If you already have your dream RV, why would you want to go to an RV show? Even if you are not in the market for a new RV, there is so much more to many of today’s large shows. The Florida RV SuperShow held every January in Tampa at the State Fairgrounds is a great example of this – it’s a serious party. It has almost a festival type vibe with street performers, tasty food (we found some to-die-for Cuban sandwiches), and after parties with live music sponsored by local dealerships. There are approximately 1,550 RVs for you to browse from the tiniest of towables to most lavish of diesel pushers.
Here’s why you should plan to go to this great event next year and tips for your first visit:
Plan to Camp
Whether you are into boondocking or a more full-service setup, there are options at the Tampa show for you. The Super Rally is the onsite campground set up that includes hook-ups. This camping books up very quickly, so you need to plan ahead if you want to take advantage of those amenities.
But, if you are into boondocking then you will be in good company, since this is a very popular option. A $20 per night overnight fee and no need for reservations gives you plenty of flexibility whether you want to stay one night or the whole show. When you arrive, you will likely be directed to a specific spot. But once the show starts to clear out around happy hour time, you can move around and find the perfect spot whether that be paved or grassy, sunny or shaded.
Make it a Meetup
Invites some friends, family, or fellow RV owners and turn it into a meetup. We put out the word on the Winnie B Facebook group as well as the individual van Facebook groups and it quickly turned into a mega-meetup. I think at one point we had more than 40 vans parked together. Throughout the whole event, I would guess we had nearly 100 van owners drop by for a visit!
It was a great chance to catch up with old friends, like fellow GoLife contributors Noel Fleming and Chris Miller, as well as make new friends like Mark and Judy Lenz who I previously only knew as @candietravato on Instagram. Our meetup culminated with an epic pizza party (thanks to Winnebago) and many plans for meeting up again.
Make it a Shopping Spree
There were more than 450 vendors at the event! I promise that no matter how complete you think your RV is, you will find something you just have to have. I found two great items at this show which I just couldn’t resist. First were the GRIPSTICs – reusable bag sealing sticks that lock the air out and helps keep your food fresh. Several people had recommended these to me, so I was on a hunt to find them at the show. These items are compact and easily stored in small spaces like your RV drawers.
The other item was the Nano Shade which is a repositionable shade that can be stuck right on your windows. This shade cuts down on UV and heat, and also blocks the sun from your eyes while driving. They come in many different shapes and sizes and you can also cut them to fit for your specific needs.
Explore the Area
I got to spend some extended time in Tampa and check out some great sites. There were a couple places very close to the event that would be easy trips to take if you want a break from the show. First is the neighborhood of Ybor City which is only five miles from the fairgrounds. This is a lively neighborhood that has a number of unique boutiques and vintage shops, a State museum found in an old 1920’s bakery, and plenty of great restaurants and bars. You may especially enjoy the many Cuban and Latin American eateries which the area is known for.
Another great choice, a little further away (about 15 minutes), is Parkesdale Farm Market in Plant City. Like most roadside markets, they have an array of fresh produce. But what people really go for is the STRAWBERRIES. The menu is a smorgasbord of shortcake, ice cream, and milkshake options. All, of course, have the magic ingredient – local strawberries! You can expect a line when you arrive, but trust me it is worth the wait.
Although you’ll have to wait until next year to check out the Tampa SuperShow, there are some other big national shows and many regional ones as well (check out this calendar for a list). As you plan your future adventures, consider factoring one of these into your plans and try using these tips to make it a fun getaway! Cheers!