Friday, October 24, 2014

Lots on display at RV show

The Midwest RV Super Show is back in full swing, with one local dealer reporting sales that could reach pre-recession levels this year.

Posted on Aug. 11, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.

ELKHART — Despite the rain, buyers came out to the Midwest RV Super Show Thursday and Friday at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, where the show is reaching pre-recession levels.

Though the full spectrum of recreational vehicles is up for sale, the number of pop-up RVs on display was smaller than the number of motor coaches with pop-out sides featuring outdoor televisions.

There are 215 units available, some which rolled out of the factory this week, available for sale from nine dealers, according to Mark Bowersox, the show’s director and executive director of the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association - Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council.

Standing under a canopy to avoid the drizzle Friday, Dave Titus, owner of International RV said, “we had a great day yesterday. People are buyers,” and that bodes well for his business.

If things keep up the pace this year, “we’re probably going to end up with the best year we’ve had the last seven, eight years,” Titus said. “Banks are lending money, people are buying.”

While the recession hammered Elkhart County — roughly 83 percent of RVs are built here, Bowersox said — Titus said the impact on the RV industry is good in the long run.

“I think the downturn of 2008 was one of the best things that happened to our industry. It got rid of the trash. I think the quality’s better now than ever,” Titus said.

Before the recession, it took his business more than five hours to get an RV ready to deliver it to customers. Today, it takes about 30 minutes of work, he said.

Bowersox said, “The industry’s coming back, the dealers are coming back,” and so are the customers. People from this region and from as far away as Florida, Tennessee and the Carolinas have been there so far.

“Elkhart is always a good place to buy all around, and this show is a good show,” Bowersox said.

That’s exactly what Blake and Cheryl Bauer were doing as they tried to keep up with their three daughters, darting from one model to the next. They came to Elkhart from Buchanan, Mich., looking to move out of a motor home and into a tow-behind camper for reduced maintenance. “I just want something I can lock up, hook up and go,” Blake Bauer said.

“We’ve found a couple of good options,” he said.

The people who’ve come this year have been glad to see more trailers than the show was able to feature the last couple of years in downtown Elkhart. “It was tight last year, this is better,” she said.

Bowersox said he’s grateful to have had the help of the city over the last two years, but he’s also glad the hall of fame and the show seem to be a good fit for each other.

The show runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults, and package deals are available for the show and admission to the hall of fame museum.

Recommended for You

 FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2012, file photo, women walk by a statue of Joseph and Emma Smith outside the church office building during the 182nd Semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. Mormon church founder Joseph Smith had an underage bride and was married to other men’s wives during the early days of the faith when polygamy was practiced, a new church essay reveals. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says most of Smith’s wives were between 20 and 40 years old but that one was just 14. While part of the church's early days, polygamy has been banned in the faith since 1890.  (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Scott Sommerdorf, File)

Posted 54 minutes ago
 In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo Roman numerals mark a timber from the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Posted 54 minutes ago
Back to top ^