The Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, one of the largest events in Michigan, is set to open Thursday (Jan. 23) and run through Sunday at Devos Place. According to a press release, more than a dozen dealers will display hundreds of RVs while exhibitors will show the latest camping equipment and RV accessories along with the best campgrounds and travel destinations in the state.
“Study after study shows us how taking vacations is important to our overall well-being — as individuals, but also as families,” said Show Producer Mike Wilbraham. “And there is no better way to take a family vacation than in an RV.”
In addition to offering greater freedom and flexibility in travel, studies show that RV vacations cost less than comparable trips in a car, plane, or ship. And, RVs are a perfect way for families to spend more time with each other while on vacation.
“We have more exhibitors this year than ever before representing hundreds of public and private campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada,” Wilbraham said. “There’s absolutely no better way to plan an RV vacation.”
Brand new to this year’s show is the Tow Vehicle Center, sponsored by K&M Dodge/RAM, where patrons can get all their towing questions answered, see a variety of vehicles, and learn how to choose the right one for their specific needs.
The show also features free seminars and presentations, including talks on Full-Time and Extended RVing with Howard and Linda Payne. Travel and outdoor expert Jim Dufresne, who has been writing on where to go and what to do in Alaska for over 30 years, will offer expert tips and information on travel in Alaska. And award-winning cinematographer John Holod returns with his picturesque films about RV traveling our country’s most beautiful places, including Alaska, Route 66, Maine and the Canadian Maritimes and the Rocky Mountains.
For the next four days, DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Mich., will be a village of aluminum and fiberglass motor homes, trailers and recreational vehicles lined with streets of red carpeting.
According to a report in the Grand Rapids Press, the Grand Rapids Camper, Travel and RV Show has some 300 units on the convention center floor. The show opened at 3 p.m. today and will run through Sunday evening.
Inside, visitors can expect to find all the amenities they left behind at home – flat-screen TVs, leather lounge chairs, fire places, coriander counter tops, bathrooms with showers and of course, lots of beds and bunks on which to sleep.
By the time they wheel their units off the floor Sunday night, dealers are hoping many of them will have new owners. Unlike the Michigan International Auto Show last weekend, this show focuses on making a sale.
“This is not just a show, this is actually a sale,” says Bruce Ter Veen, sales manager for General RV Center in Wayland. “This is where we start our season as a dealer body.”
Most of the dealers are hoping this year’s show will bear out their hopes that the economy is on the rebound and consumers can afford to splurge on their families again.
“So far, the shows we’ve been seeing are up 20% to 30%,” said Ter Veen, one of 10 General RV Center dealers in the U.S. “This show is an indicator when the economy starts growing and gaining momentum.”
‘This is the best time to buy because they’re all under one roof,” said Ter Veen has 67 units on the floor, ranging from lightweight trailers designed for towing behind an SUV to the Tiffin Phaeton 40QBH, which has a special show price of $216,995, down from its list price of $275,009.
The Tiffin Phaeton is a 40-foot diesel-powered behemoth that includes 1 ½ baths, a stacked washer/dryer, leather recliners, king-sized bed and a 37-inch television. It features four slideouts to expand its interior space when parked.
While the big units are staples of the industry, the growth in sales are among ultra-light trailers which can be towed by an SUV but are large enough to accommodate an entire family, Ter Veen said. The ultra-lights allow families to camp comfortably without upgrading their everyday transportation, he said.
For consumers who don’t yearn for the open road, there are the “park models” that look more like houses, complete with shutters, fireplaces, and second floor lofts for the kids.
“They’re like a little cabin,” said Show Manager Carolyn Alt. While most of the trailers and RVs are designed for the open road, the park models are towed to campgrounds for the season or in some cases, years.
The Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show is coming to DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 14-16. The show will focus on vacations and showcase the latest RVs, accessories, campgrounds and travel destinations, according to a news release.
A dozen West Michigan RV dealers representing more than 125 RV lines will be showing 2011 models in 200,000-plus square feet of display space, making it the largest RV show in the state.
Dealers are: All Seasons RV, American RV, Camp America RV Centre, Egg Camper Inc., General RV Center, Holland Motor Homes, Midway RV Center, RV World, TerryTown Travel Center, Vacationland Sales, Veurink’s RV Center and Woodland Travel Center.
Features & Attractions
- A vintage RV display, including unique Airstreams, a Studebaker, a Hunt House Car from the RV History Museum in Elkhart, Ind., and many more restored, original vehicles from the 1920s-1960s. Some of the vintage RVs will come from the collection of Ken Faber, a Grand Rapids native.
- A wide range of vehicles from the biggest RV rigs to easy pop-up campers and including many new environmentally-friendly, smaller, lightweight travel vehicles built for flexibility.
- More than 30 campground destinations and the latest RV and camping accessories.
- Free seminars on Michigan and Alaska RV travel adventures with travel author, Jim DuFresne.
For More Information call (800) 328-6550 or visit www.GrandRapidsRVShow.com.