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10 Tips for RV Show Shopping

Looking to buy a new RV or RV gear at an RV show? Here are some helpful RV show shopping tips to help you out.

RV show shopping tips

RV shows are a great place to check out new RVs and camping gear, meet fellow RVers, and enjoy browsing a bunch of the latest RV and camping accessories. While these shows are also a great place to do some RV shopping, the sheer variety of products and vendors can be daunting. This is where a little strategizing can come in really handy, especially if you're looking to buy a new rig. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help you shop at RV shows like a pro.


Do Your Research

RV shows, especially the larger ones, can be really daunting for first-time entrants. It is important to do some research and reconnaissance on the show first to really take advantage of all it has to offer. Buy entry tickets to the show beforehand so you don't have to wait in long lines at the show. Download a map of the show on your phone and keep it handy so you can easily navigate the show. This is especially important for larger RV shows. Download any discount coupons on your phone as well. Check out all parking guidelines and other specifications, for example, if the RV show allows pets.


Prepare a Game Plan

RV shows are a great place to buy new RVs and RV gear at discount prices. But to really take advantage of the best discounts do some research on the manufacturers and vendors first. If you're looking to buy a new RV, look at all the models online and shortlist the ones you are interested in. Make a list of all the things you would like to ask the manufacturer about the RV and the different parts you would want to inspect. Repeat this process for all RV gear you need to buy as well. This way you will have a clear idea of what vendors you want to hit and exactly what you need to ask them to make an educated buying decision.


Set a Budget

RV shows offer a lot of discounts and special prices for RVs and gear. This can easily lull you into overspending. It is therefore a good idea to set a budget for your RV shopping and then stick to it. If you're looking to buy a new RV, research online prices of the model you are interested in and set a min and max budget for how much you are willing to spend on it. If you're interested in buying different kinds of RV gear, assign a budget to each item. That way you will have a clear idea of exactly how much you will end up spending. Don't forget to factor in parking fees, and the cost of food and refreshments.


Avoid the Crowds

RV shows can get really crowded and that can hinder your RV show shopping experience. If possible, aim to attend the show on less crowded days like on Friday before the after-work crowd and on Sunday afternoon. That way you can get some precious one-on-one time with RV manufacturers' representatives and have ample time to inspect the RV inside out. You might even be able to get better deals and discounts on quieter days.


Carry the Right Gear

Make sure you have enough memory space in your phone to take lots of photos of all the RVs and gear you are interested in buying or carry a separate camera. Chances are you will be looking at a lot of RVs and you will need to take pictures to remember all the details about them. Also, have a pen and paper ready to take some notes. Vendors will throw a lot of info your way and it will be difficult to remember it all just by memory. Bring a large tote or backpack to carry all the promotional items, flyers, and samples you’ll collect at the event.


Be Prepared to Walk

Larger RV shows require you to walk for hours so wear comfortable shoes. Most RV shows are outdoor so wear appropriate clothes and don't forget your sunscreen. If you're attending the show with kids or pets make sure to plan breaks and stops so that they don't get exhausted or bored.


Bring Snacks

While RV shows have food and snack vendors, it is always a good idea to pack some snacks with you as well. RV shopping can get tiring so it is a good idea to have some snacks handy if your blood sugar drops. Make sure to check the show's food policy to see if they allow food and water from outside. If they do, carry your own water bottle and a couple of snacks to keep you hydrated and energized throughout the day.


Compare Prices Online

RV shows offer a lot of discounts and special prices for RVs and RV gear. However, it is always a good idea to compare the prices online to see how much you are really saving on these deals. Smartphones and mobile data have made it really easy to check this information then and there. While you're at it, also check online reviews of the vendors and manufacturers you are interested in buying from. This will give you a good idea of whom to trust.


Resist Impulse Purchases

A big downside to getting so many discounts is that you can end up with a lot of impulse purchases. Setting a budget can help you keep on track with everything you're buying. Another helpful tip is to sleep on your larger purchases like a new RV. Taking some time to really go over all the pictures and notes you took of the RV and analyzing it with a rested mind can help you avoid an impulse purchase.


Take Your Time Inspecting RVs

Don't be shy in taking your time to inspect the RV/s you are interested in buying. You may feel the need to hurry the inspection, especially if there is a large crowd, but don't give in to that impulse. Inspect every inch of the RV, take photos and notes and ask the representatives all the questions you have. A new rig is a big investment and you don't want to rush into buying one that you aren't sure about.


Boost Your Knowledge

RV shows are a great place to attend seminars hosted by experts. You can learn a lot of things about RV financing, RV maintenance, towing safety, travel tips, and more. The shows are also a great place to meet fellow RVers and learn from their experiences. If you're stumped about making a purchase, asking a more experienced RVer their opinion on it can help you make the right purchasing decision.


Ready to Shop at an RV Show?

Here is a list of the best RV Shows to attend this year. Happy shopping!


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