Tips for first RV show? Dallas Sep. 22-25

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Deb&RickTX

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Jul 3, 2022
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96
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Texas
Besides avoid salesmen? :) Is it worth burning a vacation day to go on a weekday when it's less crowded? Our goals are: 1) study floorplans to see how things really look versus the diagrams, 2) compare manufacturers, 3) record door label OCCCs (hard to find online), and 4) browse accessories. Is that reasonable? What else should we target?
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
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Albuquerque, NM
I like to look at the finer details of installed equipment. Standard gadgets used in clever ways, or interesting construction or installation techniques. You might get an idea of how to use something you already have in a different way, or see equipment or accessories you might like to have. You don't need to buy a $300K RV to get a light fixture or piece of furniture it might have. After looking at them a while the majority of regular features begin to blend together but the distinctive ones start to stand out. My standard convention tool is the camera in my cell phone and anything I see ends up getting saved in my "upgrade ideas" folder.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Deb&RickTX

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Jul 3, 2022
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96
Location
Texas
The main tip I will give is leave your wallet at home”
I've considered putting a cast on my right hand so I can't sign anything :)
but the distinctive ones start to stand out. My standard convention tool is the camera in my cell phone and anything I see ends up getting saved in my "upgrade ideas" folder.
Since we're looking to buy used, something in the new ones might be an upgrade candidate. Good thoughts!
 

SpencerPJ

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Nov 1, 2017
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4,233
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Midwest
All depends on how many vacation days you have ;). You will browse through many more Rvs in less time, drawback is, the vultures will more easily approach you. (easy way to tell if they are lying or bs..ing, they open their mouth :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:) Don't be afraid to lay on a bed, or sit on a toilet, amazing how sometimes poor placement of items poses problems. I'm a taller guy, these things matter, think about your dynamics, pets etc.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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West Palm Beach, FL
I think your approach is good. Don't try to do too much - even a small show is likely to overwhelm you with mental images. Takes lots of photos/videos, including ones that identify where the other photos take place, cause it will all be a blur by the time you get home. Get some familiarity with floor plans and features and capture those weight placards.
 

Jayflight

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Jan 22, 2021
Posts
811
What a minute, you did not buy your forever rv the first time around?:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::p Just go and have fun and look closely at how the cabinet doors are aligned and if mouldings are dangling in areas of the run. This is a good tail tail sign of the rest of the quality of the rv. Then you can come back to your current rv and then do a complete assessment of what you own now, layout included of course. This will tell you whether you spend peanuts to upgrade your current one a little bit at a time on some fluff and puff stuff, or update your essential equipment before biting the bullet on a different one, whether new or used. I call it a time for marinating your upgrade decision for now. I have never seen a deal at any rv show. Maybe at 3 pm on the last day you get a few more dollars off, but deals, nope.
 

jymbee

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Feb 20, 2018
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1,905
Location
Upstate NY
Take pictures, pictures, pictures. It is easy to get confused when you are at home the pictures will clear most things up.
Absolutely-- and good idea to follow Gary's earlier advice re. a way to identity pictures later:

Takes lots of photos/videos, including ones that identify where the other photos take place, cause it will all be a blur by the time you get home.
 

sunrisor

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Joined
Jun 16, 2015
Posts
36
Location
SE Pennsylvania
Be prepared to be overwhelmed.:LOL: As we walked over the pedestrian bridge, looked out over a literal sea of rooftops, I said to the wife: "we're in deep sh$%&t now" We were there for nearly 6 hours and I don't think we covered a third of the show!!
Our first visit to the Hershey RV show was a blast!, exhausting! perplexing! But mostly a huge education. We did lots of web browsing beforehand to prepare and went in thinking we really wanted a class A. We realized about halfway through the 14th isle (seriously!! it's huge!!), that A's weren't really what we wanted.
Our 2nd trip was a bit more organized since we were getting pretty serious at this point. We skipped over the model/units we weren't interested in. This allowed us to cover more ground and see more models. This gave us a good idea of floorplans we liked, and floorplans we could live with. We were then able to make a list of 'must haves' and 'it would be nice to have'.
We finally bought our TT last year (3rd show-trip). (this may be a bit excessive but) I made a spreadsheet of manufacturers that had the floorplan we liked, and models that checked off the most boxes. By the time September rolled around, we had it narrowed down to 3 manufacturers and 6 different units. Turned out, the one we liked the most was too heavy (story for another post). We ended up with one we liked even more!!
I think the biggest lesson learned from these shows, at least for us: buying a RV is all about trade-offs. To get 'this' you need to give up 'that'. That's why we had a list of must haves. The 'it would be nice to have' list actually was 'things we can live without'.
Most of all have fun!! Some of the best people we've ever met has been centered around RVs.
 
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