59th Annual Midwest RV Super Show & RV/MH Hall of Fame Experience
Our Data Team Leader, Shari recently visited a RV show and shares her experience below…
Whether you are interested in the history of how the RV got its start, are shopping for a new travel trailer or fifth wheel, or interested in getting started in the RV lifestyle and not sure which type would suite you best. Or maybe you’re like me, and work in the RV industry in a less hands on capacity and wish to get a better feel for a large variety of products out there all in one location. If so, then let me suggest heading to the RV capitol of the world, Elkhart, IN, and attending the Annual Midwest RV Super Show held at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Events Center some year on Executive Parkway right in Elkhart. This year was the 59th Annual Midwest RV Super Show and I attended with my husband and 13 year old son.
The museum is really interesting and gives you the opportunity to see how the RV industry got started with a trip down memory lane were you can see a miniature replica of how the factory builds units step by step, explore a variety of recreational vehicles from the very oldest in the world to some popular in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.
Many allow you to step right inside to get a closer look, while others are viewable through windows and open doors. You really get an idea of how things have changed with today’s innovations, yet still see some very similar layouts from 100 years ago.
We saw the worlds oldest 1913 ‘Earl’ travel trailer and Model T Ford that was custom made for a Cal Tech professor by a Los Angeles carriage worker, a 1954 popular Klingler Product called the Holiday Rambler, which later became a named manufacturer of travel trailers and motorhomes, a 1931 Model AA Ford House Car, a popular Serro Scotty 10’ Tear Drop from the 40’s and 50’s which featured a space inside to sleep and a rear kitchen that even now is making a comeback (tear drop style) due to the ease of being pulled by any economy car today.
There was a 1966 Mustang travel trailer that showcased the first bunkhouse design ever in an RV. C Fred Koppy of Bristol, IN, was manager of the Westward Coach Company plant that built the Mustang even before Ford started using the name for a car.
Once you finished your experience inside the museum, gift shop, etc., you then could make your way to the 250 brand new products displayed outside on the RV/MH Hall of Fame Events Center grounds. It was amazing how many different brands were present. This was a unique opportunity to spend time inside as many RV’s as we wanted during our stay. It was during this time that I really got a feel for and appreciation for different aspects of a variety of recreational vehicles.
I am a data specialist that views a lot of these same units daily on paper, on websites, looking at photos, specs., floor plans, etc., and the opportunity to actually get inside so many of them in one location was awesome. You just don’t get the same sense of space, luxury, quality, and functionality from a photo that you get when you are actually inside these units. My husband and I quickly got a feel for what we liked and didn’t care for, what we would have to have if we were indeed in the market to buy, and a sense for which type of unit would suite our family the best.
We found we had a great appreciation for windows, something I never really thought about, the color of the cabinetry really does matter. The number of entrances, the location of the bathroom, and the bunkhouses that we saw were for the most part awesome!
I also had an opportunity to check out a few park model homes like the Breckenridge Summit and Forest River Quailridge. These cabin like homes have residential features and furnishings, and many have stairs to a loft that is quite spacious. I have always envisioned one of these on a piece of land up north someday.
The class A’s, although quite out of my price range, were impressive. Not sure I would feel comfortable driving one down the road, but “WOW”, it really is like having your home on wheels!
After an entire day of exploring, and experiencing at least 85 of the units first hand by myself, and as a family, it was unanimous that it would certainly be fun to own one, almost anyone of them. My family also got a real appreciation for what I did at work as a data specialist and the information that I was looking for during the show. I am taking from it a better understanding of the layout and style and how that equates to spaciousness, along with finding some unique features that are not always depicted in a floor plan image on a manufacturer or dealer site. The actual experience of being able to step inside, open up cabinets, find unique hidden storage spaces and drawers, plus feel the comfort of furnishings provided, as well as, really being able to visualize your family using the unit is something that every Rver, or potential Rver should experience. The 59th Annual Midwest RV Super Show gave me the opportunity to do all of those things and more.
Shari has been with InteractRV for 10 years on our data team that acquires RV data from manufacturers as well as writes unique content in the form of mfg, make, and model descriptions.