RVIA’s Pomona Show Off to an Explosive Start

October 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Entrance to California RV Show

Whether the recovering Southern California market or a shrewd media campaign is behind it, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 61st Annual California RV Show has posted an impressive start in its first three days, RVIA Western Show Director Tom Gaither reports.

“Right now, through three days, we’re up 63.2% in attendance,” Gaither told prior to the Oct. 11-20 show’s opening on Monday (Oct. 14) at the Fairplex in Pomona. “The three-day total is 13,923, and the entire show last year drew 20,756, so we’re going to blow last year’s gate right out the door.”

“It’s going incredibly well,” Gaither said of the 664,000-square-foot show. “Steve Richardson (of SoCal’s Richardson’s RV Centers Inc.) has told me that he’s had more sales at this show so far than he’s had at any show in the last 20 years – as of the first weekend. Mike Thompson’s (Mike Thompson’s RV Super Stores) says they’re up something like 64% in sales so far. And Mike Langford at McMahan’s RV says they’re over the top in what they’ve been doing as well.”

The ongoing turnaround of Southern California’s battered economy is indeed playing a key role in the Pomona Show’s upswing, says Gaither. But so is a “phenomenal” media outreach campaign led by South Coast Media out of Orange County, as well as George Carson of Carson Marketing Inc., Santa Ana, Calif., who was instrumental in forging a last minute deal bringing the image and name of veteran rocker Brett Michael into the radio and TV advertising. In addition, he helped arrange a highly visible Sunday afternoon show appearance atop a motorhome that, Gaither contends, was a significant drawing card.

“I couldn’t ask for a better celebrity to come out and do this show,” said Gaither.

Brett Michaels performs on a "Rock My RV" motorhome

Also playing a role, in addition to a Hispanic media outreach program, were displays of several motorhomes from Michaels’ recent TV series “Rock My RV” along with a lot of other eye-catching recreational vehicles like the new retro-style, 24-foot Bowlus Road Chief.

Other units were set up at Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) 15,000 square-foot, landscaped “Campground Entrance” featuring RVs from Columbia Northwest/Aliner Inc., Fleetwood RV Inc., Pleasure-Way Industries Inc., Thor Industries Inc., Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. and Winnebago Industries Inc. KOA also has a deluxe cabin and teepee on display for attendees to tour along with staff on hand to answer questions and help make reservations.

The end result was great TV coverage on both English language and Hispanic TV starting early last week for a show that will also showcase the giveaway of a 2014 Lance toy hauler and Keystone Cougar.

All in all, Gaither maintains, the Pomona Show, with 1,200 units on display and 150 others parked outside for demos, may now qualify as the country’s largest RV retail show. “I don’t want to brag just yet,” he said, “but I am almost 110% positive that we easily have more RV’s here than the Hershey Show.”


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Bigger California Show Slated to Run Oct. 11-20

October 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 61st Annual California RV Show is set to take place Oct. 11–20 at the Fairplex in Pomona, showcasing the latest RV products and accessories to consumers.

According to a news release, this year’s event will cover 664,000 square feet of exhibit space, a significant jump over the 572,100 square feet used at last year’s show. This will include 1,200 RVs on display and a 20,000-square-foot supplier tent filled with accessories and camping gear.

The California RV Show will also include a number of features to inform, entertain and engage show attendees, including:

• The KOA Campground Entrance – After a popular debut last year as the main show entry point, the mock campground entrance will return this year. Sponsored by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), it will cover 15,000 square feet of landscaped exhibit space and feature RV products from Columbia Northwest/Aliner Inc., Fleetwood RV Inc., Pleasure-Way Industries Inc., Thor Industries Inc., Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. and Winnebago Industries Inc. KOA will have a deluxe cabin and teepee on display for attendees to tour along with staff on hand to answer questions and help make reservations.

There will also be a 24-foot Bowlus Road Chief trailer on display in the entrance. This $100,000 aluminum designed trailer is a complete remake of the 1935 Hawley Bowlus trailers that were made after the company completed the Spirit of St. Louis airplane.

• RV Power Hour – CEOs from several leading companies will meet with guests in the seminar tent on Oct. 12, including Columbia Northwest CEO Ned Collins, Fleetwood RV President and COO John Draheim, KOA’s Jim Rodgers, Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp. President and CEO Jack Cole, and RVIA President Richard Coon with more expected to be added.

• RV Factory Showcase – Different RV product types will be showcased in this popular area with RV manufacturer representatives on hand to meet with attendees and provide production demonstrations. Fleetwood RV, Forest River Inc., Tiffin, Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc. and Winnebago are currently scheduled to make presentations.

• Seminars and Entertainment – An entire new lineup of RV-themed seminars from RV Handyman Dave Solberg will be offered throughout the show. These include “Boondocking – How to Extend Your Battery Usage While Dry Camping”; “Camping in National Parks”; “Getting Started with Tent Campers”; “Must Have RV Apps”; “Navigating with a GPS”; “RV Driving Seminars”; “Cool Tools Needed for RVing”; “Travelling with Pets”; “Toyhaulin’, Hookin’ Haulin and Having Fun”; “RV Stay Vacations Near L.A.”

• “Go Country Day” is scheduled for Oct. 13 with local KFROG radio station broadcasting country western music from their Airstream trailer. “Fiesta Day” is scheduled for Oct. 20. T52 Telemundo, the largest Los Angeles television station, will team with QueBuena radio station to give away prizes throughout the day.

• For the kids entertainment there will a “Kids Fishing Area,” where kids can learn to fish for free and a new Great White Shark Encounter with a diver feeding live great white sharks!

• RV Sweepstakes – A 2014 Lance toy hauler will be given away at the conclusion of the show. Also, in conjunction with Keystone RV Co., KOA will be drawing for the winner of the Keystone Cougar travel trailer being displayed at the show.

For any questions contact Tom Gaither, RVIA western show director, or Gloria Reeder, show coordinator, at (818) 248-6600.

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KOA Will Sponsor Campground at RVIA Show

July 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year's California RV Show

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has announced that Kampgrounds of America (KOA) will sponsor the mock campground entrance at the 61st Annual California RV Show and that KOA CEO Jim Rogers will be a featured speaker at the event.

According to a press release, the mock campground was very popular with attendees and guests after being unveiled as the main entry point at last year’s show. Show attendees walk through the exhibit to see RVs in a campground setting before moving on to the main exhibition areas.

This year’s mock campground will cover 15,000 square feet of exhibit space and feature 10 RV products, including two Fleetwood Class A motorhomes, two Tiffin Class A motorhomes, a Winnebago Class A motorhome, a Thor type A motorhome, two Columbia Northwest folding camping trailers, and a Pleasure-Way Class B motorhome.

KOA will also have one of its Deluxe Cabins on display for attendees to visit. The 40-foot unit built by Cavco features an upstairs sleeping loft, flat screen TVs, queen bed suite, full bath and full kitchen. KOA staff will be on hand to answer questions and help make reservations.

“We are delighted to be part of the California RV Show,” said Scott Corey, owner of the Ventura Ranch KOA. “Our cabins and teepees have been a huge hit with campers at our campground. The Deluxe Cabin that will be on display is a great example of ‘glamping.’ Attendees will see that they can enjoy a great outdoor vacation even if they don’t own an RV and be introduced to the RV and camping lifestyle.”

KOA CEO Jim Rogers will be at the show on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. in the Seminar Tent to review the exciting things KOA is doing nationwide, discuss his appearance on the popular CBS program Undercover Boss, and meet and greet show attendees.

The 61st Annual California RV Show will take place at The Fairplex in Pomona, CA from Oct. 11 – 20, 2013. For more information visit or contact Tom Gaither, RVIA’s western whow director at (818) 248-6600 or

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