We went to the Hershey RV show last Sunday. WOW, we did a lot of walking, talked to a lot of people and got more great ideas. Here are a few things we learned, and a bit more about some rigs with the one we think will work for our travels. If you stumbled upon this article and are wondering what TraD’n Dreams is, find out here…
While we were looking into different trailers we got to talking to several great people in some of the trailers. Some were really nice and some not so much. But the people we enjoyed talking to we learned a great deal and gave us a few more things to look into. For example, we spoke to a lovely lady in the Lance 2465 and while in there we talked more about Airstreams lol. She was telling us about the quality of her Airstream and the close-knit group of people she meets in the Airstream owners group. This gave us the thought that there are other groups out there that we can look into when we decide on which unit we get into.
We spoke to a couple in a fifth wheel that were looking for more space and a different layout than the one they had now. This was their first trip the Hershey RV show as well. And we picked up from them that it might be a good idea to get a less expensive used unit. This would allow us to try out a layout. Then decide things like maybe we don’t need the booth dinette or we do. Or we actually need a king bed or get away with a queen. I know I toss and turn at night, so Tracey wants to be further away from me lol.
We had a really nice talk with a few vendors as well. We talked to Lisa from Harvest Host. If you don’t know about Harvest Host let me explain a bit. They have over 800 breweries, wineries, farms and more places that self-contained RV’s can stay at for free! Now they have two plans, one is the classic that is $79/Year, YES per year which pays for itself in just a few stays. There is also a golf plan which adds 349 golf facilities and that one is only $119. But after talking to Lisa we got a discount for you of 15% off if you use this link.
The stay at a Harvest Host is one night, it’s discouraged to stay more or ask, but if the host invites you that is ok. We figured that Harvest Host will be a good thing to have in our big bag of places to stay in case we are moving a long distance and don’t want to do it all in one day, we can find a Harvest Host on the way. There are no hookups so it is a good idea to have boondocking capabilities. And let’s be honest – we can’t wait to hit all of the breweries and wineries around the country!
Another one for our Big Bag of places to stay is using the Thousand Trails network, this is a bit more than Harvest Host but offers longer stays, of course, it is more money though. There are a bunch of things we liked about Thousand Trails and honestly a few we didn’t like. Of the things we liked are you can stay for longer periods up to 28 days depending on the package you get. So from our understanding, the way Thousand Trails works is that you pick your zone (one thing we didn’t really care for) out of the five that are offered. Split up in those zones are 80 places to stay and you can stay at any of them for 7 days free. Then you have to be out of them for 7 days. The cost of what is called the Camping Pass is $585/year.
At Hershey, there was a discount but it varied. So if you’re interested in the Thousand Trails I’d suggest getting ahold of them and talking to someone like Karl and Joanna Halicke who are Membership Specialists (we’ll put their contact information below). And Joanna is Scottish and is delightful to listen to, lol. Having someone explain it was helpful to us and when we start to travel it is certainly worth a look again.
A Thousand Trails had a few higher-priced packages that included nationwide campgrounds and a bunch more places to stay. These higher packages also had nightly stays of 21 – 28 days according to who we talked to at the show. These packages at the show ranged from $4000 – $8000 but you only had to pay that fee once and you had it for life, as long as you had your yearly camping pass dues were paid.
A few things we looked at the Hershey RV show this year gear wise that we think are of note and will be on our radar are the Togo wi-fi booster, the Equal-i-ze sway control hitch, and the ReVo Leveler. I was really hoping to see more vendors for solar and batteries, but maybe here in Pennsylvania, the market isn’t really there? Seems unlikely. There were two but one didn’t really want to talk and I couldn’t get to the other guy so hopefully next time.
The ReVo Leveler was a really neat product. Essentially what it does is helps to level your trailer front to back and left to right with a little box that you mount to the side of your rig. Once you have it calibrated for your rig, which seems pretty easy, it will give you increments of adjustments. You just tell it what size levelers you have and it can basically tell you how many you need to put under it in inches. The unit itself is self-contained with a storage compartment for the battery charger, a sun and rain shade. And mounts to the unit with a simple double stick tape bracket that lets you take the device on and off very easily. Looks like a very handy device for a single camper. Learn more about the ReVo Leveler here.
The ToGo WiFi Booster is a Winegard product which is a big name in the RV industry. The ToGo Roadlink boosts your cell phone signal and sends a WiFi signal out to your RV and creates a hotspot. The nice thing about the ToGo Roadlink was that it has a more reliable signal that would better pick up the cell signal than just using your phone as a hotspot, and we were told about the data plans. As of writing this in September of 2019 you can get a 5GB plan for 30 days for $25 or you and get 12 months of unlimited data and unthrottled for $360.
UPDATE: As of July 13, 2020 the unlimited plan is no longer available the biggest plan is 100gb for $325/year See more here
Get one on Amazon here.
The Equal-i-zer sway control hitch from what we could see had a pretty robust setup. Yes we haven’t towed yet and we don’t have our trailer yet. But we are learning as much as we can and getting as prepared as possible before we pull the trigger. Something about the chain sway control that just doesn’t seem as sturdy to me. When we looked at the Equal-i-zer I liked the beefy construction, the sturdy feel, and after discussing it with the rep and reading more about it online that is probably the route we will go. It can be hooked up at any angle, the bars can be used in inclement weather with permanent sway control. There are no restrictions on turning and backing up. Find out more here.
Wow did we see a lot of rigs at this show! From Air Streams to truck campers and even tossed a few Class A, B & C’s in there for good measure. But we really were interested in the travel trailers.
One we really liked at the Hershey RV show that had a desk in it was the East To West Alta by Forest River. It has a desk along the back wall, an outside kitchen, two opposing slides, and when I stood in the kitchen at the stove my feet didn’t kick the slide, yay. The dry weight was only 7,169 lbs, exterior length of 29’2” and has Azdel onboard. The unit when we went in had samples of the sidewalls and ceiling and they were interesting to see, they were lIghtweight and thick laminated. The Alta line is new and premiering in September of 2019. Learn more here I’m going to be doing a full review soon on this unit. Hopefully. 🙂
We walked into the Torque T314 Toyhauler and immediately wished we had a bigger truck. The dry weight was under what we can tow but if we added water, generator, food, clothes, etc we’d probably push the 9,800 lbs limit of our truck. But this unit was perfect for what we want to do. We’d take the queen bed and two couches in the toy hauler part out and put desks on the slides up and down. There is a ramp door in the back that we could use as a patio. While this is a great option for us, I think we might have to pass on it for now. Maybe next truck, time will tell.
Well, that’s about it for our trip to the Hershey RV show. I plan on doing a bit more in-depth reviews on some of the items on this list and will supply links to them when I do. Did you go to Hershey? What did you think?