Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Campgrounds & RV Parks, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Family Camping, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, RV Campgrounds, State & National Parks
RV Shows Can Help Cure the Winter Blues
I was standing at my mail box at the end of our driveway. All around me big chunks of snow and ice were piled waist high that were left by the big snow plows that had come by earlier that morning. I looked over to the shelter where we park our Cedar Creek fifth wheel camper. The ground around the edge of the camper was snow free, but the drive leading out to the highway was impassable.
As I sorted through the mail a bright yellow post card caught my eye. It was the announcement for the annual Richmond Camping and RV Expo.
The show is pretty much an annual event for Nancy and me. Attending the show helps to break the winter blues and gets us charged up for the excitement of the approaching camping season.
For the uninformed, or perhaps just misinformed, a RV is NOT just a big drivable motor home. RV is short for Recreational Vehicle. RVs cover the range from folding camper trailers, often called pop-ups or just PUP for short, to million dollar drivable motor coaches built on huge diesel pusher bus chassis.
The range of floor plans, options and overall design of RVs has expanded almost beyond belief. There are new “toy hauler” fifth wheel options, lightweights, and even small retro styled trailers that can be pulled with a mini van or SUV.
Recreational vehicles dealers bring their newer models of tent campers, travel trailers, 5th wheels, motor homes, truck campers and vans in a variety of floor plans to meet every budget and camping style to these Camping and RV shows.
The shows offer an excellent opportunity to browse around for a good selection of campground information and brochures. There will be plenty of campgrounds represented. Many may offer special rates, a free night if you book 3 or more during the week or even a drawing for free camping events. If you are looking to improve your camping experience, come ready to shop for the latest in RV supplies and camping accessories. We always leave a show with a new camping gadget or accessory!
The RV industry has taken a hard hit from our faltering economy. One RV manufacturer that will not be at the show this year is Fleetwood. After decades of building RVs, they closed their doors on the towable market last March.
Many dealerships that were caught with large inventories of campers had to endure some pretty deep price cuts to reduce their inventory to make room for new models. While most dealer inventories are currently stabilized, many have found it necessary to offer “bundles” which include camping accessories, club memberships and free camping opportunities with a RV purchase to attract buyers.
The used RV market now offers a significant collection of vehicles that owners strapped for cash are hoping to pass on. In short, it is defiantly a buyer’s market for RVs.
Contradictory to what some may want you to believe, you will NOT save money on a vacation by owning an RV. You might save over the comparable cost of a hotel or condo compared to a camp site, but when you figure in interest on a RV loan, taxes, depreciation, insurance and maintenance the RV will loose the economic advantage quickly – especially if your camping is only a few weeks out of the year.
So, why would anyone want to purchase a RV with the economy in a slump, the escalating cost of ownership and fuel prices still unpredictable?
The answer is simple – and it has nothing to do with money. RV’ing, or camping, is a “thing” that we enjoy. It is a passion. It draws families together. It provides an escape mechanism from the realities of everyday life. It is a doorway to adventure, and it is FUN!
The type, size or cost of an RV has little to do with the quality of your total family camping experience. For the most part, families do not live IN a RV – they live OUT of a RV. The RV serves as a base for sleeping, cooking and gathering around a campfire.
Nancy and I have what is called a “big rig”. Our Cedar Creek fifth wheel affords the amenities of many upper class hotels including satellite HD TV, Sleep Number style bed, electric fireplace, a washer and dryer, central vacuum, twin air conditioners, refrigerator/icemaker, generator and more. Sometimes we do live in the RV – but we are “senior” age campers and enjoy the opportunity to just “run away” regardless of destination or weather.
We started our camping experiences with a 1968 Scamper PUP that we pulled with a 1956 Studebaker Transtar pick up Truck.
At the time, I felt like we owned the Taj Mahal. We loved it and the experiences we had with our children camping in that little Skamper are still monumental and will always be fondly remembered.
RVs are not for everyone, but for those that find it to be their family “thing” the opportunities are endless!
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