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RV show motors back to Civic Center

By Staff | Jan 21, 2015

The latest and best recreation vehicles and camping supplies will be available to those who love the great outdoors as the 30th annual Fort Myers RV show comes to the Lee Civic Center starting Thursday and running through Sunday.

Hundreds of RVs of all types, sizes and prices will be on display from 15 RV dealers throughout the region, making it one of the largest RV shows in the state.

A large selection of 2015 RVs will be available to peruse and buy. There will be gas and diesel motor homes, travel trailers, folding campers, toy haulers, van campers, park models and more.

“We’re going to have some high-end coaches that go as high as $1 million, but the market doesn’t really support that kind of unit. There will be something for everyone there,” said Jack Carver, show manager.

Also, nearly 100 vendors selling camping supplies, accessories, towing systems, and other items will be on hand.

The show in its heyday drew as many as 15,000 people. Following a horrible recession, attendance has been on the rise, with last year’s show drawing approximately 12,500 people, Carver said.

“We have a quality product people are interested in seeing, and we have a great variety. If you have an interest, we have a lot of stuff in one location,” Carver said.

RV sales continue to rise from the industry low in 2009. Shipping data based on research from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association in November shows that wholesale shipments to RV retailers rose to 361,400 units, a 3.9 percent over projected totals and more than double from 2009.

Carver said people seem to be itching to get back to travelling after years of having a slow economy, especially Baby Boomers who are retiring and wanting to see the Grand Canyon.

“People feel they can come and enjoy the RV lifestyle, see America, see different things and wake up to a different vista,” Carver said. “You don’t have to be frisked in an RV the way you do at the airport. It gives you the freedom to do things.”

RVs can also be affordable. PKF’s 2014 vacation cost comparison study said RV trips are the most affordable way to travel for a family, as it saves a family of four in air, hotel and restaurant costs between 27 and 62 percent, and between 11 and 48 percent for a two-person travelling party.

The Lee Civic Center is at 11831 Bayshore Road, North Fort Myers

The show is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 with children under 16 free. Parking is free.