of Mantua, was already a buyer, having gotten a good deal on a 33-foot travel trailer last year.
She was at the show mainly to scout new campgrounds to visit this year with her family.
Last year, she, her husband and 2-year-old son went to Big Timber Lake Campground in Cape May Court House and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Mays Landing. They especially liked Shellbay Family Camping Resort in Cape May Court House.
“I’m looking for places that have waterparks. Our son loves the water,” O’Conner said.
Visitors should have loved the prices at the show, deeply discounted since the RV industry is at the bottom of its recession sales decline.
George Teutsch of Atlantic-Cape RV of Galloway Township showed a “loaded” 40-foot fifth-wheel trailer marked down to $59,900 from $84,000.
Among the smallest of the 120 or so vehicles on display is the R-Pod by Forest River Inc., about 18 feet but with a kitchen, refrigerator, furnace and bath. That’s priced at $11,999.
At the other end is the Fleetwood Discovery, a 40-foot-long motorhome the size of a bus that has every luxury, including an outdoor flatscreen TV to supplement the three inside. That’s priced at $194,950.
They drew lots of looks, even though nearly everyone at the show was interested in something in-between for themselves.
The show was sponsored by Affinity Events, a division of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), which also publishes WWW.RVBUSINESS.com.