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FMCA Coaches Descend on Oregon’s Coos Bay

June 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of motorhomes are filling the empty lot next to the Mill Casino and Hotel Thursday (June 21) in Coos Bay, Ore., as the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) Northwest Area Rally gets under way. The show runs through Sunday.

As reported by the Coos Bay World, its members refer to trips out of their vehicles as “shore excursions” and to the car they tow behind as a “dinghy.” So it’s surprising that FMCA has never yet held its Northwest Area Rally here on the shores of Coos Bay.

But that’s happening this weekend, bringing 1,000 RV enthusiasts to the area.

They’ll have opportunities to tour local attractions, see a movie in the Marshfield High School auditorium, see the bay with Betty Kay Charters, golf at Bandon Crossings, roar around the dunes with Spinreel Dune Buggy and ATV and feast at a Coquille Indian salmon bake.

Although those activities are available only to the association’s members, the public is welcome to visit the RV show. To learn more about the Family Motor Coach Association, visit www.fmcanw.org/.

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FMCA Members Sign on for Fantasy RV Tours

May 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Family Motor Coach Association reports that its alliance with Fantasy RV Tours in late 2011 has enjoyed strong support from its membership.

The FMCA Tour Connection offers FMCA-member-only RV caravans, rallies and cruises at discounted rates, and also provides FMCA members discounts on other Fantasy RV Tour events.

“These tours are even more popular than what we — Fantasy RV Tours and FMCA — expected,” said Nel Filliger, Fantasy RV Tours founder. “Members like traveling with the FMCA family and receiving the extra discounts with FMCA Tour Connection.”

By May 2012, four of the six remaining 2012 RV tours (Calgary Stampede, Western National Parks, Polar Bear Express, and Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta) already were sold out. Filliger added that great interest is being shown in caravans and tours slated for 2013 and beyond, including a 2014 tour to Australia and New Zealand. “This trip is at the top of most people’s bucket list,” she said. “It will sell out and we’ll have a waiting list.”

The inaugural excursion of the Tour Connection program took place in Washington, D.C., this past April. Fantasy RV Tours staff welcomed 50 FMCA member families to the nation’s capital for a week of fun and sight-seeing adventures in which they received personalized attention from the staff and tour guides.

At night, FMCA members stayed in their motorhomes at a campground near Washington. During the day, they toured an array of sites in and around the city, including the U.S. Capitol and the National Cathedral; the U.S. Naval Academy and Fort McHenry; Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial; and museums of their own choosing along the National Mall.

Because of the popularity of the Tour Connection among FMCA members, Fantasy RV Tours has increased the variety of itineraries available. In addition to the interest shown in the RV caravans and tours, cruises are also offered. Filliger noted that more than 200 FMCA members already have booked cruises to Alaska or the Caribbean.

For more information about the various tours offered to FMCA members through the Tour Connection Powered by Fantasy RV Tours, visit http://www.fantasyrvtours.com/FMCA or call (855) 385-3622.

 

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Ore. Casino/RV Park Plays Host to FMCA Rally

May 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

An expected 1,000 visitors and their RVs will be rolling into North Bend, Ore., beginning June 19 as The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park hosts the annual Northwest Area Rally of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA).

This will be the first time the national organization will hold its Northwest Rally on Oregon’s South Coast. The event is scheduled for June 21-24, but organizers say that their members customarily arrive two days early. Although the event is open to FMCA members only, a vendor show and display of RV coaches is open to the public, according to a news release.

“To be a member of the FMCA is to be someone who loves to travel and to visit new and interesting locations,” said Larry Close, general manager of The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park. “Hosting this event is a great opportunity for The Mill, but it is an even greater opportunity to present all of the attractions of our communities to visitors from throughout the Pacific Northwest who definitely love to travel.”

The Mill has planned a variety of activities for rally participants including a poker run to shops and local venues in North Bend and Coos Bay. Tours of local attractions will be available to give visitors a taste of what the region has to offer.

 

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FMCA RV Rallies Offer Venues Throughout U.S.

April 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) has several RV rallies scheduled for the remainder of the year.

According to a press release, FMCA’s 87th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase, dubbed “Formula For Fun,” is scheduled for Aug. 27-30 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. This is the premier event of 2012 and will feature exhibits, seminars, entertainment, area tours and special events.

FMCA’s regional subgroups, known as areas, present additional rallies throughout the year. These area rallies typically include many of the same elements of the association’s nationally run Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase events, in various locales around the United States.

Motorhome owners do not need to be FMCA members to attend the international Family Reunion or FMCA area rallies. In fact, owners of self-contained towable RVs will be welcomed as well at the Indianapolis Family Reunion in August, and at a number of the area rallies, depending on space issues, etc. (please check when registering).

FMCA’s first two area rallies of the year — Western Area and Southeast Area — took place in January and February, respectively. Remaining events include:

• Memorial Day weekend the Great Lakes Area Rally will be held in Berrien Springs, Mich., at the Berrien County Youth Fair grounds. The rally takes place May 24-28. Berrien Springs is not far from northern Indiana, which boasts great Amish food and crafts and the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum.

• The Northwest Area Rally will run June 21-24 at The Mill Casino on Coos Bay, in North Bend, Ore. The twin towns of Coos Bay and North Bend both offer beautiful views of the Pacific, and the area boasts beaches, boardwalks and museums.

• The Midwest Area Rally will be held at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds in Pecatonica, Ill., June 27-30. Located west of Rockford, Pecatonica reflects the past with historic homes, a preserved business district and a local history museum.

• The Northeast Area Rally will be held July 19-22 at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, Vt. The venue is close to renown Lake Champlain.

• The Rocky Mountain Area Rally, also called the Rocky Mountain Ramble, will be held Sept. 11-16 at the CAM-PLEX in Gillette, Wyo. This RV-friendly facility is set in the midst of America’s  wide-open plains and mountains, not far from the famous Black Hills of South Dakota.

• The Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center in Shawnee, Okla., is the host venue for this year’s South Central Area Rally, or Six-State Rally, which runs Sept. 26-30. The area offers some great museums showcasing art and history, as well as the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center.

• The Eastern Area Rally (known as G.E.A.R.) will run Oct. 10-14 at the York Expo Center in York, Pa. Attendees can explore the nearby Pennsylvania Dutch country and admire the colorful autumn scenery.

For more information about FMCA’s 2012 Family Reunion and area rallies, visit www.FMCA.com or call the Events Services Department at FMCA: (800) 543-3622, (513) 474-3622.

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FMCA’s ‘Towables For 2012′ Guide Now Available

February 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) “Towables For 2012” guide is now available to members and magazine subscribers.

According to a press release, the guide can be found in the January 2012 issue of Family Motor Coaching and online at http://www.FMCmagazine.com/motor-home-towing-guides. The guide includes 137 model-year 2012 vehicles from 21 different manufacturers that have been approved to be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome.

The main chart lists vehicles — by manufacturer — that have been approved for recreational towing. The chart also includes pertinent information for each towable automobile, such as the type of transmission (automatic or manual) that the vehicle must be equipped with so that it can be towed; the drive configuration (front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive); whether any speed restrictions or distance limitations are involved when the vehicle is being towed; and the approximate curb weight and length for the base model of the vehicle.

Addendums let potential buyers know whether fuses must be pulled before a vehicle can be towed to prevent battery drain; denote special instructions for running the vehicle for a certain time period before, during, or after it is towed; and specify transfer case options that may prohibit a vehicle from being towed.

The “Towables For 2012” guide provides motorhome owners with a wide selection of vehicle types to choose from when making their decision. From the economical Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe to the ultra-luxurious Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, there is an automobile, sport utility vehicle, or pickup truck to suit any need or style.

For more information about FMCA or to join the organization, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013, contact the Membership Services Department at (800) 543-3622 or visit http://www.FMCA.com.

 

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FMCA’s Magazine Publishes ’12 Towables Guide

January 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

With springtime approaching, many motorhome travelers will begin preparing for the 2012 travel season. Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), an international organization for motorhome owners, realizes that destination planning and prepping the motorhome will be high-priority tasks.

But it’s also a time of year when scores of owners begin to look for a new towed vehicle to pull behind the motorhome during their travels. The need for a second vehicle that can be flat-towed is the reason Family Motor Coaching magazine, the official publication of FMCA, began producing its annual “Towables” guides in 1999.

Family Motor Coaching’s annual “Towables” guide takes the guesswork out of finding a vehicle that can be towed four wheels down. It offers valuable advice to motorhome owners regarding vehicle selection, making sure it is outfitted with the proper towing equipment, and how to safely tow it.

The “Towables For 2012” guide is available to FMCA members and Family Motor Coaching magazine subscribers. It can be found in the January 2012 issue of Family Motor Coaching and online at http://www.FMCmagazine.com/motor-home-towing-guides. The guide includes 137 model-year 2012 vehicles from 21 different manufacturers that have been approved to be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome.

The main chart lists vehicles — by manufacturer — that have been approved for recreational towing. The chart also includes pertinent information for each towable automobile, such as the type of transmission (automatic or manual) that the vehicle must be equipped with so that it can be towed; the drive configuration (front-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive); whether any speed restrictions or distance limitations are involved when the vehicle is being towed; and the approximate curb weight and length for the base model of the vehicle.

Addendums let potential buyers know whether fuses must be pulled before a vehicle can be towed to prevent battery drain; denote special instructions for running the vehicle for a certain time period before, during, or after it is towed; and specify transfer case options that may prohibit a vehicle from being towed.

For more information about FMCA or to join the organization, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013, contact the Membership Services Department at (800) 543-3622 or visit http://www.FMCA.com.

 

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FMCA Offers Members Discount ‘Connections’

July 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

In its continuing search for new and improved benefits for motorhome owners, Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is offering several new or enhanced “connections” to discounts its members.

Campground Connection

FMCA has launched a “Campground Connection” program to help motorhoming families save money on campground stays and to provide participating campgrounds with an additional source of revenue, according to a news release.

The FMCA Campground Connection program is a system of FMCA commercial member campgrounds that have agreed to offer FMCA families a discount of at least 10% off their campground fees. These FMCA campgrounds also have joined FMCA in its member recruiting efforts and thus are authorized to sell FMCA memberships on the spot to customers who own motorhomes but do not yet belong to the association.

Participating campgrounds receive recruitment materials and signs that designate them as an FMCA Campground Connection. FMCA members can locate campgrounds via a searchable map at FMCA.com/campgrounds, which includes links to each facility’s Web site and lists services and amenities, the amount of discount offered, and contact information.

Campgrounds are required to be an FMCA commercial member in order to participate in the Campground Connection program. A one-year FMCA commercial campground membership costs $57 ($40 for each subsequent year). This membership puts campgrounds in touch with FMCA’s established network of nearly 100,000 motorhoming families.

In addition to the visibility provided by the online map, FMCA member campgrounds receive a free listing in the association’s RV Marketplace, which is published in Family Motor Coaching magazine and is available at FMCA.com.

Commercial membership also entitles the campground to a subscription to Family Motor Coaching, including the FMCA Annual Directory/Member Benefits Guide. Other benefits include the opportunity to host rallies planned by FMCA’s nearly 500 chapters; to participate in international and area rallies and other events; and to use the FMCA commercial member logo in advertising and other communications.

“We see our new Campground Connection program as benefiting FMCA members in many ways,” commented Jerry Yeatts, FMCA director of member services. “Who doesn’t like a discount? Plus, being able to identify FMCA campgrounds easily and quickly on FMCA.com will help our motorhoming families to confidently plan their travels. And, of course, the potential for campground owners to connect with an enthusiastic group of motorhome travelers — all for a nominal investment — makes the program appealing for them as well.”

Tire Connection

At some point, all FMCA members will need to purchase new tires for their home on wheels. To help ease the financial ramifications of that purchase, FMCA has signed up for the Michelin Advantage Program.

This program allows FMCA to provide its members with the opportunity to receive a substantial discount off the retail price of Michelin tires at Michelin tire dealers. The purchase must be paid for with a VISA, MasterCard, or American Express credit card at the servicing dealership.

Michelin’s corporate office will charge the credit card the discounted price. FMCA will then send the member — via e-mail — a copy of the invoice that reflects the total with the Advantage Program discount.

Instructions and FMCA’s Michelin Advantage account number are available to FMCA members only (via a member sign-in) at FMCA.com/connect.

At the current time, the FMCA Michelin Advantage program is available at Michelin dealers within the United States. FMCA is hopeful that a similar program can be arranged with Michelin dealers in Canada. Meanwhile, Canadian members are welcome to visit a Michelin tire dealer in the United States to obtain the discounted pricing. To locate a Michelin dealer near you, visit http://www.michelinrvtires.com.

Tour Connection

The new FMCA Tour Connection, powered by Fantasy RV Tours, offers members the opportunity to embark on FMCA-member-only RV caravans and rallies at discounted rates, and also to receive an FMCA discount on any other Fantasy RV Tours event.

Fantasy RV Tours is planning a variety of exciting member-only tours to popular destinations. Fantasy’s experts do all of the planning and handle all of the details for each outing. Tour participants simply show up, take in the sights, and enjoy the experience, all in the company of fellow RVers.

The first of these member-only tours will be a seven-day rally for motorhome owners in Washington, D.C., in April 2012 just in time to savor the cherry blossoms. In July 2012, a group of FMCA members will take in all the rip-roarin’ action at the Calgary Stampede Rally in Alberta, Canada. In September 2012 members will come together for a Western National Parks 32-day caravan to enjoy the grandeur of Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley and Grand Canyon national parks, among others. And in October 2012, members will gather in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the ever-popular International Balloon Fiesta Rally.

Fantasy RV Tours offers more than 40 different itineraries around the globe. Additional FMCA-member-only tours will be announced as time goes on.

Phone Connection

American Telecom Network (ATN) is offering cell phone service to FMCA members at special rates. These plans allow members to select the package and the phone that best suits their lifestyle. There are no roaming charges, no hidden taxes and fees, no long-term contracts, and no credit checks.

Service provides access to one of the nation’s largest cellular networks. Members can take their number and service with them anywhere they travel in the United States (service is not available in Canada).

Three prepaid plans and three different phones are available. The Silver Plan costs $39.99 and offers 500 minutes, 500 text messages and 10 MB of data per month. The Gold Plan costs $49.99 and provides 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text messages and 20 MB of data per month. The Platinum Plan costs $69.99 and supplies unlimited calling and texting and 50 MB of data each month.

As noted, three different phones are available at discounted prices for FMCA members. All phones are refurbished/recycled and thus are eco-friendly.

For more information about FMCA’s “connections” member benefits, visit http://www.fmca.com/connect.

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FMCA Clarifies ’12 Indianapolis Reunion Dates

April 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Family Motor Coach Association has announced revised dates for FMCA’s 87th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, to be held next year at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The new dates for this event will be Aug. 27-30, with family parking days on Aug. 25-26, according to a news release. This will be FMCA’s first international convention at this location and the fourth FMCA international event in Indiana. The last time FMCA met in Indiana was in 1991, at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend for the 46th convention of the association.

Click here to see a map of the fairgrounds.

“We are extremely pleased that the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds was able to work with us in moving our Family Reunion to August dates in 2012,” said Judy Czarsty, FMCA national senior vice president/acting national president. “The change of dates was necessary due to the changeover to the new model year for many motorhome manufacturers during the first week of July. “It would have been a challenge for many of our commercial members to bring sales representatives, service technicians and support staff to Indianapolis in early July.”

A host of activities are already in the works for this late August Reunion. Racing enthusiasts may experience the “Endurocross Race” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ Pepsi Coliseum on Aug. 24, as well as “IndyMile Motorcycle Race” on the mile track of the fairgrounds’ grandstand Saturday afternoon and evening.

The “Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show” will take place in the Exposition Hall that same weekend.

“Members have asked for things to do once they arrive for our Reunions. These are great events available for our members to attend at the 250-acre Fairgrounds. Indianapolis is known as the Racing Capital of the World and this weekend truly gives our members a flavor of that,”  Czarsty continued. Additional admission fees may apply for these events.

Visit www.indianastatefair.com for more information on these events. Visit www.fmca.com for more information about Family Motor Coach Association.

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Kansas Site for 2013 FMCA Rally? Plan Aired

March 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is expected to make a preliminary decision next month on where it will hold its 2013 international convention. It’s considering a site in Hutchinson, Kan. It could be a welcome boost to the Kansas economy, as it would bring in millions of dollars to Kansas, KAKE-TV, Wichita, Kan., reported.

Management at the state fairgrounds have been making a push to attract the event, which first made its appearance in Hutchinson in 2002. The 2002 event brought in around 4,700 RVs. It’s a week the owner of the Anchor Inn restaurant in Hutchinson remembers well.

“They would call in and say, ‘Hey this is so-and-so, we’re coming in with 25 people.’ And that went on Monday through the weekend,” said Anchor Inn owner Greg Flores.

The event made a multimillion dollar impact on Hutchinson, and the state, as travelers stopped across Kansas on their way to the convention. That’s why the fairgrounds wants to bring it back.

“It’s a competitive process, and so we know there are others out there. We don’t know who, but we know we’re up against some folks so we’re trying to put the best foot forward that we can,” said Kansas State Fair General Manager Denny Stoecklein.

The State Fair is hoping to host the summer 2013 event, which is expected to bring in up to 3,000 RV’s, and 6,000 people, from every corner of the continent. And all those people would also attract out-of-town vendors.

“I know in 2002 virtually every hotel room in Hutchinson and the surrounding area was filled, and so there’s a great impact there as well,” said Stoecklein.

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FMCA: 2,700 RVs, Owners at Georgia ‘Reunion’

March 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) reports that owners of 2,707 motorhomes and towable RVs attended its 85th Annual Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase March 14-17 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, Ga.

”It met our expectations,” said Jerry Yeatts, director of shows and commercial services for the Cincinnati, Ohio-based association. ”We were very pleased with the turnout and the whole atmosphere. This is the second event in a row where people just said they were going to have a good time and they did.”

When FMCA last visited Perry in March 2009 at the height of the Great Recession, 2,774 family coaches were registered.

The Perry ”family reunion” — formerly called ”international convention” — was the first that FMCA invited towable owners to attend and 20 registered for the event.

”Towable registrations weren’t bad for the first time around and for people having the mindset that FMCA is all motorized,” Yeatts said.

Whether towable owners — many of them former motorhome owners who have downsized — will be invited in the future depends. ”It’s not necessarily a one-time thing,” Yeatts said. ”If we have enough space at our venue, we will consider it.”

The term ”family reunion” is likely to stick, Yeatts said. ”We are trying to put fun back into our events the way it used to be,” Yeatts said. ”The world has become way to serious, and as a social organization based on fun, fellowship and camaraderie, we want to respond to that.”

FMCA’s next family reunion will be Aug. 10-13 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. FMCA will hold its only family reunion in 2012 July 2-5 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

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