Saturday, January 28, 2017

The 2017 Quartzsite RV Show

Following my plan I let the opening weekend of the Quartzsite RV show pass without attending in hopes I could avoid the shoulder to shoulder crowds inside the main tent.  The following Tuesday my 14 day camping pass was expiring so on my way out of my campsite I drove near the show, parked the Tank, and continued on to the show on foot, avoiding the car and RV traffic.

Bet you can't tell Progressive Insurance is one of the show's sponser.
As I mentioned in my previous post the weather at Quartzsite this year was way below par.  It has been at least 10-15 degrees BELOW average temperatures for mid-January and those temperatures combined with a surprising amount of rain AND high winds have not made for the most pleasant camping experience.  As I walked to the Big Tent which contains the bulk of the displays I was hands-in-pockets shivering and inside the unheated Big Tent the only thing that improved, comfortability-wise was the wind was blocked.

The Big Tent.  It was actually a one-time circus tent.
I got to the show around 9:30am and apparently beat the "crowd" because there weren't more than a couple hundred of the curious wandering up and down the display booth aisles, a far cry from the show two years ago where you almost had to "swim" through the tightly packed mob.

I chatted with some long time attendees who lamented that the Quartzsite show had evolved away from just being about RVs and parts for them and become a much more broadly focused show with many booths having seemingly noting to do with RVs.

A hot tub booth, guess I could tow it behind the Tank if it had wheels.
Several of the booth vendors I talked to mentioned the sub-par weather as holding this year's attendance down and it sounded like sales for some were extremely slow.

Some booths were unmanned, maybe waiting for things to get more crowded?
The food booths outside the Big Tent did a land office business two years ago but it appeared everyone was still adhering to their New Year's dieting resolutions this year.

The line for Phat Dawgs was 10 deep 2 years ago.
Although I got a little thirsty with all the walking around I didn't have the guts to try this:

I like bacon and lemonade, just not mixed!
My Escapees RV Club had a booth at the show and it had surprisingly robust traffic, considering they weren't exactly selling anything.

The Escapee booth.
It's too bad the weather depressed the crowds at this year's show, I'm sure a lot of the exhibitors count on the show to kick off the new sales year and, from what I could tell, sales were pretty lackluster.  I did talk to a guy at a sales booth for Renogy, the maker of the Tank's solar panels, and got some questions I had answered regarding portable panel setups so it wasn't a wasted trip for me, but if the weather forecast next year doesn't show temperatures in the mid-70's (which would be usual) I will probably forego the 2018 Quartzsite Show.

Thanks for reading!