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The Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) Florida RV Supershow was held Jan 23-28, 2023 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa FL. It was estimated that over 79,000 people attended and I conducted a seminar each day of the show. It brought back memories as I also conducted seminars when I was working at Winnebago Industries over 25 years ago and WOW has it changed. Back then we were in a dusty old building with Lazy Days and the seminar was up in the grandstand seats!

This year we had a beautiful building with over 200 seats and it was air-conditioned! I had a modest crowd for the Tips For Choosing The Right RV on Wednesday and the crowd grew to over 200 Friday and Saturday. Sunday was back down to about 75 which makes it easier to ask more questions of the participants. And the attendees were there to buy, not only RVs but accessories as well. At times it was almost impossible to walk down the road and was impossible to get through the vendor buildings. But I did see a bunch of people walking out with generators, air conditioners, and almost every type of camping “must-have” from the vendors.

I went to the show last year and did a little research and this year we brought a production crew to interview RV manufacturers, equipment vendors, and many interesting product promotors.

Winnebago featured their Electric RV prototype the eRV2 built on a Ford Transit platform with an all-electric power train. We featured it in last month’s article. They also had their new National Park model Vista on display which comes in at 30’ so it’s easy to maneuver around the park and find a spot at the campgrounds.

The Solis is a smaller vehicle that we got a great walkaround from Nick, the Product Training Manager from the Southeast. It has a unique Overland Drawer feature that makes it easy to store and access gear, plug all terrain tires with standard Sumo Springs for a comfortable ride on rough roads.

Keep warm with the Truma Combi heating system and the 280 hp Dodge Ram platform can tow 3500 lbs. Stay dry camping longer with the two group 31 AGM batteries and 220-watt flexible solar panels mounted to the pop top.

Keystone RV introduced their new 5th Wheel with a front office floorplan!

The Montana was the hit of the show with a line of people coming in and out every day. With more people working from home, specifically taking their home on the road, this floorplan will be very popular as it has a dedicated office with a picture window. No more setting up on the dinette or bedroom fighting for space and quiet with others traveling with you.

One of the more interesting additions to the smaller model Class C and B Van market was the Wingamm built on a Fiat chassis.

This is an Italian company that has been in business since 1977 building a full fiberglass body they call monocoque design so it can not develop leaks. They have been building on various chassis platforms over the years such as Fiat, Mercedes, and Volkswagen, and with the new design Ducato chassis by Fiat has entered the US market with three models. It features a drop-down bed and compact design but there are only three distributors in the US. Still is kind of cool though.

Truma introduces AquaGo an instant hot water application with easy draining and cleaning. It has an exclusive decalcification system which extends the life of the unit especially since most of the water available at campsites is hard water. It provides a constant temperature and has an easy drain lever. New model installs can also get a recirculation kit for instant hot water throughout the coach.

Sumo Springs

For years, the standard chassis in Class A Gas and most Class C units have been a rock and roller coaster ride from the stock chassis. Sumo Springs is changing that and several manufacturers are offering standard on some models and optional on others. I have heard of these but have not gotten to do much testing but recently worked with one of the writers for RV Travel.com who had a terrible ride/drive on her F53 chassis and installed Sumo Springs and other enhancements. California RV Specialists has also installed quite a few of these and their customers love them. They are not rubber or metal, but rather made of a micro-cellular polyurethane poured into a mold to reduce rear-end sag, decrease vibration, and what we call porpoising or bouncing down the road. Pictured below is a set for a 2015 F53 which we are currently working on and will install a set this summer. Look for that article later.

What show review would be complete without including Lippert and their Lippert Scouts program. They had one entire end of the Vendor Building with their Lippert Scouts trailer, a stage for seminars from their Lippert Scout Ambassadors, and a campground setting with a ton of products. A new product that was being introduced was the wireless LP tank level gauge and the inside temperature gauge.

Both gauges have a sensor that mounts to the bottom of the tank in the LP product and hangs in the refrigerator for the temperature sensor and the One Control App on your phone provides the information on the LP level and the temperature.

Rust Inhibitor

For years I was a WD-40 man until I found the issues with it actually wiping off the lubricant that was designed for dump valve stems and hydraulic pistons. I came across a product called Fluid Film which is a great rust inhibitor and cleaner but it smells really bad!

At the show, I came across Bioshield T9 which many of our readers have been writing to us about. I got a sample and brought it back to try and have been very pleased with the lubricating performance. It will take a while to see how well it does with rust especially since it’s below zero most of the time currently! According to the website they have been working with Boeing for over 40 years to develop a more reliable metal protector and lubricant that could withstand prolonged environmental exposure. They claim it penetrates better, displaces moisture, and dissolves minor corrosion through the combination of unique waxes and solvents. Our readers have been very impressed with it as well.

As with all shows, there was a variety of attendees with the most unusual being Max the potbelly pig.

I think his fur baby buddy was thinking; “Do I smell bacon?”

Another feature was the abundance of strollers but it was a guessing game, baby or puppy?

Most of them were puppies, this one stopped at the Coach-Net tent to say how much he loved RVing!

And finally, we went “Live” from the Lippert Scout Trailer Thursday evening for the Talkin’ RV Tech event and had an hour of questions from not only our participants via the YouTube and Facebook channels but also from our Live audience outside the trailer at the Lippert Theater.

About the author: Dave Solberg: Managing Editor, RV Repair Club

For the last 25 years, Dave has conducted RV maintenance and safety seminars, developed dealer and owner training programs, written RV safety and handyman articles authored an RV handbook reference guide, and logged over 100,000 miles on the road in an RV.

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