Annual RV show sets up camp

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 31, 2017

NOVI — The summer vacationing months are still months away, but for people interested in purchasing a recreational vehicle, now is the time to browse and learn about the latest trends in metro Detroit.

The Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi will host the 51st annual Detroit Camper and RV Show Feb. 8-12.

Bill Sheffer, executive director of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds, said organizers expect around 25,000 people to attend the show, and dealers will showcase an estimated 280 recreational vehicles.

“We have a wide range of ages,” Sheffer said. “We have younger families that are looking to start in the recreational lifestyle, and it goes all the way up to retirees.”

Organizers said the campers and RVs on display will suit a variety of incomes, selling for anywhere from $6,995 to higher than $400,000.

Sheffer said a family-friendly trailer could cost an average of $25,000-$30,000.

He also said a variety of RV parts and accessories displays will appear at this year’s show for people who wish to upgrade their vehicles. The event promises to draw representatives from over two dozen Michigan campgrounds and give people a chance to learn more about those sites.

“It gives them an opportunity for the show visitors to discuss what types of amenities and what types of activities the campgrounds offer,” Sheffer explained. “Many times those campgrounds represented will give them reservation information. Many people like to make reservations early in the year for the upcoming year and summertime.”

Jeremy Miller, a sales manager at the Wixom-based General RV Center, explained that the recreational vehicle category not only fits motor homes, but it also fits campers and travel trailers. He said the show’s audience tends to widely range from retirees to traveling nurses, sports game tailgaters, young families and even people fresh out of college.

According to Miller, spectators and visitors often come from places as far as Indiana, Ohio and the west side of the state — but the biggest turnout comes from the metro Detroit area.

“It is definitely, for our area in the Midwest, one of the biggest and best RV shows that we participate in,” he said.

Miller said an RV of some type can fit within many people’s budgets, with the average price being between $40,000 and $50,000. Depending on the investment, more and more motor homes are coming with features like electric fireplaces, large-screen TVs, satellite dishes, washers, dryers, dishwashers and larger refrigerators, he said.

“What’s happening now is we’re seeing the RVs turn more residential,” Miller said. “Most people are more used to the amenities that they have in their homes.”

The 51st annual Detroit Camper and RV Show will be held Feb. 8-12 at Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave. in Novi.

Admission costs $10 for attendees ages 13 and older, $9 for seniors, and it’s free for kids 12 and younger. Parking costs are separate.

Learn more about the event and purchase advance tickets at www.marvac.org. Learn more about General RV Center in Wixom at www.generalrv.com.