It seems a bit mean spirited to say that Reading, Pennsylvania feels like an RV kind of town, but that’s what I honestly thought as I pulled up to the Greater Reading Expo Center for its 2009 RV Show.

There were several reasons for this. Some were simply aesthetic. The Expo Center itself is part of a former manufacturing facility, and pipes and tanks crowd the view immediately to the right of the entrance. Looking back out over the parking lot, you can see the Reading Pagoda on a hilltop in the distance. A former owner of the land built it there in 1908; criticized for defacing the hillside with a stone quarry, he didn’t restore the natural landscape but instead built the seven-story pagoda after seeing one on a postcard from the Philippines.

Other reasons were more… More…