Author's Note: This is the article I wrote that was published last weekend in many of the newspapers I work for, including The Oakland Press, The News-Herald (Downriver area), The Dearborn Press & Guide, The Macomb Daily and several other sister newspapers in southeast Michigan. Included with the article was an offer for free RV show tickets to first 25 emails sent to my email address. As of this writing, I have had nearly 200 emails seeking the free tickets.
There’s no better cure for cabin fever than the 46th annual Detroit Camper & RV Show, which rolls into the Suburban Collection Showplace from Feb. 8 to Feb. 12.
The popular show will feature more than 250 types of new recreation vehicles, from truck campers all the way up to the most luxurious of motor homes. Also on display will be folding campers, travel trailers, fifth-wheel travel trailers and toy haulers.
Bill Sheffer, president of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds, which is sponsoring the show, said he wouldn’t be surprised if attendance for the 46th annual Detroit Camper & RV Show surpasses last year’s event.
Norm Wells, general manager of National RV Direct in Belleville, said his dealership will be bringing 30 RVs to the show.
“We’ll have a lot of completely new and innovative products,” Wells said. “We’ll have an extended length Airstream Touring Coach, plus a Sunset Trail fifth-wheel with a front slide.”
Wells added that a combination of pleasant weather, outstanding products and a return of consumer confidence has meant the RV industry is enjoying a resurgence.
“RVs are so much more affordable now, and the competitive market has meant manufacturers have really gone above and beyond with making their RVs extremely nice,” Wells said. “People coming to the show will truly be amazed.”
In addition to the RVs, dozens of booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, onsite RV financing and RV rentals make this the complete RV show experience.
The 2012 edition of RV & Campsite magazine also will be available. This free guide to camping and RV dealers in Michigan now includes coupons.
Admission is $9 for adults 13 and older; and $8 for seniors. Children 12 and younger attend free. Coupons for discounted admission are at marvac.org, Big Boy restaurants, southeastern Michigan Napa Auto Parts locations and in area newspapers. Onsite parking is available for a fee.
The RV show annually draws tens of thousands of people. Some attendees are current RV owners just out to kick some tires, while others are ready to upgrade or buy their first RV. The Detroit Camper & RV Show is a perfect venue for buyers because they can compare many makes and models all under one roof.
RVing is an affordable, family-friendly way to vacation. Despite high gas prices, studies show that RVing is still more affordable than other types of vacations, especially when adding airfare, hotel and restaurant costs into the mix.
And, since RVs have all the comforts of home — including beds, bathrooms and fully-equipped kitchens — RVing is an extremely pleasant experience. Plus, RVs have all the “extras” — like TVs, stereos, air conditioning and even computer stations and gaming systems.
Once RVers reach their destinations, Michigan’s state parks and private campgrounds are loaded with amenities to make their vacations all the more enjoyable. Some feature Wi-Fi connections, restaurants and other conveniences.
Tips for first-time RV buyers
Deciding to buy an recreational vehicle is an exciting moment. Remembering a few simple guidelines can prepare you for the purchase process.
- If you are considering a towable RV — such as a folding camper, travel trailer or fifth wheel — know precisely how much your two vehicle can safely tow. The user manual and online tow rating guides will provide you with your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.
- When applying for an RV loan, be sure your credit history is where it should be. A credit score of at least 700 will allow for the best financing. RVs are considered luxury purchases, so lenders are especially cautious.
- Before investing in an RV, look around for the best deal. Keep in mind that purchasing an RV isn’t as simple as purchasing an automobile. You may need to spend at least a couple of hours at the dealer before you drive away with your RV.
- Once you purchase your RV and sign the appropriate papers, you’ll likely experience a walk-through orientation. Many beginners are surprised at how lengthy these orientations can be. Try not to get overwhelmed with the abundance of information being passed onto you. You may want to consider bringing a notebook or another set of eyes and ears with you, so you don’t miss anything.