St. Johns RV Show to Key on Light-Weight RVs
The upcoming St. Johns County Fall RV Show, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds in Elkton, Fla., will showcase 2014 models from recreational vehicle manufacturers offering lighter-weight motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels and tent-campers — continuing a trend that began in 2010.
“In the face of higher gas prices and the economic downturn, RV manufacturers responded very quickly in using lighter-weight alloys and changing designs to improve fuel efficiency in motor coaches and provide lighter towables that even most SUVs can handle,” said Steve Fogle, general sales manager with General RV in Orange Park and the incoming president of the Florida RV Trade Association’s Northeast Florida chapter, told the Florida Times-Union. “I think that’s one of the reasons the RV industry has recovered so well over the last two years.”
Both new and used RVs of all types will be on display during the event, the first to be held in Northeast Florida during the fall.
Joe Andrick, general manager of Dick Gore’s RV World in St. Augustine, has been pushing a fall RV show within the chapter for a number of years.
“I just feel that Northeast Florida, especially St. Johns and the surrounding counties, could support a fall show,” Andrick said. “There are a lot of RV enthusiasts who live in the area, and I think we’ll attract some people who are interested in the RV lifestyle but wouldn’t make the drive to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center to check out our big show held in February.”
Andrick says sales have been going extremely well at his dealership, which relocated and opened in 2009 just off Interstate 95 near the St. Augustine Outlet Mall.
“Prior to this year, business was a little like a roller-coaster, but things have settled out well,” he said. “Lightweight towables are making up a large part of our market, but the big move by manufacturing toward downsizing to increase fuel efficiency has been dramatic. I’ve been in the business since 1984 and I’ve been bowled over by what the manufacturers have available now.”
Andrick can also attest to the popularity of the lighter-weight motor coaches and other new RVs — especially the Roadtrek, a Class B RV. Dick Gore’s St. Augustine location is the state’s top seller of Roadtrek.
But it’s been the overall response of RV manufacturers to the recession, building more affordable and innovative RVs from the larger Class A’s on down, along with increased consumer confidence that has brought stability back to the RV industry, the Florida Times-Union reported.
Shipments for all of 2013 are projected to be 309,800 units, which is the first time shipments have been more than 300,000 since 2007. According to the most recent research from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), America’s wholesale RV shipments rose 12.8 percent in the first six months of 2013 and are expected to average at more than 8 percent over 2012 shipments by the end of this year. That’s why dealers involved in the upcoming St. Johns County Fall RV show have their hopes up for good attendance at the new event.