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Fort Myers RV Show returns to Lee Civic Center

By Staff | Jan 22, 2016

It’s been decades since recreational vehicles have been so hot, and this weekend is your chance to join in on the fun.

The Lee Civic Center will host the 31st annual Fort Myers Recreation Vehicle Show through Sunday, where the best and newest rides will be on display for RV lovers and those interested in learning more about them.

Thousands are expected to attend the largest dealer-sponsored show in Florida and one of the largest RV shows in the Southeast.

This year’s event provides people the opportunity to see the latest and best camping products available to RVers and lovers of the outdoors offered by 14 RV dealers from throughout the Gulf Coast.

Attendees can view hundreds of recreation vehicles of all different types, sizes and prices, with more than 100 outdoor and camping supply vendors selling all sorts of accessories, towing systems, high-tech toys and more.

Dealers will display a large selection of new 2016 recreation vehicles of all styles, brands and price ranges, including folding campers, gas and diesel motorhomes, travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth wheels, park models, van campers and much more.

More than 12,000 people came to last year’s show and, weather permitting, even more are expected this year.

“With the interest in the RV industry and the lower fuel prices, I’m expected to have a lot more people attend this year,” said Jack Carver, an organizer for the event. “People really want to see America, especially with the baby boomers retiring. They’ve always wanted to go to Alaska or the Grand Canyon. The RV lifestyle allows them to travel and see what our great country has to offer.”

Chris Morse, president of Florida RV Trade Association-Region One, said the strong economy and people’s desire to have an economical vacation is another reason that people are getting into the RV experience.

“A lot of RVers come to upgrade. They trade in their old and get a new one,” Morse said. “We have a lot of people on the fence. A lot of them have been looking at a particular line which appeals to older adults because of the weight factor. They can safely tow these with their smaller vehicles.”

And now may be the best time to buy. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, October posted the highest sales total in more than 40 years with 33,843 units shipped. RVIA expects total 2015 shipments to reach 369,100 with total units shipped expected to increase in 2016 to 375,100.

Also, according to PKF’s 2014 Vacation Cost Comparison Study, RV trips remain the most affordable way for family travel because of the savings on air, hotel and restaurant costs.

For a four-person travel party, the study found savings between 27 and 62 percent; a two-person travel party saved between 11 and 48 percent over traditional travel.

“All the dealers are geared up and we have a lot of vendors who are looking forward to a good show. We want a great presentation for the public so we can negotiate for them the best deal,” Morse said.

The Fort Myers RV Show continues Friday and 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 courtesy of the RV Trade Association.

The Lee County Civic Center is at 11831 Bayshore Rd., North Fort Myers.

For more information, visit: events.frvta.org.