This was our second year and there were some similarities and, as expected, some differences in our experiences:
Last Year This Year
failed to take a single picture failed to take a single picture
large selection large selection
large variety large variety
hot with little shade hot and smoggy with little shade
poor signage poor signage and really bad maps
looked at two booths in tent looked at every booth in tent
bought nothing in tent bought nothing in tent
Bill's knees hurt all day Bill has new knees!
poor restroom placement poor restroom placement
clean, well-equipped restrooms clean, well-equipped restrooms
t-shirt: spoke to no one Steelers jersey: everybody's best friend
long lines at food/drink trucks moderate lines at food/drink trucks
pre-paid for entrance fee cash only at gate (WTH???)
poor experience w/Tiffin seminar worse experience with Tiffin seminar
poorly trained Tiffin show-salesperson poorly trained Tiffin show-salesperson
looked at three specific coaches looked at one specific coach
absolutely buying the Allegro 33aa might buy the Thor Tuscany XTE 34ST
bought no rig at the show bought no rig at the show
went by ourselves and came home met and had dinner with new friends
Every thing considered, this year was a better experience than last, and we're very glad we went.
Although Tiffin customer service is probably the best in the industry, they have not figured out how to do trade shows. Both years we planned our arrival around the published seminar schedule - planning both years to start with Tiffin. Last year we went to see the seminar on the 33aa, but they covered the Allegro Bus instead. No explanation for the change, just did something different. This year we went to see Bob Tiffin's seminar on the Powerglide Chassis. Changed location at the time the seminar was supposed to start, then never did the seminar. Again, no explanation, just blew off those who came to see it.
If you're wearing a Tiffin shirt you should know more about your rig than I do - or at least as much as I do. Enough said.
Taking precious space from a small bathroom, and leaving no space to move between the wall and the bed, to add a pull-out pantry beside the refrigerator, was a bad design choice. And one that moves the 2015 Allegro 33aa off the top of our list.
On our way to check out the Thor Palazzo we stopped to enjoy the A/C in a Thor Tuscany. Great lay-out but it was a 36-footer and bigger than we want. I remembered that I liked their smaller model online, so after getting cooled-off we found the 34ST. And fell in love - again. Never made it to a Palazzo.
Probably the thing we least liked about the 33aa (before the new pantry fiasco) is the high price. So now we're looking at a rig that lists for more. We're so bad at this :-)
We continue to look at 2013-2014 33aa's, but the 34ST is definitely a contender. And yes, Bob Tiffin's "blow-off" is a contributing factor.
So we came away with a new rig on the top of the list - but better yet, we came away with two new friends! Rene of R&R On the Road and I are friends on RVillage and Facebook, and read each others blogs - but of course we'd never actually met each other! The other R is her husband Ron, and Rene and I made plans many weeks ago for the four of us to meet up at the RV show. We met to introduce ourselves in the middle of the day, and then continued our individual coverage of the show. They plan to buy a toy-hauler-5'er, and although they've decided on the Voltage 3600, there were lots of other models to check out. Knowing we would have lots in common, Rene had already found a great place to meet for dinner that evening.
Eureka! is a small, very popular, venue in the college town of Claremont. The food and craft beer were tasty, the service delightful, and, as expected, the company was great :-) We have more in common than just RVing, including their being high-school sweethearts as well! The conversation was only interrupted by laughter - and making our way through the great meal.
|Thanks to Rene for making sure we got a pic!|
There are many reasons to attend an RV show, even if you are sure you know what rig you're going to buy. Whether you confirm that decision, or see something that changes your mind, it's worth the time to go. For us it was also a good opportunity to meet friends from out of town.
And, if you want every stranger at the show to say hey, and a dozen of them to stop and talk to you - wear a Steelers jersey :-)