When the six top Florida First Coast RV dealerships converge on the Jacksonville Equestrian Center grounds for the 2017 Jacksonville RV MegaShow, no doubt their 400 new motorhomes, fifth-wheels, trailers, and popups will be the major draw for the four-day event that begins Thursday (Feb. 9).

However, according to a Florida Times Union report, in addition to the dealers, there will be more than 30 companies using the show to tap a growing market of accessory and aftermarket buyers. Due to demand from those vendors, the Florida RV Trade Association’s (FRVTA) Northeast Florida chapter is opening more exhibit space this year.

Businesses representing everything from RV campgrounds and resorts to kennels and welding services will be on hand to introduce visiting RVers and consumers to their products and services, especially newer RV-related businesses.

That’s what prompted Joe Melville, owner of Premier Boat & R.V. Storage in St. Augustine, to join the FRVTA’s local chapter — to network with area dealers about his new storage site and take part in the two RV shows the organization hosts in Northeast Florida each year.

Formerly in the oil and gas business, Melville owned some buildings in Ohio where “it’s a big deal to get your boats and RVs out of the weather in the winter” before retiring to Florida.

“I sold the company and moved down here — still way too young to retire,” he said. “With all the Baby Boomers and the younger crowd now buying RVs, and sales on their way up, I thought there would be a real need for storage.”

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