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Carlisle Swap Meet

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flathead Johnny, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Flathead Johnny
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 728

    Flathead Johnny
    Member
    from MA

    Before i get scolded I did search......I have decided to go to Carlisle Swap Meet this April. I'm pretty excited.

    I'm planing the trip tonight and would like to know from those that have been there the best days to attend. It starts Wednesday and ends Sunday. I'm taking the week off and could go everyday but if the best days are for example Thursday Friday Saturday I'd rather trim the trip and save on hotel cost. But maybe everyday is great.

    What has been your experience?
     
  2. jerseymike
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 680

    jerseymike
    Member

    weather will dictate everything. saturday's the most crowded day. don't wait till sunday, many vendors leave early. wear comfortable shoes, some steep hills. happy hunting!
     
  3. Flathead Johnny
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 728

    Flathead Johnny
    Member
    from MA

    i hope for great weather.....also any recommendations on hotels would be great
     
  4. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,173

    5window
    Member

    Lots of hill walking. Wear layers, bring a raincoat and water bottle and sunblock. Bring a backpack and a camera,too. Early in the week has the best selection. Later on, the prices get cheaper. Saturday is busiest as stated above. I like Thursday, but ai am weird. Bought my A on Sunday morning,though.

    No sure of hotels-I drive the 80 minute trip form my home. You will probably find the Harrisburg area close enough and cheaper. Just for kicks-try airbnb.com and see who might have a room or apt for rent then-there are some interesting and good deals there. Have fun
     
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  5. legend
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 198

    legend
    Member
    from Irwin PA

    Like Jerseymike said weather will be a factor. Thursday or Friday is most likely the best days. Been there last couple of years on Saturday and have seen vendors packing up by noon. Sundays are getting so bad that Carlisle Events advertises for people to bring what ever they can fit in the trunk of their car and vend for $25 much like local flea markets. :confused:
     
  6. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 538

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    Like "jerseymike" posted, wear comfortable shoes. Very important. If you cover the whole swap meet, you will put on a lot of miles, and be pretty well wiped out by the end of the day. (Unless you're a young pup with lots of energy). Good luck & have fun.:D
     
  7. bigbob55
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 780

    bigbob55
    Member
    from Pittsburgh

    Watch for posts closer to the date. many hamb members vend there and show their space numbers (including me). It's nice to have a few members space numbers in your head should you get tired of carrying stuff or hauling a wagon behind you you can ask to park your goods on a hamb members space while you do the next few rows. Most of us Hamb member vendors would accomodate you
    My spaces are in NJ row at spring....stop and take a break, have a cold one and sit for a minute. Pace yourself so so don't burn yourself out by noon
     
  8. Just for shits and giggles can anyone compare it to Iola?
     
  9. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,616

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    go while you can
     

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  10. Hotrodbuilderny
    Joined: Mar 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,646

    Hotrodbuilderny
    Member

    -I learned after over 30 years to go to the top of the hill first and work my way down,a lot of stuff gets sold the first couple of days amongst vendors.I would definetly go at least Friday and Saturday, Sunday you might get your best deal but only if the vendor stuck around and still has what you were looking at.
     
  11. tjm73
    Joined: Feb 17, 2006
    Posts: 3,337

    tjm73
    Member

    Thursday and Friday are the best days. Saturday depends on rain. Lots of vendors (my family included) pack up and head home if the weather looks crappy.
     
  12. Gabby
    Joined: Apr 14, 2007
    Posts: 221

    Gabby
    Member

    As a vendor , I can tell you the crowds are bigger on Sat but very few buyer in the bunch. 95% of my sales are th / fri
     
  13. HellsHotRods
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,336

    HellsHotRods
    Member

    It starts Wednesday but if your are serious, you will be there on Monday during set up.
     
  14. Been attending Carlisle Shows since the late '70's. 'My' personal preference,,,,,, if I'm looking hard (no BS'ing or lolly-gagging) for certain items, Fri and Sat.

    If I'm in a, don't give a %$#@ attitude, look on Sat, try and bargain, write down which spaces I see the/an item. Then go back on Sunday, and get it cheaper. Maybe.

    Use to be, I'd go around Sunday late afternoon, evenings and pick up abandon parts. Picked up a fairly complete non running '58 DeS one year. Another year, a guy drove a '60's something T-bird to the corral, lost the trans on the way there, (somebody towed him in for free with a strap) he didn't have the $$ to get the trans rebuilt, nor a way to get it back home. A buddy from his home at the last second ( I had the car ready to load on the trailer. He wanted $50 for bus fare.) wired him some $$ to get the trans rebuilt.

    Another high $$ item I found in one of the trash barrels, was the front carb to a '58 350 Golden Commando!

    I still have a 1/2 dozen or so '68 up Corvette sill plates, and other items, I have not sold/traded, or sold to the recycler.

    What EVERYONE has mentioned above! X's 10! GOOD, 'BROKEN IN' CONFORTABLE, HEAVY BOOTS/SHOES and thick socks! The backpack, and PLENTY of WATER!

    I use to know the mileage. When the race track was there, starting at Gate 1 and walking up one side of a row, then back on the other side of that same row, It was 8 point something miles! 4 or 5 years ago, last I checked, it was ELEVEN something miles to cover the entire swap meet!

    "IF" you can take a buddy, and you BOTH KNOW EXACTLY what the other is looking for. One start at Gate 1, the other start on the upper side of Gate 3 and work your way towards each other with walkey-talkeys you can 'cover more ground'

    Saturadys, NO, golf carts, mini bikes, or 'lectric scooters! If you are in one of those 'power chairs', you had better be handicapped! Instead of complaining of an ingrown toenail, you had better have that whole foot amputated. The 'rent-a-cops' up there are either, 'by the book' "Mall Cop" "Marine DI," or, got their thumb up their sphincter, and don't give a flyin' fart in a hurricane. The ONLY way to tell one from the other is if/when they say something to you.

    Another essential item. Some kind of cart or kids wagon to carry your 'bounty'! I'll double guaran&#%$ntee you a 3 pound item will feel like 50 pounds in less than an hour! You will have muscles hurting in places on your body you didn't even think you had muscles! Your hair will hurt!

    Be prepaired. Have some sorta plan. Don't be like 'spit on a stove' running here running over there' because it looks better.

    There ARE bargains to be found. Those vendors with 'balls on a Giraffe' prices take their stuff home.

    The closest parking is right past Gate 3. (60-70 feet? on the right) some old guy on a tractor, and his wife with her ever present red flag. You walk right in Gate 3. Get there sometime around 6:30 before they open. You will have a better chance get a parking space near Gate 3, or one of the parking spaces at Gate 1. People across from the fair grounds rent their yards out for parking. They fill quickly because they are NOT parking lots.

    As far as Motels. Most are booked/reserved a year or more in advanced! This late. Get a motel list, and start calling. Hopefully, one fairly close will have a cancelazation and you can get that room.

    You can bring a tent, and a air mattress, and pay a 'camping fee' on the grounds. They have showers there.

    Good luck, take pictures of your adventurer/goodies/any scantily clad ladies, have fun!
     
  15. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,200

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    Go early in the week if looking for rare parts, they get sold 1st unless way out of price.


    Ago
     
  16. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    Most of the "deal" priced items I've purchased have been in the North field. Fuck backpacks and newsboy bags; push/pull some sort of cart or wagon. My preference is an old Radio Flyer with an extended handle so it doesn't keep nipping at my heels. You wouldn't believe the number of guys who wait until they've purchased something like a transmission or pair of heads before they try to figure out how they're going to get it back to the truck.
     
  17. Troublemaker427
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 1,829

    Troublemaker427
    Member

    In my opinion Thursday is the best day, closely followed by Friday. The weekend will be crowded and many vendors start leaving Saturday around lunchtime. Sunday will be a ghost town.

    If you into FE's our event is the same weekend. (Friday & Saturday) Our event will have a FE related swap meet along with the largest gathering of FE power ever. Beaver Springs is about 40-45 minutes from Carlisle.

    Check out our website:

    http://www.fairlanet.com/FE/
     
  18. The weather is a crapshoot there. I've been vending there since the late 70's and I've seen temps in the 80's and also experienced 4" of snow. Thursday and Friday are the best in my book. Sunday is a waste.
     
  19. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,173

    5window
    Member

    I took a podometer with me last year-after losing 50 Lbs-and walked a bit over 11 miles. Not very quickly though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  20. Flathead Johnny
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 728

    Flathead Johnny
    Member
    from MA

    great advise guys....thanks
     
  21. Flathead Johnny
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 728

    Flathead Johnny
    Member
    from MA

    what time does the swap close up each day?
     
  22. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,173

    5window
    Member

    Check here-http://www.carlisleevents.com/carlisle-events/carlisle-spring-swap-meet-corral-auction/default.aspx

    But, honestly, getting there before 9AM or so and you'll just be cold and by 4:40 or 5 you'll be pretty wiped out. Wear good socks-I really like the Smartwool hiking sock-there's a lot of steps out there.
     
  23. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,173

    5window
    Member

    Great. So while you're meandering around dragging, but not paying attention to, that wagon, it's sticking out into the aisles or blocking other people's view. Leave it in your vehicle until you need it, or hire the BoyScouts who hang around hauling stuff for you for a donation. The worst part of Carlisle is the inconsideration of all the people riding golf carts and pulling wagons they don't really need while thinking they're the only ones on the road. I am sure you're not one of them, however. :)
     
  24. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 860

    Bearing Burner
    Member
    from W. MA

    Venders start closing up around 4:30 PM. Some are open until dark or later. Takes us about 1 1/2 days to make it around with very little stopping to talk thats what the remaining part of the second day is for. Forget car corral
     
  25. Flathead Johnny
    Joined: Jul 26, 2011
    Posts: 728

    Flathead Johnny
    Member
    from MA

    thanks everyone, i took off wed-friday and will leave saturday night...i can't wait!
     
  26. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY


    Good thinking.....that way,when you buy that transmission, or pair of heads, or wheels that you don't want to carry, all you'll have to do is walk the 50 miles back to your truck, get the wagon, go back to where you bought the junk, load it, and then walk back to your truck again to unload it. That shouldn't take too much of your valuable time that you might have spent walking up and down other rows, finding more parts to buy. As long as I continue to see lazy fucks driving up and down the rows in 1 ton crew cab dualies looking at vendor displays through their side window, I'm not going to be too concerned with ruining the event by pulling a wagon behind me. And, no, I don't leave my wagon in the middle of the road when I stop at a vendor's space to look at something; I do, however, see groups of men of anywhere from four to twelve in count that think nothing of standing in the middle of a row and bullshitting about NASCAR and other pressing matters. You may as well go hunting, but leave your gun in your truck until you actually see a deer.
     
  27. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,592

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    When I'm selling, as long as I'm sitting at my spot, it's open for business. I have to laugh at the vendors across the row from me who, promptly at 5:00 p.m., tarp up their items and then proceed to sit back down in their lawn chairs and stare into space....they must be a union shop.
     
  28. 34toddster
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,481

    34toddster
    Member
    from Missouri

    True statement!
     
  29. DAVEG2
    Joined: Feb 27, 2010
    Posts: 332

    DAVEG2
    Member

    I hate crowds so I go Wed & Thu, but I'm not really looking for anything. Plenty of hotels/motels on rt 11, not cheap.
     
  30. spiertb
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 247

    spiertb
    Member

    We usually stay in Harrisburg and get to Carlisle around 7 A.M. Parking in a yard on Calvary (sp) street close to a gate on Wed, Thurs and Friday. We usually go up and down all the aisles each day and don't leave until 5:30 or 6 P.M. There's no sense going if you don't stay all day--and I'm 70. Being close to a gate is great because we usually make several trips out when we get loaded up too heavily. l Saturday is too crowded and Sundayis a waste, actually by Friday afternoon it gets pretty crowded. Syl
     

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