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Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Weekend warriors, wildlife biologists among shoppers at Spokane RV show

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 19, 2020

Everett Janke, 4, steps out of a Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser followed by his sister Kaylee, 6, and father Jake during the National RV Show at the Spokane Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Everett Janke, 4, steps out of a Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser followed by his sister Kaylee, 6, and father Jake during the National RV Show at the Spokane Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

Emily Denny and Joshua Goodwin are set to graduate from Eastern Washington University this spring with degrees in wildlife biology, and they’ll need a place to live as they pursue short-term jobs across the Northwest.

That’s how the couple found themselves at the National RV Show at the Spokane Convention Center on Sunday, checking out a new 30-foot trailer that looks more like a new house on the inside than something to be towed behind a truck.

“The job market is travel-oriented with temporary jobs,” Denny said. “Spokane, specifically, is really competitive.”

The five-day RV show started Thursday and has brought thousands of people to the convention center to see the latest in recreational vehicles, from travel trailers and toy haulers to decked-out motorhomes. It concludes Monday.

The show, sponsored in part by The Spokesman-Review, also featured seminars for new and prospective RV owners.

For Denny and Goodwin, the travel trailer would serve as an “in-between house” while the couple pursues three- and six-month field positions in places like Wyoming, Oregon and California. Goodwin explained how he would convert the bottom bunk into a desk to work on the road.

After being mobile for some time, the couple plans to sell their RV to make a down payment on something more permanent – and stationary.

“We might spend so much time in the woods that we never want to camp,” Denny said.

Camping is all Marcy and Gerry Hoggatt plan to do in their RV.

They’ve been camping since they got married 40 years ago, starting out with tents. They later purchased a pop-up tent trailer and then upgraded to a 19-foot RV.

As they near retirement, it’s time for another upgrade.

“We just keep upgrading,” Marcy Hoggatt said.

“But I don’t want a big honking thing,” Gerry added.

The Hoggatts usually go to U.S. Forest Service campgrounds that aren’t set up for larger RVs, but they were looking for something slightly larger with a tall entry door so Gerry, who stands 6-foot-2, doesn’t have to worry about hitting his head.

The goal of RV camping, he said, is to find peace and quiet outside the city.

“We go to get away from all this,” he said. “We can find weekends where we don’t see anyone else.”

Howard and Nancy Gothmann go camping to make new friends and spend time with their family. They own a 21-foot Coachmen RV and plan to take their 12 great grandchildren to the KM Resorts campground in Cheney for a fun weekend.

“You just gather all your friends who have RVs up and go,” Howard Gothmann said of their frequent trips.

KM Resorts offer memberships to their eight Washington campgrounds and discounts at their hundreds of partner sites across the country, said Emily Collins, who worked the company’s booth at the RV show. The campgrounds have cabins as well as full RV hookups.

“It complements the camping lifestyle,” Collins said. “It’s a great place to make memories.”

Kevin Nakayama, a salesman at the RV show, said people spend a lot of time researching before making a big purchase.

“The reason you’re going to see most RV shows in the winter is because people are kicking tires, seeing what they want,” he said.

Nakayama was stationed in the toy hauler section, where extra-large RVs have enough space for smaller vehicles like four-wheelers and dirt bikes. He said many people at the show were looking to upgrade to larger RVs or ones with different floor plans.

“You don’t know the functionality of it until you take a trip,” Nakayama said.

A similar exposition, the 32nd annual Inland Northwest RV Show and Sale, will run from Thursday through Sunday at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

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