Best 2019 Golf Shows And Nearby Winter Campgrounds

With the golf industry seemingly on an uptick, golfers around the country are expected to flock to the plethora of golf shows slated over the next few months. Roughly three dozen golf shows are scheduled through March in cities across the U.S. and Canada.

golf shows
Seattle Golf Show (Photos via Facebook)

A few general notes about attending golf shows. These generalities do not apply across the board, but most golf shows offer some or most of these particulars.

• Significant savings on name-brand clubs, equipment, and apparel as many quality brands tend to sell off their inventory at golf shows in preparation for the coming season.
• Free indoor driving range lined with representatives of the game’s biggest manufacturers.
• Free rounds of golf at local courses.
• Putting, long drive, and short game contests for the chance to win golf and stay-and-play vacations.
• Golf lessons from top PGA professionals.
• Special areas for kids, including free lessons and junior golf presentations.

In addition to providing links to each show, a nearby RV park is also suggested. For those visiting the Seattle Golf Show, avoid the congestion of getting to downtown and stay across the Puget Sound at Fay Bainbridge Park and Campground on picturesque Bainbridge Island.

Simply take the Washington State Ferry from Bainbridge Island to downtown Seattle and then walk five minutes to the golf show.

One thing is for sure: If you attend a golf show, you know the season is just around the corner!

2019 Golf Shows in the U.S.

Boise Golf and Travel Show

When: Feb. 8-10
Where: Boise, ID
Where to stay: Boise KOA

Denver Golf Expo

When: Feb. 8-10
Where: Denver, CO
Where to stay: Cherry Creek State Park

Fox Cities Golf Expo

When: Feb. 8-10
Where: Appleton, WI
Where to stay: High Cliff State Park

Minnesota Golf Show

When: Feb. 8-10
Where: Minneapolis, MN
Where to stay: Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Philadelphia Golf Show

When: Feb. 8-10
Where: Oak, PA
Where to stay: Philadelphia South KOA

St. Louis Golf Expo

When: Feb 8-10
Where: St. Charles, MO
Where to stay: Sundermeier RV Park

Great Plains Golf Expo

When: Feb. 9-10
Where: 
Sioux Falls, SD
Where to stay
: Big Sioux Recreation Area

Cleveland Golf Show

When: Feb. 15-17
Where: Cleveland, OH
Where to stay: Punderson State Park

Kansas City Golf Show

When: Feb. 15-17
Where: Overland Park, KS
Where to stay: Walnut Grove RV Park

golf shows

Seattle Golf Show

When: Feb. 16-17
Where: Seattle, WA
Where to stay: Fay Bainbridge Park & Campground

Pittsburgh Golf Show

When: Feb. 22-24
Where: Monroeville, PA
Where to stay: Madison / Pittsburgh S.E. KOA

Portland Golf Show

When: Feb. 22-24
Where: Portland, OR
Where to stay: Portland Fairview RV Park

Chicago Golf Show

When: Feb. 22-24
Where: Rosemont, IL
Where to stay: Camp Reinberg

Spokane Golf and Travel Show

When: Feb. 23-24
Where: Spokane, WA
Where to stay: Riverside State Park

National Golf Expo

When: March 1-3
Where: Boston, MA
Where to stay: Bonny Rigg Campground

New Jersey Golf Show

When: March 1-3
Where: Edison, NJ
Where to stay: Liberty Harbor RV Park

DFW Golf Show

When: March 1-3
Where: Dallas, TX
Where to stay: Plantation Place RV Park

Michigan Golf Show

When: March 8-10
Where: Novi, MI
Where to stay: Proud Lake Recreation Area

Greater Milwaukee Golf Show

When: Feb 15-17
Where: West Allis, WI
Where to stay: Wisconsin State Fair RV Park

Connecticut Golf Show

When: March 22-24
Where: Hartford, CT
Where to stay: Mystic KOA

golf shows
Views from the Toronto Golf & Travel Show. Photo via Facebook

2019 Golf Shows in Canada

Toronto Golf and Travel Show

When: Feb. 8-10
Where: Mississauga ON
Where to stay: Bronte Creek Provincial Park

Vancouver Golf Expo

When: Feb 9-10
Where: Vancouver, BC
Where to stay: Burnaby Cariboo RV Park and Campground

Niagara Golf Show

When: Feb. 23-24
Where: Niagara Falls, ON
Where to stay: Campark Resorts

South Shore Golf Expo

When: Feb. 23-24
Where: Boucherville, QC
Where to stay: Camping Québécamp

Ottawa-Gatineau Golf Expo

When: March 8-9
Where: Ottawa, ON
Where to stay: Frontenac Provincial Park (about two hours away)

Edmonton Golf Show

When: March 9-10
Where: Edmonton, AB
Where to stay: Elk Island National Park

Montreal Golf Show

When: March 15-17
Where: Montreal, QC
Where to stay: Camping Québécamp

Atlantic Canada Golf Expo

When: March 15-16
Where: Halifax, NS
Where to stay: Norse Cove

Calgary Golf Show

When: March 23-24
Where: Calgary, AB
Where to stay: Mount Kidd RV Park

Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, The 19th Hole, for RV LIFE. You can reach him at rstedman@gmail.com.



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How To Prepare For Winter Camping In An RV Motorhome

Proper preparation and gear are essential to avoid winter camping problems. Let’s look at five winter camping challenges and how to avoid them.

winter camping

1. Keeping holding tanks from freezing

After a weekend of winter camping, the next step is to pull into the dump station to empty your tanks. You then pull the dump valve and nothing happens as the contents are frozen.

Now, you will have to wait until they thaw before you can dump the waste. To avoid this, consider using a holding tank heater. They are similar to electric blankets and attach to the underside of the holding tanks with adhesive.

If you’re just an occasional winter camper, pour non-toxic RV antifreeze in your tanks through the P-traps or toilet. This will keep the contents slushy. Some RVers recommend using rock-salt, but it can corrode metal parts in the gray and black plumbing systems.

2. Maintaining heat

Regardless of how well you seal up your windows and vents to keep out the cold, you will still need an adequate heat source to keep your RV from freezing up.

This is just one of the winter camping problems you’ll face. To overcome this, your built-in forced-air furnace should always be the primary source as the ducts are routed to keep the plumbing from freezing and keeping the occupants warm.

Further, a secondary option is oil-filled electric heaters. They emit a mild radiant heat, are essentially noise-free, and present little fire hazards.

Catalytic safety heaters, which run on propane rather than electricity, offer radiant heat and operate safely below the combustion level of flammable materials. Also, finding out how to effectively maintain power when winter camping is also pertinent to enjoying cold winter camping.

3. Sealing windows, vents, and skylights

How to find and prevent leaks in your RV is important any time of the year. But during winter it’s essential to keep yourself and your plumbing system warm by keeping the warm air in.

Winter Camping Problems
Proper sealing of windows and vents is important to maintain heat in your RV. Photo by Vivater airforums.com member

So, while leaks need to be detected (and fixed), you also need to increase insulation for winter camping. Windows, roof vents, and skylights are good places to start. The majority of RV windows are single-pane and many don’t seal well. One option is to install storm windows (if offered by the manufacturer).

Another solution is to insert heat shrink film on the insides of the windows. This is a clear film that you cut to size, stretch over your windows, and then heat shrink with a hairdryer. It’s available at most home improvement stores.

Roof vents and skylights are the next places to insulate. Most RV accessory stores sell RV vent cushions, which fit into standard roof vents. They can simply push up in place. For larger openings like skylights, vent cushions can be custom made to fit precise sizes.

4. Ensure a fresh water supply

Winter camping problems also extend to keeping a supply of fresh water. If you hook up to the campgrounds water spigot, you may freeze your hose.

To offset this, utilize an electrically-heated RV hose, which is basically a hose with built-in heat tape.

Another option is to leave a faucet dripping as moving water doesn’t easily freeze. If you do this, have your gray tank open or a significant gray tank capacity. Or, fill your freshwater tank and utilize your water pump.

Winter Camping Problems
Prepping your RV means fewer problems at your winter site. Photo by Polymark iRV2.com member

When your fresh water tank runs dry, refill it with the campground spigot. Also, drain or store the water hose somewhere warm between tank fillings.

5. Getting your fridge to run properly

Who would think keeping food cold would be a problem when winter camping?

Two problems can possibly crop up. The first is the mixture of chemicals and fluids in the refrigerator’s cooling unit can start turning into a gel below 20° F. This slows down the recirculating and cooling process.

Another potential problem is the refrigerator thermostat sensor may sense cold air coming through the exterior refrigerator vents, rather than the cold air in the food box. This may cause the refrigerator to cycle-off.

So, to avoid these winter camping problems, block the first two or three top vent slots of the exterior refrigerator access door. This will keep cold air from the back of the refrigerator.

Don’t forget to remove the obstructions after your campout. For your refrigerator’s thermostat sensor, use a nonflammable material in the event it might come loose and contact the refrigerator burner or electric heating element.

Once you realize these issues and start enjoying yourself, you’ll soon find out why RVing in winter can offer great experiences.



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2019 Winter Events In Lake Havasu City, Arizona For RVers, Campers

Much like Quartzsite, Lake Havasu City in Western Arizona is a haven for snowbirds in the winter. This city along the Colorado River has year-round sunshine and endless ways to get outdoors. You can find lots of local shops to browse, restaurants to choose from, and RV resorts with 5-star amenities. The city also claims home to the iconic London Bridge, relocated from England, which now connects the mainland to an island on the river.

The area hosts over 300 events throughout the year, including a few RV rallies coming up soon in Lake Havasu State Park. Make sure you add these events to your calendar for January-February 2019!

Lake Havasu City
Buses by the Bridge. Photos via Facebook

1. Buses By The Bridge

  • Date: January 17, 2019
  • Cost: Admission: $2 per person (good all weekend). Camping: Thursday-Sunday: $40, Camping Friday-Sunday: $30, Camping Saturday & Sunday: $20
  • Location: Lake Havasu State Park

All kinds of Volkswagen buses will be rounding up at Buses By The Bridge. Over the last two decades, this event has become a popular VW rally with classic buses coming in from all over the country. Keep an eye out for panel vans, seven and nine-passenger microbuses, Kombis, and cab pickups.

Besides vintage eye candy, this weekend-long event will have activities for all ages. There will be a bouncy house for the kids while adults can partake in hot air balloon rides, raffles, a chili cook-off, and a cornhole tournament. On Sunday morning, the event will wrap up with a pancake breakfast.

There will be a parking area designated for RVs, campers, motorhomes, trailers, and non-VW vans. The 500+ spaces are first-come, first-served, and pre-registration is not required.  You can learn more about the 23rd annual event and see the full schedule from Go Lake Havasu.

2. Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair

  • Date: January 10, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – January 13, 2019 @ 3:00 pm
  • Cost: $15+ tickets, Camping costs TBD
  • Location: Lake Havasu State Park

Hot air balloons will again be soaring over Lake Havasu City at the 9th Annual Balloon Festival. You can watch mass ascensions of hot air balloons take off and float over the London Bridge and the Bridgewater Channel. There will also be a Balloon Night Glow, air shows, skydivers, special shape balloons, antique cars, and live entertainment.

Lake Havasu City
Havasu Balloon Festival. Photos via Facebook

Dry camping will be available at the festival just steps from the activities, carnival rides, and vendors. The RV parking includes pricing for 5 nights and 2 festival entrance wristbands.

Map via Go Lake Havasu

Tickets are $15 through their website and will also be sold at the gates. Alternatively, they have Gondola VIP tickets available with exclusive food, drinks, VIP parking, and prime views of the balloons.

Tents are not permitted and single nights are not available. Learn more about camping at the festival.

3. Lake Havasu Vintage Trailer Campout

  • Date: January 31, 2019 – February 2, 2019. Trailers are open to the general public on Friday and Saturday (February 1 & 2), 10am-3pm. 
  • Cost: Park entry is $3 per person; Camping costs TBD

If you love vintage trailers, you won’t want to miss the 5th Annual Vintage Trailer Campout hosted by Tin Can Tourists. This year’s event will be held by the white sandy beach in Lake Havasu State Park and have lots of cool antique trailers on display.

Vintage Trailer Campout. Photo: Tin Can Tourists

Vintage campers will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday (February 1 & 2) from 10am-3pm.  They will have dry RV campsites with no hookups, restrooms and showers, and limited power for medical devices.

Lake Havasu
Vintage Trailer Campout. Photo: Go Lake Havasu

Pets will be permitted at the event on a leash, but they are not allowed on the beach. You can learn more about the upcoming Vintage Trailer Campout from Go Lake Havasu.

See also: 8 Southwest Towns You Need To Visit This Winter



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