Florida RV Super Show

Well we loaded up on Jan 18th and did something we’d never done before, went to the Florida RV Super Show. The show is held each year in January at the Fairgrounds in Tampa, and gets billed as the Largest RV Show in the Country (as probably most every RV show is). In the past we’ve just never found the time to go. We attended a number of smaller shows back in 2003 when we were looking for our first RV. Until we narrowed down our selection to 5th wheels with bunks, we’d leave the shows so confused at what we’d looked at that it was worse than not going. We figured, what with the new Itasca sitting in storage, that it would be safe to go this year.

It was fairly safe, all we did was look. There were a lot of RV’s to look at, and a couple of exhibit areas where gadgets and accessories were on display. All in all we were a bit disappointed in the show. There was nothing, not even the $1 Million + motorhomes that just blew us away. It was a full day, and we’re glad we started early and pretty much walked around the entire show area.

On the positive side, we looked that the new model years of Itasca Sunova’s like ours. We came away glad that we bought a 2007. While they’ve updated the electronics inside with a flat screen TV, the cabinetry is more of a European style with lots of curves and funky hardware. Not something we like. It also appears that a good bit of the overhead storage in front of the coach has shrunk with the thinner TV.

The curved cabinetry and marine style hardware seemed to be a common theme among all the coaches this year. The knobs on a lot of cabinets are the ones that push in on the knob and it pops out to give you something to grab hold of. This is something that we’ve seen at boat shows for a few years now, but I had not seen them in RVs before.

A cool feature on the high end coaches was pneumatic pocket doors. To close off the bedroom you press a button and the door shuts. All the real high end motor coaches seem to have mirrors and rope lights on the ceiling and fancy multi-colored sinks in the bathrooms. Of course they had tile floors and high-end countertops also. It seemed the real bit attraction was five or six flat panel TV’s. I can’t for the life of me figure out why you need six TVs in a 10ft x 42ft area.

We looked at a few 5th wheels. One of the neatest, and the one that Little CurbCrusher liked the best, was a toy hauler that had a pop-up screened in living/sleeping area over the toy hauling area accessed by a ladder. We looked at one that had two small bunkrooms at the back and was billed as a three bedroom fiver. Not bad, but a bunch of weight to haul around.

We were disappointed in the gadget/accessories section of the show. I was really looking forward to seeing some stuff that I would not be able to live without in this exhibit area. But alas, there were a bunch of campground “clubs” in this section, along with travel representatives from a number of states and Canadian provinces. Add in the cookware demonstrations, and there didn’t seem to be a whole bunch of RV gadgets. We did look at window shades. Lady CurbCrusher wants to get either the shades that wrap around the windshield when you park, or the ones that go up inside. She is still researching the options, but we were able to look at both during the day.

All in all, I don’t know if this is a show that I want to go to every year. I might be something that I can handle every other year or so. Its a long day and a lot of walking.

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