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About Isaaac1

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    SW Louisiana
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  1. Except it dilutes their control over the organization, and once you start down that path there is no stopping it, and if towable owners flock to the FMCA then by sheer numbers given that something like 5 towables are sold for every motorhome it becomes easy to forecast the existence of an organization that no longer caters to motorhome owners. After all why have features that only appeal to 1/5th of the membership, the logic says it would be far better to cater to the commonality, and hence you get another Good Sam club.
  2. Same here, after joining FMCA last year, I attempted to contact a couple of the nearby groups via email, and also received no response. Personally I suspect it is much more about out dated contact information, people not checking emails, or having emails blocked by spam filters than it is about age, race, or fuel source. Which is not to say those three things don't cause problem, just that they may not be the issue at hand.
  3. I know I am a relatively new FMCA member, and have a bit of an outside perspective, but perhaps the view is not to actually recruit younger membership, but to recruit more people that fit the same demographic as the current membership other than owning a motorhome. There are plenty of retired couples out there that opted for the $140,000 5th wheel being pulled by their $80,000 pickup trucks instead of a diesel pusher motorhome to do the same sort of traveling, to mostly the same sort of places. After all as this thread has shown the current benefits offer little to the younger members. Take those same benefits and apply them to the retired 5th wheel owners demographic and you likely get a better fit than you do with the younger motorhome owner demographic.
  4. As a cautionary tale allow me to relate the story of the merger of two non-profit groups that I witnessed as a only slightly involved bystander some years ago. As memories do fade and as I was not directly involved the details may be a little off, but it goes something like this: There was a faith based outreach food program non-profit whose primary operation was the distribution of low cost food boxes to families in need, the operation was fairly large, distributing to hundreds of volunteer distribution sites across several states. They would acquire surplus / distressed bulk food goods at discounted prices or as donations from large food companies and have volunteers repackage into family size bundles, then again using mostly volunteer drivers and rental trucks they would distribute these at a nominal cost ($10 per box maybe) at numerous distribution points (churches, community centers, etc.) across the states, both urban and rural. One day a larger non-profit approaches them and sells them on idea of merging, claims they could do so much more good with their added resources, of course being larger this other group would maintain controlling interest in the newly formed group, so the controlling parties of the first group agree. Within a couple of months the food distribution program was no more, the new controlling powers decided that it would be of more benefit to liquidate all the assets of the original group and spend the money in other ways. Sure it is not an exact analog to our situation, but also remember motorhomes account for only about 20% of the RV market (depending on whose numbers one uses), if we open FMCA to that other 80%, we may soon be out numbered, and the new group may decide it is too expensive to maintain all those special motorhome only services like the tire program, seminars, .....
  5. When I bought my class A last year it came with an old egg on it from at least 2 owners ago, and I can tell you when I changed it out for my new egg it was rather obvious something was missing, not only were there the 2 holes for the mounting screws, but vibration over time had left a permanent egg shaped mark in the paint, so I suspect many people either don't want to go to the trouble of removing old eggs, or they don't want to deal with the looks of the missing egg.
  6. That is part of my point, lobbying at the national and even state level is expensive, giving the base membership, chapter clubs, etc. the tools they need to influence local governments is cheap. The FMCA already has a magazine staff, something as simple a special magazine edition dedicated to RV friendly communities, events, etc. and how these policies improve tourism along with a call for individual members to join in and share this information with their local community leaders. There is even a fair chance that a good number of FMCA members are people in positions of influence themselves, and may just lack the needed information to share with their peers.
  7. manholt, yeah I agree at the state level Louisiana is a mess, but I feel there is opportunity at the local level, for example my town has a free RV dump station in a city park, it was donated to the city by a local RV dealer 30 or so years ago. The local publicly operated covered rodeo arena also has RV hookups, unfortunately they are not promoted at all, and they charge $35 per night, which probably makes sense during events, but is a bit high for this area for what it is otherwise.
  8. Wow there were some great thoughts there in the last few messages, I for one feel discount programs are helpful, but as I stated before while the tire discount is nice, it really only offers recruiting incentive about once every 7 years. I too am a GS basic member, and their widely accepted 10% discount at campgrounds likely saves me enough money each year to justify my membership, and when I am traveling and have the choice between two seemingly comparable rv parks I will choose the one that offers the discount. The discounts should be meaningful though, promoting 2% off here, and 3% there on car rentals, fuel, or dental services, etc. starts sound a bit too much like a discount club to me. Having said that I think the real potential for the FMCA to help its membership is through advocacy, this can be at the local, state and national level. This advocacy could be for the benefit of all RV owners, not just owners of self powered coaches. Here are a few that come to mind that could be done at relatively little cost to the national organization: Creation and publication of reference designs and promotional materials that local chapters or even individual members could use to promote RV friendly places with their local, city, county (or parish in my case being from Louisiana), or even state planning boards and other government entities. Many of which could be done at little or no cost to these governing bodies, if only they were alerted to the need. Examples include awareness of the need for RV accessibility when designing public parking, particularly in tourist areas, this does not need to be designated RV parking spaces, but even just little things like turn radius consideration for parking lot entrances, or not placing parking bumpers in all spaces to allow longer vehicles to occupy 2 parking spaces end to end. Promote the benefits of being an RV friendly community, through added tourist revenue offsetting the relatively small cost of installation of free public dump stations, overnight RV parking (ideally free, or nominal fee), preferably with electrical hookups located in public parks, civic centers, arenas and other similar venues, as well as the importance of keeping these facilities open at least seasonally, if not year around. All too many municipalities already have these sorts of hookups but they are only accessible during certain fairs, festivals and other events. For those governments that feel they can't justify the staffing and administrative cost such public RV facilities would entail, a reference design for a self pay kiosk or web site might be helpful. Also as mentioned above some centralized feedback from the national organization to our elected officials, may also be in order when it comes to road conditions, planning, accessibility, etc. Perhaps in the form of a standardized rating or scoring system. As an example, earlier this year my wife and I took a long weekend trip to a fairly new small state park which has a nice RV campground, unfortunately this park is located about 30 miles off the nearest major highway, down dilapidated narrow washboard like 2 lane highways, with the final couple of miles being so narrow that two full width RV's meeting each other would have to slow to a crawl to safely pass each other all culminated by decorative mini (micro) single lane round about just outside the entrance gate. Now I know you can't always choose where to place a park, but spending some of that money used to build that decorative roundabout on widening the access road by even a few inches or trimming back overhanging trees would go a long way.
  9. Manholt, I may be only 2/3rd your age, but I do understand and agree with much of that philosophy, if not those exact choices. I suffered from a fall where I broke my back in 2010 (Compression fracture of L2) and ever since I have been on a slow road to recovery making improvements each year. Although still not 100% it is getting closer, although each year the rate of improvement drops. I would not wish the experience upon anyone, it has lead to a certain appreciation of small achievements, such as the first time one is able to reach to tie their shoes, or bend down to pick up dropped keys without several seconds of maneuvering, or being able to run after a piece of paper the wind as caught (just taking a few running steps really, bending down and catching it is a whole other accomplishment).
  10. As an empty nester, I feel in between on these issues, sure there is a lack of family activities, but from what I have read there is also a lack of activities at the rallies geared towards even people in my age range (coming up on 50 very soon). My wife who works full time as an administrator at a local public agency sees the "ladies activities" in the rally promotional material and has no interest in any of it, of course she is not into arts and crafts stuff much anyway, unlike her sisters. Still to people like us these activities sound like things that should be on the event planner for a local elderly activity center. This is not to say that white water rafting is our thing, however we did enjoy a nice leisurely guided half day float trip down a river in Saratoga, Wyoming last summer where the guide did all the rowing. This is not to say activities have to be outdoors, museums can be nice too, and then there is a whole movement in this country towards activity classes where people do things like learn to cook chili, or perhaps something a little less digestively sensitive (I am almost 50 after all, and have my collection of medication I take daily including stuff for acid reflux)
  11. Perhaps the lack of class B and class C owners may again be due to a set of benefits that primarily appeal to full timers and snow birders who tend to own class A's with their larger size and greater cargo capacity.
  12. I suspect there is a trailing edge effect from the 2008 economic downturn when it comes to the number of motorhomes on the road as that production gap in 2008-2013 or so models trickles its way down the used market. Leaving a supply gap of recent model used units and older good condition units.
  13. I am in the DeRidder area about 45 miles north of Lake Chares
  14. That is a good example to illustrate the size of Texas, another is that the East or West Sides of Texas are closer to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans respectively than they are to each other.
  15. As a newer / younger member I see trying to recruit other younger folks as being difficult, here we circle back to lack of perceived benefits: 1, Join FMCA so you can then be eligible to join some chapter club? 2, Join for the tire discount program, this one is a fairly easy sale about 1/6th of the time, it all depends on how old their tires are. 3, Join so you can attend a major rally, there is already the issue of free time to travel to such events, but there is also the chicken and the egg issue, where one really needs to attend a rally to know if it appeals to them. 4, Save 5% of this and that, it sounds nearly the same as so many other deals out there, get this credit card and save a penny or two, ... 5, Roadside assistance program, sure it may be good, but there are at least 4 or 5 other programs out there, I have my insurance through State Farm, and their similar program only costs me $12 per year (of course I probably pay more than I should for the rest of the policy) 6, FMCAssist, there are some good things here, unfortunately the only one that gets talked about is providing a driver to return the motorhome, and from what I have read here and in the magazine it seems to not cover older motorhomes over about 10-12 years of age, worse yet there is not specific cut coach off age. Given many younger people will be on their first motorhome, and many people buy used first, this really is a harder sell to anyone that has a motorhome that is more than 7-8 years old. Also those other benefits like mortal remains return likely appeal more to those that are older and give more thought to such things, vs the younger generation that still think they will live forever, or at least for a good while longer. There are probably more, but they are either not promoted or appeal only to full timers Seriously, How would you promote FMCA to a 30 or 40 something year old with a family of 3-4 that just bought a 10-15 year old 30 ft long gas motorhome for $25,000 or so, that they use at most 30 - 40 days per year for weekends at the local lake, tailgating at ball games, and maybe one week long family vacation per year? I am not talking about appealing to the owners of a bottom of the bucket clunkers here, but instead something far more middle of the road, mainstream America middle class family, maybe upper middle class with their 1.5 kids and two income family with a busy life that have decided to dip their toes into the RV life style, perhaps after owning a pop up camper or having done tent camping.