After a year of RV show cancellations because of COVID, the RV Show season is set to roar back next month with the 2021 Florida RV Supershow in Tampa Jan. 13-17. Here's what to expect:
Because the Florida RV Supershow is mostly outside, organizers say they are confident that social distancing, wearing masks inside the RV, limits of how many people can be in an RV at one time, along with frequent sanitization can make for a safe show. On the RV Podcast Interview f the week, we learn what to expect.
Plus we have lots of RV News this week, your questions and feedback about the RV Lifestyle and a great off the beaten path report from the Burketts.
All that is waiting for you in Episode 324 of the RV Podcast!
You can listen to the podcast in the player below. And scroll down this page for shownotes and a transcript of the interview, plus links and resources about all the things we talk about.
WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK
We share our current RV Lifestyle activities, including:
- Getting ready for Christmas – Even in the year of COVID, there's no stopping Christmas! To see the video we did about decorating an RV for Christmas, CLICK HERE.
- Travel 2021 – Tampa RV Supershow – We'll be there!
- Schedule – We will have an RV Podcast on Dec 22, but take off the week between Christmas and New Year's
This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Camping World – America’s #1 RV Dealer
RV PODCAST INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK – The 2021 Florida RV Supershow
The RV show season is about to begin again after a tumultuous 2020 that cancelled almost every show from February through this month. But in just a few weeks, the show season starts again with the 2021 Florida RV Supershow, to run January 13-17 at the Tampa Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL.
Our guest this week is Dave Kelly, the Executive Director of the Florida RV Trade Association, which puts on the annual show, always one of the largest, and as you;ll hear from Dave, probably the largest RV show in the nation.
Here's a transcript of our interview about the 2021 Florida RV Supershow:
Joining us right now to talk about the big show, I feel like Ed Sullivan, the Big Show, is Dave Kelly from the Tampa RV Super Show. How you doing, Dave?
Thanks. Yeah, thanks for having me. Great. We're doing wonderful down here.
Well, we are…it certainly has been a year. In fact, it was almost a year ago, that was really the last of the big shows and wow. What a show last year was. So I am delighted that you guys are on, and hopefully this sets the stage for us out of the funk that 2020 was.
Tell us about the show, the dates, what people need to know in terms of being careful about social distance stuff, all that. What do we need to know about this year's, this 2021 big super show in Tampa again?
Here's a video of what the 2020 Florida RV Supershow was like, just before COVOD forced the cancellations of the rest of the RV Show Season
Well, we open on Wednesday the 13th of January, and we run through the 17th. $12 for adults. We've extended our senior days to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this year. $2 off for seniors any of those days and kids under 16 free. So it's a great family way to spend the day with the family out at the show.
We will be doing temperature checking and a mask by Hillsborough County ordinance would be required in the buildings and when you're inside the RV. We're going to try to make it as unobtrusive as possible for everyone to have a good time. As you know, the majority of the show is outdoors and from what we're reading, the outdoors is a fairly safe place to be. So, we're feeling uncomfortable we can provide a safe atmosphere for the show.
Give us a sense of the size of this year's show. I know not all the folks that exhibited last year will be there this year, but it looks from what I could look in the early literature, it looks like you're going to have most of the major ones there.
Why some RV Manufacturers won't be at the 2021 Florida RV Supershow
Well, we're still, yeah. We had some manufacturers that were just having production issues and getting things like furniture and appliances and things like that for the coaches. So they felt like they couldn't do a good representative display of their products, but pretty much everything else, the major manufacturers are going to be on display. Everything from the smallest little teardrop trailers, all the way up to the two and a half million dollar… Something in your price range.
Yeah. That has been the most successful video I've ever did. I did a tour of one of those two and a half million dollar ones, and it's been watched 3 million times, my video, but yeah, it would be nice to have that price [crosstalk 00:02:55]. Talk about the seminars, which is a big part, I think of the super show, the Super RV Show. I love all the seminars. Are they still going to be able to go off as scheduled this year?
There will be seminar crowd limits at the 2021 Florida RV Supershow
We are. It's going to be limited seating for this year. We're going to spread out the seating a little bit more and to have three different monitors so everyone can see all the information. But we're lucky to have the GeeksOnTour this year. They're going to do maps and apps that you need for traveling. We got a chassis seminar. We got seminars on traveling to Alaska, what to expect, how to plan, traveling in clubs. So there'll be a seminar just about for everybody, no matter what your RV experience is.
There are a number of people who every year camp there and have a big rally. Is that still on? Do you still have people coming?
Camping opportunities at the 2021 Florida RV Supershow
We do. We actually, at this point have just about 800 rigs signed up for our rally and we're not going to be able to do the entertainment so then in the evening, but they will be able to get coffee and donuts in the morning and then they have unlimited access to the show so they can come and go and go and basically you walk back to their RV and have lunch and then come back in the afternoon. It's a nice setup for them that they don't have to be rushed through the show. They have plenty of time to see it.
Now, is there room for more? Have you sold that out, the rally?
Yeah, we do some drive-ups on that. Some people are a lot skeptical about just driving up without having a reserve spot, but we do still have some spots that if people want to contact us we could squeeze in a few more.
Okay. Well, that's good. I'll put a link to all the information in the show notes for the podcast episode here. Walk us through a little bit about the mask in going into the RV. Sometimes those RVs can get pretty crowded. They do all the time with so many people. I would imagine that the manufacturers are going to have to somewhat limit how many people can be in an RV at a certain time?
There will be limits about how many can be in an RV at the same time
Yeah, well, we're lucky that we're almost a year into the virus and our dealers down here have never closed. So the dealers have been working as far as a safe way to show the coaches, one family at a time limiting the number of people. Even some of the manufacturers limiting the number of people in their displays so that it doesn't get overcrowded and social distancing. We're going to be making announcements and of course, signage for people to make sure they give each other plenty of room.
And we're lucky that we are so far into it that people have come to know and coming to get used to the fact that when they're inside, they will have to have a mask and in the coaches of course. And there'll be regular cleanings and the dealers have always done that and have been doing it very, very carefully the last few months. So, showing the RV's and doing that is not anything that's just now starting. They've been doing this for awhile.
Entertainment at the 2021 Florida RV Supershow
Now you mentioned that with the rally that the normal nighttime entertainment that they got at the rally won't be happening. But what about the entertainment. You are also known for all this. It's a spontaneous entertainment that comes with your parades and all of the different entertainers that… will they still be throughout the show
Yeah. We're lucky. A lot of the entertainers are very excited about coming back. Unfortunately for them they've gone a year now with a lot of the events that they normally work, being canceled. And so they're all very excited and very anxious to show everyone a good time at the Super Show. Again, everything from jugglers to stilt walkers to unicycle riders, dog shows. I mean, you name it. We have… the more unusual the entertainment, the better we like, and having it at the show.
Now, for those who have never been to the show, it is an event in and of itself with all of that entertainment. But it is also a place where you can bring your dogs as long as you got them on a leash. Is that still a go?
Pets are allowed (on a leash) at the 2021 Florida RV Supershow
Yeah. A lot of people travel with their pets. And so we provide a pet-friendly atmosphere for the mild-tempered dogs and the ones that are on leash.
All right. We might actually have our Bo with us this time. He's got more fans than we do, so.
They do. The dogs get more attention than anything else at the show.
I guess. Well, we're excited now that we have… we've made the decision that we're going to be there. And I think that it's a new year and if the industry ever needed an RV show, now's the time and the Super Show is the one to go to because we think it's great. Here's the last question I have for you, and this is the one that we keep hearing. Everybody says, “Theirs is the largest,” from Hershey to the ones that used to be California.
I don't even know if they have anymore. I have thought that your guys' show, your guys, the Tampa Super Show, I think that's the biggest one in the country these days, at least in size and crowds. It seems to really, really pull in the crowds. What's the official story on that?
How big will the 2021 Florida RV Supershow be?
Well, we have about, I think last year, our account was just over 1,300 RVs on display, which would be more than any other show. We had over 70,000 people, which again, is the largest in terms of crowds. So as you know, we may not be as spread out as some of the other shows, but as far as coaches and attendance, we are, as far as we know, the biggest one in the country at this time.
And you got an unfair advantage because 74, 75 degrees, sunny weather in Tampa. [crosstalk 00:09:09] But Dave Kelly, thank you for helping us get excited about the show. We'll see you there. And we can't wait to meet our followers and fans there to look at some of these new RVs. How many do you anticipate will be on display this year by the way? [crosstalk 00:09:25]
We're probably anticipating maybe 10% down. So I would say maybe 1,100 to 1,200 or so coaches. It's hard to say at this point. I mean, they're still putting them out as fast as they can to get them down here for the show. So we'll just see what happens and it'll be better for the displays to be a little more spread out as well so people won't be as close together, looking at the coaches.
There you go. Well, we'll see you in a couple of weeks. Have a wonderful Christmas if we don't talk before then. And Dave Kelly, thank you so much for being our guest on the podcast.
Thanks for having me and safe travels guys.
For ticket availability, dates, times, and camping info at the 2021 Florida RV Supershow, CLICK HERE
The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country
RV PODCAST NEWS OF THE WEEK
If you're visiting Zion National Park this month, don't be surprised if the popular Scenic Drive is closed due to traffic congestion
If you are planning to visit Zion National Park anytime this month, don't be surprised if you arrive to find the gates to Scenic Drive roadway closed. The Scenic Drive shuttle stops running seasonally Nov. 30, and normally that does not cause any problems. But this year, with extreme pandemic-triggered national park popularity, Zion is still experiencing large numbers of visitors. So many visitors that almost every day since the shuttle stopped, the park has had to close the gate to Scenic Drive to ease traffic congestion and prevent illegal parking.
Manatees are back at Florida's Blue Springs State Park
The manatees are back at Blue Springs State Park in Florida, one of our favorite places to see manatees each winter. The natural warm spring is an annual winter gathering place for the gentle giants, and we saw a report last week that about 400 manatees are there. The park and manatee viewing areas are open during the pandemic, since there is room for social distancing, a report said. To see stories we have done about our experience camping there click here.
About 53,000 new campsites anticipated in 2021
The RV park industry is anticipating 53,000 new campsites in 2021, according to a survey released by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. The industry group surveyed its membership to see how private RV parks and outdoor hospitality operators were affected by the pandemic. The survey showed about 40 percent reported an increase in occupancy, generally because of the pandemic, and about 29 percent reported a decline in occupancy, generally because of the pandemic.
But what stood out to Mike and me in their survey was the anticipated increase in 53,000 new campsites, something that is sorely needed. RV sales continue to rise, all these new campers need somewhere to camp. Crowded campgrounds and difficulty finding a place to camp is a reason why many quit the lifestyle, as we reported here.
Oregon considering rule to mostly end beach driving on the northern coast
Beach driving was temporarily banned at Oregon's Cape Kiwanda this year because of staffing and COVID-19 concerns – now Oregon officials are seeking a rule change to make the temporary ban permanent. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced a rule proposal last week that would limit motorized vehicle beach access on the north Oregon coast around Pacific City, a popular activity there.
Wild elk herd living outside Loveland, CO, city limits, becoming a tourist attraction
Occasionally we see stories that aren't necessarily about camping, but because they are interesting and nature-focused, we just need to share. The elk of Loveland, Colorado, is one such story. Apparently, Colorado has more elk than any other U.S. state, and each winter a large herd of them leave the Rocky Mountains National Park, travel east past Estes Park, and then take up residence for a couple of months just west of the city of Loveland. There are so many elk, they literally have become a tourist attraction, and you wouldn't believe the video (click here to view).
This part of the podcast is brought to you by RadPower Bikes, America's #1 e-bike brand, offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping
RV PODCAST QUESTION OF THE WEEK
From Fritz: About the Forgotten Coast of Florida
My name is Fritz. My wife is Carol.
For the last several years. We volunteered for January February at the St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve in Florida off the Forgotten coast.
And the way I heard this story is called it Forgotten Coast because years ago the state published a tourist map of the state and they left out all the towns and Thursdays on the Panhandle and that was told to me by several local people while we were down there.
Anyway, it sounded kind of amusing enjoy your podcast keep it up.
From Silvana and Bernard: Loving the RV Lifestyle
Hi, Mike, and Jennifer and Bo this is Silvana and Bernard Morris calling from Phoenix Arizona. We are RV lifestyle YouTube supporters.
I was finally able to make my dream of owning an RV a reality and I don't think it would have happened if it hadn't been for the pandemic because Bernard was not very excited about owning an RV in June after months of being stuck in the house.
I convinced him to go to an RV show in Scottsdale. And there we found the perfect RV for us a used practically new class C Sprinter off the perfect size for us in October the two of us and our two cats. Took our first long trip to see our grandkids in, Oregon and California.
Yep. Had some issues with the RV , but we learned a lot of lessons and overall had a wonderful time.
Now, we're planning a trip to Florida in January to the Tampa RV show me and we'd love to see you there. You two are my favorite RV influencers, and we look forward to your ask us anything on Sunday evening your podcast on Thursday and your newsletters.
Thank you for everything you do to keep us informed about the RV lifestyle. We are learning a lot from you and we enjoy you very very very much.
Do you have a question you’d like us to answer, or a comment on the things we’re discussing. If so, we invite you to leave us that question or comment on the special voicemail number we have for the podcast – it’s 586-372-6990. If you are driving and can’t write it down right now, just go to the RV Lifestyle travel blog at rvlifestyle.com and scroll down the page. You’ll see that number prominently posted on the blog.
This part of the RV Podcast is brought to you by Battle Born Batteries, maker of quality, safe and reliable lithium batteries that can be installed in just about every RV. Get in touch with Battle Born to find out what lithium batteries and an upgraded energy management system can add to your RV Lifestyle.
RV LIFESTYLE OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT
BY TOM & PATTI BURKETT
When you make a travel stop, so long as you’re willing to spend some time, you can be guaranteed some sort of education. Sometimes it easy to predict what direction it’ll be going.
We were’t surprised to learn about the history of slavery on the new Harriet Tubman Trail, nor did it startle us to discover more than we ever knew about sandhill cranes at Cranes International.
“Did you know?” said our guide, “that the words broccoli and brocade come from the same root?” We’ll leave you to suss out on your own how the two words are related, but they certainly are. How did we happen upon this etymological nugget? At a weaving shop.
The busy towns of York and Hanover, in Pennsylvania, were connected in 1901 by the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. Called by locals the “Ma and Pa,” it required about eighty miles of track to make the forty-five straight line miles between the two metropolises.
Red Lion, a town you’ve probably never heard of, warranted a stop on the line for several reasons, but the greatest of these was its reputation for producing “a good, honest, five-cent cigar.” At one time its dozens of cigar factories produced more cheroots than anywhere else in the country (including the famous Booger Hollow Stogy). Sadly, the last cigar factory in town shut its doors about ten years ago, so you can no longer buy a Dime Bank or an O’Dam at the corner store.
Red Lion was also known for its skilled furniture makers. Today, we think the most interesting stop in town is at the original workshop of Family Heir-Loom Weavers. This family-run operation specializes in historical fabrics woven using the jacquard process.
The fabrics include damask and brocade, hence the broccoli reference. Once upon a time textiles were manufactured throughout the Eastern US, and most patterned fabrics were made on looms that used jacquard machines. David Kline was a jacquard mechanic, traveling from one factory to another, installing and servicing the complicated devices.
When textile production began to move overseas, Kline was less and less in demand. Over a period of several years, he acquired a few looms and machines and set up shop in a converted garage. The machines are programmed with punched cards in a stack, much like early computers or player pianos. The shop has all the requisite equipment to create and punch the cards, and they work with artists to recreate historic patterns.
Most of their work is focused on the weaving of ingrain carpets for historic restorations. They’ve been so successful at making new historic carpets that they’ve become the go-to source when a museum or the National Park Service is conserving a Presidential home or some other landmark.
David Kline, who passed away in 2017, said his proudest achievement was weaving the fabric that was used to produce the replica Star-Spangled Banner that hangs in the Smithsonian Museum. Heir-Loom’s familiarity with the materials and techniques of the period made them a natural choice for such a demanding application. If you’ve visited Benjamin Harrison’s home or watched the film Lincoln, you’ve seen their work. Our guide, who now runs the shop and keeps the jacquards working, tells about when the NPS first came calling.
“They brought in a worn piece of carpet and asked if we could reproduce it. It took a while, but we did. They came and got it and, after a couple of weeks, came back with another one. OK, they said, this is the one we really need. The first one was a test. I can’t remember how many yards we wove of that, but it was a lot. Since then they’ve just kept on coming.”
Family Heir-Loom now has a much more modern mill, with computer-driven looms, a few miles away. They’ve established themselves in the home decorating market and have a variety of popular items made in the new shop. The current owners have discovered a new niche, too, designing and making decor for the mid-century modern decorating craze. “You have to keep your eyes open for new opportunities,” he says, “if you want to make it these days.” We sure hope they continue to thrive, as this is one of the best stops we ever made, out here off the beaten path.
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