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 I read recently that Millenials are the fastest growing segment to join the ranks of RV'ers... but they are opting for towables. They don't want to be saddled with the higher cost of a self contained unit, as they will only be taking 1-2 trips per year for only 1-2 weeks at a time. So I understand why FMCA management wants to open up to towables. That said, if membership is opened up there is little doubt that the magazine will very soon be running feature stories featuring towables instead of Class A,B's, and C's. I will miss the magazine's existing format as it will shift over to short weekend getaways vs an "east coast adventure from Maine to Florida" or "60 day Alaska adventure" type stories,  and the advertising will include  the best tongue jack , and aftermarket fuel tanks to put in your tow unit to increase your range.  After all, they will need to cater to this new group.  In the meantime I will continue to wonder what is keeping me in the group anyway, as I realize that aside from the great Michelin tire program that I took advantage of, it is Good Sam that provides an excellent trip planning software, fuel discounts through their Pilot/Flying-J program, and in traveling I have found more campgrounds that don't offer an FMCA discount but do offer Good Sam discount than the other way around. The only time I have encountered a Park that did not offer a Good Sam discount was one that was exclusive to Class A only... 

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The word at the Diesel Club meeting this week seems to be that we will be allowing towed rv'. I agree with rpelatt that FMCA will become less relevant to me if this happens, sad. Time will tell.

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Roland.  I must be at the wrong Diesel Club Rally, I have heard no such thing!  Like jimnorman, I also will vote NO!  You wish to discuss it?  I'll be at breakfast in am!

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6 hours ago, rpelatt said:

 I read recently that Millenials are the fastest growing segment to join the ranks of RV'ers... but they are opting for towables. They don't want to be saddled with the higher cost of a self contained unit, as they will only be taking 1-2 trips per year for only 1-2 weeks at a time.

So what is your point. 80% of the people who have Motorized A B C class RV's started with a towable. The majority were working and only had 2 weeks vacation. So what has changed?

Bill

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I joined the FMCA just a few months ago.  I've owned TT in the past, now I'm a owner of a new MH.  I received an email yesterday reminding me that in my welcome package from FMCA is a coupon for $10 off, complete with a picture of a cap with the traditional FMCA logo we are all familiar with.  So I go to the FMCA store to look at maybe oderering a cap and there are only three styles available that have only FMCA letters printed with no traditional goose egg logo.  I looked at the other clothing available and most of the inventory has only FMCA letters.  No motor coach on our logo?

The handwriting is on the wall........

 

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Carl,

I brought up the conversation from this forum at the annual meeting on Monday and the Black gentleman ( his name escapes me) said that he is our representative and he would be voting yes. The consensus of other long standing members who were there was also a yes. If I have misspoke I am sorry but from that meeting that was the impression I was left with. I did voice my concern and was told that there will be a few year adaptation period.

As for breakfast we don't attend because of the problems with my wife's physical condition which we have previously spoken about.

Roland

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Roland.  His name is Donald Walker, I asked him if he was a ND, he avoided answering...he knows that I am.  You did not miss spoke! 

Are you on P row?  I'm P-81, would like to meet you face to face!

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The subject of cost generally rules. The assist program is important to all members,  myself included,(joined April '17). Rather than turn FMCA into a clone of Good Sam club by allowing towables, I would not object to FMCA raising dues to $100/yr in order to keep the Assist program, just look at the stand-alone medical assist companies available and their cost per year.

I joined FMCA for the experience of being with MH owners. I joined the S.M.A.R.T. organization for the experience of camping and traveling  with current or former military members. I joined Good Sam for the overall experience of being an RV'er with folks of all ages.

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Every business needs to have a "Unique Sales Proposition" (USP), something that makes them unique in their field, something that makes them stand out from the crowd...

Does anyone on this forum think that if there were a half dozen manufacturers of shiny, tube like, travel trailers, Airstream could charge $150,000 for their trailers ?

People that buy Airstreams pay extra for the uniqueness of Airstream, they like the style and the "Retro" feel of Airstream.

FMCA has a "Unique Sales Proposition", they are the "Premiere" (and ONLY) Motor Coach Association in the US (except for brand specific coaches). FMCA needs to Capitalize on their USP and market that which is special to the organization, not dilute their Uniqueness by becoming "Just Another RV Club"!!!!!

I realize that FMCA is facing some financial pressures, mostly due to the loss of their magazine advertising revenue. BUT, it is a FANTASY to believe that by allowing towables, thousands of New Members will Magically appear to fill your coffers.

Granted, it is tempting to look at 80% of the RV market and feel like you are missing out on potential revenue from that market, BUT, Most of the 80% ARE NOT GOING TO JOIN ANY CLUB !!!!! (beyond Good Sam because of the discounts at Camping World).

A much smarter approach (which has been previously suggested) is to focus on getting more of the Class "B" and "C" owners to join FMCA. If you want to attract a younger demographic, focus on benefits that the younger demographic want (like the defunct Verizon Hotspot plan). The FMCA Assist program is a Great Program, but, it attracts the Older Demographic.

Financially, the organization needs to change to reflect the new reality of lower revenues, NOT Fundamentally change the composition of the organization by loosing their "Unique Selling Proposition".

Note: I intentionally posted this comment on both threads to maximize impact.

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3 hours ago, hyco2000 said:

Every business needs to have a "Unique Sales Proposition" (USP), something that makes them unique in their field, something that makes them stand out from the crowd...

Does anyone on this forum think that if there were a half dozen manufacturers of shiny, tube like, travel trailers, Airstream could charge $150,000 for their trailers ?

People that buy Airstreams pay extra for the uniqueness of Airstream, they like the style and the "Retro" feel of Airstream.

FMCA has a "Unique Sales Proposition", they are the "Premiere" (and ONLY) Motor Coach Association in the US (except for brand specific coaches). FMCA needs to Capitalize on their USP and market that which is special to the organization, not dilute their Uniqueness by becoming "Just Another RV Club"!!!!!

I realize that FMCA is facing some financial pressures, mostly due to the loss of their magazine advertising revenue. BUT, it is a FANTASY to believe that by allowing towables, thousands of New Members will Magically appear to fill your coffers.

Granted, it is tempting to look at 80% of the RV market and feel like you are missing out on potential revenue from that market, BUT, Most of the 80% ARE NOT GOING TO JOIN ANY CLUB !!!!! (beyond Good Sam because of the discounts at Camping World).

A much smarter approach (which has been previously suggested) is to focus on getting more of the Class "B" and "C" owners to join FMCA. If you want to attract a younger demographic, focus on benefits that the younger demographic want (like the defunct Verizon Hotspot plan). The FMCA Assist program is a Great Program, but, it attracts the Older Demographic.

Financially, the organization needs to change to reflect the new reality of lower revenues, NOT Fundamentally change the composition of the organization by loosing their "Unique Selling Proposition".

Note: I intentionally posted this comment on both threads to maximize impact.

I agree

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If it is a matter of membership, then FMCA is doing a really really poor job of recruiting.  I believe if you look at the total number of "Motorized" RV 's are registered you will see we have maybe 2% of that number as members. 

I still don't see swarms of people who have towable lining up to join. 

Bill

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It seems to me you guys are wasting bits and bytes discussing whether towables will be allowed to join FMCA or whatever they've most likely already renamed it just as they are wasting ink printing a ballot - its a done deal.

 

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Jim & Paul.

Not until the "Fat Lady Sings"!  We will all find the answer July 12 & I hope it don't run into the 13th! :blink:  

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8 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

If it is a matter of membership, then FMCA is doing a really really poor job of recruiting.  I believe if you look at the total number of "Motorized" RV 's are registered you will see we have maybe 2% of that number as members. 

I still don't see swarms of people who have towable lining up to join. 

Not just recruiting, but retention.

We joined in 2003 or 2004.  Our member number starts 336xxx.  There is an article in the recent FMCA magazine by someone whose member number starts 427xxx.  I don't know what the most recent number actually is, but let's assume (ha!) this is a recent one.

That's 90,000 new joins in 13-14 years.

FMCA currently has something on the order of 70,000 members, or so I've read (during the discussion of the VZW fiasco).  So 22% fewer current members than new members who joined in the last decade. 

That's quite the churn rate.  Why is the club losing so many people?  Why aren't folks renewing?  Those are important questions the leadership should be working on.

 

 

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3 hours ago, spuds said:

Not just recruiting, but retention.

We joined in 2003 or 2004.  Our member number starts 336xxx.  There is an article in the recent FMCA magazine by someone whose member number starts 427xxx.  I don't know what the most recent number actually is, but let's assume (ha!) this is a recent one.

That's 90,000 new joins in 13-14 years.

FMCA currently has something on the order of 70,000 members, or so I've read (during the discussion of the VZW fiasco).  So 22% fewer current members than new members who joined in the last decade. 

That's quite the churn rate.  Why is the club losing so many people?  Why aren't folks renewing?  Those are important questions the leadership should be working on.

 

 

I agree that they could do better in the retention department. However we are dealing with  demographic whose average age is ( I heard it but don't remember exactly) mid70's. You are going to see a point where people can't travel, sell the coach, and drop their membership. You also have some make that last trip. So with out access it is hard to know the breakdown of your 22%.

Simple improving recruitment by 25% would more than offset that trend.:D

Bill

 

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Rather difficult for us to get a real number.  There are 70,000+/- and 110,000+/- members, both numbers are correct.  The F# does not go away, so if the original owner of the # dies and is re issued to the Daughter, Son or Grand Daughter, Grand Son...is it counted again. as a new member or is it a continuation of the old?  You also have the L#'s, A#'s and C#'s!

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There was a period where FMCA gave a free 1 year membership to anyone buying a motorhome so it's real easy to make those numbers go up quickly.  The problem is getting those numbers to have any meaningful value when the majority of those free memberships vanish 12 months later.  I have a 192XXX number from 1994 and now it's approaching 450000.  That's a lot of folks who came, saw and lost interest.

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25 minutes ago, BillAdams said:

There was a period where FMCA gave a free 1 year membership to anyone buying a motorhome so it's real easy to make those numbers go up quickly.  The problem is getting those numbers to have any meaningful value when the majority of those free memberships vanish 12 months later.  I have a 192XXX number from 1994 and now it's approaching 450000.  That's a lot of folks who came, saw and lost interest.

My number is 31XXX, joined in 1978.  I have also seen a lot come and go.

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1 hour ago, BillAdams said:

There was a period where FMCA gave a free 1 year membership to anyone buying a motorhome so it's real easy to make those numbers go up quickly.  The problem is getting those numbers to have any meaningful value when the majority of those free memberships vanish 12 months later.  I have a 192XXX number from 1994 and now it's approaching 450000.  That's a lot of folks who came, saw and lost interest.

While 1 free year would definitely have created a higher join rate, why didn't more stay?  What was it about "came, saw" that created the "lost interest"?

WildEBill mentions the demographic of an average age in the 70's.  We joined when we were in our early 40's (now mid 50's).  There are a lot of younger motorhome owners out there, especially in the class B and C market (we started with a C, went to a diesel pusher for 13 years, and are currently back with a C), but that demographic would say they aren't joining FMCA.  Why not?  Is it the rallies that are held during the week versus weekend?  Does the content of the magazine not cover their interests (or make it seem like the club is only for older, retired folks?)  It would be interesting to poll the members on the younger half of the distribution, especially the more recent signups, to find out what are hoping to find in the club - what they currently find of value and what they feel could be done better.  

Michelle

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6 hours ago, spuds said:

While 1 free year would definitely have created a higher join rate, why didn't more stay?  What was it about "came, saw" that created the "lost interest"?

WildEBill mentions the demographic of an average age in the 70's.  We joined when we were in our early 40's (now mid 50's).  There are a lot of younger motorhome owners out there, especially in the class B and C market (we started with a C, went to a diesel pusher for 13 years, and are currently back with a C), but that demographic would say they aren't joining FMCA.  Why not?  Is it the rallies that are held during the week versus weekend?  Does the content of the magazine not cover their interests (or make it seem like the club is only for older, retired folks?)  It would be interesting to poll the members on the younger half of the distribution, especially the more recent signups, to find out what are hoping to find in the club - what they currently find of value and what they feel could be done better.  

Michelle

I agree, we need to find out where the failure is, not re-invent the wheel.

I don't watch too many RV shows, but the few I have watched had plenty of young couples buying motor homes.  

Chris G.

F3508s

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My best guess would be that WAY too many FMCA articles were done on RV's that nearly none of us could afford and not the motorhome that the masses would have interest in.  I read the tech issues, the destination reports and a few others but felt like FMCA was rubbing those expensive palaces in my nose.  "Look!, here's another RV you will never be able to buy!"  I am sure FMCA gets paid by these folks to advertise their products but I would rather have seen more of a  Consumer Reports approach.  This might not play well in the advertising realm of FMCA (you know, FMCA tells the truth and the coach manufacturer pulls all advertising).  It certainly has to be a tough challenge to present at least some of the truth and still get that almighty dollar.

I wish them the best of luck with the new Good Sam format that will be voted on and approved at the upcoming convention but personally, I don't think it's the right decision.  I think the right thing to do is to remain Family MOTOR COACH and fix the problems that have lead to the potential demise of this company.  There are plenty of motor home owners.  FMCA is just not doing what needs to be done to attract their attention.

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