RV Shows, your Wintertime RV Fix

author image

January 11, 2010

In late November we took our last RV camping trip for 2009. We had a great time and when we returned I cleaned the RV, winterized it, and prepared it for storage. When I closed the garage door behind me the reality sank in that there would be no more RV adventures until sometime this coming spring.  It’s always a bit depressing to park the RV with no plans to use it for two or three months. It’s sort of like when football season ends, or your favorite television program ends, and you need to wait several months for the next season to begin.

What I discovered can help you through these rough times is to attend some RV shows. You might need to park the RV for awhile but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about RV’s, look at RV’s, or plan the next trip in your RV.

RV shows offer the avid RVer a fix to get through the wintertime RV blues. You don’t need to be in the market for a new RV to attend an RV show. It’s a lot of fun to just look at all the new RV models coming out and to dream a little bit. If you’re not shopping for an RV just be careful and keep reminding yourself that you’re only there to look. With all of the excitement, not to mention a good salesperson, it’s easy to make a hasty buying decision.

There is a lot of ground to cover at an RV show and a wealth of information available. RV shows aren’t just for RV dealers to showcase their new products. RV shows are a great source of information from knowledgeable representatives on every aspect of the RV industry. You will find information on campgrounds, RV resorts and new destinations you can visit. You will get to see a wide variety of RV aftermarket products and accessories available for RVers, and many times there will be some great RV seminars you can attend. RV shows are a good place to talk to RV manufacturer representatives and other industry experts too. Many of the RV manufacturers send knowledgeable representatives to assist RV dealers with their products. This is a good opportunity to ask any questions you might have about a particular RV brand or model. RV shows are also a great place to just talk with other RVers. Many of these people have years of RV experience and knowledge of different RV related products.

 If you are a new RVer, or if you are in the market for a new RV, these shows are a great place to start your research. RV dealers come from miles away to attend RV shows. When you attend an RV show don’t be afraid to ask questions about the RV dealership and the products they have to offer. Not only will you find a good selection of RV dealers to check out, but there will be every make and model of RV imaginable too. RV shows are a great place to do some comparison shopping too. Keep in mind that RV’s are available in entry, mid-line, and high-end models. When comparing prices, make sure it is apples to apples. One RV may look like another one, but you need to compare the options, construction, equipment and features they both have to offer. If you are in the market to buy an RV you should have some idea of what your needs are, what you want, and how you plan to use the RV. This is extremely important. Here are a few things to consider before you buy at an RV show.

  • What type of RV is best suited for you and your family?
  • What type of floor plan will work best for you and your family?
  • What price and monthly payment will comfortably fit in your budget?
  • Do you plan to travel cross-country with the RV or is it going to be set up at one location and left there?
  • If you’re going to be towing the RV is the tow vehicle capable of handling the weight of the RV and do you have the proper hitch work to safely tow it?
  • How many people will be in the RV and what are the sleeping requirements?
  • Is there enough seating space?
  • Do you need a slide-out(s) for additional living space?
  • Is there enough exterior storage, and are the storage compartments large enough to accommodate what you plan to take?
  • Is there enough closet, cabinet and drawer space for all of your personal belonging?
  • Are there enough cabinets and drawers in the kitchen? Don’t forget about the pots and pans.
  • How much counter space does it have in the kitchen? Is it enough?
  • Where is the dinette table in relation to the range, oven and the refrigerator? Does it make sense?
  • How does the bed feel when you lay down? Is it long enough and wide enough?
  • Are there windows where you want windows?
  • Can you reach the microwave?
  • Is the A/C ducted throughout the unit? If not will it cool the entire unit?
  • Do you prefer a split bathroom where the shower is separate, or a bathroom where everything is together?
  • Is the bathroom big enough? Can you stand up in the shower and sit on the toilet?
  • How much fresh water can you take with you? Is it enough?
  • How large are the gray water and black water holding tanks? Are they large enough for the way you plan to use the RV?
  • How much LP gas does it hold? Is it enough for how you plan to use the RV?
  • If you want a motorhome drive it before you buy it.
  • Do you need a generator?
  • If equipped with a TV where is it located in relation to the seating arrangements?
  • How long is the warranty for on the RV? Do you need extended coverage to protect your investment?
  • How is the RV constructed?
  • If you’re buying a motor home do you want gas or diesel? Which type is more practical for how you plan to use it?
  • Does the RV have the options that you want?

 This is just a partial list, but it should help you make a more informed decision before you purchase an RV. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, RVIA, offers a very good, searchable database to assist you in locating upcoming RV shows near you. RV shows are usually advertised on local television and radio stations too.  There is also a list of 17 RV Shows around the nation here on the blog, sorted by state and date.

So what are you waiting for? Find out when the next RV show will be in your area and make it a point to attend. This can be just the RV fix you need until it’s time to take your RV out of storage for another great camping season. Oh, and don’t forget to wear some comfortable walking shoes too!

If you’re new to RVing and/or are considering purchasing an RV be sure to check out our latest DVD release, An Introduction to RV’s.

Happy Camping,

Mark Polk

RV Education 101

RV University

Leave a Reply


  1. Pingback: » RV Shows

  2. Thomas Becher

    Great list. Everyone looking to buy should print that off and use it to figure out before going to see what their requirments are. The thing that drives me nuts is the TV is 90 degrees to the seating. Always good for a stiff neck

  3. mrt_whit

    GREAT QUESTIONS wish we knew them befor we bought the 1st time, but after our 5th, we finaly got it right

  4. Drew


    I’m saving all your great points to consider before buying. The friends I have that I’ve been trying to get hooked with the rv bug will appreciate it.

    Thanks a lot!


  5. Dogleg

    HI Mark,
    Another clever and well-thought out article. I always learn something from reading you. I’d like to add to this line of thinking another thought that became absolutely crucial to our considerations in searching for an RV…namely where are we going to store it?

    I know you have a storage building and sufficient property where you live, but we live in a suburban environment. Our lot is of an average suburban size, and the drive is in the rear of the house, whose access is from an alley. Therefore, we had two other limitations: the length/width dimension of the drive, and the zoning restrictions in our community.

    We carefully measured the drive, such that we knew the absolute total length between the apron and the garage. We also found that an 8.5 foot wide vehicle, plus access space didn’t allow much room for our other vehicle either in the drive or in the garage. We ended up widening the drive for one vehicle and had to be very careful putting the other inside. We also found that the advertised coach length of motorhomes is not often the bumper-to-bumper chassis length. That measurement is a game changer for many RV choices.

    Another game changer, since we wanted to store the RV at home rather than a fee-for-storage lot somewhere, was whether the community allows off-street parking of RVs, whether they do so for short-term or long-term, and whether any particular kind of RV is ‘grandfathered’ in a particular neighborhood of the community. If you can’t fit the RV into your home storage, then you are likely going to store it at a fee lot, and you must calculate that into the cost of ownership.

    I’m sure you already understand these compelling points, but your readers should add them to your thoughtful list.

    Best Regards,

  6. Jim G

    Perhaps there is an afillction for RV withdrawal if so Im in need of therapy. We bought our first (hopefully many more to come) RV last year and for the past several weeks have found myself staring at it in the driveway, yearning for the first trip of 2010.