RV show evokes dreams of the open road

An estimated 10,000 people visited the B.C. Interior RV Show in Penticton

Buyers and browsers look through some of the recreational vehicles packed into the South Okanagan Events Centre during last weekend's BC Interior RV Show at the SOEC complex. Organizers estimate about 10

Buyers and browsers look through some of the recreational vehicles packed into the South Okanagan Events Centre during last weekend's BC Interior RV Show at the SOEC complex. Organizers estimate about 10

Like many show goers, Bill Watt had no trouble spending his future lottery winnings at last weekend’s B.C. Interior RV fair in Penticton.

“These are all out of our price range but it’s always fun to come out and see them, and dream — just doing the ‘what if?’,” said the West Kelowna resident nodding to the $80,000 trailer he and his wife just exited. “We’ve actually run into a lot of other people like us, it just seems to be that wanderlust, everybody seems to have that nomadic part in their background.

“But you never know, if we did win the lottery this would definitely be part of it.”

His dream road trip would be to follow the historic Route 66 in the U.S.

Approximately 10,000 people — about the same as last year — attended the three-day event which covered about nine acres of the South Okanagan Events Centre complex, including the Memorial Arena and Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

Exhibitors came from throughout the Interior, Lower Mainland and Washington state showcasing camping products and services and almost every kind of recreational vehicle imaginable.

As well, several presenters provided valuable insight through seminars on RV lifestyle and various technical aspects associated with the industry.

Chairman Al Mullins of the non-profit B.C. Interior RV Society was pleased with the results of this year’s show.

“What I heard back from the exhibitors was they were ecstatic and will definitely be back again next year,” said the chairman. “I’ve already had one dealer call me and say the space he had this year, ‘Double it.’”

Mullins added the event is still in its infancy and while it hasn’t yet turned into a buyer’s show, although many of the dealers did record some sales, he expects that will improve in time.

He also had high praise for the SOEC staff and the many people who donated their time to make the show a success.

“It’s typical Penticton, when you call for volunteers they come from all walks of life, and that’s why Penticton is so great for holding events like this, because you know you’re going to get lots of support from the community,” said Mullins.

Visitors to the show also brought in a lot of goods for the Salvation Army Food Bank, and some of the cash proceeds will be donated to charity as well.

Jim Beiderwieden of Penticton and his wife attended the event for the second year in a row.

“We came last year and we wouldn’t miss it,” he said during a lunch break. “We’ve got an RV and we’re here just to take a look at what’s new. It’s a lot of fun.”

While the Beiderwiedens are weekend campers, for Murray Reiter, who doubles as a sales associate for Country RV Centre in the summer months, it’s a lifestyle.

“We spend our winters at a park in California and I just can’t wait to go every year,” said Reiter. “It’s just such a completely different atmosphere when you’re camping. It’s funny, up here we hardly talk to our neighbours but down there we’re all friends.”

And while the Kelowna resident is already counting down the days until he gets back on the road again, the Watt family will be keeping their fingers crossed for this Saturday’s Lotto 6/49.