With the FMCA rally over, we took in just about enough to cover our expenses getting into the event, and make a small wage for ourselves, if we had been children working in a Chinese sweat shop someplace. Financially, it was just about our worst rally ever, even though there were thousands of RVers in attendance.
The good news is that we made some contacts that may pay off down the road in terms of future business. The bad news is that every negative thing we have ever felt about the FMCA was reinforced tenfold; from the snob attitude so very many of the members exhibit, to the way they run the rally.
Terry and I have been family members of the FMCA for ten years, but we had to also purchase a commercial membership just to qualify to come here and pay them to vend. And they still expect us to maintain our family membership too! What’s up with that! I think when it comes time to renew, we’ll just tell them where to stick both memberships.
For me, the final straw was when a member of the FMCA Governing Board came by our booth and wanted to purchase about $140 worth of our products for $50, because as a Governing Board member, he felt he should get some special consideration. I asked him where the consideration was for the vendors that had to pay double duty just to get into their rally, and sent him on his way.
I think the only people who had to put up with more bulls#&% than the vendors here was longtime Gypsy Journal subscriber Greg Vederoff, who sent me this photograph of his rig after parking at a Flying J. Greg said when they pulled in they parked next to a school bus towing a car, which left and was later replaced by a cattle truck that left him this present. What a mess!
Okay, enough of that, let’s talk about a fun rally, namely our upcoming Gypsy Gathering rally in Celina, Ohio in late September. I’ve got some good news for you; the folks from Recreational Vehicle Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF) will be at the rally giving a couple of great seminars, and weighing RVs. If you have not had your rig weighed, that’s something you really need to get done.
An overloaded RV can be a very dangerous thing, and cost you not only in terms of premature equipment failure, but also in your very safety. Check out the RVSEF website to learn a lot about weight issues in your RV, and while you’re at it, go ahead and register for their RV Lifestyle Safety and Education Clinic too!
My pal Henry Gartner, aka Flakey the Clown, will also put in an appearance at the rally. If you don’t know this wonderful, gentle man, you’re in for a real treat! I profiled Henry in my Today’s Hero Blog a while back. Read Henry’s story and the comments by so many people who love him, and I think you’ll be impressed. Henry has promised to teach us all some easy magic tricks we can use to amaze and delight our grandkids. I’m looking forward to it.
Before I sign off, I want you to check out a brand new free website called ChatRV.com, which was unveiled at the FMCA rally. The owners tell me it’s sort of a Facebook just for RVers. Since our Verizon air card signal has been so poor here, I have not had the opportunity to spend much time looking it over. It’s got a long way to go, but could this be the next new rage for RVers? Tell me what you think.
Thought For The Day – When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Can you say “Coulrophobia ” Cathy sure can!
Now I hafta go to the dictionary!
Nick, if more of your readers feelhe way you (and we) do about FMCA, they may see a sudden drop in membership, and they’ll never know why because I’ll bet the Governing Board doesn’t read your blog or the Gypsy Journal.
($140 worth of our products for $50, because as a Governing Board member, he felt he should get some special consideration.)
Next thing you know this person will be running for public office so he can get to the real money.
It that what bad Nick would say?? Yes, then we think alike.
Let him out
Nick, couldn’t agree with you more regarding the snobs in the FMCA. We have found that mostly at the regional and national level, however. Our local chapter from central Illinois is quite low key and no million dollar rigs. Just working folks who enjoy weekend camping. One of our chapter members is Don Moore, former national president of FMCA. I found it unusual that he was so far up in the esteemed echelon ’cause he drove a mere Newmar Mountain Aire and certainly was not a wealthy man by any stretch. The first national FMCA rally we attended was maybe 10 years ago in Oklahoma City, OK. As we were new RVer’s we were quite entralled of the whole new “lifestyle” we were had discovered. We walked around the fairgrounds and stumbled upon the officials and officers of the FMCA parking area. The million dollar coaches spread out across the full hookup area in all their splendor. One in particular stood out…a custom Provost with a matching car carrier with an awsome paint job. The cargo trailer was as big as our first motorhome. The carrier’s cargo was a Rolls Royce and a shining brand spankin’ new Harley. I remember telling Paul that I think this lifestyle was gonna be above our means! We did enjoy our local chapter and still keep in contact with many of the members but no longer belong to a local. We still enjoy Escapee’s but also on the local level. The BOFs are also fun outings. We have also decided that we will probably not renew our membership in the FMCA.
I have been an FMCA member since 1984 and have attended a few rallys but not since about 1994. I keep the membership because I use their mail forwarding and some of their other benefits. I do not belong to a local chapter and agree with you that for the most part, that style of rv’ing just does not apply to us. They do have a decent magazine though. We also agree that they want way to much from vendors for the return.
Here is my take on the member of the FMCA governing board:
1) He has abused his position
2) He is a cheap s.o.b.
Here is my take on the influence of the Gypsy Journal:
I will never give one dime to FMCA. I am not interested in dealing with snobs or people who think their _ _ _ _ does not stink. Thank you for bringing to light this reprehensible behaviour. He would make a typical polititian.
But I am interested and will attend Gypsy Journal rallies, and my wife and I look forward to meeting some of the real people who fulltime whether in a 5er, TT or Class C or A.
Hurray!!!!!! Bad Nick got to come out and play today!!!!!
Hey, Nick. You seem to be having some new fun. I vote for a “Bad Nick Blog”. I think our problem is that we assume others know about manners, ethics, proper behavior, etc. But they don’t. If we spell it out for them and they are still a..holes then we know they truly are.
A coworker recently vented and told me what a “bitch” I was and why he hated to ask me to do anything for him. He’s salaried and works less than 20 hours a week. He comes and goes as he pleases yet expects me to do all of his work. My company changed my responsibilities so he is suppose to do all of his own clerial work. He is one of those people who take advantage the moment you’re nice and to something for him. I actually have enough work to keep my butt busy and refuse to be stressed out and overworked for someone who cannot manage to work over 20 hours a week. My work ethic may be what is keeping me in a job in this tough economy. Yet I resent the fact that I am the one who is always giving 110 percent and others still have jobs while only giving 60% or less.
So I think you should have a separate blog for “Bad Nick” that lets you vent. You will find many of us will use you comments section to vent also. I am not a full time rver but I know many things in my life affect you. And many things that affect you will affect others. It’s a small world Mr. Nick. I think nasty Nick can have a forum that vents yet comes up with game plans. I know I am getting short on ideas. Maybe someone else can help me come up with a unique idea for my problem. If nothing else, you will have given people a place to vent and hang in there.