Sunday, January 17, 2016

Seeing How The Other Half Lives: In RVs

On the advice of a friend, or at least my friendly tax consultant, we decided to make a trip to an annual event that promised to be worth the ride, just to see the people attending the show. The event in question is the Florida Annual RV Supershow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. I learned many things on that trip.
First thing is, it runs for a week, they charge $10 a person to get in and $6 for parking....and all of this discouraged nobody that I could tell. We arrived at 9:15 and there was already a traffic jam, with various drivers attempting to kill each other to be first in line. Later in the afternoon, as we were driving back home, we noticed the jam extended back on the main highway. I began to see why people were camping in the parking lot, as your ticket was good for two long as you had food and water, you might be okay. Otherwise, you were going to be eating Fair Food...not that there's anything wrong with that!

 In the event that you have ever wondered what it would be like to sleep in the woods, but not on a blowup mattress, wondering if a bear was going to unzip the door sometime during the night, this was the place to get an idea of how it could be. As you can see in the obviously staged photo above, I am quite at home in the driver's seat of a large, expensive vehicle the size of a city bus. However, this photo is fake. I learned early, at age 18, what it was like to pull a 31 foot Airstream trailer behind a larger family sedan, and I never quite recovered from the experience (thanks, Dad). The truth is, if all you had to do was drive in the righthand lane on the freeway, I'd be fine. It's the gas stations that want to rip of the TV antenna you forgot to retract, parking lots, and trying to back it into a campsite, while all of the neighboring pro campers watch in judgement.
This show was full of more people with southern hillbilly accents that you were ever find in a single day in Orlando, so we started talking that way as well. We were almost home before Pam noticed that we were not in North Carolina and probably should be our accents away..but it was fun. If you ever wanted to think about a Trailer or motorhome, this was the place to see all of them at one time. We each had our favorites.
If I was ever going to "rough it RV-style", I'd go the man's route and get this 4X4 Mercedes popup. This was made for the woods, no winerack in this baby. I could see surfboards, mountain bikes...not sure where I would put the kayak yet. I'm still trying to talk the lady down from $109k, but it was a steal compared to what Pam picked out....
Pam said that she could live in the woods if we had something like this...let us just say that the hotel rooms I stay in on vacation are not near this nice. This thing was larger and nicer than most apartments I've seen. I know, I know, you are concerned about the gas mileage, but at $1.1 mil, I do not think the prospective buyers were counting those pennies. A huge irony for me, was that these buses let you on one at a time, and you had to take your shoes off.....I was thinking, hmmmm... maybe I should be taking my shoes off before I go into my tent?