2015 RV Rallies

RVing can be even more memorable when it’s shared with other RVers at a rally.

Freightliner Club Rally
Freightliner Club Rally held at Lazy Days in Tucson, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

There are several different types of RV rallies including Good Sam Club National and Chapter rallies, manufacturer club rallies, and club rallies for RVers of similar interests.

Good Sam Club Chapters embrace RV fellowship and make lasting friendships through a shared sense of community and a love for RVing. Chapters hold campouts, plan social events, and organize community volunteer opportunities. There are nearly 1,500 Good Sam Chapters across North America.

Manufacturer clubs enhance the enjoyment of ownership by providing connections with others of similar interests. In addition to a national RV rally, most of these RV clubs and manufacturers host regional and local chapter rallies. The brand club rallies for owners of a specific brand of RV typically offer technical and lifestyle seminars, crafts, new RV displays, and opportunities to socialize.

Many RVers enjoy gathering with friends who have special interests or common goals. Similar interest clubs include Escapees RV Club for full-timers and Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) for motorhome enthusiasts. From singles clubs to an organization of military personnel, chances are good that you can find a club that’s just right.

FMCA Western Area Rally, Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, Indio, California
FMCA Western Area Rally, Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, Indio, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

With the numerous RV Shows and club rallies scheduled in Sunbelt regions you’re bound to find one that enhances your RV lifestyle.

FMCA Western Area Rally, Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, Indio, California, January 7-11

Winnebago 2015 Preview Rally, Lazydays RV Campground, Seffner, Florida, January 9-11

Newmar Kountry Klub Florida RV Show Rally, Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, Florida, January 13-18

Newmar Kountry Klub Gathering in the Desert, Quartzsite, Arizona, January 14-20

American Coach Eastern Regional Rally, Lazydays RV Campground, Seffner, Florida, January 14-18

Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair, January 16-18, The Island Golf Club at the Nautical Beachfront Resort, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, January 16-18

FROG (Forest River Owners’ Group) Rally, Sherwood Forest RV Resort, Kissimmee, Florida, January 19-25

American Coach Western Regional Rally, Las Vegas Motorhome Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, January 29-February 2

FMCA Rally at Perry, Georgia
FMCA Rally at Perry, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

RV-Dreams Boondocking Rally, Turner Agri Civic Center, Arcadia, Florida, February 8-15

Born Free Rally, Lazydays RV Campground, Seffner, Florida, February 9-11

FMCA Southeast Area Rally, Sarasota County Fairgrounds, Sarasota, Florida, February 11-14

Passport America Fun Rally, Sarasota County Fairgrounds, Sarasota, Florida, February 17-20

Entegra Coach Rally, Lazydays RV Campground, Seffner, Florida, February 20-22

The Rally/Good Sam Phoenix Rally, Phoenix International Raceway, Phoenix, Arizona, February 26-March 1

Escapees RV Club Escapade, Pima County Fairgrounds, Tucson, Arizona, March 8–13

Nevada Good Sam Samboree, Nevada Treasure RV Resort, Pahrump, Nevada, March 11-14

Monaco International RV Club Rally, Pahrump, Nevada, March 17-21

WIT (Winnebago Itasca International) Club Florida State Rally, Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando, Florida, March 19-22

Passport America Fun Rally, Escambia County Equestrian Center, Pensacola, Florida, March 23-26

Commercial displays and sales are part of most RV rallies. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.
Commercial displays and sales are part of most RV rallies. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

Tiffin Allegro Club Rally, Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando, Florida, March 23-27

FMCA Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase, Fairplex, Pomona, California, March 26-29

Worth Pondering…

I would like to share this one for today with you…

Live one day at a time–

While you can plan for tomorrow, you can’t live it until it arrives. Most people spend so much time regretting the past and worrying about the future, they leave no time to enjoy today!

John Lennon once wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Decide to make the most of each moment.

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2015 RV Shows: One-Stop RV Shopping

RV shows are like the mega-malls of the RV world.

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV and camping shows are where multiple dealers gather to bring their latest models and offer deals. This provides a great opportunity for prospective buyers to wander between different models, check out various floor plans, ask questions, meet other RVers, and find the RV that best meets their needs.

RV retail shows give you an opportunity to see many makes and models of RVs—at one time and at one place. What better way to comparison-shop for the vehicle that best fits your travel plans and budget? At RV shows, you’ll also find dealers and other RV industry experts, who can assist you in finding the right RV.

There’s an RV show every year in every region of the country.

New and experienced RVers head around the country during the year to check out what the latest in recreational vehicles and new products and accessories.

January through early April is prime RV Show Season. There is no better way to shop for a new RV or upgrade your current one than by attending an RV show, where numerous dealers and suppliers come together to show off their wares. You’ll have an opportunity to check out a wide-range of recreational vehicles in one location, often at special “show prices”.

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The two granddaddies of the RV Show circuit are the Florida RV SuperShow at Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa, from January 14-18; and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show, in Quartzsite, Arizona, January 17-25.

RV shows are also scheduled with snowbirds in mind at a variety of other venues including:

South Texas RV Supersale (San Antonio, Texas), January 2-4

Southern Louisiana Boat, Sport & RV Show (Houma, Louisiana), January 9-11

All Valley RV Show (Mercedes, Texas), January 15-18

Central Gulf Coast Boat, Sport & RV Show (Lake Charles, Louisiana), January 20-22

Ft. Myers RV Show (Florida), January 22–25

Houston RV Show (Texas), February 4-8

Ocala RV Show (Florida), February 12–15

West Palm Beach RV Show (Florida), February 12–15

Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Dates for the 32nd annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show are January 17-25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Rally/Good Sam Phoenix Rally (Phoenix, Arizona), February 26-March 1

Jacksonville RV Show (Florida), February 26–March 1

Biloxi Boat & RV Show (Biloxi, Mississippi), February 6-8

Central Florida RV Show (DeLand), February 26–March 1

Greater Atlanta RV Show (Georgia), March 6-8

Panhandle Spring RV Show (Fort Walton Beach, Florida), March 19-22

FMCA Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase (Pomona, California), March 26-29

When attending an RV show be sure to wear comfortable footwear. You’ll be walking and standing for the majority of the day. If you check out everything the show has to offer, by the end of the day, your feet will be crying out for mercy. Wearing sensible footwear will help to keep your feet from aching after a long day.

When entering an RV show, you’ll receive a map and brochure that details the location of each vendor. Plan your route through the show to maximize your time, energy, and priorities. You may wish to jot down important information or remind yourself of vendors you wish to revisit later in the day.

You may want to make notes, swap phone numbers, or have a way to write down information. Bringing a small notepad and pen/pencil if you don’t have a smart phone that can input notes for future reference. Just pop the notepad in your pocket and you’re good to go for the day.

Enter the giveaways. Most RV show vendors offer giveaways, discounts, and more. All you have to do is enter the contest. Besides, who doesn’t like free stuff or discounts on products? Several years ago we received a free week of camping following the Mid-Valley RV Show in the Rio Grande Valley. On another occasion we received a month of camping for $99.

Worth Pondering…

I don’t think you can call yourself a true American until you’ve been behind the wheel of an RV … I love seeing parts of the country I wouldn’t otherwise.

—Jeff Daniels, actor

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Plan Now To Attend FMCA 91st Family Reunion

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) has fittingly chosen “California Gold” as the theme for its next Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase.

FMCA's regional rally hald annually each January at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio is well attended.  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
FMCA’s regional rally hald annually each January at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio is well attended. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

FMCA’s California Gold event will be held March 26-29, 2015, at a facility that is widely recognized as a premier entertainment venue — Fairplex, home of the Los Angeles County Fair, in Pomona.

Imagine going to one place where you can meet new friends, view new motorhomes, shop, learn technical information about RVing, and be entertained. That’s a FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in a nutshell.

More than 2,000 motorhomes are expected to gather at this 480-acre complex for FMCA’s 91st Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, according to a news release.

Dotted with palm trees and fountains, the beautifully landscaped venue boasts park-like settings and state-of-the-art facilities.

The 85,000-square-foot Conference Center, which offers the perfect balance between high-tech features and comfortable, inviting accommodations, will serve as an activity hub. Among other events, it will provide space for the more than 120 seminars that will be offered, covering a broad array of motorhome lifestyle topics. The center’s high-speed Internet access and closed-circuit LED screens will facilitate these sessions.

Top motorhome manufacturers and dealers from across North America will display the latest models of vehicles while carpeted, climate-controlled indoor exhibition halls will house more than 300 booths packed with a variety of RV-related products and services.

In addition to touring exhibits and attending seminars, motorhome owners will be treated to three nights of top-notch entertainment and a variety of special activities. Attendees also will be given the opportunity to embark on group tours of local sites and attractions.

The 89th FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase was held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, March 2014 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The 89th FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase was held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, March 2014 © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

While the convention is organized for FMCA members, the organization also invites members of the public to attend and provides various admission options. The price for non-FMCA members is $255 prior to February 3, 2015, and $275 after that date; this non-member fee automatically grants a one-year FMCA membership or Family Motor Coaching subscription to the RV owner. The FMCA member price is $205 for early-bird registrations and $225 after February 3. (An additional fee is charged for electric.)

Details

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) 

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes.

With approximately 85,000 active member families, FMCA is the world’s largest motorhome owners group.

fmca_twin-oaks-rv-park-elko-perry-gaSince 1963 FMCA has issued more than 425,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of motorhome ownership and travel.

FMCA takes pride in the merit of its many membership benefits, which include a mail forwarding service, an emergency medical evacuation program, international conventions, chapter and area rallies, and a free subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

FMCA recognizes approximately 500 chapters across the United States and Canada. Many of them encompass specific or general geographic regions. Others consist of FMCA members who own a particular brand or model of motorhome. And still others are based on a common interest, such as music, sports, coach conversions, or amateur radio.

FMCA National Headquarters address: 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244

Phone: (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 (toll free)

Website: www.fmca.com

Worth Pondering…

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

—Tim Cahill

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FMCA Confirm 2014-15 Rally Schedule

Cincinnati-Ohio-based Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is making final preparations for its 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, set to take place March 17-20 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia.

Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, Georgia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The RV-friendly facility is located just off Interstate 75, a prime north-south route for snowbird RVers.

More than 2,500 motorhome families and some 6,000 to 8,000 people are expected to attend.

All RV owners and members of the general public are invited to participate, according to a FMCA news release.

Various admission options are available for the Perry event. Activities include an RV show that highlights more than 100 display motorhomes, plus booths filled with RV components and accessories, as well as home products; motorhome-related seminars; organized tours of local sites and attractions; evening entertainment; and other social activities.

To register for the 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase at the Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, March 17 to 20, click here.

After the Perry event, it’s on to Redmond, Oregon, where the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center will host FMCA’s second Family Reunion of 2014, August 13-16. Click here to register.

The Madison, Wisconsin, Family Reunion will take place July 29 to August 1, 2015, at the Alliant Energy Center.

Deschutes-aerial-best“We had a fantastic event there in August 2011,” said FMCA President Charlie Adcock.

“We have been looking forward to returning ever since. The Alliant Energy Center is a terrific host facility, plus Madison and the surrounding area have so much for motorhome families to do and see.”

FMCA first hosted an event at the site back in 1984 when it was known as the Dane County Exposition Center. Various improvements made since then, including the addition of the 225,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall, have added to the appeal of the facility when it comes to accommodating an FMCA event.

The Madison gathering in 2011 drew a total of 2,143 motorhomes to the site. FMCA officials expect an even better turnout in 2015, given renewed interest in the motorhome lifestyle since the end of the recession.

Prior to the Madison confab, FMCA will make a return visit to Fairplex in Pomona, California, March 26 to 29, 2015, for the 91st Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase.

Details

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) 

fmca_twin-oaks-rv-park-elko-perry-gaThe Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes.

With approximately 85,000 active member families, FMCA is the world’s largest motorhome owners group.

Since 1963 FMCA has issued more than 425,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of motorhome ownership and travel.

FMCA takes pride in the merit of its many membership benefits, which include a mail forwarding service, an emergency medical evacuation program, international conventions, chapter and area rallies, and a free subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

FMCA recognizes approximately 500 chapters across the United States and Canada. Many of them encompass specific or general geographic regions. Others consist of FMCA members who own a particular brand or model of motorhome. And still others are based on a common interest, such as music, sports, coach conversions, or amateur radio.

FMCA National Headquarters address: 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244

Phone: (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 (toll free)

Website: fmca.com

Worth Pondering…

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

—Tim Cahill

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FMCA Announces 2014-15 Rally Dates

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) announced the dates and locations for the group’s two 2014 Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase events, as well as for the first event of 2015.

FMCA-logo-219x145FMCA will be making repeat visits to several venues that seem tailor-made for the “cities on wheels” that take shape during its motorhome rallies and shows.

In March, FMCA’s 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase will come to life at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry. This will mark FMCA’s eighth visit to this RV-friendly facility. FMCA held its first event in Perry in March 1996. The fairgrounds has continued to add buildings and to make other improvements over the years that have resulted in the location becoming even more attractive for an FMCA event, said Charlie Adcock, FMCA national president.

“The combination of a first-rate facility — located just off Interstate 75 and along the path of many snowbirds — and the Southern hospitality we always experience in Perry makes this a not-to-be-missed event for motorhome owners,” said Adcock.

Approximately 2,500 motorhome families and some 6,000 to 8,000 people are expected to gather for the March 17 to 20, reunion. All RV owners and members of the general public are invited to participate. Various admission options are available.

The Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon, will play host to FMCA’s 90th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase August 13 to 16. This is another venue that lends itself well to an FMCA event, and one to which the association is making a repeat visit – its fifth, said Adcock.

Deschutes-aerial-bestThe 132-acre Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center was designed using a circular plot, which makes the grounds easy to navigate and puts the activity centers in close proximity. Well-kept buildings, beautifully landscaped activity areas, and spectacular views of seven mountain peaks are other hallmarks of this site, he explained.

“The folks at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center are great to work with,” said Jerry Yeatts, FMCA executive director.

“And the city of Redmond, as well as the surrounding Central Oregon communities, welcome FMCA with open arms.”

March 26 to 29, 2015, FMCA will make a return visit to Fairplex in Pomona, California. Fairplex also provides a nearly ideal setting for an FMCA event, including paved parking for not only the motorhomes that are on display but also for all of the families attending in their homes on wheels, said Yeatts.

Set on more than 480 acres, Fairplex is billed as the “largest multi-use playground in Southern California.” The event — FMCA’s 91st Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase — will mark FMCA’s seventh reunion at this popular, first-class facility, he added.

gI_82663_GA14_entertainmentPlans are in the works for FMCA’s summer 2015 event as well, and the dates and location for that gathering will be announced in the near future.

Activities abound at these get-togethers. One of the important elements of these reunions is an exhibition of motorhomes. Major manufacturers and dealers gather to display their vehicles, and motorhome components and accessories also are available for inspection.

In addition, a wealth of informative seminars centering on topics of interest to motorhomers — including motorhome chassis maintenance and microwave-convection oven cooking — are held. Opportunities for taking part in various social events — among them morning coffee hour and an ice cream social — present themselves to convention attendees.

Organized tours of local sites and attractions take place. Evenings are filled with entertainment presented by top-notch performers, as well as other social activities.

To register for the 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase at the Agricenter in Perry, Georgia, March 17 to 20, click here.

Details

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) 

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motorhomes.

With approximately 85,000 active member families, FMCA is the world’s largest motorhome owners group.

Since 1963 FMCA has issued more than 425,000 memberships to families who look to the association as their source of information about all facets of motorhome ownership and travel.

FMCA takes pride in the merit of its many membership benefits, which include a mail forwarding service, an emergency medical evacuation program, international conventions, chapter and area rallies, and a free subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

fmca_twin-oaks-rv-park-elko-perry-gaFMCA recognizes approximately 500 chapters across the United States and Canada. Many of them encompass specific or general geographic regions. Others consist of FMCA members who own a particular brand or model of motorhome. And still others are based on a common interest, such as music, sports, coach conversions, or amateur radio.

FMCA National Headquarters address: 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244

Phone: (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 (toll free)

Website: fmca.com

Worth Pondering…

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

—Tim Cahill

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Winnebago Introduces Itasca Solei at FMCA Rally

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc. introduced the Itasca Solei for the first time to retail consumers at the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) Gillette 2013 Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase event held in Gillette, Wyoming, this weekend.

Winnebago unveiled Itasca Solei Class A Diesel at FMCA convention
Winnebago unveiled Itasca Solei Class A Diesel at FMCA convention

The Gillette gathering is a culmination of FMCA’s 50th birthday celebration.

Hundreds of motorhomes are on hand for the event where the Itasca Solei made its debut.

The all-new, attractively priced Solei is built on a Freightliner XCS straight-rail chassis featuring a 340 hp Cummins diesel engine coupled with a six-speed Allison transmission, according to a news release.

Interior amenities include polished Corian galley countertops, coffee-glazed cabinetry, LED ceiling lights, and upscale entertainment features. Smart Storage, an integral part of both the 34T and 38R floor plans, also offers plenty of room for storing items.

“This 34-foot Solei is smaller in length than the unit I am in now, but actually has more usable storage and floor plan space,” said John Dogger of Hinkley, Ohio, during the rally.

“It’s also less than 12 feet tall, so I could fit it in my garage. I love the 340hp Cummins diesel engine on such a well-priced motorhome.

“I’ve owned motorhomes for 25 years and have always known Winnebago to be the best in the market, but I’ve never owned one before now. That may change soon. The Solei is a home run, an absolute home run.”

2014 Itasca Solei in four stylish full-body paint selection. Image above Windveil graphics
2014 Itasca Solei in four stylish full-body paint selection. Image above Windveil graphics

Solei standard features include:

Two floor plans—the 34T and 38R

Powered driver and passenger seats in leatherette

Radio/rearview color-monitor system with six-inch touch screen

Powered mirrors with defrost/side-view cameras

Powered MCD visor shade for the front windshield

MCD blackout shades in the coach area

Soft vinyl ceilings

LED ceiling lights

Comfort Sofa/Sleeper (38R)

Extendable Comfort Sofa/Sleeper and movable drop leaf table (34T)

BenchMark dinette with Dream Dinette table (38R)

Vinyl tile flooring throughout

Polished Corian galley countertops and tiled backsplash

Home theater sound bar with DVD/CD player

Full-coach water filtration system

6,000-watt Cummins Onan diesel generator

2,000-watt inverter/charger

Roof A/C with heat pump

Hydraulic leveling jacks

Dual-glazed coach windows

Heated holding tank compartment and winterization package

Powered patio awning with LED lighting

Exterior wash station

Low profile allows unit to fit through 12-foot door opening while having amazing storage of up to 228 cubic feet (38R)

34T Base MSRP: $202,966

2014 Itasca Solei 34T
2014 Itasca Solei 34T

Details

Winnebago Industries, Inc.

Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries, Inc., The Most Recognized Name In Motor Homes, is a leading U.S. manufacturer of recreation vehicles, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities.

The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheel products under the Winnebago, Itasca, Era, and SunnyBrook brand names.

Winnebago Industries has received the Quality Circle Award from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association every year since the award’s inception in 1996.

Postal Address: P.O. Box 152, Forest City, IA 50436

Street Address: 605 West Crystal Lake Road, Forest City, IA 50436

Phone: (641) 585-3535

Winnebago Website: gowinnebago.com

Itasca Website: goitasca.com

Era Website: erarv.com

Worth Pondering…

An RV travel adventure has no substitute. It is the ultimate experience, your one big opportunity for flair.

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FMCA Announce 2013 Rally Schedule

The Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) motorhome events in 2013 will provide the “perfect opportunity for motorhome manufacturers and RV suppliers to come face-to-face with an enthusiastic group of motorhome owners,” according to a news release.

fmca_logoDuring FMCA area rallies and family reunions, motorhome owners socialize and enjoy seminars, entertainment, and other scheduled events. Motorhome manufacturers and RV display product, giving attendees the chance to shop for a variety of motorhomes and RV-related merchandise all in one location.

Family reunion and motorhome showcase events are coordinated by the FMCA national office, and each area rally is organized by FMCA members in the respective area.

FMCA’s 2013 Area Rally dates and locations include:

  • Western Area Rally: January 9-13, Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival Fairgrounds, Indio, California
  • Southeast Area Rally: February 6-10, Hernando County Airport, Brooksville, Florida
  • INTO Area Rally (International Area): March 20-23, Lazydays, Tucson, Arizona
  • Midwest Area Rally: July 24-27, Delaware County Fairgrounds, Manchester, Iowa
  • Northwest Area Rally: August 8-11, Linn County Fair & Expo Center, Albany, Oregon
  • South Central Area Rally (Six-State Rally): September 11-15, Missouri State Fairgrounds, Sedalia, Missouri
  • Great Lakes Area Rally: September 18-22, 2013, Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, Goshen, Indiana
  • Eastern Area Rally: October 9-13, York Expo Center, York, Pennyslvania

88th Family Reunion is in Wyoming

FMCA's regional rally hald annually each January at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio is well attended.  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
FMCA’s regional rally hald annually each January at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio is well attended. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In addition to the area rallies, FMCA’s 88th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase will take place June 19-22, at CAM-PLEX Multi-Events Facilities in Gillette, Wyoming. This will be FMCA’s first visit to Gillette for an international event and it is especially significant, as it will mark the culmination of FMCA’s 50th anniversary celebration. The association was founded in July 1963 by 26 “house car”-owning families.

All Family Reunions offer seminars, entertainment, and socializing, but special commemorative activities in Gillette will make it a gathering that members will not soon forget. CAM-PLEX is a 1,100-acre convention, exhibition, and performing arts center with six separate RV park venues encompassing 1,730 sites with electrical hookups. The association is expecting approximately 2,500 motorhome families to take part in the golden anniversary festivities at Gillette.

“We’re looking forward to FMCA’s 50th anniversary celebration this June in Gillette, Wyoming. Not only that, but with FMCA events taking place at varying times and locations, motorhome owners should find that they don’t have to travel very far to participate,” FMCA President Charlie Schrenkel said.

“We invite them to join us at one or more of these exciting locations and to experience the fun, seminars, entertainment, and the motorhome and related product displays among people who share their love of the motorhome lifestyle.”

In 2014, specifically March 17-20, FMCA returns for an eighth time to Perry, Georgia, for a Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase. The 1,100-plus-acre Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter has become a popular place for RV rallies, with its spacious parking facilities; expansive meeting, exhibition, and entertainment venues; and convenient location just off Interstate 75. Dates and location for the summer 2014 Family Reunion have not yet been announced.

Details

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA)

fmca_online_logoCincinnati-based Family Motor Coach Association is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the use of self-contained, motorized recreation vehicles known as motorhomes.

The association maintains its national headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently has more than 80,000 active member families. FMCA offers its members a number of benefits for motorhome owners, including a subscription to its monthly magazine, Family Motor Coaching, trip routing, mail forwarding, group rates on motorhome insurance, a roadside assistance program, and an emergency medical evacuation plan.

Address: 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244

Phone: (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 (toll free)

Website: fmca.com

Worth Pondering…

Friends are the most important part of your life. Treasure the tears, treasure the laughter, but most importantly, treasure the memories.

—Dave Brenner

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RV Show Withdraws from Kansas Due to State Law

A state law that prohibits out-of-state dealers from selling recreational vehicles in Kansas means a national RV show will bypass the state, taking with it millions of dollars in potential revenue.

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) recently notified Kansas State Fair Manager Denny Stoecklein that the national motorhome group will not bring its event to the state fairgrounds in Hutchinson until the law is changed, The Associated Press reported.

“You and the entire staff at the Kansas State Fair have been wonderful to work with and you have exerted great efforts to bring our event to Hutchinson,” FMCA’s Events Manager Chris Lusk wrote.

“However, the current laws and business environment in the state of Kansas have made it prohibitive for us to return to the Kansas State Fair at this time.”

Stoeklein says he hopes this law is amended to make it easier for future shows to be held in Kansas. He says the last time Kansas hosted the convention, more than four thousand RV’s came to the Fairgrounds.

“What we’ve hoped for is that we can find a compromise that would appease the dealers in the state but then also satisfy organizations like FMCA and we just haven’t hit on that yet.”

When the event was held in Hutchinson in 2002, 4,716 motorcoaches camped at the fairgrounds, bringing an estimated $24.4 million economic boost to Reno County and another $7.2 million to the state, according to an earlier report in The Hutchinson News.

Stoecklein said FMCA’s 2012 convention will take place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis and that the 2013 convention—the association’s 50th anniversary celebration that the fair had hoped to land—will be in Gillette, Wyoming.

“We had a feeling this would be the direction they went,” Stoecklein said. “They indicated…they were concerned with the dealer restrictions, which has been a concern of theirs for a long time.”

FMCA official Jerry Yeatts wrote to the fair board in 2010 saying his association would like to come back to the fairgrounds for an April 2013 rally.

State lawmakers resisted the fair board’s efforts to get the law changed. Kansas is not unusual, Yeatts said, noting his organization considers only a few states friendly to motorhome sales.

A regional FMCA rally last fall in Hutchinson that drew more than 600 didn’t attract dealers or manufacturers because of the law, he said.

Bill Hawley, who owns Hawley Brothers Hawleywood RV Ranch in Dodge City, the oldest Winnebago dealer in the nation, said smaller dealers couldn’t afford to provide a large inventory. Manufacturers bring in dozens of units and the dealer has to buy what is left, Hawley said.

“It is not really a rally,” Hawley said. “It really is a big commercial sale.”

Reno County Fair Board Member Brad Rayl was disappointed with the decision but said he could see both sides of the argument.

“It was a good revenue item for us and the state fair,” he said. “It was a lot of outside income, gas, lodging, all the services…it was a big economic impact.”

If the law changes, Yeatts said FMCA will reconsider Kansas.

Details

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA)

Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the use of self-contained, motorized recreation vehicles known as motorhomes. The association maintains its national headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently has approximately 85,000 active member families.

FMCA offers a number of benefits for motorhome owners, including a subscription to its monthly magazine, Family Motor Coaching; trip routing; mail forwarding; and group rates on an emergency roadside assistance program.

2012-2014 FMCA Conferences

87th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase

Dates: August 27-30, 2012

Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, Indiana

88th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase

Dates: June 19-22, 2013

Location: CAM-PLEX, Gillette, Wyoming

89th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase

Dates: March 17-20, 2014

Location: Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, Perry, Georgia

FMCA National Headquarters

Address: 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244

Phone: (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 (toll free)

Website: fmca.com

Worth Pondering…

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.

—Tim Cahill

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