A corny joke told hundreds of times already but one that’s rather apt for the Hamilton Motorhome Show. Although my van is silver, not white and also not in this photo. We have been to the show for the last two years, but this year Sarah had decided that since we weren’t buying a new motorhome, there was no need for her to come and supervise giving me the freedom to wander around as I wanted.
I decided that I would head down Thursday find a spot get settled in and have a relax. What I hadn’t counted on was every other man and his motorhome arriving at the same time as me. The postings had said come in gate 5 which was backed up back to the road with motorhomes 5 lanes wide inside the entrance.
As we slowly inched forward, I discovered that all these motorhomes were feeding into one lane that headed down to the marshalling area. I hope everyone had good brakes as that was a rather steep hill to be stopped on, with so much weight on board. Anyway, I finally made it to through handed over my $5 to cover the cost of the stay. I then followed the stream of motorhomes to the parking area.
I could not believe it when I was directed into my parking spot, it’s a little hard to compare in these photos, but we are one spot from where we parked last year, so if I could go back in time I would be parked next to myself. When you consider the number of motorhomes here and the available number of parks you have to say the chances of that happening are relatively slim.
I should mention here what a fantastic job the parking wardens did parking all those motorhomes and caravans, they exhibited such great patience getting everyone into the right spots under extreme pressure.😀😀😀
Yet again this year I also had Dethleffs motorhomes parked next to me with an Esprit and Advantage next door. The brand has really grown in the 5 years it has been for sale in New Zealand, and they are becoming a much more common sight.
I was awake bright and early the next morning, and while outstretching my legs, I noticed these motorhomes waiting outside the gate. Obviously, they had arrived too late to get in yesterday and would have to wait until later for entry.
This year they did something different at the show with a dedicated entry for those people using the Park N Stay. A great innovation and a chance to skip the huge queues at the main gate. One slightly frustrating thing was they were offering cash sales the day prior where you could collect your wrist band, but this was unavailable for those, who like me had brought their ticket online meaning a wait, at the gate, that shouldn’t have been needed.
Once through the gates the assault on the senses begins both with the sheer volume of product on display but also the crush of people meaning that the chance to actually get to sit down in the motorhome or caravan of your choice becomes quite a challenging exercise.
This year the show is bigger than ever before with more manufacturers represented and companies like Smart RV (Burstner and Hymer) who have been absent for years are here this year. I mention them because I spent maybe 15 minutes at their display in and out of motorhomes without being approached by any of their staff. I know I wasn’t here to buy this year, but they didn’t. Maybe it was because I was on my own or I looked like a penniless hippie, whatever the reason its one I find strange in retail, how can you sell your product if you don’t talk to potential customers. Maybe the money spent coming to the show will be wasted, and they will wonder why.
It wasn’t just them a lot of stands allow you to walk in and out with so much as eye contact. Sure not everyone is a buyer, and some people like to be left alone. However, a simple smile and “let me know if you need anything” goes a long way towards helping make a sale. It also opens the door for the customer to ask questions if they have any.
Also making an appearance after an absence of years was this VW but at $130K plus you would have to be a reasonably committed member of the VW fan club to consider this purchase when, in my opinion, there is so much else out there.
Of course, there are all sorts of other things for sale as well. With a massive range of electric bikes to cover what is a vast, growing market in NZ. The road-legal 2wd electric motorbike is all yours for only $8000 although I would imagine you would need a reasonably sizeable solar setup to keep that powered up after use.
Also noted were the dishwasher and washing machine (which retails for over $1000) both of which appeared to be new additions to the scene. There really is so much here it could take you all 3 days to see everything.
From small to large from $30K to $300K plus there is something for almost everyone, and that’s just the new stuff outside the main hall and not something, I took many photos of, are the private sales this year with around 15 vehicles for sale.
So did I get anything at the show. No, but what I did do was get a quote from another insurance company for my motorhome as my policy is due for renewal. I haven’t yet compared apples with apples by reading the quote, but it would appear that I can save $300 on this year’s premium. That alone if it is the case, makes coming to the show worthwhile.
One thing that really stands out is the number of caravans now being offered for sale, it would appear to have grown exponentially, and this is also apparent in the number of people arriving in caravans to stay. Not quite the death of the motorhome yet but I am sure this is affecting sales.
Before I left, I took a couple of videos of the motorhomes parked up with over 1300 as at 2pm Friday it was going to be a fantastic weekend. The largest-ever gathering of motorhomes in New Zealand. Please note that although these appear to be upside down, they will play the correct way. See if you can spot yours!
Or you can check out some of the still photos below.
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To view the places we have visited click here to see them on Google maps. You can click the links to read the blog about that area.
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