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FMCA Convention Invades Northwest Ohio College Town

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July 20, 2009 by   Leave a Comment

An entire city of motorcoaches has popped up in the parking lot of the Doyt Perry Football Stadium at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, this week for the biggest exhibition of its kind in the country.

Some 2,600 RVs from across the United States and even Canada are parked there attracting 10,000 people, according to WTOL-TV, Toledo.

They’re here for the 82nd Annual Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) Convention.

What’s the attraction of hitting the road in one of these gas guzzlers — some of which come with a price tag of $2 million?

The freedom of it. The camaraderie, say the RV owners.

Given the bad economic times and high diesel prices one would think this would be the worst of times for the RV industry.

But a University of Michigan survey shows one in 12 households owns one.

Still, owners have had to curtail travel plans because of the ongoing recession.

“We feel that people are still going out. They are still traveling,” says FMCA’s Robbin Gould. “They take a few less trips a year out there. Still enjoy their motorhome.”

Jim Evans has owned eight RVs in the last 30 years.

“We have a washer/drier. I have an in-motion satellite TV. We can watch 150 stations while driving down the road. My wife watches it,” says Evans. “Believe it or not, I’m getting about 12 miles to the gallon on a good day. Get an honest 10 all the time.”

But Evans believes an RV is a good deal no matter what’s happening with the economy or gas prices.

He says you can go anywhere on the cheap because you never eat out and don’t pay for airline tickets and hotel rooms.

“I worked all my life, very hard,” says Evans. “We enjoy doing things now that we’re retired.”

And those retirement years now involve spending five months a year in an RV — no matter what the price.

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