Fifteen RV dealers and manufacturers have signed on to display new products at the 52nd annual Midwest RV Supershow & Rally, slated for Aug. 17-20 at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind.
Organizers bill it as a “homecoming” of sorts for the show, which originated in Elkhart but was moved to the University of Notre Dame in the late 1960s. For a time, the Notre Dame show became one of the industry’s most significant trade/retail events before trailing off in recent years as a retail-only show held in a parking lot across the street from Notre Dame’s football stadium.
This year’s four-day event will feature five acres of RVs, a park model village, supplier booths, a “Hometown Market Place” for local businesses to display their products and services, and an RV rally, according to Mark Bowersox, director of recreation vehicles for the Indianapolis-based Indiana Manufactured House Associaiton-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC). The IMHA-RVIC and Elkhart County Visitor Center are co-sponsoring the event.
Bowersox is hoping the show will attract 10,000 visitors to the fairgrounds, located on Goshen’s southeast side, site of one of the nation’s largest county fairs every July.
“There has been a lot of growing interest the past couple of years both from the RV industry manufacturers and dealers and Elkhart County public officials to have the show move back there (to Elkhart County),” Bowersox said. “Elkhart is the RV Capital of the World. It only makes sense to have the show back there.”
The Elkhart County show will be a collaborative effort among dealers and manufacturers to provide a display of many of the major brands produced in and around Elkhart County, the source of more than half of U.S.-made RVs, Bowersox said. Among the local brands to be displayed: Ameri-Camp, Carriage, Coachmen, Damon, Dutchmen, Forest River, Four Winds, Gulf Stream, Heartland, Holiday Rambler, Jayco, Keystone, K-Z, Monaco, Newmar, Skyline, Starcraft, SunnyBrook, Sun Valley and Travel Supreme.
Organizers project between 300 and 500 campers will participate in the related RV rally, some of whom presumably will be visiting the area to see and visit Amish County activities, which the Visitor Center is promoting. These include in-home Amish meals, back road tours and antique and specialty shopping. RV-related activities will include demonstrations, seminars and guided tours.