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Shopping At RVIA

by Richie


(Recreational Vehicle Industry Association)
Louisville, Kentucky

The RV industry has exploded with choices, and aren’t we lucky! There’s hundreds of RV models offered these days: tiny and huge, fancy and bare boned, in-between and over the top. All kinds of crazy classes and subclasses like travel trailers, fifth wheels, van conversions, Class A, B, and C motorhomes. It’s a veritable buffet of wheels and fiberglass.

So how the heck do you sort through all these choices and decide on The One? It’s a big decision. You’ve got to plunk down a large chunk of change and live with your choice for a good while. Shopping for an RV is like buying a second home, and sometimes just as costly.

Thanks to our good friends at The Auto Channel, we had an opportunity to watch two families mull over choices at the giant RVIA show in Louisville.


RVIA is a special trade show. It’s where RV manufacturers roll out their best and brightest models for the next year and present them to dealers. RV dealers from around the country come to this show, and the manufacturers are anxious to show off. They will spend a lot of time educating you on their models. No sales pressure. No wheeling and dealing. Instead, this is a good chance to compare makes and models side by side.


We followed our friends around the show all day to see what caught their attention. Both couples thought they had an idea of what kind of RV they might want to buy. The Katz family wants a small motorhome that’s flexible enough for full time living. The Sims family talked about trading up to a Super C for long fishing trips. And having just upgraded our own RV this year, we were looking around to see if we could have bought something better. Call it purchase rationalization.


We crawled through dozens of new RVs, exhausted ourselves looking at features and layouts, and had a perfectly marvelous time. At the end of the day no big decisions were made, but we all came away with a swag bag full of goodies and lots of brochures.


And in case Santa is listening, there was one model that had a hot tub and a helicopter on the roof…


Now that’s something we can all agree on!