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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Charlotte RV Show

We decided to check out the Charlotte RV show last Saturday. It turned out to be a beautiful day to get out and we really enjoyed the afternoon poking around the various types of RVs, accessories, and other vendor at the show. LOTS of people were there, most with smaller children. Or so it seemed to us.

We arrived about 1:30 PM, and were lucky to find a parking spot close by. Tickets this year were $10. I don't know, maybe its just me, but it seems a little excessive for a show that I'm sure charges a fortune to the RV dealers and vendors, then wants you to buy stuff as soon as you enter the door.

Having been to most of the Charlotte RV shows for the past 10 years or so, it was apparent that there were many less motorhomes on display than in past years. Some of the bigger dealers were there with a few coaches. But the Convention Center was primarily filled with travel trailers, fivers, and pop ups.

It is really amazing what can be done in the confines of a 21 foot travel trailer. It is obvious that they are able to focus on specific customer segments. For example, very small travel trailers that were great for a traveling couple. Or one that had multiple bunk beds for the travelers with smaller children.

Speaking of travelers with small children, the motorhome manufacturers are on the verge of turning their back on their bread and butter business; traveling couples. The floor plans of the few motorhomes we did see seemed to have lost all sensibility in trying to do "new and innovative" things in the small space and loosing sight of common sense.

Most of those we saw with full wall slideout rooms, tend to block off the rear of the coach while underway with the slide in. This means that the designers have to accommodate the owners while underway with a half bath that can be accessed with the slide in. What a waste of space for anyone that would like more kitchen counter or storage.

But it was a lot of fun to watch people, browse through the RVs, and run into a few old friends along the way. Comming home with a renewed appreciation of our 2005 Bounder may have just been worth the $20 price of admission.

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