Dealers gear up for first-ever retail show at RV Hall of Fame

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – About 150 RV’s are set to be for sale starting Friday at the RV Hall of Fame’s first-ever dealer show.

Dealers in Elkhart County said demand for units is already high this spring, and this sale could give them an extra boost.

"The atmosphere is just there. They're not coming just to kick my tires. They're coming to take my tires away,” said Rob Reid, President of Great Lakes RV. “With the warm weather in March, everything just exploded early. I mean it's almost too good to be true."

Reid said this spring, sales are the best he’s seen since 2008, and a lot of the customers walking through his doors are from Michiana.

“This spring we’re getting a lot of people from our local area, which is a good thing for us because that means our own area is thriving. We’re very excited about that. We’re getting our own people coming in.”

Reid said internet sales are also drawing in customers from nearby states like Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

While Reid said the industry is doing better, manufacturers are cautiously optimistic, since things haven’t quite bounced back to normal yet.

On Friday, Governor Mitch Daniels will be meeting with about 15 key players to talk about the industry and its impact on the economy. 

The RV Hall of Fame Executive Vice President, Thomas McNulty, said the meeting is significant way to facilitate communication between the manufacturing leaders and political officials.

In all fairness to the governor, he’s down in Indianapolis. He hasn’t really got a good feel for what really goes in Elkhart County,” said McNulty. “I’m not convinced that the officials in our Government really understand how important this industry is.”

The meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday.

The free RV show kicks off at 8 a.m. Friday.

McNulty said the show will give the RV Hall of Fame the exposure it needs, since people who attend can get into the museum for half price of the normal admission.

If the show is successful, McNulty said it could become a quarterly event.

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