Although the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show Sept. 8-14 in Hershey, Pa., will be the first of two upcoming major retail RV shows allowing 2008 display units, show Chairman Dan Saltzgiver doesn’t expect many manufacturers will opt to exhibit last year’s models.
“I don’t think there will be a lot of manufacturers taking us up on what we are offering,” said Saltzgiver, owner of Reichart’s Camping Center, Hanover, Pa. “There may be some (manufacturers) who think they need to move (2008) product, but others won’t need to. By letting the manufacturers make the decision, we couldn’t see any harm in it.”
In response to the soft market, the sponsoring Pennsylvania RV and Campground Association’s (PRVCA) board voted to allow as many as 20% of a manufacturer’s RVs being shown in at Hershey Park/Giant Center to be model year 2008.
By the same token, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) adopted the same policy for the California RV Show Oct. 10-19 at the Fairplex in Pomona.
The traditional cutoff for both shows is the model year that follows the show, which in this case would be 2009 or beyond.
“We are trying to give dealers some assistance in moving their inventory,” said Mary “Mike” Hutya, RVIA vice president of meetings and shows. Between 1,000 and 1,200 RVs are expected to be on display at the RVIA-sponsored show at Pomona Fairplex.
Both associations are expected to return to the former policy next year.
Rebecca Lennington, PRVCA executive vice president, said the decision was made by the PRVCA board after being contacted by many of the manufacturers who will be displaying product at the show. “It’s really their show,” she said. “They are the ones who buy the space.”
With trade days Sept. 8-9, PRVCA expects 1,200 to 1,300 units to be shown in Hershey. Through mid-August, 955,470 square feet of display space had been booked.
A substantial number of Canadian dealers also are expected to attend. “It’s a great deal for Canadians to come down because they get more bang for their buck,” said Heather Sheerer, marketing and education director for the Camp-Hill based PRVCA, referencing the near parity between the American and Canadian dollars.
Sheerer said Canadian park model manufacturers will be able to display units in Hershey for the first time, but won’t be allowed to make sales until their return to Canada.
Several manufacturers, including Damon Motor Coach, Dynamax Inc., Open Range RV Inc., Riverside RV Inc., Four Winds International Corp. and FTCA Inc., which purchased Fleetwood Enterprises Inc.’s folding camping trailer division, have said they will debut new product lines at the show. Last year, the event drew more than 31,000 consumers during five days.
On Sept. 8, trade representatives will be entertained by the country rock group Charlie Daniels Band. Former New York Giant and NBC sports commentator Tiki Barber will speak Sept. 9 during the “Red Carpet Breakfast” for an industry audience.