To The Show We Go

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 142015

The rain had stopped sometime overnight and when we got up a little after 7 yesterday morning it was cool and damp but it looked like a good day for a trip. Terry had a lot of our pre-trip preparations done inside the motorhome the night before so it was easy to finish the rest, and we pulled out of Three Flags RV Resort in Wildwood, Florida just after 9 a.m.

In spite of about 35 miles of road construction, we made good time and arrived at the Florida State Fairgrounds about 10:30. There was some confusion when we went to the registration office for the Tampa RV Super Show, but the nice ladies behind the counter got it straightened out pretty quickly and before long we had our press passes and parking permits and were off to get parked and settled in.

We’re on a back in grass site with 50 amp full hookups. Well, it would be full hookups except that some clod who was here before us put the sewer cap in upside down and somehow managed to get in jammed in at an angle, and nothing we could do would budge it. We finally gave up and ran an extra length of our RhinoFLEX Sewer Hose to another sewer outlet. (Always carry lots of extra hoses and cords.)

Sewer cap

It had warmed up quite a bit and was really muggy, so once we had a chance to cool down we wandered around the show area, which is so big that we could never see it all in a full day and will be hard pressed to get to all of it in the five days we’ll be here.

There are two buildings of indoor vendors, situated a long way apart, and literally hundreds of RVs for sale. Class A motorhomes, Class C motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers, travel trailers, toy haulers, van conversions, truck conversions, you name it and they’re here to walk through and drool over.

Even though not all of the indoor vendors were set up, we did see several people we know, including Don and Kim Greene of Harvest Hosts. When we first met this nice couple, they were just launching their business, which offers members a network of wineries, farms and agri-tourism sites that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight for free. It’s a great way to save some money and meet some really nice people in your RV travels, and Harvest Hosts is growing bigger all the time. Terry and I are thrilled by their success.

Harvest Hosts Don Kim Greene

We also stopped to chat with our friend Phil May from TechnoRV. Phil and his pretty wife Tracey sell all kinds of RV goodies, from GPS units to TireTraker tire pressure monitoring systems, to LED lights and a whole lot more. We’ll be getting together with Phil and Tracey for dinner later in the week.

And we made a new friend too! Marcy Krauss was manning the Fantasy RV Tours booth and introduced herself and told us she’s a longtime blog reader. We chatted for a while and look forward to getting back to talk to her again while we’re here.

Our pal Al Hesselbart arranged for several vintage RVs to be on display at the RV show, including this very cool 1953 Pontiac Chief Deluxe 53 foot long travel trailer owned by Carl Sturgeon and Cherie Milburn from Spring Hill, Florida.

Pontiac Chief trailer

Another neat old rig in the group is this beautifully restored 1947 Westwood Tahoe that Lee and Lu Geary brought down from their home in Owensboro, Kentucky. 68 years old and still going strong!

1947 Westwood

All of that walking and looking really works up an appetite, so about 5 p.m. Al Hesselbart and John and Kathy Huggins from Living the RV Dream went to dinner with us. We had a nice meal, lots of good conversation, and today we’ll see lots more. If you’re headed to the show, wear comfortable walking shoes. You’ll need them!

Thought For The Day – Why isn’t 11 pronounced onety one?

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  6 Responses to “To The Show We Go”

  1. In the picture with the cream camper, what are those lights hanging? They look like ski lifts? What are they really?

  2. Nick, can you e plain to me how the Greene’s make money with their business, Harvest Hosts? I think I understand that the members pay to camp at the wineries, farms, etc, but what incentive do the owners of the properties have to have their property in the group? Thanks, Debbie

  3. I am totally jealous, envious, that you are at the Tampa Show. I have wanted to go to that show for years and never have had the time to go. In my previous life of a boater we loved the Miami Boat Show to see all the new boast and see all the trinkets and gadgets that were offered by the vendors. You always learn something new about the boating world. I know that Tampa is the same to the RV world and I could go and have a ball melting down my MC/Visa cards up. I have tried to get in the Louisville Show but haven’t made the right connection to get in but I am working on it. Have a great time and safe travel back to AZ this winter

  4. Gina – Terry said they are part of a sky ride for the fairgrounds, like a ski lift.

    Debbie – Harvest Hosts makes their income from the membership fees RVers pay to join. The wineries and farms usually sell their produce and products and hope visitors will buy something, though there is NO pressure to do so.

  5. I loved the Pontiac Chief tour! Carl & Cherie gave a nice little historical tour about it. We missed the Harvest Host and wished we hadn’t.
    It was so great meeting & visiting with y’all!

  6. New to Gypsy Journal…
    I’m doing my best to begin research on the Pontiac Chief travel trailers. Can anyone recommend resource information of a vintage expert who knows lots about them or the Pontiac Coach Company of Michigan” I’d be grateful for any leads other than Google searches.
    I think mine is a 1953 and is said to be 35 ft. long. It is near Lexington, Va.

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