Saturday, February 17, 2018

Houston RV Show

sign reading welcome to the Houston RV show
Well, we went to the Houston RV show this year. O.K. That was a huge show! At least compared to our past experiences. (In the past, we would go to the one in Rapid City, SD. Probably 25% the size of the Houston show.)

And that’s what made the trip into Houston worth it…we saw a lot of Class A motorhomes. There were several Class B and Class C models as well in addition to hundreds of trailers of all shapes and sizes. We were primarily interested in 2 things Class A rigs and a seminar they had going on for electric energy in coaches. We also hoped there would be a wide variety of vendors with after-market things like solar panel systems and other accessories. (there wasn't)

People looking at motorhomes at RV show
small class b or van-like RVFortunately, the seminar was on the same day the Houston RV show had a 2 for 1 coupon for admission. And were we glad they did! Culture (or sticker) shock. The website neglected to tell us there would also be a charge for parking. OUCH! An extra $12! So, what we thought would be only $12 for admission ended up $24 with parking. Glad we had that coupon! And yes, it was still worth it.

We got in and started looking around. A little overload because of the sheer size of it. Over 600 units plus a row of miscellaneous vendors (mostly campgrounds).

After looking at a rig, we found the seminar…which started early. Yeah, we missed it by being there at 5 minutes before the scheduled time. The speaker was probably 10 minutes into his presentation,
judging by the content he was sharing. But all was not lost. After listening a bit….it was pretty much stuff we already knew. The presentation was definitely geared at entry level. We were surprised that a show that size only had 1 seminar a day.

We spent the next several hours climbing in and out of a wide variety of class A rigs. Yes, they are beautiful. And ya know…after a while they all start to look and feel the same.

ceiling wooden scroll work and extra bright lighting inside a large class A motorhomeVariations on cream and brown still seem to dominate, inside and out. And many coaches seemed to go with “frills” that felt like they were there for “frill” sake, whether it was d├ęcor or tech. Yes, some way overdone as far as our tastes run. Were they beautiful? In their own way, yes. Were they for us? Uh, that would be a no.

Seriously. How many TV’s does one need? Chris and I really do think two in the living room was one too many. And over-sized TV’s at that. Now, I like a big screen, but only 4 or 5 feet away from my face? Plus one in the bedroom, one in each bunk, and one outside (Total of six!)  That might be fine for some folks, but for us…. No thank you.

seating area and TV in a class A RVFancy metal fret work just for the sake of trimming up woodwork? Who’s going to keep it all dusted? No thank you.

Sofas that sit so deep, I look like “Edith Ann” when I sit down? (i.e. My feet don’t touch the floor…and I’m not THAT short!) No thank you.

Toilet commode in a slide out room? No thank you.

Three doors in and out of one bathroom? No thank you! 

A fully electric coach? (With no outlets found by the master bed!?!) And no decent bedside shelf or table…. You guessed it. No thank you.

Yes, our “No thank you” list goes on and on. When you want to travel and live simply…a new, fully loaded motorhome, at least for us, is so not the way to go!

Now we know that for some folks, these things are the must haves…but by walking through these coaches, we knew more and more they weren’t for us.

Class A motorhome with colorful reddish exteriorAnd admittedly, we saw a couple of very nice things. A coach with a bold, red exterior. Bathrooms with wheelchair sized doors. Bright interiors. Fireplaces. Clean, simple dashboards. And who can ignore the beautiful, classic shape of Airstream trailers?

And yes…all those new, shiny exteriors do have a draw, to a point.

So, what did we learn for $24??

Something we knew all along but needed a refresher (and/or confirmation) on. We already have the best coach for us.

older class A motorhomeMiss Emmy may be old by RV industry standards, but we have ample room, no slide, a great floor-plan. And she’s not variations on shades of brown with the swirl-looking paint job.

And yes, the old girl needs some work still…but we know for sure now we’ll be far happier putting money into her for decor, repairs and updating instead of going for all the latest and greatest gadgetry.

And would we go to another RV show. Yup! They are fun, and you can always learn something, either at a seminar, or just by talking to folks.

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