In the market for a new rig — or just a heap of fun?
RV shows are a fantastic way to see a lot of different makes and models of motorhomes and travel trailers in a short amount of time, helping you find the best rig for you and your family. Plus, buying at an RV show can be a great way to save money. Since many different RV dealers are represented under the same roof, they’re under heavy competition for your business… which means the price to you is driven way down!
(Psst: While we’re talking about saving money, you do have an active Passport America membership, right? Even if you’re still just renting, this program easily pays for itself in just one trip. You’ll save 50% on campsite accommodations at almost 1900 campgrounds across the nation!)
With new models on their way out, RV show season is fast approaching. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of these exciting savings opportunities — or just to take advantage of a fun weekend with the family.
RV Show Deals
So, what can you expect from an RV show, anyway?
RV shows are giant events held in convention centers, fairgrounds, and other large expo centers. They feature thousands of square feet of display space, all filled with the latest and greatest RVs available on the market, represented by the most reliable dealers in your area.
That means you and your loved ones can walk through and explore all those different styles and types of motorhomes and travel trailers you’ve been rifling through in your imagination, to get a real feel for what each one would be like as a vacation vehicle. There’s simply no better way to really understand what you’re considering before you take the plunge and buy it!
But even if you’re not actively searching for your next vacation vehicle, the best RV shows are more like an RV-themed carnival filled with fun activities and opportunities for the entire family. For example, many well-known conventions and shows feature informative and entertaining seminars on camping and outdoor activities, as well as valuable prizes you can get by competing in fun competitions or simply by chance for walking through the door.
Wondering if the kids are going to be bored despite all the excitement for mom and dad? Well, most times, the organizers have thought that part through, too. Many RV shows invite family-friendly entertainers like clowns to their events, or host hands-on activities like crafting or even archery or fishing.
Long story short, it’s going to be a good time, and you’re sure to walk away with more knowledge than you had going into it.
But what else should you expect at the upcoming RV event in your area?
RV Show Vendors
Along with RV dealers, RV shows are also frequented by all sorts of outdoor and sporting goods vendors, from hunting equipment to new technology to help improve your camping experience.
For example, you might find vendors selling awning shades, portable grills, or foldable camping furniture. At some better-known outdoor expos, you’ll also find other types of vehicles, such as boats ranging from large pontoon and fishing boats to kayaks and paddleboards — in other words, the type of toys you might even be able to take along with you on your next RV adventure.
You might also find motorcycles, ATVs, and other ground-roving goodies depending on which show you go to. At some very large internationally-known shows, vendors travel from very far distances to bring you the newest and best-priced technology available.
RV Show Tickets
This whole RV show thing is starting to sound pretty cool, right? A great opportunity to learn a bit, possibly save some money, and at least have a good time with the family?
Well, now that you’re convinced you want to attend one, you have to figure out when there will be one in your area!
Although spring is a very popular time for RV shows because of the influx of new models, RV expos are held all year round, from fall to summer and even sometimes in winter. And if you’re eager to find exact RV show dates and hours, you’re in luck: We catalog them by state right here at RVshare!
You can check out the full list of RV show archives by clicking here. We haven’t quite gotten to every single state yet, but we’re working on it — and working hard to keep the information as accurate and up-to-date as possible!
You can also search for “RV show near me” or “RV show [your zip code]” to see what events are coming up soon in your area.
Should I Buy at an RV Show?
So, now for the big question: are RV show prices actually that much better?
While RV show discounts will vary depending on the specific event and what dealers are represented there, it is true that you can save money by purchasing at an RV show rather than traditionally through a dealership — especially if you’re planning to buy brand new. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to get a great deal on your next vacation vehicle.
For example, buying a used RV can save you a ton of cash, since new vehicles start depreciating in value as soon as you drive them off the lot. Sometimes, pre-owned RVs actually even work a little better than their brand-new counterparts — since someone else already had a chance to work out the factory floor bugs!
But on the other hand, when you buy pre-owned, you usually sacrifice the manufacturer warranty, which can be a valuable asset if there are any serious structural or mechanical problems with your rig. It’s also harder to find exactly what you’re looking for, whereas with new models you can basically customize to your heart’s desire.
Bottom line: There are some great prices at RV shows, and if you find a rig you love, you should certainly consider making it official. But you should never feel pressured to purchase before you’re ready, so whether it’s at the dealership or the show, don’t be afraid to walk away if the timing just isn’t right for you.
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