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The 49th annual Midwest RV and Camping Super Show in South Bend, Ind., got off to a good start Thursday (Aug. 14) with a steady stream of potential buyers popping and and out of the 200 units on display in the parking lot outside of the University of Notre Dame’s Joyce Center.
Despite warm, humid summer weather, “dealers smiled through their sweat,” the South Bend Tribune reported.
“They (show attendees) tore the walls down when they opened this (Thursday) morning, so that’s a good sign for us,” according to Chris Huffer, vice president of sales at Hart City RV Sales located in nearby Elkhart, Ind.
Of the 14 dealerships participating in the show, Hart City has the largest display. It has 63 units at the show.
Around 10,000 people are expected to visit the four-day event, which will end Sunday evening (Aug. 17).
The healthy turnout Thursday is another sign that the RV industry is “seeing a pent-up demand coming forward,” said Al Sundberg, regional sales manager for Carriage Inc., a Millersburg, Ind.-based manufacturer of towable RVs, who is working the retail show.
“Right now, we have the largest (order) backlog coming out of our dealer meeting (in late June) in the history of Carriage,” Sundberg added.
The South Bend show began as the RV industry’s primary trade show, but because it take place outdoors in northern Indiana during August, when hot weather and thunder showers are a frequent occurrence, the indoor gathering in Louisville eventually became the preferred trade show setting, despite the fact it occurs at a somewhat awkward time, in late November or early December.