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

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 Ultimate Guide to RV Shows

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

What do you think of when you hear RV Show

You might think of an endless maze of RVs lined up in a warehouse with sales personnel jumping out at every corner. But the days of those kinds of RV shows are moving behind us. In 2023, RV shows include live auctions, RV giveaways, play areas for kids, community areas for meeting RVers, product demonstrations, seminars, and workshops. 

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Attending an RV show is an exciting outing for the entire family whether you’re shopping for a new RV, upgrading your current model, selling your RV, or looking to learn about the latest RV innovations and camp gear. 

But, visiting an RV show can be a big disappointment if you go unprepared. They cover acres of space and the amount of information available can be overwhelming. 

These RV show tips will help you make the most of your RV show visit even if you’re just attending to have fun, win prizes, and meet fellow RVers.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What happens at an RV show?

Some RV shows are little more than a collection of RVs sitting on a lot. But most RV shows are fun, educational, exciting to explore and offer opportunities to connect with other campers.

Quality RV shows will offer most, if not all, of the following: 

  • VIP areas: Register early to receive a complimentary gift bag, retail product discounts, VIP Lounge access, refreshments, and a chance to win an RV
  • RV valuation: Find out what your current RV is worth if you’re ready to sell and upgrade to a new model
  • RV giveaways: Enter for a chance to win a brand-new RV
  • New and used RV inventory: Walk through RVs of all shapes and sizes to feel what it would be like to live and vacation in them
  • Kid zones: Inspire the next generation of campers to discover the joys of RVing
  • RV retail spaces: Get the latest on innovative new products in the RV and camping industries
  • Design specialists: Consult an expert about upgrades you want to make to your RV
Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Who are RV shows for?

The short answer is—RV shows are for everyone. If you already own an RV you can explore the possibility of a trade-in or upgrade. You’ll also find new camping gear to make your trips more comfortable. 

If you’ve never owned or traveled in an RV, these shows are ideal for imagining yourself inside a travel trailer, fifth-wheeler, or motorhome. There are more options to peruse than on a typical RV dealership lot. While you explore, you’ll find information on RV financing, service and maintenance, insurance, and other RV-related services.

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you’re a DIY RVer, RV shows are inspirational. You can discover the latest RV floorplans or speak with design specialists about remodeling ideas to make your RV more functional and cozy. 

People enjoy RV travel for many reasons—escaping to warmer weather at unsung snowbird destinations, unplugging at off-grid basecamps for outdoor recreation, or traveling with the family to enjoy nature and road trips. You can use an RV to travel your way—there is no one right way.

RV shows are a great way to discover how other RVers enjoy the lifestyle by connecting with other campers. You never know when a new connection will lead to new community RV trips in the future. 

Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Why go to an RV show?

If you’re wondering why an RV show should be on your to-do list this year, here are seven reasons to attend:

  • For RV education: RV shows provide value even if you’re not in the market for a new RV. Most shows offer seminars, lectures, tutorials, workshops, and walkthroughs of RVs and RV-related products.
  • Seminars and workshops: Many shows have veteran RV travelers who share knowledge on topics like Basic RV Maintenance, Trip Planning, and RV Packing Tips. Listen, take notes, and ask questions.
  • Product demonstrations: Many vendors conduct live demonstrations so you can see products in action and discover new options for upgrading your RV before the next camping season.
  • Meet manufacturer reps: Unlike dealerships, RV shows have representatives from various RV manufacturers to answer your questions about how RVs are made and speak to their quality versus the competition.
  • To discover the latest camping gear: Vendors at RV shows offer every type of gear imaginable—surge protectors, sewer products, water hoses, and pressure regulators, water filters, portable grills, tire covers, kayaks, and e-bikes. Looking for a new bed that fits just right in your RV? They’ve got you covered. Need an internet or satellite TV solution? Vendors will have plenty of options for you. Everything you can imagine for camping adventures can be found at an RV show.
  • To find new places to visit: RV shows are great places to discover new destinations and RV parks to explore. Representatives from regional tourism bureaus and RV resorts often have booths at RV shows to showcase everything their destinations offer. 
  • Check the exhibitor list online before the show to make a short list of the booths you’d like to visit.
  • To meet other RVers: Building a community as an RVer can be a challenge. Attending RV shows can help you grow your network and expand your community of fellow campers. Whether you utilize that community to get answers to RV maintenance questions, travel and campground recommendations, or tips for the best RV camping gear, the friendships you forge at an RV show may last a lifetime.
Quartzsite RV Show © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Tips for making the most of your RV show visit

Whether you’re buying, trading in, or exploring RV retail products, use these tips to maximize RV shows:

  • Attend the first day to allow yourself time to return if you find something you like. 
  • Break it up—look at RVs or products one day and attend seminars another.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Some shows are very large, and you’ll do a lot of walking.
  • Bring nutritious snacks and water. Many shows have food vendors but lines can be long and choices may be limited.
  • Check the schedule and map in advance to identify models or seminars you don’t want to miss.
  • Do some pre-show preparation. Consider your budget and what type of travel you do. Educate yourself on the different RV types to determine whether a motorhome or towable might work best for you. Then make a list of must-haves.
  • Spend time in the models you like. Sit in the seats. Try the bed. Open and close the cabinets and drawers. See how you fit in the shower. It may feel silly, but it’ll give you a better feel of the RV.
  • Take copious notes and photos of your preferred units. Include the brand, exact model and configuration, length, price, and other items you liked or didn’t like.
  • Collect contact information. Business cards are useful for following up with sales representatives or vendors you connect with. 
  • Make a shortlist of favorites at the end. Sit down after you’ve had a chance to think about the RVs you saw and revisit your favorites.

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