The Hippo


May 31, 2020








43rd Annual NH Camping & RV Show

Where: NH Sportsplex, 68 Technology Drive, Bedford
When: Friday, March 27, from 1 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10 (cash only) for adults and free for children under 12
Call: 736-5540
First-time Buyers seminar
When: Friday, March 27, at 2 and 6 p.m., and Saturday, March 28, at 11 a.m., 3 and 5 p.m.
Camping Without a Camper seminar
When: Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m., and Saturday, March 28, at 1 p.m.
RV maintenance seminar
When: Sunday, March 29, at noon and 3 p.m. 

Campers’ paradise
NeHaCa hosts annual camping & RV show

By Angie Sykeny

Whether you prefer to do your camping in a bare-bones tent or a decked-out RV, the 43rd Annual NH Camping & RV Show, happening Friday, March 27, through Sunday, March 29, will have something for everyone.

The show, sponsored by the New Hampshire Campground Owners’ Association (NeHaCa), is the largest of its kind in the state, with over 8,000 attendees last year. This year’s show, held at the Sportsplex in Bedford — its largest venue to date — will span across two buildings, cover roughly 92,000 square feet and feature over 100 exhibitors.
“This is the largest show we’ve produced,” said Jeremy Sprince, NeHaCa’s assistant executive director and the show’s manager. “We wanted to move to a bigger location both to introduce larger models but also to give an opportunity to exhibitors who we haven’t been able to accommodate in the past with limited space.”
The show will include an array of RVs, trailers, pop-up campers and camping equipment, as well as information about New England’s campgrounds from over 50 campground owners and managers. There will be informational seminars throughout the day, plus family activities including a bouncy house, face painting and photos with the campground mascots. Clark’s Trading Post will also send its infamous Wolfman to the show.
“We get a good mix of people,” said Gregg Pitman, NeHaCa’s executive director. “For people looking for an RV or ready to trade in their RV, the show is a place to get great discounts before the end of the season. ... People also come to [look into] campgrounds, and meeting the campground owners makes it more relational and gives them a sense of welcome and relationship.”
Bob Zagami, executive director of the New England RV Dealers Association, will offer two of the three seminars. First-time Buyers will be held on Friday at 2 and 6 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Camping Without a Camper will be held Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.
“Usually 50 percent of people at a show don’t own an RV,” said Zagami. “The [First Time Buyers] seminar gives them an overview of the different types of RVs, the various considerations to take in selecting an RV, but also of the lifestyle.”
If you’re going to the show intending to buy an RV, Zagami advises that you look at several models, understand how they’re constructed, test drive them and talk to the salespeople. If the salesperson is only trying to sell the RV but isn’t talking with you about it, “move on,” he said.
In Camping Without a Camper, Zagami will address those who aren’t ready to buy an RV but still want to enjoy the lifestyle. Most campgrounds, he said, have rental units or cabins, and the standard price to rent an RV for a week is around $1,000.
“Oftentimes when we introduce people to renting and they experience the lifestyle, all of a sudden they want to become owners,” he said. “A lot of people are frustrated with today’s society and that’s why [camping] is so popular, because it’s a time to disconnect from their devices, have discussions rather than text messages, and engage with each other.”
Paul Morehouse Jr. from Big Daddy RV Sales & Service of Winchester will give the third seminar about RV maintenance and how to get the most out of your RV on Sunday at noon and 3 p.m.
If you have an idea of where and when you’d like to make a camping trip, select campgrounds will be ready to take reservations on the spot. The earlier you can make a reservation, the better, as campgrounds fill up fast.
“There are 14 billion RVs on the road today,” said Zagami. “Camping is the last vestige of what America used to be like. Now, you can live in a neighborhood for 10 years and not know your neighbors. At a campground, you know your neighbors within five minutes. It’s a lifestyle many people don’t know exists, but once they try it, it changes their lives forever.”
The New Hampshire Food Bank will be taking donations at the show. Attendees who donate at least two items will receive $2 off the $10 admission cost. Last year, the show raised 5,000 pounds of food, and Sprince said they are hoping to exceed that number this year. 
As seen in the March 26, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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