Thousands of RV dealers from across North America came to town to see thousands of recreational vehicles on display Tuesday (Sept. 17) the first full day of Elkhart RV Open House Week in northern Indiana.
As reported by The Elkhart Truth, Tom Peay of Idletime RV in Allen, Okla., has been coming since Forest River Inc. started the event in 2008. In the middle of the Thor Industries Inc.’s minitown outside the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Peay said, “I believe we get more good out of this than Louisville,” which is where the post-Thanksgiving annual industry trade show is put on by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Doug Peay said the advantage of the open houses for dealers is that “we get to see everything new. Pretty much all of the big boys are set up here.”
Nearby in the Heartland RV display, dealer Mike Hymer of Pharr RVs in Lubbock, Texas, said he thinks the open houses will eventually supplant the Louisville event. “It’s a lot better atmosphere, it’s just a better setting,” he said.
Like the Peays, Hymer likes seeing new and updated products here, and he also likes the social aspects, “talking to the other dealers.”
From hog roasts to bonfires to casino night, there are plenty of activities for visiting RV dealers, and the manufacturers are putting up a lot of money. Thor and Forest River rented hotel rooms for thousands, but the open houses are a major sales time for the manufacturers.
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