Although some might think of it as “flyover country,” those lucky enough to have really experienced what North Dakota has to offer know how misguided that concept really is. There’s a whole lot more to the Great Plains than beautiful fields of wildflowers as far as the eye can see… although it’s hard to find too much fault with that sight, either.
North Dakota is home to the Northern Badlands — the same stretch you know from National Park fame just a few miles further south. The west features hills and buttes whose surreal beauty will astound you. It’s also got several lakes perfect to enjoy a vacation filled with fishing, boating, and swimming.
There’s even a stone marker in Rugby, North Dakota marking the “Geographic Center of North America” — so there’s absolutely no argument that North Dakota is the very heart of this country of ours!
Camping in an RV is a great way to see this big state, which has so much to offer. In an RV, you’ll be able to travel the many miles between its borders without having to worry about finding hotel accommodations or constantly eating at restaurants — or worse, subsisting on gas station snacks. In fact, since North Dakota is one of the least populous states in the union, you’re even likely to find some great spots for dispersed camping, or boondocking, which will help you save money and also provide a much better adventure experience. What better way to get close to nature than to camp in a beautiful natural area without any electricity?
There are also many fantastic North Dakota RV parks, from luxurious, developed campgrounds with lots of amenities to less luxurious, but just as stunning, state parks and nature reserves. No matter what kind of RV vacation experience you’re after, you can likely find what you’re looking for in the so-called “Roughrider State.”
If you don’t have an RV of your own, not to worry; there are many RV rental vehicles available across the midwest, or anywhere in the country you may be coming from. You can choose to rent from a large, franchised company with nationwide branches, or to patronize a smaller, privately-owned rental fleet. And don’t forget about the peer-to-peer RV rental market — when you rent an RV in North Dakota through RVshare, you’ll find great deals *and* put money into the pocket of a regular person rather than a corporation. You can also find unique vehicles that aren’t frequently featured on corporate rental fleets, from tiny campervans to unique vintage travel trailers and more!
However, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with the RV lifestyle. And when you do, you might find yourself considering a pretty big upgrade — that is, purchasing an RV of your very own!
Owning an RV is a great way to invest in your own spirit of adventure, to promise yourself a lifetime full of future travels and fun. However, it is an investment, and quite a large one… even modest RVs can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Now, that certainly doesn’t mean you should give up on the dream of becoming an RV owner. Nothing could be further from the truth! Although it’s not a cheap hobby, it’s one that will leave you rich with experiences… which is really the best kind of currency you can acquire, after all.
But it does mean you probably want to be very careful in your purchasing decision, making sure you do lots of research to ensure you find the camper that’s right for you. No one wants to shell out years of savings only to discover that they bought a lemon, or simply made a bad choice when it comes to layout or style.
If you’re new to RVing and aren’t sure exactly what kind of vehicle you’re after, it can be overwhelming to be faced with such a large decision. But one fantastic opportunity to learn a lot about different kinds of RVs in a small space of time is to attend an RV camper show.
RV, camper, and travel trailer shows are big events where many of an area’s dealers will congregate in an expo or convention center to display their latest available models all under one roof. That means you get the chance to walk through and explore hundreds of different individual RVs, as well as to get a sense of what the different makes and dealers have on offer. Furthermore, the dealers usually offer these rigs at special show pricing, meaning you can score an amazing deal if you do decide to pull the trigger and purchase a vehicle.
These shows are also usually filled with representatives from outdoor and camper outfitters as well as representatives from campgrounds and state parks, so you’ll definitely get a chance to meet some new people and discover some new things even if you aren’t there to buy.
In short, RV shows are a great learning opportunity for any camper.
So, ready to go to one? Here are two of the very best RV shows in North Dakota.
1. The Annual Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show
You can certainly expect these expo organizers to put on a fantastic event; they’ve had lots of practice. This year will be its 53rd running — that’s over half a century of shows!
It’s held each year at the state-of-the-art Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota, where you’ll be able to browse hundreds of new vehicles in climate controlled comfort and convenience, even in a North Dakota March. This is one of the best-known and largest RV shows not only in North Dakota, but in the entire Red River Valley; vendors and representatives come in from all over the northern midwest, including upper Minnesota. So if you live in this part oc the country and are wondering, “Where are the best RV shows near me?” — well, you may have just found your answer!
This travel trailer show is well worth the price of entry. Once inside, you’ll find the vehicles on display — some of the most trusted makes and most beloved models — are available at special show pricing you just won’t find on the dealership floor. That means you may just score your next vacation getaway mobile just in time for the summer travel season!
Why You’ll Love the Annual Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show
The Red River Valley event is so much more than a camper and RV show, although you can certainly expect all of North Dakota’s top RV dealers to be represented here. However, there’s a reason it’s called the “Sportsmen’s” show. Along with the best new RVs on the market, you’ll also be able to browse a variety of fishing and pontoon boats, tackle and fishing equipment, electronics, and more.
The show will also host a variety of representatives from local campgrounds, resorts, lodges, and destinations, and you’ll also have the chance to sit in on informational seminars about fishing and hunting. In short, you’re sure to walk away with a whole lot more outdoorsy knowledge than you had walking in!
Although mom and dad are probably already sold, you might be worried that younger campers won’t enjoy the show quite so much. (Let’s face it: what eight-year-old wants to sit through a seminar, no matter how engaging?)
But fortunately, the organizers thought of that, too. That’s why the show features oodles of fun family entertainment and hands-on activities, from trying your luck fishing in the live trout pond to watching Twiggy, the waterskiing squirrel (yes, you read that right!).
Annual Red River Valley Sportsmen’s Show Information
Location: Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota
Address: 1800 North University Drive, Fargo, North Dakota 58102
Phone: (701) 241-9100
Dates: March 1-4, 2018
- Thursday, March 1: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday, March 2: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Saturday, March 3: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Sunday, March 4: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Adults 13 and over: $8.00
- Children 6-12: $2.50
- Children 5 and under: FREE!
Tickets: To be purchased at the doors.
Discounts: Save $1.00 by purchasing your tickets in advance at the The Lake Agassiz Kiwanis Club
2. The Bismarck Tribune Sport Show
Looking for a camping show in central North Dakota that offers so much more than just fantastically-priced RVs? The Bismarck Tribune has put on this sports expo for years now; in fact, 2018 will be a big anniversary: the 50th annual show!
This event features well over 150 vendors including, of course, reputable North Dakota RV and camper dealers — but also boats, icehouses, and much more. You’ll get to meet and network with exhibitors representing all sorts of local outdoors outfitters and gear purveyors, and there are also lots of fun, family-friendly activities to participate in. You could even win valuable prizes?
Why You’ll Love the the Bismarck Tribune Sport Show
Aside from an unbeatable selection of the latest and greatest in vacation technologies of all sorts, the Bismarck Tribute Show puts an effort into making the event a fun and exciting activity for the whole family. For example, each year, the expo hosts its annual Dockdogs Diving Competition, which means even your furry, four-legged family members get to be in on the fun! (Be sure to register ahead of time at this page to save your pooch’s spot!)
Aside from glory for Fido, you also have the chance to win valuable prizes just for footing the ticket price. And these are no flimsy swag that’ll sit collecting dust in the closet. Last year’s prizes included an Eskimo Quick Fish pop-up ice house, a Scheels Wave 10 kayak with included 230 Whisper paddle, and a Carnage hub-style ground hunting blind, all donated by various sponsors and dealers.
The show also hosts expert speakers who will regale you with details about all kinds of outdoor fun, from sport fishing to deer calling to electric bicycles. Although this year’s lineup is still being formulated, you can check out all the cool stuff last year’s attendees got to learn about here.
Finally, although this year’s pricing scheme may change, last year, an adult ticket was only $4.00. You can’t beat that kind of value when it comes to a motorhome show… especially when it means you might score your next vehicle at a killer price!
Bismarck Tribune Sport Show Information
Location: Bismarck Event center in Bismarck, North Dakota
Address: 315 S 5th Street, Bismarck, North Dakota 58504
Phone: Contact Stacey Lang at (701) 250 8201
Fax: (701) 224 1412
Email: [email protected]
Dates: TBA, but last year’s show was held in mid-February
Times: TBA, but last year’s show was open Friday afternoon and evening, all day Saturday, and during the early afternoon on Sunday.
Price: TBA, but here are last year’s prices to give you an estimate:
- Adults: $4.00
- Children aged 6-12: $2.00
- Children 5 and under: FREE!
Tickets: To be purchased at the box office — they can be purchased ahead of time!
Discounts: If you’re bringing the family along, be sure to attend the show on Friday, which was “Family Fun Night” last year. A family of two adults and two children got into the show for just $6.00 total, and had the opportunity to participate in a mascot scavenger hunt from 5 – 7 p.m.
Although North Dakota might not have a huge list of RV and sports shows to pick from, the ones it does host are high-quality events that are sure to leave you even more excited about your camping hobby. You’ll get to discover and meet with all the best RV dealers in the area in one easy stop — so even if you’re not ready to buy quite yet, you’ll have all the information you need for when the time does finally come.
Finally, keep in mind that one of the best parts of living in the midwest is that you’re, well, in the middle of the country — and that means you have lots of opportunities to travel to RV shows occurring in other, neighboring states, such as Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana. We here at RVshare are working hard on bringing you the most up-to-date information about the best RV shows to attend no matter where in the states you’re looking, so be sure to check out our RV Show Archive to see what’s going on in a state near you.