Friday, January 18, 2008

RV Heaven

What happens when you have over 1300 recreational vehicles, over 350 booths with people selling everything from RV supplies, to RV lots, to insurance, Russian diamond jewelry, cookware, RV insurance, vibrating chair pads and oh, so much more? You have the Florida RV Supershow. Over 17 acres of motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, toy box haulers, conversion vans, truck campers and pop-tops, interspersed with booths advertising various campgrounds, membership organizations, insurance,blah blah blah, strolling entertainers and troubadours, free handouts, door prizes and pricey mediocre food vendors.

And what did the distaff half of the RV Vagabonds do? She forgot the memory card for her camera and therefore didn't get a single darn picture of the whole extravaganza. ARRRGGGHHHHH. We spent five hours there and only looked at some of the vendors booths and fifth wheels--we didn't enter a single $500,000 motorhome, or a $5,000 pop top, or peer into anything that wasn't a fifth wheel. We must have climbed up and down one hundred sets of entry steps and saw trailers with fireplaces and glossy marble floors and stained glass windows and bunk beds and mother-in-law bedrooms (a second bedroom in the rig) and double refrigerators and 42 inch HD TVS.

We saw expensive trailers where the designers had obviously never sat in the rigs they designed, because they put a big desk top along one wall and then sat a 42 inch TV right on top of it, so you couldn't put a desktop PC or even sit at the desk with a laptop without blocking half the TV screen for anyone else sitting in the room. Yes, you could pay over $100,000 for a trailer with a useless desk, or furniture that was upholstered with material that was so dark and drab that you'd have to have all the lights on inside in broad daylight.

There were manufacturers that obviously had listened to their customers and had started building their units with the consumer in mind. Yay for them! Cupboards were well placed and spacious, electrical outlets were convenient, desktops had holes in the surface for computer/printer cables, kitchens had enough counter space. If a load of money dropped into our laps tomorrow, Denny and I would seriously consider buying a new Landmark Augusta fifth wheel--made in Elkhart, IN with Amish made cabinetry, this manufacturer gathered a round table of fulltime RVers and asked them what they wanted in a fifth wheel and then implemented some of those suggestions. It's a nice rig.

Denny and I had enough after five hours and dragged our tired rear ends to the truck for the hour and a half drive home. We had free tickets to return anytime over the next three days, but once was enough for us at that distance. What we discovered is that while it's nice to look and compare, we're pretty darn happy with what we've got now. That is, after we get a whole house vacuum cleaner, a new refrigerator so I'm not defrosting it every ten days, and a new pocket door to replace the one that is delaminating. That's going to be a lot cheaper than buying a $80,000-$100,000 fifth wheel, right?

This is the kitchen area of the fifth wheel I would buy. Note the abundance of counter space which would allow Denny to make his wonderful pies. Sink, stove and refrigerator are all close together for ease in cooking and clean up. I like it.

This is the kitchen of a fifth wheel that costs three times as much as the one I want. Do you see anything here that you'd pay $227,000 for?

A large percentage of fifth wheels have nice desk areas. This one in the Landmark Augusta has a fireplace (out of sight to the right of the frame) under the desk. Me, I'd replace that with a cupboard for storing of files and computer "stuff".

Someone always pulls the "WOW" factor at these RV shows. This is the bedroom of the Gulfstream Tourmaster in the 45 foot long motorhome. What you are looking at is a very large TV inset into the bottom of a king-sized Murphy bed. Across the room is a pair of lounge chairs. That's right, the bedroom is a "lounge" during the day. Now, Denny and I like to watch the news in bed at night, which is not-so-doable if the TV is under the bed when you are lying in bed. RV manufacturers--what are you thinking when you design these rigs?

Another oddity. This is a "loft" in a travel trailer. I guess it would be good for going to NASCAR races and parking in the infield to watch the race and party.

My thanks to Don and Vicki for providing these pictures to cover for my senior moment in leaving my camera's memory card at home when we went to the Florida RV Supershow.


Coll said...

Wow.. beautiful stuff. Years ago Rol and I checked out a RV show.. just amazing what is in those trailers and 5th wheels. Can't help but be impressed.

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