FitRV at the 2017 RVIA Show in Louisville… LIVE!

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Well, we’re back from our annual trek to the RVIA National RV Trade Show Louisville.


We actually set a record at this RV show. It was the first time we did 4 live video events at one show!

Probably doesn’t sound like much to you, but since we’re not “live” people, it’s a FitRV milestone. We’re WAYYY more comfortable gathering footage, and then yelling at each other a bit about how we didn’t like the footage, and then retaking the footage about 10 billion more times and then editing it all later…once we’re speaking to each other again.

Morning jogs together around the RVIA show all is forgiven!

We’ve been watching the growing popularity of live videos with trepidation. And so these 4 live vids were a bit of a turning point for us. So now that we’ve got our maiden live-vids under our belts, you can count on seeing more of this type of stuff from us in the future. But go easy on us! They’re going to be rough and raw and we might bumble a bit. Perhaps that’s the beauty of live. It’s unpolished nature makes it more real.

Here’s the 4 vids we did:


Live Video #1: Hosted on TheFitRV’s YouTube Page

“RVIA Show 2017 – Supplier Booths Live with The Fit RV!”


The rough start of this video cracks me up. It’s sort of like having a fear of getting bucked off horses, and then you finally build up the nerve to actually ride a horse, only to immediately get bucked off! If for no other reason, you should just watch the first 25 seconds for a laugh at our struggles and suffering. We’re live for our first time on YouTube, and right off the bat we were having connectivity problems. Just great. Yay live. If you can get past that, and then past all the cutting-out the video does the rest of the hour, you’ll actually get an interesting look inside this show. Since the RVIA show isn’t open to the public, the vendor booths are very different from what you’d typically see at an RV show. No one’s trying to sell you jewelry, electrical massagers, or vacation packages. The supplier booths are strictly targeting both RV manufacturers and dealers.


Live Video #2: Hosted on TheFitRV’s YouTube Page

“RVIA Show 2017 – Live Chat with Russ Garfin  of Winnebago”


Russ is the product manager for all of Winnebago’s vans and View/Navions. He’s also a good buddy of ours, and the reason we ended up with a bright yellow Travato in the first place. In preparation for this live chat, we reached out to various Winnebago owners groups and gathered topics they wanted us to ask Russ about. This chat was the result of their feedback, and we covered lots of interesting topics; from plans for winter-friendly rigs, the future of lithium, warranties, dealer service challenges, and on and on. We filmed this one a little differently; used our Logitech webcam, a computer and our awesome Yeti microphone (the same one we use for all our RV-review voice-overs), and plus we actually had a solid connection! We did have a little echo glitch at the start, and we hit “end” too soon at the end, but hey, we’re learning.


Live Video #3: Hosted on Winnebago’s Facebook Page

“Finding the Perfect RV: Class B Highlight”

Finding the Perfect RV: Class B RVs

Join The Fit RV to talk about Class B RVs during our "Finding the Perfect RV" series!

Posted by Winnebago on Tuesday, November 28, 2017


Right before heading to Louisville we got an email from blogger Heath Padgett, he does a lot of work for Winnebago creating content for their social media channels, and owns a Brave himself. He asked us if we’d do a Facebook Live video chat about Class B living, and things to consider when deciding if a Class B is the right choice. An easy topic for us, and we were right at home filming this one. Besides chatting about van life, we also walk through a bunch of the Winnebago campervans that were at the show.

For this video and the next one, we had a whole support crew doing the filming for us.  Two cameras, a director, someone mixing the two shots… the works.  What you can’t see is that there was some sort of technical problem while we were filming this.  At one point, everyone behind the camera got really frantic.  Everyone started mumbling into their hidden microphones and touching their earpieces like anxious Secret Service agents.  One of our camera guys literally ran away!  And the whole while they kept mouthing to us:

Keep going!!!

Sure!  No problem!  This isn’t distracting at all!  Ah the magic of live…


Live Video #4: Hosted on Winnebago’s Facebook Page

“The Ultimate RV Tour”

The Ultimate RV Tour

Join Heath of Heath & Alyssa as he tours 12 different Winnebago RVs in an hour!

Posted by Winnebago on Monday, November 27, 2017


In this video, Heath Padgett hosts a tour of various Winnebago RVs at the RVIA show. We just play a small part in this one, coming in at 17:30 minutes and are on for about 10 minutes…but I’m still counting it as one of the four live videos we did even though it wasn’t technically ours. We give a quick glance at the 4×4 Revel, the new Era B model, and also talk a little about the typical Class B RV user.


So there you go! Those were our 4 live videos. Thanks to those of you who watched live and left nice comments even though the videos were far from perfect. We’re so lucky to be surrounded with such a supportive community of FitRV readers and viewers. Y’all are the best.

But also! This isn’t all we did at the show! We actually got NOT-live video footage of 2 rigs on our radar:

The Coachmen Galleria with the lithium package:

We snuck in before the show started…but they must’ve expected us, doors locked durnit!

And the LTV Wonder Front Twin Bed (FTB).


One of the bad things about NOT live video is that once you film, you’re not done as you are with live…so we still have to get those videos edited and do our dorky voice-overs. Stay tuned for that.

The next show we’ll be at is the Tampa Supershow in January. If you’ll be there, let us know! Hopefully we can cross paths!



After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    12 thoughts on “FitRV at the 2017 RVIA Show in Louisville… LIVE!

      1. James

        Actually, we did see it. Kind of gimmicky.
        Many of those solar panels aren’t real… just a wrap that looks like solar panels. And if one side of the motorhome is facing the sun, then the other side would be in complete shade. So you’d never get *all* of those watts of solar.
        Interesting idea, and probably looks good at a show, but needs work to be a realistic motorhome.

    1. Smiley

      Russ is a very nice guy but at days end he is a marketing guy. I hope he can make the company do the changes required faster. I like the new refrigerators and hopefully other will follow suit as well follow up with more lithium and solar. As far as under hood generators he told me in Hershey that this was a voided warranty item by his OEM engine suppliers so unless something changes I would not hold your breath on that one. All good stuff on the video. Thanks

    2. Greg

      In this morning’s news from the Suffolk England Gazette …
      By Hugh Dunnett, Crime Correspondent
      Police were called when the owners of the motorhome, which was parked up in a private spot near Bawdsey, awoke to sounds of a man screaming and being sick outside. Officers say the thief thought he was inserting one end of the hose through the fuel tank filler cap.

      But in the darkness he put it through the lavatory outlet cap instead.

      “I think it’s fair to say he got a bit of a shock when he started sucking on the hose in order to begin the process of siphoning the fuel tank,” a Suffolk Police spokesman said.

      The vehicle owner said: “People like him deserve everything they get – and he certainly got a taste of his own medicine.”

    3. Ed Rudder

      Thanks for the videos. I really appreciated the fact that Russ accepted that there is work to do in customer satisfaction. With people like him in the B industry we will see it only improve.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Yep, it’s been our experience that the industry really is aware of quality issues and they’re working hard to improve. Here’s to hoping!

    4. Greg

      Great videos James and Stefany! I’ve read that the 2019 redesign of the Mercedes Sprinter is supposed to bring much better MPGs. Ask the class B manufacturers next time you see them.

      1. James

        We’re very curious about the Sprinter redesign here at Fit RV HQ. Nobody is really talking much about it yet, but perhaps that’s just because we’re not asking the right questions…

    5. Mike Yates

      Wow, outstanding work Stef and James on the videos. I especially liked the interview with Russ. I watched it twice and liked how he answered some hard questions about features, warranties, quality and even the dealer network. My wife and are will buy a B probably in February (it’s like my Christmas) and I cannot see us buying anything other than a Winnebago and you two are a leading reason why.

      Dealers need to get over the fact that information (other’s dealers offer prices) is available to anyone who wants to find it. The last three cars I’ve purchased were all done entirely over the phone/internet. I’m not afraid to talk about the price other dealers have offered me. My last car, I tried to work with a local dealer and he couldn’t get to the price of a dealer in another state, but his last comment to me was, “I know I can’t get near enough to that price, but if you ever need service, please let us earn your business”. I will always give that dealer a shot at my business. Any dealer that tries to sell me something significantly more expensive with a scare tactic will never see my shoes in their dealership. So far I haven’t found that attitude in Minnesota.

      One of the other benefits that I never heard you mention is that Winnebago has two locations (IA and CO) where you can get warranty work at their factories. With one of those locations being in Iowa, a day trip for us, makes me feel better about purchasing a Winnebago.

      I love the way you two advocate for how people want to use their vans, you are spot on and I think you have helped Winnebago get better. Bravo. I’m not an real engineer, but I pretend pretty well and you two help me understand exactly what the each van has to offer good and bad.

      One question, I cannot find any info on the Bison (yeah no Badger) except your site. Your two videos have me very interested in learning more about it. Do you know when some of the Winnebago marketing material will be available?

      And please pass along my kudos to Russ for spending an hour trying not to to give up any model secretes to the two of you. His tone was sincere, open and informative. It’s exactly what I want to hear from a company intent on earning my business.

      I hope to get an opportunity to thank you two in person and I can’t wait until we buy our first B.


      1. James

        Well thanks, Mike! Russ really is a genuine of a guy as you see in the videos. We’re glad to count him among our friends.
        (But that doesn’t mean we don’t try to pry secrets out of him now and then… 🙂 )

        As far as marketing materials on the B – I just don’t know. I know they were taking orders from dealers at the show, so the general public info can’t be far behind.
        I think the dealer attitudes are slowly changing. They’re starting to realize, at least as far as B van buyers go, that we’ve generally done our homework before we even step foot into their dealership.

        When you do get your first B, I hope you’ll stop by here and let us know. “New RV Day” is always smile-inducing. Even if it’s not ours. Cheers!

      2. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Mike, really appreciated your feedback here! Great to hear you’re joining the Class B family soon, be prepared…it becomes a bit of an obsession! The Forest City IA service center is fantastic, nice that you’re close to it, a definite bonus.

        I’ll definitely pass on your kudos to Russ! You really did seem to get a good feel of Russ, down to him trying to dodge any secrets, lol. I hope you get to meet him someday, he’s one of the main reasons we love Winnebago so much. And he speaks Japanese!!!!


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