Rally Recap

 Posted by at 7:09 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 162010

We had 221 RVs at the rally, and nearly 300 people who are staying in local RV parks here in Yuma came in on day passes. That’s a pretty good turnout, and we were very pleased with the numbers.

In looking over the feedback forms and the e-mails we have received about the rally, we see a common theme in them. The biggest complaints we had were about a lack of power. A lot of people said that they expected 30 amp hookups, but we seldom find that at fairgrounds or RV rallies. The 20 amp power more commonly available is enough to keep your batteries charged, but as soon as people start using coffee pots, microwave ovens, and curling irons, circuit breakers start tripping.

The noise caused by aircraft from the Marine Air Station was also a problem for some people, but there really isn’t anything we can do about that. But, a lot of people said that while the noise was somewhat bothersome, it was no big deal, and that they would rather put up with that than wading through the mud at the Pinal County Fairgrounds in Casa Grande, or the noxious smell from the nearby dairy there.

There were some other issues raised and suggestions made for future rallies at this venue, and in a meeting yesterday with the fairgrounds management, I think we resolved most of them. Unlike the people running the fairgrounds in Casa Grande, the management here in Yuma is eager to earn our continued business, they listen to our needs, and they try to address them.

The fairgrounds is going to increase the electrical power available for RV hookups, as well as the number of “spider boxes” used to supply temporary hookups during rallies. They hope to increase the amount of electric available in the north parking area (Lot B), as well as bringing power to a new area where we should be able to park 30 or more RVs. 

Next year the rally will be March 7-11, right here at the Yuma Fairgrounds. We plan to have a food vendor on site, we will rent a couple of six passenger golf carts to shuttle people around, and we have arranged for the use of an extra building for vendor seminars, which will solve the problem of noise in the large vendor building interfering with seminars. Another complaint was low water pressure in the north lot, which has been resolved already. Apparently there was an underground leak, which they fixed Monday.

This rally was a learning experience, and we are putting those lessons to use.  I also obtained permission for our parking crew to come in a day early and dry camp next year, which will speed things up on Early Bird parking day.

This year’s rally was a lot of hard work, and a lot of fun. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Our Winnebago Ultimate Advantage really needed a bath, and Greg and Jan White’s American Eagle was just about as bad. So yesterday we had a mobile crew come in from Road Runner RV Wash, and they washed and hand waxed both rigs from the roof down. There are several companies that provide this service to the snowbirds here in Yuma, and they keep pretty busy. The cost for our 40 foot motorhome, including hand waxing, was $100.

Washing side soapy

Our van was coated in mud from parking RVs in the rain last week, and when I asked how much it would be to do it too, I was told $10. It costs me more than that  do the job at a car wash myself!

Washing van

Today we are going to leave Yuma and caravan north with Greg and Jan. They have never been to Lake Havasu City or seen the London Bridge, so we’ll make a stop there to play tourist, and then we’ll go on to Laughlin, Nevada for a night.

We have reservations at the Thousand Trails in Las Vegas on Wednesday, where we plan to just relax and unwind for a week or two, while we wait for the weather to warm up in our old hometown of Show Low, in northern Arizona. Once we’re sure winter really is over in the high country,. we’re headed there for a much needed grandkid fix.

Thought For The Day – ‘Normal’ is just a setting on the dryer.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  12 Responses to “Rally Recap”

  1. Nick,

    You are to be congratulated on not only doing a great job on this year’s Western Rally, but for planning to make improvements based on evaluation forms. I’ve not see this kind of response from organizers of other rallies we’ve attended. Your changes for 2011 sound terrific. We’ll do our best to be there and will join Nick’s “army of volunteers.”

  2. Nick,
    LOVE the larger picture format! Hope you continue that format.

    Joy and Phil

  3. Nick,

    Given the very high quality of your rallys already and the positive responses to the feedback forms, resulting in an even better rally next year, we have already added your western rally to our calendar for 2011 and will once again be a part of your volunteer group. Enjoy your rest in LV. You and Miss Terry have certainly earned it. Lynn and I will also try to make the eastern rally next year. We haven’t spent much time it that part of the country yet.

  4. Thanks for making the changes based on evaluation forms, Nick. We look forward to attending future Gypsy Journal Rallies, and applaud the fact that you not only listen to constructive criticism, you act on it! And it’s nice to know that the Yuma Fairgrounds personnel are responsive and willing to make needed changes. What a nice difference from Casa Grande!

  5. I checked my dryer and there’s no setting for normal, so am I ahead of the game?

  6. Congratulations on what sounds like a fun rally. Hopefully, we can attend one soon. We attended the first Tucson Life on Wheels rally in 2006. We learned a lot and thought you were one of the best and most interesting speakers.

  7. Oh, goody! A food vendor! I wished for that the first day but forgot to include it in my evaluation. Just warn the vendor that everyone eats lunch at the same time so they need to be ready for a mob.

    As to water pressure, the faucet by us didn’t have any water but our tanks provided enough for the week so we were OK with that.

    And having you remind us in your blog the day before we came in that those planes were the sound of freedom helped us cope with that. I think it would have helped if the presenter we listened to in the vendor room had a microphone, though.

    It was another one of your great rallies and they just keep getting better. Thanks for all your hard work to provide such fun, education, and products for us.

  8. I loved hearing the sounds of the planes…especially after spending my parking days watching them land and take off. Beginning to look like we might make the free air show here on the 27th. LOL!

    Getting the sessions out of the main hall will be a good thing. I didn’t go to any of those but know others that did and it was tough.

    Glad you liked the washing service, that’s the one we called yesterday. Our rig gets done tomorrow!

    See you in IN next summer!! Hugs to you both for ALL you do!!

  9. Dear Nick & Terri,
    Just wanted to thank you again for the great rally. You both handled everything with grace and a sense of humor. As vendors we went home exhausted but pleased and we are looking forward to next year’s western rally and we are considering this year’s eastern rally as well. We have only great things to say and big hugs and kisses to both of you. Enjoy your well earned rest.

    Kim & Don
    Harvest Hosts

  10. Hi Nick:

    Sorry we could not attend your rally this year, sounds like we missed a winner. I just wanted to comment on your upcoming stay at TT Las Vegas. I know you visited it last year to drop off Gypsy Journal papers, so you already know that it is basically a gravel parking lot but the staff is friendly and the pool is refreshing and the location is ideal for visiting Las Vegas. I wanted you to know that the buffet at Boulder Station is excellent. Last year we combined a newpaper coupon with the players card and ate a late lunch (3PM) for about $10 for the two of us, counting tip! Also, the pizza shop by the casino floor is very good. We love Las Vegas and hope you have a great time there.

  11. What a great rally. Anyone that came in there expecting 30 amp power and water just can’t read very well. Keep up the good work.


  12. We really enjoyed the rally and appreciate all the work you and Terry put into it to make it such a success.

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