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Old 07-26-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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What's the fight about?

In reading some of the threads on this sub-forum, I get the impression that there is some sort of fight going on in the WBCCI, but I'm not sure that I understand what it is all about. It appears to me that there is a proposed new constitution and by-laws in the works, and that there is a group that wants to open up WBCCI to people who don't own Airstreams. There is some confusion in my mind on this. I well understand that there could be an argument about whether someone who owns an Airstream motor home could be a member, since when the organization was first started there were no such things. I don't understand why someone who owns some other brand would want to belong to a brand club that isn't his brand.

Currently, we own a Heartland mpg 181. That's our learning RV, and we're thinking about an Airstream for our FT rig. We're also thinking about other brands of RVs. As Heartland owners, we're welcome to join the Heartland Owners' Club and participate in their activities. Heartland is now owned by Thor, the same company that owns Airstream. I doubt that an Airstream owner could, by virtue of owning a Thor product, be allowed to join H.O.C. Why, then, should Airstream accept someone who doesn't own an Airstream?

Should we decide to trade our mpg in on an RV that isn't a Heartland product, we won't be immediately drummed out of the club. We simply won't be able to attend the Rallys. I suppose that if we had a significant amount of time left on our membership we could ask for a refund of the unused portion, but we probably wouldn't do that. We would probably know before we had to renew if we were going to go another direction, and simply wouldn't renew. If the decision would be made several months after the renewal, well, the dues aren't that much, and we've had plenty of good fellowship.

This apparent fight has me concerned. One of the big attractions for the Airstream is the WBCCI, and if it is being torn asunder, then maybe we ought to look for some other RV. As an outsider, I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of WBCCI politics, and I'm really not interested in the details. I do know that WBCCI has a well-deserved history of setting a good example for all of the rest of the RV organizations. It would be a shame to throw that reputation away.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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Gosh I couldn't imagine not owning a AS because of whatever issues the wbcci is having. In fact we bought our AS without even paying attention to the club at all.

We have owned for almost three years and just now joined the wbcci. We stayed at a airstream only park once and it was awesome. The nicest people and they let us stay for free. We would join just to stay there alone.

The AS community is wonderful. There will always problems or issues with clubs this large but we choose not to let that bother us. It's about camping, having fun, seeing new places, and meeting new people for us. And doing it all in the coolest travel trailer ever!

Best wishes.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:47 PM   #3
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It would take hours to bring you up to speed on the last several years of history, but it’s all here on these forums if you want to take the time to read it. The following threads are a good start:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...ted-61430.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...uit-61787.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...tml#post895603

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...ons-68639.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286/wbcci-moho-issue-71029.html

.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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David don't worry.. Join the WBCCI and your local unit, hang out with them and have a great time at the Rally's and events. While there are issues within the club, it's not unlike any large organization. The WBCCI gets a bad rap on Airforums but if you meet with members in your area you will see the other side of the club.

Don't let the negative press on Airforums prevent you from giving the WBCCI a try.

Damon Beals
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #5
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I belong to WBCCI and love it. Good reason to buy and Airstream. I agree, buy the Airstream, join the WBCCI, go to the local unit events, go on caravans. Everbody is super nice and there is no problem with the club or the people.

It is, however, a club with a declining and aged membership. It is a club that is run by a strong, established central leadership. Personally, I am glad for that. I expect any organization that goes from 35000 members to 5000 members has to make some adjustments.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post

It is, however, a club with a declining and aged membership. It is a club that is run by a strong, established central leadership. Personally, I am glad for that. I expect any organization that goes from 35000 members to 5000 members has to make some adjustments.
The club has always had the strong established central leadership. That has, in my opinion, contributed to the 80% plus loss in membership.
It has also always had an aged membership also and still does as it does not appeal to younger people.

There is no doubt adjustments need to be made but they will not be accomplished by running off forward thinking ,and usually younger members so as to maintain the status quo.

Unfortunately what worked in 1976 does not always work today
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:53 PM   #7
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what ARE the issues?

Well I would really like to know what the issues are, but don't want to spend hours sorting through threads to "get the gist of it". Is there such a thing as an objective and concise rendering of what is going on? My membership dues are hard-earned, as are yours, and I would like to feel good about plunking those dollars down yearly...

Kathy
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #8
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Kathy, from what I have read it's about letting existing lifetime members who currently own an Airstream motorhome keep their WBCCI membership active even if they purchase another Thor (parent company) brand motorhome. There are some people who fear that if this change passes, then it opens channels for other members to keep their WBCCI status, trade into another Thor make/model and the club will eventually be just an RV club instead of a Branded club. or it will become the THOR RV Club.


Kind of like: I own and drive a Mini Cooper, I belong to a Mini Cooper club, only Mini's drive in our club rallys, only Mini's allowed in the club. If I exchange my car for a BMW (parent company), I relinquish my membership, it's a priviledge of ownership. I respect that, it's in the rules.

So is owning an Airstream, for now.

Wendy
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #9
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Issue one - There are 6 members who wanted to rewrite the constitution. They want the club to approve their version, that does away with representative democracy and replaces it with direct voting via the internet or whatever. They did this to give the MAL's some way to vote. Some people do not think this is the proper approach to solve this problem. There are many loose ends in their version.

Issue two - There are a few Past International Presidents who would like to buy new motorhomes but Airstream does not make them anymore. They want to change the club membership requirements to allow them to buy any Thor built Motorhome and keep their membership. Some people think there should only be Airstreams in an Airstream club.

Issue three -The club's method of selecting and promoting leaders causes the club to be dominated by people who can take early retirement but are pretty old by the time they reach leadership positions. Other people think we should elect leaders from the ranks rather than having them essentially appointed by a three member committee headed by a past International president..
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
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Issue 4
The club has a vaguely worded code of ethic and an ethics and grievance committee that has been used to harass several outspoken members and in one case kick out a member, incurring over $20k in unneeded legal expense.

Issue 5
The elimination of 3 amp or other lower cost parking options at the last 2 internationals. No change in sight.

I am sure someone can add to this list
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:00 PM   #11
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Whitefawn:

In my opinion it's a generational / cultural wars type of thing.

The club is structured so that the national organization leadership positions, the Executive Committee (EC) and the Internationa Board of Trustees (IBT), requires retired people. Thus working people, who are the younger members, in reality cannot hold the positions due to demands of time required by these positions. Although elections are held they are not truly democratic because the leadership controls who can run by controlling the nominating committee. The International President (IP) also controls who can put information into the culb magazine regarding nominations. Think about how the top leadership worked in the Soviet Union, then you will have a good understanding as to how the club's national leadership works. The EC and IBT are also run by people who have attitudes stuck in the 1950's and who are unwilling to past the torche to the next generation. The EC controls the agenda of the club. Members who have tried to change the club are either expelled or resign due to frustration. Thus it is impossible to get any change through if you are not part of the EC or IBT. Many have tried but few have been successful. Many of those in the older generation, of which make up a majority of the club, like the way the club is run and don't see any need for change.

There are more Airstreams on the road today than at any time in history but the club has been losing members for the last twenty years. I believe that this generational issue is the reason why the club can't attract and retain many younger members; it's essentially a retirees club.

The constitution, bylaws, and amendment issues are all related to who has control - the EC & IBT or the general membership.

The other major issue dividing the club at this point is that most of the EC and IBT own motorhomes and want new ones while remaining in the club and holding their positons of power. They want to allow in non Airstream brand motorhomes into a club that requires an Airstream product to be a member. They want to change this requirement to meet their needs. Thus the requirement that has been in the club since it founding over 50 year ago is to be done away with because we are no longer to be an Airstream club but a RV social club. Of 6,000 club member there are about only 460 motorhome members. The EC and IBT brought this issue up for a vote to the memberhsip back in 2007 and it was soundly defeated. However, if you have the power you can keep trying until you get what you want.

Unfortunately the club won't change until the current generation in power dies off.

Many will say to focus on the unit level, have fun and ignore the politics at the national level. However the national dues are $65 per year and are a requirement to belong to a unit.

I have been a member since 2005 and this is my view of the "State of the Club". I'm sure many others will voice a different view. However, if you read the various thread on the topic I belive that the issues boil down to what I have stated.

Hopes this helps.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:09 PM   #12
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Dave.
Very well said.
One correction. You are painting a rosier picture than actually exists.
If you judge the membership loss by the attendance at the International, They tend to run together, the membership loss has been going on for 35 years.
The rally attendance can be found in the membership directory so it is easily checked.

Basically it has been a downhill slide since a peak in 1976.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:50 PM   #13
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Ultimately, it's not the EC that will make the decision on allowing non-AS products into the club, as I understand it. Rather, it will be up for a vote by the members. (Since this was turned down the last time it was brought forth, I think they've got themselves an uphill battle.)

As far as culture wars are concerned, it's probably not 50s attitudes since those who were RVing in the 50s are, in general, not RVing now. (That would include folks like my parents, who are still alive, but well beyond the RVing stage of life.)


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Old 07-27-2011, 05:56 PM   #14
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Lynn:

Lawrence Welk attitudes are the 50's to me. Maybe early 60's. My dad who is 80 wouldn't be comfortable with the leadership's attitudes. I wouldn't insult him that way. My grandfather who died in 1984 at the age of 99 would find the EC and IBT attitudes to his liking.
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