In its return to Elkhart, Ind., the sixth Spring Hall of Fame RV Show posted record attendance for the four-day event, held April 26-29 on the grounds of the RV/MH Hall of Fame. (To view a slideshow scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page.
Hosted by the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association-Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council (IMHA-RVIC), the show enjoyed bright and crisp weather on Sunday — the final day of the show — as organizers reported that attendance and the pace of sales mirrored the prior three days.
“This will turn out to be the biggest show in the six-year history of the event,” said Matt Rose, director of recreation vehicles for the RVIC. “We started Thursday at about 1,900 people. We will be right at 3,000 by the end of today. We typically do about 2,000 for this show.
“Sales have been great,” added Rose. “Dealers have been reporting very strong closing rates. They came out of the gate Thursday, selling like crazy, writing checks, filling out credit apps — it’s been phenomenal.”
Total Value RV’s Sales Manager Scott Moody offered, “The show is going really well for us. We have just about sold out of our entire display. The hot sellers were both Class C and smaller Class A motorhomes, but travel trailers have done exceptionally well. We have special show pricing on the leftover 2018 models because the 2019’s will be here any day.”
Rose said that nine dealerships participated with about 300 units on the selling block during the event. His organization promoted the show with online advertising, radio, Facebook and other social media. “We used the electronic sign out on the toll road too,” he said. “It’s been posted for about a month. We do direct email pieces from our database electronically and even hit some print to cover all the bases.”
He noted that attendance included local RV enthusiasts combined with regional and national attendees. “We had a lot of people from the Chicago area and then a few from Arizona and Florida. The word is spreading that this is a good show for good deals,” he said.
Moody pointed out a Thor Axis motorhome marked down from $110,000 to $79,000 as a special show offer. “The Axis is selling hot,” he said. “It’s the newest RUV (Recreational Utility Vehicle). It’s a Class A built on a Class C chassis so you can still sleep six in this 24-footer and take the whole family.”
Rose said the demographic at the show offered a good mix with many first timers looking to get into the lifestyle. “They came to learn about RVing, talk to the dealers, talk to the RV salespeople about pricing and what would suit them best,” he related. “It’s good that virtually every manufacturer has knowledgeable factory reps at the show.”
“We are seeing a younger crowd,” said Moody. “Younger than what we are used to. And they are ready to buy. But we are still seeing a lot of people who are just retiring Baby Boomers looking at the RV lifestyle.”
Paul and Mary Harmer drove over two hours to the show from Eaton Rapids, Mich. Experienced in RVs, they own a 2006 Montana but are shopping to replace it with a new fifth-wheel in the 35- to 40-foot range.
“We are just about ready to retire and getting ready to go full-time RVing,” said Mrs. Harmer. “We heard about he show on the Internet looking for shows within a two-hour drive.”
“We already own a F350,” said Mr. Harmer. “We plan on selling our house. We are looking to travel full-time for a while. We like that you can travel someplace, and if you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else.”