RV veteran and Keystone Product Manager Tim Domiano shares his thoughts on how you can make the most of an RV Show.
A 30 year RV industry veteran, Tim has participated in at least 500 consumer shows, beginning as a teen in his father’s dealership in southern California. Says Domiano, “Attending an RV show is a great way to see many different brands and models all within easy walking distance. Dealers will put their newest models in the show and you can take advantage of show specials to get a really extraordinary deal.It’s a no brainer. Not only that, shows can be fun.”
Attending an RV show is a great way to see many different brands and models all within easy walking distance. Dealers will put their newest models in the show and you can take advantage of show specials to get a really extraordinary deal.It’s a no brainer. Not only that, shows can be fun." - Tim Domiano, Keystone District Sales Manager
- Start with a plan. Consider and discuss who will be camping with you, how you will be using your camper, how often, and for what duration? Will you have hookups at a campground or will you be boon docking without hookups?
- Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes. Many times, no, most times, RV shows are by nature massive, sprawling events. You will want to be comfortable.If it's an outdoor show, pack sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Make it fun and don’t hurt yourself.
- Keep your focus. There are so many RVs to look at that it is easy to be overwhelmed. Don’t try to walk in every RV but instead visit the types of RVs and floorplans that will best meet your goals. (The plan you created in step #1 above, will have helped you decide if you need a bunkhouse, would prefer a front living room, must have a toy hauler, or one of the numerous other RV layouts.)
- Make notes, take photos and ask questions, lots of questions. After walking into thru 10-12-15 floorplans it’s easy to get them mixed up. "Which one had the handy key holder near the entrance door?" "Loved the huge shower…now in which floorplan was that?" That’s where your notes and photos will come in handy. Talk with the factory and dealers sales people are on site. They are there to help answer your questions. Believe me, there is no such thing as a dumb question so ask away.
- Create your "short list." After your initial exploration take a break and review your notes. Cut your choices down to as few as possible based on your needs and budget. Three seems about right for many people. Once you have narrowed your shopping list down, take the next step.
- Time for "test drive!" Step inside your RV of choice and image it is yours. Do you like the colors, the wood tones, the sofa? Or are they just ok?Unless you are inclined to do an interior makeover, you will have to live with it for as long as you own this camper.Is the kitchen/bedroom/living area laid out in a way that you feel works for you? Does the furniture fit you both physically and aesthetically? It’s also what you don’t see that counts.For example, look inside the cabinets? Under the dinette? Snoop inside the interior and exterior storage compartments. Do you like what you see?
- Learn to prevent 2-foot-ites! Will the trailer or fifth wheel be sized right for you next year and in the future? While the size may be intimidating at first, for most people, the mental process of handling a larger coach is fast and painless.
- Feel comfortable with your decision. Talk about it with your family. Have fun. Your new RV will provide you with many years of enjoyment and adventure. Once you have selected a model, it’s time to celebrate. Don't succumb to paralysis by analysis.
- Enjoy the day. There is so much to see and do at an RV show. Check out the vendors. There’sa fun world of gadgets to explore and accessories to add personalization to your new camper.And remember to take time to talk with the many campgrounds and tourism agencies exhibiting. Often you can get the inside scoop on campgrounds and destinations you would have otherwise missed.