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34th Fort Myers RV show this weekend

By Staff | Jan 23, 2019

One of the longest running shows at the Lee Civic Center returns once again this weekend, as the 34th annual Fort Myers Recreation Vehicle Show rolls ibn for four days, showing off the latest and best RVs and accessories.

From Thursday through Sunday, the show will showcase outdoor traveling adventure and family fun, and provide attendees the opportunity to see the camping products available to RVers by 13 RV dealers and nearly 100 other vendors.

Jack Carver, of Associates in Professional Marketing, which is putting on the event, said the show will feature the latest and the greatest. Last year, more than 11,000 visitors came through during the four-day event.

“It’s the biggest show for dealers in Florida, and the only products will be the new 2019 models,” Carver said.

Dealers from along Florida’s Gulf Coast will display a large selection of new 2019 recreation vehicles of all styles, brands and price ranges, including folding campers, gas and diesel motorhomes, travel trailers, toy haulers, 5th wheels, park models and van campers.

Prices range from a few thousand to upscale motor coaches above a half-million dollars.

There also will be 100 outdoor and camping vendors displaying equipment and accessories to outfit RVers or provide information on camping throughout the country.

Items include new towing systems, RV insurance, specialized camping equipment and where to camp throughout the nation. Daily free RV travel and maintenance seminars also will be offered.

Carver said after several years of tremendous growth, the numbers have levelled off. The most current shipping data indicates RV wholesale deliveries as of November 2018 are at 455,309 units. This is down 2.8 percent one year ago.

It’s still much better than a decade ago, when only about a third of the RV units were sold. Today, approximately 10 million households now own an RV, with the biggest demographic being Baby Boomers looking to retire, Carver said.

“The RV business goes in cycles and the last few years everything was up, up, up. This year, they’re moderating. We still sold a lot of units, they were just down. I see us still on an upward trend,” Carver said. “We have a lot of Boomers coming down here looking to get out of the cold or retiring in general.”

According to a 2015 study by the RV Industry Association, the national RV Industry has a total economic impact of $50 billion and employs nearly 300,000 via 22,000 businesses.

For most, RV travel remains an affordable option. A new study by CBRE Hotels Advisory Group found that RV vacations cost much less than other types of vacation travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and the cost of RV ownership. The study found there are cost savings of between 21 and 64 percent for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party saves between 8 and 53 percent, depending on the type of RV and type of vacation.

“The great thing about the RV lifestyle is that if you don’t like your neighbors or want a different view, you can move. You can do what you want to do, when you want to do it,” Carver said.

The Fort Myers RV Show will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $10 with children under 16 free. Parking is free courtesy of the RV Trade Association.

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

For more information, go to www.FRVTA.org/show/ft-myers-rv-show/