12 Tips for Planning Your Visit to the Florida RV Supershow by Marc and Julie Bennett of RVLove.com
If 2019 will be your first visit to the Florida RV Supershow, then you probably know it’s huge (more than 73,000 people attended the show in 2018) and there’s a ton of RVs and vendors to check out, but beyond that, you may not really know what to expect. Celebrating it’s 34th year in 2019, the Florida RV Supershow, is one of the biggest and best RV shows in the country and welcomes all kinds of campers and adventure seekers. The show really is HUGE, covering 26 acres and featuring more than 1,550 RVs and 450 vendor booths. Of course, trying to cover it all would be almost impossible, so we’ve put together this list of handy tips to help you plan ahead and make the most of your experience.
Know where you’re going and when
It may sound obvious, but putting the correct address into your GPS and knowing the exact dates and times the show is open to the public will make your arrival go much more smoothly. You can find all those details right here.
How to save on tickets
Tickets are $10 per person at the gate, but you’ll save 10% and pay just $9 if you buy your ticket online in advance. Children under 16 are free. Seniors pay just $9 at the gate on Wednesday, and First Responders pay $9 no matter which day they attend. Your ticket is good for a free second-day return, so take advantage of it and consider splitting your visit over two days. If you purchased your ticket online, be sure to pick up your FREE 2nd day return ticket when your ticket is scanned.
Be aware that when you arrive at the Fairgrounds, you’ll also pay an initial parking fee of $8 per car or $14 (cash only) per RV upon arrival for the RV Supershow.
Decide if you want to bring your RV and camp overnight
Yes, overnight dry camping is available for $20 a night through the Florida State Fairgrounds! So why not take your time and plan to spend a day or two… even longer? You don’t even need to make an advance reservation. However, know that no services are offered, which means you’ll be camping without hookups. Click here to learn more about overnight camping.
If you’re not an experienced dry camper, you’ll get some great tips to help you in this video. And if you need a portable solar panel to keep your batteries charged while you’re there, we recommend this handy solution which will reduce the need to run your generator.
Bring your pet – if appropriate
The RV Supershow is pet friendly! At least for well-behaved, leashed pets. Consider whether your pet will be OK with large crowds and if they are up for a day of walking around an RV show. If so, bring food, treats and a collapsible bowl for water, as well as doggie-do bags to pick up their business.
You will need to bring cash for parking at the Fairgrounds which ONLY accepts cash ($8 per car or $14 per RV) and even some food vendors. Many vendors will also accept cards.
Arrive early in the day to avoid crowds
The show tends to be busier in the afternoons than the mornings, so you’ll be able to see more with fewer crowds if you get off to an early start. The show doors open at 10am every day and close at 6pm (5pm on Sunday).
Be prepared for plenty of walking
Make sure you wear comfortable and supportive shoes – your feet and back will thank you! It’s also a great opportunity to get in a bit of a workout while you wander, so why not use a pedometer, Fitbit, or an app like Stepz on your smartphone (like us) to track your steps? If you need a wheelchair, manual and electric chairs are available for hire from the Fairgrounds – see the link for details https://www.frvta.org/show/florida-rv-supershow.
Bring snacks, water and weather protection
You’ll want to pack some snacks and water to keep you going. There will be plenty of vendors to buy drinks and food from at the Supershow, but if you are on a budget, on a New Year health kick, or have special dietary needs, it may be a good idea to bring your own food. Plus it will help you save money and avoid wasting time in lines.
Keep in mind that many RVs are outside, and being Florida, it’s likely to be sunny and warm (looks like 70s), so bring sunscreen, a hat and a light long sleeve shirt or sun shirt to protect you from the rays… or keep you warm if cloud cover comes in and it gets a bit chilly so you can stay comfortable.
Do your homework
If you’re planning on buying an RV, don’t go in unprepared – it’s a big and expensive purchase. Do at least some research in advance. Read our blog post to get a basic overview of the different kinds of RVs so you at least understand the difference between towables, A’s, B’s and C’s! Narrow down your focus to the most interesting or relevant RVs to you. Be clear on what you want and need and make a list of what’s important to you in an RV before you go. And know your budget you can focus your energy and attention on the RVs that have what you need and are within your price point.
Have a game plan
The show is huge and it can be overwhelming, but if you take a look at the show layout, seminar schedule and prioritize what is of highest importance, you can group them to be more effective as you get around. Download the show app so you can access the show info on your smartphone. And try to focus on what you’re most interested in… especially if you’re in RV shopping mode. If you just go aimlessly browsing anything and everything, you’ll soon run out of steam. Remember that your ticket is good for a free second-day return, so take advantage of it and split your visit over two days (or more).
Take notes and photos
Bring a notepad, pen, and camera (or your smartphone). Make notes of each RV on your shortlist as you go along and take corresponding photos of the outside, inside as well as the model number to jog your memory later. If you plan on using your smartphone for taking notes and/or photos, ensure you have plenty of available memory, and take a portable external battery pack and cell phone charging cable so you can recharge your phone on-the-go.
Set yourself up for success
Whether you’re planning on buying an RV for vacations or considering a life of extended travel on the road, there are so many things to consider and decisions to make. If you don’t already have a copy of the book “Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road” by yours truly, Marc and Julie Bennett, grab yourself a copy before the show to get a fun and comprehensive guided roadmap to the RV life. (You can order it on Amazon or pick it up at Barnes and Noble). And, if you’re serious about being really well informed, so it’s evident to the RV salesperson you are an educated buyer, you can hit the ground running with online, self-paced courses or private consulting sessions at RV Success School (includes our course Choosing the Right RV For You). These will help you avoid frustrating and expensive mistakes and provide you with honest, unbiased feedback, and advice (or confirmation) before making big decisions.
Are you ready to have a great time!?
We are super excited for the 2019 RV Supershow and sharing what we find with you! Keep an eye out here and on our blog, YouTube channel, and social media (Instagram and Facebook) as we’ll be sharing the whole week that we’ll be there!
Got something in mind? You can help us out by letting us know what kinds of RVs and products you would like us to check out and share. Drop us a note or let us know in the comments below. We’ll be zipping around in a golf cart all week checking out as much as we can, so keep an eye out for us and say hi! We’ll also have a sharpie on hand to sign copies of our books as well. Hope to see you at the Supershow!
Marc and Julie Bennett are full-time RVers, bloggers, YouTubers, and co-authors of “Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road”. They are in their 5th year of full-time RVing and have visited all 50 USA States – plus Canada, Mexico, and Australia – while working full-time. They share their adventures as “RVLove” at their blog and YouTube channel and run online courses, private consulting and coaching at RVSuccessSchool.com. Discover more at www.RVLove.com