They don’t call it America’s heartland for nothing.
Illinois has way more to offer than cornfields — although anybody who’s ever been there surely already knows that.
For RV campers in particular, this state is chock full of exciting opportunities for exploration and fun. From the sandstone canyons of Starved Rock State Park to the vast array of cultural pursuits in Chicago, one of America’s most famous and well-loved cities, Illinois is truly a gem smack-dab in the center of America.
You can find yourself immersed in some of the most famous and well-loved museums in the world, like the Art Institute or the Adler Planetarium. Or maybe you want to catch a Cubs game at Wrigley Field — after all, they’ve had quite a lucky streak lately!
Further afield in Illinois, you’ll find hiking and biking trails, swimming and fishing oases, and yes, lots and lots of corn fields. You also have easy access to many more well-loved American destinations in the area, from fresh cheese in Wisconsin to all the history and culture of Indianapolis. And if you’re willing to drive just a little bit further, you’ll find yourself in Michigan’s Instagram-worthy Upper Peninsula — or maybe in Cleveland with its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
And luckily for campers who are always eager to learn more about their preferred mode of travel — or who are in the market for a new RV, or to upgrade from their Illinois rental RV to one of their very own — the state is also home to some of the finest RV and camper shows in the nation.
A motorhome or travel trailer show is a great way to scope out your next rig, or even just to learn more about the various makes and models available on the market. Aside from RVs for sale, you’ll also find the exhibition hall populated by a variety of outdoor equipment salespeople and informational resources. Whether it’s finding your next destination or learning more about a new outdoor activity like hunting or fishing, RV shows are a great way to get involved with the camping community.
Here are some of our favorite RV show opportunities if you find yourself in Illinois this year.
1. Chicago RV and Camping Show
The Chicago RV and Camping show isn’t just the largest RV show in Illinois — it’s the largest motorhome show in the midwest!
Plus, this year’s show takes place right after Valentine’s Day. What better way to spend a romantic weekend than scoping out your next great adventure vehicle? After you’re doing meandering the exhibit, you can wander out of the convention hall doors into one of the best cities in the world.
Why You’ll Love the Chicago RV and Camping Show
The Chicago RV and Camping Show is one of the most popular in the country, attracting thousands of campers and outdoors enthusiasts annually. This year, the show will host more than 20 RV dealers displaying over 400 brand-new RVs — not to mention hundreds more motorhomes and trailers available at special show pricing.
In case you need more convincing, don’t forget: This year is the 50th anniversary! So you know everything is going to be even bigger and better than ever.
This year’s list of exhibitors runs the gamut — everyone from local campground representatives to golf cart manufacturers will be ready to meet, greet, and answer questions. And if it’s time to get down to brass tacks and buy a new camper, you’ll be in good hands. All the best quality brands will be available, including:
- Forest River
- Holiday Rambler
- and many more!
Your ticket price also includes a variety of informative travel seminars covering all sorts of topics, from braving the long trip to Alaska to cruising down historic Route 66. So not only will you be set up with a great new rig… you’ll also have the information and tools you need to take it anywhere you can imagine.
Chicago RV and Camping Show Information
Location: Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois
Address: 5555 North River Road, Rosemont, Illinois 60018
Contact: Fill out this form to contact the show organizers
Dates: Thursday, February 15 – Sunday, February 18, 2018
- Thursday, February 15: Noon – 9 p.m.
- Friday, February 16: Noon – 8 p.m.
- Saturday, February 17: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Sunday, February 18: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Adults aged 13 and over will pay $11 for a one-day pass or $19 for a multi-day pass when buying online before the show, or $12/$20 at the door, respectively
- Children aged 6-12 will be admitted for $4 for a one-day pass or $7 for a multi-day pass when buying online before the show, or $5/$8 at the door, respectively
- Children aged 5 and under are FREE!
- PLEASE NOTE: Only cash will be accepted at the door.
Tickets: https://www.chicagorvshow.com/tickets/ (Save $1 and avoid long lines when you buy online before the show!)
2. Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show
RVers are an adventurous set by nature, so it’s no surprise that many of us are also interested in other forms of travel.
That’s why the Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show is such a fantastic opportunity for eager adventurers of all stripes. You’ll have the chance not only to discover a variety of new RV and camping resources, but also to learn more about boating and sailing, too!
Why You’ll Love the Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show
Along with displays from top-of-the-line RV and boating brands, this show also comes complete with seminars and family-friendly interactive activities that are sure to please everyone in your party.
Never gone sailing before? That’s OK, landlubber — try your hand with the sailing simulator without ever stepping a foot offshore. The kids will love fishing in Huck Finn’s trout pond, not to mention the event-organized scavenger hunt.
Meanwhile, mom and dad will be busy soaking up all the new contacts and resources they’ll find across the exhibition floor. From resort representatives to outdoor equipment purveyors, you’re guaranteed to walk away from this camping show just a little bit better informed and prepared than you are now.
Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show Information
Location: McCormick Place–South, Chicago, Illinois
Address: 2301 South Lake Shore Drive,Chicago, Illinois 60616
Contact: See this page for full contact details
Dates: Wednesday, January 10 – Sunday, January 14, 2018
- Wednesday, January 10: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Thursday, January 11: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday, January 12: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Saturday, January 13: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Sunday, January 14: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Adults aged 13 and over: $15
- Children aged 12 and under: FREE!
Discounts: You’ll receive a free subscription to one of the following world-class magazines with your ticket price, courtesy of Bonnier:
- Boating (10 issues)
- Field & Stream (12 issues)
- Sailing World (8 issues)
- Yachting (12 issues)
- Men’s Journal (12 issues)
Please allow 6-8 weeks for the first issue to arrive.
Tickets: https://www.chicagoboatshow.com/admission (tickets will be available November, 2017)
3. RV, Camping and Travel Show
Held just outside of Rockford, this RV show is perfect if a trip to Chicago just isn’t in the cards for you this year. After all, not every Illinois camper and RV show can be held in the windy city — this is the perfect solution if you’ve been wondering, “Where are all the RV shows near me?”
Why You’ll Love the RV, Camping and Travel Show
This is the 46th year running that Landpro Productions has hosted this RV camper show, which includes a wide range of exhibitors and top-end RV and camping brands. You’ll also be able to participate in a variety of contests, which are supported by generous sponsors who will provide valuable prizes to the winners. Good luck!
Plus, its central Illinois location makes it perfect if you’re looking to create a getaway weekend. You can easily nearby Rock Cut or Lowden State Parks, or any of the variety of developed RV parks in the central Illinois area. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your dream rig and then drive it off immediately to a well-deserved, relaxing vacation.
RV, Camping and Travel Show Information
Location: Indoor Sports Center
Address: 8800 East Riverside Boulevard, Loves Park, Illinois 61111
Phone: Reach Event Director Laci Rotolo at (815) 997-1744
Fax: (815) 364-2400
Email: [email protected]
Dates: Friday, March 9 – Sunday, March 11, 2018
- Friday, March 9: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Saturday, March 10: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Sunday, March 11: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Adults 12 and older: $6
- Children 12 and under: FREE!
- Parking: Free!
Discounts: Check back at this page for coupons and discounts closer to the event date
4. & 5. The Central Illinois Recreation Show and Springfield RV Show
We’ll give it to you straight: There’s not a whole lot of information about either of these shows available on the ‘net at the moment.
But both are scheduled to take place in spring of 2018, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on them if you’re in the Peoria or Springfield, Illinois areas. We want to make sure you get to take advantage of every RV show opportunity out there — especially the ones that don’t require a trip to Chicago, which can be expensive and time consuming!
Why You’ll Love the Central Illinois Recreation Show and Springfield RV Shows
Both of these shows are held in smaller, central Illinois cities that may be closer to home for many RVshare readers. The Central Illinois Recreation Show takes place between March 4 and March 6 in Peoria, and the Springfield RV Show takes place, as its name implies, in Springfield, Illinois between March 17 and March 19.
Both of these shows are hosted by Events, Ltd., an events management company owned and operated by the married couple Sharon and Denny Johnston. They’ve been in the business since 1988, at which time Sharon and Denny brought a combined 40 years of management and promotional experience to their new corporation. It’s been almost 30 more years since then, so you can imagine these two know how to put on a great show!
Plus, it feels good to support and organization that you know is run by regular folks like you and me. By attending these two central Illinois shows, you’ll help support an American small business!
Central Illinois Recreation Show and Springfield RV Show Information
Location: The Central Illinois Recreation Show will take place at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois and the Springfield RV Show will take place at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois
Contact: Get more information directly from Events, Ltd. at this page, which includes a phone number, address, and online contact form.
Dates: The Central Illinois Recreation Show takes place from March 2-4, 2018, and the Springfield RV Show takes place from March 17-19
Price, Discounts and Tickets: TBA
You already know Illinois is a great state to take a camping trip in. Not only does it have an incredible amount to offer in its own rite, but it’s also centrally located, and therefore easy to access from a variety of places across the country. Maybe you’re making the trip in from a nearby midwestern area, like Minneapolis — or maybe you’re drawn far across America from a totally different place, like Florida or California. Either way, the unique midwestern combination of hospitality and culture is sure to put a smile on your face and make you glad you made the trip.
But aside from camping in Illinois, you also have some great opportunities to find your next camper in the state at one of the RV shows we’ve mentioned. Some of the best RV dealers in the United States are based in Illinois, and there’s no better place to purchase a new rig than from the source.
Whether you walk away from these RV shows with a brand new rig of your own or just a new contact or five, enjoy your time in Illinois! We’re sure you won’t have any trouble finding great things to do while you’re there — especially if you’re into deep dish pizza. 😉