Monday, September 24, 2012
The Hershey RV Show 2012
Last weekend I drove a few miles up US Route 322 to Hershey, Pennsylvania, for the Hershey RV Show. This is advertised as the largest RV show in the country. I can't really confirm that claim, but I can tell you that it is HUGE! I walked around some of the RV vendors to see what improvements the manufacturers have thought up in the 3 years since I was last at the show. I won't claim this is an all encompassing review of the show, but I will give you a few of my impressions.
First, the show is on the grounds of the Giant Center, where the Hershey Bears play hockey. The show has both inside and outside events. Inside the stadium are the displays from the accessory vendors and the location of the various seminars. I did take time to sit in on one seminar and I learned quite a lot.
I decided to go to the "Fulltime and Extended RV Travel" seminar, by Bob Marx. Bob was gracious enough
After Bob's excellent seminar, I went back outside to the RV vendors. I couldn't find a high enough location to get a real overall view of the show, but here is a picture of a small part of the RV's on display.
Now, for my impressions of the new 2013 RV's on display. Well, first of all, the RV makers have finally figured out how to utilize flat screen TV's. They no longer hang them over the cockpit area. Instead, they have them popping up from behind the dinette or sliding over a window. The bedrooms have more storage area and the electronics have become state-of-the-art. And I wasn't looking at the million dollar units. I focused on the under 35 foot, under $200,000.00 class A units. In fact, some of the best looking units were the under $150,000.00 RV's.
I also noticed that the "split bathroom" seems to be on its way out. Many of the units I looked at had the shower attached directly to the "water closet", rather than across the hall. Of course, this means modifying the rest of the floor plan. Often the dinette is now directly across from the sofa in the main cabin area. May take some getting used to for some people.
Another change I noticed is that the new RV's are often using house-style refrigerators, rather than the propane/electrical powered evaporation units. This leads me to believe that the manufacturers feel that most RV's are used mainly in RV parks, not while boondocking. While you could boondock while running the refrigerator using the genset, it seems obvious that RV park (or resort) living is the primary target market of these class A's The times, they are a-changin'.
Of course, I did have to peek at a couple of the high-end units, just to know what I'll be missing. lol. In any case, while I'm no expert on RV's, I can say the rigs are becoming more comfortable and better organized. It looks like another good year to be an RV'er.
So, that's my short review of the Hershey show. I hope it entices you to make a trip to my home state next year to see the largest RV show in the U.S. Besides the show and all the attractions in the HersheyPark area, Lancaster County, home to the Amish and various Pennsylvania Dutch groups, is less than 30 minutes away. And the weather...well look at the pictures. It was a wonderful weekend in the area. Hope to see you here next year.