Some 36,000 people attended the Ohio RV Supershow Jan. 9-13 at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where sales were reported relatively strong by Detroit area-based General RV and manufacturer Jayco Inc., Middlebury, Ind.
”There definitely was a lot of positive customer sentiment,” said Loren Baidas, General RV president, whose company has 10 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Illinois and Utah. ”Sales were up slightly from last year. Across the board, we had good retail action.”
Traffic at the first major 2013 retail show left Baidas ”pessimistically optimistic” about the potential for sales this year.
”At this point there will be some opportunities for a little growth,” he said. ”I hope the market is up 5% to 10%.”
More than 600 RVs were on display at the show, billed by its promoters — Tm Show Productions, Kent, Ohio — as ”America’s Largest Indoor RV Show.”
”The show was bigger this year,” said promoter Paula Messersmith. ”There were a lot of good prospects on the floor and the dealers thought it was a pretty good show.”
Pat Carroll, director of product development for Jayco’s Motorized Group, said sales were stronger than the Ohio show last year.
”We did a lot better,” Carroll said. ”There were a lot of families there, but traffic was very heavy for all ages. Medium- and low-priced travel trailers sold the best.”
The increased Ohio Supershow attendance ”was a good sign for the industry,” Carroll said.
Region One of the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) will host its Annual Fall Recreation Vehicle Show at the Lee County Sports Complex in south Lee County, Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
According to a press release, the “Fall Clean-Out RV Show” will feature seven local dealers displaying new and used inventory to make room for new 2013 models.
“This admission-free event is the association’s way of saying ‘thanks’ to the public for supporting us throughout the year,” said Dan Wylie, president of Region One. “By sponsoring these shows, the trade association allows the public to view lots of RVs in one place.”
The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days. Admission and parking are free for everyone and on-site financing will be available to qualified buyers.
For more information visit www.FRVTA.org/rv-shows.
New Jersey RV dealers reported strong sales during the 3rd Annual NJRVDA Fall RV Expo, held September 21-23 at Six Flags Great Adventure, a new location for the show.
According to a press release, sales were up approximately 20% compared to previous years with many first-time buyers taking advantage of aggressive pricing from the dealers at the show, hosted by the New Jersey Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (NJRVDA).
Organizers said that dealers were upbeat on the move to Six Flags as the venue would allow the event to grow year by year while also offering attendees the opportunity to enjoy the Fall events at the amusement park.
D.P. Ball Advertising of Chardon, Ohio, handled the marketing initiative for the second year in a row and reported that participating dealers agreed that, because of show’s success, they will continue to offer show deals on their lots through Oct. 20.
Sales were across-the-board with lightweight trailers and fifth-wheels rating as the most popular purchases while motorhomes dealers also experienced strong sales.
“The momentum is there and dealers are prepared to continue to offer buyers bargains in order to clear out both new and pre-owned inventory from their dealerships in time for new factory orders that will be arriving in the winter,” said Ball, who has specialized in advertising for RV dealers for nearly three decades.
The 29th Annual Portland Fall RV & Van Show, featuring dozens of manufacturers and 15 dealers, is set to run Sept. 13-16 at the Portland Expo Center.
The event, produced by O’Loughlin Trade Shows, will be marking its 29th year and has evolved into one of the premier shows on the West Coast, according to a press release. In addition to all-new 2013 product along with pre-owned units, the show will offer destination experts, travel resources and an array of accessory exhibitors.
New product introductions include:
• B Young RV: The dealer will be showcasing the new 32-foot Allegro Breeze from Tiffin Motorhomes Inc. The coach gets solid fuel economy and is equipped with two sliderooms and a unique floorplan.
• Apache Camping Center: Apache is featuring the Artic Fox line of campers and will be unveiling the 10,000th camper at the show. Oregon-based Northwood Manufacturing Inc. will be offering the Milestone Edition of the 990 Arctic Fox.
• Paul Everts RV Country: New units from Pacific Coachworks will be shown, including the Powerlight and Panther trailers and Extreme Warrior toy hauler.
• Johnson RV: The dealer will be displaying a broad range of new product, including Leisure Travel, Jayco, Fleetwood, Pleasure Way, Roadtrek and Open Range brands.
Hours for the show are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. For more information please visit www.otshows.com
The New Jersey RV Dealers Association (NJRVDA) is moving to a larger venue for the third running of its regional RV show.
According to a press release, the Sept. 21-23 Fall RV Expo will be held at the Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J. Six Flags is the largest amusement park in the Northeast with easy access from the New Jersey Turnpike.
“This is a perfect location to broaden our audience to those who live in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware and even Maryland,” said Walter Hynes, NJRVDA president. “Everyone in this region knows Six Flags Great Adventure and realizes how easy it is to reach.”
The NJRVDA is banking on the fact that consumers prefer to purchase closer to home in order to establish service relationships with local dealers.
“Recent history shows that service can be a logistic problem for orphan customers who make purchases hundreds of miles from home,” said Hynes. “We have seen that our show has been a win/win situation for the customers, dealers and the manufacturers.”
Dealers will be showcasing a full line of towables and motorhomes from prominent manufacturers. For more information, call (888) 657-8332.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 60th Annual California RV Show, taking place Oct. 12–21 at the Fairplex in Pomona, will feature increased RV exhibit space and several enhancements to improve the show experience for attendees.
This year’s show will cover 523,000 square feet of exhibit space, well over the 467,000 square feet at the 2011 event. More than 925 RVs will be on display, including 150 RVs available for test drives by interested consumers.
The 60th California RV Show will also offer a number of elements and enhancements to inform, entertain and engage attendees, including:
• New Show Layout – A new floorplan will be unveiled this year that features one attendee entry point rather than four. A new mock campground and exhibitor tent will greet attendees upon entrance before they move onto the main show floor.
• Extended Show Hours and Admission Pricing – Show hours will be extended by two hours on Fridays and Saturdays with the show open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The later hours will create a night-time camping atmosphere with the RVs being displayed with their lights on. Show hours will continue to be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday. The daily show admission will remain at $10. Attendees can also purchase a wristband for $15 that provides for admission throughout the 10-day show. Also, military personnel will be admitted at no charge this year following a $4 discount in admission price last year.
• Buy “N” Drive – Also new this year, guests who purchase an RV at the show will be able to take delivery of their RV the very next afternoon rather than needing to wait for a later delivery date. This also limits additional foot traffic in the RV and allows the consumer to begin RVing sooner.
• The RV Factory Showcase – The different RV product types will be showcased in this popular area with RV manufacturer representatives on hand to meet with attendees and present product demonstrations showing how RVs work. There will be 10 product demonstrations in the McMahon’s RV seminar tent.
• California RV Show App – In addition to the show website at www.carvshow.com, a new app for Apple and Android devices will be available in mid-August to provide a new level of show interactivity. Users will be able to view the RVs that will be on display as well as obtain information on seminars and other show events.
• Scavenger Hunt – The app will also feature a show scavenger hunt. Users can enjoy taking specific show pictures as directed by their smart phone and win prizes, including Starbucks gift cards, movie passes and Shell gas cards.
• 60th anniversary celebration – To celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary, special edition cupcakes will be given out free to the first 1,500 customers on opening day.
• Entertainment and seminars – The show will once again feature of number of entertainment options for attendees, including celebrity autograph sessions with off-road racers Jeremy McGrath and Corey Weller at the Eclipse RV display on Oct 13.
• Access to Dr. Phil Show taping – Guests staying at the on-site KOA will be loading up the bus and attending the taping of the Dr. Phil Show on Oct. 18.
• Kids’ Corner – Continued from last year there is a Kids Corner where families can take a break from the show. New this year will be the pumpkin patch where kids can paint their very own pumpkin.
• Daily RV Prizes – Camping World, Roadtrek Motorhomes and Temecula RV will be giving away daily prizes inside the exhibitor tent.
For more information about the California RV Show, visit www.TheBestRVShow.com or “Like” the event on the show’s Facebook page – California RV Show. For any questions, contact Tom Gaither, Western RV show director, or Show Coordinator Gloria Reeder at 818-248-6600.
Organizers reported record numbers for the Central Jersey RV show last weekend at the PNC Bank Arts Center.
“Attendance was up over 100%, reaching nearly 3,000 attendees over the three days,” Walter Hynes, general manager of Scott Motor Coach in Lakewood, said in a press release. He added that sunny skies and cool temperatures contributed to the attendance surge.
“We have not seen this much buying confidence in years,” Hynes added. “Sales were phenomenal.” To date, 40 RVs were sold over the three-day event with dealers anticipating residual sales.
In addition, more than 3,300 pounds of nonperishable food was collected for the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Hynes noted that advertising and media promotion for the event was handled by D.P. Ball Advertising.
Editor’s Note: Today’s video is from WNDU, South Bend, Ind., offering a rundown of last weekend’s RV show at the Hall of Fame hosted by local dealers. Below is an accompanying story.
More than 500 people stopped in Elkhart, Ind., for an RV Show over the weekend, signaling the industry is starting to turn around.
WNDU TV reported that several Elkhart RV dealers hosted the event at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum Friday (April 27) through Sunday.
“Things are starting to turn around,” said Elkhart RV Center Sales Manager Scot Moody. “Production’s starting to pick up, the retail customers are starting to come back out, we’re starting to see more retail traffic.”
It seems one of the industries hit hardest during the recession is making one of the strongest comebacks in Elkhart County.
Several folks actually purchased RVs at the show over the weekend.
“Everything’s been selling,” Moody said. “We’ve got everything from a high end fifth wheel for $100,000 down to a travel trailer that’s $9,999. Anything you want you can get for the family.”
Moody says part of the reason for the turnaround is simple math.
Families are buying RVs so trips to local destinations seem like vacations – and they’re saving a lot of cash in the long run.
“We can cook our own meals on the spot, so we’re actually saving money as opposed to going hoteling,” said RV owner Mark T. Stuber.
But in order to make a full recovery in the new economy, RV manufacturers are having to change the way they do business and find ways to make the gas guzzling vehicles cheaper to drive.
“It needs to be light enough that you’re not running 25,000 pounds down the road because weight costs fuel economy,” Stuber said.
Region One of the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) returns for its 17th annual RV show at the Lee County Sports Complex/Hammond Stadium in south Fort Myers, according to a press release.
Nelda Iacono, president of Region One, reported that the April 20-22 event will feature 11 dealers from throughout Florida’s Gulf Coast displaying a wide selection of new and used recreation vehicles of all styles, brands and price ranges. RV suppliers also will be on hand with financing for qualified buyers available.
“This event is held just before the summer traveling season, so consumers can make their plans to see our great nation,” Nelda explains. “Dealers also need to reduce their inventory from the busy winter season, so prices for new and used RVs have been reduced as well.”
FRVTA said that financing for both dealer inventory and qualified buyers has improved, resulting in a market that has seen RV sales markedly recover for both new and used merchandise.
“Statistics continue to show that an RV vacation is much less expensive than other vacation travel options, even when a purchase is factored in,” Nelda explained. “Even with the recent increase in fuel costs, an RV vacation is still a bargain.”
Visit www.FRVTA.org/rv-shows for more information.
The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) reported that numbers have been strong at the eight regional shows held throughout the state this year.
According to a press release, the show season kicked off with the Fort Myers RV Show in January. Marking its 27th year, the event featured 15 Gulf Coast dealers along with over 100 vendors. Show Chairman Chris Morse reported heavy traffic of over 11,500 attendees along with steady sales by participating dealers. “While customer traffic was very good, our dealer body was very pleased with the many sales made at the show and afterwards,” he said.
Results from other shows included:
• The Ocala RV Show, held the last week in January, drew over 5,300 people despite a day of rain on Friday and moving to a new location this year. “This was the first year at the new location adjacent to the Super Flea Market, which gave us great visibility from I-75,” said FRVTA Marketing Director Dave Kelly. “It’s easier to get to and we are closer to town than the old location. I believe we would have had a better crowd if not for the big accident on I-75 on Sunday morning.”
• The Jacksonville RV Show returned for the third year to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “We used a new promotion to prompt visitors to go to every dealer and get a card stamped that made them eligible for a drawing every hour for a $50 gas card,” said Region 6 President Tom Tibbitts. “This not only got people to visit every dealer, it also gave every dealer the chance to interact with every visitor.”
• The Central Florida RV Show, held at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand the third weekend of February, was impacted by poor weather and competing with the new dates for the Daytona 500. “We really felt the effects of the new dates for the Daytona 500 and the bad weather didn’t do us any favors either,” said Ken Prentiss, Region 4 President. “We will be addressing these concerns at our next meeting to make sure we don’t get into the same situation next year.”
• The 6th Annual Spring Clean-out RV Show took place the last weekend in February. The admission-free event is held in conjunction with an annual home and garden show at Germain Arena, which is situated along I-75 and adjacent to a large outlet mall. Beautiful weather drew an increased patron count of more than 3,500 attendees over three days to see new and used product from seven dealers. “This event is designed to attract those undecided customers from our January event,” explained Show Manager Jack Carver. “We also target the many RVers in the Naples-area market where no RV Dealers are located.”
• The Destin Commons RV Show was held in the parking lot at the Destin Commons Mall in front of the Bass Pro Shops which drew a lot of outdoor enthusiasts. This show is free to the public so there is no record of actual attendance. The three participating dealers even had good crowds during the set up of the show. “I think we all sold something even before the show opened on Thursday,” said Region 5 President Neal Stewart. “We are looking at other facilities that will allow us to set up a paid gate.”
• The West Palm Beach RV Show was staged during the second week of March. Held in the parking lot of the South Florida Fairgrounds, this show had about the same attendance as last year in spite of rain on three of the four days. Over 4,500 people attended the event over the weekend with most of the dealers reporting good sales.
• The final show in March was the Tampa Bay Spring RV Show held in the middle of the month at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Moving the show from last year’s Plant City site proved to be a winning strategy as the event, which drew 2,500 last year, attracted close to 3,000 consumers over the four days of the show. Additionally, great weather and an aggressive ad campaign added up to a busy weekend.
The FRVTA will stage two more RV Shows this season before wrapping things up. The 17th Annual RV SuperSaver Show in Fort Myers in mid-April and the Stuart RV Show in May are expected to continue drawing consumers interested in the RV Lifestyle.
For more information, contact the FRVTA at 813-741-0488 or www.frvta.org.