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Old 12-21-2005, 10:08 AM   #1
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A forums caravan?

I would like to try a caravan but a month to 6 weeks and the cost seem prohibitive for the WBCCI ones, yet someday I hope to try one (in my older old ageperhaps. ) I wanted to do the lighthouse one which is close to our residence but I was told when I joined they are booked and full up two years in advance. The thing with a caravan is the driving time. But maybe someone with great planning could come up with an interesting tour somewhat centrally located and make the most of a long week with no kitty charges. Does anyone have any interest in that idea?
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:23 AM   #2
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Not a bad idea

I may be touring the Natchez Trace Parkway come spring (early april maybe). http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm Dont know if it would be your speed or not. If I do it I will take about a week. Lots of historical stuff along the way, and there is free camping in the park service campgrounds. If anybody wanted to come along that would be fun.
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:18 AM   #3
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That may fit in with our plans, Rodney (since we don't have any yet). I have wanted to tour the trace, but have been wondering about any hurricane damage that the area suffered last year. After all, the Katrina and Rita didn't evaporate when they hit the coast. Have you heard anything?

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Old 12-21-2005, 11:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
That may fit in with our plans, Rodney (since we don't have any yet). I have wanted to tour the trace, but have been wondering about any hurricane damage that the area suffered last year. After all, the Katrina and Rita didn't evaporate when they hit the coast. Have you heard anything?

Pat

The parkway is pretty far inland, I cant imagine it took much of a hit. I was thinking about following the trace on my way out to the south west (New Mexico) where I hope to spend about a month doing remakably little, mabye do some alien watching and whatnot .
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:00 PM   #5
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I have also thought a forum caravan would be a fun experiment. Does anyone know what makes the WBCCI caravans so expensive? It seems to me the ones I've checked out arrange for all meals, camping, and often have a few expensive special activities thrown in. They sound incredibly complex to organize, and they are often far too long for working folks to participate in (a week or longer). It does seem like something that could be simplified for a forum get-together.
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:44 PM   #6
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expenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I have also thought a forum caravan would be a fun experiment. Does anyone know what makes the WBCCI caravans so expensive? It seems to me the ones I've checked out arrange for all meals, camping, and often have a few expensive special activities thrown in. They sound incredibly complex to organize, and they are often far too long for working folks to participate in (a week or longer). It does seem like something that could be simplified for a forum get-together.
They do get tickets for attractions in advance so no waiting and probably better seats, etc. Getting large groups in together probably plays a part.

But I think if people could pick and choose their expenses while it isn't all tied up in a neat little do it for me package there would not be people paying for things that they would rather not have to pay for.
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:22 PM   #7
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caravan question

This is probably a dumb question, but are campsite fees included in club caravan prices? I understand that tours etc are part of the fee, but I don't understand if camping is in addition to the caravan fee. A forum caravan sounds fun, kinda like a rolling rally.
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I have also thought a forum caravan would be a fun experiment. Does anyone know what makes the WBCCI caravans so expensive? It does seem like something that could be simplified for a forum get-together.
The biggest issue you need to deal with is the campground arrangements. Especially if you want folks to be able to be in sites next to each other. Unless you have money in advance and can guarantee payments in advance, a caravan would be a nightmare to set up.

Maybe the issue is picking a destination with lots of activities or points of interest. When we did the Mackinaw City Forum Rally, we had a lot of territory that folks could day trip to.

A suggestion is that you pick a common point where you start up the caravan. A one day caravan that would end in the destination campground. For example if we went up to Mackinaw City again, my suggestion would be an overnight meet-up at a Benton Harbor KOA or some other mid state Michigan locale. From there the next morning, everyone would caravan up to Mackinaw City. That way each party would be responsible for two reservations. One at the meet up point and the second at the destination.

While not a perfect caravan solution, it simplifies the campground issue.

Jack
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Old 12-21-2005, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDS
...are campsite fees included in club caravan prices?
Yes, typically all the campsite arrangements are made by the caravan leaders prior to the caravan leaving. Also as mentioned, reservations & payments are made for many activities and meals...

While I've never been on one of the longer caravans, the DenCO Unit has 2 or 3, 5-7 day semi-local caravans to rallies planned each year. That way those that can take the extra days for the caravan do and the others meet up on the weekend for the rally portion. Oftentimes we pick-up folks along the way depending on location and availability. These are fun times and make me look forward to the time I can go on a long caravan someday ~

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Old 12-21-2005, 05:08 PM   #10
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Our forums rally

At our Otisville Forums Rally this year which had a great turnout from both the forum and the WBCCI, with some from VAC and many Argosies coming from far and near we left arrangements to the individual. The campground was called ahead for a block of sites to be tentatively reserved and each member called in their own reservations and made their own payment.

I imagine since this would be scheduled ahead of time, there would be sufficient time to book. Worst case scenerio, you choose a place with plenty of sites and walk, yes walk over to your friend' which is what happens anyway, isn't it.

I want to do a mini caravan I don't want to drive to merely sit at a rally, That is the inherent difference. I know what being staionary at a rally is like. I want to get us a convoy! I'll be in the chartrouse mini-bus

Shari's set-up sounds fun and doable. Even if all reservations are set up at once, it only requires sending a check to the person in charge of reservations in advance. No check by cut-off date-no reservation made-sorry. Why is that a nightmare Jack?

Oooh, btw, you may recognize the event by the famed "Louapalooza" Whereby we now retain membership in "Louscrew"



Quote:
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Yes, typically all the campsite arrangements are made by the caravan leaders prior to the caravan leaving. Also as mentioned, reservations & payments are made for many activities and meals...

While I've never been on one of the longer caravans, the DenCO Unit has 2 or 3, 5-7 day semi-local caravans to rallies planned each year. That way those that can take the extra days for the caravan do and the others meet up on the weekend for the rally portion. Oftentimes we pick-up folks along the way depending on location and availability. These are fun times and make me look forward to the time I can go on a long caravan someday ~

Shari
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:00 PM   #11
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Next year

Our next-year unit President is thinking of a unit caravan in lieu of one of our usual rallies. We have talked about possibly going from state park to state park in a big circle. One route possibility is Abilene SP, Caprock Canyon SP, Palo Duro SP, and so on with, perhape 2 days stop at each park to give time to do things in the local area. The hosts would suggest, but not schedule, things to do at each stop.

Since Texas State Parks do not allow sites to be pre-reserved (only a class of site can be reserved), we are thinking one host would go a day ahead to each park, appear at the park office first thing when they open in the morning with the reservation numbers in hand, and tie-up sites as close together as possible. We did that with a forum rally near Austin and with my previous club. Each person would make their own reservations with the state park system and forward the reservation numbers to the coordinator.

We hope this will give the members something new and fun to do.
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:05 PM   #12
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Fill me in here...what's the big deal with pre-paying for campsites as a group through the organizer of the rally/caravan?

In CO it's very difficult to get a site without a confirmed reservation during the summer...almost every campground is 'full', even the state parks. The National Forrest is no reservation/no amenities basically boondocking, but most rallies/caravans provide some amenities.

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Old 12-21-2005, 06:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Fill me in here...what's the big deal with pre-paying for campsites as a group through the organizer of the rally/caravan?
Shari
For our Februsry Vintage Rally, the unit has reserved 18 sites that have been doled out first-come, first-served, to WBCCI members. We will get there with those reservation numbers when the office opens and get those sites close together as possible. Non-WBCCI members and late members must make their own reservations with Texas State Parks; however, if they forward us their numbers, we will also get their sites close by.

Of course, in February, the park will be pretty empty. We have used this method in the summer, as well, and since we are starting before the weekend, we usually get a pretty close group of sites.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:03 PM   #14
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WBCCI Caravan expense allocations

I ran a 14 day caravan to the International in Boise from Chicago for the Northern Illinois chapter. For over the road longer caravans, it is best to use commercial campgrounds, since they will accept reservations. (prepay and kittie fee required). WBCCI requires all caravans be run at no profit. An independent caravan treasurer assures all excess moneyss will be promptly be returned to the participants at the end of the caravan. Variable expenses for food and incidentals along the way make exact $ planning difficult. All expenses are shared by those who participate. If the leader wants to take the trouble, he can make individual events optional and either individuallize the fees for each trailer or have particpants pay at the time from their own pocket. He may (and usually does) make decisions on what to include in the kittie fee by vote of the participants.

Using the WBCCI techniques, for the amount of services the participants desire to be included. the caravan's cost per day is the lowest possible . If you want a cheap no frills caravan, tell the leader or organize your own.

We have tried mystery weekend or four day caravans for our local chapter. Those that went had fun but participation was poor.
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