Day 1 at the Tampa RV SuperShow done.
We spent roughly six hours at the show yesterday. A few observations to share with you.
We walked. And walked. And kept walking. Roughly 18,000 steps. By no means did we cover the entire show. If you come out to the event, be sure to bring some comfortable footwear.
We dehydrated. Unlike last year, when the temperatures were quite cool, the weather this week is quite warm. The winds were very still and it was very hot and humid yesterday. Coupled with a lot of walking and we dehydrated quickly. We will be carrying a lot more bottled water with us when we wander out today.
We kept bumping into YouTubers. My, my. They are out in full force at the show. You can easily spot them. They are the ones walking around holding a selfie stick, talking to their cameras. They have been busily posting content on their YouTube channels. Some are high profile with lots of followers, others are hoping to gain more followers. I follow most of them online. A bit odd to see them in the physical world.
Might just be my own observation, but most of the new product from the RV industry looks, well more cheaply made than before. We noticed this as we went through the various manufacturers. Even this ForeTravel at $1 million had a few misses.
I found several examples of poor quality in that coach including a badly hung door, malfunctioning cabinets, rough grout work and this screw wedged into the slide out mechanism on the floor. Not something I would expect to find in a million dollar coach.
The crowds yesterday built up around 10am and people started leaving the show in large numbers around 3pm. When Lorraine and I returned to the show late in the afternoon, the crowds had literally disappeared. That was the perfect time to walk through coaches and visit the exhibitor booths.
Aside from bumping into YouTubers, we kept bumping into fellow travellers at the show. This happened to us last year as well. We spent a fair amount of time just catching up with old friends as we walked through the show.
What did I buy? I was asked this question many, many times yesterday. Sure, there are all sorts of deals to be made at the show. But we are not here shopping. Yes, there are a few items I would like to get for the coach. We’d like a name sign. We’ve been meaning to get one made for several years now. Perhaps we will finally get one this year. I’d like to get a portable shade for the driver’s side window. The sun visor on my driver’s side window has regulatory limits which means that my arm gets scorched when driving the coach with the sun on that side. Magna Shade has a portable sunshade that you can stick to the window and it would provide better sun protection when driving while leaving the mirror still readily visible. We’d like to get some underbody LEDs to provide a glow to the coach. And a floor mat for the front cockpit. Along with a few other odds and ends. But no new coach. I did not see anything in our price range that compels me to trade in the coach. Especially now that we seem to have most of the bugs worked out.
Newmar had their executives out in full force to the show this year. Likely still trying to calm everyone down about the Winnebago acquisition. Matt Miller was quite visible and accessible at the Newmar booth yesterday. Although things seem to be pretty much the same with Newmar, I have noticed a few unique additions to the Newmar website. Like this new link in the footer section:
Well, if you are focused on producing shareholder value, I guess you need to include a link to your corporate Investor Relations page from your recent acquisition’s website.
We’ll be chatting with the Newmar execs later this morning. I expect to hear the same company line: we are still Newmar and we will still operate as we did before.
The buildings do get much busier with the warmer weather. Attendees seek refuge from the heat. We found it was best to visit the booths first thing in the morning or late in the day when the crowds have thinned.
Looking forward to spending more time at the show today.