08.07.16 FMCA Convention in West Springfield, Massachusetts

ese-gallery-history-01Sunday, August 6, 2016 – We arrived on Tuesday morning, August 2nd on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition, known locally as the Big E.  The Big E is a massive place with several convention buildings all being used by the Family Motor Coach Association for this Convention which RVers know as a “Rally.”

The photos below are of the main expo center and several of the buildings along the Avenue of States that are not even on the aerial photograph of the Big E.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe helped Curtis set up our booth on Tuesday.  Wednesday the convention started and we worked 1 pm to 5 pm.  Thursday Friday and Saturday we worked 9 am to 5 pm.  Ours was the “RVillage” booth.  FMCA members are mostly older folks our age and much older.  Most of them have not heard of RVillage. I can say that most all of them at the Rally know who we are and a lot have signed up to be RVillagers.

We smiled, introduced ourselves and shared the RVillage love all day every day.  We truly loved every minute of it, mostly because we love RVillage.  We are beyond exhausted right now (Saturday evening) since we just left the exposition hall for the last time and are now back, enjoying our wonderful Dora who hasn’t seen much of us these last few days!

Curtis and one of our RVillage Ambassadors Jim Hollis (Jim is the FMCA Chaplain). Jim and his wife Jan were delightful to visit with.  20160806_122811

Curtis put on two RVillage seminars.  I attended this one with him and operated the computer showing the attendees all about RVillage.com.20160805_135636

A tiny bit of the the main exposition building.20160804_154700

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Our RVillage booth showing my boss Curtis in one photo, Roy in another and me in one!20160804_115058 20160804_105347 20160804_105025

One of the booths adjoining ours!20160803_131534

One night we went out to dinner on the convention center grounds in an area of old New England homes in Storrowtown Village.  The restaurant was the Storrowtown Tavern.  If you’re from Hammond the inside was similar to Jacmel Restaurant with the big fireplace and old wooden floors.  I enjoyed Yankee Pot Roast and Roy enjoyed Fish (cod) and Chip.  As we walked out the restaurant door we were surprised by some wonderful jazz music being played in the Storrowtown Square Gazebo.  Everyone brings their lawn chairs and claps and taps along with the music.  20160804_174319 20160804_174146 20160804_190554 20160804_190603 20160804_190637 20160804_190706

RVillage was so well received that our booth stayed very busy through out the convention so we all needed to be there most of the time. Roy was able to attend two seminars, Catepillar Diesel maintenance seminar and the Cummins Onan Generator maintenance seminar. He learned an awful lot from these two seminars.  The Spartan Chassis seminar was the main one Roy wanted to attend but it was scheduled at the same time the seminar Curtis and I did so Roy was needed at the RVillage booth and couldn’t go to that seminar.

Other than visiting the other booths we were also able to walk through dozens of new motor homes.   FMCA is predominantly Class A motor home owners, so that is what was for sale here.  The ones inside right by us were Entegra motor homes.  The ones like ours (Fleetwood) and other brands were all around the grounds outside.  I want to share with ya’ll what some of them look like but that will come next time.  These are motor homes ranging from $200,000 to $675,000!

See ya’ll tomorrow!  Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!803a55b23f049f6011a992add4f34d7d

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07.30.16 – FMCA Convention in West Springfield, Massachusetts next week August 3 – 6

fmca_online_logoSaturday, July 30, 2016 – We’re in a fairly boring location right now so I’m really looking forward to next Tuesday when we drive over to West Springfield, Massachusetts for the FMCA Convention.

The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) is an international organization for families who own and enjoy the recreational use of motor homes. With approximately 75,000 active member families, FMCA is the largest association dedicated exclusively to the freedom, fun and enjoyment of owning a motor home.

We have been a member of FMCA for a couple of years now. When my boss, Curtis, made it known he was looking for a couple of RVillagers to attend the conference with him representing RVillage, Roy and I considered it and let him know we were his couple!!

We will help man the RVillage booth, #720 at Eastern States Exposition Hall. I’ll be sharing with ya’ll our experiences while we’re there but I wanted to take a little time today to share with you what they are about and what we think we’ll be experiencing there.

First-Year FMCA Membership is only $50 … Renewal $40. The value of FMCA’s member benefits far exceeds the cost of the annual dues. Benefit highlights:

  • Family Motor Coaching magazine — receive the monthly print edition (we receive ours online) and get immediate full access to the Web version and digital edition, including back issues, after you set up your online account
  • FMCAssist Medical Emergency and Travel Assistance Program — included with membership. As soon as you join FMCA, you are automatically enrolled in this program. It covers you worldwide, as long as you are 100 miles from home. And you can be traveling in a motorhome, car, plane, ship, or motorcycle.
  • Michelin Advantage tire purchasing — save on RV tires and passenger car tires with this popular benefit
  • Discounts at FMCA commercial member campgrounds
  • FMCA RV Insurance — priority access to the industry’s leading RV insurance experts who can find the right carrier for you and your motorhome
  • FMCA Roadside Assistance Program — group rates on this customized program
  • Approximately 475 special-interest chapters to join
  • Chapter rallies, area rallies and Family Reunions (aka conventions)
  • Exciting RV caravan tours at discounted rates

We’ve received the 112 page digital version of the Conference Magazine and the theme is “Celebrating Your Freedom.” You guys know we definitely celebrate our freedom of living on the road! We are looking forward to getting to attend some of the following:

  • Several big named manufacturers will have their motor homes on display for us to check out! We love Dora but we always love seeing what’s new! We just don’t talk about it in front of Dora!
  • Evening entertainment by “The Texas Tenors” that was featured on America’s Got Talent, Dave and Daphne, and American Idol semifinalist Ayla Brown.
  • We just know we’ll win the Grand Prize of a 34 day Mississippi River Run RV Vacation for Two!
  • We will attend the “First Time Attendees” Get Together!
  • Lots and Lots of play opportunities!
  • Roy’s going to attend the Spartan Chassis Maintenance Seminar and the Caterpillar Engine Maintenance Seminar.
  • We hope to attend as many seminars as possible in some of these areas as they relate to our Full timing RV life. There are dozens of seminars within each area below and several other areas:
    • Communication and Technology
    • Satellite TV and Sound
    • Websites and Blogging!!!
    • Motor home living
    • Cooking
    • Coach interior upkeep
    • Travel – from how to travel to what to see when you travel
    • Motorhome maintenance and operations
    • A big major thing that Roy’s all excited about is having Blue Ox rebuild Boot’s tow bar. This tow bar goes between Dora’s rear end and Boot’s front end.

Since the list of seminar topics within each category is very long it will take some time to narrow down the most important ones we want to see.

The list of Exhibitors (which includes RVillage) is quite extensive and should provide us with a great learning experience!

I will be spending most of the time 9-5 in RVillage’s booth but Roy will have plenty of time to learn more about this lifestyle we love. I hope to get out of the booth to take in the sites at all the other booths and to learn a little bit at a seminar or two. I like the Blogging, Cooking and Travel seminar categories! Roy will like all the maintenance and technology stuff! Hopefully we’ll get to meet and become friends with the almost 10,000 that are expected to attend.

I hope this gives ya’ll a little idea of what we are going to be experiencing next week at the Conference.

If you haven’t already checked out RVillage.com, click on the link and go on over there to sign up – it’s free!

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