Nick’s Blog

RV Clubs

 Posted by at 12:37 am  Nick's Blog
Oct 012014

A lot of newbies ask me which RV club(s) they should join, so today I thought I’d talk about some of the clubs and our opinion on them. Keep in mind that what we enjoy and find useful may not be right for you.

There are general interest RV clubs such as Good Sam and Escapees, which welcome all RVers, as well as special interest clubs such as Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), which requires you to have a motorhome to qualify for membership.

While Terry and I have never been joiners, just for the sake of joining something, we have tried out many of the well known RV clubs out there. When we started fulltime RVing fifteen years ago, we joined the Good Sam Club, Escapees, Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), and then Bus Nuts when we bought our MCI bus and started to convert it.

We dropped Good Sam after the first year because all our membership got us was a ton of junk mail; it seemed like from the very start, every time we got mail there was a solicitation to buy something else, renew early, and spend money. While their emergency roadside service plan is very good, the Good Sam rallies we have been to have been mostly coffee klatches and the average age is even older than me, if that is possible.

We were members of FMCA for over ten years, but we found a lot of snobbery there, based upon how big and expensive your motorhome is. We also really dislike the way they treated us and other vendors at every rally we had a booth at. If I wanted to be treated that rudely, I’d still be married to my first wife. At one time FMCA offered a good mail forwarding service, but they have closed that down. They still do offer some good benefits to members that you might find worthwhile.

The bus crowd was a lot of fun and we enjoyed every bus rally we ever attended. If we still had a bus we would still belong to Bus Nuts and the other bus clubs we once belonged to.

And then there is the Escapees RV Club. We always tell people that we belong to several RV clubs, but we are Escapees. To us, the Escapees is more than just a club. It is an extended family and we have always felt the benefits far outweighed our annual membership dues. Like all families, we have our disagreements from time to time but we get through it. If I could belong to only one RV club, it would be Escapees, hands down. They have the best mail forwarding service around, campgrounds in several states, a very good magazine, and the club is always fighting for the rights of RVers.

There are also many brand specific RV clubs, such as Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT), the Carriage RV Club, the Heartland Owners Club, and the Newmar Kountry Klub, just to name a few.

Some RV clubs cater to people with special interests or needs, such as Families on the Road, SMART (which is for retired military and veterans), and Handicapped Travel Club, for people with physical challenges. Single RVers can find friends, fun and fellowship in groups like the Wandering Individuals Network (WIN) and Loners on Wheels. RVing Women offers support and friendship for women RVers.

One of the greatest benefits any RV club can offer its members is rallies. These can range from a small get together of less than a dozen rigs, to mega-rallies where literally thousands of RVs show up. Rallies give members an opportunity to socialize, to attend educational seminars, to shop vendors offering all kinds of interesting RV items for sale, and in the case of brand specific rallies, many times factory representatives and techs are on hand to deal with problems and repairs. Check out some of the clubs listed above and see which ones work for you.

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time to start a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Ben Rehder’s Gun Shy, part of his excellent Blanco County mystery series featuring hardworking game warden John Marlin. But I have to warn you, don’t try this book unless you have time to read the entire series because I know you’ll get hooked on Ben’s great combination of humor and suspense. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Gun Shy

Thought For The Day – Never lend anything you can’t afford to lose.

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Two Great Attractions

 Posted by at 12:16 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 302014

Whenever we are going to a new area I spend a lot of time researching places to visit that will be of interest to Gypsy Journal readers and making contact with the various attractions to arrange visits. Here in southern Virginia there are so many great places to choose from that we could be on [...]

I Asked, I Got

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 292014

I had an aunt who used to always tell me, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” It was probably some of the best advice I’ve ever received and I’ve found it to be true more often than not. Even, when I’m not really serious when I ask. Years ago we were at the Escapee’s [...]

Another Working Day

 Posted by at 12:05 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 282014

Yesterday was another working day for us, which was okay since our “work” is playing tourist. Yeah, I know, it’s a tough gig, but somebody has to do it. We drove back to Richmond to get to some of the places we missed on our visit the week before. We knew we couldn’t cover everything [...]

Sep 272014

We woke up to partly cloudy skies yesterday, but at least it had stopped raining. We were glad to see that since we really needed to get out for a while to shake off our cabin fever after two days cooped up inside. After stopping for gas, we started the day by dropping off bundles [...]

Sep 262014

It has been gray and rainy the last two days, which is perfect for four things – writing, weaving, napping, and eating a batch of fresh hot chocolate chip cookies. Well, we batted about 50-50 on all that. I got a lot of writing done on my next Big Lake book and the story is [...]

10 More RV Goodies

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 252014

A lot of you seem to like my blogs about RV Goodies that help make life easier on the road, so here we go with some more that we use ourselves or that other RVers have suggested. If we’ve missed something that you find useful, please tell me and I’ll try to share it with [...]

Sep 242014

That’s the slogan of the men and women tasked with moving men and materials for the military, and since the Revolutionary War they have been doing the job using everything from covered wagons to aircraft to boats and railroads. On a visit to the United States Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia yesterday we [...]

On The Go

 Posted by at 1:20 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 232014

Terry and I spent yesterday on the go, covering a lot of territory and getting a lot done. It was a fun day. We started out meeting longtime Gypsy Journal readers Ron and Verdis Knight for lunch at the Island Café, located in the Duke of York Motel on the waterfront in Yorktown. They have [...]

Kidney Kidnappers

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 222014

Congratulations to Bryan Carbonnell, this week’s winner of the Gypsy Journal drawing for an audiobook of the Journals of Jacob and Hyde by my friend Randall Morris. Stay tuned, because a new contest starts soon! When we checked in here at the Chesapeake Bay Thousand Trails a week ago the ranger had warned us that [...]