Video: How to Get the Most Out of Your Visit to an RV Show
You've probably heard us say this before... We LOVE RV Shows! RV Shows are a great way to see what's new and innovative in the RV market, and perhaps the easiest way to make an apples-to-apples comparison amongst models. Here on our website, we list all of the RV Shows in Texas, as well as all of the RV Shows we are aware of across the United States. We've been to a LOT of RV Shows over the years, so we thought it would be helpful to build a list of some of our top tips for making the most out of your visit to an RV Show. For us it really all comes down to one word... preparation! So without further ado, here are our suggestions for helping you to prepare for the next RV show...
RV Shows Come in All Shapes and Sizes
While some shows may have similarities (for example, every RV show will display RVs), not all RV Shows are created equal. Some shows are huge showcasing a large number of dealers and a wide variety of styles, types and brands of RVs. Other RV Shows are small, featuring just a few local dealers. Doing your research on the show ahead of time, can help you set appropriate expectations for what you will see.
Think About What You Are Interested in Seeing
No matter how big your local RV Show is, one thing is for sure... it will NOT include every RV that is currently being manufactured. If you are just beginning your search, an RV Show can be a great way to see a little bit of everything and narrow down your interests. If you already know what you want to take a close look at, it's a good idea to check to see if that style, brand or model will be at the show. You can use the RV Show's website to see their list of participating dealers. Then check those dealer websites to see who carries what you are interested in, and call them to see if that model will be at the show.
Know When the RV Shows Are
We can definitely help with this! One of our most popular pages is always our list of RV Shows in Texas. We've maintained and updated this list since 2014. We are always looking for new shows to add, so if you know of any we've missed, be sure to let us know! And if you'd like monthly reminders about the upcoming Texas RV Shows, subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter. For our friends and fellow RV enthusiasts outside of Texas, we also added a list of RV Shows across the USA that we are aware of. Our RV Show lists include links to the official show websites so you can easily do more research on that particular event.
Check for Prices and Discounts
Some RV Shows are free, others charge admission. For those that charge admission, check the show's website for potential discounts. Some shows will offer discounted admission for seniors, first responders or military veterans. They may also offer multi-day discounts or lower admission prices during the week. Other things to know in advance: how much does the venue charge for parking and do you need to carry cash? We've attended shows that were free, shows that charged admission, shows that provided free parking, shows that charged for parking, and shows that only accepted cash as payment. Know before you go!
Avoid the Crowds
RV Shows can be crazy packed on the weekends, so if you can attend on Thursday or Friday you will probably see a big reduction in crowds. (And, again, some shows offer discounts for those traditionally slower attendance days!)
As we post this, Texas still observes the "Blue Law" on Sundays, meaning that some items (including anything motorized) cannot be officially sold on Sundays. Banks are also closed on Sundays. So if you are planning to buy at an RV Show, be aware that Sunday transactions may be completed on Monday.
If you plan to buy your next RV at an RV Show, consider getting pre-qualified by the bank or credit union of your choice. This way you won't have to worry about if the banks are open while you are shopping, and you might be in a better negotiating position regarding price.
Have an Idea About "Good Price"
Some folks say that an RV Show is the best place to buy an RV because the dealers "don't want to drive them home". Well, since you won't be driving that RV out of the show arena, that may or may not be true. An RV Show is a very convenient way to see several similar models offered by different dealers all in one place. And the dealers do get competitive on their number of sales at the show. So, based on that, you might very well get a great price. But we'd suggest doing your research ahead of time. Know what that type of RV normally sells for, and don't feel pressured to buy if you aren't ready. In the final analysis, if it's a good deal for you and you are happy with your purchase, then it's a good deal.
Don't Assume Anything
Like we've said, every RV Show is different. And they even change a bit from year to year. So if you are going to an RV Show specifically to see something in particular, it's a good idea to make sure that what you want to see will actually be at that show. Check the RV Show's website, check the participating dealer websites, and even consider calling to ask if what you are looking for will be there. It's better to know ahead of time than to be disappointed after you are there.
Check Out the Seminars
Many RV Shows will offer educational seminars for both new and experienced RVers. If this interests you, be sure to check the show website for their seminar schedule. Pay special attention to the topics, days, times and locations of the seminars. It's terrible to get to an RV Show excited about a seminar only to learn that you missed your topic of interest by an hour or you got to the show too late to actually find the seminar and get a seat.
Be Prepared to Spend Time
RV Shows can be big and overwhelming. Plan to take your time, get there early and stay late. Wear comfortable shoes and bring an open mind. You just never know what you will find that just might surprise you!
Take the Time to Visit
Fellow RVers can be a wealth of knowledge about everything RVing. One of our favorite things about visiting RV Shows has to do with the people we meet. We've gotten great tips on campgrounds, accessories, places to go, things to do, and of course types, brands and models of RVs from folks we've met at RV Shows. Take the time to meet folks and share conversation. This goes for the manufacturers' reps also. Many shows will be attended by representatives from the various RV manufacturers. These folks can be a great resource for insight into particular brands and models. Don't be afraid to ask questions!
Consider Going to Multiple RV Shows
If you have the time, think about taking a trip to another city to attend a different RV Show. You might see something you didn't find at your local show!
Don't Forget to Have Fun!
Enjoy the show, take in new information, explore lots of RVs and get in some exercise! And if you see us, be sure to stop and say "Hi!"
Tell Us What You Think! Alrighty you've heard what we think, now we want to hear about your experiences. What would you add to the list? Please share your pictures and comments in the RV Texas Y'all Community on Facebook or in the RV Texas Y'all Community on RVillage. Not a member of one of our communities yet? We'd love for you to participate! And, of course, they are absolutely FREE! Join us to share your experiences and interact with others folks in the RV Texas Y'all communities. Want more info? Learn more about our Facebook Group!