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About Isaaac1

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    SW Louisiana
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  1. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, or maybe the old thread, I joined FMCA last year, I am not yet 50, by a few months, semi-retired, and I plan to attend my first regional rally this fall, so maybe there is stuff there that I am not seeing. However as a nearly 50 year old, I see very little that I can use to go out and promote FMCA to younger motorhome owners, both empty nesters that are my age, as well as those that are younger. The tire program is great, but hopefully I will not need to use it for 3 or 4 more years. About the only thing that really seems to interest me out there is Safari International as an owners club. I did also just sign up for the roadside assistance program, but thankfully have not had a chance to use it on my current multi thousand mile tour of the US, I am 2,500 miles into it in the last 2 weeks, and have another 1,200 - 3,000 miles to go, depending on if I choose the early opt out and return home option this next Tuesday. Just take a moment and ask yourself, what does the FMCA offer the 35-55 year old crowd, those that have teenagers, or even the empty nesters who generally are still tied to a job. Those that have decided to dip their toe into motorhome ownership, and have went out and bought a 10-15 year old coach. Lets see, there is the tire discount, if it is a year they need new tires, Hmmmmmmm a magazine they will never read, rallies and conventions they will not attend unless they happen to occur in their back yards....
  2. I have to wonder what percentage of the membership never reads the magazine, or at least does not read it in a timely manner
  3. As an FYI, the fine print says the program goes into effect 72 hours after signing up
  4. Herman, an app of events at the convention is a good thing, but I was talking more about a PR effort through online social media to share events with those that could not attend (not that I use the stuff myself, but plenty of people do, I think my last facebook page update was nearly a decade ago). As to the rest, I am not a member of any of those chapters yet, though I do plan to look into them, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), our travel schedule is fairly well booked for the rest of the year, I / we will be leaving on our big 3,500+ mile trip for this year in a few days, (I am leaving Monday, and my wife will be flying up to meet me the next Saturday in Wyoming), I did join Safari International a few months back, with intentions of attending their gathering in Lebanon, TN, though it now looks like I may not make that one. I do plan to be at the Six State Rally, in fact I just registered for it yesterday afternoon, I am not sure if my wife will going with me to it or not, she does not see much on the events list to interest her, and she has a big work project going on here at around that time.
  5. Ok, just my take on it again, I don't care if the the towable cost $500,000, and the motorhome cost $5,000. This organization should focus on the interest of motorhome owners, should attempt attract motor home specific vendors to the rallies, should focus seminars on motorhome specific topics. This is not to say that general RV topics should be off limits, just that the focus should be on the things that are unique to motorhomes. As to the topic at hand of the vote, my concern is that the membership at large is only seeing one side of this issue in the magazine, where only the party line of we must pass this to survive is being pushed. The truth is that if the FMCA wants to recruit younger members, the way to do it is to appeal to younger motor coach owners. There is plenty that can be done to attract these people, but unfortunately little or none of it is being done, just look at the events schedules for an upcoming rally and one can see nearly every line item is focused at the AARP crowd. This is not to say anything bad about AARP, after all I will be eligible to join in a matter of months. It is just to say that the younger demographic that the FMCA claims to want to attract are not typically interested in stringing beads together, and playing bingo. So what might appeal to younger rally goers, well many of them are going to be new to motorhome ownership, so there is all that care and maintenance stuff, but there are I am sure plenty of RV living tips that would help. The younger generation today is far more into food than the older generation ever was, but today it is all about exotic, and quality of food. So maybe something on meal preparation in limited space, cooking more than just burgers on the propane grill, or things that can be done with an induction cook top. Younger people also want adventure, and adventure camping, or at least the feel of adventure. They also often live vicariously through the adventures of others, and actively interact using social media and the internet. Here is another place where the FMCA could reach out, we just had the big convention in Indiana, and for the week of the convention this message board was even more dead than normal. Something as simple as a few daily updates of what was going on at the convention for all those stuck at home would have went a long way towards giving the younger members a feeling of being included. These could be on the web site, on an FMCA facebook page, on this message board, etc.
  6. I am thinking about getting the FMCA roadside assistance before our next big trip (I already have roadside assistance through our insurance, State Farm, but am thinking about getting this as a second coverage). Is there a waiting period before the roadside assistance goes into effect, or can I buy it a day or two before hitting the road and still be covered?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, .....
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).