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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park

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#1 sdkiefer



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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:11 AM

We are planning on attending the FMCA convention in March, but cannot find any info about the hookups at the park. I know they are offering electrical services, but is there water and sewer also? How much room between coaches? We heard the Good Sam rally was pretty crowded at the park. Any insights will be appreciated. Thanks.
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Posted 26 November 2009 - 06:04 PM

You'll likely get an official answer from someone on the convention committee but here is our experience. This is based on attending a number of FMCA National Conventions. We've never been to the Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque.

You won't be in an RV Park as such. At most conventions you will be parked in a large field or parking lot which has no services except for those brought in for the convention. The parking committee will park you in your space next to the coach ahead of you in line with the coach behind you on the other side. If you are arriving with friends you have to be lined up together when you come onto the grounds or you'll be parked in different places. At Bowling Green last year there were several thousand member coaches and those were parked in about a day and a half. As you can imagine, this is a tremendous task so be patient with the parking crew. I've seen crews function smoothly and crews that were getting their first experience with this task. When you get an experienced crew they will have everything running like a top and the process is amazing and fun to watch. These guys are all FMCA members and are volunteers so smile - no matter what happens. When it is all done, you'll be in the middle of a city of 3000 or more people where there was nothing but an open field two days before. It's really an awesome sight. I always get up on our roof to take a picture of the gathering!

We've always signed up for electric connections for a convention. The electricity is provided by generators (large mobile units) that power eight to a dozen coaches (my guess) with 30A electric. The generators are fairly quiet but if you are parked next to one, it will be a constant noise through the whole convention. On the other hand if you don't have electric, you'll have people running generators and that can get pretty noxious with everyone running their generator for the air conditioners. In March this may be less a problem than in the summer. We've never had water or sewer at a national convention. Generally you're set up on a fairgrounds that doesn't have those connections. Some places have dump stations available and there is always the honey wagon for emptying tanks. Last year at Bowling Green, OH there were shower units in central areas near coach parking. They were clean and provided a good shower which saved your fresh water and gray water tank space.

Generally the coaches are parked in close proximity. You likely will have room to put out an awning but will also be expected to park your car between your coach unless you happen to be in a spot that isn't filled completely. We've had several arrangements like coaches facing each other or coaches facing the back of the line of coaches ahead. In Minneapolis we lucked into parking in the state fair campgrounds. It just happened that we were at the point in the line where they directed us into the campground. We had electric the whole time from a permanent plug-in. The campground showers were just 100 feet from our spot and we had roads to drive on, not grass.

IMG_4979_WP.jpg CRW_6369_WP.jpg

We always have our bicycles with us, we're full timers. We enjoy having the bicycles to get around the grounds. It can be quite a distance to walk and there will be shuttles provided in most cases but if you want to travel on your own, a bicycle is an excellent way to go. Generally golf carts aren't permitted for attendees. Staff and volunteers may have golf carts for official activities but the rest of us have to get there by other means. I've seen shuttles that were tractors and wagons and buses from small shuttle buses to school buses. In Bowling Green they had some six passenger golf carts for short distance shuttles where there was no convenient bus road.
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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux

#3 JYeatts



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Posted 28 November 2009 - 12:00 PM

I'm glad you are going to be joining us in Albuquerque in March. 30-amp electrical service is available at Balloon Fiesta Park. This will be by generator, so please consider bringing along a surge protector. Parking spaces are 23' x 42', with 30' roadways. Water and honey wagon services are available by registering at the Information Center at the Creative Arts Annex at EXPO New Mexico.

Albuquerque is going to be great with balloon rides, lots of entertainment, seminars, unique tours, and, of course, plenty of coach exhibits and indoor vendors. Make sure you bring all your friends!
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