Tue Oct 31, 2017
Okemos, Mich.—The Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) saw an increase of 11 percent with nearly 14,450 attendees at the 28th Annual Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show in early October.
The number of attendees was up by nearly 2,000 people, MARVAC Executive Director Bill Sheffer says. The show was the most well-attended of any fall show since 1993, when the association moved to Novi, Michigan for its location.
The show displayed 289 motorhomes, pop-ups, fifth wheels and toy haulers on display inside the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan.
“The Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show saw an increase of 11 percent from the 2016 Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show,” MARVAC Director Darren Ing says. “This year, the association noticed something different about the crowd. From exchanges with attendees and post-show discussions with RV dealers, we perceived a predominant percentage of attendees were not RV owners—yet—but very interested in what they saw and expected to make a purchase within the next year.”
Sheffer says the association saw a wide range of people, both old and young, and those already in the RV industry as well as those looking to get into it for the first time. Sheffer says the wide range of customers is representative of the accelerating RV industry.
“Our economy here in Michigan is getting stronger, people are more secure with their budgets, so much so that they feel they can extend themselves in buying a new RV,” Sheffer says. “With having new buyers in the industry, you also see a substantial number of people coming into the market buying a used RV as opposed to new.”
At the Fall Detroit Camper & RV Show, six folding campers and 176 travel trailers were exhibited. National travel trailers shipments for September 2017 topped 29,000, a 34 percent increase over last year, according to RVIA.
The same demand and enthusiasm the country is experiencing is seen as a microcosm in Michigan, Sheffer says.
“Both new and used RVs are trending up,” he says. “Dealers are very pleased with the number of sales. The September shipments, which were the best September on record for RVIA, carries on over here.”
Next up for MARVAC is the 52nd Annual Winter Detroit Camper & RV Show, which runs from Feb. 7-11, 2018. The show, already the largest put on by MARVAC, is only expected to grow larger with planned expansions in the facility at Novi.
“Right now, everyone’s catching their breath,” Sheffer says. “We’re anticipating another large crowd. The building we’re in is expanding by another 100,000 square feet and will be ready by our next October show. Everybody is in anticipation of that. Dealers and booth exhibitors are anxious about the ability to offer more products and more diversification for campgrounds and supplies. There is more demand for space than we’ve had in years.”