published: Sunday, January 20, 2013
RV Show motors into Lee Civic Center
Special to the News-Sun
FORT MYERS - Promising outdoor traveling adventure and family fun, the Fort Myers Recreation Vehicle Show motors into the new year at the Lee Civic Center this Jan. 24-27, according to Dan Wylie, president of Florida RV Trade Association-Region One.
This year's RV extravaganza promises to continue providing attendees the opportunity to see the latest and best camping products available to local RVers and lovers of the great outdoors offered by 17 RV dealers, Wylie says. "Attendees can view hundreds of recreation vehicles of all different types, sizes and prices. It also features 75 outdoor and camping supply vendors," he says.
"For many years, the Fort Myers RV Show has been the top RV show in Florida and the Southeast simply because of the high quality products, outstanding displays and cost-saving prices," Wylie explains. "I'm proud to say this emphasis on quality has enabled the show to grow into the largest dealer show in Florida and one of the largest RV shows in the Southeast."
The 28th Annual Fort Myers RV Show features 17 dealers from throughout Florida displaying a large selection of new 2013 recreation vehicles of all styles, brands and price ranges, including folding campers, gas and diesel motorhomes, travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth wheels, park models and van campers.
Besides RVs, the show offers attendees the chance to browse 75 outdoor and camping vendors displaying equipment and accessories to help outfit RVers or provide information on camping throughout the nation. Items include new braking systems, RV insurance, specialized camping equipment and high-tech engine enhancers for fuel efficiency.
Recent research conducted by Dr. Richard Curtin, RV industry analyst and director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, reveals 8.5 percent of U.S. households now own RVs, up from 8.0 percent in 2005. RV ownership rates have surged among adults 35-54 and 55 and over, according to Curtin. In the 35-54 demographic, RV ownership rose from 9.0 percent in 2005 to 11.2 percent today. Among those 55 and older, ownership rates grew from 8.6 percent to 9.4 percent.
And, with the economy stretching consumers' budgets, RV travel remains an affordable option. PKF's spring 2011 Vacation Cost Comparison Study shows that RV trips remain the most affordable way for a family to travel because of the significant savings on air, hotel and restaurant costs, which continue to rise. The study showed that a family of four can save 27-59 percent on vacation costs by traveling in an RV, depending on the thpe of trip taken and RV used. A two-person travel party (the typical empty-nest couple) would save 11-46 percent. With continuing high fuel prices, more than 80 percent of RV owners say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of vacation.
To combat rising fuel prices, RV manufacturers have improved fuel economy through the use of plastic composite materials that have reduced the weight of many RVs by as much as 25 percent. Fuel prices would need to more than double from their current level to make RVing more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel, the PKF study showed.
The lure of RVing is bearing fruit as the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), recently reported that year-to-date total shipments rose to 277,300 units in 2012, a nearly 10 percent gain over 2011. The expected gain of 4.5 percent for 2013 shipments would mark four consecutive years of RV market growth.
"For the majority of RV buyers, the interest on their purchase is tax deductible since it qualifies as a second home," Dan continues. "Now is the time to buy since RV prices have never been lower, making the RV lifestyle surprisingly affordable."
The 28th Annual Fort Myers RV Show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27. Admission is $8 with children under 16 free. Parking is free. Thursday's tickets are discounted to $5 each.
To reach the Lee Civic Center, take exit 143 (State Road 78) and go east 3 miles. Go to www.frvta.org/rv-shows for more information.
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