Why Attend an Adventure Van Expo or Other RV Event?

Why Attend an Adventure Van Expo or Other RV Event?
Benefits of connecting with other RVers and industry vendors.
By: Kelly Laustsen & David Somach

Even before we had our own adventure van, we sought out RV shows and overlanding events, looking for inspiration for our own vehicle purchase and reassurance that traveling for more than a year in a van wasn’t crazy. 

We love the energy that these events provide. And we can chat at length about tires, camping gear, water tanks, fuel economies, the latest trends in RVing, backcountry camping spots, or battery storage. We truly think that the variety of RV meetups and outdoor lifestyle expos offer something for everyone, regardless of RV ownership or interest in talking about RV gear. 

Adventure Van Expo Recap

We most recently attended the Adventure Van Expo in Hood River, OR, in June. The event was held at the Hood River County Fairgrounds, providing great views of Mount Hood and lots of space for the many attendees and exhibitors. 

We’ve attended a few Adventure Van Expos in the past, including in St. Helens, OR, and Grand Targhee, WY. (We estimated there were several times the number of vendors and attendees in Hood River). We spent the most recent Expo at Backwoods Adventure Mods booth, but got the chance to walk around and see lots of other vendors. 

Highlights of Attending an Adventure RV Event

Here are just a few of the reasons we are always excited about attending the next RV event:

1. Meeting Other People

This is probably our biggest reason for going to the Adventure Van Expo, as well as other events we’ve attended, like the Revel Rally and Vans in the Vineyard. 

We’ve found that other travelers are excited to share their experiences, and always have a host of good recommendations – whether for a hiking trail, phone app, brewery, piece of gear, or campground. 

While conversations inevitably start about RVing, we’ve found lots of other shared connections at these events, including photography, music, and food. Hearing others’ stories always gets us excited to plan the next trip or check out a new area we would not have thought to explore. 

We met a huge range of people at the Hood River Expo, with a variety of interests and experiences. Some folks were just starting to explore getting an RV, while others had spent years on the road. 

The internet is great for sharing experiences and connecting with people, but we find nothing beats an in-person experience.

2. Seeing Both Professional Van Builds and Personal Vehicles

The Expo provides lots of open house vans to poke around in and explore, which we found especially helpful before we had our own van. Lots of attendees bring their own adventure vehicles and welcome others to look inside. 

We are always getting new ideas from seeing what other people have done, whether it is a clever way to add more storage, organize a cabinet, or carry bicycles.

3. Having Fun 

It doesn’t hurt that the Adventure Van Expo is typically held in a beautiful location with plenty of food, beer, music, and giveaways. We especially loved checking out the mountain bike trails at the Targhee Resort during the 2020 expo. 

While we didn’t camp at the Hood River Expo, you can buy a camping pass and make a weekend out of it. We saw lots of Revels and other Winnebagos in the camping area.

Future RV Events to Consider Attending

The list of RV events is always growing, but here are a few we have on our radar for the rest of 2021:

  • Adventure Van Expos
    • Logan, UT: July 31 to Aug. 1, 2021
    • Dillon, CO: Aug. 21-22, 2021
    • Redmond, OR: Sept. 4-5, 2021
    • Lake Tahoe, CA: Sept. 18-19, 2021
    • Chattanooga, TN: Oct. 2-3, 2021
    • Big Bear Lake, CA: Oct. 16-16, 2021
  • Grand National Rally: July 25-31, 2021
  • Revel Van Rally:  Aug. 20-22, 2021

Comments

User commented on July 22, 2021 11:12 PM
How do we get started or registered? We have a Winnebago Sprinter van, we live about a hour and a half hours from Hood River. Wish we knew. We’d love to attend some of these events😊
User commented on October 18, 2021 12:24 PM
User commented on October 18, 2021 12:25 PM