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RV retailers are anticipating strong attendance at this week’s annual Florida RV Supershow despite a recent rise in gas prices, according to the Tampa Tribune.
Event organizers maintain that there will always be people who sit at their desks dreaming of quitting their jobs, selling their houses and crisscrossing the country in a home on wheels.
“No matter how much gas is or how the stock market is doing, we always seem to do fairly well because of that dream people have,” says David Kelly, director of marketing for the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA). “It just seems that that one dream just can’t be denied.”
As Baby Boomers begin turning 60 this year, Kelly expects sales of recreational vehicles will only get better.
Kelly said the Florida show, set for Wednesday (Jan. 18) through Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, has grown bigger than ever this year. About 1,300 RVs will be on display, and the annual rally of RVers will draw 800 people who camp through the show.
“We are breaking down the walls of the fairgrounds,” Kelly says. “It will be a huge event.”
RVs will include small tent campers that sell for $3,000 and huge luxury conversion buses that sell for $1.5 million. One made by Anderson Mobile Estates, similar to those owned by actors Robert De Niro and Will Smith, will be on display. The 1,100-square-foot “estate” goes for $2.2 million.
Two buildings will display RV accessories, equipment and information on states, towns, parks and campgrounds. Daily lectures will offer advice on choosing the right RV, selling your home and getting on the road.
Other highlights include antique RVs, live music, face painting for kids and all kinds of food.
Even with gas prices at near-record highs, Kelly says RVing is still a good deal. Fuel prices affect cruise lines and airlines, too, he notes.
Plus, you can cook inside or outside an RV and save money on meals, and you never have to pay for a hotel room. RVing also draws families closer and introduces them to other travelers, Kelly says.
Few people would knock on the door of the hotel room next to theirs to introduce themselves and suggest having a drink together, he says.
“Yet while RVing, if you don’t open your awning up, set up your chairs and share your leftover stew, people think you’re standoffish,” he says. “It’s a whole different way to travel.”