History of the California RV Show

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Celebrating 67 years and still going strong!

In 1952, while the Brooklyn Dodgers, who would move to LA in 1957, were preparing to play ball in the World Series against their arch-rivals the New York Yankees, another big event was in the making across the country. The very first California RV Show was setting up shop in Southern California.

In early 1960, Dodger Stadium was built and the L.A. RV Show, as it was known at the time, moved to the venue. Who knew that 67 years later, this RV manufacturer-sponsored show would become the longest running consumer RV Show on the West Coast?

In the early 50s through the mid 80s, the nation was experiencing a new kind of outdoor recreation hobby that was quickly catching on and would soon overcome outdoor camping in tents. Consumers began purchasing pop-up trailers, truck campers, travel trailers, and motorized RVs in order to take to the highways to see the USA up close and personal. RVs gave campers the opportunity to easily and more economically travel almost anywhere and see more of the country’s historical landmarks, different cities and parks, and more.

Over the 80s and 90s the California RV Show continued to grow in popularity and gave visitors the opportunity to see just about all of the new models from just about every manufacturer – all in one convenient location. The show would continue to expand and soon outgrew its location. In 1992, the RV Industry Association moved the California RV Show to the L.A. Fairplex in Pomona, where it could continue to support the growing numbers of products and consumers interested in them, reaching over one million square feet and featuring more than 100 vendors exhibiting their products and services. Participating dealers in the event set up their sales and finance departments onsite and conduct transactions on the spot at the show. For those wanting to experience how a class A, B or C would handle, a special area for consumer test drives was available.

In recent years special family-friendly attractions like Ferris wheel rides, fishing contests, along with the presence of well-known celebrities and Major league baseball stars, NFL Hall of Famer players and NBA players, drew crowds to the show. Active military members were offered free admission in honor of their service.

For the past 67 years, the California RV Show has helped singles, couples and families discover the great outdoors together. Over the past five years more than 175,000 people have been drawn to the show. The robust economy, low fuel costs and people wanting to travel the USA has sparked more interest to purchasing RVs and experiencing the outdoor lifestyle. Today a record ten million RVs are on the roads in the United States, and according to a recent study by the University of Michigan, “the steady gain in ownership reflects a strong and enduring appeal of the RV lifestyle.”

With the continued growth of the lifestyle and the L.A. consumer RV market the California RV Show has moved again. The 2019 event will be held at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, allowing for more products, more attendees and more family fun that can be enjoyed by all.