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jeff753

Allowing Towables Vote At Indianapolis In July

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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, .....

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Is the proposed change one that all membership will vote on or just the board? If it is only the board we need to consider removing them and supporting a new board more in tune to our interests. If the whole membership will vote than we need to undertake a program of promotion to all current members as to what they stand to lose if this issue passes. 

I feel we are a motorhome organization and should never change from that, I already belong to Good Sam and do not need another same type membership.

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17 hours ago, dons2346 said:

Keon, by your post and your comments about those you talked to, it sounds like they still have the egg on the coach but dropped their membership. Question is why haven't they removed the egg?

The answer to that question is simple. They have not removed the egg because of the prestige that FMCA carries.  Just because it has the prestige doesn't necessarily mean it has the benefit to pay every year.

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The proposed change to the Constitution is voted upon by all members. The proposed changes to the Bylaws is voted upon by the Governing Board not the Executive Board. 

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7 hours ago, rossboyer said:

The proposed change to the Constitution is voted upon by all members. The proposed changes to the Bylaws is voted upon by the Governing Board not the Executive Board. 

Ross, aren't  the proposed changes to the articles, if approved by the GB, also supposed to be voted on by the membership? I think so. If the GB doesn't approve the changes to the articles, everything is dead. If the GB approves the proposed changes, those changes along with the constitution changes,if approved. will be sent to the membership.The GB can vote to approve the bylaw changes but if the other stuff fails an up vote, these changes are also dead. What I don't understand is how can three different documents be placed into one proposal for a single vote. I think if this was challenged in court, it cause someone to suck wind.

Keon, your answer hit the nail on the head! They want to be a part of the "good boys club" but don't want to pay for it.. Little story here. While in Mexico I ran into a coach with the egg on it and after them raising a stink, I checked their number both on line and a call to Cincinnati which resulted in not finding them as a member. I went to them told them they were not an active member so could I assist them in removing the egg. You should have heard the tongue lashing I got. Maybe because I embarrassed them in front of their friends who were active members. Their number was a low number by the way.

For those that asked about how to kill this, watch your magazine for the ballots. Vote your preference. It has been determined that a photo copy of the ballot will be legal so make copies and approach anyone with an egg and ask for a vote. Those ballots can be sent to the accounting firm in one envelope. The executive board has done this in the past. In the first round to the membership to vote on allowing changes to the articles to be made resulted in roughly 650 ballots being returned. This is out of a membership of over 70,000! Out of those approx 500 voted to allow changes so here we are.

Herman, to your question about new eggs with the "P". No way will there be new eggs issued because of cost. You will be issued some white paint so you can make the "F" into a "P".

Just to refresh your minds, pull up the Dec '16 issue of the magazine and read what was proposed and see what it is now. Two totally different things. I think it is on page 10, not sure but it is on the left hand page at the bottom.

Edited by dons2346
ner info

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I can't understand the one lump vote either!  Article 1 & 2 is highly controversial to begin with!  3 & Constitution is a leap off the cliff, into oblivion!

I'm surprised that CA, our leader, would turn away a trailer....he's the one that has pushed the hardest for the change!!! :wacko:

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If you know Jean Pryor "L something.something",she has also rolled over to the trailer camp. In the past she was dead set against them. She is the ND for the 100 plus chapter and has told them this needs to pass

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It sounds like she might be voting for how she feels and not how her chapter feels. Then again she may have her chapter's blessing. 

All NDs should canvas their chapter's member and vote accordingly. Many do and many don't. The NDs need to be influenced by their chapter members and not others.

Herman 

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On 6/8/2017 at 6:43 PM, HayesFamily said:

I'm saying all of this to say I don't think our problem is recruitment because there a lot of people with a number out there. The question is what can we do to retain the ones that we currently have and I think that's going to be easier than recruitment all day everyday. It's always Cheaper to Keep something that you already have and make it work unless it's just a lost cause and in this case I think everyone can agree that keeping members for FMCA is going to be of greater value then trying to spend a lot of money recruiting.

I think you hit the nail on the head also, this is our first year and probably our last year of membership in FMCA.  We will remain members of the Good Sams for the benefits. 

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On 6/9/2017 at 11:31 PM, dons2346 said:

Ross, aren't  the proposed changes to the articles, if approved by the GB, also supposed to be voted on by the membership? I think so. If the GB doesn't approve the changes to the articles, everything is dead. If the GB approves the proposed changes, those changes along with the constitution changes,if approved. will be sent to the membership.The GB can vote to approve the bylaw changes but if the other stuff fails an up vote, these changes are also dead. What I don't understand is how can three different documents be placed into one proposal for a single vote. I think if this was challenged in court, it cause someone to suck wind.

That is what I said.  Changes to the Articles of Corporation and the Constitution are voted upon by the whole membership.  The Governing Board either votes to recommend the changes to the membership or rejects it.  If the decision is to recommend, then a ballot would be sent to the membership in the September (I think) magazine.  But the Governing Board can also approve or reject the Bylaw changes as a Proviso.  If the membership approves the Constitution change and the Governing Board approved the Bylaw Provisos, the Bylaws will be changed without further action.  While there are three documents included in the Proposal 3, I do not see any issue in doing so.

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On 5/10/2017 at 6:13 PM, BillAdams said:

FMCA has allowed trailers and 5th wheels at previous rallies.  It was pretty easy to deal with.  FMCA simply segregated them in a separate area that allowed easy in and out.  That, of course, was also one of the biggest problems.  You have motorhomes over here and trailers over there.  I seemed to me that this was worse than doing nothing.  No seminars for the trailer folks, no vendors and no manufacturer support either.  If you own a trailer and you were considering moving to a motorhome then you were in a pretty good place.  Otherwise, you were pretty much the red headed step child.

RE no seminars.  My 4 Genealogy seminars are of general interest. The demographics of those that own RV ( MH or Towable) are similar.

In my 2 seminars on tires I will add a slide at Indy and at Syracuse for the special inflation info unique to trailer owners.

Not sure what else I can do to make more folks welcome.

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Joe

Northeast Area Rally is in Syracuse Aug 3-6, 2017 At NYS Fairground.  For Information look Under Area Rallys on FMCA Home Page

Duane

2012 Monaco Diplomat 432DFT

2014 Equinox W/M&G Brake System

Empire State National Director

FMCA ID 88969D

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Duane,

You drive a nice Coach, Monaco.

Have a great Braking System, M&G.

Great that you are using your Family's F Number, F88969 "D"

And Thank You for serving as your Chapters National Director.

Herman

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On 5/27/2017 at 4:23 PM, gulya said:

Absolutely right Ross got to talk FMCA membership up with everyone you meet. Not just at campgrounds, but at places where you're getting service work donee, places where tourists go. We meet lots of motorhome owners at the Duplin Winery in Myrtle Beach. It's a part of the requirements for belonging. Working on one I met a the Panera bread grand opening this week we will probably get them next week. 

 

While reading this post, I was reminded of my visit to the FMCA booth at the Tampa RV Super Show a few years ago... I specifically remember the person in the booth mentioning "Motor Homes" (meaning Class "A"s) and there was no mention of Class "B" or "C" Owners being able to join. This is unfortunate, as a more inclusive description of "Motor Home" would have yielded a New Member on-the-spot.

Instead, I needed to call the office to determine if we were eligible to join FCMA and even then there was some question as to whether our coach qualified.

Additionally, when trying to signup as a new member on the website, it only asks "Do you own a Motor Home?", it does not ask if you own a Class "B" or "C"? Having this more inclusive question on the website would have eliminated the need to call the office.

Side note: Often times people DO NOT take the extra step to "Call the Office", they just BLOW IT OFF and move on to the "next thing" that interests them.

PS: I probably investigated FCMA 4 or 5 times before making that phone call !!!!

 

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On 5/30/2017 at 8:54 PM, manholt said:

Majority of Snow Birders that I see rolling down I-95 or I-75 or I-35 to Hwy 77S are not in big Class A's!  Lot's of B's, some C's and also Class A gassers.  Maybe 15% are DP's of 40 foot plus!  That's of the Motor Homes...Towable is 4 to one against Coaches!  Back to demographics!

FMCA has never been a large club...Since it's beginning, 50+ years ago we have only issued 458,000+ F#'s and 2,500+ L#'s!  We never re-issue some one else's # unless it's to a family member!  What has changed all of a sudden in the last 2 years? 

What does the "L#" stand for?

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On 5/31/2017 at 5:45 AM, manholt said:

Keon.  Good morning.

22.5 tires don't do a 24 footer much good !:lol:

True a 22.5 tire won't benefit a Class "B" or "C", HOWEVER, Michelin makes smaller tires for these vehicles and I am Sure they have some type of Fleet Discount Program these members could participate in, or maybe they could design some type of rebate program, or maybe they could create some type of discount code that gives FMCA Members 10% off of the retailer's Best Pricing. Point Being, There is a way to extend the tire program to the smaller tires used on Class "B"s and "C"s !!!!!

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On 6/5/2017 at 6:05 AM, Tomas24 said:

Other thoughts about towables, if FMCA changes itself to allow towables, it can never go back to a motorcoach only club. There are clubs for towables now; Airstream has several, Coachmen Owners Association even Good Sam. FMCA would still have to compete with these clubs and what would FMCA offer that would be unique and what would draw people with towables in? All clubs are shrinking for many reasons. FMCA will have the same membership problems with or without towables. The unique feature FMCA offers it's membership is it's long history as a motorcoach club. Having a motorcoach is the common thread.  Without that it is just another camping club.

If the powers that be are dead set about inviting towables, why not stick to the original plan of having a separate club? That way we'll see if we can attract and sustain significant towable membership before changing the core FMCA and its history forever?

Creating a "Separate, But Equal" club for Towables is doomed to fail. the only way to accommodate Towables into FMCA is COMPLETE Integration !!! You can't have Towables parked in a Separate Area at a Rally and expect them to feel Included.

You can't make statements like "Not mentioned is the is the logistics of how do you park these things at FMCA rallys, Many drivers are fine heading forward through pull thru spaces many can not back one up on a bet. What would have happened at Chandler if they were part of that scene? " By Bill Edwards.

Well Bill, I am sure some of those Towables could have out backed you in your Motor Home and done it with only one hand on the wheel !!!

How do you park these things? You Park Them Right Next to The Coach Right Beside It !!! You DON'T Create Separate Areas for Towables !!!

Total Inclusion is the ONLY way to successfully have Towables in FMCA (if that is the way the vote turns out).

 

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On 5/10/2017 at 10:38 AM, RSBILLEDWARDS said:

Not mentioned is the is the logistics of how do you park these things at FMCA rallys, Many drivers are fine heading forward through pull thru spaces many can not back one up on a bet. What would have happened at Chandler if they were part of that scene? 

Bill Edwards

Well Bill, I am sure some of those Towables could have out backed you in your Motor Home and done it with only one hand on the wheel !!!

How do you park these things? You Park Them Right Next to The Coach Right Beside It !!! You DON'T Create Separate Areas for Towables !!!

By-the-way, Ever tried to back up a flat tow? With a Towable all you have to do is put the Tow Vehicle in Reverse !!!!

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On 6/5/2017 at 1:14 PM, TexanRver said:

In looking over all the posts on this topic, my original post seems to be missing.  I may have not posted correctly; or, possibly the post is lost somewhere out there in cyberspace.  In any event, I felt as a member, the need to post my comment to this issue, so here goes:

First of all,  I am not a chapter member, choosing not to be as I don’t want to be involved in any politics which are associated with chapter membership; however, as a dues paying member of FMCA, I felt the need to address what I believe are important items to be considered.

(1) Membership Numbers

The article appearing in an earlier edition of the FMCA magazine cited that membership from 2004 to date is down by 595,000 members and motorhome sales are down from 2006 to date by 1.6% and as equally important the average age of FMCA members "seems to have gone up" from the age of 65 to 71.

Given all the statistics cited, one can readily see the decline in the various groups. The Governing Board, with all due respects, must look at and be realistic without any pre- conceived and/or political agendas, what are the driving forces behind these declines.

First, the Board must be open to and willing to accept the idea that while the population is aging and the "newer generation", those who are now into rving and in all likelihood make up the statistic cited (i.e., the "average RV owner is age 48"), are leading very different lifestyles that those of the generation that started FMCA. The current rver is more involved in the lifestyles of "being on the go" and are much "more active" than the aging generation. The 48 year old rver is running from here to there, keeping schedules and trying keep a balance between work and play. While most 48 year old rvers are not retired, they are, in fact, rvers.

The article stated that FMCA’s proposed solution: "To open membership to towables."  My question, is this really going to work? I think one must look long and hard as to whether this is really a solution. When FMCA solicits membership, it is to those of motorhome owners. In all likelihood, one chooses to join FMCA because of what it is, an organization dedicated to motorhome owners.

If the organization choose to open to towables, FMCA must look at what they can offer that the other large organizations don’t; specifically, what can and/or would FMCA be able to offer to towables that Good Sam and/or Escapees don’t offer? In looking over the benefits of FMCA, there really isn’t much in the way of benefits geared towards the towables. After all, the bumper pull trailers and fifth wheel owners most likely do not need, nor purchase the larger and more expensive tires from Michelelin and/or Continental; and, in all fairness, the roadside assistance is cheaper through other organizations. Further, the benefits of the touring connection, mail forwarding and glass coverage can be utilized through other avenues. If FMCA is looking at the increased membership numbers in Good Sam (which is open to all units) are increasing, it most likely has to do with its association with Camping World; which from a business point was a tremendous idea. Is FMCA thinking that by opening membership to all units this will also increase FMCA membership numbers? Does FMCA have an avenue to align itself and provide its members with something as strong as the Good Sam / Camping World merger?

I read with concern a posting by a member on line that seemed to indicate the Board may consider an outside consultant to review and provide ideas on growing membership. To utilize an outside consulting group would equate to the same as the government hiring outside consultants to do a study for a substantial amount of money only to return results that could have been had without such a study.

The question really becomes "Why does one choose FMCA over another rving organization?" The most honest answer might just be because FMCA IS dedicated to the motorhome owner. As motorhome owners, we attend Rallies for information related directly to the use and safe operation of the motorhome and to shop with vendors that have items and products directly related to coaches. To open the FMCA membership to towables would defeat the purpose of "specific" rig information.

(2) Rally attendance

I've read both on line and in print the attendance numbers are dwindling for the Rallies. Is this the "aging" population referenced in the article; or, might it just be that the "same old, same old" just isn’t working any longer? We attended the Perry Rally and very much enjoyed the seminars and vendors, so much that we have invited two other couples to go with us from Texas up to Indiana. We believe that FMCA must realize and implement ideas that the newer generation is just that, "newer" and much more of an "on the go rver". The Board can not and must not continue to operate under the idea and concept of "that is the way it has been for years and it shouldn’t change." To successfully grow this organization, the powers that be must change and improve upon and bring in excitement with new and innovating ideas. The FMCA Energized program appears to be attempting to do just this and we are hopeful that they are on to something with their concepts and beliefs.

Another issue with Rally attendance might just be the lack of posting of dates far enough out for planning which from the recent postings has been addressed to which I thank those making such decisions.  It is important to keep in mind that if FMCA wants to grow and increase membership at these events and seek the younger rver, such information should go out as soon as possible as the "younger" rver has a full schedule on their hands, i.e., between this child’s event, that grandchild’s soccer game or event and scheduling vacation time within their own work schedules requires planning as this is the real world of many.  

(3)  The Financial Aspect

The article to which I refer stated that "the cost of providing membership benefits to an organization’s members while still maintaining a profit is and/or should be the ultimate goal of any organization" and further stated that "as with any business, FMCA has both fixed and variable costs." My question, might these costs be distributed differently?

a. FMCAssist Medical Program: An extensive amount of detail is set out as to the costs associated with the FMCAssist Medical program, citing the cost of increase from $4.32 per member family to $8.52 per family member currently. The article further stated that by "adding younger FMCA members this would help with the loss ratio." My question would be Isn’t this the same concept that failed currently under the Affordable Health Care Act? This didn’t work. By opening up FMCA to towables, is FMCA really going to bring in that many more "younger" members to help offset the cost of the product; or is FMCA going to loose members for the reasons that FMCA is no longer dedicated to motorhome owners. Before joining an organization, it stands to reason that as a consumer, one looks to join the organization that gives you the most bang for your buck. If FMCA is open to all, including towables, then the decision for a member becomes which organization will give me the most for my membership dues. Does FMCA provide such benefits to compete? 

b. Family Motor Coaching Magazine: To quote the phrase used in the article referring to the magazine, ... for many years "a cash cow" for the Association, I believe the article correctly set out the reason for the decline in advertising in the magazine. With the internet and social media, why would a company spend so much on an advertising budget? I do not believe that by opening up to all Rvers" will resolve this problem. The article alludes to the fact that by opening up to all Rvers, it would open up possibilities in terms of new advertisers. I think the powers to be must ask themselves - "will it really?" One should consider the fact that when Good Sam and Camping World merged, the magazine was filled with advertisements and sales pitches. As a consumer, after one or two issues, I've personally seen the advertisements and are tired of them. I  can go on line and goggle anything and will find numerous companies to go to for their purchase of products, again choosing the vendor providing the best bargain. My thought is that those with the power must find other creative ways to increase their revenue; and, advertising dollars, most likely isn’t one of them. Projecting out five years or so, the most likely source that consumers will look to will be that of the internet, not in print.

One solution to rising magazine cost might be to go with only the digital version and forego the printed option. This most likely will meet with a lot of criticisms, especially among the "aging generation" however, in today’s world, its all about the internet. The magazines are nice to look at and the quality of paper and color is nice, but once you read them, they most likely go in the trash or recycle box. Times are changing and so must the thought of printed copies of magazines.

c. Might there be other ways to cut costs? Having been involved in a large organization, there is always somewhere to cut costs in order to bring about a more positive bottom line. Without being political and/or stepping on toes, what about expenses associated with the Board members or others involved in the Association? Might it be that travel expenses, rally fees and/or reimbursement expenses might need to be looked at and adjusted? This is, I'm sure, a very sensitive area, but one that must be considered.

In summary, like many others, we started out with towables, then went to a fifth wheel and thereafter a motorhome. For us, when we purchased our fifth wheel, we called FMCA asking about membership and after receiving the reply we, like others, thought FMCA was just for the "snooty" (to quote another blogger). We took the news in stride and went on about our business. After purchasing our first motorhome, we joined FMCA because it is an Organization dedicated to motorhomes, the type of unit we chose to purchase. We felt that with such an organization being dedicated to just motorhomes, the information shared and learned through the seminars and events would be product specific to the safety of ownership and maintenance of a motorhome.

We too are life members of Good Sam and personally don't see how FMCA can compete with the membership numbers of Good Sam because of their merger with Camping World. After all, if a customer (camper or rver) goes into a Camping World store to make a purchase, the first question asked is "are you a member of Good Sam?" If not, the pitch is given that if they sign up they would get a discount on their purchase. It makes sense at that point to buy into the membership, if not for any other reason, but for the discount on the purchase. Wow, membership numbers increase! Go figure. Is FMCA going to be able to come up with a product large enough to compete with Camping World? Without such a combined effort, will your numbers really increase?

As a member of FMCA we look forward to receiving information relative to motorhomes, the type of unit we have. We are not interested in receiving articles and information as to products on trailers and fifth wheels. While this is not to say that towables aren't just as good, to open up FMCA to towables without being able to provide a competitive membership product, in all likelihood will decrease the FMCA membership numbers.

There are other competing organizations out there (Good Sam, Escapees and others) and, if opened up to towables, from a personal standpoint, we would have to look seriously as to which one (1) organization to maintain membership. If there are three different organizations out there opened to all types of rigs, then the choice would be simple, we would ask ourselves which organization provides the best value and savings for our money. Can and/or would FMCA be able to provide that value and savings?

Thank you for allowing me space to post this. 

 

 

A very well thought out and well reasoned posting.

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The "L" is for Life Member. A number of years ago FMCA had a program where you could purchase a Life Membership. It only lasted for a short period of time. "F" is for Family and if you see a plate that has a number such as "F12345 S", means that the son of F12345 has joined FMCA and is eligible to have the same number as his family has or had. There can be "S" = Son, "D" = Daughter, "GS"= Grandson and so on. I think it is a nice touch to be able to recognize your family tradition.  

Sorry for the miss information you received at the Tampa Show, but glad you got the correct information.

Herman

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hyco2000.  Welcome to the Forum!

Now, that you have read it all, I hope you understand why we did not want to start over, under general discussion!  Motor Home is the generic description of Class A, C, B and Conversion's!  Motor Home is any unit that has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area, that you can get to from the driver seat in an upright manner, with out going outside! 

The group or chapter that I represent as National Director, was fine with the original proposal of a separate unit for towable under the FMCA umbrella...now, they want no part of the current proposal as we don't need another Good Sam!  Or another Escapees!  I'm a member of both.

There is no difference between Class A, C, or B, gas or diesel, we have the same inherent problems!  There is, however, a huge difference between what you and I have and a pop up trailer, Casita or a tear drop!

Carl

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