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Old 06-19-2014, 11:01 AM   #1
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Newbie RV'r & 1st Rally (FMCA, Redmond)

My DW and I recently purchased a 2005 Mountain Aire 43 and as our last MH was a Class C about 30 years, we're pretty much newbies. I have booked us to attend the FMCA Rally in Redmond, OR in August and I have a few questions for you more seasoned folk. This will be our break-in run prior to heading out on a 4-month retirement journey.

1. How many coaches are typically at one of these events?

2. The Rally officially starts on Wed, August 13. When is the best time to arrive, to avoid the greatest rush and get a parking spot not to far from the events?

3. What are the typical "first time rally attendee" mistakes to be aware of and try to avoid?

We hope to attend many of the seminars, view all the exhibits and hopefully meet up with some new friends.

Since this is all new and our coach is new to us, I am waiting until the rally to stock up on everything from sewer hoses (replacement for the cheap one provided by the dealer) to dishes, a tow system for our toad (being driven separately down tho the rally) and a load of other stuff sure to put a dent in my RV bank account.

Any advise and tips on making the most of this opportunity are appreciated.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
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The Redmond is a regional, so I'm guessing you might see a few hundred coaches. We just returned from a combined FMA/FMCA regional & there were over 500 coaches, because FW showed up.

Doesn't matter when you get there. They are very efficient at getting you parked when you arrive & any wait time will be minimal. Same when you leave - that seems to just "happen". You'll be amazed how so many coaches can get out. I've been to rallies with upwards of 5000 coaches & they all seem to vanish when it comes time.

Study the seminars/events guide & make a plan for attending. You won't possibly be able to attend all of them, many have the same or overlapping times. Just pick the main ones you want for this 1st time around. Also, be sure to bring levelling blocks or boards because you may be parked on grass or some other surface that isn't level. If you are w/e only (no sewer) ration your use of water so your tanks don't fill up before the rally is over. If they offer pump out, you can take advantage of that.

A regional isn't the place to "stock up" on items you'll need. They're usually not big enough to draw the tons of vendors a national does. There'll probably be a braking/tow bar vendor & maybe an accessories (hoses, LED lights, cord connectors...etc.), as well as furniture, jewelry, RV resorts & cleaning vendors, but you're better off at Wal-Mart, an RV dealer or even a Camping World (can't believe I said the CW word!) for the vast majority of your stuff.

Have fun!

Lori-
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:57 PM   #3
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According to FMCA there will be over 350 vendors at Redmond. Should be able to find products there. Several hundred RV's on display, too. Sounds like it will be pretty big.
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:04 PM   #4
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How long does the rally last?


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Old 06-20-2014, 09:50 AM   #5
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HERE's a link to the website.

I was mistaken & apoligize. This one appears to be the Nat'l so there will be lots of vendors. Having been to the last Nat'l in Indy, the vendor prices, especially for standard accessories were higher than what I could get from my dealer's accessory dept or on the internet.

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Old 06-20-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLOVNIT View Post
HERE's a link to the website.

I was mistaken & apoligize. This one appears to be the Nat'l so there will be lots of vendors. Having been to the last Nat'l in Indy, the vendor prices, especially for standard accessories were higher than what I could get from my dealer's accessory dept or on the internet.

Lori-
No sweat on the Nat'l verse Regional thing.

I was expecting to find some great "show specials" at the event but I am prepared as well.

I contacted a couple of vendors (more to go) and confirmed they will be offering special pricing at the event as well as on-site installation. I am also building a list of the key items and listing any unanswered questions as well as the current market prices for the potential brands I've identified.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:20 PM   #7
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Hey Ron.. did you enjoy the FMCA rally in Redmond?
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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Hey Ron.. did you enjoy the FMCA rally in Redmond?
Yes, we enjoyed the rally, spent lots of money and got our coach ready for the big inaugural trip which we are on now.

We had a tow and aux. brake package installed, had our Hydrahot serviced and found a major issue with it (repaired now) and replaced our drive axle tires on the FMCA Michelin program. We also attended several very informative seminars and met a number of new friends. In fact, we've altered our plans for our Jan-March trip south to Arizona to bring us back home through Pomona to attend the FMCA rally in late March.

We came across western Canada over the past couple of weeks and are now in northern Wisconsin on our way to Indiana and then Chicago to follow the remains of Route 66 back to California.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:02 PM   #9
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Wow, sounds like a great trip! We've been to a couple of the regional rallys, mainly the big one in Florida in winter, but are looking forward to attending one of the national rally's. Thinking about the one in Wisconsin next summer.

Glad you are enjoying the MountainAire...very nice coach!
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