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RVelectricity™: Hershey RV Show – If they build it, will they come?

Dear Readers,
After a year-and-a-half of canceled RV shows and rallies, it appears that the show circuit is making a comeback. After all, there were a number of RV soothsayers who told me in confidence they thought the 2021 Hershey RV Show (America’s Largest RV Show®) would cancel at the last minute. But it’s actually happening, and with a bang, I might add.

Hershey RV Show Press Room

Industry Days at the Hershey RV Show

While most of you may not have been part of Industry Days at Hershey, I was there on Tuesday teaching a 6-hour advanced RVelectricity™ troubleshooting class for dozens of RV technicians. This all-day class was designed to help them better understand electricity as it relates to diagnostics and repair of your RV electrical systems.

Why is fixing an RV electrical system so complicated nowadays compared to even a decade ago? Well, consumers have demanded (and received) all sorts of modern electronic comforts in their recreational vehicles. And that entails all kinds of complex electrical systems that can fail.

Fixing these failures can be a real problem, so I’m happy to report that PRVCA (Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association) has stepped up their RV technician training programs. We’re now laying out even more technician electrical training programs for 2022.

Bigger, better, faster entrance security…

Two years ago (for the 2019 Hershey RV Show) there was a huge bottleneck with entrance security, with many attendees having to stand in line way over an hour to gain entrance at 9 a.m.. This was a huge issue for my 9 a.m. RVelectricity™ 101 class, since many of you who wanted to attend didn’t make it to the room until the seminar was nearly over, and then there were no seats available in the small room allocated.

But that was then, and this is now! Even though the gate lines were pretty long at 9 a.m. this week, I only stood in line for 30 minutes yesterday, a huge improvement in security logistics compared to last year.

The big room (We are the Champions!) at the Hershey RV Show

Yep, I’m in the huge Champions Room this year presenting consumer 1-hour seminars from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. every day from Wednesday through Saturday, and 11:30 to 12:30 on Sunday. And I’m not sure of the actual head count, but on Thursday it was SRO (Standing Room Only) with at least 200 attending my RVelectricity™ seminar. It really seems like consumers are more interested than ever in learning about their RV electrical systems, and I’m happy to teach them.

Shiny, happy people

And everywhere I looked there were happy attendees, many of whom seemed to be first-time RV buyers eager to learn about the options. And, of course, interested buyers make for happy sellers, so while I’m not sure just how many RVs will be sold at this show, I know that relationships are being built and purchase plans being made.

We all miss Gary Bunzer

I’ve talked to dozens of trades people who were at the last half-dozen Hershey shows I’ve attended, and many of them said they wish The RV Doctor himself could be here to see the Hershey show restart bigger and better than ever after it’s cancellation in 2020 due to COVID. Gary and I often shared the same space at Hershey, and he’s the guy who convinced PRVCA that I wasn’t just some crackpot electrical guy ranting about electrical power.

In fact, starting perhaps 8 years ago, Gary would allow me to do guest RVelectricity™ appearances during his own seminars, which helped launch my RV seminar career. And that’s what convinced shows like Hershey that RV Electricity was an important topic, and I knew how to teach it.

It’s just sad that Gary passed away from COVID-19 in April of 2020. It would have been great to be able to have a beer with him at this show, just as we’ve done many times in the past and catch up on the latest RV news. RIP Gary…

How big are the crowds at the Hershey RV Show?

Well, here’s the tabulation sheet from the last several days. Note that the 2021 attendance on Thursday was the most attended weekday show since 2013. They hope to break all records on Saturday, and I’ll be there teaching seminars as well. So the dealers are happy, and PRVCA is ecstatic. People really want to see RVs this year.

More consumer education in 2022…

Just about every manufacturer I’ve talked to this week has expressed interest in even more consumer education in 2022. Therefore, I’m lining up not only more live seminars, but also planning even more virtual webcasts of my training programs for 2022. So, while my RVelectricity™ webcasts in 2020 and 2021 were instead of live seminars, now these webcasts will be in addition to my live seminars for 2022.

Please give me a shout…

So if you’re part of an RV rally or show for 2022 and might want to book me to teach an RVelectricity™ seminar, either virtually or in person, please email me at mike (at) rvtravel.com so we can make plans for next year. I now  have my video production studio up and running, and can even do remote webcasts from shows and rallies, which really expands the audience as well as helping create a library of training material. Since budgets are being discussed by potential sponsors in the next few weeks, please get your requests in sooner rather than later.

See you all in 2022, either virtually or in person.

Let’s play (and learn) safe out there….

Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.

For information on how to support RVelectricity and No~Shock~Zone articles, seminars and videos, please click the I Like Mike Campaign.

##RVT1018

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Jim Layton
1 month ago

I know you from ProSoundWeb! Know I can learn RV power from you! I bought a trailer at the show on Friday! I would have tried to meet you had I read all program. I’m trying to find out the types of power outlets (30A) at campsites. I see 3-wire twistlock cables and 3-wire “plug” cords. Also, most portable gens appear to have twistlocks. Recomendations please.

Mike Sokol
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Layton

Glad you found me. Here’s a good primer article on how RV power works. https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-electricity-power-principles-further-explained/

Anne Goodwin
1 month ago

We attended your electricity seminar on Wednesday. Gary Bunzer would be proud of you.

Mike Sokol
1 month ago
Reply to  Anne Goodwin

Thanks very much. Gary was my mentor who got me started writing for the RV industry, and I’m proud to have called him my friend and colleague. I really miss that guy…

PaulE
1 month ago

What is the sense of having a RV Show when there are such a shortage of RVs? Oh I forgot, the shortage only applies if you are looking for a Fair Priced Unit. But if you are willing to overspend, there are plenty.