21 Tips for the Snowbird Asking, “Now What?”

Freedom is a wonderful thing. The kind of freedom offered by the snowbird lifestyle is the ultimate. What a life!

Mardi Gras parade
A Mardi Gras parade is a popular activity at many Sunbelt RV resorts. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved.

Home is where you park it. You’ve settled into your destination resort, your new home for the winter months. You’ve introduced yourselves to your neighbors and met several new friends.

You can choose to do nothing in particular and simply relax, socialize with your fellow snowbirds, and enjoy your winter home. Or you can opt for a more active lifestyle.

Following are 21 tips for the snowbird asking, “Now what?”

1. Many snowbird parks provide a wide variety of resort amenities and organized activities designed to keep their seasonal guests involved and active.

2. Computer rooms, game rooms with pool tables, tennis and shuffleboard courts, a pickle ball facility, and an arts and craft room frequented by quilters and sewing enthusiasts may be available at your snowbird park.

3. Check out the area’s visitor information center and local papers for current happenings, flea markets, arts and crafts classes and workshops, organized hikes, farmers markets, fairs and festivals, parades, and other events and happenings.

San Xavier del Bac
Explore the cultural history of the area. Pictured above San Xavier del Bac. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

4. Take time to savor the local culture and learn about the area’s heritage and cuisine. Attend lectures and seminars, plays, musical performances, and dances.

5. Natural beauty abounds in most locations. Check out national, state, county, and regional parks, national wildlife refuges, national and state forests, scenic byways, nature parks and centers, aquariums, wildlife and zoological parks, and game reserves.

6. Explore the cultural history of the area by visiting museums, historical and archaeological sites, and other significant landmarks where important events took place.

7. Take tours of churches, cathedrals, antebellum mansions, architectural and heritage sites, and other locations of historical significance.

8. Check out activities and classes offered by the local parks and recreation department.

9. Absorb the local culture by attending sporting events.

10. A visit to the public library makes for an interesting rainy day activity.

11. Give back to your snowbird community by volunteering at one of the many nonprofit agencies in the area.

green jay
Take up bird watching. Many of the colorful birds found in Sunbelt regions are tropical species, reaching their northern range limits. The colorful green jay is usually seen in brushy areas and dense woods in the lower Rio Grande Valley.. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

12. Keep a journal/blog with photos of your snowbird activities to share with family and friends.

13. Make a start on sorting and organizing your photos; don’t forget to back up all digital files in case of a computer crash.

14. Take up a new hobby or sign up for a class to hone your current skills.

15. Take up bird watching. Many of the colorful birds found in Sunbelt regions are tropical species, reaching their northern range limits.

16. RVing can be even more memorable when it’s shared with other snowbirds at an RV rally. 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.

17. RV shows are also scheduled with snowbirds in mind. 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”.

18. Dining comes in all shapes and sizes in the various Sunbelt locations including slow-cooked barbecues through to fresh-out-of-the-water seafood, Mexican and Cuban cuisine, Southern Cooking, Cajun and Creole specialties, fast foods, and buffets. Senior specials are available.

19. Walking, hiking, and playing golf are great ways to stay physically fit and to meet new people.

Tamale Festival
Take advantage of a festival near your snowbird roost. Pictured above the Tamale Festival in Indio, California. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

20. Take advantage of some of the celebrations, parades, and other special activities held near your snowbird roost. Whether you’re a foodie or sports nut, you’ll find a seasonal festivals or fun-filled event that will highlight your stay.

21. Consider mapping your return journey home into segments of several weeks.

Even after six months “on the road” you may not be ready to start the northern trek home. But before long you’ll begin planning your return to the Sunbelt next winter.

Worth Pondering…

As Anne Murray sings in the popular song, “Snowbird”:

“Spread your tiny wings and fly away

And take the snow back with you

Where it came from on that day…

So, little snowbird, take me with you when you go

To that land of gentle breezes where the peaceful waters flow…”

Happy snowbird travels!

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

Date Changes for The Rally (2015)

In an earlier story on Vogel Talks RVing, I reported that The Rally would return for 2015.

2015-Rally-web-banner_AZ-5.7.14Good Sam has recently announced a date change for the upcoming Good Sam Phoenix Rally, which was originally scheduled for March 19 to 22 at the Phoenix International Raceway. The date change comes on the heels of the release of NASCAR’s upcoming 2015 Sprint Cup Series race schedule.

The race schedule, which was released August 26, 2014, outlined that the Phoenix International Raceway requested the race be held at the track on March 15 instead of the original date of March 1. This new date of the Phoenix race affects the scheduled Good Sam Phoenix Rally, and the event has now been advanced to February 26 to March 1, with early bird arrival dates of February 24 and 25.

“With the new date of the NASCAR Phoenix race, we are left with no choice but to advance our event in order to ensure a successful event while considering the planning and logistics of this rally,” said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Good Sam.

“We are extremely disappointed with this change and the fact that we were not informed until late August, after we had already published our rally dates in May. We had begun discussions with the track personnel in April and locked in the original dates at that time, while it was not mentioned to our organization that the Phoenix International Raceway was in discussions with NASCAR to change their original scheduled race date.”

The RallyThe Good Sam Club boasts a combined 14 years of experience hosting rally events. Ten days before the attendees arrive, staff are on-site setting up tents, building stages, and laying out the parking site grids, including full electrical hook-ups, for an anticipated 3,000 attendees. For the convenience, safety and security of all those attending, the planning committee expressed concerns that scheduling the event within 3 days of the race would not be sufficient, he explained.

“We are committed to providing our rally-goers the best experience possible with the latest in RV models and outdoor products, new and improved RV and camping seminars and activities, and world-class entertainment,” said Lemonis.

“We want our rally goers to know that if this could have been avoided we would have made other arrangements to alleviate any confusion and inconvenience to our attending members and guests. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our guests.”

Details

The Rally

Visit The Rally website to register online and to stay up to date on entertainment and daily activities as plans fall into place over the next several months.

Phone: (800) 701-1399 (toll free)

Website: www.therally.com

Camping World & Good Sam

Camping World Good SamBoth founded in 1966, Camping World is America’s number one source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair and Good Sam is the world’s largest RV owners organization offering helpful technical tips, vacation planning, extended warranty, magazine subscriptions, roadside assistance, and more to serve the outdoor enthusiast.

Partnered together, Camping World and Good Sam offer more to those who love the RV lifestyle by offering one-stop shopping and resources for everything RV and outdoors.

Camping World features over 10,000 quality products located at over100 Super Centers nationwide, easy online and catalog shopping as well as stocking a wide selection of new and used trailers and motorhomes from top RV manufacturers. Good Sam members receive cost-saving benefits and services, plus loads of valuable RV information and travel tips to get you ready for your next adventure.

Additionally, Good Sam represents more than 1,500 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions.

Camping World is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in addition to the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR.

Websites: www.CampingWorld.com and www.GoodSam.com

Worth Pondering…

Happy is the man who can enjoy scenery when he has to take a detour.

Read More

Nostalgia-On-Wheels at Airstream-Only RV park

An RV park near St. Cloud in central Minnesota looks like most other campgrounds.

Nostalgia-On-Wheels at Airstream-Only RV park
Nostalgia-On-Wheels at Airstream-Only RV park (Source: airstreampark.com)

There’s a club house, heated swimming pool, a tennis court, golf course, sauna, horseshoes, tennis and bocce ball courts, shuffleboard, and fully serviced RV sites with all the usual amenities including free Wi-Fi access.

But this campground 53 miles northwest of the Minneapolis is different.

A slice of retro heaven, the Minnesota Airstream Park is a reflective sea of silver bullet trailers. Freshly polished aluminum skins shines like a mirror on wheels. This is an Airstream-only RV park—one of 11 in the U.S.

For decades, Airstream owners have been seduced by the sleek, aerodynamic, aluminum-skinned travel trailer created by Wally Byam in 1936. He named it the Clipper and the brand, Airstream, was placed onto the map.

The Clipper was of similar design to the Road Chief, a trailer previously designed by former aircraft designer chief builder of The Spirit of St. LouisHawley Bowlus. However, the Clipper had one distinct difference—the door was positioned on the side.

When Airstream began, there were less than 48 trailer manufacturers that were registered for business. Five years later, nearly 400 companies squared off against each other. Today of those 400 companies, only Airstream remains.

Nostalgia-On-Wheels at Airstream-Only RV park
Nostalgia-On-Wheels at Airstream-Only RV park (Source: airstreampark.com)

Back in 1970, a group of Airstream enthusiasts who lived in Minnesota wanted a place to call their own near the Twin Cities, founded the 80-acre park in Clear Lake.

The resort was organized as a cooperative by several families, all of whom were Airstream trailer owners and members of the Minnesota unit WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club International) seeking a good place for rallies. With pooled funds, they purchased the land and did much of the work of building the Airstream Park themselves.

Today there are 125 sites, with lots priced from $4,000 to $22,000, depending on the location, landscaping, and amenities, such as screened gazebos.

Now, people come from all across the country—even across the pond—to enjoy the Land of 10,000 lakes.

The Minnesota Airstream Park has lots available for both short-term and seasonal guests.

Airstream club members also can rent a camping site for the daily rate of $27 or a three-night weekend for $54; weekly and monthly rates are $162 and $600 respectively.

Rates include a lot with a gazebo or screen room, full water, sewer, and electrical hook-ups and free access to all resort amenities, including the golf course (no greens fee), tennis court, swimming pool (and pool house with a sauna and soft-water showers), laundry room, picnic areas, fire pits, bocce ball court, shuffleboard court, and park-wide wi-fi access.

This is a co-op campground, so you have to buy a share in order to get a lot. Shares run anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000.

Nostalgia-On-Wheels at Airstream-Only RV park
Nostalgia-On-Wheels at Airstream-Only RV park (Source: airstreampark.com)

But Airstream Park culture isn’t just about the “silver bullet” trailers and memories of family vacations. Airstreamers also form friendships at social activities such as potlucks, bingo, campfires, and karaoke.

Details

Minnesota Airstream Park

Minnesota Airstream Park is an Airstream-only RV resort situated on 80 beautiful acres in central Minnesota. There are 125 member-owned lots, and all members of the resort are shareholders of Land Yacht Caravaners Club, Inc., a non-profit corporation.

Each owner’s share entitles them to the exclusive use of a specific site in the resort, along with the unlimited use of all shared resort amenities, including a 9 hole, par 28 golf course with no greens fees. If you have an Airstream-manufactured RV, you are eligible for the truly unique opportunity of owning a slice of the Airstream-only RV resort.

Address: 8795 82nd Street, Clear Lake, MN 55319

Phone: (320) 743-2771

Website: www.airstreampark.com

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

Read More

The Rally Returns for 2015

Camping World, the nation’s largest RV and outdoor retailer, and Good Sam, the world’s largest RV owner’s organization, announce the return of The Rally for 2015.

2015-Rally-web-banner_AZ-5.7.14Back by popular demand and bigger than ever before; the Camping World/Good Sam Rally will make its grand re-entrance to the industry in Phoenix, Arizona from March 19 through 22 at the Phoenix International Raceway.

With the tremendous growth the Good Sam Club has experienced over the past few years, expanding to over 1.5 million members in the United States and Canada, attendance at the Rallies has soared as well, limiting the number of locations that can host such a large RV gathering, according to a news release.

“Many Good Sam Club members and RV industry personnel have been inquiring about the absence of the Rally in 2014,” said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises.

“In order to continue to provide the best experience to rally-goers, it was necessary to take time to reevaluate our options and search for the right locations to accommodate and meet the growing number of members’ needs for these events,” explains Lemonis.

The March 2015 Camping World/Good Sam Rally location was determined based on the terrific response received from both members and exhibitors and overall success of the event at the previous rally held in Phoenix in 2012.

The 2015 Rally will have even more to offer rally-goers with the latest in RV models and outdoor products, new and improved RV and camping seminars and activities, and world-class entertainment.

The Rally-Small-Screen-Shot-2014-05-08-at-10.21.05-AM“It is our pleasure to facilitate an event that brings together thousands of RV enthusiasts from all over the country to celebrate the RV lifestyle, enjoy fun activities, great food, prizes, and quality time with family and friends,” said Lemonis.

“We are excited to announce the return of America’s largest RV Rally to the RV community.”

Details

The Rally

Visit The Rally website to register online and to stay up to date on entertainment and daily activities as plans fall into place over the next several months.

Website: www.therally.com

Camping World & Good Sam

Camping World Good SamBoth founded in 1966, Camping World is America’s number one source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair and Good Sam is the world’s largest RV owners organization offering helpful technical tips, vacation planning, extended warranty, magazine subscriptions, roadside assistance, and more to serve the outdoor enthusiast.

Partnered together, Camping World and Good Sam offer more to those who love the RV lifestyle by offering one-stop shopping and resources for everything RV and outdoors.

Camping World features over 10,000 quality products located at over100 Super Centers nationwide, easy online and catalog shopping as well as stocking a wide selection of new and used trailers and motorhomes from top RV manufacturers. Good Sam members receive cost-saving benefits and services, plus loads of valuable RV information and travel tips to get you ready for your next adventure.

Additionally, Good Sam represents more than 1,500 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions.

Camping World is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in addition to the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR.

Websites: www.CampingWorld.com and www.GoodSam.com

Worth Pondering…

Oh, what a beautiful morning’,

Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin’

Ev’rything’s goin’ my way.

Oh, what a beautiful day!

—“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from the musical Oklahoma

The weather and setting for The Rally 2015 will befit Rodgers and Hammerstein’s famous lyrics.

Read More

Airstream Gathering Returns

Airstream enthusiasts, fear not!

home-banner_airstreamThe annual European Airstream gathering returns in 2014 and takes place on the weekend of March 21 to 23.

Open to all owners of the popular European range, the complimentary weekend will be hosted by Airstream and Company’s Michael Hold and the award-winning team from Holgates Holiday Park at Silverdale, which was featured in the December issue of Practical Caravan.

The site, which won the magazine’s Best Family Site award for 2013, sits in more than a hundred acres of woodland and countryside on the Lancashire and Cumbria border and has stunning views over Morecambe Bay and the Lake District fells. There are numerous outdoor activities close to hand ranging from golf at the nearby Silverdale Golf Club to birdwatching at RSPB Leighton Moss, which recently featured on the BBC’s Autumnwatch.

If you enjoy walking, Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is crisscrossed with footpaths that take in some stunning coastal scenery and the pretty village of Silverdale is only a 20 minute walk from Holgates. Basing yourself in Silverdale opens up the whole of the Lake District too, with Newby Bridge, at the foot of Windermere, only a short hop away.

1018451_tcm9-244928
Birdwatching at RSPB Leighton Moss

This complimentary weekend includes hardstanding pitch for two nights, hook-ups for 230v, water, and TV points, a Friday evening Meet & Greet party, and supper on the Saturday evening.

Your stay will also include access to the Silverdale site’s swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, and steam room. However, there are only 30 pitches available which will be given on a first come, first served basis.

It’s not too late to book your place on Airstream’s special gathering at one of the north’s most beautiful holiday sites in March.

For more information please contact Michael Hold on 015396-24141 or mhold@airstream.com.

To book your place on the weekend of March 21-23, please contact Michelle Howe at Holgates directly on 01524-701508, quoting AIRSTREAM & Company.

There are only 30 pitches available and these will be on a first come, first served basis.

Guests can arrive at Holgates Silverdale Holiday Park from 12 noon on the Friday.

Details

Airstream Europe Limited

Airstream & Co logoAddress: Clock Garage Industrial Estate, Tebay, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 3SS

Phone: 015396 24141

Website: www.airstreamandco.com

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band, I saw a needle that winked its eye. But I think I will have seen everything When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

Read More

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

Read More

Havasu Balloon Festival Partners With Good Sam

Join Good Sam Club for high-flying fun at the fourth annual Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair, January 17-19, 2014.

Havasu Balloon Festival dont-miss2Good Sam members can join tens of thousands of spectators watching hot-air balloons soar high above London Bridge, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Havasu, and beautiful desert landscaping.

Like Albuquerque’s renowned Balloon Fiesta, the Havasu Balloon Festival turns the Southwestern sky into an airborne parade with the world’s oldest flight technology dressed up in fanciful colors and contemporary shapes.

Beyond experiencing the thrill of more than 60 thermal-powered aircraft aloft above Lake Havasu, members will get a lift knowing their camping fees support deserving charities.

One of the biggest events in the region, the Havasu Balloon Festival was launched by the Lake Havasu City London Bridge Lions Club and the London Bridge Rotary Club as a way to fund local charitable groups. Four years later, that’s still the mission, with the 2014 festival operated by volunteers and proceeds going to fund groups from Meals on Wheels to Big Brother/Big Sister.

Good Sam anticipates as many as 500 RVs at this popular festival; already 260 members have registered to camp out for the festivities. This number exceeds all of last year’s total of 242 RVs camping out for this colorful event, reports havasunews.com.

Having 260 RVs already signed up for the Balloon Festival is amazing because the event usually gets the bulk of RV enthusiasts signing up closer to the event, according to the organizers.

Lake Havasu Marina has been the main location for people to park their RVs for the previous years of the festival, but with this year’s participation of Good Sam, the overflow Site Six parking lot and an area at Crazy Horse campgrounds are being opened up as well.

Havasu banner03Dramatic morning launches, optional balloon rides, and magical evening balloon glows give spectators an up-close look at these inflatable crafts that ride on the wind.

Beyond the festival’s sky-high pageantry, down-to-earth activities include a carnival, a car show, a food court, hundreds of vendor booths, live musical entertainment, and much more.

Festival-goers can take advantage of Lake Havasu City’s other amusements, from Segway rides to jet-boat trips to tours of the legendary London Bridge, transported stone by stone from England’s capital city.

The Parker Dam was completed in 1938, holding back the Colorado River to form Lake Havasu. In 1964, Lake Havasu City—a 2,500-acre planned community—was founded on the lake’s shore, around the core of a turn-of-the-century mining town.

One of the most interesting attractions in Lake Havasu is the London Bridge, built in 1831 and sold by the City of London—where it had been sinking at a rate of around eight inches a year—in the 1960s. Since 1971, when its reassembly was completed, the arched bridge has spanned Lake Havasu, adding to the city’s tourist appeal.

Havasu Balloon banner02Dubbed the “Personal Watercraft Capital of the World,” Lake Havasu is one of the Southwest’s premier locations for water sports, including wakeboarding, waterskiing, jet skiing, swimming, and boating of all kind.

All types of watercraft are available for rental on the lake itself, from kayaks to Jet Skis to pontoon boats.

Good Sam Club members will pay $20 per RV for their site. All of the proceeds from the members paying $20 will go to charities through local Rotary and Lions Club. The city donated the land for the RVs to use at no cost.

Details

4th Annual Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair

Website: havasuballoonfest.com

Good Sam RV Dry Camping

Sites available from January 13-20, 2014

Daily rates: Pre-RegistHavasu 2014ration – $22.00, at the Gate; $25.00; $2.00 discount to all Good Sam Members for Pre-Registration only.

Worth Pondering…
Newcomers to Arizona are often struck by Desert Fever.

Desert Fever is caused by the spectacular natural beauty and serenity of the area.

Early symptoms include a burning desire to make plans for the next trip “south”.

There is no apparent cure for snowbirds.

Read More

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

Read More