Early in our fulltime RVing life, Terry and I worked a lot of RV rallies as vendors, selling our camping guides and subscriptions to the Gypsy Journal. Then we got involved with teaching at Life on Wheels and there was no time to follow the rally circuit. By the time Life on Wheels had ended, we were putting on two rallies a year of our own. Now we have come full circle and here we are, vending at the Escapade in Gillette, Wyoming.
A lot has changed in the fifteen years we’ve been on the road; rallies are smaller overall, we have a lot more products to offer, and the huge satellite internet dishes we used to see offered at vendor booths have been replaced by cell phones with wireless connectivity, small air cards, and WiFi receivers. But some things haven’t changed. Among them is the fact that the professional vendors who have stood the test of time are still a close knit community of wonderful people that it is fun to be around.
We met our friend Mac McCoy in our first month on the road, when we attended Life on Wheels as students and he was an instructor. Over the years since then Mac has taught fire safety to thousands of RVers, and we have crossed paths and hung out together from coast to coast and border to border.
To hear the way we talk to each other, you might think that Daryl Lawrence from Lawrence RV Accessories and I have a love/hate relationship, but it’s all in good fun. Daryl and his wife Cheri have built a solid reputation for taking care of their customers both before and after the sale, and while I’d never admit it to him, Daryl’s a great guy.
Behind every good man is a better woman, and this is Cheri Lawrence, Daryl’s long-suffering wife. There is no doubt that she’s both the brains and the beauty in their family.
Here’s another pretty lady who is also sharp as a tack. Janet Adams and her husband Bill have spent years selling satellite internet and TV systems at RV rallies, and these days they represent Winegard satellite systems.
After two beauties in a row, it’s only fair to show you a beast. Jim Guld from Geeks on Tour keeps busy teaching computer technology classes at RV rallies, but he’s a beach bum at heart and is never happier than when he’s snorkeling or diving for lobster off a Florida beach.
Janet Trannum of Almost Heaven Microfiber and her hubby Dwayne have the booth next to us, and they have been vendors at many of our own Gypsy Gathering rallies, and Janet is famous for her excellent seminars on cleaning RVs the fast and easy way.
And then we have Charles and Chris Yust of C&C Marketing and Insurance. They represent Good Sam roadside assistance and extended warranty programs, as well as National General Insurance (formerly known as GMAC). As fulltimers themselves, Charles and Chris know the special needs of our mobile lifestyle and they handle all of our insurance needs. Having had a terrible experience with another RV insurance company after our burglary a few years ago, we feel very comfortable knowing that we have real pros like Charles and Chris looking out for us these days.
Today is the last day for the vendors, and we’re expecting a busy day as shoppers make last minute buying decisions. It always seems to be that way at every rally we’ve ever attended or hosted.
Having been on both sides of the table, Terry and I agree that working as vendors at somebody else’s RV rally is a lot easier than running our own gigs. We open our vendor booth at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. and we’re done for the day. Compared to the long hours of running a rally, this is nothing more than a working vacation!
Thought For The Day – My wife and I always compromise. I admit I’m wrong and she agrees with me.