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‘Boomer’ Influence on Display at Tampa Show

Industry reports that credit Baby Boomers with the explosion of RV travel aren’t hard to believe judging from the clientele roaming in and around the hundreds of vehicles that were on display at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall last week during the Tampa Bay Summer RV Show.

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, the only people who appeared to be under 50 were the people selling the vehicles.

The shoppers were looking to fulfill all sorts of dreams. Some hope to take to the road full time. Some want to buy bigger; others want to downsize.

James and Connie Wilt, who are 61 and 60, were perusing the full-sized Class A motorhomes. The Lakeland couple have had two pull-behinds but are looking to move up and they were looking for room – lots of room.

“We like the slides,” she said. “We want one with four slides.”

Across the Expo Hall, Dennis and Judith Parrino of Zephyrhills were looking at van campers — vans customized post-production or built with bathrooms and benches and other amenities that make road travel more comfortable.

It’s just the latest in the Parrinos’ downsizing. When they first became part-time Floridians, they had a full-sized motor home, two houses and a seasonal cottage, Dennis Parrino, 72, said. Now they are full-time Floridians and have one house. They want a van to visit their kids in New York.

“When we go up, we can also use it as a vehicle,” said Judith Parrino, 69. It’s not to go camping.

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