RV Show Review - Jax, FL

scubacamper

Super Active Member
Mar 19, 2013
1,361
Jacksonville, FL
So we're in the market for another PUP and as usual the show was more for those wanting to spend $100k +++ and only 3 PUPS to look at.

Jayco 8SD for $11, 563

Coachman Clipper for $22,495

Forest River (I didn't get the model but no A/C) $7,895

Now here's the kick, the DW liked the smaller box on the Jayco but not the price. She liked the large roomy Forest River (though a little big) but no A/C which they would add for $650. But suddenly and I think it was the MIL that went with us and suddenly the DW was ticked about something. Almost at the end of the day she asked again about the FR and so I'm thinking more about it and may call today to see if they'll drop the price further since the MSRP inside on the paperwork was $8250.

What I don't understand is why are dealers at these shows so short-sighted? People who are there looking for a PUP will most likely move up as their family grows or now suddenly become regular customers and most likely go back to the dealer whenever they need something. For some it's an entry into the RV world so why would you alienate them?

One of the salesmen told me the cost of having the vehicles there is high and the margin on a PUP are minimal. My response back was if you make a sale of a few PUPs and ZERO Class "A" or "C"' models doesn't that make up for it...no response other than he doesn't make that call.
 

cyndib

Member
Aug 9, 2016
54
Arnold, Missouri
Same thing at the St. Louis RV show, only one true pup and it was a complete basic model no air. You would have thought they might have at least brought a top of the line model. I was so disappointed.
 

scubacamper

Super Active Member
Mar 19, 2013
1,361
Jacksonville, FL
Oh the Clipper was loaded but so was the price and at 3500 GVW it was more than I can tow with my T&C. At that price I could have a really nice TT and we saw several.
 

scubacamper

Super Active Member
Mar 19, 2013
1,361
Jacksonville, FL
I can't help but wonder if I contact the RV Industry's site and explain the benefits of promoting PUPs if they would listen?
Yeah, I know I may be spitting into the wind but nothing ventured nothing gained and only a little time lost in the process. I seem to remember a saying from a Peanuts strip...Linus "Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness." Lucy "Stupid darkness."
 

JohnWI

Member
Jan 18, 2017
46
Search rvtrader.com for prices within 400 miles. Then call around for prices or drive and buy.
 
Aug 16, 2016
62
They are selling those big rigs and few people seem interested in Pups anymore. Part of the problem is price. By time someone is looking to spend 12-14K on bigger pop-up they are close to the price of the cheapest hard sides. The smaller pop-ups probably don't get them much commission, so they naturally promote the rig of doom.
The parks reflect this trend. Huge rigs now seem to dominate the parks and it's sad in my opinion because it takes away from the atmosphere.
At the shows, the finance guys have their tables set up and people are encouraged to go head over heels in debt.
 

scubacamper

Super Active Member
Mar 19, 2013
1,361
Jacksonville, FL
Michigan-Camper, you couldn't be more correct. I've been to campgrounds that look more like the typical RV Show than a campsite.

But then there are families like mine that have an older one and are looking to upgrade to a "Newer" or even a "New" model that yes, does compete with the TT (my DD's want one with bunks) but we still like the canvas, low weight and somewhat minimalistic experience. If I wanted to stay in a hotel room I'd get one.
 

eoleson1

Super Active Member
Jul 5, 2011
3,629
Macomb County Michigan
I went to the Detroit RV show last weekend. There were a small handful (~6?) of pop ups, ranging from the smallest to the largest available, and a few hybrids. Lots of huge hardsides and mohos too, of course. What struck me was the fact that almost every dealer had a lightweight (3000-ish) hardside for right around $10k. There were probably a dozen different ones there. I can't see the commission on those being anymore than the commission on a pop up. I just don't get it.
 

scubacamper

Super Active Member
Mar 19, 2013
1,361
Jacksonville, FL
I was once in Auto Sales and RV sales aren't much different. Here in FL if you have a TT or something over 3k lbs., it needs a title otherwise it's a utility trailer and when you get into "Titles" here again is another area where prices to get one or transfer one vary depending on the dealer.

Also first time buyers often will bite on a TT that is under $12k and will be more comfortable in that TT than a Pup especially if they've NOT been tent camping or if they rented a TT or Class "C" before.

On the other end of that if you were a Tent Camper or had been in a Pup before than it makes sense that you'd want another Pup. We are a unique group that is just a bit bias and like our Tent Camping but not on the hard ground anymore. Of the RV industry we're the "Hardcore" campers as it was said to me by a salesman / manager with CW.

I personally am PROUD to be Hardcore.
 

JustRelax

Super Active Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,031
Indianapolis
I'm going to the one in Indy this weekend. I got my N2M unit last spring so I'm actually not shopping for anything just going to get the DW and new DS out of the house and walking around a bit. Plan to spend most of my time looking at the kayak stuff. I might ask the dealer that has a lot of pups at the show why they still bring them and report back.
 

StarCraft88

Member
May 3, 2014
24
South Central PA
I love to look at the Class A, B, C's, 5th wheels, travel trailers at the shows. They are beautiful. But - since I am not mechanically inclined, there are systems that would perplex me. I would also be extremely nervous driving and backing up with a large motor-home or travel trailer. I love my 8' box popup. Popup's are so easy to see over when you are driving and they don't take up too much room when storing. I guess it really does boil down to making the most cost efficient use of your floor space at the big shows as noted by others on this forum. Are there just less people looking at entry level campers as in a generational thing?
 

JustRelax

Super Active Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,031
Indianapolis
When I was in my late teens/early 20s my wife and I would go into the campers and dream about what we would want once we have kids and all that. I can honestly say now I have the camper that I want and am pretty blessed in life. We are going to go this weekend and think about what our next camper will be in 15-20 years once the kids are gone - maybe what might work well with a couple grandkids with us... It is fun to dream. Do we want a base home and a pull behind, do we want to get a coach and travel - and the conversation won't mean a thing a month from now.

I really think it is pretty simple as to what is at the show. They bring in a few over the top units to get people into their area, then they have a few units with options for families, empty nesters, and 4 wheeler guys. The manufacturers load them up with blue tooth, power awnings, led lighting, power levelers, etc. and give it a show price. They offer 20 like this and once they are gone the price offered at the show is about what a basic unit would run later in the year on the lot. So many people on the fringe buy at the show not wanting to lose out on all the luxury stuff later in the year. It's a very good sales pitch, and they bring the ones the manufacturers want them to because of the options they throw in. This keeps the factories working over the winter months.

On a PUP there's not much to add but a power winch. So they can throw on a power winch, maybe air, and sell it for what a new one would be on the lot - less than $800 to them. So the awe factor isn't as great to motivate a sale that you can basically get any time of the year. If you want a new PUP the price at a show is close to what you pay going to the lot.
 

StarCraft88

Member
May 3, 2014
24
South Central PA
JustRelax said:
When I was in my late teens/early 20s my wife and I would go into the campers and dream about what we would want once we have kids and all that. I can honestly say now I have the camper that I want and am pretty blessed in life. We are going to go this weekend and think about what our next camper will be in 15-20 years once the kids are gone - maybe what might work well with a couple grandkids with us... It is fun to dream. Do we want a base home and a pull behind, do we want to get a coach and travel - and the conversation won't mean a thing a month from now.

I really think it is pretty simple as to what is at the show. They bring in a few over the top units to get people into their area, then they have a few units with options for families, empty nesters, and 4 wheeler guys. The manufacturers load them up with blue tooth, power awnings, led lighting, power levelers, etc. and give it a show price. They offer 20 like this and once they are gone the price offered at the show is about what a basic unit would run later in the year on the lot. So many people on the fringe buy at the show not wanting to lose out on all the luxury stuff later in the year. It's a very good sales pitch, and they bring the ones the manufacturers want them to because of the options they throw in. This keeps the factories working over the winter months.

On a PUP there's not much to add but a power winch. So they can throw on a power winch, maybe air, and sell it for what a new one would be on the lot - less than $800 to them. So the awe factor isn't as great to motivate a sale that you can basically get any time of the year. If you want a new PUP the price at a show is close to what you pay going to the lot.

Thanks, JustRelax, that makes a lot of sense.
 

scubacamper

Super Active Member
Mar 19, 2013
1,361
Jacksonville, FL
Starcraft88 just to answer your question about people looking for an entry camper. At every show I go to I run into those that indeed ARE looking for an entry camper though some want a N2U (used) model and they're out looking to compare and see what they want in a PUP and don't want. For us we don't understand having two tables; for us it just doesn't make sense.

However in reality since there are so few at the shows they realize they CAN'T compare and are not willing to go to the dealerships to look so they avoid the dealers and look online. Luckily some end up here asking questions that we've all asked in the past.

The RV industry here in FL is busy selling PUPs as a manager for CW explained to me but the real market is Class "A" & "C" for the retirees and young couples jumping from TT's.
 

JustRelax

Super Active Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,031
Indianapolis
Well Tom Raper used to have a row of pups at the Indy show. I'm pretty sure camping world had a few with a similar set up last year since they bought Raper. This year.... only saw 3 at the entire show and one was shoved in a corner. So I was unable to ask why they still bring them because - they didn't bring them.
 




Top