The Feb. 22-24 Austin RV Expo saw around 10,000 attendees passing through the gates at the 250,000-square-foot Austin Convention Center in Texas, which, according to organizers, represented a slight drop from past years.
Don Canada, executive director for TRVA Austin RV Shows Inc., reported that, “The consensus of dealers we spoke with was that this year’s show was a bit lighter.”
Mike Fox, sales manager with RV Land in Kyle, Texas, agreed, noting, “You always want more. We were very pleased with the deals and sales we made. But if I was a betting man, I’d say attendance was down a little.”
Despite a smaller than expected showing, dealers said they were busy all weekend with customers in attendance that were “ready to buy.”
Sales Manager Steve Johnson of Princess Craft RV in Round, Texas, told RVBUSINESS.com, “It was a great show. We were very busy with a lot of sales. It was pretty steady. We sold a bunch of units and are now busy running around like chickens getting everything taken care of.”
Fox said the Winnebago and Forest River offerings were a huge hit. “We killed it with the Winnebago products,” he said. “People want that name and they’re solid rigs. The star of the show was their new Micro Minnie 2108 TB. Its set up like one of the old Airstream models.”
In appeal to the more adventurous, RV Land displayed the Forest River NO-BO 10.6 camper.
“It is a small box camper with a fold-out tent on top,” said Fox. “It’s a real light, aggressive, off-road, off-grid kind of camper. It’s a quality unit at a solid price. It went well with what I call like to call the ‘spring-time family shopper.’”
Like their competitor RV Land, Princess Craft mentioned it plays to the budgeted younger crowd by also offering RV rentals on its website. Johnson said this year’s Expo had active involvement on Facebook as well, yet another tool signifying they were reaching a younger RV enthusiast.
Both Fox and Johnson are projecting an uptick in 2019, with Johnson stating, “2019 has been very good so far. Hopefully we will have increased sales to come.”