Why You Should Attend an RV Rally

Attending an RV rally can be a great learning experience

RV rallies are wonderful ways to connect with other RVers, to become a part of the RV community and to sharpen your RV skills, develop more practical, on-the-road and camping knowledge, and to truly enhance your RV lifestyle.

There are different types and sizes of rallies. Large national rallies are hosted by Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA).

Freightliner rally © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are brand club rallies for owners of a specific brand of RV. In addition to a major annual RV rally, some of these RV clubs and manufacturers host regional events. And there are numerous local chapters of various types that may hold RV rallies throughout the year.

As a general rule, the larger the RV rally, the more activities and scheduled events. Chapter rallies typically center on the gathering of a smaller group yet often include side trips, activities, door prizes and so on. The cost to attendees will vary too, depending on the size and location of the rally, the cost of camping, and what is included. Sometimes meals are part of the RV rally price, sometimes not.

There are rallies for families with kids who travel fulltime, rallies for people with common interests, and even rallies specifically for, say, Newmar owners. No matter who you are, there is an RV rally for you, and here are some of the reasons you should make a point to attend.

Rally entertainment © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Experience community

The most valuable thing a rally can offer is community. When traveling, it’s not unheard of to go weeks or even months without a good friend, let alone a group of them.

Rallies bring together groups of like-minded people who enjoy the same sorts of activities and give them time to socialize. Obviously, this builds community quite quickly and often the rally attendees will end up staying together after the event to continue the nightly campfires, weekend potlucks, and group outings.

Considering the fact that it can be difficult to find a good solid community even in a stationary home, finding such a group in the RV world is an incredible thing that nobody should pass up.

FMCA regional rally in Indio, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Shared ideas

Good rallies can be a bed of great ideas. These can help us find work-arounds on issues we may be having with our RV. They can also provide cost-saving concepts when we find out how someone else is handling an issue we have been stumped by for weeks or months. We may even discover a way of doing something that saves us time or makes our lives just a little easier.

3. Learn new skills

Rallies usually include seminars, classes, and workshops. They might bring in speakers on any number of topics and attendees are welcome to join any event that interests them.

What this means is that everyone leaves the rally with a new skill set that can be applied to their RV lifestyle. From cooking lessons to lectures on solar power, you never know what kinds of learning opportunities you’ll find at a rally.

On top of those organized opportunities, many rally attendees also find themselves learning new things from fellow RVers. After all, if your new friend is an expert on RV roof repair and you know a lot about finding internet on the road, why wouldn’t you exchange knowledge?

Pets are always welcome at RV rallies © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Find new travel buddies

As mentioned before, rally attendees often hang around the same place and enjoy the company of one another in the days following the event. However, some of the more social RVers out there aren’t content to end the fun after a mere few weeks.

These individuals will use rallies to find friends to travel alongside for extended periods of time. Sometimes these travelers even go so far as to build a group of friends who then travel together as a caravan, sharing the benefits of community while still traveling.

5. See different rigs

I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested in seeing how other RVers live. Rallies are the perfect opportunity to do just that. Some rallies include a parade of homes in which attendees can show off their respective setups. Others feature a lot of brand-new rigs for rally participants to walk through.

That said, even if a rally has no such event, you can always ask to have a look around the homes of your new friends. Not only is this interesting and fun but it’s also a good way to get new ideas for how to organize and use your own space.

RV supplies are often demonstrated at RV rallies © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

6. Discover new hobbies

Some rallies are for folks with niche interests. However, not all rallies are so specific and those that cater to more eclectic mixes of people tend to provide awesome chances to discover new hobbies.

Chat with other RVers and find out what they do. Make a point of attending crafting or sporting events put on by the rally. Use the event to venture outside your comfort zone. After all, you probably don’t have much to lose in doing so and you might just gain a cool new passion you would never have thought to try on your own.

It’s a dog’s life at an RV show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Gather new recipes

Many rallies involve one or more potluck meals. What’s great about potlucks with other RVers is that you know any food you find and love can be made in a tiny RV kitchen. Many RVers are happy to share their recipes with others at the rally.

These are just some of the many, many reasons to attend an RV rally. If you’ve never been to one, seek one out and give it a try. I bet you’ll have a blast!

Worth Pondering…

Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.

—Frank Herbert

13 Tips for Attending an RV Show

I’ve lost count of how many RV shows we’ve attended. So, here are our expert tips for attending an RV show whether this is your first RV show or your hundredth.

Dania and I love attending RV shows. It’s a great way for us to stay up-to-date on the latest innovations in the RV community.

We also attend RV shows because we really enjoy them! We often run into fellow RVers we’ve met on the road and it’s a great place to make new friends, too.

The RV Show season starts in January and runs through late May. After summer break it picks up again in September and runs until almost Thanksgiving. To see a complete month-by-month RV show schedule see RV Show List for 2024.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV shows need not be intimidating

I know the thought of milling through a crowded convention center and parking lot can seem overwhelming to some. After all, it’s not uncommon to have to wait in lines to enter new models or have to squeeze through to see new RV products.

But the crowds aren’t always that bad. Plus, there’s a great deal you can do to prepare for an RV show before you arrive and before every day you attend.

I will share those tips with you so you can make the most of attending an RV show.

The following RV show tips will help whether you’re attending large RV shows known nationwide or local shows nearby. It doesn’t matter the size of the show or your purpose for visiting; they will help you have the best visit possible.

Of course, if you attend some of the larger shows like the Hershey America’s Largest RV Show, Florida RV SuperShow, or the FMCA Convention and RV Expo these tips turn into must-dos!

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Bring a pen or marker

I know the days of writing things down are dying but a pen or marker will really come in handy. Most RV dealers and vendor booths hand out flyers or brochures. So, it’s helpful to be able to write notes on them as you speak with the representative.

The writing utensil will also come in handy with Tip #3 below.

2. Arrive early

Arrive as soon as you can check-in. Many attendees tend to mosey in a couple to a few hours after the doors open. And that moseying quickly turns into long lines and people blocking your path as they try to figure out where to go.

Arriving early gives you a big head start that helps you stay ahead of the crowds of people all day.

Pro tip: You should also arrive at least 10 minutes early to seminars and presentations. You’d be surprised at how quickly these fill up.

FMCA International Rally, Perry, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Know the layout

Take some time to look at the map you received at registration to familiarize yourself with the giant center and outdoor spaces. Ideally, you can do this the night before or before the doors open. If that’s not possible at least do it before you walk off in a random direction.

It’s a good idea to mark the map with your trusty pen or marker from Tip #1. Highlight any of the must-see booths, newest models, and new products you really want to see.

As you do, the most efficient path to see everything you want will reveal itself. Don’t forget to factor in stopping for snacks and bathroom breaks. Mapping this out can save LOTS of time which is why I recommend the next tip, too…

4. Plan each day the night before

If you are attending one of the big RV shows that you can’t see in a day, I highly recommend you plan each day the night before. Take your map and pull up the show’s website to review the special events each day like educational seminars.

As you plan, you can consider whether or not you need to do the next tip.

It’s a dog’s world at the FMCA Indio, California show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Divide and conquer

If you’re worried you won’t get to everything you want to do, divide and conquer! You can cover different sections and attend different seminars. Then, you can share highlights with each other at the end of the day. This is another time when it helps to take notes with your trusty pen from Tip #1!

6. Schedule breaks

As you plan your day don’t forget to schedule in breaks. Look for nice places along your route that would be the best place to rest and mark it.

There are usually more chairs available near food vendors and seminar areas (where you can sit between seminars). You can also schedule a mid-day break when you return to your RV for lunch. This brings me to my next tip.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. Plan your meals

There will be lots of food around the show but it’s usually more expensive and sometimes less convenient than eating in your RV. So, when making your daily plan, consider where you want to eat and when.

8. Don’t overschedule

As you plan out all these things don’t overschedule yourself! Seriously, take your time! There is so much to see and enjoy that you don’t want to rush through it.

Trying to do too much in too little time is the surest way to turn a fun RV show into a frustrating experience.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. Enter drawings for giveaways

Most vendors give out small freebies like candies and pens. But, many vendors have drawings for RV accessories, free stays in RV resorts, and other big prizes.

Someone has to win. Why not you?!

Entering a giveaway usually means you’ll start receiving emails and maybe even snail mail from the company but it’s really not that bad. You can usually easily unsubscribe.

Many of these companies are small businesses so it’s not like they’re going to sell your contact information. They just want to send you future promotions which can get you a better deal on something you might want.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

10. Don’t buy the first thing

Don’t buy the first thing you see or think you need. Chances are, another vendor has the same item. You might be able to find it at a better price or choose from more styles and colors.

Mark possible purchases on your trusty map and circle back around to it if you decide to buy it. But don’t wait too long as some venders sell out.

11. Take pictures

Start with a fully-charged phone and keep it handy to take pictures throughout the day. It’ll help you keep track of things you want (either now or in the future). It’ll help you compare products and circle back around to your final decision.

12. Don’t be pressured to buy

This is an IMPORTANT TIP! Do not be pressured to buy that day. Quite a few sales reps will try to put time pressure on you to make the sale. Don’t give in to it.

In fact, if a salesman says, “This deal is only good for today” then you should probably walk away. In my opinion, that’s a red flag that the salesman is relying more on his salesmanship than giving you an honest good deal.

The best deal shouldn’t require you to buy a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, motorhome, or any RV by the end of the business day.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

13. Wear comfortable shoes

I’m going to end this list with a very practical and vital tip. Wear comfortable shoes! You’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing all day long.

The Hershey show which is America’s largest RV show is the size of 33 football fields! So, I highly recommend wearing some comfortable sneakers or even lightweight hiking shoes.

Worth Pondering…

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

—Benjamin Franklin

RV Show List for 2024

Each year, recreational vehicle associations and RV dealers put on RV shows throughout the United States and Canada. This is a round up schedule of RV Shows 2024 in chronological order. Most of these are standalone RV shows but some are part of a boat show, outdoor show, or RV rally.

Are you looking for an RV show? They are wonderful opportunities to discover the latest travel trailer and motorhome models. You can meet with dealers, tour various layouts, and maybe even score a great deal on your next camper. 

Whether you’re a newbie looking to buy your first travel trailer or a seasoned traveler with an upgrade on your mind RV shows can be very enjoyable and beneficial. 

Don’t forget about all the cool camping gear and gadgets. Dozens of vendors are usually in attendance to promote their camping goods, services, and products.  

I’ve compiled a list of RV shows across the nation we think you’re sure to love. Take a look and see what’s coming up in your area. 

Here is our list, organized by month.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

January 2024

NCRVDA RV Show–Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, January 4-7, 2024

Chicago RV Show, Schaumburg, Illinois, January 5-7, 2024

Ohio RV & Boat Show, Columbus, Ohio, January 5-14, 2024

Indy RV Expo, Indianapolis, Indiana, January 6-7 and 10-14, 2024

The Original Pittsburgh RV Show, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, January 6-14, 2024

Ohio RV Supershow, Cleveland, Ohio, January 10-14, 2024

OKC Boat, RV & Tackle Show, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, January 12-14, 2024

Bismarck Rec & Leisure Show, Bismarck, North Dakota, January 12-14, 2024

Annual RV & Campgrounds Show, Allentown, Pennsylvania, January 12-14, 2024

Florida RV SuperShow, Tampa, Florida, January 17-21, 2024

Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show, Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 18-21, 2024

St. Paul RV Supershow, St. Paul, Minnesota, January 18-21, 2024

Inland Northwest RV Show & Sale, Spokane, Washington, January 18-21, 2024

Tacoma RV Show, Tacoma, Washington, January 18-21, 2024

Cincinnati Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 19-21 and 24-28, 2024

The Great Rockies Sportshow, Billings, Montana, January 19-21, 2024

Tidewater RV Show, Virginia Beach, Virginia, January 19-21, 2024

New Jersey RV & Camping Show, Edison, New Jersey, January 19-21, 2024

Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show, Quartzsite, Arizona, January 20-28, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

STL RV Travel Show, Saint Louis, Missouri, January 23-25, 2024

Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, Louisville, Kentucky, January 24-28, 2024

Colorado RV Adventure Travel Show, Denver, Colorado, January 25-27, 2024

Calgary RV Expo & Show, Calgary, Alberta, January 25-28, 2024

Kansas City RV Show, Kansas City, Missouri, January 25-28, 2024

Boston RV and Camping Expo, Boston, Massachusetts, January 25-28, 2024

Ft. Myers RV Show, Ft. Myers, Florida, January 25-28, 2024

Atlanta Camping & RV Show, Atlanta, Georgia. January 25-28, 2024

Iowa Boat, RV & Vacation Show, Cedar Falls, Iowa, January 26-28, 2024

Northeast RV & Camping Show, Hartford, Connecticut, January 26-28, 2024

Tulsa Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Tulsa, Oklahoma, January 29–February 4, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

February 2024

Iowa’s Original RV Show, Des Moines, Iowa, February 1-4, 2024

Fort Wayne RV & Camping Show, Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 1-4, 2024

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV Vacation & Camping Show, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 1-4, 2024

Oregon State Salem Spring RV Show, Salem, Oregon, February 1-4, 2024

Edmonton RV Expo & Sale, Edmonton, Alberta, February 1-4, 2024

Manitoba RV Show & Sale, Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 1-4, 2024

Nebraska Boat, Sport & Travel Show. Lincoln, Nebraska, February 2-4, 2024

Southeast Texas Boat, Sport & RV Show, Beaumont, Texas, February 2-4, 2024

Huntsville SuperShow, Huntsville, Alabama, February 2-4, 2024

Lawton RV, Boat & Outdoor Leisure Show, Lawton, Oklahoma, February 2-4, 2024

Ottawa RV Expo & Show, Ottawa, Ontario, February 2–4, 2024

Houston RV Show, Houston, Texas, February 7-10, 2024

Jacksonville RV MEGASHOW, Jacksonville, Florida, February 8-11, 2024

La Crosse Boat Sports, Travel, RV & Hunting Show, La Crosse, Wisconsis, February 8-11, 2024

St. Cloud Sportsmen’s Show, St. Cloud, Minnesota, February 9-11, 2024

Charleston RV Show, Charleston, South Carolina, February 9-11, 2024

Seven Feathers Sportsmen’s & Outdoor Recreation Show, Roseburg, Oregon, February 9-11, 2024

Seattle RV Show, Seattle, Washington, February 15-18, 2024

The Utah Sportsmen’s Vacation & RV Show, Sandy, Utah, February 15-18, 2024

Duluth Sport Show, Duluth, Minnesota, February 15-18, 2024

The Annual Chicago RV & Camping Show, Rosemont, Illinois, February 15-18, 2024

West Palm Beach RV Show, West Palm Beach, Florida, February 15-18, 2024

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show, Lake Charles, Louisiana, February 16-18, 2024

Maryland RV Show, Timonium, Maryland, February 16-19 and 23-25, 2024

Arkansas RV Show, Little Rock, Arkansas, February 16-18, 2024

Erie Sports & RV Show, Erie, Pennsylvania, February 16-18, 2024

Western New York RV Show, Suffern, New York, February 16-19, 2024

Springfield RV Camping & Outdoor Show, West Springfield, Massachusetts, February 16-19, 2024

Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Indianapolis, Indiana, February 16-18 and 21-25, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Columbia RV Expo, Columbia, South Carolina, February 19-21, 2024

Austin RV Expo, Austin, Texas, February 22-25, 2024

Dallas RV Super Sale, Dallas, Texas, February 22-25, 2024

Earlybird RV Show & Sale, Abbotsford, British Columbia, February 22-25, 2024

RV & Boat Show Main Event, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, February 23-25, 2024

Newswatch 12 Sportsmen’s & Outdoor Recreation Show, Central Point, Oregon, February 23-25, 2024

Cedar Rapids Sportshow, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, February 23-25, 2024

QCCA/RV & Camping Show, Rock Island, Illinois, February 23-25, 2024

Birmingham RV Super Show, Birmingham, Alabama, February 23-25, 2024

Hot Springs Boat, Tackle & RV Show, Hot Springs, Arkansas, February 23-25, 2024

Pennsylvania Adventure Show, Altoona, Pennsylvania, February 23-25, 2024

Milwaukee RV Show, West Allis, Wisconsin, February 29-March 3, 2024

Greater Philadelphia RV Show, Oaks, Pennsylvania, February 29-March 3, 2024

Annual CNY RV & Camping Show, Syracuse, New York, February 29-March 3, 2024

Annual Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show, Fargo, North Dakota, February 29-March 3, 2024

Ocala RV Show, Ocala, Florida, February 29-March 3, 2024

Toronto Spring Camping & RV Show, Toronto, Ontario, February 29–March 3, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

March 2024

Springfield Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Springfield, Missouri, March 1-3, 2024

Crown Motors Norcal Boat, Sport & RV Show, Anderson, California. March 1-3, 2024

Springfield RV Mega Show, Springfield, Missouri, March 1-3, 2024

Louisiana Sportsman Show, Gonzales, Louisiana, March 1-3, 2024

Oregon State Eugene Spring RV Show, Eugene, Oregon, March 1-3, 2024

Fredericksburg RV Show, Fredericksburg, Virginia, March 5-7, 2024

Moncton RV Show, Moncton, New Brunswick, March 7-10, 2024

Central Wisconsin RV & Camping Show, Wausau, Wiscousin, March 8-10, 2024

Virginia RV Expo – Hampton, Hampton, Virginia, March 8-10, 2024

York Campers World RV Show, York, Pennsylvania, March 8-10, 2024

Eastern Iowa Sportshow, Cedar Falls, Iowa, March 8-10, 2024

Sioux Empire Sportsmen’s Boat, Camping & Vacation Show, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, March 14-17, 2024

Northwest Sportshow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 14-17, 2024

DFW RV Party, Arlington, Texas, March TBA 2024

Sportsmen’s Boat, and RV Show, Bakersfield, California, March 15-17, 2024

Mid-Atlantic RV Expo, Doswell, Virginia, March 15-17, 2024

New Hampshire RV & Camping Show, Bedford, New Hampshire, March 15-17, 2024

New Hampshire Camping & RV Show, Milford, New Hampshire, March 15-17, 2024

Kitchener RV Show & Sale, Kitchner, Ontario, March 15-17, 2024

FMCA Convention and RV Expo, Perry, Georgia, March 20-23, 2024

Acadiana RV & Camping Show, Opelousas, Louisiana, March 22-24, 2024

Reno RV Show, Reno, Nevada, March 21- 24, 2024

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

April 2024

Washington State Evergreen Spring RV Show, Monroe, Washington, April 5-7, 2024

The Great Alaska Sportsman Show, Anchorage, Alaska, April 5-7, 2024

The Vacationland RV & Camping Show, Auburn, Maine, April 6-7, 2024

Spring Hall of Fame RV Show, Elkhart, Indiana, April 28–May 1, 2024

May 2024

Puyallup Home & RV Show, Puyallup, Washington, May 2-5, 2024

Wyoming Outdoor Weekend & Expo, Lander, Wyoming, May 17-18, 2024

June 2024

Tampa Summer RV Show, Tampa, Florida, June 6-9, 2024

July-August 2024

The RV show season takes a break every summer. Do you know of an RV show near you in July and August?

September 2024

Hershey America’s Largest RV Show, Hershey, Pennsylvania, Septptember 11-15, 2024

North Carolina RV Dealers Association (NCRVDA) Show & Sale, Charlotte, North Carolina, TBA

Portland Fall RV & Van Show, Portland, Oregon, September 12-15, 2024

Southwest RV Supershow, Dallas, Texas, TBA

Maryland RV Dealer’s Association Show, Timonium, Maryland TBA

Indianapolis Fall Boat & RV Show, Indianapolis, Indiana, September 20-22, 2024

Washington State Evergreen Fall RV Show, Monroe, Washington, September 27-29, 2024

Tacoma Fall RV Show, Tacoma, Washington TBA

October 2024

Myrtle Beach RV Show, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, October 18-20, 2024

November 2024

Detroit Fall RV & Camping Show, Novi, Michigan TBA

Portland Metro Dealers RV Show, Portland, Oregon TBA

Tampa Bay Fall RV Show, Tampa, Florida TBA

December 2024

How about December? Are you itching to see some new models? Make your plans attending an RV Show in 2025!

Looking for a specific type of RV?

Worth Pondering…

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

—Napolean Hill

2023 RV Show Tips: How to Get the Most Out of Your Show Visit

RV shows are wonderful opportunities to discover the latest travel trailer and motorhome models

If you’re like me, you love to check out the newest RVs on the market and shop for the latest RV gadgets. There isn’t anything like attending an RV supershow with thousands of other people. With the increase in RV popularity and the season of RV supershows upon us, it’s the perfect time to talk about tips for attending an RV show.

Purchase your tickets in advance

Everyone loves a discount! Save yourself money and time spent standing in long lines by purchasing your tickets in advance. Most RV shows offer early-bird pricing and when you combine early-bird prices with a military or a senior discount, you’ll most likely save enough to pay for ice cream or a root beer float the day of the show.

Parking at Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Parking

Before heading to the show, scope out the parking lots, RV parking areas, and shuttle stops. Most shows have accessible parking, but since those spaces fill up fast it’s a good idea to have an alternative plan if you can’t find a spot up close. Also, don’t forget to bring cash with you. Parking fees often cost upwards of $20 per day and at some RV shows parking attendants only accept cash.

Know what you want

Do your research and know what you want before you go. Have a good idea of the features you need in a new RV. It’s also important to know what you don’t need or want before you go. It’s very easy to get blinded by things you don’t really intend to buy and make an impulse purchase that you may later come to regret. Check out my guide to motorhomes and towables and look over the style of RV you want and get some solid ideas before you go.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Arrange your own financing first

It may sound a little silly, but you should always check with your local bank or lending institute before you make a purchase. If you’re already established there, chances are good that they will have a great rate and you might then have a little extra to spend on the RV itself. Putting yourself into a pre-approved loan status will also give you greater bargaining power.

>> Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to RV Shows

Set a firm budget

This one is the hardest to do, trust me. If you’re pre-approved at your local bank you already know what you can spend. If you go in and are going to use the dealer financing have a set budget in mind so you don’t overspend. It is just like buying a new car and those options and extras may look appealing at the time but down the road when you’re struggling to make the payments, was it really worth it?

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Look around

Ever go to buy a car and buy the first one you see? No, you check out some other ones and test drive a few. The same goes for buying a new RV. When you get to the show, check everything out. You may find that your needs and wants change as you shop. Plus it gives you an excuse to keep looking and thinking about that purchase. It never hurts to ask the salespeople if they have any used models back at the lot, too. You may want to buy that new one that day, but there might be a used one for way less just down the road.

Attend seminars

RV shows are the perfect place to attend seminars because the bigger shows attract industry experts from every corner of the RV world. If you’re lucky, you might get to see your favorite YouTuber speak or learn how to turn your factory rig into something fabulous. Most RV shows publish a schedule of seminars on their event website and event guide.

Tip: RV show seminars fill up quickly. Get to the seminar room early to secure a spot.

RV show sales display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wheelchair and scooter rentals

Most big RV shows have a wheelchair and scooter rentals on-site. You can avoid long lines or the possibility of sold-out rentals by reserving your rental online before you get to the show.

Have a game plan

Large RV shows are exciting but they can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get distracted and forget what you came to see or buy. Whether you go to an RV show to walk through the biggest Class A motorhomes, sit inside a tiny teardrop, or stock up on your favorite tank cleaner, it’s a good idea to come up with a game plan before you head into the sea of RVs.

>> Read Next: RV Shows: One-Stop RV Shopping

Most RV shows make their event guides available electronically. Read through the guide online before you go to the show and make a note of where you want to go and what you want to see. Whether you use a small notebook or take notes on your phone, write down the areas you don’t want to miss. Then, when you get distracted, all you’ll have to do is refer to your notes.

RV show display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Watch the weather and prepare for fun

The best way to enjoy yourself at an RV show is to make sure you’re comfortable and dressed for the weather. Take along a raincoat if the forecast calls for rain, or bring a tube of sunscreen and a hat if the weather is warm. No matter the season, wear good shoes made for walking and don’t forget a refillable water bottle.

Have fun

I have an RV and have no intentions of buying a new one any time soon. That doesn’t stop me from going to a local RV show to just look around and see the new stuff. It’s fun and anything that reminds me of camping during a time when I can’t go camping is a winner in my book.

>> Read Next: 2023 RV Shows

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2023 RV Shows

Here is my list of upcoming RV shows, organized by date. Please note that not all shows are included in the following list.

Boston RV and Camping Expo, Boston, Massachusetts, January 13-16, 2023

Florida RV SuperShow, Tampa, Florida, January 18-22, 2023

Tacoma RV Show, Tacoma, Washington, January 19-22, 2023

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Kansas City RV, Show Kansas City, Missouri, January 19-22, 2023

Cincinnati Boat, Sport & Travel Show, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 20-22 and 25-29, 2023

Chicago RV Show, Chicago, Illinois, January 20-22, 2023

The Nashville RV Show, Nashville, Tennessee, January 20-22, 2023

Annual Manufacturers RV Show & Sale, Pleasanton, California, January 21-29, 2023

Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show, Quartzsite, Arizona, January 21-29, 2023

RV show product display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dayton RV & Camping Show, Dayton, Ohio, January 27-29, 2023

Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow, Louisville, Kentucky, January 25-29, 2023

Ft. Myers RV Show, Ft. Myers, Florida, January 26-29, 2023

Atlanta Camping & RV Show, Atlanta, Georgia, January 26-29, 2023

Detroit RV Show, Novi, Michigan, February 1-5, 2023

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV Vacation & Camping Show, Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2-5, 2023

RV show display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Houston RV Show, Houston, Texas, February 8-11, 2023

Austin RV Expo, Austin, Texas, February 16-19, 2023

Dallas RV Super Sale, Dallas, Texas, February 23-26, 2023

Pennsylvania RV Super Show, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, February 23-26, 2023

FMCA Convention and RV Expo, Perry, Georgia, March 15-18, 2023

RV show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

44th Annual Flint RV & Camper Show, Flint, Michigan, March 17-19, 2023

Hershey America’s Largest RV Show, Hershey, Pennsylvania, September 13-17, 2023

Worth Pondering…

The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!

Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.

It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!

The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.

It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

2023 RV Shows

Are you looking for an RV show?

RV shows are wonderful opportunities to discover the latest travel trailer and motorhome models. You can meet with dealers, tour various layouts, and maybe even score a great deal on your next camper. Whether you’re a newbie looking to buy your first travel trailer or a seasoned traveler with an upgrade on your mind, RV shows can be very enjoyable and beneficial. 

Don’t forget about all the cool camping gear and gadgets. Dozens of vendors are usually in attendance to promote their camping goods, services, and products.  

I’ve compiled a list of 10 RV shows across the U. S. that you’re sure to love. Take a look and see what’s coming up in your area. Please note that not all shows are included in the following list.

Here is my list, organized by date.

RV show vendor display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Florida RV Supershow

Tampa. Florida

January 18-22

Description: This is a must-see show for all RV and travel enthusiasts. Whether you’re an experienced RVer or just getting started, the SuperShow is made for you. The RV show offers educational seminars, daily entertainment, and the latest innovative RV products and accessories. Two booth exhibit halls are full of parts and accessories, campgrounds and resorts, tourism information, towing supplies, and many other products. Plus you’ll find all types of RVs from small travel trailers to bus-conversion luxury motorhomes.

Location: Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 US Highway 301 North, Tampa

Show Hours: Wednesday, January 18–Saturday, January 21, 9:00 am– 6:00 pm; Sunday, January 22, 9:00 am–5:00 pm

Admission: Adults $15.00 (get 2nd day pass free); children under 16 free

Parking daily rate: $10/car, $16/RV; parking is handled by the Florida State Fairgrounds

Camping: Advanced reservation required; overnight camping is handled by the Florida State Fairgrounds; for questions or concerns please contact 813-621-7821

RV show vendor display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tacoma RV Show

Tacoma, Washington

January 19-22

Description: No other show in the region delivers a more complete shopping experience with so many dealers, brands and RV’s under one-roof.

Location: Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D Street, Tacoma

Show Hours: Thursday, January 19-Friday, January 20, 11 am–8 pm; Saturday, January 21, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, January 22, 10 am–5 pm

Admission: Adults 13 and over $13; Military $7.50; children 12 and under free

Parking: Free

RV show vendor display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Greater Chicago RV Show

Chicago, Illinois

January 20-22

Description: Featuring the latest makes and models of recreational vehicles from all of the nation’s top manufacturers.  Special factory rebates, financing, and on the spot loan approval makes this show can’t miss for the RV enthusiasts.

Location: Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Dr, Schaumburg

Show Hours: Friday, January 20-Saturday, January 21, 9 am-8 pm; Sunday, January 22, 10 am-5 pm

Admission: Adults $15; children under 16 free; CASH ONLY

Parking: Onsite parking is free at the Schaumburg Convention Center and offers easy access to the show entrance

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show

Quartzsite, Arizona

January 21–29

Description: For nine days, RVers descend on the giant exhibit tent to see the latest gadgets, get work and upgrades done on their RVs, and learn more about the RV lifestyle with workshops and seminars where attendees can learn about topics from trip planning to safety upgrades, solar and batteries, boondocking, and how to shop for an RV.

One can expect to see the “who’s who” of the RV industry but the stars of the show are the over 400 exhibitors (set up in and around the Big Tent—a 70,000-square-foot fully carpeted structure) selling everything from the latest and greatest RV gadgets to fashion jewelry to local honey. Some big tent vendors also have a cellphone and electronic gadgets, glass fingernail files, dip mixes, and other vendors with non-RV junk.

Location: Central Blvd., Quartzsite

Show Hours: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (3 p.m. closing day)

Admission and parking: Free

At an RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow

Louisville, Kentucky

January 25-29

Description: The annual boat and RV show offers outdoors enthusiasts and newcomers alike the chance to prepare for their next adventure and beat cabin fever. 

Location: Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Ln, Louisville

Show Hours: Wednesday, January 25, 5 pm-9 pm; Thursday, January 26-Friday, January 27, 12 pm-9 pm; Saturday, January 28, 10 am-9 pm; Sunday, January 29, 10 am-5 pm

Admission: $14.00 Adults (13 and up); children 12 and younger free (when accompanied by a paid adult); Thursday, January 26, $5 after 5 pm; all ticket sales are now online

Parking: Kentucky Exposition Center has more than 19,000 parking spaces; parking is $12 for cars and $20 for buses; handicap parking is also available

RV show vendor display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Atlanta Camping and RV Show

Atlanta, Georgia

January 26-29

Description: The Atlanta Camping and RV Show began in 1975 and has grown to one of the biggest combined RV dealers show in the Southeast with nine of Atlanta’s largest RV dealers on-site featuring all makes and models for outdoor travel and camping.

Location: Atlanta Exposition Center South, 3850 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta (I-285, Exit 55)

Show Hours: Thursday, January 26, 11 am-6 pm; Friday, January 27-Saturday, January 28, 9 am-7 pm; Sunday, January 29, 9 am-5 pm

Admission: Thursday or Friday adult $10.00; children 18 and under free; Saturday or Sunday adult $12.00; children 6-18 $5.00; under 6 Free (on-line pricing for single day eEntry $2.00 discount applied)

RV show product display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation & Camping Show

Minneapolis, Minnesota

February 2-5

Description: The show features the latest makes and models of RVs from the nation’s top manufacturers. Take advantage of special show-only pricing and incentives. Units are available for immediate delivery at the show. The show will also feature a huge selection of outdoor accessories and daily seminars.

Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis

Show Hours: Thursday, February 2-Saturday, February 4, 10 am-7 pm; Sunday, February 5, 10 am-4 pm

Admission: Free

Parking: Visit the official Minneapolis/St. Paul RV Vacation & Camping Show Parking Page to find and reserve convenient parking with rates up to 50 percent off drive-up

RV show entertainment © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Houston RV Show

Houston, Texas

February 8-11

Description: Texas’ largest RV Expo with thousands of recreational vehicles including motorhomes, travel trailers, tent campers, fifth wheels, and van conversions. RV-related venders onsite representing campgrounds, resorts, parks, and RV supplies.

Location: NRG Center (Halls C, D, E); NRG Center events utilize Gate 10 on the corner of Kirby and McNee. Type in the address: 8600 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77054 for specific driving directions

Show Hours: Wednesday-Friday, February 8-10, Noon–8 pm; Saturday, September 11, 10 am–8 pm

Admission: $15.00 adults; $5.00 children (6-12 years); under 6 Free

Parking: 26,283 parking spots available at NRG Center

RV show vendor display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Dallas RV Supersale

Dallas, Texas

February 23-26

Description: Dallas RV Supersale features hundreds of RVs from North Texas RV dealers in more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space. Major national manufacturers and top dealers will display motorhomes, fifth-wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, tent trailers, RV accessories and more. Booth vendors will showcase related products as well as a wide assortment of other products and services. Also take advantage of the free seminars throughout the day.

Location: Dallas Market Hall, 2200 N Stemmons Freeway, Dallas

Show Hours: Thursday, February 23, 10 am–6 pm; Friday, February 24-Saturday, February 25, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, February 26, 10 am–6 pm

Admission: Adults $15.00; youth (6-12) $7.00; children (5 & under) free; cash only (ATM onsite)

Parking: Free

RV show product display © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Hershey America’s Largest RV Show

Hershey, Pennsylvania

September 13-17

Description: With more than 1,400 RVs on display from the smallest travel trailer to the largest motorhome, this show is the place to shop and compare RVs, the latest camping accessories and gear, upgrades, campgrounds, vacation destinations, and related products. Explore the 33 football fields of RVs available from over 30 manufacturers, talk to knowledgeable dealers, and attend seminars presented by industry experts. 

Location: Giant Center, 550 W. Hersheypark Drive, Hershey

Show Hours: Wednesday, September 13–Saturday, September 16, 9 am–8 pm; Sunday, September 17, 9 am–5 pm

Admission: Adult (13 and up) Wednesday-Friday $12 in advance, $14 day-of; Saturday $17 in advance, $19 day-of; Sunday $8 in advance, $10 day-of

Parking: Free daily parking in designated lots

Worth Pondering…

The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!

Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.

It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!

The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.

It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

The RV Phenomenon That Is Quartzsite

A place in the desert not to be missed

Every January something happens that is hard to believe unless you have seen it!

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

They come in motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers, converted buses and vans, and even in tents. There are rugged individualists, small groups banded together (circling the wagons, in a modern way), and large groups, all parked in the desert to feel the Quartzsite vibe. Some have been coming for years, returning to a favorite site which they have marked with rock-lined drives (although “saving” unoccupied sites are not allowed under BLM rules). Long-term visitors often expand their domains to include screened “porches” and massive solar panel arrays.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Quartzsite has become a mecca to visitors and exhibitors for rocks, gems, mineral specimens, and fossils during the town’s famous two-month-long gem and mineral shows and flea markets meet every January and February. From its humble beginnings, the now-massive Quartzsite show has grown to epic proportions with vendors offering everything under the Quartzsite sun.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Being close to town means being close to Interstate 10—the basic amenities that Quartzsite provides and giant flea markets which are the center of attention. Going by names such as Rice Ranch, Tyson Wells, The Main Event, and Desert Gardens, the open-air marketplaces host a variety of “shows.”

Related Article: Woodstock in the Desert

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

These are actually a series of events that run through the winter, specializing in hobbies and crafts, gems and minerals, jewelry, classic cars, and RVs. Most are riddled with an indescribable variation of new and old products far beyond their title, plus all the snack foods of a county fair. A lot of annual visitors simply say, “We’re going to the show,” and their RV friends know they mean Quartzsite.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The town itself features all the basic services of a southwestern desert highway stop: gas stations, barbecue restaurants, and seedy little grocery stores (several of which are run from tent-sided buildings during the season). Owing to the heavy RV emphasis there are also several places to get propane, RV supplies, and used or cheap tools.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Be warned, though. Don’t come in the summer when nothing much happens. The gypsy-like encampment will have long disappeared. Vendors start packing up in mid-February and are long gone before the snowbirds migrate north and the intense desert heat becomes unbearable.

Related Article: The Real Story of Nomadland (aka Quartzsite, Arizona)

But come winter, everything changes as the small desert community bustles with activity. RVs by the tens of thousands camp helter-skelter on the BLM land.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Originally built by Charles Tyson, Quartzsite began in 1856 as Fort Tyson, then became a stagecoach stopover called Tyson Wells and this name still echoes in the annual Tyson Wells Rock and Gem show. A mini mining boom led to its renaming as Quartzsite.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What started as a small-town mineral show in the late ’60s in western Arizona has developed into a phenomenon that peaks in January by bringing more than 1 million people to the town of Quartzsite, where a huge RV show greets them.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The 2022 Quartzsite Sports, Vacation, and RV Show (called “The Big Tent”) will run from January 22-30. In 39 years, the event has evolved into the largest consumer RV show in the US. The show is heaven on earth for RVers. It’s a ton of fun with hundreds of exhibits, live shows, bargain products, and fellow RV enthusiasts. The fact that the desert is gorgeous and the temperature is in the low-to-mid 70s in mid-January doesn’t hurt either!

Related Article: RV Shows: One-Stop RV Shopping

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The show is heaven on earth for RVers. It’s a ton of fun with hundreds of exhibits, live shows, bargain products, and fellow RV enthusiasts. The fact that the desert is gorgeous and the temperature is in the low-to-mid 70s in mid-January doesn’t hurt either!

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Quartzsite is a popular destination for snowbirds on its own but many come for a week or two during the RV Show. When the gates open on the first day, people are lined up for a quarter-mile at each of the two main entrances to get in. It fills the tent and creates gridlock.

Related Article: RV Travel Bucket List: 20 Places to Visit Before You Die

If you’re an RVer, Quartzsite in January is on your bucket list.

Quartzsite is a phenomenon, a gathering place.

Quartzsite © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Let the shows begin!

See you at the Q!

Worth Pondering… 

Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite from mid-December to mid-February. As the saying goes, “If you can’t find it in Quartzsite, you won’t find it anywhere.”

Buying an RV

Take your time, do your homework, talk to owners of similar models, and locate a good reputable dealer who stands behind his products and provides quality service

We’ve been cooped up for months. Now, we are contending with summer sans festivals, fairs, sporting events, and concerts. Pent-up and ready to pop, we’re in desperate need of a vacation.

Alas, planning a vacation during a pandemic is like marching through a sandy beach in 6-inch stilettos. Aside from health concerns, there are travel restrictions, crowds, closures, mandatory quarantines, mask requirements, and confined capsules otherwise known as airplanes to contend with which may be why many are opting for the open road aboard a rolling abode.

7 Feathers Casino RV Park, Canyonville, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With so many models, brands, sizes, and amenities to choose from, it can be difficult to know which RV is right for you and your family. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or upgrading your unit, this article will help guide you through the process of purchasing an RV.

Columbia River RV Park, Portland, Oregon © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What to Consider When Buying an RV

There are 5 major factors to nail down before you can really start looking to buy an RV.

Seabreeze RV Park, Portland, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Budget

How much do you have to spend on your RV?

Will you be financing your RV?

How much are you willing to spend on fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs?

Do you want to buy a new or pre-owned RV?

Leaf Verde RV Park, Buckeye, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. Use

How often and for how long do you plan to use your RV?

What type of camping will you be doing? Weekend warrior or long-term? State and national park campgrounds or RV resorts?

Canyon Vista RV Resort, Gold Canyon, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Size

How many people do you need to sleep?

How much storage do you require?

Will campsites you plan to use accept your vehicle length?

Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Towing

What size of rig are you comfortable driving or towing?

What is the tow rating of your tow vehicle? You’ll want to stay well within this limit or consider upgrading your tow vehicle.

Will you tow a car behind your motorhome (4-wheels down or dolly)?

Pala Casino RV Resort, Pala, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Features

What features are necessities?

What features are nice-to-haves?

Coastal Georgia RV Resort, Brunswick, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where to Buy an RV

Regardless of where you live in the US or Canada, there are many options for purchasing a new or pre-owned RV.

Gulf Coast RV Resort, Beaumont, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. RV Shows

Each year, recreational vehicle associations and RV dealers put on RV shows throughout the United States and Canada. The largest consumer RV Shows take place in Tampa, Florida in January, Hershey, Pennsylvania in September, and Pomona, California in October. At these shows you will find hundreds of RVs for sale and booths packed with RV accessories.

With many RV dealers in one place, you can check out the hundreds of RV models of all different types and sizes. There is something for every budget.

The Barnyard RV Park, Lexington, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

2. RV dealers

If you missed the RV shows, weren’t ready to buy, or plan to special order a unit, dealers are a great option. They’ll have a selection of new and pre-owned RVs. Different dealerships carry different brands and models of RVs and they may offer different incentives. It’s a good idea to check a few different dealerships out, especially if you’re not certain on which RV you want.

Rain Spirit RV Park, Cottonwood, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Private Sales

If you’re looking for a pre-owned RV, check out what is available in private sales. Be aware, though, that you may be buying someone else’s problem. A vehicle inspection is recommended.

Distant Drums RV Resort, Camp Verde, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Advice on Buying an RV

Always do your research on the brand, model, and seller. Not all manufacturers and RV dealers are created equal.

Don’t be afraid to walk away if a seller makes you feel uncomfortable or is showing you units above your price range or not what you really want.

Best of luck with your buying journey and your next adventures!

Moving from the old to the new at Midtown RV © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In the interests of full disclosure, we currently own a 2019 Dutch Star diesel pusher. This is our fifth Newmar motorhome and Midtown RV in Penticton, British Columbia, is our trusted dealer.

Worth Pondering…

Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

—Gloria Steinem

Plan To Attend the 2020 Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show

Every January something happens that is hard to believe, unless you have seen it!

More than a million and half million visitors, mostly in recreational vehicles, converge on the sleepy little desert town of Quartzsite, located just 20 miles east of the California state line on Interstate 10, for the rock, gem, and mineral shows, plus numerous flea markets and the annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show. Wherever you look, you see RVs of every type, size, and vintage. It’s the Woodstock of the Snowbird set!

The 37th Sports, Vacation & RV show in Quartzsite, Arizona is scheduled for January 18-26, 2020.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Attendance for the 2019 show was estimated at well over 100,000 with over 350 exhibits inside and around the show’s 70,000-square-foot and fully carpeted “Big Tent.”

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Co-promoter Kenny King noted in a news release, “If you’re looking for anything related to RVs, camping, and travel, you can usually find it at the Sports, Vacation & RV show in Quartzsite.” King added that here will be hundreds of new and used RVs on display and for sale and over a dozen service bays will be offering immediate installation, repairs, and warranty service.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 2019, there were numerous tourism related exhibits from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe as well as representatives from dozens of the nation’s finest RV resorts and campgrounds. In addition many “workamper” recruiters from businesses, resorts, and private campgrounds were in attendance. King related, “The number and diversity of exhibits that you’ll find at the Quartzsite RV Show will not be found at any other show of this type in the United States.”

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This phenomenon started over 35 years ago and is now billed as “The Largest Gathering Of RVers in the World”. The inaugural Quartzsite RV Show opened January 28, 1984 at the corner of Highway 95 (now Central) and Business 10 (now Main Street) in Quartzsite. With just 60 exhibitors and a small tent, the “new show in town” was still very popular since the majority of the people in Quartzsite were RVers.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 1987 the show, now re-named the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, moved up the street to the Quartzsite Trailer Park which was situated directly across from the major attraction in town, the Quartzsite Pow Wow (the first Pow Wow was held in 1967).

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

This new home for the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show lasted 10 years until the show grew to a point that the current 3.5-acre show site could barely hold the number of exhibitors that were now vying for exhibit space at this popular annual event.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In 1997 the “BIG TENT”, as the show had become known, moved across the Interstate to its present home, a new 20-acre facility, ½-mile south of I-10 on Highway 95 (now 700 South Central).

With the new Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show grounds, the popular event was able to provide over 15 acres of public FREE parking.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For 2020, several major players in the RV Industry have come aboard as sponsors for the event. Co-promoter Kimmy King noted that Progressive RV Insurance, who stepped up as the “Naming Sponsor” several years ago, would continue to have a major presence at the 2020 event. Cummins Diesel, which has participated as an exhibitor at the show since 2015, is a new “Platinum Sponsor” and will be introducing a new line of portable generators during the 2020 show.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In addition, longtime exhibitor Dometic has added a Service Bay in the service and repair area of the show grounds and Dish Network is one the newest “Gold Sponsors” in support of its major trade show retailer CM Wireless. King also reported that FMCA had recently stepped up as one of the “Silver Sponsors” along with returning sponsors Redlands Truck & RV Service, Plasticover and the show’s exclusive RV dealer RV Country.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

During our last visit to the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show, we reminisced about how Quartzsite has changed over the last 16 years since our first visit and what future years might bring.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When we first attended the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show in ’99, the RV Pavilion was packed with big-ticket items like RV satellites, tow hitches, and companies offering to install a solar array on your vehicle.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Looking ahead to future years, the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show will continue to grow and attract a more general crowd. Thanks to items like cheaper flat screen TVs, smart phones, and affordable solar arrays with charge controllers to power all your gizmos, it is easy to have all the comforts of home while you’re camping.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As Quartzsite continues to grow and evolve, it will still be a wonderful place for RVers of all types to gather and relax with near perfect temperatures during the day and clear starlit skies at night. Quartzsite is an experience not to be missed—and we think you’ll like it too!

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering… 

Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite from mid-December to mid-February. As the saying goes, “If you can’t find it in Quartzsite, you won’t find it anywhere.”

RV Shows: One-Stop RV Shopping

RV shows are like the megamalls of the RV world

RV and camping shows are where multiple dealers gather to bring their latest models and offer deals. This provides a great opportunity for prospective buyers to wander between different brands, dealers, models, check out various floor plans, ask questions, meet other RVers, and find the RV that best suits their needs.

How to Prepare For an RV Show

Under the Big Tent – the Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

With the height of RV show season in full swing, thousands of potential buyers will attend one of the many fun-filled events taking place across the US and Canada.

The biggest mistake attendees make when attending an RV show is not doing their homework to determine what it is that they really want in an RV. Many shoppers will walk into a 36-foot Class A motorhome and say, “Oh this is great, it’s exactly what we want.” They’ll then proceed to walk into a 45-foot motor coach and realize that more stuff will fit into a 45-footer than in a 36-footer. Being absolutely overwhelmed, they end up leaving the RV show frustrated and more undecided than when they arrived.

Viewing a toy hauler at the Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

In preparation for an RV show, first determine the type of RV best suited for your current family situation and lifestyle, minimum and maximum length you could live with comfortably, and your budget. When setting a budget, consider insurance and license costs, maintenance and storage, in addition to total cost of RV including sales tax and fees. Keep in mind that you don’t want to purchase a 40-foot rig if 32 feet is the maximum length that will fit in your driveway.

Think about whether you want motorized or towable? If motorized, gas or diesel? If towable, what is the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of your tow vehicle? This will determine the weight of a trailer you can legally and safely tow.

In addition to new motorhomes and trailers RV shows offer parts and supplies of interest to RVers © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Think about how many people your RV will need to sleep.

How easy is it to hook up and unhook?

All of this helps to narrow your focus so you’re not wasting your time examining RVs that don’t fit your needs or your budget.

FMCA rally in Indio, California offers seminars and workshops of interest to RVers in addition to displays of new coaches and RV-related services © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

The four basic questions to ask yourself before purchasing an RV are:

  • Will it meet my needs?
  • Is it built to last?
  • What happens down the road?
  • Will the manufacturer and dealership stands behind the RV?
An RV show and rally sponsored by Freightliner Chassis held in Tucson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

With that being said, customers are always going to have questions, as they should. Part of the reason shoppers attend RV shows is to receive guidance from experienced product experts. It’s not always easy to decide on the right RV for you, and sales consultants and manufacturer’s representative are there to help.

If you want to measure a coach and see what it looks like with the slides in or any of that kind of thing, get to the show in the early morning. There won’t be as large a crowd and you can sit in different RVs and really get a feel for each one.

Entertainment is often a key component of RV shows and rallies © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Don’t grab every brochure you come across. People often walk around grabbing this brochure and that brochure and at the end of the day they’re carrying around 10 pounds of product literature. If you know you’re in the market for a Class A motorhome, you’ll regret it later if you start loading up on travel trailer brochures.

And of course, dress comfortably. Bring a bottle of water, wear comfortable shoes, and be ready to do some walking. If you’re not dressed comfortably, you’re not going to enjoy yourself.

FMCA Show and Rally in Perry, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

An RV show can be a great opportunity for customers who know what they want to get a great deal. The more prepared you are going into a show, the more likely you are to be able to take advantage of show-based incentives and discounts.

Check out the new rigs for numerous manufacturers at an RV show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Consider this: A dealer requires considerable time and effort to setup and display their units for show. Afterward, the dealer had to break down all of the unsold units, transport them back to the lot, clean them up, and get them ready to display all over again.

One of the most important things to remember is if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular salesperson, move on. An RV is a major purchase, so make sure you find someone you’re comfortable with who has the knowledge and expertise to make your experience a great one.

And the sun sets on another RV Show and rally © Rex Vogel, all rights reserve

Worth Pondering…

I don’t think you can call yourself a true American until you’ve been behind the wheel of an RV … I love seeing parts of the country I wouldn’t otherwise.

—Jeff Daniels, actor