8 of Wisconsin’s Biggest 2018 Boat & RV Shows
January 12, 2018
We’ve reached that point during the Wisconsin winter when many of us start longing for the outdoor activities our state’s cold weather prevents.
With the lakes frozen over and roads covered in snow, many boats and RVs get tucked away in storage, waiting for the world to thaw so you can take them on another fun-filled adventure. If you’re not someone who enjoys ice fishing, skiing, or snowmobiling in Wisconsin, the waiting can be almost painful.
Thankfully, most of the boat and RV expos in Wisconsin are held in January, February, and early March. It’s a chance for us all to dream about the camping, fishing, and boating we’ll be doing as soon as the seasons change.
Mark your calendars for the following events. You’ll find some close to home here in Northeast Wisconsin, and others that will give you a chance to take a little road trip.
1. Milwaukee Boat Show | Jan 19-21 & 24-28
Wisconsin’s largest city hosts the state’s biggest annual boat show every winter. It’s so big, they hold it over two weekends.
The Milwaukee Boat Show is held in the Expo Center at State Fair Park, and this year there will be more than 400 boats from 80 manufacturers. Plus, avid anglers will get some great tips from the lineup of special speakers headlining the seminar stage.
From yachts and pontoon boats to fishing boats and personal watercraft, this show is a boat lover’s paradise. You can even check out kayaks, paddle sport boats, and inflatables. Promotional giveaways include everything from fishing lures to a new Lund 1600 Rebel with a 50hp Mercury Outboard and a boat trailer. See highlights from last year’s show in the video below.
2. WBAY RV & Camping Expo | Jan 25-28
Held in Green Bay at Shopko Hall in the Brown County Veterans Arena, right across the street from Lambeau Field, this event has been attracting outdoor enthusiasts for nearly six decades. The WBAY RV & Camping Expo features exclusive deals on top campers and RVs from the biggest dealers in the state.
The theme of this year’s expo is “Choose Your Own Adventure.” You’ll have the opportunity to learn about some of the best places for outdoor exploration as you meet folks operating campgrounds and lodges around the region. Where will you go this year?
3. La Crosse Boat, Sports, Travel, RV & Hunting Show | Feb 8-11
If you live in the Fox Cities or Green Bay area and feel like hitting the road, this all-encompassing sports show gives you the perfect excuse. Organizers promise this year’s show at the La Crosse Convention Center will be bigger and better than ever, taking up both floors of the venue.
Explore a wide variety of outdoor equipment, whether it’s for hunting, fishing, or just relaxing. Nearly every make and model of 2018 boats and RVs will be displayed along with motors and trailers.
Many other things will be going on at the event to make it fun for the entire family, including cooking demos, a rainbow trout fishing pond, animal exhibits, live music, and more!
4. WBAY Boat Show | Feb 15-18
Back in the Green Bay area, the campers and RVs will make way for watersports as the WBAY Boat Show moves into Shopko Hall. There will be all types of boat dealers exhibiting at the show, including this year’s main sponsor, Ken’s Sports of Kaukauna.
Paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes will also be on display. So, even if you aren’t in the market for a new powerboat, you may find some great gear to take “up north” this summer.
Seminars from fishing experts will provide advice on how to land the big one. Plus, you could pay a visit to Lambeau Field and check out the Packers Hall of Fame and Pro Shop as well as the new attractions, including Arien’s Hill, the skating rink, and a full-sized football field to play around on.
5. RV and Boat Show Main Event | Feb 23-25
Usually, aircraft are the big attraction at the EAA Grounds in Oshkosh but, come late February, it will be all about boats and RVs. The RV and Boat Show Main Event is being billed as a 150-thousand square foot blowout sale.
There will be dozens of brands of RVs, campers, and boats being exhibited as the event will be expanding in 2018. Thanks to growing popularity, all four EAA exhibit hangars will be used. Attendees can take shuttle rides between the hangars, so you won’t miss a thing or have to deal with walking around in cold weather.
Get your grub on while you browse. There will be food from some of the Fox Valley’s best food trucks. You could also make some time to explore aviation history and innovations when you visit the EAA museum.
6. Wisconsin Fishing Expo | Feb 23-25
This expo is not only the largest of its kind in the state, the Wisconsin Fishing Expo in Madison is the biggest such event in the entire Midwest. Held at the Alliant Energy Center, organizers are adding a new wing this year to showcase silent watercraft.
In addition to finding many of the big brands in fishing, you’ll meet what organizers call “mom-and-pop” fishing vendors offering unique things for fishing enthusiasts you won’t see inside the big sporting goods stores.
Take the time to get advanced advice from experienced anglers and local experts, or bring some young fishermen and get them excited about the sport. There will be lots of activities for kids including a casting competition, a mock fishing pond, and free rods and reels for those who attend youth seminars. Watch a preview for this event in the video below.
7. Milwaukee RV Show | March 1-4
By early March, you’ll really have cabin fever and be ready for some outdoor recreation. The Milwaukee RV show at the State Fair Exposition Center is the state’s largest. It’s heaven on earth for people who love living the RV lifestyle.
Dealers from all over the state will be showcasing new pop-up campers, travel trailers, motorhomes, and recreational vehicles of all sizes and types.
8. Central Wisconsin RV & Camping Show | March 9-11
Head north on Highway 51 to the Central Wisconsin Convention & Expo Center and hit up one of the last big shows of the winter season. The Central Wisconsin RV & Camping Show in Wausau includes plenty of dream rigs as well as exhibits featuring camping equipment, RV campgrounds, and power sports equipment.
Family-friendly attractions include a fossil dig and a petting zoo. The organizers of this event also host the Central Wisconsin Sports Show, which is held the second weekend in February.
Thinking About Buying a Boat or RV? First Make a Financial Plan with Unison!
Attending boat and RV shows can be enjoyable, but it’s even more exciting leaving a show with a way to create memories with friends and family. Whether it’s here in Wisconsin, or one of the many amazing places to take a boat or RV in this country, boats and RVs are your ticket to fun and freedom.
If you’re serious about making a purchase like this, and you need financing help, turn to the trusted Member Advisors at Unison Credit Union. We offer boat loans and RV loans at competitive rates. You could also apply for a U Choose loan for things like a new boat dock at your cabin, or a new outboard motor.
Imagine how much more confident and relaxed you’ll feel attending a show knowing that you’re already approved for a boat or RV loan that fits your budget. Visit one of our convenient credit union locations today to learn more.