Thursday, October 20, 2011
California RV Show
Last weekend, we went to the 59th Annual California RV Show at the Fairplex in Pomona. It’s fun to check out all the different types of recreational vehicles - the ones you don’t think you’d ever be interested in and those you don’t think you could never afford.
There were trailers - folding camp trailers, travel trailers, toy haulers, and 5th wheels. Found the iconic Airstreams but didn’t see Teardrops or the relatively new R-Pods - we were told regular trailers are now built so light, there’s no need for this smaller category. All the motor homes were there, from Class A to Class C, including the mini-A’s and the converted vans/Class B.
We had a great time but RV shows used to be even more fun because of the other related displays. One year, some of the antique RV’s were on display. That was great fun, looking at what some people had put together out of necessity and the ingenious amenities that had been manufactured in those early models, like wall slides, making you wonder how they’d come up with something like that in the “olden” days. We enjoyed looking at them and imagining how it would feel to camp-out or travel cross-country in those early accommodations. Another year, someone brought in a huge, Class A that could also float and be used as a house boat - too cool!
Today, there are interesting activities going on at the side stages. Seminars included cooking shows, specific dealer demonstrations, RV adventures, RV maintenance and even new ways to find campgrounds. These programs would especially benefit new RV owners - before starting out with their new toy.
Being the gadget junkie that I am, I miss the “cool” vendors - those selling devices an RVer just shouldn’t be without. Used to be, you could walk through the vendor tent/s and see bed sacks, portable campfires, easy to fold/store hammocks and stand-up dryers that did their job leaving a minimum number of wrinkles while heating up the motor-home, a handy benefit if it's cold outside. Camping World used to show up, too, usually with some supplies you knew you better get while you were there. The vendor tent is still pretty full but it’s mostly with mechanical and maintenance products (boring to me), insurance brokers (yawn) and, of course, Good Sam’s Club - a good thing to know about, especially if you are an inexperienced RVer.
Maybe it was just me - we've been wrestling with the cost of RVing in our motor home, can we really afford it? So finances are on my mind. There seemed to be an air of resignation hovering around the exhibitors’ area. When the economy is bad, the RV industry is always hit hard. On the other hand, we don’t usually attend the RV show until near the end instead of when it starts, so that mood could be due to timing. But with gasoline prices sky rocketing, maybe there is just a general feeling of, “How much longer can we hang with it?” from the sellers and the buyers.