rossboyer

Should FMCA Allow Towable RVs-- Vote NOW

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One other question I am wondering, and has sort of been mentioned in the past: Have there been any surveys of non-members to find out their interest in membership? Why motorhome owners are not members (what is their reason).  Also, IF towable owners have any interest in being members.

We keep speculating on these questions, but without facts, we are just guessing.  I wouldn't mind if FMCA spent some of our limited resources to get real numbers on this information.

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Isaaac1   

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....

 

 

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dons2346   
6 hours ago, BillAdams said:

The problem is that "we" haven't done anything.  Doing anything is not our job.  The problem is that the folks who own this business have not done anything and now, as the funds are drying up, these business owners are looking to find a way to keep a dying business alive.  The business is failing because the business owners have failed to keep up with the times and they now don't see any other path to profitability other than whoring themselves out to every RV owner completely wiping out the original intent of this business.

Yes, Herman, I am still on topic.  I really don't need any additional chastising from you.

Bill, I wonder where you come from. You keep talking about who owns this "business" Do you not know who "owns" this business?  News for you, it is everyone on this forum and the rest of the members of FMCA that "own" this "business". So, in reality, it is your JOB to do something instead of pontificate  here on the forum

Everyone keeps harping about the money issue. Bad news for everyone, FMCA is NOT BROKE and going under water. Why don't some of you read the financials? If you don't have them or know where to look for them, you can call Cincinnati and request the latest

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2 hours ago, Isaaac1 said:

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....

 

 

Fyi, I am 51 years old, not semi-retired, I get two weeks of vacation a year, and a few long weekends, and travel with one teenager. 

Although, there is alot FMCA does that is not appealing to my family, I DO read the magazine each month, I HAVE utilized the Michline Tire program (and saved about $500.00), and I get $10.00 back, each time I renew my Sam's club membership.  On top of that, I have gained invaluable knowledge from the magazine and this forum about weighing my coach and tire pressures, about the 30amp power I plug into at each campsite, and many other safety issues.

There are benefits for motorhome owners of all ages, FMCA (and the members) just need to do a better job of getting the word out.

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7 hours ago, dons2346 said:

Bill, I wonder where you come from. You keep talking about who owns this "business" Do you not know who "owns" this business?  News for you, it is everyone on this forum and the rest of the members of FMCA that "own" this "business". So, in reality, it is your JOB to do something instead of pontificate  here on the forum

Everyone keeps harping about the money issue. Bad news for everyone, FMCA is NOT BROKE and going under water. Why don't some of you read the financials? If you don't have them or know where to look for them, you can call Cincinnati and request the latest

We all all members of FMCA but the business that operates this organization is FMC with which we have nothing to do.  If you or someone else wants to volunteer to help this business make money that's OK but it's not my job.  This business is not a charity helping those less fortunate, it's just a business like Good Sam or Escapee working to make money to support the various activities they offer.  Actually, they offer various activities to raise money, they just are not doing as good a job as they used to.  Remember the FMCA rally in Brunswick, ME?  I do, I was there.  There were something like 8,000 coaches there.  What's the average rally these days 1500-2000 (or less) when they hold them in Perry, GA over and over and over again?  At Indy was a great change but boy I bet that was hot!

Again, I am not trying to make it sound like I am offended that FMC makes money.  That's their job.  If you didn't have paid employees you would not have FMC without FMC you don't have FMCA.  Where I come from is from being a business owner most of my life and I never asked anyone to do work for free so my employees could get a pay check.

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15 hours ago, BillAdams said:

The problem is that "we" haven't done anything.  Doing anything is not our job.  The problem is that the folks who own this business have not done anything and now, as the funds are drying up, these business owners are looking to find a way to keep a dying business alive.  The business is failing because the business owners have failed to keep up with the times and they now don't see any other path to profitability other than whoring themselves out to every RV owner completely wiping out the original intent of this business.

Yes, Herman, I am still on topic.  I really don't need any additional chastising from you.

Staying on topic here. Bill you say 'We' haven't and that the doing is not our job. Partly correct. BUT... The real growth potential for FMCA or any organization is at the grass root level, the local chapter level. Are you a member of a chapter? Are you an active member of a chapter? And yes, I am a member, but have not been active, looking to change that in the near future. That out of the way, if chapters which are generally local affairs are not welcoming to new people, young people, people with kids, they will not help to grow the organization. Said this all before, I've been a member going on 10 years now. Been to two National Rallies. Local chapters seemed to have rallies that were more than likely during school or during the week. Both nixed our attending. We need to be able to get to and home from a rally between Friday night and Sunday night. This does not mean that a chapter can't have a rally that starts on Thursday, but the meat and potatoes should be the weekend. This way the working MH owner can still attend. This is particularly important if the rally is held during the time that the local schools are open. If we want FMCA to remain the Rich Old People Motor Home Association then we need to continue this. We need chapters, yes we need MORE chapters or maybe just more active chapters that cater to the audience we are supposedly targeting, younger people, If we bring in a crop of Old Towable Owners what makes us think our average age will drop? We need to have something for the membership to participate in during their available camping season. Not everyo

ne can take off three or four weeks to travel across the country to a National Rally.

 

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Before you join a chapter you have to join FMCA so joining a chapter is not going to grow the FMCA family as you are already a part before you got involved with a chapter.  How would someone who is not an FMCA member learn about a local FMCA chapter?

No, I am not a member of a chapter.  As the old saying goes "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member"!  OK, just a joke, but seriously I am not a chapter member as I still travel and work full time so there's really is no chapter that would be appropriate for me and which I could learn or share information with as we are rarely in the same place multiple times.

I am firmly against having towables join FMCA (I know, you are surprised to learn this!) as I don't believe that this is the business, beliefs or values that started this organization.  It's sad to think that the powers that be can't find a way to run the business (organization or whatever you would like to call it) the way the founders wanted.  I know stuff changes but it's not like there are no longer people buying and enjoying motor homes any more.  It's just a matter of FMCA not doing the job of getting those owners interested in what they are doing.  Once towables join, FMCA will lose even more motor home owners but hopefully the new organization which will no longer even use the word Family or Motor Home in their name can re-invent itself (completely) and offer a broader range of services to a broader audience.

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Too bad the vote didn't happen a few months ago, so we would already know the results.  If the vote was yes, allow towables, we could have gotten several motorhomes together on Monday in Hinckley Maine to watch the eclipse and start a motor home only group, just like it was in July 1963, when FMCA was started.

https://www.fmca.com/home-mainmenu-1/about-fmca/192-the-history-of-fmca.html

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manholt   

BillA.  Sounds like you finally got your ducks in a row and I agree with it all ! 

Unfortunately, times and Family values have changed a lot since 1963!   My feeling is that it changed to the worst...So, the future of FMCA is going to have to be along the lines of high tech of the day!  That, is not being offered.  With or without towables, FMCA must change it's thinking first, or die!

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Carl,

I agree we must change, I just don't agree that we must throw out everything from the past. We need to change to be more welcoming to the younger people with families, we need to change so that we are not perceived as the rich old fart club, we need to figure out why so few Motor Home owners join. If we can't attract our core group, we are doing something very wrong, opening membership to a different group does not and  will not fix the underlying issues.

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spuds   
2 hours ago, jimnorman said:

we need to figure out why so few Motor Home owners join. If we can't attract our core group, we are doing something very wrong, opening membership to a different group does not and  will not fix the underlying issues.

I agree, Jim.  If anything, opening up to towables would put the club in direct competition with Good Sam for members as it will look like an identical organization, and it doesn't have advantages over that organization (discounts, services, etc.) to succeed in that competition.  

The motorhome-only focus is what drew us to the club years ago.  We already had GS (and still have it, as we were young enough when they offered discounted Lifetime membership that it was a no brainer to sign up).  We don't see a need for a second GS-equivalent club.

Michelle

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manholt   

I just received a mail from FMCA in regards to the digital issue of our magazine , it's being sent out to all members that has a email on record with FMCA.  Everyone will also get a hard copy sent to them...both ways will have a ballot.  If for some reason you can't down load the digital ballot, or your not able to get at your hard copy, then call 1-800-543-3622 and ask for Membership Department.  This is available for September, October and November...Ballot must be mailed to FMCA's audit firm by November 30, 2017

Please make the time to vote! 

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This issue of attracting younger members reminds of what faced the Airstream Club (WBCCI) several years ago. Membership was declining and average member age was going up (sound like FMCA?). Some of the members who owned the now discontinued Airstream Class A's suggested that membership be extended to Thor-manufactured Class A's to keep members and recruit new ones. This was soundly defeated by more than 2-1! Instead Airstream went on a 'tear', advertising the Airstream Club aggressively through dealers and other marketing venues. Membership and attendance at Rallies has increased to challenge such levels back in the 70s! Jim and Michelle are correct; figure out why new and younger members aren't coming in and why we're having trouble retaining members. When we sold our last Airstream in 2016 and joined FMCA, we wanted to be with Coach owners, EXCLUSIVELY! GS is not the route FMCA should take!

Edited by CHARLIE8210
A couple of grammatical errors

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We received the September digital copy of Family Motor Coaching today. The ballot and documentation of the proposed changes related to accepting recreational vehicles is well documented. I found when I printed the ballot, it is dim due to the light blue color, but still readable. 

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After fully reading the 5 pages (so far) of this thread, I offer the following to support some of the previous comments regarding Chapters and the National Board. One other thing that the Airstream Club did a couple of years ago was to energize and charge the various Units (Chapters to you) to get more acquainted with their Unit-area dealers, media organizations and other marketing channels to more aggressively and smartly get the Airstream Club story out to existing and prospective Airstream owners. Airstream, at the factory level, is also very active in this effort. 

We 'FOUND' FMCA at the manufacturer level because the Thor Diesel Club had materials in our Coach's warranty and operational materials. Nothing was said or provided at the dealer level. It seems to me that manufacturer and dealer level marketing channels need to be explored by FMCA and their Chapters.

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I have read the development of this thread over the last two months, interesting comments to say the least.

FMCA is a volunteer lead, volunteer run organization that is professionally supported. Someone has to sign the legal paperwork and do the day to day operational business. Several other non profit organizations follow the above business model and several are struggling with membership and maintaining fiduciary solvency, coupled with decreasing volunteer ranks.

Instead of pointing fingers and blaming others for their inability to grow membership, recruit volunteers for events. The FMCA leadership should first look in the mirror and ask themselves a simple question. “Would I volunteer with this group? What benefit does membership in this group offer me?
Unfortunately, most nonprofits start out with good intentions then loose focus and become their own worst enemy.
You have to lead by example. Delegate, listen, be flexible, honest, compassionate, understanding, sincere and true to your word.
How do you keep volunteers coming back? How do we keep members renewing annually? What about a return of "Life Membership" status?
You run the nonprofit as a business, but keep it fun and interesting.
Most people want to know and feel that they are making a difference in someone’s life.
When volunteers show up to help, use them. If you don’t use their talents they will slowly drift away and not come back.
No one wants to be taken advantage of or made to feel that they have wasted their time and effort.
Lead and delegate and let people use their talents, the FMCA members are our greatest resource.

As to allowing towables in the FMCA, I don't see how this will improve our situation.

Either way you feel on this matter, vote and then respect the decision of the membership.

Looking forward to a resolve on this "hot button" topic.

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jleamont   

I voted :D

Few items to note if anyone read the information in the magazine, that was a bit confusing, I wasn't impressed at the verbiage utilized, I feel it was written as a play on words to confuse the situation, frankly it ticked me off. Right along side of "towable". 

 Trailers (most) are not "self contained", no generators. That phrase was used at every RV dealer I have ever walked into while shopping both times, every dealer told us trailers are NOT self contained unless you special order it with a generator, even then only certain makes and models offer it. 

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jeff753   

Problem is going to fix itself. 

According to RVIA:

"June motorhome shipments are up 10.5% to 3,940 units over last year; paced by strong gains in the Class B and C market. Year-to-date motorhome shipments have reached 36,726 units on 13.6% growth over the 32,337 units shipped during the same time last year."

So we have 73,000 motorhomes and are growing again. They shipped 36,000 new ones in the first 6 months of this one year!!

I'm a no...just to stay on topic 

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2007tlc   

The fact that we have to mail in a paper ballot with no online access to voting shows how far back we are as an organization.  I have to rip our the page and mail.  Could Mandel and Assoc. at least have a fax number?  Were run for the convenience of the 70 y.o. plus members and while I respect them all as an organization and business we need to get members who as I did, will start with a pop up and then move up throughout the years.  Just look at our magazine.  Its a quality product but is all about big rig reviews, rally's, death notices and advertisements.  Were is the family information to link them to the lifestyle for many membership years to come?  

Please vote YES or in 5 years you will not have FMCA as an option.  

 

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2007tlc,

 

I respect your opinion and in fact I agree with some of what you say, but allowing towables is not the answer. Yes we need to fix the magazine, it needs more articles about places one can go in a week, not just places we'd all like to go if we had a month or two.  The articles need to have some balance, although to be honest you aren't going to get an entry level gas MH for 15k while you can get an entry level towable for even less. We need to have articles that show a family that consists of Mom, Dad and the school age kids on a trip, in an entry level MH. If we open up to towables it is likely we won't have an FMCA in 5 years or at least one that is MH centric. And let us be honest, we joined FMCA BECAUSE it IS Motor Home centric. If all we wanted was general RV info there is Good Sam and all the rest. FMCA is the place for all things Motor Home. Go to a large RV show an you will find far more towable than MH options. That is why FMCA is important, it is for Motor Homes.

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10 hours ago, 2007tlc said:

The fact that we have to mail in a paper ballot with no online access to voting shows how far back we are as an organization.  I have to rip our the page and mail.  Could Mandel and Assoc. at least have a fax number?  Were run for the convenience of the 70 y.o. plus members and while I respect them all as an organization and business we need to get members who as I did, will start with a pop up and then move up throughout the years.  Just look at our magazine.  Its a quality product but is all about big rig reviews, rally's, death notices and advertisements.  Were is the family information to link them to the lifestyle for many membership years to come?  

Please vote YES or in 5 years you will not have FMCA as an option.  

 

I'm sure Manuel & Associates has an email address and could easily let members vote electronically.  I suspect the reason they will only accept mail in votes is to suppress voting, hoping for a positive outcome.  I joined FMCA because it is for Motorhome owners only and I have one.  If it becomes something else, I will respectively not renew.  I suspect that at least 90% of the FMCA members feel the same way.  If this motion somehow is approved, FMCA will die much faster than 5 years.

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