Hershey Crews Unimpeded by Tropical Storm

September 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Rains won't halt next week's show.

Anyone watching the national news over the past 24 hours had to see the reports of an epic 10-inch rainfall around Harrisburg, Pa. And anyone in this industry had to realize that this torrential downpour was occurring on the doorstep of the nation’s largest annual recreational vehicle retail show – the 43rd Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, Sept. 12-18 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

That’s just east of the state capital of Harrisburg, where vestiges of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee have inundated the area.

But if you think that’s stopping the onsite setup crews of the sponsoring Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association (PRVCA), you’ve got another thing coming, according to PRVCA Executive Director Becky Lennington, who was onsite today (Sept. 8) overseeing wet – yet functional – setup operations amid drizzling rain at the Giant Center.

This year’s Hershey Show is slated to include 1,029 outdoor display units – up 7.4% from last year – a high water mark, no pun intended, over the past three years for the 700,000-square-foot exhibition. And indoor display space is up nearly 40%.

“We’re doing what needs to be done,” says Lennington, who was in pretty good humor, considering the obstacles she and the electrical and wash crews have faced since the rain started coming down Sunday evening. “We’re finding alternate routes for product to get in here, and we’re working with transport companies, but we’re still setting (units in place). We’re still – well, I can’t say dry – but we’re high.”

What’s it look like? “It’s just down to a drizzle,” she added. “Today is probably the best weather that we’ve had. The problem is that little creeks around here have flooded, so they (transport people) need to find alternate routes in until everything recedes. We expect things to crest on Saturday. We’re in good shape here, I’m told. Product is still able to get in. Drivers are still able to get out, although at a slower pace – you know, steady as it goes. Usually, we’re done setting by Friday. But we’ll be setting the show Saturday and Sunday as well.”

The good news is that the bulk of the show area is above the flood plain. “Yeah, we’re fine here,” she added. “We’re not having any problems here. The lower part of Hersheypark down near the creek to the southeast of the Giant Center has issues. They have a zoo way down in those low lying parts, and yesterday they had to evacuate the animals.”

Much to the dismay of many in the local community, in fact, ZooAmerica reportedly had to euthanize two waterlogged bison. “Yes, they lost two bison down there. They had to evacuate the rest of the animals. They said they brought them to the Giant Center, but we don’t have any animals up here. We’ve just got RVs.”

Suffice to say that Lennington is optimistic for the show week ahead. “We understand that it’s supposed to start to dry up by tomorrow and that it looks to be good by the beginning of the week,” she said. “As long as the rain is just a drizzle, we’re functioning. As I said, today’s the best day we’ve had so far.”





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11 Park Model Builders Exhibiting at Hershey

August 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hershey Show promo coverThe 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, Sept. 13-19 at Hersheypark Entertainment & Resorts Complex in Hershey, Pa., will feature the nation’s largest display of recreational park trailers.

Eleven manufacturers will display their cottage-like trailers, also known as park models, in the sold-out “Park Model Village” to more than 30,000 consumers from the  U.S. and Canada who will be attending the show.

Show Chairman Dan Saltzgiver, an RV and park model dealer from Hanover, Pa., promises a “fabulous” show this year, with at least 20% more products than last year’s show.

Sponsored by the 368-member Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), the show will cover 1.6 million square feet of display space.

The park model manufacturers displaying this year are Bridgeview Manufacturing Co. Inc., Cavco Industries Inc., Canterbury Recreational Park Homes, Chariot Eagle Inc., CrossRoads RV, Dutch Park Homes Inc., Fairmont Park Trailers, Kropf Industries Inc., Silver Top Manufacturing Co. Inc., The Barnyard and Woodland Park Inc.

Park models are among the most unique products to be featured at the show because you don’t drive them and you don’t tow them. Retailing for about $40,000, these are cottage-like units with peaked shingled roofs, bay windows and lofts that people use as weekend retreats and vacation homes.

Because they have wheels and sit on a chassis, they are classified as recreational vehicles, so they can be placed in scenic campgrounds and RV resorts, which are often off limits to both mobile and manufactured homes.

The show is important for manufacturers, dealers, vendors and park owners as the show features the first look at 2011 products.

“I’m hoping we get a little shot in the arm at Hershey,” said Brad Bryant, owner of Bryant’s RV Showcase Inc. in Dallas, Pa.

The Hershey show is the first chance consumers will see many of the new models. Manufacturers often show their new units at Hershey, and then give them a final tweak before the annual National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky., the week after Thanksgiving. “It’s good for me and it’s good for the whole industry,” Bryant said.

That’s why Saltzgiver and Bryant and other park model dealers expect a good show and are hoping to write some orders.

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Another Banner Year for Hershey RV Show?

August 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Hershey Show promo coverOrganizers of the 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, America’s largest RV show, are looking for this year’s Hershey Show to give the RV industry – RV parks and campgrounds, manufacturers and their suppliers included – the kick it needs to continue digging out of the forgettable recession of 2008-09.

The U.S. economy has not leaped back into good health as quick as many had hoped this year, but the Hershey Show is coming along like gangbusters.

Fifty-three manufacturers showing 900 RVs along with 120 vendors will be on hand for Industry Days, Sept. 13-14, and Public Days, Sept. 15-19, at Hersheypark Entertainment & Resorts Complex in Hershey, Pa. The show, sponsored by the 368-member Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle & Camping Association (PRVCA), will cover 1.6 million square feet of display space.

“The show is going to be fabulous,” veteran RV dealer and longtime show chairman Dan Saltzgiver told “We’re more than 20% ahead of where we were when the show went off last year.”

The park model village, annually the nation’s largest display of recreational park trailers, is sold out and will feature some 30 units.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the show, which draws consumers from across the eastern U.S. and Canada and again this year will serve as a venue for Home & Garden TV (HGTV), which is returning to film its annual special “RV 2011” at the show. According to the program’s producer, the show is one of HGTV’s most watched specials.

“HGTV’s access to America’s largest RV show in Hershey, Pa., is valuable to creating the network’s annual special about RVs,” said Bill Myers, director of original programming at HGTV. “HGTV’s ‘RV 2011,’ which will premiere next spring, will feature exciting new RV trends, the latest models and features that our viewers are eager to see.”

“We are always excited that HGTV chooses to film their program at America’s largest RV show,” said PRVCA Vice President Rebecca “Becky” Lenington. “It’s a great way for everyone to see what’s new and exciting in the world of RVing.”

The Hershey Show, by the same token, is important for manufacturers, dealers, vendors and park owners as it often provides a first look at 2011 products, including recreational park trailers.

As of today (Aug. 24) here are the manufacturers registered to exhibit at the show:

  • Born Free Motorcoach Inc.
  • Bridgeview Mfg. LLC
  • Carriage Inc.
  • Cavco Inc.
  • Chariot Eagle Inc.
  • Coachmen Division of Forest River Inc.
  • Columbia Northwest Inc./Aliner
  • Crossroads RV
  • Cruiser RV LLC
  • Damon Motor Coach
  • Direct RV Inc.
  • Dutch Park Homes Inc.
  • Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.
  • Dynamax Corp.
  • Earthbound RV LLC
  • Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC
  • Fairmont Park Trailers
  • Fleetwood RV Inc.
  • Forest River Inc.
  • Four Winds International
  • Galileo RV
  • Glacier Bay RV
  • Gulf Stream Coach Inc.
  • Heartland RV
  • Jayco Inc.
  • Keystone RV Co.
  • Kropf Industries Inc.
  • Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.
  • Legacy RV LLC
  • Monaco RV LLC
  • New Horizons RV Corp.
  • Newmar Corp.
  • NuWa Industries Inc.
  • Open Range RV Co.
  • Palomino Puma
  • Peterson Industries Inc.
  • Phoenix USA Inc.
  • Pleasure-Way Industries Ltd.
  • Prime Time Manufacturing/Forest River Inc.
  • Renegade/Kibbi Inc.
  • Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc.
  • Rocky Mountain Inc.
  • Silver Top Manufacturing Co. Inc.
  • Skyline Corp.
  • Sunnybrook RV Inc.
  • Sunset Park and RV Inc.
  • The Barn Yard
  • Tiffin Motor Homes Inc.
  • TrailManor Inc.
  • Triple E LLC/Leisure Travel Vans
  • Winnebago Industries Inc.
  • Woodland Park Inc.
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Hershey Show Space Demand Up 119%

May 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

With 52 manufacturers and 91 booth vendors represented, space sales for the 42nd Annual Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show Sept., 13-19, in Hershey, Pa., were up 119% when show space was drawn Tuesday (May 4).

“RVs will once again be rolling into Pennsylvania,” said Rebecca Lenington, executive vice president of the sponsoring Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA).

The show is billed as the largest of its kind in the U.S. The drawing was helld at Hershey Lodge and allowed manufacturer and vendor representatives to draw for their location in the show at Hersheypark.

The Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association, will take place at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. Sept. 13-19.

The show incorporates both Industry and Public Days to create a true hybrid show. During industry days there is no waiting in lines to talk to manufacturer representatives making it one of Hershey’s best kept secret. “It’s a great way to talk to customers one-on-one and provides good quality time to talk with others in the industry,” Lori Morrow of Keller Marine and RV says.

“The Hershey Show is what we use to introduce our products. Dealers that come are the first to see them,” John Soard of Fairmont Park Trailers says. “We usually also have strong retail days as well. The show has the largest display of park trailers. If people are serious about park trailers, Hershey is the place to be.”

“A tremendous base of our customers, both dealers and consumers, are in the East Coast and the products we sell should be represented at Hershey,” said Jeff Thomas of Newmar Corp.

First-time exhibitor Natalie Cassarella of Sundance Vacations explains her reasons for exhibiting in the show. “People behind the trade aspect of the show are also our target market. Lots of our vendors are from the Harrisburg area and our products are of value to them so we decided to be a part of the show,” she said.

“The exposure for any company at the Hershey show is outstanding and you reap the rewards all year long. It’s great for us because we service both dealers and consumers making Hershey’s hybrid show a great match for our target market,” Vicki Loesch of Tobin Associates says.

Public Days also provide many benefits to exhibitors. Kevin Horoky of Keystone RV Co., said, “The Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show provides good exposure for companies in the RV industry. It gives retail customers the chance to see all classes from pop ups to diesel products.”

The show also provides quality education events for attendees and exhibitors. This year Industry Days have taken on a new format. The early morning breakfasts have been replaced with luncheons featuring high profile speakers and a celebrity meet and greet. Each Industry Day will offer a refreshing break from 11:30 a.m. –  1 p.m. so that exhibitors and attendees can attend the luncheons and benefit from the valuable seminars.

“I am looking forward to the changes made to the industry days’ program. We are excited have Scott McKain who has spoken to Fortune 500 companies and will provide an important message that is relevant to all aspects of the RV industry. Randy Sobel is returning with a valuable message that relates to all show exhibitors and attendees on how to thrive in this new market,” Show Chairman Dan Saltzgiver says.

The Industry Days Education Format:

  • Randy Sobel’s Market Update: Selling Effectively in Today’s New Market – Communicate at the highest level with your customers and private appointments for manufacturers and dealers to get motivated for retail days.
  • Scott McKain: The Collapse of Distinction: How to Differentiate Yourself in a Crowded Marketplace.
  • Mean Joe Greene: Celebrity Meet & Greet.
  • Grayson Schwepfinger: How to Covert Calls to Appointment and Telephone Etiquette.
  • Bill Garpow: How to Obtain Federal Loans to Finance Park Trailers as Rentals.
  • Barb Darkes & Don Busey: PA Compliance Seminars.
  • Suzanne Mark: Customer SeRVice.
  • Gary Bunzer: The Attitude of Troubleshooting and Packaging the Service Department.

This year’s free industry party has also been updated.

“We’re looking forward to another stellar year, “Lenington says. “We’re just getting started with space sales, and our focus groups tell us the improvements to our industry format are just what dealers and campground owners look for in the total trade package. And, on the lighter side, the new table games at Hollywood Casino won’t hurt either.”

For more information visit

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OEM Exhibitor Roster Grows to 60 for Hershey Show

September 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 


West view of 2008 Hershey Show

West view of 2008 Hershey Show

Three more RV manufacturers, including a recent start-up firm, have signed up to display new products at the  41st Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show Sept. 14-20 in Hershey, Pa.

This brings to 60 the number of OEMs participating in the show, according to Heather Leach, marketing and education director for the  Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), sponsors of the show.

The most recent additions are Microlite Trailer, Palomino RV (a Forest River Inc. company) and Galileo, the start-up company based in Howe, Ind., she reported.

In addition to the  60 U.S. and Canadian RV manufacturers, 112 booth vendors also are exhibiting. 

“Last year we had 75 manufacturers and 140 booth vendors. So we would be behind compared to last year, but we are still very happy about it being that there are several manufacturers that are no longer in the industry,” Leach told RVBUSINESS.COM.

She doesn’t expect any additional OEMs to commit to the show, but it is possible that more booth vendors will sign up, she said.

“We’ve been very excited to receive numerous exhibitors very late in the show’s registration season. Many are brand new manufacturers making their product debut at the Hershey Show and we are very pleased to have their presence at this year’s show. We feel it a good indicator that the industry continues to gain strength as the year progresses.”

The show will be staged at Hersheypark Entertainment & Resorts Complex in Hershey and will cover more than 1.6 million square feet of display space. 

Nearly 30,000 people are expected to attend the show, which draws consumers from across the Eastern U.S. and Canada.

The show is important for manufacturers, dealers, vendors and park owners as the show features the first look at one site 2010 products. 

For more information contact the PRVCA at (800) 303-2887.

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10 Additional OEMs to Exhibit at Hershey RV Show

August 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

hershey-rv-show-logo-2009The unexpected, last-minute sign-up of 10 additional manufacturers has brought to 55 the number of OEMs displaying RVs at the 41st Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show Sept. 14-20 in Hershey, Pa. The Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA) sponsors the show which has become the nation’s largest RV show.

“It is definitely not normal for manufacturers to still be coming in this close to the start of the show,” Heather Leach, PRVCA marketing and education director, told today (Aug. 10). “However, we are thrilled that they are and are optimistic that it is an indicator that the industry is picking up.”

She was waiting word this week from yet two other major manufacturers, which would bring the total to 57.

The 10 exhibitors who recently signed on to display product at the show are:

  • Cozy Traveler
  • Cruiser RV LLC
  • Dynamax Corp.
  • Evergreen Recreational Vehicles LLC
  • Gulf Stream Coach Inc.
  • Riverside RV
  • Sierra Motor Corp.
  • Silver Crown Coach
  • Space Craft Manufacturing Inc.
  • Sunset Park and RV Inc.

The show will be staged at Hersheypark Entertainment & Resorts Complex in Hershey and will cover more than 1.6 million square feet of display space. In addition to the  55 U.S. and Canadian RV manufacturers, 98 vendors also are exhibiting. 

Nearly 30,000 people are expected to attend the show, which draws consumers from across the Eastern U.S. and Canada.

The show is important for manufacturers, dealers, vendors and park owners as the show features the first look at one site 2010 products. 

For more information contact the PRVCA at (800) 303-2887.

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45 OEMs Set to Display Products at Hershey RV Show

July 23, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

view_west_of_giant_center_12The 41st Annual Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show, America’s largest RV show, runs Sept. 14-20 at Hersheypark Entertainment & Resorts Complex in Hershey, Pa. Sponsored by the 368-member Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association (PRVCA), it covers 1.6 million square feet of display space and will features products from at least 45 U.S. and Canadian RV and recreational park trailer manufacturers plus 87 vendors.

Nearly 30,000 people are expected to attend the show, which draws consumers from across the Eastern U.S. and Canada. On trade days, Sept. 14-15, campground owners and dealers may visit the displays and meet with manufacturer reps. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16-20 are public days.

“We are allowing 20% of the manufacturer’s display to be untitled 2009s,” explained Heather Leach, PRVCA marketing and education director. “This year we are trying focus on the fact that our trade days are Hershey’s best kept secret – there’s no waiting to see your manufacturer rep.”

“It is a show of major importance,” adds Dave Burroughs, North American sales manager for Woodland Park Inc. of Middlebury, Ind., one of 11 recreational park trailer or park model manufacturers set to exhibit their 2010 product at the show’s park model village. “It definitely showcases our product, especially on the East Coast. It is a good show for that. It would be nice if we had this kind of show in a few other areas of the U.S.”

Leach says registration for exhibitor and booth spaces has been strong, with several manufacturers upping their space in recent weeks. “It (the economy) is not so bad and they’re buying more space,” she speculated. “We’ll sell space until the start of the show.”

PRVCA, which derives 92% of its annual revenue from the weeklong show, has upped its advertising budget to extract the biggest possible turnout, Leach noted.

Park models are among the unique products to be featured at Hershey each year, and at least 30 different models will be on display, according to Leach. Among the exhibiting RV manufacturers, with park trailer builders highlighted, are:

  • Born Free Motorcoach
  • Breckenridge Park Trailers
  • Carriage Inc.
  • Chariot Eagle Inc.
  • Cinq-Mars Industries Inc.
  • Classy Vehicle Specialties Inc.
  • Coachmen Division of Forest River
  • Columbia Northwest/Aliner
  • Crossroads RV
  • Damon Motor Coach
  • DNA Enterprises
  • DRV Luxury Suites
  • Dutch Park Homes Inc.
  • Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.
  • Entegra Coach
  • Fairmont Park Trailers
  • Forest River Inc.
  • Four Winds International
  • Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp.
  • Glendale RV
  • Heartland RV
  • Hy-Line Enterprises Holdings Inc.
  • Jayco Inc.
  • Keystone RV Co.
  • Kropf Industries Inc.
  • KZ RV
  • Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.
  • Leisure Travel Vans
  • Livin’ Lite
  • New Horizons RV Corp.
  • Open Range RV Co.
  • Peterson Industries
  • Phoenix USA Inc.
  • Pleasure-Way Industries
  • Renegade Coaches &
  • Trailers/Kibbi Inc.
  • Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc.
  • Silver Top Manufacturing Co. Inc.
  • Starcraft RV
  • Sunnybrook RV Inc.
  • The Barn Yard
  • Tiffin Motor Homes
  • TrailManor Inc.
  • Triple E Recreational Vehicles
  • Winnebago Industries Inc.
  • Woodland Park Inc.

lower_levelA Strong Vendor Show

Vendors also count on the Hershey Show to make important sales pitches to a large audience. Skip Deegans, owner of Anderson’s Brochure Distribution Service, Lewisburg, W. Va., has been attending the show in Hershey (and Harrisburg before that) for more than 20 years. The firm distributes brochures for campgrounds, RV parks and some tourists associations as well as camping directories for several states and Canadian provinces. It is one of two major such distributors on the East Coast.

“This is really an important show,” said Deegans, noting that his booth is always staffed and never put on “autopilot.”

“It’s really the first time campers get a peek at the new models,” he continued, adding that that’s the reason Hershey draws from such a wide area. “The timing also is very interesting. We get a lot of snowbirds looking for information where to go in the winter, and we’re still getting people looking to camp in the fall. We feel it’s an important show to be at.”

Education Seminars

Besides the trade show, PRVCA has brought together a number of noted speakers to discuss current topics. The list includes:

Monday, Sept. 14:

  • Leading Edge Breakfast with Randy Sobel – “20 New Sales Techniques for Today’s Changing Market”
  • “Park Trailers As Part of Your Campground Inventory” with Linda Profaizer of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and Bill Garpow of the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA)
  •  “RV Technician Distance Learning” with Gary Bunzer, focusing on programs available through Northampton Community College and PRVCA.

Tuesday, Sept. 15

  • Red Carpet Breakfast with NFL legend Jerome Bettis, themed “Choices That Make Champions” and featuring Jerome Bettis, AKA “The Bus,” a former running back for Notre Dame and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bettis is considered one of the best big backs of his era and is fifth on the National Football League’s all-time rushing list. Join “The Bus” as he presents his message on how the choices one makes can influence their life.

The Annual Meet & Greet Auction to support PRVCA’s PAC Fund will be held after Bettis’ message. Bid on an autographed football and get a chance to meet the football legend. A limited number of autographed photos will be available for purchase at $30. Attendees may also bring personal items to be autographed (footballs $160 and photographs $80).

Wednesday, Sept. 16

Sales Rally with Randy Sobel 

bowser-logo-21Among the other planned Hershey activities is a traditional Monday night industry party, which starts this year at 4 p.m. and features Bowzer’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Party. 

Consumer Education

The Recreation Vehicle Education Safety Foundation (RVSEF) will take on an expanded role educating consumers about RVs and the RV lifestyle during a Sept. 13-16 clinic prior to the show.

“The number of RVers attending rallies is down, but the percentage of people attending our weighing and driving seminars actually is up,” said

Walter Cannon, executive director of the Merrit Island, Fla.-based RVSEF. Seminars will be presented by Workhorse Custom Chassis Inc.,

Spartan Chassis Inc., Freightliner Custom Chassis Inc., Cummins Inc.’s Onan generator division and Gary Motley of Motley RV Repair, Oklahoma City, Okla., in addition to the Geeks on Tour, who will teach Internet-related subjects, Nick Russell, publisher of Gypsy Journal, an unusual RV lifestyle magazine, and Mac Mcoy, will instruct on fire and personal safety.

The RVSEF clinic at the Wildwood Conference Center at Harrisburg (Pa.) Community College, in manner of speaking, will fill a vacancy left by the poplar Life On Wheels program, which shut its door in October following the passing of founder and RV lifestyle advocate Gaylord Maxwell.

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HGTV Returns to Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show

July 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

largest_show_with_yearHGTV (Home & Garden TV) will once again be filming its annual special RV 2010 at the Pennsylvania RV & Camping Show Sept. 16-20 at the GIANT Center in Hershey Pa.

According to the program’s producer, the show is one of HGTV’s most watched specials.

This year, HGTV is looking to feature real families as they explore hundreds of RVs on display at the show, according to a news release. Each family would be filmed over the course of a single day as they look at vehicles, try out new features and talk to the camera about their experiences giving viewers a consumer perspective on the RVs rather than just one of a salesperson.

Three families, with or without children, will be chosen.  The most important trait is a fun outgoing personality; however having an interest in and knowledge of the RV world is a plus.

People interested in this opportunity may e-mail the producer, Matt Carter, at and include their name, age, location, a description of their family and a recent photo.

For a complete list of exhibiting RV manufacturers, accessories and free seminars, visit

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