Explore the RVing life at Greater Chicago RV Show
The third annual Greater Chicago RV Show will roll back into the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Friday through Sunday, Jan. 18-20.
Longtime travelers and those just contemplating the RV experience will find a variety of RVs from local dealers and accessories, according to show manager Chris Hamilton.
"We have 28 exhibitors in the show and seven local RV dealers with a wide variety of units on display," Hamilton said. "The dealers will be bringing brand-new 2019 units; class A, B and C motor homes, fifth wheels, travel trailers.
"There will be a display of items to purchase," Hamilton added. "Items you might need to restock your RV. They will include paddleboards from Paddle North, Midwest Monograms making custom signs, and Quickfire fire starter products."
Visitors can expect to see one of the newest trends in the industry, Hamilton said.
"Trailers with bunkhouses have become very popular, as well as Class B vans."
The event is kid-friendly, Hamilton said. "What kid doesn't like to look at a brand-new RV? It's a great show for the whole family."
Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from an expert at daily seminars led by Trey Selman, director of operations and RV weighing and tire safety specialist for the RV Safety and Education Foundation.
"My wife and I teach weight and tire safety," said Selman. "We help people understand bigger vehicles to reduce risk as they travel and help them enjoy themselves better."
According to Selman, some people don't understand the intricacies of weight and tire issues because they don't have to be trained to drive an RV, and that can result in damage to the tires.
"They'll load them up. But they are houses on wheels," Selman said. "They have kitchens on one side and generators. Depending on the floor plan, one side can be heavier than the other, so tires get overloaded on one side. We put scales under each wheel when we weigh them."
Selman and his wife, Susan, former residents of Austin, Texas, aren't just weight and tire experts -- they have lived full-time in an RV since 2010.
"We had a job change and our job didn't require us to be in a specific location, so we said, we'll see the country," said Selman.
The Selmans find pleasure experiencing the American landscape.
"There's a lot of beauty that's out there, and there are differences of beauty," Selman said. "Even the kind of cornfields of Nebraska and Indiana have their own unique beauty, but certainly there's nothing like Glacier National Park and the Redwoods of California."
But it isn't just the vistas of the U.S. that fascinate the couple, it's the everyday people they see on the road.
"There's a different perspective (in) watching people. There are subtly different cultures across the country; it helps us understand people better," Selman said. "They help you get a different perspective and open your mind a little bit to your limited viewpoints.
"Our beautiful country has a great diversity ... and being able to see that is cool," Selman said.
Third annual Greater Chicago RV ShowWhen: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18-20
Where: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, 1551 N. Thoreau Drive, Schaumburg
Admission: $10-$12; free for children 12 and younger. Purchase in advance online; cash only at the door.