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Old 11-12-2020, 04:36 PM   #1
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RV rallies, get togethers, social conventions - help me to understand

So at the risk of coming of as anti-social, a loner, aloof, or anything like that (which I/we are definitely not!), I just don't get the RV rallies, conventions, etc. Perhaps we're in a funny "between" age, too old for our kids to be involved, as they're all out on their own now, and perhaps too young for many others who attend these events? I really don't know what it is.



I'm 62, my wife is 51. I'm not retired yet. 2 1/2 more years and the FAA says I'm toast and I'm required to retire then. We bought our coach in March of this year, truly just weeks before we realized that this pesky virus that was in China at the time was going to be more than a little bit of an issue. As a result we've only used it a couple of times, more or less locally, and only 2-3 days at a time. We're really itching to take it out and see this beautiful country of ours. My wife is not native to the US, she came here 10 years ago and has since become a proud US citizen. She's super eager to see her now beloved adopted country as well.



I'm a pilot, and in all my years of flying I've kept a lat/long log of all the beautiful things I have seen from way up there, and our long held retirement goal is to get to see most of them up close. When we talk about out travels to come, we always speak in terms of her and I. We have a very nice circle of friends here at home, but none of them own RV's and none really have interest in traveling with us, which truth be told we kind of prefer that way. Even the floor plan in our RV is set up for us alone, really. The only secondary sleeping area in the RV is a jack knife sofa, which really doesn't serve much of a purpose for adult sleeping. This floor plan just felt right to us. In hindsight, I guess without realizing it we just sub-consciously chose to travel just the two of us. It's a huge, comfortable, luxurious (to us at least) coach designed for just the two of us.



We're newbies, and not in the least immersed in RV culture. I've been walking about this big blue marble in space long enough to know enough to never say never, so perhaps over time we'll get the idea for all these rallies, get together, conventions and all that that we so often see promoted. We're social people, and certainly don't shy away from meeting others. We've chatted a bit with the few folks we've parked next to the few times we've used it, but that's about it. I can't imagine us booking a rally, or going to the FMCA thing in Georgia, or one of the Escapee things, and parking the RV among all these people who know each other already (I would assume?) and just setting up and dropping in on them. That's just not us.



So I guess the question is, how does all this RV social event stuff work? Are we strange and alone in feeling this way? What are we missing here? Do any of you feel the same way? I'm guessing those reading this might get the wrong idea about us. We're not snotty, aloof, anti-social, awkwardly shy or any of that. It just seems odd to us. We think of our coach as a vacation home, but on wheels. We take it wherever we wish, and for a set period of time we own a vacation home "there", wherever "there" happens to be. It seems like it would be like inviting strangers into your home without even knowing them. Are we just not getting something here? Help!?
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:44 PM   #2
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We either travelled with friends or when by ourselves would say hi to someone parked next to us but that was it. I would describe us as you did yourself. Never attended a rally or joined a group. The only exception was our trip to Alaska where we met a couple from New York that stopped at the same spots as they did. We became friends on the trip.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:58 PM   #3
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I have never been to a rally but also have not ruled one out. For us,right now we do not have time in our life to do trips that are not about us and what we want to see. We still have not gotten off the east coast and there are several months of things we would like to see in the west!

So not being anti social, but until I have unlimited time rallies are probably out for me also.
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Old 11-12-2020, 04:59 PM   #4
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After you travel by yourselves for months folks want to meet up with others. Especially the ladies have strong social tie yearnings and want to make more on the road. Lots of Fulltimers travel in small groups or plan to meet friends somewhere on the roads. Pleasure shared is multiplied after all.


This isn't much of an issue if you a doing three week summer vacations.
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:05 PM   #5
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Doug you have the right toys to belong to rv and Jeep club . Most folks I know that have class A pull there Jeep. There is a group on RVfourm.net that travel around pulling jeeps there are a very good group. The group meets in Quartzsite AZ every year. I have a Jeep but not class A we have both talked about going with RV, for now the toy-huller is working for us .
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:07 PM   #6
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We attended several FMCA & Good Sam rallies back in the day. The main reason we went was to attend the seminars (to learn about our RV & products for it), to tour new RV's brought in by local dealers & to shop the vendors that have everything you need/want/don't need but want anyway. i think these mega-rallies are a bit more impersonal because there's just thousands of RV's & thousands of people. The last one we attended had 1500 RV's. We've been to some with as many as 5000 RV's. You do make acquaintances with the people parked adjacent to you but, in my opinion, not lasting ones. We've had both our tow bars & our generator serviced (for free) at these big rallies. We've all but stopped going to these because we've "been there/done that" & don't see a reason to go to them anymore.

When we had our Bounder, we attended the Fleetwood rallies to meet other Fleetwood owners, to tour the new model coaches they were about to roll out for the year & to enjoy the food & entertainment FW provided. FW had about 300 coaches in attendance. FW stopped having rallies when REV Group bought them.

We've attended nearly a dozen iRV2 rallies. We have around 100 RV's (or less) in attendance. iRV2 is a family & our small rallies foster that mentality. We go to meet up with friends we've made here & haven't seen since the last rally, meet new members, attend/put on seminars, enjoy the food /entertainment provided & to check out the attractions in the areas the rally is being held.

Are you "not getting something"? Rallies can be a lot of fun & you can get great information & stuff at them. I guess only you can decide if attending one is something you want to do.

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Old 11-12-2020, 05:19 PM   #7
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I can certainly see the benefit of attending rallies for the seminars, etc. And of course, meeting some folks and chatting a bit. I can understand the social draw is probably stronger for those who full time, or snowbirds. We have no plans for wither of those lifestyles. I always looked at the rallies from strictly the social aspect, and from our point of view of remaining in our home and traveling out only for a few months at a time once we retire. Lori, your post explains a lot of what I guess I wasn't understanding, thanks for that.



A new coach will likely not be in our budget, so seeing new models will be for curiosity at best. However, how-to seminars and new equipment seminars would be very interesting for us.


EDIT - An iRV2 rally might be interesting, in that I guess on some level I already "know" some folks on here. I would assume there are seminars at these iRV2 rallies? Are there ever any of them in the TX area?
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Old 11-12-2020, 05:32 PM   #8
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There are some seminars. We're a much smaller group so there'll be a much smaller selection of seminars provided.

You can check the iRV2 International Rally Forum for past itinerary info or the Rally Masters Forum for past locations.

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Old 11-12-2020, 05:34 PM   #9
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To each his own. Everyone RV's differently. We've owned an RV since we were 20 years old and have been traveling the country 43 years. We first started out RVing with our children. Those trips included National Parks and boating during the summer. We became good friends with another couple whose children were the same age and attended the same school. We camped with them and their family for many years.

Eventually, the kids got married and moved, buying their own RV's. We still enjoy going on a few trips a year with the other couple. Our finances, likes and desires to sightsee are the same. We've done two coast to coast trips with them.

When we bought our first DP in 2005 and the kids were no longer going with us, we tried a few FMCA rallies and a couple of clubs. We went to the rallies for the seminars, gadgets and even the shows. That was okay, but we're a little more adventurous. We prefer to do our own thing, which typically includes sightseeing everyday.

So the point.....RVing changes as you get older. It sounds like you're starting your RVing later in life, so you haven't been through all the stages. In our mid 60's and retired for ten years, we find that we really like to just take off and do our own thing. We'll often meet up with someone for few days and then do something else, but we enjoy meeting new people at campgrounds.

Lastly, as you grow older, camping can become harder. Sometimes people just like to meet up with others and hang out all day. Don't judge those people until you've been through all the stages of camping, from young and energetic to older and a slower pace.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:07 PM   #10
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To each his own. Everyone RV's differently. We've owned an RV since we were 20 years old and have been traveling the country 43 years. We first started out RVing with our children. Those trips included National Parks and boating during the summer. We became good friends with another couple whose children were the same age and attended the same school. We camped with them and their family for many years.

Eventually, the kids got married and moved, buying their own RV's. We still enjoy going on a few trips a year with the other couple. Our finances, likes and desires to sightsee are the same. We've done two coast to coast trips with them.

When we bought our first DP in 2005 and the kids were no longer going with us, we tried a few FMCA rallies and a couple of clubs. We went to the rallies for the seminars, gadgets and even the shows. That was okay, but we're a little more adventurous. We prefer to do our own thing, which typically includes sightseeing everyday.

So the point.....RVing changes as you get older. It sounds like you're starting your RVing later in life, so you haven't been through all the stages. In our mid 60's and retired for ten years, we find that we really like to just take off and do our own thing. We'll often meet up with someone for few days and then do something else, but we enjoy meeting new people at campgrounds.

Lastly, as you grow older, camping can become harder. Sometimes people just like to meet up with others and hang out all day. Don't judge those people until you've been through all the stages of camping, from young and energetic to older and a slower pace.
Thanks, Don - I apologize if I came off as judging anyone, that was absolutely NOT my intent. As you said everyone camps differently. Having another couple that you know with their own rig to travel with sounds wonderful, however we just don't have that.



I envy those who can set up their coach and just walk over to the neighbors and settle in as an old friend. I'd feel a bit awkward doing that. I assumed rallies are much like that. I believe once we get going with the coach and actively using it, we'll prefer to sight see and do our own thing. A wave hello and a quick chat to our neighbor would be nice and we'd certainly welcome and enjoy that, and if anything more than that develops, that's fine too.


However, I guess I misunderstood the whole rally concept in that I believed that the point of the rally was to socialize with people you never met before. I mean no judgement at all, but that's just not us. Again, I apologize if I came off as judgemental or critical of those who rally, etc - that was absolutely not my intent.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:24 PM   #11
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Been camping since Cub Scouts in one form or another

Never have been a social butterfly
Friendly, willing to lend a helping hand but to 'gather' with groups has never been my longing and fortunately not a need for HER

We have never been to a Rally ..... just not interested in them

We FTd for 7 wonderful yrs. traveling all over the USA

One thing I always did after setting up at new location was to meet/greet 'neighbors'
Friendly while there and then we would hit the road

Couple of folks we met we would come across them in our/their travels at several places/states
When we did come across them we usually would get together to catchup/have lunch etc but nothing Long Term

So it comes down to
What are you interested in, looking to get out of RVng ?
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:09 PM   #12
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I am another outgoing introvert married to a true introvert. We love going places together, just the two of us. It is awfully nice to just decide in the morning what your plans are for the day without lots of coordination with others. I have friends who can’t imagine going by themselves. They aren’t scared or nervous; they just prefer the socialization aspect of RVing. Another example is RV caravans. I can’t I,aging having to keep a schedule with lots of other people, while other people think they are the best thing on earth. As for rally’s, we are FMCA members, and we really like their big rallies. We seldom spend much time with others, just go to the seminars, see the new goodies, enjoy the entertainment. I actually prefer the small mini-rallies RVForum.net members put on. It is just someone who says “I am going to be here at this time. Want to join me? Here’s what we can do.” There is a long-standing get together at Quartzsite every year with them, and I really do enjoy that. Some people have been for 20 years, others are new that year. Still nice. We actually have met up with a number of people we have met online. Sometimes it is just lunch or dinner some place, other times we camp together for a while. Loose and flexible is my motto.
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Old 11-12-2020, 08:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks, Don - I apologize if I came off as judging anyone, that was absolutely NOT my intent. As you said everyone camps differently. Having another couple that you know with their own rig to travel with sounds wonderful, however we just don't have that.
No need to apologize, I think you raised a good question. As you camp more, you may change how you RV over the next couple of years, without even realizing it.

I can strike up a conversation with just about anyone at a campground, my wife, not so much. You'd be amazed how interesting others can be. We met a couple just two months ago on a swing through the Utah National Parks. We were with the other couple we like to camp with. Typically, in the late afternoon, we have a nosh and a cocktail. I invited the people camped next to us. They showed up two evenings in a row and we were amazed at how many cruises they had done, letting each of their grandkids pick a trip at 16 years old to a third world country, just for the experience. They were fascinating!
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Old 11-12-2020, 08:47 PM   #14
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I've found that, with rare exception, most RVers are very friendly folks. Willing to spend time making friends. Sometimes all it takes is a wave to get a conversation started. We have met numerous people over the years and cherish the times that we have spent with them. Age never seemed like a barrier.
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