We were up early yesterday (that’s two days in a row, if anybody’s counting), and drove down to Tampa to spend the day at the Florida RV SuperShow. We’ve heard about this big show for years, but this was our first time to attend. The folks in Hershey, Pennsylvania claim that the Hershey Show is the largest RV show in the world, but having been to both, I seriously doubt that. And there is no question in either of our minds that the Florida show is much better in every way. More RVs on display, more vendors, the vendor areas are much easier to access, and there were a lot more people shopping the vendors.
There were all kinds of RVs on display, from small popup trailers, to mammoth diesel pushers that cost more money than many of us will make in our lifetimes. There were even toy haulers with back porches! How cool is that?
We ran into our friend Jim Beletti from Heartland Recreational Vehicles, and spent some time visiting with him, and checked out several of the rigs they had on display. If Terry and I ever switched to a fiver, it would be a Heartland. We really like their products and the way they stand behind them. That’s why, in all of our years of publishing the Gypsy Journal, Heartland is the only RV manufacturer whose advertising we have accepted. Others have approached us, but when I tell them that it is my policy to report the good and the bad about any products, and their advertising dollars won’t change that, they go away.
We ran into several vendor friends, including Ken Murphy from Coil N Wrap. He had some neat LED lights that replace the fluorescent tubes in RV ceiling lights, and we’ll be buying some of those. They are much brighter, don’t get hot, and use much less electricity.
We also spent some time visiting with Steve and Judy Congrove from Big Rig RV Accessories. They were vendors at our rally in Celina in September, and will be in Yuma for our Arizona rally in March.
Dale and Cindy Sumner from Mobile RV Medic were on hand, selling Dale’s excellent guides to understanding your RV systems, 120 volt shore power systems, and 12 volt electrical systems. If you need to understand how your RV works, and how to maintain it, do yourself a favor and order Dale’s books. They’re written by an expert, and will save you much over the cover price in savings on repairs and upkeep.
And here I am with my buddy Jim Guld from Geeks on Tour. A lot of people get the two of us confused because we’re nearly identical twins, so to help you tell the difference, one of us has a big goofy grin, and the other one is me.
We also got to talk to Phil May from TechnoRV for a while. Phil and his lovely wife Tracy, along with the Geeks, are putting together a rally in Bushnell in the spring, with the emphasis on computers and technical subjects. Between the four of them, there is a ton of knowledge and experience for you to learn from.
Is this what they call a long, tall Texan?
What, you’ve never seen an armadillo pulling a covered wagon, towing a cowboy on stilts before?
We got to see a lot of other people, including our pals Dave and Jean Damon, who sell 303 Protectant at our Eastern Gypsy Journal rallies, and Bob Cochran, who owns Camping Connection in Kissimmee. Not to mention Paul and Linda Odom, Tom Drotning and his pretty lady (whose name escapes me at this late hour), Russ and Patti Frady, and Lefty and Lori Neely, to name just a few. There were many others, but it’s late and my brain has turned to Jello, so I hope they’ll forgive me.
It was a busy, fun day, and by the time we got home, we were both worn out. It would take a couple of days to really see everything there is to see at the Tampa show, and we’re looking forward to going back next year.
We have another cold wave coming through, with overnight temperatures in the 30s and highs in the 60s for the next couple of days. We’ll probably just hang around the motorhome and get some things accomplished here. We’ll be scratching our hitch itch early next week, starting our trip west, with several stops along the way to see friends and break up the journey.
Thought For The Day – Lead me not into temptation. Instead follow me, I know a shortcut!