Day One of the 2010 Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show

What a great opening day to the 2010 Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show!

The show opened at 2 p.m., and the by the time I was able to leave work and get over there, the show was already two hours old. It was funny, the closer I got to Rock Financial Showplace, the more excited I got. It was like I was a kid again and it was Christmas morning. I don't know why I get excited going to RV shows, but I do.

Once inside, I immediately caught that familiar sight of endless rows of RVs, with people walking in and out of them and up and down the aisles. Yes!

I spoke with a few dealers who said sales were up, a few people who seemed as excited to be there as I was, and a few people from MARVAC who were as friendly in person as they sounded on the phone.

Denny Powlison, from Adrian, brought his wife in the hopes she might catch the RV camping bug. He said she had only been camping once, in a sleeping bag under the stars -- not even a tent -- so he was skeptical. But she feel in love with a Rockwood Minilite #18095 travel trailer, and they'll be back to the February show to make the purchase.

Rick Stafford from River Ridge RV Resort said he always loves coming to the RV show in Novi because many of his campers come from southeast Michigan. Rick said today that many people were not shy about approaching him and asking questions about his family-friendly RV resort located about 45 minutes north of Grand Rapids.

I caught Bob Dunn walking down the aisle wearing a Winnebago sweater, so there was no doubt what type of RV he had. Sure enough, Bob and his wife not only own a Winnebago, but he's also president of the Motor City Winnies, a club of Winnebago lovers in southeast Michigan. He and I agreed to get together over lunch soon so I can learn more about his club, which is one of six chapters in Michigan's Water Wonderland Winnies.

I was talking with Bob in front of a Winnebago Journey diesel motor home that was purchased earlier that day by two other members of the Motor City Winnies, Skip and Nancy Yates of Rochester Hills. Talk about Christmas Day! The Yates held court inside their new camper, inviting complete strangers to come in, look around but be gentle.

I'll have video of Bob Dunn and the Yates posted soon.

I also spoke with Dan White of H.W. Motor Homes in Canton. Besides discussing the future of The Palace now that Mike Ilitch is the new owner of the Pistons, he also took the time to show me the Quicksilver fold-out tent camper from Livin Lite. It only weighs 600 pounds so it can be towed by just about anything on the roads today, so it's a great option for people who might be tired of tent-camping but aren't quite ready to upgrade to a traditional RV. Look for video of him talking about this neat little camper in the near future, too.

I also got the chance to finally meet Bill Sheffer, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds, and Beth Monicatti-Blank and Rachel Biermann of All Seasons Communications, the marketing agency for MARVAC. We had communicated via telephone and e-mail for years, and it was a pleasure to finally get to meet them.

I'm headed back to the show tomorrow for a tour of yet another industry innovation: a slide-within-a-slide. John Monterusso of American RV in Grand Rapids will be showing me around a motor home that features a traditional slide-out, but from within that slide-out comes a second, smaller slide-out. Pretty cool! Look for video on that soon, too!

All in all, a good day. I'll spend only an hour or two at the show tomorrow, but I still have a bunch of video from today that I hope to post real soon.

FYI: The 21st Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show is Oct. 6-10 at the Rock Financial Showplace, 46100 Grand River Avenue, Novi, MI 48374. Hours are Weekdays 2-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Adult admission (ages 13 and up) is $8, senior admission is $7, and children 12 and under get in free! RV show ticket will also get you into the Fall Remodeling & Design Expo, Thursday through Sunday. The show will feature all types of new recreation vehicles — over 200 units and 50 brands displayed — ranging from folding campers, motor homes, travel trailers, truck campers, park models and fifth wheel travel trailers. Booths featuring parts and accessories, campground information, on site RV financing and RV rentals make this the complete RV show experience.
Author Avatar

My family (wife and three kids, sometimes the dog) and I have been RV campers since 2007. We own a 2000 Trail-Lite B22 Bantam hybrid, our tow vehicle is a 2006 Trailblazer LT EXT (5.3 V8 with 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio), and our setup includes the Equalizer sway controller. Looking to upgrade the camper in the near future, but until then we get out 2-3 times a month in season.