Boaters, campers and recreational vehicle enthusiasts flocked in droves yesterday to look at the latest means to escape the everyday rat races via the outdoors at the 2011 Worcester (Mass.) RV, Boat and Camping Show at the DCU Center, the Worcester Telegram reported.
Bob and Karen Chapman of Auburn brought their children, Aaron, 14, and Tiffany, 11, to the show. After hours of strolling through the exhibition hall, Chapman confessed that he was more interested in the prospect of an RV trailer now than before attending the show.“We’re just looking, first time; don’t know if we would ever get one,” Chapman said. “Whether it becomes a reality, time will see.”
Ever since he bought a new Dodge truck that was big enough to tow an RV trailer, Chapman has been seriously thinking about doing just that.
Chapman said the experience of looking at RVs is more encouraging than anything else, and his daughter, Tiffany, has already picked out Yellowstone as the family’s first destination if they make such a purchase.
Michael Flagg, owner of Flagg RV, which has locations in West Boylston, Uxbridge and North Smithfield, R.I., said his company sold eight RVs at yesterday’s show. When it comes to RVs, Flagg insisted that most people don’t think about the economy, especially when it’s time to take a vacation.
“You only have so many vacations in a year. You worked all year. You want to go away for a couple of weeks. You want to bring your family. You’re going to do it,” Flagg said. “And for a couple of hundred bucks a month, they can get an RV and bring it down the Cape.”
Camping enthusiasts Charlie and Nancy Gage of Westboro came looking for pop-up trailers. They almost left with a prefabricated house.
“We had our popup, but the mice ate it,” Nancy Gage said. “So we just got ourselves some new canvas, and we’re going to go camping again this summer.”
“We’ve been camping in every sort of hardtop, tent and popup for over 25 years,” Charlie Gage added. “We got to think of something more permanent, something that you can go to and it will already be there.”
Despite not being in the market for a new RV or boat, Bud and Patty Leonhardt of Fitchburg are regular tradeshow goers.
“We’ve owned boats for quite awhile,” Bud Leonhardt said. “We come just to see what’s new in boating.”
Leonhardt said he has felt the impact of rising gasoline prices when it comes to boats. For instance, eight hours of waterskiing can easily use 20 gallons (or $80 worth) of gas, he said.
“We used to always foot for all the full fuel tanks,” Leonhardt said. “Now, we’re asking when the kids come down, because they’re grown, bring some fuel.”