Thursday, September 20, 2012

Down The Hershey Highway - 2012 PRVCA RV Show

Settled In
Last Friday I packed up and drove down to the yearly PRVCA (Pennsylvania RV & Camping Association) East Coast RV Show. This is billed as the largest event of its kind in America and is really a great place to see many, if not most of the new crop of RV's coming off the lines for the following year.

After an uneventful trip...well mostly. Don't you hate major detours from a secondary road that take you through winding, hilly terrain on skinny local roads? Thankfully, my RV is small....I'd hate to have to wrestle a 40 Foot Diesel Pusher through those twists and turns!

The "Not-So-Photogenic" Side Of The Aero Cruiser
Upon arriving, I went around the Hershey Park perimeter road three times until I realized the signage for Overnight parking was on one of those big LED roadsigns that change every few seconds. Murphy being who he is and me being who I am, I went by the sign exactly when it said, "Handicap Parking" of course a second later it indicated "Overnight Parking," but hey random chance being what it is...I missed it. Twice! After finally getting in to the lot I was lead to my overnight dry camping spot in the Giant Center's massive parking lot. They rope off around 100 spots for over-nighters and charge $25 a night. Not really bad considering you can easily walk to the entrance and back during the day for lunch or a break.

Packed Lot Adjacent to Overnight Parking
The only issue? People that ignore the spots and park haphazardly in every crazy direction. Since my friend Brian was joining me in his 30 Foot Toy Hauler Trailer and Van combo (a REALLY good combination!) I tried to situate my rig so he could park next to me "door to door." We often eat together or cook in one RV and eat in the other, depending on how many people are joining us. The first night it was just Brian and myself so we cooked and ate in my RV. His lovely wife, daughter and a friend would be joining us (in their own car) later in the evening. Hershey is great for Non-RV'ers who'd like to go shopping as there is a giant outlet mall VERY close. In fact it's on Hershey Park Drive!

The Arena Floor
Once inside the show there are hundreds of RV's you can look at, go inside and "play" with. I always start with the indoor Arena section. Its on the floor of the Arena and where most of the "stuff" vendors set up. I like to see what's new and pick up a few miscellaneous items I've run out of. Bought a new sewer elbow and adapter, a very cool collapsible salad spinner that doubles as a large serving bowl and a colander and a new fridge fresh hanging smell reducer. I like its cool shape and it's purple.

Sometimes you even get a glimpse of new technology that is looming on the horizon. This time I got a good close look at a Fuel Cell for RV use. It uses Methanol (a form of Alcohol) to silently and without combustion generate electricity. Pretty cool. A unit the size of a large toaster will generate 7.5 Amp/Hrs. of power. Not quite enough to run your RV, but as a battery charger it's OK. Especially at night when Solar Power isn't available. Eventually the German company will bring larger units into the U.S. and I'll take a good look at the specifications. Stay Tuned.

Looks So Small Next To Other RVs

One of the best things about this trip? I got to spend some time with the Grand Poobah of the RV Newsletter, Chuck Woodbury. Chuck is a highly experienced and knowledgeable RV'er that enjoys sharing his thoughts with the rest of us. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't likely be writing these articles! We chatted about all sorts of things and he finally got to see my "Orphan" Aero Cruiser RV. There is a very good chance I'll be working with Chuck on an RV-Centric News Magazine TV Show. LITERALLY, Stay Tuned!

When my friend Brian and I walked the outside sections of the show, we noticed a few "themes" this years' crop[ of new RVs. Lots of exterior cook stations, large LCD TV/Stereo installations and side opening basement doors. I noticed that almost none of the interiors were cloth (or those riotous crazy color schemes) Microfiber suede and Pleather were the rule rather than the exception. Mostly in solid colors. I believe they make the interiors more modern and up to date, Brian likes the cloth versions better. To each his own.

All in all, the show was a great resource for ideas. You can really get a feel for the direction the RV Industry is headed from a show of this size. I go every year. Maybe I'll see you there next time?

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. Our moderator checks each one to make sure we keep the Spammers away. So the comment will likely not appear immediately.