Friday, January 18, 2013

Warm Welcomes at the Tampa RV Show

Sarasota, FL        High:  71    Low:  48

Welcome to the 2013 Tampa RV Show! We hadn't even gotten inside the ticket gates when we spotted this beautiful coach parked outside. It's on a Prevost chassis, and had the Angola Coach logo on its side. Sparky's last hometown residence, Angola, IN had a custom coach company called Angola Coach that takes older coaches on a Prevost chassis and does a complete refurbishing of the motorhome. This one was so beautiful with its murals on the rear and sides. It was fun to see a coach that had been done in the small town of Angola, IN. Sparky thinks the company was bought out (?) and is now called Panterra Coach and Conversions, still located in Angola, IN.

Attending the Tampa RV show at the fairgrounds is starting to feel like Homecoming Welcome Week. This is our second year attending and it's really fun!...Good friends we met last year, Nick and Ritchie Boersma, made sure we connected at the show today...They introduced us to some of their new friends, Dave and Kathleen Millross...

We ran into campground managers that we had gotten to know well last year...Amy, at Florida Grande in Webster, FL, and Beth, at Sunny Brook in South Haven, MI, two wonderful places to spend quality time in top notch resorts but quite different atmospheres. These two gals are two resort managers who always have a smile for their guests and were really glad to see us today.

Sparky got a sign for the yard--we've been wanting one for a long time...You see these signs all over the place, especially here in Florida. Guess everybody gets them at the Tampa RV show. This size sign was 32.00 and is made from vinyl, so it should hold up really well. The ladies that design and paint them said that the only product you should use for sun/weather protection on them is Crystal Clear varnish spray by Rustoleum. Any other finish might turn yellow over time.

Sparky signed up for every available free stay, special deal and email list she could find. We'll see how that turns out! Lots of spam, probably....But there were lots of places to sign up for freebie stays....Thousand Trails/Encore booth had some GREAT "spin the wheel" deals. We gathered a FULL bag of literature to sort through to dream and plan on rainy days as we worked our way through the booths.

One of Eldy's favorite booths was the "Little Giant" ladder system. Santa didn't bring a Little Giant ladder for Eldy this year, so he's just going to have to bite the bullet and get one. But we didn't get enough information on them today, we're going to just have to go back and catch these guys again tomorrow 'cuz we didn't catch the price today.

There were barbershop quartet guys performing, and other strolling musicians.. Sparky LOVES bagpipers and the St. Andrews Piper Band was playing through the fairgrounds. Love the drum major..Poor guys, we felt sorry for them. They had to be so HOT and uncomfortable!

This troubadour parked himself in front of a Millenium coach....

Speaking of Millenium-- a high end RV company that builds on a Prevost chassis --for discriminating buyers with a LOT of cash to a million or two....Sparky went inside one and was amazed at the amenities inside and out. One of them had its own pressure washing system built in the cavernous bay....Heated floors.....And look at these sink fixtures....WOW!

They still are too glitzy and gaudy for us, even if we did have the money, we wouldn't pick one of these.....

We got some answers at the show today on the dilemma of what to do with your engine when sitting for long periods of time. Are you supposed to start it up? Add algae killer? Leave it be? And Freightliner said, NOTHING IS RECOMMENDED OR NEEDED as long as you purchase fuel at high volume service stations. Starting your engine and letting it idle could cause the engine to go into the REGEN process (this is on a Freightliner/Cummins system) and that's not a good thing to happen when you are sitting on a grass site. The REGEN process generates temperatures of over 1300 degrees at the part of the exhaust system containing the diesel particulate filter. A fire could start under the coach if you are sitting on a grass site. Stated extremely simply, the REGEN process goes something like this:  Your special engine has a diesel particulate filter or DPF that acts like a “soot catcher”. After catching all this black soot for over a period of time it will then “cough” it all out in one go in a high heat burning process, the REGEN process, a method of "steam cleaning" your exhaust. If it has been a while since you have driven and maintained speeds above 40 miles an hour, then your DPF will not be able to clear itself of the soot, and resulting error messages and engine lockup might occur.

We enjoyed ourselves today at the Tampa RV show, but still suffering from colds and coughs, we got tired quickly.  It was HOT and STEAMY inside the exhibition halls. Many vendors and RV lookers were sweating. We didn't really look at many rigs and that is half the fun! Even if you have a nice coach, you never get tired of looking at what's out there, what the new features and models offer, so we think back we will go tomorrow......Hope we will see some more of our blogging friends!

Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful suggestions on how to beat this awful cold and cough we both have...We really appreciate each suggestion and between the two of us, are going to try different things. Course by the time we work through all the suggestions, we'll hopefully be over the "coughing crud" and we won't know which one really was the winner!  


  1. I can tell you that we have the same sign (different design), and we put that spray coat on it. Worked great and no yellowing either. Cute!

  2. I love your new sign. We should have bought one I guess, but we still have one we got for our wedding that still looks good believe it or not. (40 years old)

    Good info on the engine. We have a Cummings engine but different chassis. I assume the advice would be the same. We never get fuel at small stations. We will gladly pay a bit more to go to a truck stop verses a smaller volume station...and I'm glad to hear that's also the advice you got.

    Agree on that coach....too gaudy and shiny for me.

  3. Like your new sign. Sounds like you had a great day at the show. Always love RV shows, thats we can check out when in the area.

  4. Love the sign! The RV Show in Houston begins on Feb 6th. We are looking forward to it. We were sad to miss the one at home (St. Louis). It is the first time in over ten years that we have not been there. Do you think anyone noticed? LOL

  5. Boy they had a lot more neat things on Friday. We went on Wednesday and didn't see any of the "entertainment". Love your sign!

  6. I have sign envy. We don't have a sign, but we'd like to get one.