From The Calendar

Central New York RV and Camping Show to display hundreds of RV’s

Jacqueline Simpson | Contributing Illustrator

As Syracuse schools let out for spring break, families may consider heading out on a road trip or camping in one of New York’s state parks. To preview the best RVs in town before summer, the Central New York RV and Camping show has got it covered.

“When you get an RV and go camping, you’re checking out,” said Drew Wickham, event manager of the CNY RV and Camping show. “You’re checking out of the technology world, your computers, your phones — so, camping gives us a chance to get away.”

The indoor show will display hundreds of new and pre-owned RV’s from nine dealers. There will be multiple campgrounds, exhibitors, RV suppliers and a variety of campers up for purchase, including travel trailers, motorhomes and truck campers. The show will run from Thursday to Sunday in four buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds.

This year, the show celebrates its 47th year of operation. The CNY RV dealer association created the show to bring together dealers, RV’s and campers to one central location.

“If someone’s looking to buy an RV, they can come to this show and hit nine different dealers in one afternoon versus driving all over central New York, going to each one of the dealerships,” Wickham said. “So it’s really an efficient way to get a jump on the camping season.”

One of the nine dealers involved in the show is Burdick’s RV Center. John Burdick, president and general manager of Burdick’s RV Center, said his family-run business has been in the car and RV industry since Burdick’s grandfather sold travel trailers in the 1930s.

Burdick said the timing in March is a great aspect of the show. For RV dealers, fall is usually reserved for traveling with their RVs or packing up their RVs and storing them away.

“It really kicks off our season,” he says. “The RV business hibernates from late October to mid-march, and so this is kind of picking up the season for us.”

Burdick’s RV Center has participated in the show for seven years, and will feature around 30 units this time, including travel trailers and motor homes.

Along with a new collection of models, the show will also have an inventory of used campers and units in The Horticulture Building. Visitors who aren’t ready to buy a new camper can then browse newer options in other buildings, and also find used, more affordable RVs.

The Shriners Hospital for Children will also be in attendance to offer information on campfire safety, along with the Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association, bringing dogs to the show for adoption because “we all know dogs make good campers, right?” said Wickham.

Paul Jenkins, manager and owner of Oak Hill Motors, will participate in the show for the third year. Although they won’t be having a big display at the show, Jenkins said the show is an opportunity for RV dealers to attract new customers.

“It’s getting your name out there, it’s exposure,” Jenkins said. “There’s a lot of people that come to the show, and the more people that see Oak Motors, the better for our business.”

The Frankfort, New York-based, family-run business will be selling four trailers in the show, including travel trailers from Wildwood, XLR and Viking. For anyone who is interested in buying a camper or RV, Jenkins says the show gives a chance for people to see what’s available.

“Every floor plan, every option, every trailer that’s made is probably going to be at the show,” Jenkins said. “So if somebody doesn’t have a good idea, if they’re new to camping, and they don’t know what they want, you can’t ask for a better place to walk around and get ideas of what to buy.”

Burdick especially likes the camping aspect of the show. No matter what ages the attendees are, Burdick said, camping is a great outdoor activity that everyone can enjoy.

“Camping provides a home away from home, obviously one that’s movable and mobile,” Burdick said. “You can go from the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes to the Niagara region down to the Catskills, and just thousands of other places to go and places to see.”

In addition to seeing some of the bigger campers, Wickham is looking forward to having dealers sell their units and make sales. Most importantly, Wickham said he encourages people to come to the show and celebrate the experience of camping.

“Nothing beats sitting around the campfire, making friends, special family time, it’s just all great summer fun,” Wickham said. “And it’s people’s chance to get away from home, settle down and have some quality family time, which is real important this day and age.”

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