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fagnaml

FMCA "Remodel / Under Construction"

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I received an e-mail from FMCA President Charlie Adcock about the "remodel" of FMCA that would expand FMCA to include owners of all RV types.  After my wife and I purchased our first motorhome 18 months ago, our sole reason for joining FMCA was it provided a unique, niche service to motorhome owners.  If we wanted a "general" RV club/forum membership we could pursued that option.  However, the FMCA was our choice given FMCA's unique focus on and services for motorhome owners.

I have greatly valued the guidance and education FMCA members have provided to me the last 18 months.  My concern is opening FMCA to all RV owners would greatly dilute the focus of FMCA and adversely impact the great discussion/education/guidance currently available in the FMCA forums.

What does the forum think about the proposed FMCA "remodeling" proposal?

 

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I am new to the RV lifestyle. I bought my rig 3 months ago and went to my first FMCA rally this month. And you are on point, I love the FMCA focus on education and family. 

I was sharing my experience with my family and friends upon my return from "Rally in the Valley" and those who have 5th wheels/trailers wished they could benefit from such an organization. 

I read in this month's FMCA magazine the data which indicates there is a decrease in membership and membership growth is critical to FMCA's longevity. 

If FMCA were to go away, I would be gravely disappointed, and so would my family.

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Mike,

Your concern is one many are talking about. My thought on the Forum would be that although there is considerable differences between motor homes and towables there are still many similarities. It is possible they may have some insights we don't have. such as plumbing, electrical and so forth. 

I know it will be extremely difficult to match the knowledge found here but what the heck we may be able to teach them something.

 

The proposed changes are only in the talking state now and will be presented to the Governing Board in July at the National Rally and be voted on by the National Director. If approved by the National Directors it will then be put up for vote by the membership. As I understand, the Ballots will be in the Magazine for three (3) months. The ballots will then be tabulated and the result announced to the membership. Sometime around December 31, 2017. I may be wrong on some of the dates but this is how it was explained to me.

This is why all members need to voice their opinion to their National Director and be sure that they or their designated representative will  be in Indianapolis in July

Remember this is your organization and your opinion does count.

Herman

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Herman, sounds like Mike just did voice his concerns :P :ph34r:. Is there a list of "National Directors" that we can write to?

Are the concerns on the forum being seen and taken into consideration? 

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Honestly, I am on the fence over the entire proposal. I see and understand where they are coming from but I also see room for improvement with the current layout that might help the current situation before we jump off the cliff. We also joined FMCA for the same reason Mike did, I am a Good Sam life member and I use it for Campground discounts and Toilet paper purchases at Camping World :lol:. To me that's about all its good for. Beyond the rally and FMCA assist (for the older folks) I'm not sure FMCA would have an appeal to trailer folks, as I posted in other threads, tires are off the table as Michelin and Continental do not offer tires that small. FMCA membership is expensive when compared to GS (I paid $199.00 for a lifetime subscription at GS). We also travel with a few families that have trailers on occasion, they have NO desire to renew their GS that they got for free when they bought their trailers let alone sign up for membership here. The friends we have with Motorhomes also have little to NO desire to sign up for FMCA, they don't see value for their dollar at the age of 45. If you know me and my sense of humor I make sure to wear my FMCA shirts around them when we all meet up (motorhome friends) just to plant the seed :P.

I enjoy the comradery of this group and we all have something in common. Amongst our trailer friends, you can see a huge difference in the way they travel, same but so different and divided amongst their own type of travel.

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Joe,

There is a place to find all of the National Directors.

fmca.com (home page)

   go to  Membership

      to Governance Site

         to Documents

             to Roster Book.

There you will find all of the National Directors listed by Areas. It is a pretty long list.

Herman

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I very rarely weigh in on FMCA governance issues, but I will on this one post:

It is a matter of economics.  If we want the benefits we currently enjoy through FMCA, including FMCAssist, we MUST balance our older demographics with younger members.

Ask any actuarial!

It is or at least should be a business decision, not an emotional one.

Also, most RV'ers don't start in "qualifying motorhomes".  They start in trailers, 5th wheels and toy haulers.  But many will "graduate" to motorhomes-- that progression is going on stronger today than ever.  Why wait until they "graduate" to include them in our family.

 

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21 hours ago, fagnaml said:

I received an e-mail from FMCA President Charlie Adcock about the "remodel" of FMCA that would expand FMCA to include owners of all RV types.  After my wife and I purchased our first motorhome 18 months ago, our sole reason for joining FMCA was it provided a unique, niche service to motorhome owners.  If we wanted a "general" RV club/forum membership we could pursued that option.  However, the FMCA was our choice given FMCA's unique focus on and services for motorhome owners.

I have greatly valued the guidance and education FMCA members have provided to me the last 18 months.  My concern is opening FMCA to all RV owners would greatly dilute the focus of FMCA and adversely impact the great discussion/education/guidance currently available in the FMCA forums.

What does the forum think about the proposed FMCA "remodeling" proposal?

 

Perhaps a new chapter/wing, could even include /TT to the egg signifying the travel trailer ownership. I personally would welcome anyone to the association, because of the fact that nearly all general campgrounds in the area's that I usually travel, are usually a 75/25 mix, with 75% being travel trailer. Some of these often seem intimidated with the motorhome ownership being at these sites also. I think that the remodel is a good move because any time membership is enlarged, benefits can and will be expanded at little to no additional cost to the current membership. Also with the newly upgrade to the forum servers, the motorhome forum as it is already, as well a TT forum can easily for those that want the expertise of TT advise. Therefore I consider it a win/win condition.

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3 hours ago, jleamont said:

Herman, sounds like Mike just did voice his concerns :P :ph34r:. Is there a list of "National Directors" that we can write to?

Are the concerns on the forum being seen and taken into consideration? 

Morning Joe,

Have read Charlie Adcock's note a couple of times.  He suggest contacting your chapter presidents or area vice presidents.  Being you are in PA your Easter Area vice president is Bill Mallory.  bmallory@fmca.com

I used the January FMCA magazine to determine the area you are in then cross referenced to page 10 of the April issue.

Hope this helps.  Deb and I are talking about this and will post our thoughts and send a note to our VP shortly.  Herman: we will cc you too.

Blake

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As it was stated many times. Nearly everyone started down the "camping/travel" road the same way. So you have a "Qualifying" RV now. Have you changed? OK there are going to be some who act the Elitist, but you have that small number in any group. My tent came from a better store than yours type. The majority of people haven't changed from when they started. I think this is about including more PEOPLE not what they camp in.

Yes the forum will need more categories. Look at the Good Sams website as an example. or iRV2 forum. "Take something that is working and copy it."

So yes,  I think this is a good idea.

Bill 

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I am somewhat confused on the way the Directorships work.   From what I gather the different Chapters have a director which represent them and then there are regional directors which represent those that don't belong to a chapter - Is that correct?   Also how do Area Presidents and Vice Presidents fit into the directorships.  Can someone please explain.

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I suggested the possibility for the need to make this change back in 2011 in the forums and  and I think that idea was moved over to the blog section. I created a poll just for the fun of it back then too.  You can read it here and see the comments it got and the votes: 

A Can Of Worms.

This is what I said back then, some of the economic reasons  for the change have improved over the last six years, but my thoughts have not changed on the subject. 

I have made it a point to avoid most controversial subjects here. That hasn't stopped me from posting one or two provocative things, I guess.

This entry may cause a bit of conversation, but here goes.

FMCA's membership is down. The magazine is so much smaller than it used to be due to a lack of advertisers. The RV industry is still living on the edge of an economic non recovery. Times are not very good at the moment. The price of gas is not going in the direction most of us would like and loans for RV purchases both towables and coaches new or used are still hard to get.

Sometimes you have to adapt and take advantage of circumstances (and) not let them get the best of you.

There is a lot in common with all RVs when you think about it. Lots of full timers live in towables as well as coaches. Manufacturers of both use a lot of the same suppliers including interior parts, electronics, appliances and various small supplies. We all have to dump our tanks the same way!

I believe that there is strength in numbers. We need to combine our resources, work together to make things better for those who make RVs and those who buy them and use them. Who knows maybe the RV industry could form its own lending institution and offer loans as well as lobby Congress and state governments for things that the industry needs. Sorry, but that is still necessary, wouldn't you agree?

So to work toward the goal of making things better for all: It is my humble opinion that the Family Motor Coach Association should become the Family RV Association. All RV owners of towables and coaches should be eligible to become members of the association.

I wasn't there (as much as I would have liked to have been) at the Perry Convention. I hope that opening the convention to towables indicates that maybe some people are thinking the same way I am.

Am I opening a can of worms? Who knows? Let's find out.

Comments are certainly welcome and hoped for! So is your vote...but you need to register if you a not a member of this site.

Derrick L

"Gramps"

 

 

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1 hour ago, rmatteucci said:

I am somewhat confused on the way the Directorships work.   From what I gather the different Chapters have a director which represent them and then there are regional directors which represent those that don't belong to a chapter - Is that correct?   Also how do Area Presidents and Vice Presidents fit into the directorships.  Can someone please explain.

FMCA’s governance model is comprised of an Executive Board. Four members of the Board (President, Sr. Vice President, Secretary, & Treasurer) and each of the Area Vice Presidents and immediate Past President. FMCA areas are Eastern, Great Lakes, International, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, Rocky Mountain, South Central, Southeast, and Western. The Executive Board is responsible to all FMCA Members and are elected by National Directors, presumably, the Directorships to which you refer.  National Directors are selected by active FMCA chapters to serve on the Governing Board. The Governing Board is the body with oversight responsibility for the affairs, funds, and property of FMCA, and the power to carry out the purpose of FMCA in accordance with the Constitution, Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, and the Strategic Plan.

 

In practice, approximately 30% of members are "directly" represented by the National Directors since only that number of members belong to Chapters. National Directors must approve items to come before Members for approval (such as Bylaws amendments). Area Vice Presidents too have a responsibility, along with National Officers, to represent member interests just as you suggested. FMCA also receives input and guidance from a large number of committees, each of which are comprised of members of the Executive Board and members at large.

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Thanks CK - Let me see if I got this right from your information and some information I received from visiting some of the regions websites - All Region Presidents are National Vice Presidents and are members of the Executive Board.  Which also includes the President, Sr. Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer plus the immediate past president.   The National President, Sr. V/P, Treasurer and Secretary are elected by the National Directors which is comprised of chapter representatives which carry the title of Director from each of the 500 chapters.  This makes the Executive Board about 15 people (10 regions, 4 officers plus one past president).   This also makes the Governing Board about 500 people.

I noticed that most Areas have many Area Vice Presidents - are they there to have people move up the "ladder" or do they get individually elected annually?  What are their responsibilities within the national organization?   I understand the comment that only 30% of the members belong to a chapter which has a director on the Governing Board.  Then that makes the  remaining 70% have to rely on the Region Presidents (AKA National Vice President) to represent them at the National Level. 

I also take it that since the Governing Body has oversight and legislative duties the Executive board has executive duties.  I assume the Committees are appointed by President or Executive board.

My first thought - If you don't belong to and are active in a chapter or attend the National Rally the only way the "powers to be" know what you want is to write/email the Region President (AKA National Vice President) of the Region you live in.   For someone like me living in New Jersey I would contact the North East Motor Home Association President with my concerns or kudos. 

Looking at this set up it would seem that there is an imbalance in the power wielded in the organization with a disproportional amount given to the Chapters.   This imbalance leads me to believe why the FMCA has many of the current issues (lack of new members, loss of membership, failure to embrace the web) and I think that it lies in the fact that it places a lot of importance on face to face communication (Rallies, Chapter weekends, etc) which I think are opposite to what we have today with the Internet, Smart phones and Social media.  For the future the organization has to embrace the Internet (while keeping something in place for those that don't use it).  There will always be gatherings but I think they will be small ones comprised of like minded friends.  I don't think they will be reaching the levels of the Regional ones in the past.    I think that if the FMCA put the  $250,000.00 they gave to RVillage into this forum and website and integrated all Regions and Chapter postings into it would be a big step into the future and we would have one of the most active forums on the net and the website that would generate money for the FMCA.  With activity you would have the numbers that would attract member benefits which could bring in new members.     I guess I should be sending those comments to my National VP rather than posting here.

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rmatteucci,

In each of the 10 areas there is an AVP (Area Vice President). You are correct as to there being 15 members on the board. 

The AVP of each area is also the president of their areas Executive Board. And some area have more than one VP. Most have a Senior VP and Regional or State VPs. Each of these officers are elected by their area National Directors. That includes the AVP.  Each National Director is their chapters representative at both the area and national level. In some chapters they take their ND very serious and elect a person that they know will attend their area and national rallies.  But sadly to say some chapters could care less about who they elect or appoint as their ND. Some chapters haven't had a ND go to a National Rally in many years. 

Each ND receives information on a regular basis to pass on to their chapter members. In turn they need feed back from their members on how they would like them to vote on an issue. 

So to me the National Directors are your best connection to FMCA. 

Sorry to ramble on but I feel very strongly about the health of FMCA.

I would be happy to visit with anyone that would like to talk. Just send me a PM and I will give you my phone number. 

Herman 

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Good morning everyone

I view FMCA site daily and it is always very informative.

I also view the Forest River Forums and find it to be the same, as there is a wealth of information there as well, but it is not just about coaches it includes all RV's and I find many things that relate to my Class A systems. I myself would love to have people with trailers , 5th wheels etc.. to join FMCA. We would get much more input and would boost membership greatly.

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I really hate letters from anyone that brings up the "Chicken Little" (the sky is falling) mentality. Adcock's letter said that $270,000 was spent on advertising.My question is where did they advertise? Having just spent a couple of days in a Cummins center, I had ample time to look at magazines from Motorhome, Escapees,Trailer Life, and a couple of other rv related mags. Not one of them had any advertising for FMCA. It is as if the money was not spent wisely and no thought given on where and how to spend it. I don't think that any of the towable clubs/factory organizations were ever contacted to see if they would be interested in joining FMCA.  I also agree about the $250,000 gift to RVillage. In these same magazines, I did not fine one reference to RVillage. That money should have been spent on our own website, not another social media Fakebook wannabe.

Not that I am against having towables but I really hate having this shoved down our throats like it is. For those going to the Indy convention, just wait.

In the December magazine, we were told that towables would be like a "sister" organization and would be separate. Now, it is a melding of  the rv's and are to be treated just like anyone else. If you look at the registration for the past Chandler convention and the Indy convention, you will see that if you arrive in a towable, you will be required to purchase electric!.

 

For those of you that belong to a chapter, I urge you to contact your area president. Their contact info can be found in the FMCA magazine. For those not affiliated with a chapter, contact the FMCA president

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Herman, thank you for your explanation.   I too feel strongly about the FMCA.   One of the first things I did when I bought my motorhome was to join the FMCA.  I learned about the FMCA from other friends that had a motorhomes before I did.   Owning a motorhome is different than most acquisitions one makes in that it is almost like a hobby.  You are always looking into what's new and how to fix or do things, etc.   It is through reading online posts on various forums, joining other clubs and reading the FMCA magazine from cover to cover I became concerned.  My first concern was the lack of information of how many members the organization has and general information on the operation of the club in the magazine. I guess the response to this is I should be more active in the FMCA and I would know the information.  Not all of us can attend rallies or chapter events or would have time to do that.   Some of this information is available online but you have to know how to find it.  Recently a big red flag for me was the pushing people to join RVillage.  I did and I found it cumbersome to use, too much like Facebook and really nothing that could help me or in my mind the FMCA.  It was only later I found that the FMCA made a considerable donation to that website to try to promote members.   That really got me concerned because it seemed that FMCA does not under the value of the Internet to it's future.  More recently on a post elsewhere on this forum by the President he mentioned that the FMCA was taking $800,000 from the FMCA cash reserves to pay for the FMCAssist benefit. It was part of information in a larger post so there may be more to the story but if  it is true.  You can't expect an organization to last when you are using cash reserves to pay for benefits.  All benefits should be paid by the current dues.    If 800K was the total cost of the benefit then with 70,000 members it is around $11.50 each which is very reasonable but it still leaves the question why pay from reserves.  A while back I did reach out to the President via email and did get a phone call from him on the topic of towables.   I did address some other points as well and it was a cordial conversation.  I will take the time and send an email my national director.  However, I think discussions on the future of the FMCA in a public forum such as this could be productive.   I think the future of the FMCA rests not necessarily with the inclusion of towables, but I have no issue with allowing them to join as I see little differences between us and them, rather the future is having a strong executive director.   Some one who is current on the latest technology, knows how to run organizations, what they need to retain and attract members, understands perceived value of membership, views thing as long turn not just to the end of a elected officers term and will make the hard decisions when necessary.   

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Herman is correct in his description of how things should work but........................

I have been a ND since 2007 and have been on the National Nominating Committee. The nominating committee are the ones that check in the national directors/delegates when they are signing in to sit on the floor. There are people that came to register who haven't even opened the envelope they received which contains the info required to make an intelligent decision on how to vote! There were delegates who came to register that didn't even know what area they were in! You cannot tell me that they knew anything about the happenings on the floor and most of them, when it came time to vote, looked around and voted with the majority just to look good.

 

By now, your chapter officers should have received a letter supposedly signed by your area president urging you to sign on with approving allowing towables because without them. FMCA will fold. I received mine and I can tell you that based on knowing how my AVP writes, and the content of the letter, it was not written by my AVP. It will be interesting to compare letters received by other chapter officers to see if they are worded the same

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When we purchased our first coach there was NOTHING anywhere in the dealership about FMCA. I honestly thought the goose egg was a standard thing on a motorhome. So I asked where mine was they had no idea what I was talking about.  I walked them out to the service parking lot and showed them one on a (never forget it a black Safari DP). They still had no clue! Advertisement? Where? when a RV dealership has no idea.

We happened to stumble upon the FMCA both at the Hershey RV show later that year and began a lengthy conversation with the people at the booth. We joined then an the rest is history. 

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I disagree with allowing towable into FMCA for two reasons.

The first is somewhat selfish.  I've been involved with the organization since the late 1960s, and have grown up only knowing FMCA as a "motorhome" club.  I agree with the OP that allowing towable would dilute the membership.  Some may see this as an "old stick in the mud" attitude, and if thats what it is, I'll accept it.

FMCA members with the Lone Star chapter taught my father how to change his duals and fix his brakes at a rally in the mid 1970s, which might have saved our lives.  Could people who drive towable have that knowledge?

FMCA members drove us kids and my dad's motorhome from the Soux Falls national convention back to Denver when my dad was hospitalized.  Could people who drive towables be able to drive a 35' Fitzjohn bus?

My second reason to say no to the change is, the organization should be self sustaining, weather we have 20K members or 120K members.  If FMCA is losing money after raising membership fees, then more cuts are needed.  On top of that, to bring more younger members in, our advertising needs to change.  We need to go so far as to "sell" younger RV buyers that a motorhome is a better choice than a towable.

Just my 2-cents worth,

Chris Guenther

F3508s

 

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Chris, 

I am sorry I didn't have the honor of knowing your father.  I am a Past President of Lone Star. This year Lone Star celebrates its 50th anniversary. We will be having a celebration rally in Durant in September. We would love for you and your parents, if they are still with us, to come to the Rally. If you would like to be put on the list, please send me a PM with your information. 

Herman 

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Herman, thanks for the invite to your anniversary.  I'd love to be there, but with work and kids in school, I'll be hard pressed to make it to TX at that time.

I believe it was Lee Pundt, from the Lone Star chapter who really helped my dad.  I think he had a garage in the area of the rally we were attending, and had all the right tools available to work on our bus.

Regards,

Chris G.

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On 3/29/2017 at 8:02 AM, wolfe10 said:

I very rarely weigh in on FMCA governance issues, but I will on this one post:

It is a matter of economics.  If we want the benefits we currently enjoy through FMCA, including FMCAssist, we MUST balance our older demographics with younger members.

Ask any actuarial!

It is or at least should be a business decision, not an emotional one.

Also, most RV'ers don't start in "qualifying motorhomes".  They start in trailers, 5th wheels and toy haulers.  But many will "graduate" to motorhomes-- that progression is going on stronger today than ever.  Why wait until they "graduate" to include them in our family.

 

Wake up FMCA members and read Brett's post above.  This organization needs to be more inclusive to sustain its membership and continue as a family oriented organization.  The vast majority of RVers with families cannot afford a Motorhome unless it is an older model, and even then it may be out of reach due to storage, maintenance, etc.  I don't know about you but on trips we take, the "towable" families are every bit as friendly as anyone else, and more so than certain "class A" people.  I really don't understand the argument.  Expand the membership, Directors.  The "club" ain't sustainable any longer.

Don

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