are there big specials at Camping and Caravan Shows?

Submitted: Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:18
ThreadID: 76438 Views:3629 Replies:12 FollowUps:9
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just wondering....I haven't been to one for years and am planning to go and have a look see at the Melbourne one next week. Don't have much dosh at the minute so really aiming to just go for a look/see at camper trailers to see what is around. But also need to buy Master 8 a new sleeping bag as his is really just an indoor one and he has a cub camp coming up fast....should I go shopping elsewhere or should I be waiting for a look at the show?
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Reply By: Member - The Bushwhackers -NSW - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:43

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:43
Hey Jude

We went with our friends to the one in Maitland, NSW a couple of years ago. Friends looked at a tent, found it suitable, but didn't have the right amount in the budget.

Continued walking along browsing, then a few minutes later, an announcement came over the loudspeaker, saying that any 'demo' tent at such and such a display would be sold at 1/2 price, to be packed up & taken away by the purchaser. Needless to say, we back-tracked rapidly, and my mate bought his new tent!

Best thing to do though, is be aware of every day prices, as the so called 'show specials' might not be so special. Good to see different brands, styles and models of stuff to enable you to compare, but like I said, watch for 'specials', they might not be special. My mate was very lucky at the time.

Happy bargain hunting, Dave

P.S. I know what 'not having much dosh at the minute' feels
AnswerID: 406634

Follow Up By: Jude&theboys - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:49

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:49
yeah thanks Dave, I know they have specials on some things but you are right of course - guess I should go take a look at a few places this week. Trying to get him a decent, waterproof, bag rated to 0 or better for as little as possible...wouldn't mind one for me too but well his is more urgent at this stage....and yes all to familiar with the not much dosh concept but still having big dreams of camper trailer and a drive across the Nullarbor hopefully next September - if I say it often enough it will happen right?
FollowupID: 676405

Follow Up By: Member - The Bushwhackers -NSW - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:56

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:56
Repeat to yourself, I will have a camper trailer, I will have a camper trailer....

We bought ours in 2007, budget, entry level unit,but well made.... best thing we ever did, as far as camping goes.

If you do a search on 'sleeping bags' on here, you will get lots of info... some use $1000 items, some of us find $25 items suits our needs, but you must keep the youngster warm.

Wish you all the best for your Nullabor trip (it WILL happen)

Cheers, Dave

FollowupID: 676408

Follow Up By: Jude&theboys - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:04

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:04
yeah I have told the kids & their Dad (who luckily has no issues with me taking them away for a long trip) that we will go. Have found that telling them helps to make it happen. I can see the dosh situation improving after Easter and if we don't make it next September there is always the year after!

Meanwhile the little monsters all only have summer weight 'indoor' cheapie bags so it ashopping we must go before cub camp in two weeks.
FollowupID: 676409

Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:58

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:58
Hi there Jude.
I may be saying stuff you already know, but heh, its better to hear it again than not hear it at all!
You mention a 'decent waterproof bag rated to zero or better'. I have to say I've not been aware that any sleeping bags were actually waterproof in any serious sense!! But, to me, the biggest issue when buying a 'decent bag rated to zero or better' is the choice between feather/down or synthetic (eg Dacron fibrefill etc). Obviously pure down is very expensive, but a reasonable feather/down mix may not be too dear, and is lighter and packs smaller than a synthetic bag.
But also, a feather/down or pure down bag is virtually useless when wet, whereas a synthetic bag (even if not waterproof) will retain much of its insulating qualities when damp, or even wet.
To me, this minefield of issues counts for more than show special discounts (if indeed there are any!). Some camping retailers are notorious for jacking up the 'normal' price and then knocking 50% off in a sale, getting back to what should have been a fair price in the first place!
FollowupID: 676432

Follow Up By: Jude&theboys - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:15

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:15
yes I used the term waterproof 'loosely' really, more just to say that what they have currently is el cheapo 'indoor' 10+ rated bags and it has been suggested that he will need a better one for camp. Not spending the $100+ on it so not even considering a down bag, frankly I've read so much about bloody sleeping bags that I think my brain has turned to mush on the subject. Just need a decent, reasonably priced bag (ie absolute max of $50 less would be good). Would love one that was machine washable (have a front loading machine) as he is still having accidents at times iykwim. Will check out my local Rays tomorrow perhaps.
FollowupID: 676459

Reply By: Steve63 - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:03

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:03
Yes and no. Most is at or above retail. Every now and then there is a really good price on things. Do some research before you go so you can spot the difference.

AnswerID: 406640

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:07

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:07
Special price ? Be it at shows or at the store double check that the price is actually lower than normal , lift the 'special' tag a little and you may be surprised at what you find.
AnswerID: 406641

Reply By: rocco2010 - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:12

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:12

If you are getting 100s off a fridge or 1000s off a caravan or camper great ... but if the budget really is a bit tight weigh up the likely small savings on a sleeping bag against the price of getting there, parking, admission, drinks and food for the kids etc ...

And there is the danger of getting wowed by it all and ending up with something that isn't quite what you wanted ... but the salesman said the price was sooo good.

OK, I am a bit of a cynic about these shows. I am sure they work for the cashed up who know what they want and are hot to buy but I find the $15 or so just to go and look a bit over the top. I can look at my local camp shop or on the internet for free.

Maybe better off to spend local and help out your local shop, it may work to your benefit in the long run.


AnswerID: 406642

Follow Up By: Jude&theboys - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:39

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:39
agree in a lot of ways....I would never go just to try to find a cheap sleeping bag - defeats the purpose. The idea of going was to see what is available by way of camper trailers to aide in purchase down the track.....although actually down the track may be later than first thought so might be worth leaving it til next year at this stage too! (but if I do go it will be minus the kiddies)!
FollowupID: 676412

Follow Up By: Member - mazcan - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:12

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:12
hi rocco
you nailed it mate with your comments
it's about smoke and mirrows where sales are involved
the last day at these shows is when one can score a bargain late in the day

they do discount items that have to be packed up by you but be aware some have damage and some dont have the instructions or guarantees or there is a part missing as they get lost or mis-layed during the show

but like you said the bargain has to take into account what it cost to get there plus for entry especially if the family is in tow

its all a game of been in the right place at the time of announcement and or what you have on your list /ready cash/etc
i have cracked a few bargains over the years and done well out of it
but i always do research and check prices leading upto the show event as it's easy to get done on price
cheers to all and happy bargain hunting
FollowupID: 676418

Follow Up By: RodnSue - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 16:26

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 16:26
Hi Jude
re camper trailer - our choice in van took over 3 yrs of research. (yeah I know, some people may think this is excessive, but we could take our time & started early) We started our "research" at camping /van show - The following yr we narrowed it down to what we didn't want to look at at the next show - on/off road, t/s, new/ 2nd hand etc. We also got mags from library,(cost nothing) Looked at local van retailers. Also did lots a searching on the web,(forums, van clubs etc) even emailing retailers for more info & quotes with our specs . Finally made our decision 3 1/2 yrs later late last yr. (We also had to make a decision of what 4x4 to buy as well & what towing capacity each has)
So I say, go & have a look - start "research" early & you'll know what you do & don't want by time you are ready to buy
good luck & cheers
FollowupID: 676507

Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:39

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 11:39
I think the biggest special (if you can call it that) is to have everything in the same area and not having to travel to Sydney etc to see what's not available locally.

Its a convenience and fuel and time thingumy type of special.

AnswerID: 406644

Reply By: signman - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:49

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:49
I think those plastic bucket 'washing machines' are always on special'...

AnswerID: 406654

Reply By: Member - Royce- Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:26

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:26
If you ask for a discount at your local retailer, you may well find the better savings.

I used to go them, but now consider it and don't get around to it.

Instead of being sad that I didn't make it..... I feel very happy that I saved the money I would have 'impulse' spent!
AnswerID: 406680

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:58

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:58
For reasonable quality, reasonably priced sleeping bags look at the "Roman" brand, available at most camping shops and available in a wide range of temperature and use capabilities.
I "think" they may even be Aussie made.
A good quality bag will last for years (we've got Fairydown bags 30 years old) which helps with the initial outlay.
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AnswerID: 406691

Follow Up By: Member - Amy G (QLD) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 19:16

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 19:16
I second this- these are a well-made, long-lasting bag- however, if you're buying a synthetic one and you actually want to use it in very cold conditions, please buy one that's rated at least -5 degrees- I have a 0 degree one and can't stay warm in it without the assistance of blankets or sleeping in the swag in the tent. If I had my time again I would have purchased a down bag.
FollowupID: 676540

Reply By: Wilko - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 16:07

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 16:07
Hi Jude,

When I was 1st starting to go camping with the old man, we werent overly flush with cash either.

My dear old mother sewed up some heavy weight winter sheets into a liner for the sleeping bag for us to use on the colder nights.

You'll be suprised what the difference a liner makes.You can always lay a blanket over the sleeping bag as an option as well.

Hope this helps

In regards to the shows, There is some that are good prices and some that pretend to be good prices, The well informed patrons can pick the difference the less informed ones cannot.

Cheers Wilko

AnswerID: 406702

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 18:25

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 18:25
In my experience there are specials available but you need to have an idea of what you are really looking for and the RRP "outside" the show.

Also, some retailers that don't attend the shows may have a discount program running at the same time to attract customers.

Again you need to know what you want and how much it would normally cost to see if you would save much.

We have saved a reasonable amount on our purchases over the years.
At one show we attended in Adelaide, the cost of an Oztent we were interested in was the same RRP price as their web site, but they were offering a free pair of peak side panels valued at $260.
The other tent we were interested in was the Black Wolf Turbo tent and we were able to compare the two brands, what they consisted of and how easy they were to erect. The Black Wolf stand had a DVD included in the cost which showed how to erect the tent and how to collapse it. The awning was also considerably smaller than the Oztent.
We decided the Oztent was good value and we purchased the tent and received the side panels for "free". Not disappointed in our choice.

At another 4WD and Camping show 4-5 years ago we purchased a second hand Camper Trailer that was on spec which included a tinny and 4HP 4 stroke motor for about half price of the Camper new price on its own. We sold the tinny as we already had one, kept the motor as a spare and knocked another $1850 off the purchase price of the Camper.
This was perhaps a rare bargain but they do exist.


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AnswerID: 406733

Reply By: keviny6 - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 21:58

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 21:58
its the must have gadgets at the shows that gets me ---would cost a fortune and need a bigger van to put them in, and heavier tug to pull it ---ah well thats the name of the game
AnswerID: 406786

Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010 at 21:50

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010 at 21:50
(2nd go) - Jude, a few thoughts that might help. A SILK inner sheet (~$30) will help (significantly) to keep your nipper warm by reducing heat dissipation while he sleeps, as will socks and a beanie. Also, make sure he doesn't sleep on an AIRBED or stretcher - cold air beneath the body substantially reduces the effectiveness of any bag. An inner sheet is a good investment at any time - easy to make your own if necessary.

Wrt bags - if your son has to carry his bedding (eg bushwalking) then a down bag is definitely the go, but for all but the very cold camps a good synthetic bag is fine. Synthetic is bulkier, heavier, but easier to maintain, and a lot (~$200) cheaper. Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 406962

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