Florida, home of the snowbirds and ever-constant and present travelers. What better place than here to host an RV supershow? It just so happened that our time spent in Tampa coincided with the largest RV show in the world. We had to take a look.
Held at the Florida State Fairgrounds just outside of Tampa, the Florida RV Supershow was like nothing we had ever seen, nor expected to see. Created by the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) — a non-profit organization and a full time staff that “lead, educate, promote, and protect the general welfare of the RV Industry in Florida” — this supershow offered over one thousand RVs covering one million square feet of floor space. One ticket purchase per person bought us two days worth of visits, because there are so many rigs to view. It was fun, dizzying and eye-opening to see what is new and available, and it was good insight into how we are living tiny and traveling. Here is a look in pictures.
Upon entering the first major building, we were overwhelmed and surrounded by huge, muscular, towering Class A Motorcoaches by Prevost. There were no pricetags available, but it is obvious that these custom-built and to-suit rigs are for the rich and/or famous: Vehicles start no less than one hundred thousand dollars used and end somewhere between two and three million dollars brand new. Although these are a bit out of our price range, they also are much more than we need and not quite our style, and they weigh tons. We like our tiny living — less, not more! — and these fully equipped beasts are meant for luxury living while traveling. Anything is possible with these Ladies.
Continuing in the same building were more high-end RVs by famous names like Mercedes and Airstream. Beautifully crafted but still out of our price range, these makes and models were more our style. Tiny and luxurious happen to be a trend these days: Folks want the quality of a Class A and probably the name brand, but they want a much smaller version with way less maintenance. Airstream and Mercedes offer just that — fine living, high-quality craftsmanship and ingredients on a much smaller scale in size and affordability. These vehicles are truly beautiful and were fun to visit.
Heading outside and to another building, we went in search of fifth wheels. If there were ever a trade-in or upgrade for Scot and maybe Luna, it would be a fifth wheel. More like a small upscale cookie-cutter apartment or condo, these Girls offer space and many modern amenities and conveniences at a fraction — nay an iota — of the price in comparison to the Class As. This is not to say that everyone can afford them; they simply are much more affordable as they cost significantly less. Though walls are made of paneling and smell less expensive than their leather-laden Class A cousins, fifth wheels are lighter and offer anything from outdoor kitchens and TVs to bonus rooms and toy haulers. They also have large kitchens and ample storage, as well as wide, modern living rooms with large TVs, fireplaces and windows. Appealing to this family is the fireplace and bigger living area. We also miss our king bed, which can be included in brands such as Montanas by Keystone. Of most interest to us, however, and something we hadn’t even considered until we saw it, was the bonus room/office for Scot’s work space. We like him home, and it would help if he had an enclosed space for phone calls and coding. Maybe next time, or sometime later, if we are destined.
Mixed in between and among much bigger rigs were the very small ones — tear drops, mobile tents and others — for motorcycles, bicyclists, minimalists or for those on a tighter budget. If all one needs is a place to rest and a burner for cooking or even less, these are for you. Adorable, easily portable, they can go anywhere and with anything. Super cool.
And for the stay-put Floridian snowbird …
Finally, to our surprise, we came upon a version of our dream tiny living quarters. Small, super high-quality, modern, open, warm, fully functional and perfect in all of its three hundred twenty square feet was the Escape Traveler XL. Because everything inside is real — real wood, regular equipment, real windows and fully eco-friendly — it weighs over thirteen thousand pounds, thus requiring a one ton pickup should you decide to haul it. However, for us, a home like this would be placed somewhere in San Diego, Seattle, Sweden or Spain, kind of in the woods or near water or both for almost year round residency, surrounded by herbs. I was so excited that I signed up for the newsletter. Here is a peek.
Throughout the day, Luna had fun but kept saying that she loves our camper and doesn’t want to “get rid of it” or sell it. We all love our camper and aren’t interested in trading it in or buying something new. We wish we had a king bed, but it’s okay. A slightly larger living space would be a bonus, but we remain tight and cozy. The fireplace has its charms, but we have a campfire, or we could just stream the one from Netflix while we bundle up or dive under covers. At the end of the day, we were tired, but we had lots of fun. It was so interesting to discuss our opinions and surprises. After we arrived at our small Salem travel trailer, we were happy to be home, to call it home. It smells good, like yummy food and wood smoke, and of family, of home. Almost all of the rigs we viewed would supply more space than we use now or that we could ever imagine using in the future: It was all more than necessary. Currently, we have everything we need and more and are quite content. So, here is to dreaming, and also to what we know: We are happy campers and travelers. Travel on and to life untethered!