Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tampa's 2013 RV Supershow: Been There!

Annual RV Supershow - Tampa Fairgrounds
January 16-20, 2013

Wednesday, Jan 16th. Temperatures Jan 16th: 80 degrees / sunny.  Procrastination caused us to miss getting into the 2013 Tampa RV Supershow campground this year. Yes, we knew we were coming, but the same idiosyncrasies that keep us from making campground reservations for of our destinations caused us to miss getting a site along with a group of friends.  The cost for five nights of 30 amp service was $179 and included morning coffee and donuts and nightly entertainment. We didn't partake in any of that the year before so we wouldn't miss it. 

Instead we are in the boondocking section, using generator power. But the site is nice; we're in the shade of a lovely old oak and the grass is a bit shorter than in the higher priced campground.  We pulled in at 1:30 and were among the first here. That's why we snagged the good spot under the tree.  Cost for the boondocking is $12 entry for the coach, $6 entry for the car and $20 nightly to camp. We'll be buying our show tickets separately.
Our campsite for the 2013 show, complete with all day shade from this great old live oak.
I'm really rather happy with this arrangement notwithstanding the lack of shore power.
To our surprise and horror we found a problem in getting set up for dry camping when, as I made hot water for my iced tea, the microwave suddenly shut down.  Dead batteries! Furthermore, the generator was not charging them!  Out come all owners manuals and all the technical operation guides.  We read through all the troubleshooting pages and couldn't get a resolution. After an hour, Wayne called the Magnum Inverter company and within minutes, the technician had walked him through the steps that identified the problem.  A power switch in one of the front compartments had been turned off.  Maybe when the service work was being done at Alliance.  At any rate, one flip of the switch and we have power to charge the batteries! 

By the time the resolution to the power problem was found, it was time to feed the dogs, then ourselves and so we didn't try to make the somewhat long walk to the RV show entrance. Instead, we'll get an early start tomorrow.  We're both excited and love to look (and yes, buy) things at RV shows. 
The 6 pm walk. Lexie does not like walking on grass.  She's a concrete girl.
Every step was a struggle and so... Pop finally picked her up. 
Thursday, Jan 17th. Temperatures high 60's overcast, light rain and windy.   A surprise change in weather welcomed us this morning as yesterday's sun and blue sky have been replaced with overcast skies and a 60% chance of rain.  We loaded the pups and a day's worth of supplies into the car and drove the short few hundred yards to the main gate of the RV Show.  We could have walked, but we weren't real sure of the best way to get to the gate and with a chance of rain, we wanted to have access to the car quickly if it was needed.
Ozzie and Lexie love the stroller and jump all over the car when they see Wayne getting it ready for them.

The RV Show entrance took us directly into the high end coaches so we took advantage of the early hour, before the crowds, to look them over.

The adjoining hall was filled (and I do mean FILLED) with hundreds of exhibitor booths and we took our time going up and down the aisles looking at everything -- buying nothing.

I'm considering a set of these nice chrome step covers. I always notice them on other coaches. 

Wayne is considering the purchase of a Little Giant ladder.  
Who knew a ladder could cost that much?

By 10:30 the exhibit hall was beginning to get really crowded and warm so we made our way outside where we were met with misting rain and a stiff breeze.

Along one of the outside display lanes.

We ate lunch and perused as much as possible before the wind and rain forced us back inside where we snapped a few more photos before we left the show for the day, surrendering to the weather.
He loved that I asked to take his picture!

The Tampa RV Show always has lots of roaming entertainment. 
This fellow was part of a bagpipe group.

Impressed?  Yes, me too.
Late afternoon, we visited Ray and Cindy at their coach. It was fun to catch up on what we've done since our last meeting here at the show last January.

With Ray (red shirt) and Cindy (yellow shirt) and a few other friends.
Tomorrow's weather promises to be better, sunny and warmer, but not hot.  We'll be ready!

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