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Old 11-30-2013, 06:10 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
Well, friends, I must concede, capitulate.
I have been profoundly shaken, stirred, and humbled.

...

"....Our revenue is not meeting our expenses. We cannot continue to draw from our reserves and survive. We need to address two issues in order to survive. One is to greatly increase our membership, and the only way that we are going to do that is to attract younger members and the only way that this can be accomplished is to put the emphasis on families and make it attractive and affordable for younger persons with families to join. ...They are buying towables that can accommodate a family."

In order to attract these members we must have a product for them to be interested in. We must have benefits that will meet their needs. If we are successful in doing this the advertisers and revenue will return. If not, FMCA faces an uncertain future.

Paul DuBois
President Northeast Motorhome Association

And from Bill Reichert:
"I suggest to you that it would be in the best interest of FMCA to develop a Towable Chapter (maybe even limited to units with self-contained sanititaion sytems). There are thousands of them out there. Marketing to them would bring many to join FMCA, thus bolstering the ranks with young, active members and contributors. Where else is FMCA going to get more members?"
I would say this as I stated earlier is partly a cost issue for those who want to camp. Some don't even bother looking into a Motorhome immediately classifying it as too expensive. The way I look at it is that most view motorhomes as hundreds of thousands of dollars. The MRSP also scares them away. To the best of my knowledge you can get a 28' Class C brand new (ie Freelander) for 50k... well that's the cost of a minivan/CUV. or a Class A like the ACE, FR3, Pursuit, Storm, Sunstar?, for about 70k. More but if kept for 10-20 years not that bad. But a lot of people don't look at it that way. The cost of a motorhome per year for these rigs are less then those Cruise vacations, or a weekend in Las Vegas. It's part an industry perception problem. It's part economy (not trying to be political the economy "sucks") Many non-professionals fear for their jobs and aren't willing to outlay that money even if they can afford it. Once people feel their jobs are safe, then the education and spreading camping can begin. Right now towables seems more dooable then those hurdles. If we had the Clinton/Reagan days (Remember for the younger families those are the presidents in power when things were good) back again then this problem probably wouldn't exist. And I don't think its just Camping having this problem.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:54 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
Well, friends, I must concede, capitulate.
I have been profoundly shaken, stirred, and humbled.

My appologies.

FMCA, as an independant non-profit org, has every right to deny membership to non-motorcoach owners.

I also think they need a push to survive, by attracting a larger and younger member base by establishing a separate TOWABLE CHAPTER.
Every one understands the point you are making. As a member of FMCA since 1993 and paid up through 2016 I belong to FMCA because it is a motorhome specific resource. I do not support changing the structure of FMCA. I support your right as a nonmember to express your opinion of FMCA's structure. As a long time member I do not appreciate your continued campaigning to totally change the organizational structure of the FMCA as a nonmember. Join FMCA and your input and participation will be most welcome. If not I refer you to the first two sentences of your quote above.

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Old 11-30-2013, 06:57 PM   #101
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Well, friends, I must concede, capitulate. I have been profoundly shaken, stirred, and humbled. My appologies. FMCA, as an independant non-profit org, has every right to deny membership to non-motorcoach owners. I also think they need a push to survive, by attracting a larger and younger member base by establishing a separate TOWABLE CHAPTER. I ask your indulgence to (PLEASE) read this link, in particular the entry by "diplomatman202" (Paul Dubois) in Dec 2011. http://community.fmca.com/topic/3495...nkel-oct-2009/ Of particular interest, these words from Paul: "When our membership was over 100,000 members, we had a steady stream of advertising coming into our magazine. Money was not a problem. Once our membership dropped below 100,000 members, our advertising also declined as advertisers felt they were no longer reaching enough people to justify the expense." "....Our revenue is not meeting our expenses. We cannot continue to draw from our reserves and survive. We need to address two issues in order to survive. One is to greatly increase our membership, and the only way that we are going to do that is to attract younger members and the only way that this can be accomplished is to put the emphasis on families and make it attractive and affordable for younger persons with families to join. ...They are buying towables that can accommodate a family." In order to attract these members we must have a product for them to be interested in. We must have benefits that will meet their needs. If we are successful in doing this the advertisers and revenue will return. If not, FMCA faces an uncertain future. Paul DuBois President Northeast Motorhome Association And from Bill Reichert: "I suggest to you that it would be in the best interest of FMCA to develop a Towable Chapter (maybe even limited to units with self-contained sanititaion sytems). There are thousands of them out there. Marketing to them would bring many to join FMCA, thus bolstering the ranks with young, active members and contributors. Where else is FMCA going to get more members?"
Well reasoned post and I agree with your points 100%.

I hope you join as FMCA needs thoughtful people who are willing to listen.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:56 PM   #102
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I'm reviving this thread for an update some of you might find interesting.

While this dialog was going on, I fired off an email to FMCA requesting clarification on one point in particular. This was the issue of FMCA rally's being open to the public. I received an automated reply acknowledging receipt and that some one would reply. Yesterday I received a phone call from Charlie Adcock, President of FMCA. The email had been forwarded to him because the staff considered it important.

Charlie told me the following:
1. FMCA policy is that day passes will be made available. In some areas where the rally is small the passes are free. At Missouri rallies they can't be offered at all. To get a waiver for out of state dealers to bring in show coaches, the state requires that only club members be allowed on the grounds. As usual the politicians are better at creating problems than anything else.

2. The current FMCA board is working toward reinstating the MEDEX type policy that was lost a couple of years ago. The hope is that this can be done with no dues increase.

3. The FMCA board directed the Executive Director to cut 1.2 million out of the annual operation budget. This was done. FMCA has operated off of cash flow since sometime in '11. That was the last time any invested capital was tapped.

FMCA runs an active forum. I confess that I knew about it but I don't monitor it. Charlie asked that if anyone has a question or a suggestion please email FMCA. They are actively looking for ways to attract younger people to the organization.

This is not meant to be cheerleading for FMCA. Just wanted to let you guys know that they are listening to you.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:13 PM   #103
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At Missouri rallies they can't be offered at all. To get a waiver for out of state dealers to bring in show coaches, the state requires that only club members be allowed on the grounds.
Most of that makes some sense, but FMCA members definitely were turned away from the Missouri rally in Oct, and too often it was not done in a very friendly way.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:16 PM   #104
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Thanks for the update, Steve.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #105
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Thanks to Steve and Jack for valuable and informative input on this thread.

I joined FMCA for the same reason I joined other organizations such as ARRL, AOPA, AUSA, EAA, AFCEA, TDC, FCOC, and others.
I expect there will be some benefit, if only education, on how to best enjoy (including cutting costs) my interests. Perhaps when I have been everywhere and know everything the magazine will be less interesting but I hope to continue the benefits of the TDC and FCOC.

The thread would have been even better if there were more positive suggestions on how FMCA can attract and maintain more membership. Here are some thoughts from a motorhome newbie:
- More publicity/information on the benefits of FMCA membership, especially for those not interested in rallies.
- What more could or should FMCA do with existing resources aided by volunteers? For example, does FMCA work with RVIA? If so, what outcomes?
- RV Education. While there are many resources available on the Internet or commercially I see numerous issues and complaints on iRV2 from new owners that I believe could have been avoided if they knew more about their motorhome and it's systems. Even though I am very technically capable, jumping into a diesel pusher as my first motorhome was a steep learning curve. I was very fortunate to find the manuals online and even more valuable to have plenty of help from people on iRV2.

As for the membership issue, there is an alternate course used by some other special-interest groups known as the Associate Membership. They have access to the same information and have most of the same benefits as Full members, but they cannot vote. This type membership would work effectively in conjunction with education as associate members could get the magazine, participate in forums, attend seminars at rallies, and be better prepared to become Full Members when they get their coach.
Anyone have other positive ideas to attract members?
Feel free to pass along to anyone who might be interested or might be able to make a difference.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:31 PM   #106
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- More publicity/information on the benefits of FMCA membership, especially for those not interested in rallies.
IMHO this is the crux of the issue today. As far as I can tell there are (virtually) no benefits of belonging to FMCA other than the tire discount, the ability to attend rallies, and the right to join chapters.

Some RVers have no interest in rallies; we're not anti-social but that's not how we like to spend our time. So that pretty much reduces what we get out of FMCA to a tire discount every 7-8 years and the right to join an owner's chapter so we have access to technical/repair information.

Despite the fact that some people quibbled with my previous post, IMHO it doesn't make a lot of sense to pay $40/year just to save ~$500-600 every 7-8 years particularly since there's no guarantee that the Michelin discount will even still be available when I want to use it 5 years from now. As others have posted, Michelin is also not my only choice in quality MH tires.

To me it really boils down to the chapter I'd like to be a member of. I'll be perfectly honest, if FMCA offered me an associate membership for $10 that had no other benefit other than the right to join a chapter, I'd take it in a heartbeat. As far as I'm concerned, FMCA's insistence that I be a member in order to join a chapter is a financially motivated decision by an organization that can't afford to lose any more members. I guess I'll have to wait until it craters before I'll be able to get out from paying dues for an organization I have no interest in.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:01 AM   #107
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As far as I'm concerned, FMCA's insistence that I be a member in order to join a chapter is a financially motivated decision by an organization that can't afford to lose any more members. I guess I'll have to wait until it craters before I'll be able to get out from paying dues for an organization I have no interest in.
You local chapter was not forced to become a chapter of the FMCA they did it to help themselves to get established and ride on the coat tails of the FMCA, by laws, insurance, etc. Your local chapter can resign any time they wish so I suggest that you stop complaining about the FMCA and wishing for their demise and spend your time convincing your local chapter to go it alone. By the way, good luck on that because I think you may be in the minority!
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:24 AM   #108
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You local chapter was not forced to become a chapter of the FMCA they did it to help themselves to get established and ride on the coat tails of the FMCA, by laws, insurance, etc. Your local chapter can resign any time they wish so I suggest that you stop complaining about the FMCA and wishing for their demise and spend your time convincing your local chapter to go it alone. By the way, good luck on that because I think you may be in the minority!
The problem with local chapters not being under the FMCA umbrella is cost. Many chapters are small and if they had to provide the infrastructure available to them through FMCA it would cost so much per member that they would simply disappear.

If the MEDEX type program were to be available again as part of the FMCA membership would that persuade you to join?
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:20 AM   #109
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If the MEDEX type program were to be available again as part of the FMCA membership would that persuade you to join?
The MEDEX program was one of the key reasons we joined FMCA when we went full-time. If it, or something like it, was reinstated (without a significant increase in dues) it would be an inducement for us to be members.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:26 AM   #110
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The problem with local chapters not being under the FMCA umbrella is cost. Many chapters are small and if they had to provide the infrastructure available to them through FMCA it would cost so much per member that they would simply disappear. If the MEDEX type program were to be available again as part of the FMCA membership would that persuade you to join?
Steve,

At the National Rally we discussed the Medical Evacuation program and it's associated costs and benefit to the entire membership. It was determined that it would raise the cost of membership beyond what was acceptable. Like many who have already posted, their main complaint is cost of membership v/s value received. Many already have evacuation service through insurance or other services such as Coach Net so to increase the membership cost to provide this service would, in my opinion, increase the complaints on cost of membership. Many who have responded have admitted that they are not rally people and they only want to join FMCA for what they can get out of the club without being an active, rally attending, local club joining, member.

I also belong to the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club (FMCA International Chapter) which has 3800 members and the largest FMCA chapter. This club has several rallies per year and seldom do they get much over 75 coaches. The membership is large for three main reasons, the first year is free for new coaches, discount programs for service/parts, and the discounted purchase of cars like the Jeep. Most of the 3800 members do not give a hoot about the club all they care about is what they can get from membership.

Just my 2 cents...

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Old 12-07-2013, 10:36 AM   #111
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Steve,

Many already have evacuation service through insurance or other services such as Coach Net so to increase the membership cost to provide this service would, in my opinion, increase the complaints on cost of membership.
CoachNet only provides assistance in obtaining doctors, etc and only if you pay for their most expensive service. It is not equivalent to Medex.


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I also belong to the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club (FMCA International Chapter) which has 3800 members and the largest FMCA chapter. This club has several rallies per year and seldom do they get much over 75 coaches. The membership is large for three main reasons, the first year is free for new coaches, discount programs for service/parts, and the discounted purchase of cars like the Jeep. Most of the 3800 members do not give a hoot about the club all they care about is what they can get from membership.
I belong to the Beaver Ambassador Club. I don't have any interest in its rallies either, but I get lots of good technical advice from the forum and that chapter has chosen to limit to members the ability to post on the forum so I have to join FMCA in order to join the chapter in order to post. IMHO the chapter's rules about forum membership are out of sync with many other organizations, but it's their forum and they make the rules.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:58 AM   #112
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The problem with local chapters not being under the FMCA umbrella is cost. Many chapters are small and if they had to provide the infrastructure available to them through FMCA it would cost so much per member that they would simply disappear.

If the MEDEX type program were to be available again as part of the FMCA membership would that persuade you to join?

Most of you probably don't know what the MEDEX program cost FMCA. The program cost approx $500,000 a year for roughly 100,000 members. Last figure available was that the program was used by 15 members in one year.

The MEDEX program was not an insurance policy, it was a contract to provide a service.

My question is: How many of you have sat down and read what the new program provides you for the 100 bux or so it would cost you a year? Probably very few. All you know is that FMCA took something away from you so you quit
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