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Old 05-18-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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I Cannot Imagine a Better RV Conference – Just Back from RVSEF (RV Safety & Education

I just returned from 5 days at the RVSEF (RV Safety & Education Foundation) conference that was held in Colorado Springs, CO. The bottom line -- It was Awesome! It so surpassed my expectations – I cannot imagine a better RV conference to learn about RV’ing, full-timing, maintenance, troubleshooting, safety (of all types, including fire safety), and driving. A little context…

Background: I purchased my first new-to-me motorhome about a month ago and will be taking a year-long RV trip with my family soon. Yes I know, I have a lot to learn and not much time to do it!

Conference Highlights: The list of instructors is at Instructors | RV Safety.com. They were all incredible. A few standouts for me getting ready to go on the road for a year include:

- Walter Cannon (RVSEF Executive Director) and Randy Biles (RV Industry Expert) taught me to drive, including parallel parking and backing into camp sites. Before driving school, I had not put the motorhome in reverse! Also, Walter has forgotten more about tires and tire safety than most people will ever know – he had a very helpful seminar on tire care.

- “Mac” the Fire Guy checked out my motorhome with me, told me what I should and should not be concerned about as well as where to put carbon monoxide sensors and smoke sensors (much faster response time units than what my coach came with) as well as what fire extinguishers to use. He also gave a great fire demonstration with gasoline, diesel, and propane. I feel much better about being prepared for fire risk.

-The “Gary’s” – Gary Bunzer (the RV Doctor) and Gary Motley (Motely RV Repair in OK) had fantastic seminars on maintaining and troubleshooting so many aspects of RVs – 110V and 12V systems, generators, appliances, propane systems, fresh water and waste water systems, and more. Both Gary’s were very kind to answer many specific questions I had about my coach. I know at a large rally I would never had such access to these expert technicians.

I could continue but won’t since this is already getting long – all of the instructors were simply great. They shared practical information and were very accessible.

I paid all of $199 for this conference – I can’t imagine the price staying so low for what I got from it. I am not in any way related to the conference or receiving compensation form them – I just received so much value I want to make sure others know about it. I stumbled on it when I was looking at Mac’s website about fire safety.

So, if you have an opportunity to attend an RVSEF conference, look into it.

Anyone attend an RVSEF conference in the past?
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #2
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Wish I had known about that, would have gone. Looks like it is an annual event, maybe next year.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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Wish I had known about that, would have gone. Looks like it is an annual event, maybe next year.
I would like to go again. They ran four seminars at a time, and there were always at least two I wanted to attend. The instructors were great to share their handouts even if I missed their seminar.

I failed to mention that a person from RVIA spoke -- it was interesting to hear what RVIA does to improve the RV industry.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:06 AM   #4
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I agree completely, Chad, the conference was an incredible value. So many of the individual sessions would easily save me more than the $200 registration fee annually I feel like I'm ahead a few thousand dollars a year.

Naturally, newbis like me (I've had my new to me motorhome for all of five months and the 1800 mile round trip to the conference more than doubled my travel miles), and those who were still shopping for their first RV, were blown away by the quality of the content. But, I heard the same from those with five to ten years on the road.

Outside the sessions, it was fantastic to hang with, and talk one on one with Walter Cannon (RVSEF), Gary Bunser (the RV Doctor), Howard and Linda Payne (RV-Dreams.com) and Jim & Chris Guld (GeeksOnTour.com).

Yep, I'll definitely go again.

Best wishes on your travels.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:20 AM   #5
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I just have to ask . . . . . Being newcomers, with what qualifications do you judge their expertise?

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Old 05-20-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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I just have to ask . . . . . Being newcomers, with what qualifications do you judge their expertise?

Ed
Ed, it is a great question since this is my first RV conference. However, I have a few data points. I have read about other conferences that are much larger and getting one-on-one time for specific questions with instructors is challenging at best. Full-timers who attended that have been to rallies and conferences shared that this was the best format for RV instruction. Further, the seminar instructors shared that this was their favorite event (may be they say that about all of them ) because they get more interaction with the attendees. Who knows, I might attend a different one next year and it will become the next "can't imagine a better conference," but this one was a great value for me!

Do you have a recommendation for another RV conference?
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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Ed,better conference," but this one was a great value for me!

Do you have a recommendation for another RV conference?

No I don't, I'm a not a conference type guy, all my knowledge is self learned, but I understand the trepidation of some that are new to RV'ing, especially in a large rig.


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Old 05-21-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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The RVSEF conferences are sort of picking up where Life on Wheels left off when Gaylord Maxwell passed away. We have never been to RVSEF, but we went to 3 LOW conferences, and many of the instructors are the same.

LOW, and now RVSEF, provides great info for newbies like learning to pick the right RV for you or learning basic maintenance. We were amazed at one LOW conference that almost half the attendees didn't even own an RV yet.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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No I don't, I'm a not a conference type guy, all my knowledge is self learned, but I understand the trepidation of some that are new to RV'ing, especially in a large rig.


Ed
Very fair -- I know I am learning a lot through this forum -- lots of good information and helpful people. Further, I was able to learn a lot in a short time from people whose knowledge has been well vetted.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:31 PM   #10
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The RVSEF conferences are sort of picking up where Life on Wheels left off when Gaylord Maxwell passed away. We have never been to RVSEF, but we went to 3 LOW conferences, and many of the instructors are the same.

LOW, and now RVSEF, provides great info for newbies like learning to pick the right RV for you or learning basic maintenance. We were amazed at one LOW conference that almost half the attendees didn't even own an RV yet.
I am confident I could have negotiated a better price for my used motorhome after attending RVSEF. Oh well -- still very happy with the purchase! There were a few people at the conference who delayed purchasing an RV so they could attend RVSEF first -- a good idea.
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