2015 Tampa RV Supershow
Bushnell, FL - Events of Wednesday, January 14, 2015
On Wednesday, we headed about an hour south to the 2015 RV Supershow at the Florida State Fairgrounds near Tampa. The show ran Wednesday through Sunday. We like to go on Wednesday because Wednesday is senior day with a $1 discount. You can get $1 discount coupons good other days of the show, but we go on senior day so we don't have to bother with coupons and because the show gets more crowded as the weekend approaches.
We have been going to the Tampa RV Show for at least 7 or 8 years, and this is the biggest crowd we ever remember seeing. Traffic was backed up all the way from the fairgrounds onto I-4 and back I-4 to I-75 - a distance of almost 3 miles.
One reason for the bigger than normal crowds was the weather forecast predicted rain and cooler temperatures for Thursday. More than that, however, we think lots of people may be considering buying new RVs because the economy is improving, albeit slowly, and because fuel prices are the cheapest they have been for years. We've certainly seen more new RVs at Blueberry Hill this year.
Even though it was crowded, we got a better parking space than we usually get. It's all in the luck of the draw because they fill parking spaces by row. If you happen to arrive when they just starting a new row like we did this time, you will be closer to the entrance.
Just inside the entrance, we ran into the Plant Guy. We met him for the first time last year, so Paul wanted to be sure to get a photo again with him this year. He cracked jokes about plants and spewed plant puns the whole time.
Knowing the RV accessory areas get more and more crowded as the morning progresses, we made a bee-line for the accessory area nearest the entrance. The area was a little crowded, but not too bad.
With us ready to pick up the new 5th wheel the following week, Paul wanted to do some research into tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) and backup cameras. We didn't find any TPMS or cameras in the first accessory area, but we did find a microfiber door mat that is supposed to be really, really good at trapping dirt, sand and mud. We bought one hoping it will be effective in keeping the carpet in the new rig cleaner longer. It's also lighter in weight than our old mat.
We headed to the second accessory area next. The crowds outside were starting to build, but the outside areas are obviously a lot more open so getting around is a lot easier than in the enclosed accessory areas.
On the way, we passed some of the many wandering entertainers. The woman in the behind boat sang while the man accompanied her in his trombone.
In addition to the showboat shown above, we saw several other entertainers that were familiar to us from previous years. We also saw a couple of new groups we had never seen before.
By the time we got to the second accessory area, the crowd was much thicker than in the first. There were so many people it was hard to make your way around. If someone in front of you stopped, you had little choice but to stop, too, because there was no room to squeeze by.
Paul only saw one vendor for rear vision cameras, and he wasn't very impressed with their explanation of their products. Paul felt like his questions were an imposition, so we quickly moved on. Scratch that vendor from the list.
We did find the vendor whose TPMS Paul is considering buying. They have a couple of products to choose from plus a couple of variations within those products. Paul got good information, but was unable to make up his mind as to which option to go with, so he decided to do a little more research on his own and order directly from the company later.
For the first time since we have been going to the Tampa RV Show, we did not stop at the Tiffin booth. We did, however, stop by the DRV booth. They had a Tradition that was the same floorplan we ordered. The decor and some of the options were different; but it's been so long since we placed the order, it was nice to have a reminder of what we would be getting the following week.
As we headed out of the show shortly after noon, crowds were pouring in the main entrance. That's the reason we try to arrive shortly after the show opens.
We stopped at Qdoba Mexican Grill for a late lunch like we usually do on the way back to Blueberry Hill. After relaxing the rest of the day and evening, Paul headed out the next morning to get the new hitch installed in the truck. We'll tell you all about it in our next post.