Potential RV buyers came by the numbers to meet with representatives and manufacturers about fulfilling their needs for life on the road during the recent Florida RV SuperShow, January 13-17 in Tampa, FL.
One of the largest shows of its kind in the United States and presented by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA), overall attendance for the five-day event was 62,965, a slight decrease over the record-attendance event in 2015 that reported a draw of 63,264. Nonetheless, enthusiasm was at an all-time high among show goers and the event exceeded expectations of the exhibitors.
The indoor-outdoor show offered more than one million square feet of exhibit space, showcasing everything from dream coaches down to various aftermarket products, providing a one-stop event for enthusiastic RVers ready to hit the highways.
“We have four huge buildings and the show was very spread out so we have rebounded to where we were almost as big as we ever had been, ” said Dave Kelly, Marketing Director for the FRVTA. “Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday were record-attendance days, yet we were hit Friday and Sunday due to unpredictable weather. ”
Kelly explained that while the larger motorhomes are experiencing a rebound compared to recent years, fifth wheels, travel trailers, and more compact, fuel-efficient motorhomes remained to be the more popular units that sold at the event. According to Kelly, a trend among the new generation of RVers is an avid interest in the outdoors, where RV enthusiasts are looking to enjoy hunting, biking, kayaking, and fishing – to name a few activities – with their RV.
“What we are seeing is the new generation of RVers are not interested in sitting inside,” said Kelly. “They enjoy the outdoors and they want to pull an awning out, set up chairs, and be outside. The inside of the unit is really for the evenings, as they are enjoying activities during the day.”
With a vast series of RV shows quickly approaching on the 2016 calendar, the Florida SuperShow was one of the earlier events this year and its results is a good indicator of what is to come for the remainder of the spring selling season.
“Our numbers have been really good the last five or six years, however the buyer was not confident or ready to make that purchase,” said Kelly. “Now, we are seeing that pent up demand come to the market. If this show is any indication, I am confident for the rest of the shows around the country. If we are getting that kind of response down here, it has to reflect the sentiment across the nation. ”