Sep 182010

Okay, now I have officially seen it all. When we arrived at the Giant Center yesterday, everybody going into the RV show had to pass through a security checkpoint, where sheriff’s deputies were searching all purses, bags, backpacks, briefcases, and such. I asked what they were looking for, and the lady deputy told me they were trying to prevent anyone from bringing alcohol onto the premises.

Are you kidding me? Not guns, hand grenades, or flamethrowers, but booze! Heck, if I was an RV salesman trying to sell some of the crap they make these days, I’d want my customers to be half in the bag. It would make my job a lot easier! Maybe they were worried about the vendors making hot toddies to ward off the chill from standing on the ice rink? In all of our years on the road, working RV rallies from coast to coast, I’ve never seen that before!

Several of the vendors who have worked the Hershey RV Show in the past have been telling us all week that Friday and Saturday would be killer days, and make up for the terribly slow days we had during the week. As it turns out, yesterday was a better day than we had been experiencing, but it wasn’t the killer day they had forecast.

We did see more traffic, and we passed out a lot of sample copies of the Gypsy Journal, but sales were nothing to get excited about, and we were never overwhelmed with customers swarming into the vendor area. But, overall, we had a fairly steady flow of people passing by.

In the last couple of days, we did get the opportunity to see some folks we have met before, and we got to meet some longtime Gypsy Journal and blog readers. Ralph and Cheryl Schey stopped by Thursday, as did Brain Marsh, and Roy Brody. Yesterday Dave and Linda Spindle came by, also Dick and Susan Nevala, Jim Kilpatrick, Gary and Truann Berger, and  I know that there were several others whose names escape this late at night. I hope those who I missed will forgive me.

And here are some photos of the other vendors who are here with us. These three ne’er-do-wells are (left to right) Amy Cannon, Mike Hayn, and Walter Cannon, manning the RVSEF booth.

Amy Mike Hayn Walter

A few booths down from them, Sandy and Ralph Kinzer were in their booth, displaying Star Lights LED lights for RVs. Switching to LED lights can really help reduce your power usage, and boondockers have eagerly embraced the LED technology.

Kinzer booth

Now here’s a shady character it there ever was one. That’s my pal Al Hesselbart, historian for the RV Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, Indiana.

Al Hesselbart

Al may look like a cowboy in that picture, but the picture I can’t get out of my mind is the one of him as one of the Hoosier Honey beauty contestants at our rally in Elkhart a couple of weeks ago. I’ve tried, folks, I really have. But it’s burned into my psyche forever.

Al Nick

Here’s Miss Terry petting one of the rabbits that Flakey the Clown uses when he entertains kids young and old at RV rallies and shows.

Terry petting rabbit

The pretty smiling lady on the left is Carrie Freeman, from Round Top Campground in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Carrie is about the most cheerful person I’ve ever met. She’s so happy she depresses me sometimes. I can’t tell you her friend’s name, because she in the federal witness protection program and it’s classified information. Or else I just forgot it, I can’t remember which. When we leave here next week, we’re going to stop at Round Top Campground for a couple of days and get underfoot until Carrie throws us out.

Round Top Campground booth

So today is supposed to be the big day at the Hershey Show. We’ll see how it works out.

Before I close, one bit of RV industry news. We learned yesterday that Thor Industries has purchased Heartland Recreational Vehicles. I’ve already heard a lot of comments from RVers about how this will impact the marketplace. I’ve always been impressed with Heartland products, and I hope this will be a good move for the company. It’s obviously good for Thor, based upon Heartland’s record setting history of growth, even when the rest of the RV industry was in a deep slump. What are your thoughts on the deal?

Thought For The Day – I took an IQ test, and the results were negative.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  2 Responses to “A Better Day, But No Killer”

  1. We now own a 2011 Landmark Grand Canyon, having traded in our 2008 Bighorn in May. We hope customer service will remain high on Thor’s priority list as much as on Heartland’s. Customer service is one of the reasons we purchased another Heartland product.

  2. Nancy and I toured the Heartland facilities the Saturday following your Gypsy Journal Rally two weeks ago. We were impressed with the look of their finished package, however we saw construction techniques that left us happy that we have the motorhome that we do. The tour guide that day was clearly knowlegable and also wanted to hear what we said about “his” products. Perhaps the purchase by Thor will help them in updating their product line. As always, oRV

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.