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jimnorman

The vote Is In: We Are No Longer A Motorhome Only Group

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I am reposting the FAQs that were posted at the end of the Thread that covered the campaigning regarding the vote to allow or not allow Towables. I will intersperse my comments and questions.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About FMCA Welcoming All RV Owners

1) Will FMCA chapters be required to allow owners of towable RVs to join their chapter? No. Chapters still control their own bylaws. Your chapter will not be required to allow owners of towable RVs to join the chapter if your chapter members do not wish to do so. The scope of the chapter will continue to be the chapter members’ decision, and bylaws can be amended at any time (to include – or exclude – based on non-discriminatory factors). Many chapters already have restrictions or special interests in terms of the brand of vehicle, engine manufacturer, hobbies, etc. This is good, a chapter is still allowed to be a brand or type specific group.

2) Are we going to change the name of the association? Why would someone join an organization called Family Motor Coach Association if they own a fifth-wheel travel trailer?  “FMCA” is how most of us refer to the organization today, so our recommendation is to keep the name but move to using only the acronym, much like AARP did when it opened its doors to pre-retirees. The association will still legally be known as Family Motor Coach Association, but we will just refer to it as FMCA. It is not a real issue.

3) How will the rallies be affected?  Our goal is to keep delivering a great experience to current members while also appealing to the younger crowd. We will re-evaluate our convention structure to provide new and different activities. For example, we may have multiple entertainment options presented at different times of the day to accommodate various ages and interests. In my opinion, YES, the rallies will be affected. There is a lot of similarities in RVs be they self propelled or only self-contained, but there are a considerable number of differences. I believe more difference than similarity. This will have a potential for reducing the number of MH specific vendors and seminars. There are only so many rooms and so much floor space.

4) Will FMCA be parking all vehicle types together at events? Yes. FMCA leaders have consulted with our layout and staging experts to achieve an optimum experience for everyone. This will prove interesting to watch. A MH with a Toad is simple, disconnect the toad, park the MH, put the toad over there. A towable must keep the Tow Vehicle connected until in place. This means that a late arrival or an early leave will be an issue much greater than a MH would be.

5) Will we need to retrain our parkers? It’s just a different type of vehicle, driven by equally skilled drivers. The same parking method will be used. I expect that the parkers will of necessity be retrained and we better hope that the towable people are able to really drive or it will be as interesting as watching a boat ram p on a Sunday

6) What parking differences are there in terms of parking towables next to motorhomes? Because we do pull-through parking in most cases, we do not expect to have any problems with parking at the conventions. Other RV organizations successfully park different types of vehicles together at their events. We'll see.

7) What about generator usage at conventions? On-board generators tend to be quieter than portable generators. FMCA will continue to offer various parking options as we do now, including “full generator” areas where generators can be run 24 hours a day and “no generator” areas where they can’t be operated. Owners of all RVs will have the option to purchase electricity. We will require that only manufacturer-installed on-board generators be used in general and full-generator lots. Portable generators will not be permitted. How is a Towable WITHOUT a built in Generator 'Self-Contained'??? Good that no portables are allowed, but I think there is an issue with the definition here.

8) Will all RV owner members have full benefits? Yes. As passed of course, they are not associates, they are members.

9) Will all members be able to hold national office? Yes, all full (family or life) members will be able to hold national office. Associate members are not eligible to vote or hold an office. As passed of course, they are not associates, they are members. This could get really interesting. Will there be enough towable members voting to turn FMCA into something even more different?

10) What is the willingness of our current members to accept all vehicle types? As demonstrated by the recent vote, most current members are very much in favor of this change.  We know many members who started out with towable RVs before purchasing a motorhome. Our hope is that current members will welcome all new members, regardless of the equipment they travel with. I don't have any issue going camping with, camping next to, talking to or being friends with a towable owner. My issues are solely with FMCA ceasing to exist as FMCA and becoming GS Lite.

11) Towable owners’ educational needs may differ. Will FMCA focus on their needs? We don’t anticipate dropping any of our motorhome educational programs and will continue in our historic role as the authoritative resource for motorhome information; however, over time our content and seminars will naturally expand to include helpful and educational information about all RVs as members with other equipment join us. I'll take a wait and see, but my thoughts are that we will see less dedicated towards the MH as more towables join in, assuming they actually do join.

12) Does FMCA offer seminars regarding starting new chapters? We don’t have such a seminar currently but we certainly can, if members are interested! Not really a related issue. This is something that maybe should have always existed.

13) Will we keep the FMCAssist Medical Emergency and Travel Assistance Program?  Yes. Opening FMCA to more RV owners will help the organization and spread out the cost of this expensive benefit over a larger pool of members. If we actually get a significant membership bump that hold for a period of time AND those members are the younger members we think we are going to get then we may see a benefit.

14) Some people look at FMCA as an elitist organization. Will opening up the membership to all RV owners help with that? It’s easy for people to think that way based on the previous motorhome requirement, but we know that FMCA members are warm, wonderful people. With the recent vote, we will welcome all RVers so they can experience our exclusive benefits without feeling “excluded” because they don’t own a motorhome! Many of us started with an RV other than a motorhome, and we strongly believe it’s not about the equipment; it’s about the people who chose the RV lifestyle. HOGWASH. If you don't own a Corvette, would you expect to be catered to and welcomed with open arms into a corvette OWNERS club? We aren't elitist, we are simply a group with like interests.

15) How do we keep younger kids active in FMCA? This presents an opportunity to revisit our Youth Program. We don’t want to just have an on-site babysitting service. Our goal is to provide meaningful activities for the children and young adults, too. With an infusion of new and perhaps younger members, we’ll have new ideas and new energy for our “family” members with families! This is a separate issue, something that we need. The assumption has been that all these towable owners are young and travel with kids and we will suddenly have an average age in the 50's. If we weren't attracting Young MH owners with kids before what makes us think we will  now?

16) Why should I continue to be a member? FMCA is unique. It is a not-for-profit RV association, the largest in the world. Our mission is education (and fun) and, with that in mind, we continue to develop the offerings of the FMCA Academy. FMCA also provides great benefits, such as the tire buying program, the FMCAssist Medical Emergency and Travel Assistance Program, and the Connect-on-the Go and the Tech Connect+ Benefit Package. FMCA will continue to be unique among the major clubs because it is the only one owned and governed by its membership. We are now considerably LESS UNIQUE. Time  will tell if this helps or hurts.

17) How will FMCA fulfill the vision that the founders had that FMCA would be an exclusive club for motorized RVs? We recognize your concern about this issue. However, to continue to exist as an association, we also recognize that we need to avoid stagnation. The RV marketplace has changed and evolved over time. We’ve looked around and seen that our families and friends – those we want to welcome as new FMCA members – have many choices of RVs that are not motorized. We want to make sure FMCA flourishes well into the future, and broadening our focus is a way to help ensure this. In reality, how many steps did we really take before this to address the perceived issues? Not many as far as I could see until just the last year and a half with FMCA Energized.

18) What happened to cause us to change our minds about non-motorized RVs?  This isn’t the first time this idea has come up. Members have repeatedly asked FMCA leadership why the association didn’t welcome all RV owners. After all, it’s not about the equipment; it’s about the people who choose the RV lifestyle. Our goal is to make sure FMCA is around for the next generation. So, we need to continue to welcome younger RVers to ensure continued growth of the association. Have we up until now shooed away young people? No! And unless we start to offer up reasons for young people to join, we will only get older towable owners.

19) Did FMCA do this just because of the money?  No. It’s about the family! Motorhomes don’t go to conventions; people do. We want dues to stay affordable for everyone while providing top-notch benefits. With more members over whom to spread the cost of the member benefits, FMCA can serve more RV owners. This of coure assumes a major increase in membership.

20) Younger people are known for not being interested in joining organizations, and they may not want to volunteer. How will we handle that?  It’s true that younger people with families may be busy working, raising their children, and have other day-to-day demands that can make time for volunteering difficult. But we won’t know until we ask. By talking with them, welcoming them, and inviting their participation as volunteers, we may find they bring a higher level of energy to our volunteer efforts, even if they can’t participate as often as current members. Extend a greeting the next time you see a younger RVer, and you may find those who would be interested in FMCA membership aren’t so different from you! After all, millennials and Gen-Xers are the future of the RV industry. We keep going back to increasing membership, we have only a fraction of MH owners as members, young OR old. Does anyone really think that if we've failed miserably at attracting our coure group we'lll suddenly attract a whole new demographic?

21) How will we adjust our methods of communication as we welcome owners of towables, many of whom are likely to be younger than today’s FMCA members?  We don’t have any plans in place to eliminate publications or current communications tools.  We are already using email and social media effectively, and this will continue to evolve as we gain experience with these methods. Many may be younger, but so are a considerable number of MH owners and we can't attract them. Age today has very little to do with how people communicate. People in their 60's and 70's for the most part are quite comfortable with modern communication equipment. I bet almost all of them actually use telephones!

22) Will our benefits change? They may – but only for the better! Even today, benefits evolve to serve our members.  As we see an increase in membership, we’ll just have a wider audience of member needs and interests. FMCA will never stop delivering value (and fun) to our members. We shall see.

23) Why couldn’t we have just grown the organization by getting more motorhome owners to join?  FMCA has an active member recruitment program and has been signing up thousands of new members every year.  However, we also have been losing thousands of members every year due to age-related factors. The new members who are joining today aren’t new to RVing – they have built friendships and memories with other RVers. Instead of feeling as though they were turning their backs on those friendships, we’d rather they just bring their friends along for the fun with FMCA! Not that I've seen. Manufacturers and Dealers should have information that gets put in buyer's hands. Campgrounds should have information in their brochure racks and we need to get more campgrounds to offer a discount.

The above in red are some thoughts I've espoused ever since I became aware of this issue. I intend to remain a member for the foreseeable future. I will state that I hope that my more dire thoughts and prediction fail to materialize and FMCA thrives, but only tome will tell. 

 
 

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Other than Parking at a FMCA sanctioned event and the possibility of a couple of Discrimination issues, I see no problems!

Carl

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Not a lawyer, but there are many, many chapters that have membership restrictions. Most "brand chapters" are restrictive.  Never been a problem in the past-- don't see that as an issue in the future.

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People need to spend some time with the book of Policy & Procedures before they say it would/can't ever happen. Some P&Ps are GB approval and some are EB approval. It wouldn't be any problem for the EB to change a P&P and then your chapter would have to let a trailer into your "branded chapter".

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Since the club is no longer motorhome-centric, and we have no need for a third generic RV club membership beyond Good Sam and Escapees, we've requested a refund of our unused future membership years (we had renewed for multiple additional years prior to the leadership's push to change the charter).  

 

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I did not vote on this issue for a reason, I certainly hope to see FMCA grow and continue many more good benefits each and every year. When I go to campgrounds now I park amidst many towables and many MH's. I have very few complaints among most other tenants in the parks. Therefore I am happy to see new blood come aboard and hope that the vote is a step in the right direction.  I'm currently paid well into 2021 and will still proudly keep the eggs in their respective places, both front and rear.

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Somehow it feels like I'm on a Good Sams site looking for Camping world.  I knew this would happen as it's all about the $ not to stay exclusive.  

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Oh well, I had hoped it would go the other way, my membership is up in 11 more days, I had wanted to renew, but now I just don't know.  I have done the ride the sinking ship down with other organizations in the past, and have no desire to repeat the experience.   So while this may give a burst to membership, though I doubt it, I feel it will inevitably turn FMCA into another GS style camping club, and my GS membership is paid up for 3 more years.

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I have been a GS member since 1973, Charter Life...after I became a FMCA member!  My only regret is that I didn't take a L# when it was available, like I did with GS!  I also have a Escapees membership.  One thing I noticed is that GSamer's had this same "knee jerk" reaction when the Class A's first started to show up at the National Rallies, along with the Big Rig Manufacturers!  Now, it's Ho, Hum.  All are accepted.  The same will happen within FMCA!  Some will drop out, some will trade or sell their coach and get a towable and of course we will get others who already have a towable...like my best friend's and golf partners!

FMCA is not going to get a massive amount of trailers over the next year, anymore than GS did.  Most of you are GS members because of the 10% discount at Campgrounds and CW parts store.  Just as most are members of Passport America for the discounts!

I'm paid up for 5 years and though disappointed and sadden, I'm not going anywhere!  End of one era = the beginning off another! :)  74,000+ members had an opportunity to cast a vote, you, for whatever reason, allowed 12% to make the decision for you!    

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We're newer members and newer coach owners. We joined FMCA since it was an organization which focused its membership on a specific type of vehicle.

I'm surprised and disappointed at the results. FMCA has now become just another all-purpose organization in the RV world. My fear is that it will now lose its identity and reason for being around and just fade into the mix.

Not sure if we'll renew next year, but the results of this vote have us definitely leaning towards not renewing.

 

 

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I am so glad I will be able to keep my FMCA membership money in my pocket.  I let it expire earlier in the year and I can now use that money for something valuable to me which Family MOTOR COACH Assn used to be but no longer will be.  Just don't need a 3rd generic RV organization (4th?, 5th?).

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My feelings are that I will not drop my membership, but I will be less likely to espouse FMCA as a place to go. My feeling is that we had just started to turn the corner with programs such as FMCA Energized and had we kept on course we'd have been fine. Now we have converted our organization into something it was never intended to be. Time will tell which side is or was right. I feel that all this PC Include everyone is a wrong path. While this is not as bad as having one restroom for all it is on the same pathway. Differences and different places to go are not a bad thing. No one says that you can't go camping next to your friends in a towable or that they can't go camping next to you in your MH, just that since they don't have a MH they can't be members here. You need to have an Airstream Trailer to camp in some campgrounds. Should we all petition those CGs to change their rules?

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I will be removing my goose eggs this weekend, and asking for a refund of my membership dues.  You lost at least one member who is under 60 years old and travels with kids.  The exact demographic you are hoping to attract.  Enjoy Good Sam #2.

Chris Guenther

Formerly F3508s

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Your a long time member in your own right.  Your parents where long time members.  I'm going too miss your insight ! :(

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I originally had no issues with allowing other RV's to join and then after reading many passionate posts about why people joined I did some looking back to why I joined and it was simply because it was an organization for Motorized RV's.  When it came time to  vote I voted No to keep it the same.   However, looking back to when I renewed it I found  was because the perceived value of membership exceeded my dues.   The real bottom line for me is whether I get my dues worth from maintaining my membership.  At this point I still feel that I get my moneys worth and have no plans of not renewing my membership.   My hope is that inclusion is ran right where it helps maintain low dues and the list of included benefits (not just discounts) is maintained or grows which will intern grow the membership.  I have some concerns about the organization handling this properly based on the past nonetheless I will give them the time to get it done and will contribute whatever I can to make it happen.   The big disappointment here is not the way the vote went but the low number of people that voted after three magazines and emails reminding them to vote - it says something about the membership in general. 

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5 hours ago, richard5933 said:

We're newer members and newer coach owners. We joined FMCA since it was an organization which focused its membership on a specific type of vehicle.

I'm surprised and disappointed at the results. FMCA has now become just another all-purpose organization in the RV world. My fear is that it will now lose its identity and reason for being around and just fade into the mix.

Not sure if we'll renew next year, but the results of this vote have us definitely leaning towards not renewing.

 

 

Richard, this is exactly where we are at.  I will give it another few months but I doubt that the membership benefits will not exceed the dues for us.  As full timers belonging to GS and Passport are no brainers because you get your dues back in the first month with discounts.  About the only discount I am possibly looking at taking advantage of with FMCA is the tire purchasing program, and that won't be for another 3 or 4 years.   As new DP owners we will wait and see if the FMCA contributes to any of our other needs or if we find the publications interesting/informative.  

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No one really knows what the change will bring, we can only imagine the course FMCA will take allowing all RV's to participate.

It could fail, or it could be a better organization and only time will tell. Until then, I'll wait and see what is in the future.

After having a friend on travel have a heart attack and the FMCA Assist transporting him in a Lear medically equipped  jet, getting his MH back to his home, all at no cost to him or his family, I'm thinking that the benefit definitely outweighs  the cost of membership. AT $50 a year renewal it is a fantastic insurance program.

Regarding the discounts of other clubs, the FMCA membership also gives 10% discounts at many RV parks.

Other than having a motor on my RV, how many other items are conducive to all RV's. Yes, there are a few individual items but most appliances are contained in both types. There may be some good information coming from "the other side." Only time will tell.

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I believe that has changed and now you a moved to the nearest adequate faclility and not to your home  if you require rehab they will fly home on a commercial plane.  I understand the recent change to cut cost of the ASSIST program   

I also understand that if you have insurance ASSIST will bill them for the move.  I know for a fact that Medicare and my supplement will also cover moving us to a adequate faclility but they won’t pay for airline ticket to fly home for rehab.  

 

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I am disappointed and hate to think that we are now members of the "Good Fam Club", but we are committed through 2022 and have already recovered our membership fees through a unfortunate use of FMCA Assist. We will continue to support the organization as long as it provides satisfaction to us. 

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I've watched with great sadness and disappointment as so many organizations evolve over the years to try and be all things to all people, losing their essence in the process. The same happens all the time with retail outlets, and the results are the same. My mother used to say to us as kids that we should 'always remember to dance with the one that brung you". I can see how she'd be shaking her head right now in utter disappointment as FMCA moves away from the people and the reason it exists.

Maybe another organization will rise from the ashes and serve the needs of those driving motor homes, not pulling them behind a pickup. Of course there are similar aspects of pull-behind RVs and motor homes, and of course there are similar aspects of camping that we all share. But, driving a 35-foot 27000-pound vehicle across the country is nothing at all like pulling a pop-up trailer behind the family mini van. Unless FMCA can continue to serve the needs of those of us driving a motor home our membership will be a short-lived one.

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6 hours ago, wayne77590 said:

Other than having a motor on my RV, how many other items are conducive to all RV's. Yes, there are a few individual items but most appliances are contained in both types. There may be some good information coming from "the other side." Only time will tell.

Let's count them: Generator, Transmission, Axles, Suspension, Steering, Air system, Toad Brakes, Windshield, the tires and wheels we have campared to a towable, Towbar systems  to name the first group that comes to mind. Yes there are similarities, but a Mustang won't get you membership is a Corvette club.

 

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Now I see no difference between GS and FMCA.  I have a feeling that this site will lose its appeal.  I read Forest River  forum a lot and to be honest, half of the time I have no idea what the unit is being discussed looks or is TT or 5th wheeler.  That WAS the greatest thing about FMCA, it was about motorized RVs.  Even during rallies, vendors will required more space due to new vendors for towed units. And the list go on and on.  I have until Apr for renewal , unless they offer a rebate, but don’t see a need  to renew  right now.

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Richard,

You will not find pop ups joining FMCA. In Indianapolis the governing board decided that for FMCA an RV is a self contained vehicle with a Kitchen (Cooking) facilities, Sleeping accommodations and a permanently plumbed in toilet and shower. I am sorry that I don't have the exact wording but it excludes tents and pop up. 

I for one may or may not have wanted towables. But I will go by the vote of the membership. Every member had the opportunity to cast their vote. It is obvious that out of over 74,000  member only a bit over 11,000 had enough of an opinion to cast a vote.

I will continue to support the members of our chapters, the Six-State Rally Association and FMCA. 

I hope to have the chance to visit with each of you in Perry.

Herman    

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