Jump to content

Never Attended A Rally, But....

Recommended Posts

Never attended a rally, but this year offered a compatible schedule, so we got all excited about going to the Midwest Rally in Iowa (at a County Fairgrounds). This was to be the first of many happy rally memories. So I got some info and had questions that I started to investigate by telephone...and while the ANSWERS were off-putting to me, I want to make clear that the FMCA people that I spoke with were very engaging and helpful.


First - ELECTRIC was limited and kind of iffy. Water was apparently going to be some sort of a shared experience.

Second - No SEWER hook-ups. There was "a" dump station available if we wanted to un-hook and drive to dump and then return to our site and re-establish ourselves. And "maybe" there was going to be honeywagon service available at a cost of $20-40 each time, but there was no assurance at this time and there would likely not be an opportunity to have a scheduled time.

Third - CAMPFIRES...a mainstay of our social activities at ANY venue...are NOT allowed because of the fire hazard presented with the coaches being only 8 ft from one another while parked.

Now I don't consider myself a fuddy-duddy, but when presented with these initial three impediments to what I had previously assumed was going to be a rollicking good time at our first rally, I started becoming less than enthusiastic about rallying.

Obviously - NO SHOWERING in the coach, because the tanks will fill up and not have an assured outlet. So - multiple hundreds of people competing for 2 mens and 2 womens showers. Not my idea of fun. NO CAMPFIRES to sit and socialize at with all the attendant benefits. And who knows what other surprises that I wasn't experienced enough to ask about. It sounds like it has all the charm of a shopping center parking lot carnival.

Am I wrong in my assessment of this? Or is such an event somehow so otherwise wonderful that normal standards shouldn't be applied?

I would appreciate the benefit of any feedback on these circumstances to discover if this is the norm - or did I happen to catch one that was unusual and is there still some future in rallying for us? To me, at this point - it seems that an uninviting environment with 500 wonderful people is still an uninviting environment. What are your thoughts?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are accustom to resort type campgrounds the rally would seem primitive.

However there are some things that those type of campgrounds don't have such as evening entertainment, coach displays, vendors galore, enjoying fellow rvers, etc.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wondered how we would survive our first rally. I loaded up with fresh water and emptied the waste tanks. 4 days later I had a half a tank of fresh and only partially filled the waste tanks. We ran the generator about an hour/day to charge batteries and to make coffee and see the morning news. The rest of the day we were off at seminars and looking at all the supplier's wares. Evenings were organized entertainment. A lot of fun and didn't need a source of water, or to dump tanks or the need for electricity or even a fire. Give it a try!

Jim Boguslaw

07 Country Coach Tribute

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many of the items you state about area rallys or national conventions are true, but have you looked at chapters? I don't know where you are located, but I am sure that there are FMCA Chapters near you. Go to FMCA.com, Select the Chapter/Area Tab, choose either Chapter Search or Chapters by Area. Look at several some may be close to you or have a special interest that you have in common. There is a Chapter Rally Calendar to look through, too. Most chapters will accept guest visitors, but may require advance registration. Visit several to find the best fit for you. Depending on the location or facilities at their rally, campfires may be allowed. Even if they are not, you will find the that the socialization will be much closer than at the larger rallies.

I am willing to help you if you need it.

Safe travels

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Afternoon Larry,

Being the person who is responsible for the Midwest Area Rally, I would
like to answer your concerns.

The FMCA Area Rallys are typically held in a fairgrounds. The reason for
this is the number of coaches that will be attending. There are very few rally
sites that have the capability of having anywhere from 400 to 2500 coaches.
These sites have been previously visited by a Rally Committee so that they will
have a working knowledge of what is available and what may still be needed to
make a pleasant and enjoyable rally for our attendees.

Following I am going to be specific to the Delaware County Fairgrounds in
Manchester, IA, as this is where the Midwest Area Rally is to be held July 24
through July 27, 2013.

Regarding your first question of available electric, there will be 30 amp
electric available to All Rally Attendees. As with all rallys that you may
attend, bring an extension cord as you may not be parked directly in front of
an electrical connection.

Water will not be available to attendees on each site. Each coach will not
be directly connected to a water supply but water will be available to you for
refilling holding tanks should the need arise.

There are dump stations on site and we should have pump out service for
those who wish to be pumped out on site. There will be a nominal charge for
this which is paid directly to the service provider. Along with this we will
have several porta-potties spaced throughout the grounds for your convenience.
It is my experience, that if people who are attending the rally come on site
with a full water tank and empty grey and black tanks, they will not have the
need to dump before the end of the rally.
Afterwards, people will use the dump stations on their departure or will
dump at their next campground as they travel.

Campfires are not allowed at any rally. The local Fire Department
regulations will not allow open fires of any kind on the grounds and the FMCA
insurance company underwriting this event will not accept any liability
regarding camp fires. With the number of coaches on site it is just too risky.

I believe that with the activities such as vendors, new and used coach
displays, continental breakfast and two full breakfasts, optional pork chop
dinner ,seminars, bingo, golf outing, Ladies Tea,(Vintage Fashion Show) chapter
fair, photo contest ,bus tours,( Field of Dreams, Windmill Farm) ice cream
social, and evening and day entertainment you will find a very full and rewarding
day. As busy as I believe that you will be, I don't think that you will miss
the camp fire and you will still meet many new people and be able to add to you
circle of friends.

Hopefully you will decide to attend the Midwest Area Rally.

If you do, when you come on site, ask for me; I would like to meet you.

Thank you for your interest in the Midwest Area Rally.


Bob Nebel

FMCA National Vice-President, Midwest Area

President, Midwest Area Cooperative

ph - 815 814 9100

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Larry, Welcome to the Forum.

There are all kinds of Rallies. Some go into the desert, park in a circle and build a camp fire in the middle. Then there are some that go to a high priced casino and park in style. Some go to different RV Parks and some go into pastures.

For our chapter, Lone Star, we have 5 rallies each year and go to 5 different Parks. We charge a set fee that the Wagon Masters and their assistants will plan for 2 breakfast and 3 dinners.

As for the South Central Rally each year, we go to locations where they can accommodate at least 600 coaches. Folks may register for 50 amp full hooks up, 30 amp full, Elec only, generator or dry camping.

Like Bob, I would like to invite you to join Lone Star at one of our Rallies and South Central at our Rally in Sedalia MO. September 11-12-13-14, 2013.

Go back and give the Midwest Rally another chance and then come further down to Sedalia and have fun with more great folks. :D

Herman Mullins

President Lone Star Chapter

SRA Parking Captain

FMCA 88th Family Reunion and Motorhom Showcase Volunteer

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My two cents in regards to campfires. I am glad they are not allowed. Some of us have smoke allergies and welcome campgrounds or events that do not have fires. That being said I will crank a small fire every once in a blue moon to cook burgers on or do a particular indian vegatable dish that requires that smokey charred flavor. For that I carry a milk crate with some dried hardwood.

Sometimes in high density campgrounds or events with lots of fires going you end up with a thick fog of particulate matter that makes it hard to breathe. It gets even worse in national parks or state parks as people burn green wood or other forest debris that doesn't burn clean.

It is one of the reasons I like this type of function.

We all are different which is what the world is all about ... To each his own :)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rallies aren't for everyone. Like you, we partake when our schedule matches the rally schedule. Right now we we are in Gillette at the FMCA 50th Anniversary Rally/Convention/Family Gathering. There are an unknown (to me) number of coaches but it is well over 1000. We've been here for a week and a half right now having attended the Monaco International Pre-Rally the week before this rally. The facilities are excellent. We signed up for 30A electric, the temperatures are good, one air conditioner is keeping us comfortable. We have water and sewer in our site. This is the deluxe site at this rally. Others are getting by with no water, no electric, no sewer. Some were too late to sign up for these conveniences, others chose to go the less expensive route. We've done the complete without facilities route and made it work. We've been stuck in the mud after a week with no facilities (in 2002) and we keep coming back. Why?

We are among a huge number of people who have wheels in common with us. No matter how big the rig, no matter how long we've been at this, we are all brothers (or sisters) of the road. We love to travel, we love to explore, we love being free to go where we want to go. We can share stories, adventures and challenges. I worked as a volunteer this afternoon and enjoyed talking with any number of people about their RV experiences. There is among us travelers, an amazing kinship that allows us to find a common thread even though we have many other differences.

That is why we are called to join this assemblage of motor homes every so often, just to renew our commitment to this lifestyle and to those who practice our unusual devotion to being free and fortunate enough to travel.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...