ELKHART — Doug and Danielle Nieman recently purchased their first hybrid camper, but said eventually they know they’ll want to upgrade to something else.
To get some ideas, the Kokomo couple and their two children were among the first crowd of visitors exploring the hundreds of recreational vehicles on-site at the 64th annual Midwest RV Super Show Thursday morning in Elkhart.
“We went from a tent to purchasing our first hybrid three months ago which was a big jump for us,” said Danielle Nieman. “We wanted to check this show out to look at the different styles to get an idea of what we might want next.”
Seems the Niemans came to the right place, according to organizers.
The show runs through Sunday and is at the all-new expansion of the RV Hall of Fame off of C.R. 17. It will feature more than 300 units from 11 dealers, said event coordinator Matt Rose, the director of recreation vehicles for the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association and Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council Inc.
Rose said the show caters to browsing, educating and purchasing over the four days. He said it’s great for comparison shopping units by seeing the different floorplans and available features from a wide variety of manufacturers.
“What’s neat about this particular RV show is that attendees can buy one ticket and see 11 different dealers in one spot instead of driving all over northern Indiana to see multiple dealerships,” said Rose. “You can see RVs from a $10,000 towable RV up to a quarter of a million dollar Class A motorhome and everything in between.”
With so many dealers all in one place, Rose said it’s also a great place for buyers to negotiate their best price. Many of the RVs are priced at 20 to 25 percent below manufacturer suggested retail price, he said.
“What we have here is a combination of 2019s and 2020s and because we’re toward the end of the season, there’s tremendous specials and sales out here because dealers want to get rid of their 2019s,” Rose said.
Show dealer Dave Titus, owner of International RV Wholesalers in Elkhart, has participated in the Super Show for the past 25 years and said the show has been beneficial in increasing his sales.
“It’s the year-end blowout … we thin our inventory out in the wintertime and the show is great for the customers because if they’re going to buy an RV, they’re going to get the best deal right here and right now,” he said.
Titus brought 50 units to the show, a mix of travel trailers, fifth-wheels and park trailers. They range in size from 20 to 44 feet, and in price from $15,000 to over $100,000.
“If a family comes and wants their first RV, we’ve got it or if a retired couple comes in that wants their dream RV to see the entire U.S., we’ve got that, too,” Titus said.
Also, Rose said the show is a great time to buy because there are no dealer transportation costs since many RVs are made in the Elkhart area.
When you buy a new car, you pay the same delivery rate no matter where in the country the dealer is located. But when you buy an RV, the transport cost increases by the mile.
This factor draws show dealers from all around the country, Rose said, adding that he expects attendance to reach 6,000 throughout the show’s four day course.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame is at 21565 Executive Parkway in Elkhart. Hours of the show are Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $10, which includes admission to the Hall of Fame and museum. Children under age 15 will be admitted free.