Top

Attendance/Sales Soar at AGI’s The Rally

August 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rally 2010 logoThousands of recreational vehicle enthusiasts from every state and province in North America celebrated the RV industry’s centennial at The Rally, a four-day extravaganza at the Kentucky Exposition Center, July 22-25.

An estimated 10,000 attendees – including those staying onsite in 2,867 RVs and 5,000 day pass visitors – demonstrate a boom in the RV industry with consumers showing their commitment to the lifestyle they enjoy. The event also pumped more than $11 million into the local Louisville economy, according to a news release.

Attendees browsed the latest and greatest RV models from 42 RV manufacturers and dealers and enjoyed 350 product booths displaying the newest RV products, gadgets and services.

Fleetwood RV Inc., one of the largest motorhome manufacturers in the country, significantly exceeded sales projections, while Lazydays, a leading RV dealer, sold 20-plus units. Pat Terveer, national sales director for Newmar Corp., another leading RV manufacturer, said the company had good results that included selling six of the seven motorized models it displayed at the show, including its luxury new amenity-packed, 2011 Essex diesel motorhome, a $650,000 model. Camping World, which was an exhibitor in both the RV Sales and RV Accessories areas, reported strong sales results as well.

“All in all, we exceeded expectations and The Rally couldn’t have gone better,” said Mike Schneider, CEO of Affinity, parent company of The Rally’s hosts. “Our exhibitors came to Louisville hoping to have a good show and they had a great show. When you put these folks together with our consumers, it gives us a powerful buying group that spends money on the lifestyle they love.”

For more than a decade, the annual Rally event has been hosted by Affinity, the nation’s largest provider of outdoor recreation clubs, services, media and events. Affinity’s family of affiliated companies, including the Good Sam Club, and Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines, works to enhance its customers’ recreational experiences and build the communities that share and promote their fun and adventurous lifestyles. Headquartered in Ventura, Calif., Affinity is leading the industry’s rebound by connecting consumers directly with manufacturers through The Rally and its 34 other consumer shows held annually across the country.

“The Rally demonstrates what we talk about everyday – we enhance the outdoor experience through connecting our partners with consumers,” said Terry Thompson, vice president of sales for Affinity Media/RV and a key organizer of The Rally. “We provide invaluable services to our members and, in turn, help advertisers connect with their target audiences. We produced a wonderful event for attendees, which created fantastic sales for exhibitors.”

The Rally celebrated the 2010 RV centennial in two big ways.

  • A special living display of 20 vintage RVs was organized in “Vintage Village,” showcasing models from 1937-1978.
  • Bob Livingston, senior vice president of Affinity Media, took 50 families on a sold-out pre-Rally Centennial Caraventure, which gave RVers an inside look into RVs, past and present.

Rounding out The Rally’s extensive event schedule, RV industry gurus presented more than 150 educational seminars, while stand-up comic Bob Newhart and legendary country music artist Tanya Tucker performed during its nightly entertainment program. New this year was “The Rally’s Got Talent” contest featuring a wide variety of acts and interesting talents on Sunday evening, July 25.

The Rally Dog Show, “Kentucky K-9s!” returned for the seventh year. Pet adoptions were also held with the Louisville Metro Animal Services where 12 pets found new homes as a result. Both are popular, recurring events in which Rally-goers showcase their love for their beloved four-legged co-pilots.

For updates on The Rally 2011, taking place in Redmond, Ore. July 14-17, visit www.therally.com, Twitter at www.twitter.com/therally, and Eons by clicking on www.eons.com/groups/group/the-rally. Information and pictures can also be found on The Rally Facebook group page at www.facebook.com/therally.

The Rally is hosted by the following Affinity companies: the Good Sam Club, Trailer Life and MotorHome magazines, Trailer Life and Woodall’s Campground Directories, Camp Club USA, Coast to Coast Resorts and Camping World President’s Club.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

RV Count at AGI’s ‘The Rally’ Reached 2,867

July 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rally 2010 logoAll things considered, “The Rally,” Affinity Group Inc.’s 11th annual consumer gathering July 22-25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, couldn’t have gone better, reported Terry Thompson, vice president of sales for Affinity Media/RV and a key organizer of The Rally.

“All in all, we exceeded expectations,” said Thompson, who’s based in Seattle and handled the commercial exhibits. “These guys (exhibitors) came to Louisville hoping to have a good show. Not only did they have a good show, they had a great show.”

And from all appearances, an estimated 10,000 attendees — including those in 2,867 RVs plus 5,000 day pass visitors — also had a good time at the seminars, dog shows and talent competitions that took place at The Rally, hosted by the Good Sam Club, Coast to Coast Resorts, Camp Club USA, the Camping World President’s Club and Woodall’s, along with Trailer Life, MotorHome and Camping Life magazines.

Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart

While performances by comic actor Bob Newhart and legendary country music artist Tanya Tucker were well received, another key player in the whole sequence of events was the KEC’s air conditioning — because The Rally was held during a sweltering Midwest heat wave. The fact that everything was held inside, from seminars to exhibits and publication day events for readers of AGI’s Highways, Trailer Life, MotorHome and Camping Life magazines, tended to drive people inside and spur exhibitor sales at a wide array of supplier and exhibitor booths, said Thompson.

There was a total of 350 booths in the supplier area, while 42 manufacturers and dealers showed OEM product nearby in the KEC, the same facility in which RVIA’s annual National RV Trade Show is held.

One other positive indicator?

Progressive Insurance handed out more corn on the cob than at any event in which it has ever participated, said Thompson.

Meanwhile, the Good Sam Club honored the recipients of its 2010 Welcome Mat Awards, recognizing RV-friendly businesses for their customer service and commitment to the RV lifestyle, at Louisville. Club members chose businesses they see providing RVers with superior customer service and meeting their specific needs. The awards reflect the diverse interests of RV owners, including their favorite sandwich shop, ice cream parlor, fuel and gas station, RV tow vehicle, golf course and favorite sit-down restaurant.

Members voted for 23 categories through online ballots submitted on the GoodSamClub.com website. Among the repeat winners were Flying J, America’s Best Campground and Cracker Barrel, a casual family restaurant with locations throughout the U.S. that has won the sit-down restaurant category all eight years that the Welcome Mat awards have existed.

Wall to wall shoppers on opening day of The Rally.

Wall to wall shoppers on opening day of The Rally.

Among this year’s Welcome Mat Award winners honored at a special reception and on stage on the evening of Thursday, June 23:

  • Fuel/Gas Station: Flying J.
  • Propane Outlet: Flying J.
  • Outlet Mall: Tanger.
  • Casino: Hard Rock.
  • Fast Food Restaurant: Wendy’s.
  • Ice Cream Parlor: Dairy Queen.
  • Sandwich Shop: Subway.
  • Sit-Down Restaurant: Cracker Barrel.
  • Shopping Center: Mall of America, Bloomington, Minn.
  • Dinghy Vehicle: Saturn.
  • Tourist Attractions/Amusement Parks/Museums: Disney World, Orlando, Fla.
  • Golf Course: Pebble Beach, Carmel, Calif.
  • NASCAR Event: Daytona 500.
  • RV Show: Tampa RV Supershow.
  • State/Province to Fish: Florida.
  • Good Sam Park: America’s Best Campground, Branson, Mo.
  • Motor Oil: Shell Rotella.
  • Pet Supply Store: PetSmart.
  • Craft Store: Michaels.
  • RV Accessory Store: Camping World.
  • State to Visit: Florida.
  • Province to Visit: British Columbia.
  • Tow Vehicle: Ford.

AGI is the parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

ELS Debuts Non-Toxic Holding Tank Product

July 28, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Nature-ZYME

Nature-ZYME

Within two to three weeks, Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS) plans to begin marketing Nature-ZYME, a highly effective environmentally responsible RV and marine holding tank product that eliminates odors and liquefies waste without the use of formaldehyde or other toxic chemicals.

Nature-ZYME is ELS’s private label holding tank product, which is manufactured by BiOWiSH Technologies, a Chicago-based company that has established itself as a world leader in creation of fast-acting, environmentally friendly wastewater treatment products, according to a news release.

“RVers and campground operators across the country have been quietly testing this product for months in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions and have been amazed at its performance,” said David Kozy, vice president and director of operations of RSI RV, Home & Marine Solutions, the ELS subsidiary that is marketing the Nature-ZYME holding tank treatment product. “We really think we have identified a solution to one of the most challenging environmental problems in the RV and marine industries.”

Kozy said the fundamental problem with most holding tank products is that they use microbial inhibitors, such as formaldehyde and other chemicals, which prevent natural biological processes from breaking down human waste as they would normally do. As a result, chemical-based holding tank products can cause septic systems to overflow, potentially contaminating groundwater supplies.

He said ELS distributed 4,500 samples of Nature-ZYME last week to RVers attending The Rally in Louisville, Ky., and was subsequently inundated with requests from consumers who wanted to purchase the product.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand for environmentally friendly holding tank products,” Kozy said. “People increasingly recognize that chemically based holding tank products can pose various risks to themselves and to the environment.”’

“The new line of products we have developed in conjunction with Equity LifeStyle Properties could revolutionize the RV market and marina industry by reducing the environmental impact of wastewater discharges by these vehicles,” said BiOWiSH Technologies President Rod Vautier.

Nature-ZYME has been tested by more than 100 RVing consumers, including Thousand Trails members, since last fall in addition to being tested at 14 different ELS RV parks and resorts. A second test is underway involving RVers affiliated with the Good Sam Club. ELS also hired an outside firm to test the effectiveness of the BiOWiSH product against competing biodegradable and chemical-based holding tank products and was pleased with the results.

“We’ve been trying to gather as much feedback as possible, both from RV park operators and from consumers, and all of it comes back positive,” Kozy said.

While ELS does not plan to launch a full-scale consumer marketing campaign until this fall, the product will be available for purchase online by late August. For more information on Nature-ZYME, please visit www.Nature-Zyme.com.

Chicago-based Equity Lifestyle Properties is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns and operates RV resorts and manufactured home communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including the Thousand Trails campground membership club. For more information on ELS and its subsidiaries, visit www.equitylifestyle.com and www.thousandtrails.com.

Formerly headquartered in Sydney, Australia, BiOWish Technologies recently relocated its corporate offices to Chicago in an effort to be closer to its key markets in North America and Europe. BiOWiSH Technologies owns exclusive and global intellectual property rights to the development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution of BiOWiSH products that serve the needs of consumer, wastewater treatment, agriculture, aquaculture, agronomy, solid waste management, soil and water remediation and industrial cleaning industries. The company maintains international offices in Sydney and Bangkok, Thailand. Additional information about the company is available at www.biowishtechnologies.com.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

The Rally Puts $11M into City’s Economy

July 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

After spending Saturday morning attending a seminar about ways to eat healthy while on the road in their recreational vehicle, David and Brenda Franklin of Nashville, Tenn., spent the afternoon at The Rally in Louisville, Ky., meeting new friends at a rally billed as the nation’s largest RV event.

“We retired about five years ago, bought an RV and we’ve been on the road ever since,” David Franklin told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “The only time we don’t travel is during the winter months, unless we have a wedding or some sort of event out of town.”

The Franklins were among thousands of RV enthusiasts who were in town since Wednesday (July 21) to attend the four-day rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

“People come for a variety of reasons,” said Sue Bray, an official with the Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) of Ventura, Calif., a leisure-industry company that organized the rally. “They come to be entertained, to learn and to shop. They also come because they like being part of a community.”

The event also is intended to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RV industry.

Bray estimates that 2,500 to 3,000 RVs were parked at the Kentucky Exposition Center and at nearby Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium lots. She said organizers expected up to draw up to 15,000 people from across North America throughout the four-day event.

Affinity estimates that the event had an economic impact of $11 million, making it one of the more lucrative conventions or trade shows held in Louisville this year.

The annual RV rally was first held in 2000 in Wyoming; it was last held in Louisville in 2003. It was in Albuquerque, N.M., last year and is planned for Redmond, Ore., in 2011.

“We love Louisville and this facility,” Bray said of the Expo Center. “It’s really a good fit for us.”

The rally offered attendees a chance to see the latest in RVs. They could test drive and arrange to buy vehicles from among the hundreds to be displayed on site. There was also a trade show consisting of 300 booths on display, selling RV-related products and services.

The RVs on display ranged in cost from a $15,000 travel trailer to a $2 million coach.

Stephen Cooper, a salesman with Parliament Coach Corp., said attending the rally gives his company “a chance to plant a seed and get our name out there.”

“We rarely sell a coach at a show,” he said. “We just like to show people what we can do.”

The RV that Cooper brought is a 45-foot motorcoach valued at about $2 million.

“We custom-build the vehicles, just like many people do with their homes,” he said.

The rally also featured a dog show on Friday and a two-day pet adoption event for dogs and cats in need of a good home.

“RVers love their pets,” Bray said. “About 50% of people who own an RV bring their pets with them when they travel.”

Bray said four dogs and one cat were adopted through Louisville Metro Animal Services on Friday.

AGI is the parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Friday’s Video: Opening Day at ‘The Rally’

July 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Today’s slide show features photos from the opening day of “The Rally” in Louisville, Ky., courtesy of photographer W. Scott Mitchell.

Thank goodness for air conditioning.

It’s saved this year’s edition of “The Rally,” a four-day RV extravaganza that got underway Thursday (July 22) at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

“It’s supposed to be 99 degrees today — the hottest day of the year, but its 72 degrees inside the exhibit hall,” said Terry Thompson, vice president of RV sales for Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), The Rally sponsors. “If we weren’t indoors, we would die right now — everybody would go home.”

But, clearly, everyone is staying.

The Rally has attracted close to 2,500 RVs, Thompson said, and more than 1,000 day passes to The Rally were sold on Thursday. The total is “great for a Thursday,” he added.

“There’s a good buzz here. Units are being sold. Exhibitors seem happy. The guys that I talked to were happy with sales for the first day. The vendor exhibitors are very happy with the traffic,” he said.

Rally goers have been well entertained thus far. The Monarchs, a rock and roll band based in Louisville, performed Wednesday night inside spacious Freedom Hall and “people loved them,” Thompson noted.

Comedian Bob Newhart entertained Thursday night.  “Most people I talk to said he started out a little slow, but finished strong.”

Thompson noted a minimum number of complaints at this year’s Rally.

“When things are lousy, everybody’s in the registration area talking to us, saying, ‘This is bad, that is bad.’ There wasn’t anybody in there yesterday. That means they were busy.”

Dozens of seminars are on tap again for today, as is the Seventh Annual Rally Dog Show, featuring hundreds of dogs. Country and western singer Tanya Tucker entertains tonight at Freedom Hall.

The Rally runs through Sunday.

The Rally is sponsored by Affinity Group Inc., parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Exhibitor Aisles Jammed at AGI’s ‘The Rally’

July 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rally 2010 logoThe 11th Annual “The Rally,” sponsored by Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), opened this morning (July 22) with a rush of humanity bursting into the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Ky.

“It was like opening the gates to a rock concert,” said Terry Thompson, AGI vice president of sales, RV media division. “We opened at 10 and you can’t walk through the aisles. It’s jammed wall to wall with people.”

The Rally has attracted the owners of more than 2,500 RVs from all parts of North America to enjoy  the event, which includes some 1,000 new RVs on display, 500 vendor booths, 120 educational seminars and nightly entertainment.

For the first time, all exhibitor booths and RV displays are inside the KEC’s South Wing, which is an added bonus to this year’s event, as the weather outside is hot and humid.

“We knew it was hot in July in Kentucky but we didn’t know it was this hot,” Thompson said.

The Rally early-bird events got off to a good start Wednesday afternoon with a Coach Preview from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“It was jammed with people, units were sold, things went better than they expected. We don’t always have a preview but we’re glad we did it,” Thompson said.

He called The Rally a “shot in the arm” for the RV industry.

Sherman Goldenberg, publisher of RVBusiness magazine and RVBUSINESS.com, echoed Thompson’s observation on The Rally’s early going, from the bulging crowds to the manufacturers’ early responses.

“Manufacturers seem to be upbeat,” Goldenberg said. ”The Rally seems to be particularly well-timed, pulling together a nice number of consumers at a time there would have been no national event. They appear to be happy about that.”

Thompson added, “When you have every aisle in an hall selling product, it shows you they (consumers) are alive and kicking, using their units and buying new units. I view it as a great commercial for the RV industry. This is the heartbeat right here; these are the people getting it done.”

Thompson said show sponsors expect a big day crowd to attend the event, which runs through Sunday.

AGI President Mike Schneider noted The Rally’s growth since its inception 11 years ago.

“We’re at the level with the show where we want to be to help service the industry, where additional exposure to the RV lifestyle and additional sales opportunities are important. That’s where we see our role in both those areas,” Schneider said. “The event itself speaks to the vibrancy of the market and Affinity’s role as a conduit between the industry and the consumers. We see ourselves providing a number of different forums that the industry can reach the consumer when they are thinking RV. We do it through magazines, websites, shows and this rally, among other places.”

Schneider tonight will host the Good Sam Club’s Welcome Mat Awards program, which annually recognizes RV friendly business across the U.S.

Comedian Bob Newhart wil entertain the crowd tonight, with Tanya Tucker scheduled for Friday night.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

‘The Rally’ Opens at Louisville’s Expo Center

July 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Watch today’s Featured Video to see WDRB-TV’s telecast from The Rally.

Louisville, Ky., will be seeing a lot of out-of-town visitors this weekend. Not only is the HullabaLOU Music Festival underway at Churchill Downs, but the recreational vehicle lifestyle will be celebrated nearby at the Kentucky Exposition Center, WDRB-TV, Louisville, reported.

It’s a gathering of RV owners from around the country called The Rally.

Kathy and Michael Galgiani are a long way from their Carson City, Nev., home. But they are the kind of visitors any city would be glad to have. That’s because they spent a couple of hours Wednesday morning picking up litter at McNeely Lake Park in south Louisville.

“We always come in a day early on these rallies to help the community,” says RV owner Kathy Galgiani. “We have about thirty people here and we are just cleaning the grounds.”

Some 2,700 RVs are expected to fill the parking lots of the Expo Center during the weekend. Vendors on Wednesday morning were setting up their exhibits in the South Wing and Hall of the Expo Center.

“As you see, we have these great exhibits of RV’s and RV accessories on display,” says Sue Bray, a spokesperson with The Rally. “We also have about 120 seminars going on, all about the RV lifestyle.”

This is the 11th such gathering of RV owners. It’s the second time they’ve come to Louisville. This year the RV industry is celebrating its 100th anniversary. To mark its centennial, there is a collection of vintage RVs in the parking lot outside the South Wing.

“There are RVs from the 1930s, 1940s,1950s and 1960s, so you can really see the history and evolution of the vehicle,” adds Bray.

Roger and Barbara Pisa from Michigan are traveling in their 1962 restored Shasta RV. “We’ve replaced a lot of rotted wood up front and we’ve replaced the windows,” says Roger Pisa.

“I have a nice working stove, a microwave and a refrigerator, so life is good,” adds Barbara Pisa.

Some 7,000 people are expected to attend the gathering, resulting in an $11 million economic impact to the region.

The Galgianis plan to spend a little time and money around the area. “I think we are going to go downtown and do some things down there,” says Michael Galgiani, “and then after the rally we are going to spend some time in the bourbon area, and then Park City and the cave area and spend about a week there.”

The four-day RV rally begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

RVers Converge on Louisville for ‘The Rally’

July 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rally 2010 logoLouisville will be the recreational vehicle capital of the country this weekend, when thousands of RVs descend on the Kentucky Exposition Center for a four-day rally that billed as “the nation’s largest RV event.”

The rally runs Thursday through Sunday and is expected to draw about 15,000 RV enthusiasts from across North America to participate in and watch what organizers describe as “family-friendly activities,” including entertainment, RV seminars, talent contests and events for young people. The activities are open to the public, for a price.

The event also is intended to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RV industry, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

Sue Bray, an official with the Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) of Ventura, Calif., a leisure-industry company that organized the rally, estimated that 2,500 to 3,000 RVs will be parked at the exposition center and at nearby Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium lots. They began arriving Tuesday.

Affinity estimates that the event will have an economic impact of $11 million, making it one of the more lucrative conventions or trade shows held in Louisville this year.

Bray said the Affinity Group annual RV rally was first held in 2000 in Wyoming. It was held previously in Louisville in 2003. It was in Perry, Ga., last year and is planned in Redmond, Ore., in 2011.

People with RVs have the “freedom to travel and have new experiences and to be able to do it in the comfort of your home.”

Among the RV owners in Louisville for the event are John and Paula Reynolds of Rockaway, N.J. He said the couple usually spends three months of the year on the road, taking their RV to rallies, going on camping trips and using it for other leisure travel.

Reynolds, who works as a bus mechanic and driver for a school district, said he enjoys “being able to go where you want to go, when you want to go and how you want to go.”

Reynolds said that he used to travel frequently on business but that he tired of “the mess …. Now I don’t fly any more. I don’t go on trains or buses, unless I absolutely have to. I get in my RV, and we go. I don’t have to wait in line for an airline, or be at a hotel by 6 p.m. And I get to sleep between my own sheets every night.”

Reynolds said driving his RV, a 36-foot long Fleetwood Fiesta Class A, is like driving a bus. He usually tows a car for local driving and brings along a couple of mountain bikes.

The Louisville rally will offer attendees a chance to see the latest in RVs and motorhomes. They can test-drive — and arrange to purchase — vehicles from among the hundreds to be displayed on site. In addition, there will be about 300 booths at a trade show with displays of RV-related products and services.

About 20 vintage RVs will be exhibited, and leisure-industry officials will present more than 150 seminars during the weekend on such topics as healthy cooking on the road, chassis systems, RV trouble-shooting techniques and RV caravan travel.

Evening entertainment will be centered in Freedom Hall. Comic Bob Newhart will be the headliner Thursday night, while Friday night’s concert will feature Tanya Tucker.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

AGI’s Livingston Leading 100 RVers on Tour

July 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., had some special visitors Saturday (July 17).

Approximately 100 RVers — 50 couples — descended on the museum and conference center as part of the “Centennial Caraventure,” a four-day RV caravan in honor of the RV industry’s 100th anniversary leading up to The Rally 2010 in Louisville, Ky. The rally is the largest RV rally in the country, and is expected to draw 12,000 RVers this year, the Goshen News reported.

“Centennial Caraventure” participants toured the Newmar factory in Nappanee Friday before attending a lunch and tour at the Hall of Fame Saturday. The luncheon was followed by a presentation on the industry’s history and a technology and lifestyle seminar with Bob Livingston, senior vice president of Affinity Group Inc., and leader of the Caraventure.

“What it is, is really an enthusiast’s rally where people become immersed in the history all the way up to present time RVs,” Livingston said. “We talk about the lifestyle, we talk about technical aspects of RVs, we’ll talk about any topic at all. Basically, we’re talking about RVs until we don’t want to talk about RVs anymore.”

Livingston said participants have been extremely receptive to the format and have been thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Among those participants were Stan and Cathy Nicholson of Santa Barbara, Calif. The couple actually purchased an Airstream RV from Livingston years ago when he was still working for a dealer.

“We just had a college graduate (in the family), so we took the opportunity to drive our RV out for that and for this, then we’re driving around the country,” Stan said.

He said the couple has been seriously RVing for about 10 years. They make the most of each year, with a long stretch still ahead of them this summer.

“We don’t plan on going home for another three months,” Stan said.

Ray Cupples Jr. and his wife, Bonnie, were also enjoying the experience. The pair, who live in Clarion, Pa., started with tent camping and folding camping trailers before moving on to the full-fledged RV lifestyle after their children moved out.

“We’re enjoying the area. We wish we had a little time to do more,” Ray said.

He said they particularly liked the factory tour, being interested in the technical end of things.

“We’re always looking to upgrade or add to our units,” Ray said.

According to Livingston, participation in the event was limited to 50 couples to ensure enough one-on-one time between event staff and the RVers. He said they will probably hire more staff and increase the size of the event next year.

Today, Caraventure participants head to Louisville. The Rally 2010 will take place Thursday through July 25.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Centennial Caraventure Assembles in Indiana

July 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rally 2010 logoThe owners of 50 towable and motorized RVs assembled today (July 16) at the Elkhart (Ind.) Campground as a prelude to The Rally, a four-day gathering of RVers July 22-25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) in Louisville, Ky.

With the RV industry celebrating 100 years of RV manufacturing, the pre-rally event in Elkhart is dubbed the ”Centennial Caraventure,” and is being hosted by Bob Livingston, senior vice president and group publisher of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), and his wife, Lynne.

”It’s an RV immersion tour to show people the history of the RV industry,” Livingston said this morning as motorized and towable RVs were pulling into the private campground north of the city that calls itself the ”RV Capital of the World.”

Mostly, Livingston said, the Centennial Caraventure is designed to be educational on several levels.

”We are going to talk about the state of the RV industry, trends, the RV lifestyle and technical matters,” Livingston said. ”We will show the history of the RV industry and how they work and how to fix them.”

Livingston anticipates that he and other industry representatives presenting seminars will answer a lot of questions. ”I learned a long time ago that you can give speeches all day long, but what RVers really want is to have their questions answered,” said Livingston, who will lead an informal caravan to Louisville on Monday in a Dynamax Grand Sport GT motorhome.

Centennial Caraventure participants through the weekend will tour Amish Acres, in Nappanee, the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Studebaker National Museum in South Bend and Newmar Corp.’s manufacturing facility in Nappanee.

Bob Newhart

Bob Newhart

Tanya Tucker

Tanya Tucker

More than 5,000 Rvers in 2,400 rigs — plus a few hundred walk-in day vistors are expected to take part in The Rally, which will include displays of new RVs along with family-friendly activities, entertainment from comedian Bob Newhart and country singer Tanya Tucker, RV seminars, talent contests, youth and teen programs and volunteers taking part in a ”Keep America Beautiful” effort in Louisville.

More than 150 seminars during the Rally will include such topics as healthy cooking on the road, chassis systems, RV troubleshooting techniques and RV caravan travel.

The Rally Dog Show will return for the seventh year, giving pet owners the opportunity to participate in Doggie Musical Chairs and the Double Vision look-alike contest.

As part of the centennial celebration, Affinity’s Good Sam Club affiliate asked those registering for The Rally to submit stories about their first RVing experience with the winner scheduled to receive 100 gallons of fuel.

AGI is the parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [Facebook] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bottom