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We are saddened to announce the passing of Gary Bunzer on April 17, 2020. We hope the RV Doctor website will continue to provide helpful information for you. Thank you for your interest and support for the RV Doctor - Debbie, Heather and Gretchen

Sunday, July 1, 2001

RV Shows, Conventions and Rallies - Beneficial to Everyone!

By Gary Bunzer

They seem to be everywhere, somewhere every weekend, it's true! RV shows, rallies and gatherings of all types can be found in every state and province in North America and I contend that's a good thing! Some states actually hold a state-wide RV show and many independent organizations stage their own events throughout the year. After all, as RVers, we are a mobile bunch, so there's a good chance we'd be able to find an event somewhere as we travel! 

But why even attend an RV show? I probably don't have enough white space here to list all the reasons, but allow me to shed some light on a few of them. First of all, it's THE place to see a bunch of different types, classes and price points across the spectrum of recreation vehicles, all at the same time. Individual visits to a few dealers might be good, but you are limited as to how many different RVs you'll be able to see. You're limited by the buying decisions of that dealer. Even the largest RV dealers cannot expose you to the vast array of every type RV out there. So if you're in the market for a new RV, or perhaps your FIRST recreation vehicle, an RV show is your best bet. 

And it's not always about the RV, the coach, itself. You've heard me mention the value of the RV aftermarket many times in seminars, on video or in print. RV shows and conventions are a great way to get to know many of the product manufacturers who make the widgets that go into each and every RV. You may remember my article about that very topic in a previous RV Doc Newsletter. (If you'd like, here's a quick review of that article).

The value of being able to speak directly to an aftermarket supplier cannot be overstated. You'll be talking face-to-face with a representative of that company. They will be equipped to answer any and every question you ever had regarding any product in their line. You'll have their undivided attention since they all know you hold the key to their success! YOU are the customer that keeps them in business. Do not let any question go unanswered when talking to any vendor at the show. Many will even provide a free sample in some cases. Watch this short video from a recent RV show featuring just a few of my favorite suppliers.

If you're in the market for an RV, many good deals can be realized by buying at an RV show. RV dealers man many of the displays at a show and most are willing to haggle more than if they have you on their dealership's sales lot. Don't be afraid to ask for the "Show Special" price if it's not already posted. (Some people contend the best day to get a good deal during a multi-day event is in the afternoon of the last day. I haven't confirmed this, but if you bought an RV at a show in this manner, let me know). In some cases, representatives from the coach manufacturer may also be on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding their line of RVs.

I've met many potential RVers at RV gatherings, simply performing due diligence. I applaud those people. They're doing their homework, reviewing coaches, doing A/B comparisons, getting a feel for the variety of units before making the plunge. An RV purchase, as most of you already know, is a large expenditure of discretionary funds! Since none of us "have" to buy an RV, the more knowledge you can gain prior to making the commitment, the better! 

And that brings up another benefit of attending an RV show; the educational advantages! Most major RV shows and conventions, as well as some smaller, regional shows, will host guest speakers, authors and educators. For example, I've been presenting my RV Owner Maintenance Seminars at RV shows and conventions for thirty-some-odd years. There are many experts, discussing dozens of topics that hold value for all RVers found at all the major RV shows. As an example, the FMCA International Convention set for August 2012 boasts over 130 such seminars. Check out this (incomplete) listing. 

Some seminars are proprietary by nature, presented by suppliers or vendors. Many of these types of seminars are sales tools, so be wary of the sales pitch. Still, they hold value since they will delve deep into their products in order to convince you that you cannot possibly live or travel without them. Others, like the ole RV Doc's seminars and Walter Cannon's safety seminars are simply about education for the RVer. But the fact remains, many educational opportunities await the eager RVer at just about every show.

There is also a benefit for others in the RV Industry concerning RV shows, conventions and rallies. It gives the makers of coaches a chance to hear directly from the buying public. The RV buyer actually influences the manufacturer more than you know. Dealers have the chance to pre-qualify potential customers in cases of a later buying decision. In addition, the local economy is boosted by the draw of hungry RVers gathering in one location for a few days. Restaurants, especially, love it when an RV show is held in or near their town. Even though your RV is probably equipped with a fine galley, it's nice to go out to eat every now and then, right?

There are many listings on the Web regarding national and regional RV shows. Here's just a couple of them:
      RV Travel

I'll be presenting RV Owner Maintenance Seminars at the following upcoming 2012 shows:

August 27 - 30           FMCA  Family Reunion           Indianapolis, IN
September 12 - 16     PRVCA Hershey Show             Hershey, PA
November 2 - 6         The Good Sam Rally                 Daytona Beach, FL  

So I encourage you to attend a few shows, conventions or rallies some time this year. Especially if you'll be in the market to purchase an RV in the near future. Take advantage of the benefits that can be realized! And be sure to look me up if you'll be coming to a show where I'll be teaching! Remember, RVing is more than a hobby, it's a lifestyle!


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