Making it easy to buy your next RV

The truth about RV shows. Fact and Fiction

Well it is that time of year again and the RV shows will be coming up.  Often times I hear from customers that they want to go to the show so they can:

  • It’s an RV show
  • See all of what is out there
  • Get a great price
  • Talk to the manufacturer rep
  • I want to see all of the available products


It is an RV show.


No it is a Sale. While in a few parts of the country the show may be a manufacturer show (ie.LouisvilleKY.) The shows around the Northwest are Dealer participation.  Not only are the dealers (not the manufacturers) putting on the show, they are paying for it as well.  Seems curious that you would have to pay an admittance fee as well doesn’t it.  It costs the dealer an average of $30,000 just to participate, not to mention the cost to get the units there and back from their respective stores.  While the 2011Seattleshow drew over 20,000 people none of the dealers sold much at the show.  And what they did sell was not even close to their expectations. Someone is going to have to cover the cost it took to do the show and guess what?  That cost will be covered by you in the price you pay for your purchase.


I get to talk to a knowledgeable Manufacturer Rep or knowledgeable sales person.


Probably not.  You are among the masses that are expecting to get the attention of someone who might know what they are talking about.  They are going to be busy just trying to answer a few brief questions or they will spend all the time necessary to close a real buyer.  Their interest is not to spend copious amounts of time with someone who has no intentions of buying something right then and there.


I will see all of the available products.


Not even close.  The dealers are only going to bring the “bling”.  In other words they are only going to bring down the units that are the most popular and have the greatest chance of selling.  It is possible, for example, for a dealer to have 9 different bunk house models, 6 rear kitchen model, 11 rear lounge models and so on.  If all they have space for is 18 total units do you think there is even a slight chance that you will see a fraction of what is truly available?


I’m going to get a great deal


Really?  If they already had to spend in excess of $30,000 and if they had the good fortune of selling 30 units (none of them did last year) that would mean it cost them $1,000.00 per unit or more.  Why do you think they would give you a better deal if it cost more to sell you an RV?

This is only a partial list of what the show is in reality.  Does Camping World participate in RV show? Yes.  Although they pick and choose and usually attend the ones that are manufacturer sponsored, you can find Camping World at many of the shows around the country.  But, the reality remains that to get the best deal and to see the widest variety of product available is to visit the dealers at their particular place of business.  There you will find the greatest selection and the best prices and not have to deal with all of the crowds.

Once upon a time there were real shows.  Ones where they brought out all of the best and really put on a show.  These days it is nothing more than bringing a few units to a big building, have a few sales people hanging around and hope to find a few sales to make the effort at least pay for itself.

In most of the areas that have RV dealers, there are usually several of them within a relatively close radius.  In those clusters you have about 80% representation of all product and floor plans available.  You also have a lot more time to spend carefully looking at and comparing one RV to the next.

So as you can see, the RV show is not really a show, it is a sale and an expensive sale at that.  You can get better deals and a whole lot more attention by just going to the dealers in your area.


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