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Old 01-07-2006, 10:04 PM   #1
VAC President
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1977 27' Overlander
1954 25' Cruiser
1990 34.5' Airstream 345
VC Highlands , Nevada
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WBCCI Vs. Good Sam

I am posting this after reading and thinking about the overwhelming response against WBCCI changing the name. And one thing that I came up with is that Good Sam has teams of people coordinating and establishing benefits for its members while WBCCI leadership spends its time trying to figure out why the horses are leaving the corral and not seeing the gate wide open.

Good Sam - 1,000,000 + members, Cost $19 but can be obtained for as low as $12 from Campingworld or others.
WBCCI - about 8300 members, Cost Regular Member Dues: $55 plus Unit Dues (total generally around $70 total).

WBCCI Benefits
* Ten Issues of "Blue Beret"
(the official WBCCI magazine featuring activities and RV topics)
* Annual Directory of members and activities
* Reduced Parking Fees and Activity Prices at volunteer-led caravans and rallies
* Free Overnight Parking
(Courtesy parking provided by members nationwide)
* Discounted Camping Rates
(Special Rates offered to groups and Airstream)
* Low-cost Overseas Caravans
* Member Intraclubs
(share specialized interests, lifestyles and avocations)
* Youth Activities
(for children and grandchildren)
* Local Units
(additional activities and fellowship)
* Caravans and Rallies
(national, regional and special events)
* RV Insurance Discounts
(by Foremost Insurance)
* Medical Air Evacuation Insurance Discounts
(from SkyMed)

Good Sam Club Benefits
* 10% discount at over 1,700 RV Parks & Campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada
* 10% discount on RV parts & accessories at hundreds of RV service centers
* Discounts on Trailer Life RV Campground Directory and RV-related books and magazines
* Discounts on long distance telephone & wireless services
* Savings on gas and diesel purchases at more than 100 Love's Travel Stop locations nationwide
* FREE Subscription to Highways Magazine, The Official Publication of the Good Sam Club
* Opportunity to join Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service from Affinity Road & Travel Club, Inc.
* FREE RV Trip Routing Service
* FREE Spouse Membership
*FREE Credit card loss protection
* Members-only rates on RV and auto insurance
* Good Sam Continued Service Plan (CSP) can save you thousands on RV repairs
* Preferred rates on RV financing and refinancing
* Good Sam VISA credit card that can earn you points towards discounts on RV-related products and services
* Mail forwarding
* FREE access to the Standby Sams, the Club's volunteer network, to help you while on the road

Members Only Website:
* Access to RV Products and Accessories
* FREE access to RV Trip Routing service
* Good Sam Club Events Calendar
* Good Sam Club News, RV News, National Headlines
* Electronic Postcards, Weather Updates, Members Forum, and More!

Protecting RV Rights While Providing RV Fun:
* The Good Sam Club lobby in Washington, protecting the rights of RVers and sponsoring legislation
* RV parking rights advisory council assists members with RV parking issues
* Exciting RV Caraventures across the country
* Samboree rallies throughout the year
* More than 2,000 local chapters

For those of you who say "why don't you just join Good Sam" - I will, just because it is cheap and offers so much. In the meantime I hope that a few WBCCI IBT officials will see this post and think for one moment that the they should spend as much time seeking new and exciting benefits that the membership could REALLY use.

I looked at the list of parks that WBCCI negotiated a reduced fee in my area - there is only one. I know the park and it is basically on the low end of the quality spectrum. My results may be out of the norm but there are a lot more campgrounds within 20 miles of my area and I bet there many that have agreements with Good Sam, Why not WBCCI?

WBCCI has a goal of increasing membership and with that comes increased ability to negotiate benefits which in turn makes the club look more attractive, reductio ad absurdum - It grows. The trick is to approach this goal with intelligence - something I think the leadership is missing.

Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
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Old 01-07-2006, 10:41 PM   #2
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1993 25' Excella
Beautiful , New Hampshire
Join Date: May 2003
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To me comparing the WBCCI to The Good Sam club is like comparing oranges to apples. I belong to both because they offer me different things.

I care about the following things in regards to my Good Sam membership:
  • Highways publication - lots of ideas of places to go and see
  • Campground discounts - for the very few times I stay in a full service place this is a nice benefit
I have purchased books from Good Sam but have found I can get the same products for less $$$ online. Also the Good Sam website is pretty boring (IMHO).

I care about these things in regards to my WBCCI membership:
  • It's all about Airstreams
  • The folks in my unit and at the Rallys all care about Airstreams, they want to talk about Airstreams, they want to show off their Airstreams, they want to see want you've done with your Airstream
  • No one is this club ever says to me "oh, are they still making those things?"
  • It's all about Airstreams
So, for me belonging to Good Sam is like belonging to AAA, nice benefits for travelers, that's it. Being in the WBCCI is being part of a family of folks with a common interest who enjoy traveling together. No matter what the name of the club is or what other benefits are provided the thing I care about is the feeling of being in the company of folks who share my love for Airstreams, and I have that with my WBCCI Unit.

Michelle & Leon
New England Unit

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Old 01-07-2006, 11:05 PM   #3
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Dewey , Arizona
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I will be signing up with Good Sam this month. I am going to replace my AAA coverage for travel coverage with the Good Sam plan. This thread made me want to change. The road service is the main reason for my joining, anything else is just gravy.

I have not joined the WBCCI as of yet, I have thought about it, I have even discussed it with a few members of the local unit. I am waiting to see if the unit becomes more orientated people who have not yet retired.


Wally Byam Airstream Club 7513
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Old 01-07-2006, 11:18 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
my new wbcci annual directory just arrived's pretty nice and improved from last year.......what a lot of work this is for the folks who do it.....congrats to them!!!

now for this thread............

nice summary of the 2 clubs........

however, the most recent forum vote was useless and thinking about it, drawing conclusions from it, wasting time pondering it........ is equally useless.

it is not information it is MISinformation.....completely.

while i was against the name change offered, i am for changing the name now, and i do think it will increase membership by 10-20%...depending on new sales numbers and dealer support and the temporary bump that comes from changes like this....

the same question/vote was posted a few days earlier and the results were significanly different.....nearly equal. a few weren't happy with the results so another vote was posted (with different rules).....MANY did not post a vote....typically "yes" people will say yes once and move on, while "no" people keep crying no no no. that's all they hear; that's all they want to hear. none of the votes were confidential, many included endless editorials over and over by the same "typing avatars" (think talking heads) running summaries DURING the voting.......i could go on, but these vote/poll threads were beyond useless and ever so tiresome to see reappear.....sure many take a glancing over at a roadside disaster. don't confused morbid curosity or the desire to read the current foolish note with useful interest. those people moved on long ago on this topic.....BESIDES the offical member/chapter vote has already happened. it would be totally irresponsible for the ibt folks to pay attention to this forum when their actual membership has already spoken.

it's over. get over it. bush won. if you reach voting age tomorrow ya still can't vote on the last election so move on.....

why not go over to the offical wbcci web page and post about the vote and all that other yadda yadda over there.....on the official wbcci forum......

as for here.........there are already at least 3 long threads here on "what's wrong" or "let's improve" or "should i join" the wbbci.....some of these threads have well considered thoughts posted from folks who have given the issues some consideration.....other posts are nonsense. why not just post in one of those threads to bring it back up on the list, so folks don't have to type what they've already typed again.

the search too works really well here or
how about those 5 similar threads at the bottom of the page?

wouldn't it make sense to search these other threads and reference them or summarize them or just continue them? instead of asking the same opened questions again?

there are also threads on good sam, the escapees, and several of the other rv about pulling these threads up read a bit, and then think about the useful info therein.........not the nonsense from these votes.....

a nice thread on each of the clubs and what value each might have for us (beyond what's already in likewise threads) would be great.......without subliminal messages to the wbbci/ibt folks. put that cr4p over on the wbbci site and report back.

honestly i'm not trying to tell you what to post or how to post it but.......
bjesus give it a rest or make it fresh!

and a big hug to anyone who goes to the effort to post what they think in this thread, if they have already done it lasy month or 2 months ago or 3.......big hug!

"have you got anything on the menu without spam?"

"well, there's spam eggs and spam. that's only got a little spam."

"spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam,.........we love spam!"

where's that killer bunny when ya need her!!!!!

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Old 01-07-2006, 11:44 PM   #5
VAC President
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1977 27' Overlander
1954 25' Cruiser
1990 34.5' Airstream 345
VC Highlands , Nevada
Join Date: Mar 2005
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It is irrelevant how you voted or what your position is on the name change. This thread is not a vote. It is an open forum discussing one topic which has nothing to do with any vote. It is a discussion on the difference between 2 clubs, one successful and one languishing.

I am glad that you "think" there will be an automatic 10%-20% increase in membership with the name change but you have absolutely no basis in fact to support that statement. It is just a hunch and that is all the IBT has to go on as well.

And you don't need to tell me to get over it. I will not. I am not like some of the millions of people in this country who just blindly accept what is presented to them in the news as fact. I have the ability to challenge what I see as the best option for any situation. I am like Toto and am looking for what's behind the curtain. I don't like what I see and I am going to express my displeasure in what I find.

If you are tired of seeing these threads, stop reading the forums or use your filtering capability to select what you can see. We are "Buttercup", filter out our posts. Or easier still, just don't read every topic you see on the forums.

For some reason you are still reading this topic and for some reason you are choosing to respond to it - thereby propagating the responses. I believe that this issue is nearer and dearer to your heart than you would let on. And I suspect that you protest my continued regurgitation of this topic because it may actually make a difference which of course would be detrimental to your position.

or maybe not...
Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:18 AM   #6
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i seldom post to these threads......
it's like singin' in the shower.....
sounds good to me but
my neighbors think i'm dyin
and usually call the police.

i went to a local unit rally this summer since i was going to be at the same lake anyway a few days earlier. 8-9 trailers parked at arms length when the entire park was empty....i was parked several spaces away. folks dropped by when they saw the wbcci #s and asked if i'd like to move over next to them....they could just squeeze me in if earl and betty rolled up the awnings....

no thanks i liked my spot fine. this group of 19 folks was 75 and up with one youngster age 55 along for 'muscle'.

they played cards and cooked in the group shelter every evening and car pooled to town for brunch daily at the oldest continually running restaurant west of mississippi. they went antique'n and visited the local quilt store. they were in bed by 9p and up by 5a everyday. a couple had grand kids visit over one night too. the unit president and wife missed the first 2 days because they were celebrating their "50th honeymoon"

i was bike riding or herdin' cattle or hikin' everyday but they were very friendly to me and kept offering me food.

in short they had a blast doing what they do. i had no interest in camping so close or spending most of the day under the shelter house.

while i am in wbcci i'm not there for the rallies or chili pot. i do like the people and i'm happy they enjoy what they do....they were happy, active and friendly and liked doing exactly what they were doing. every day they asked me if i'd like to join their local unit instead of just being 'at large'. really nice people every one of them.

ever been to a good sam rally? same crap just lots bigger the international and lots of organized functions....still it's not my sort of camping adventure.

i belong to both for other reasons. i have posted to this thread to just these times.......because i do like how it sounds in the shower.........

gotta go now, my neighbors are calling the police!

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Old 01-08-2006, 12:55 AM   #7
Rivet Master
1992 34' Limited
Falls Church , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 945
Oh that's what that was....!

2air -

I'm glad you told me it was you, I was starting to get worried for my neighbors cat. Coyotes, don't ya know!

Hope you and the cops got it all sorted out OK - you must be friends with them by now! ;>)


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Old 01-08-2006, 07:10 AM   #8
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Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,510
For me whatever the name is will make little or no difference. Its the attitude and the experience that counts. We have had 7 Forum Rallys, albeit small ones...but they were fun and interesting as well as learning events. Children, animals, instruments, food, airstremas, boats whatever showed up we made the most of it.
The local WBCCI Rally I attended was dull and boring, had too many rules, and our kids were left out of everything.It went beyond that but i won't repeat that story.
Granted that is the fault of the chapter here in North GA, but it was enough for me to let my membership go and look for other ways to fellowship with people who have some similiar interests- camping and Airstreams being a part of it of course.
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:54 AM   #9
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Milwaukee , Wisconsin
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I want to add two more benefits for the Good Sam club. First my wife and I have our dental insurance through them and second we use their travel web page as our personal web page.
We belong to the WBCCI and the VAC. If given the choice I would choose to belong to just the VAC. Most of the posts I read, which are favorable to the WBCCI, talk about the great local units they have. The Wisconsin Unit in my opinion is not among that group. When we joined we were not even put on the local units mailing list. They did not recognize us until we threatened to quit. We have had one dynamic president, while we were members, who was interested in growing the group and expanding the club's membership base. He is now out of office and the year of light and freshness seems to be over. We no longer have communication of upcoming events- to all members.
The dues are expensive and I can see little to no benefit from the International segment of WBCCI. I can read and gain information from the Highways (Good Sam magazine) but the Blue Beret seems to be nothing but a big advertisement for that year's International rally. Since we have a yearly commitment on the 4th of July I doubt we will ever get to an International rally and that seems to be the thrust of all focus for them. I take advantage of several Good Sam benefits: road, dental, and life insurance; trip planning; web page; plus fuel and campground discounts. With the WBCCI we attend the VAC rallies, that is it. We used to go to the luncheons but now we don't know when they are being held. The last unit rally was very expensive and had more meeting time planned than fun time. With hesitation we wrote the check for the dues one more time but I have a feeling that will be the last check.
Chaplain Kent
2015 Coachman Freedom Express 19RBS, Chummy IV- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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Old 01-08-2006, 09:25 AM   #10
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BACK WOODS , Minnesota
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Good Sam vs WBCCI

We of course belong to both. Why not? They are two different types of organizations. If WBCCI accepted any and all brands of rvs, there would be many more members wouldn't there?? You simply can't compare them fairly.

I did get involved in this discussion a while back and was amazed at the rhetoric I recieved in return. I now think that the discussion is a competition between individuals to see who is most clever. Who cares what they call the organization. Wally? HE'S DEAD!! I doubt that he would care anyway. He cared about the club, not the name. As should all of you!!

This rhetoric is not good for anyone.
What is good is what positive ideas you can come up with to help the club survive. The name is not important, the club is. You want change, GET INVOLVED!! The older folks want you to. Make the changes you want as a group. You can do it if you try.
There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"


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Old 01-08-2006, 10:24 AM   #11
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I was Northern Illinois local president for one year. Involved for 11 years. Still trying to get some things done but there is alot of old people in charge in the club and change does not occur easily. I do not think revolution is possible. and evolution is slow and results so far have resulted in lower and lower membership numbers year after year so it may not be evolving in the right direction. The Blue Beret has had more and more rallies and caravans being canceled or withdrawn for lack of leadership or participation. VAC seems to be the only bright light and that is fairly dim.
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:29 AM   #12
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
There are at least two major issues here. One is that of the importance of mission, goals, identity, and brand. The other is effectiveness.

Comparisons to Good Sam makes for a good reference for effectiveness and are a place to be looking for lessons to learn to improve. WBCCI hq should indeed be looking at Good Sam, SKP, AAA, commercial caravan companies, and other 'competitors' and using the best of what they see as a standard for their own operations. From what I see, WBCCI isn't even in the competition and there is no reason why they shouldn't be IMHO. They only survive because of remnants of loyalty I think.

That loyalty has been under duress since Airstream diluted its brand and an example of this is illustrated by the story of the VAC. What WBCCI has as a competitive advantage, so to speak, is its focus on its mission and its identity. What I see from the comments on these threads is that the WBCCI mission and identity are not consistently expressed in what WBCCI does and its members do. There is a confusion and a tugging in many different directions.

One analogy may be in the Wal-Mart versus local business debate. What Wal-Mart does is to put pressure on local businesses to focus on what they do that is special and unique. Let Wal-Mart (Good Sam) deal with the masses. Let the local small business (WBCCI) focus on what makes it special and different. If WBCCI cannot distinguish itself with its own unique identity and purpose, it will continue to suffer.

In this light, I think it is a false direction for WBCCI to go chasing after discounts and benefits that need a broad base to be effective. Most of these are businesses in their own right. They can distract from a focus on an organization's primary purpose because of management load. Instead, WBCCI needs to ask why their rally and caravan information on the web cannot be as complete as that at, say, burning man? Why can't its international rally compete on a feature basis with that of Good Sam? How can it leverage and work with its competitors in overlapping areas?

I used to think that the WBCCI, since it must be populated by experienced and successful business and professional people, would demonstrate the epitomy of good business practice and organizational growth. Age and experience teaches me otherwise and I also see that WBCCI isn't alone in being an organization full of talented, dedicated, experienced, and skilled people that is spinning wheels.

Perhaps we need another Wally.
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Leipper
Comparisons to Good Sam makes for a good reference for effectiveness and are a place to be looking for lessons to learn to improve. WBCCI hq should indeed be looking at Good Sam, SKP, AAA, commercial caravan companies, and other 'competitors' and using the best of what they see as a standard for their own operations.
That is exactly the point of the post. Want more members - look around at what others are doing and work to offer that to your members.
And in no wat should WBCCI try to be as big as GS - It can't. But it could be more attractive to to the AS'ers out there.
Buttercup's Web Site. WBCCI #17330, 11281 & 7830. VAC Past President, TAC NV-2 & NV-3
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Old 01-08-2006, 11:20 AM   #14
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If the Officers vote to spend the money, it is legal. If you want change, get involved by becoming an Officer. Work for change. Don't just bitch. When you do get involved, then you may see some of the reasons that the club is going the way it is. The older members would welcome some good constructive help.

There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"


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