2018 Spring Hall of Fame RV Show kicks off after record-breaking year

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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Many people went out to enjoy the sunshine at the opening day of the Spring Hall of Fame RV Show in Elkhart.

It kicked off Thursday morning and runs through Sunday.

Leaders in the RV industry say now is a great time to buy, as fierce competition amongst manufacturers is driving down prices and as interest rates remain low.

Many families are taking the opportunity to buy and travel together.

“We just started and the first RV I went in, I’m crying, because that’s the one I want,” said one customer. Her husband added, “The very first one, she fell in love with, so that’s already been decided.”

The couple was headed to Georgia, but made a stop in Elkhart this week to visit the RV show.

“Once we find one that we want, this is my mind, that we can go tour the plant, and we can see how they’re made and the quality,” said the woman.

They came to the right place, since Elkhart County is the RV Capital of the World, and the industry is booming.

Last year, over half a million units were shipped across the world, and it’s projected that even more will be shipped out this year.

“We’ve seen eight straight years of growth, we’ve head record numbers for the last couple years, and it looks like we’ll do it again for 2018,” said Matt Rose, show director of the RV show.

“Right now, we’re seeing a pinnacle,” said Chad Rothrock, sales manager at Total Value RV. “The RV industry is hot. I think 50,000 units were shipped last month”

The competition among RV manufacturers makes them more affordable and available to more demographics.

The average age of RV buyers recently dropped from 49 to 45 years old.

“More young people and young couples are looking for healthy, active ways of vacationing and an RV is the perfect way of doing that,” said Rose. “You can take your mountain bikes, take your kayaks, take your dog with you. It’s a great way of getting outside, enjoying nature, in your new RV.”

There have been historically low interest rates for the past couple of years, but those are expected to rise again, so RV leaders say now is the best time to buy.

You can visit the RV show at the RV Hall of Fame just off the CR 17 exit of the Indiana Toll Road between now and Sunday.

Hours between now and Saturday are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The cost of entry is $8 for adults, while children 15 and under get in free.