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Old 05-09-2012, 06:08 AM   #1
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Why Should I Join WBCCI?

I'm a brand new Airstream owner. With that said, I have traveled over 500,000 miles pulling either 5th wheels or travel trailers since 1989. I am a manufacturers rep selling sportswear apparel to the golf, shooting industry, and corporate markets. I am on the road covering a 5 to 6 state area twice yearly for about 3 months each loop. I have stayed in literally every state park in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Southern Illinois. I also have my favorites Oklahoma and Texas, when traveling each April from Liberal, KS to San Antonio, TX. I knew 10 years ago that I would someday be an Airstream owner. Not enough space to tell you all the stories about the RV industry issues with poorly built units, so will ask today why it is important that I have some numbers on the back of my trailer? I understand the intial reason this registry was started, but is that the same purpose today? My new Eddie Bauer 25 has a top blank strip front & rear that I assumed was for something, but not sure. The red letters I see are pretty big and how in the world does your club keep the numbers down to 4 or 5 numbers? Just curious. I'm actually more of a camo cap type guy and not real excited about wearing a black ? Just a poke and I figured out that you all laugh at yourself anyways, just as I do at myself. Why would anyone ever pull a silver bullet down the road? Because I can. Because I want to. Because I'm tired of the junk that I have had in the past. Finally, I have my Linksoul trailer and love it! Iowa Bumpa
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:41 AM   #2
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I'm a relatively new member, having only joined this year, so I may not be able to offer the definitive answer… assuming there even IS a definitive answer.

Honestly, there's no reason why you HAVE to join WBCCI. Lots of Airstream owners don't. On the AirForums, there is endless debate on that topic, with people on both sides making a strong case for their personal viewpoint. But, if you want to attend rallies and caravans put on by Airstream owners, for Airstream owners, and you have the time to devote to it, WBCCI is one of your best bets. It's a good way to meet and have fun with people who share a common interest in Airstreaming.

For those of us who work for a living, we can't necessarily reap the full benefit of membership right away, since work interferes with more important things like camping. Since I'm not self-employed, I can't always pick and choose my vacation time to correspond with WBCCI events. That puts many of the WBCCI rallies and caravans out of my reach. But then again, the same is true for Good Sam, Passport America, or any other RV club that puts on events.

Check the WBCCI web page (www.wbcci.org) for their calendar of events, and see if there's one you'd like to attend. Several of the rallies are "buddy rallies" where non-members are welcome as well, and some of the local units hold luncheons in the months that they don't hold rallies, where non-members are usually welcome.

When I joined, a member of a local unit that holds rallies every month poked fun at my decision to join a unit that holds more luncheons than rallies, saying "You don't have to buy an Airstream to eat lunch." But so what? That unit was the one closest to me, and I'm not locked into just one unit. If I want to attend an event put on by another Unit, in another Region, I'm welcome anywhere they display the big red numbers.

As for how they keep the numbers down to a manageable 5 digits or less, they reuse them, as members sell their Airstreams or encounter other circumstances that prevent participation anymore.

And the big red numbers are an instant conversation starter in just about any campground, and an instant invitation to meet and greet any fellow camper who has them too.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:21 AM   #3
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I pretty much have to echo Protagonist. I am also a new owner and a new member. When I joined I told them that that it was one year trial. If it turns out not to be for me, no big deal I will not renew. I have not attended any WBCCI events as of this time. I am sure I will sometime in the near future. I have been impressed by all the personal contact that has been made by members of my unit and other neighboring units inviting me to rallies and lunches. I don't think that I will be making any of the lunches as it is a 3 hour drive to Jackson, MS where they are held. I do live in a good area to attend events in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and the Pensacola area as well in Mississippi. As I am still working it is kind of hard to take the time off to go much further from home at this time. I still have not gotten around to putting on my numbers, but will before attending any official WBCCI events.

Basically I think it comes down to a personal choice, each of us has to decide it the organization is for them. I was a little nervous about joining at this time because of all the politics and in fighting that is going on at this time within the organization. It seems to me that the old school members fear change of any sort and want to keep things as they have always been and the newer members want to embrace technology and bring the organization into the 21st Century. This is just my opinion and frankly reading all the discussions on it gives me a headache. As I said my membership is a one year trial membership and if it does not work I simply will not be sending them another check.

I recently attended my first TAC rally at Stone Mountain, GA and had a wonderful time. No rules, no politics, no membership fees and no high salaries paid to the folks that are giving their time and energy to put the events together. Maybe there is one rule and that is to have fun and that seems to have been had by all.

PS: OP, If I had the opportunity to buy a new Airstream you have just the model that I would purchase. Love the layout and back door
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
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Attend some buddy rallies - if you like it, join, if not, don't. I've personally found the benefits of membership (some very fun rallies) far outweigh the headaches the club has. Keep in mind each local unit has a different personality so you may have to "shop around" a bit.

I should mention that my wife and I are members and love rallies, but at the same time we definitely do our own camping, too - we've found a mix is best for us, and we don't make it to every rally held by our unit.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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The main reason I belong to WBCCI is to go on the caravans. And I like the people we have met through WBCCI. If you do not want to go on the caravans or local rallies or stay in any of the Airstream parks maybe you should not join WBCCI. We would be glad to have you though. We went to Alaska on our first caravan our first year in WBCCI and have been hooked for the last 5 years. There are only about 5000 or so WBCCI members, and they recycle the numbers, so we do not need a whole lot of numbers. We have stayed at several of the Airstream only parks around the country. That is reason enough alone for me to be a member.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
We have stayed at several of the Airstream only parks around the country. That is reason enough alone for me to be a member.
Yeah, but I thought the Airstream parks were "Airstream Only" not "WBCCI Only" so an Airstream owner wouldn't have to join WBCCI just to stay there.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
I recently attended my first TAC rally at Stone Mountain, GA and had a wonderful time. No rules, no politics, no membership fees and no high salaries paid to the folks that are giving their time and energy to put the events together.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater View Post
Attend some buddy rallies - if you like it, join, if not, don't. I've personally found the benefits of membership (some very fun rallies) far outweigh the headaches the club has. Keep in mind each local unit has a different personality so you may have to "shop around" a bit.
Just to correct a couple of possible misconceptions if I may,

1. The only salaried employees of the WBCCI are the four ladies at headquarters who maintain the membership rolls, keep the club's books, pay the club's bills, and publish the Blue Beret and annual directory, and those salaries are by no stretch of the imagination high for all the things they do.

The international officers and region presidents (who constitute the IBT) are entitled by the rules to be reimbursed some of their travel expenses, and this has been a source of friction as membership has declined and consequently so have dues. In recent years most officers have chosen not to claim all of the expense reimbursement to which they are entitled.

2. Under the WBCCI constitution (and I believe most unit constitutions, which generally mirror the "model unit constitution") non-member Airstream owners may be invited to any unit rally. Buddy rallies are specifically intended for non-member non-Airstream owners.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
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Some parks are AS only and some are WBCCI AS. Only. Jim
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:49 PM   #9
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I belonged to the Goldwing Road Riders club. The benefits was the member's list with phone numbers in case of breakdowns or accidents. I didn't have any breakdowns or accidents but I was called out to help people on several occasions.

I don't have any family to visit. The club sponsored rallies gave my travel "structure". I scheduled my yearly trip around the rally. I had a date, a place to go, and friends to meet up with and travel with. I liked the rallies for the social benefits, the vendors, and for the riders willing to show and share.

My Airstream is still in construction but I'd join up with all the clubs that'd have me when I get it on the road.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Yeah, but I thought the Airstream parks were "Airstream Only" not "WBCCI Only" so an Airstream owner wouldn't have to join WBCCI just to stay there.
You would have to check with the park.

I know top of Georgia and Mystic Springs require WBCCI membership, on the other hand T.C.P.C near Crossville, TN does not.

There does not seem to be a common model that the parks are based on.
Most I have seen are quite nice.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #11
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Airstream parks

Some of the early Airstream parks were developed by local units of the WBCCI but they have opened up their requirements as space went unused. Travelers Rest near Dade City was developed by the Tampa WBCCI unit but now has about 40% non-Airstreams and park models. It is still a great park but the prices have gone up as there is more competition for memberships now. It is filled most of the winter months and there are quite a few that stay year round. Check the WBCCI directory for individual requirements.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #12
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Airstream parks have different ownership models. At TCPC the lots are member owned. At Top of the World the local WBCCI owns the campground and all lots are leased. Travelers Rest is no longer an Airstream park at all and I think will not be in the directory. I think the MN park is individual owned lots. Since I am a WBCCI member I do not particularly notice which parks you can get into without the membership. Not an issue for me.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #13
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Why should you join ? Very good question....

If you read much about the WBCCI here on the forums you might be inclined not to join. Non members seem to enjoy bashing the club. It is an old organization no doubt, somewhat set in their ways, and is not immune from problems. But that is part of what makes it great. It has a storied history. Those old ways served the club well, allowed it to survive 50+ years, and now with some changes in the making, will hopefully continue another 50+ years. It is quite possible that without the club, and the enthusiasm it generated over the years, we might not be enjoying these time machines we have today.
You must look past any politics, grumbling, moaning & groaning. That stuff is in any organization if you look for it. It is impossible to please everyone all the time. However, at the center is a true desire to have fun, fellowship, adventure, to share the love.
Just my opinion, but if you own one of these time machines, you are duty and honor bound to join up, even if you never participate in any of the activities. After all, it is an AIRSTREAM. It is undeniably special, one of the most recognizable objects on the entire planet, and the WBCCI is at it's heart. 65 bucks isn't gonna make you or break you.
Hope you join up.
John
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:14 PM   #14
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There are a few other benefits.

1). Courtesy Parking - many members offer courtesy parking at their residence. Club members are invited to contact these fine folks and arrange a visit. The overnight (or longer) stay is free.

2). Caravans - in addition to the long caravans that we in the working world can only dream about taking, there are many Unit sponsored short caravans. Check unit and region websites for details.

3) Rallies - not all rallies require week long attendance. There are many short local rallies and many national special event rallies. See the WBCCI.org website for a complete calendar.

These are a few of the reasons we joined 6 years ago.
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