NATCOA SHOW - Question & Answers
Why do you want to put on a show, aren't there enough already?
Well yes, there are. Have you ever noticed that at most shows, Truck Campers are viewed as one step above a pup tent? Aren't you tired of being the "also ran" of the RV industry and perceived as an "entry level" RV? Well , here's a show just for you, where you don't have to worry about customers getting distracted by those half million dollar diesel pushers they can't afford anyway. Most RV Shows are basically sales events where you may encounter a company salesman if you're lucky, more often dealers. We figured anyone in the RV business is probably in the business not only to just make money, but because they like to camp like the rest of us, especially Truck camper companies. So we thought, why not put on a show & invite the owners of the companies to camp & get cozy with their consumers. We don't bite, they don't bite and wouldn't you feel better buying a product off someone who has a human face? Well that's the theory. Rex Willett of Northstar believes in it, so does Bob Mehrer of SnowRiver. Hopefully, so will several of the others as time goes on. So this is not only a show, it is also a rally. An Australian show may happen in future.
Will the show / rally be anywhere else in future?
Not likely . We intend to keep it in Ogallala, Nebraska. Once the contacts & infrastructure for an area are in place it is much easier to stage it in the same location. There is a possibility of additional shows elsewhere.
What is the relationship between this show & NATCOA? The show is commercial, but isn't NATCOA non-profit?
NATCOA is non-profit. The show is incorporated separately as an S-Corporation. This in effect keeps it separate, but closely associated with NATCOA. The show relies on NATCOA members to help it operate. It operates on pretty much a break-even basis. It shares the same name & logo.
How do I find the Show Campground?
Head north on Hwy 61. Hwy 61 starts at the north end of Ogallala. Drive about 5 miles and cross over the dam, you can see the show site among the trees on the other side of the small lake, to your right. The turnoff is just past the dam. We will likely have signs up on the highway past the dam.
FAQ's for Attendees
How many TC's can I expect to see?
We had 17 companies there for our first year, we expect at least 20 this year. You will never see a larger concentration of TC's in one location anywhere else. Most exhibitors bring at least 2 units, some bring more. You will also see lots of products related to TC's and probably some new Pickup Truck offerings as well.
Will my kids be bored?
This is a campsite, not an exhibition hall, so kids are likely to be able to amuse themselves. It is also a family event, there will likely be plenty of other kids there. There is a very nice beach on the large lake just above the dam. White sand, warm water.
What about food?
There will be nightly BBQ's, food available on site, and probably some pancake breakfasts
What about Entertainment?
There will be nightly entertainment during the show. The rally will have several organized events. These have not yet been organized, but may include fishing derbies, kite flying, Mexican train (game) tournaments, etc.
Will there be shuttles?
We are not yet sure on this one. It depends on whether or not we can find a company to sponsor them and if we feel the demand will be there. There is, however, plenty of parking at the show site. You may, of course, form car pools at other campgrounds.
What will the weather be like?
Hot and likely dry. Expect temperatures in the high 80's to low 100's. It does cool at night. A power hookup and A/C are advisable. Nebraska is, of course, in tornado alley, but the peak month is June, not July. This particular area of Nebraska is low risk. The show site is below the dam, and is not a tornado risk.
Can I camp in the show site?
The show has the entire campground booked from July 10-14, you may be able to book a site for the 7, 8 & 9th during the rally. There is also a large boondocking area across the small lake. . We advise people to book elsewhere in the area (see Lodging link at left). There is dry camping space on the beach at the big lake, just above the dam and at several other areas around the lake. There are 3 other State Parks and several private campgrounds.
Can I drink alcohol at the show?
No alcohol is not permitted in State parks. If you want to risk subtly hiding it, that is your business, but our security will remove anyone seen drinking or impaired.
Can I purchase a TC at the show?
No, but you can arrange to purchase one later.
I am not a Natcoa Member, can I attend the rally?
Yes, we view these as recruiting opportunities. However, due to IRS rules, you may not benefit in any subsidies for events. In other words, if we put on a free breakfast, non-members pay for theirs.
I own a 5th wheel, can I attend the rally?
Yes, it is for anyone with any interest in TC's. We will attempt to show you the error of your ways.
Will you have seminars?
Yes, there will be several. A schedule will be posted in Spring, and at the Show..
Can I join NATCOA at the show ?
Yes, we will have a tent. Last year we printed up member cards on site. It was a hassle. This year we will issue temporary ones & mail out permanents in September.
Will I have a chance to meet owners of companies?
For sure. Last year several were in attendance, this year we expect more. We encourage them to attend rather than just use dealers.
How big is Ogallala and can I get what I need in town for supplies?
It is about 5000 people, has a couple of supermarkets and several gas stations. It is about 5 miles from the show site? It is a typical, friendly midwestern town.
What about boating, fishing & swimming?
There are 2 lakes, the show site is on the small lake under the dam. the water temperature in this lake is lower than that of the big lake, as its feed is from the bottom of the dam. You can swim in it, but the beaches are better on the large lake. The large lake has miles & miles of white sand beaches. Both lakes are good for swimming & boating, but frequent winds on the large lake mean small boats are not advised. Small boats are fine on the small lake. Both lakes have excellent fishing, Fishing from the shore is possible on the smaller lake. Temporary non-resident licenses are available in town.
Do I have to pay to attend?
No, admission is free, however you do have to pay a $3 daily State Park fee. You may purchase an annual one for $17 which is a better deal, if you intend to stick around for the week. You may purchase these on line or at the Park headquarters, on your right, about a mile before you cross the dam. If you wish you may make a donation to NATCOA at the front gate, but it is voluntary.
What about rest areas, bathrooms, etc?
We will have several portable washrooms, there will be picnic tables set up in the meadow in the center of the show site.
What about medical facilities?
Only Basic First Aid. In case of an emergency, we will call someone out from town. If you are a doctor, you may want to make yourself known to security.
Is there wireless internet on site?
Yes, we plan to have 2 nodes available this year.
Is there cell service?
Yes, but it can be marginal. You may have to walk around for a good signal. There is a payphone at the entrance.
What about Pets?
Dogs are welcome, however, they must be kept on a leash and you must pick up after them. We will have poop'y bags available for free at the front gate. If you are camped elsewhere, please don't leave you pet locked in your camper, even if you leave the A/C on. Power cuts do happen. If there is a problem, consider arranging pet sitting rotations in your own campground.
Security & Show officials?
Security & Show officials will have distinct color T-Shirts on.
If you have these, please stay off channel 19. That is the channel we use at the show. You may use it if you have an emergency or wish to report one, otherwise please stay off it.
What about Sani Dumps?
There is a public sani dump about a mile north of the turnoff to the show site. We are also planning to bring in mobile sani trucks for those camped in the show site and across the lake. There will be a small charge for this.
FAQ's for Exhibitors
Can I exhibit other RV types?
No. They have to be Truck Campers. See definition below.
What do you consider a Truck Camper, Slide-On or Demountable?
Any habitation mounted in the bed of a Pickup truck, be it metal, fiberglass or canvass. This can be anything from a sleeping bag in a Pickup bed shell to a 12 ft camper with A/C, fridge, shower & recliners. The habitable area must be removable, easily by the Consumer. If it is bolted down, it is not a Truck camper. if you have any doubts as to whether or not your unit qualifies, contact Rex Willett.
What is your Forum and why should our company participate?
The Forum is run by the Club. It is viewed by the Club as a recruiting vehicle and most of it, but not all, is open to the public. We encourage TC manufacturers to participate there and answer questions, post tips, etc. We do not allow it to become a complaint vehicle. We do not give out contact information to participants with problems. On occasion a Forum administrator may write a manufacturer contact and give them contact information for an individual with problems. it is up to them whether they respond. We make no judgment calls or comments. Most manufacturers who have involved themselves there have noted it helps their sales. Consumers feel a lot better buying form a company they can put a human face on. Give it a try, you won't regret it.
NATCOA FAQ Page