Several years ago, my husband and I made a trek to Goshen, Indiana to attend our first-ever RV rally hosted by the Escapees RV Club. We went to seminars and learned about things like tire tread safety and retirement strategies. We even took a seminar that gave us a peek into the local Amish culture. During the day, when we weren’t learning how to be better RVers, we meandered through the exhibitor booths and RVs. At night we attended the live entertainment in a large gathering hall with all the other RVers. The atmosphere was definitely lively.
One of the aspects I appreciated the most about the event was the way it created community. Over the course of a few days, even though we didn’t make any long-term friends, we connected with people from all over the country. Whether it was just a quick chat with a fellow RV while admiring a rig, or sitting next to somebody in the bleachers during the nightly gatherings, we could easily talk about the one certain thing we had in common—our love for the RV lifestyle.
Memories of that RV rally were still pretty fresh in my mind when I heard the 2011 Good Sam RV Rally was being held in Oregon just a few hours from where I live. My first thought was that I wouldn’t be able to make it; but I soon realized that going to the event would be beneficial for me on many levels. And since it is considered the biggest RV event that happens each year, I knew I would be in for a treat! And what a treat it was. I was more than inspired by the event, and will definitely try harder to make it to more RV rallies in the future. Here are the top ten reasons why I loved going to the Good Sam RV Rally.
1. Camaraderie -- While I do connect with other RVers in the online universe and when we go on RV trips, most of my friends actually don’t own an RV. I miss out on a lot of fun opportunities to talk about the RV lifestyle. At an RV rally, however, that’s the number one topic!
2. Checking out other rigs -- Wandering in and out of RVs is one of my favorite pastimes. And one of the things I appreciate about an RV rally is that you can go in as many as you want without feeling any pressure from salespeople.
3. Keeping up with trends -- An RV Rally is a great place to go if you want to find out what’s new and up-and-coming in the RV world. One of the best trends I noticed is that many more RVs are being built eco-friendly.
4. Discovering new products -– Looking for a new cleaner that really makes the outside of your rig shine? How about a water filtration system or a tire pressure monitoring system? An RV rally is an ideal place to find out about new products that you can’t live without. My husband and I were seeking a vacuum cleaner for our RV, so we were more than delighted when we stumbled upon the Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo vacuum cleaner.
5. Discovering new services -- Have you been looking for a new RV insurance company? A campground membership? How about satellite services? Exhibitors at a rally are there to answer any question you have about any services you are interested in. And, you may just discover something you never knew about. For instance, I almost passed the WiFi RV Friends booth until I heard the guy manning the booth shout out the word "free." I stopped to find out what he was referring to and learned about a cool new social networking site for RVers.
6. RV parks and campgrounds -– Many RV parks and campgrounds have exhibitor booths at RV rallies that are filled with a plethora of information about the park including enticing brochures, photos, and special discount coupons.
7. Nightly entertainment -– Every evening there is usually some kind of gathering that includes announcements from the organization putting on the event, raffles and prizes, and musical entertainment. The 2011 headliners for the Good Sam RV Rally were Bobby Vinton and Vince Gill -- not too shabby.
For more information visit therally.com.