An aerial view of the 2022 Florida SuperShow. (Photo: Gary Gerard/RVBusiness)

In less than a month, tens of thousands of RVers and curious onlookers will descend on the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa from Jan. 18-22, for the 38th annual Florida RV SuperShow, and Dave Kelly, executive director of the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) which hosts the event, said all indications are 2023 will be another great year for the show.

“Dealers are excited about it,” Kelly told WOODALLSCM.com on Wednesday (Dec. 21). “They’re already moving stuff over to the fairgrounds. They’re all anticipating a big show like we are. We were a little upset with what we heard coming out of the Hersey Show (America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, Pa., Sept. 14-18) because their numbers were off a little bit, but I think we’re going to have a really good year here.”

As far as OEMs go, a couple of small manufacturers chose not to attend this year, but other than that, “pretty much everyone who wanted to get in got all the space they needed.” he said.

While exact numbers are not available at the moment, between 30 and 40 dealers will be participating. OEMs pay for the space and appoint dealers to represent their products at the show, Kelly said, noting that virtually all major manufacturers will be represented. A quick look at an interactive map provided here at the SuperShow website shows more than 160 displays are on tap.

And what many perceive as a softening in the RV market may only create more excitement for the show, with dealers eager to get a feel for the 2023 market and OEMs having plenty of inventory to showcase.

Dave Kelly

“We just had in November, our smaller, Tampa dealer show and we had to cancel one day because of a storm that came through. But over three days we had over 6,400 people. So if that’s any indication – even at a small show – it shows that people are still in the market,” Kelly said. “And there’s certainly going to be a heck of a selection this year, you know, with everything that’s out there.”

The supplier portion of the show will see close to 400 booths this year, Kelly said. “For our booth vendors we offer first right of refusal for their booths and we have over a 90% return rate every year on the people wanting to have the same booths they’ve had in the past. It makes it tougher for people to get in, but we feel we owe it to the ones who have been supporting us over the years.”

The only question mark – as always – is the weather, but even that doesn’t really hamper the show unless there is heavy rain. “You know, our people, so many of them are from up north that even on the colder days you see them out with shorts and short sleeves on. It’s funny. The Floridians are all bundled up and the northerners are all thinking we’re crazy,” Kelly chuckled.

More than 80,000 people attended the 2022 installment of the SuperShow, breaking the previous record attendance of 74,286 in pre-COVID 2019, which at the time had eked out a win over the 2018 show’s record by 1,200.

Registration for Industry Day on Jan. 18 opened Nov. 30 and Kelly said interest has been brisk, with “more and more registrations coming in every day.” Everyone involved in the industry is welcome to attend Industry Day for free. Complimentary coffee and donuts will be served in the morning and lunch is also free. Those interested still may register by visiting FRVTA.org or filling out the registration form at https://form.jotform.com/42585523855968

The theme of the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow is “Let’s Hit the Road!,” according to information provided by the FRVTA in a previous press release. “The interest in outdoor recreation is at an all-time high and the phrase “Let’s Hit the Road” reflects the attitude of the nation as they get back on the road. You can bring your hunting gear, fishing equipment, bikes and anything else you have room for. And if you get tired of your view or your neighbors all you have to do is move on,” the release stated.

Aside from hundreds of RVs on display, hundreds of supplier booths and dozens of educational seminars, the SuperShow also is known for free entertainment as clowns, unicycle riders, stilt walkers, barbershop quartets and bagpipe bands, tour the grounds.

The Super Rally celebrates its 36th year at the SuperShow. This RV rally is open to all RV clubs and the general public and includes a number of amenities including free admission to the SuperShow all five public days, meeting facilities for your club, free coffee and donuts every morning and seminars. Three nights of entertainment and refreshments are also included and will feature “Sunday Drive” a musical group by twin brothers, a wonderful night of variety family entertainment lead by Fritzy and Kenny Ray Horton will have everyone dancing in the isles with his country and bluegrass hits.

Admission to the SuperShow is $15 for adults and that includes a second-day admission for the cost of one day and children under 16 are free. The SuperShow hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday. Wednesday-Friday are Senior Citizens Days with seniors receiving $2 off the cost of admission (not valid with other discounts).

For more information on the 2023 Florida RV SuperShow contact the Florida RV Trade Association at 10510 Gibsonton Drive, Riverview, Fla. 33578, 813-741-0488, or visit its website at www.frvta.org.