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Old 05-02-2009, 10:42 PM   #1
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Cool What is the reason for rally locations?

I have been lurking around the rally forum for a while now, and after reviewing about 6 months of schedules, I am afflicted with the urge to ask the following questions:

Why do so many rallies take place at fairly remote, somewhat frumpy, mundane RV parks? Is it cost, capacity, availability? Am I clueless about the point of a rally? Maybe they are held in such places because the rallying type of airstreamer is there more for the group than for the setting? Is it that ralliers are a breed apart from the boondockers? Do ralliers have bigger rigs that can only be housed by a KOA-equivalent? Or is it that people like me, who believe we prefer settings like surfside, forested, mountainous, and seemingly unspoiled locations, aren't rally-oriented? (Maybe I just don't get the whole rally concept... it is about as alien to me as wanting to join the WBCCI after reading all the muck on that forum.)

Honestly, I think I'd like to get to know some of you, but I haven't yet seen a rally location that I would want to go to.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:01 PM   #2
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If you don't like the location or setting of any rallies, hold one of your own, in a location you select. Post about it here on the forums. If anybody else likes the idea, date, and location, they will join you.
I am posting this from a rally about a mile from the Pacific Ocean, where everybody had a lot of fun, some went surfing, some visited local shops and museums, and some went for a stroll on the pier.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:05 PM   #3
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Rallies are held wherever the host chooses to have them. It's just a group of friends camping together. In the NW seems like we mostly hit state parks, or nice little private campgrounds. I've never been to a rally at a KOA. You do need to find a place with enough room for everyone you're expecting. Sometimes we have them in group camp areas where there might be a limitation on size, like the 'confined space' rally in the gorge last fall. Other rallies might be in big parks like Beverly Beach. There's usually plenty to do in the area to entertain yourself, and campfires and potlucks are pretty popular for evening time.

Feel free to invite folks to join you in some forested, mountainous, unspoiled location and I'll bet people will show up, and then you'll have a rally on your hands
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:14 PM   #4
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Why do so many rallies take place at fairly remote, somewhat frumpy, mundane RV parks?

Why, who knows, but they sure are not mundane when 5 to 50 airstreams roll in. We know how to party, the food is good and so is the company. Everyone likes to visit each others coaches, and get advice or help on something in theirs.

We are at a rally now that 7 trailers showed up for, but you would have thought more were here. We even had one couple show up without their trailer as it's not completed yet.

I don't think it matters if you select a campground or a pasture, if people are interested in the rally, they will come. Decide on a theme, or reason and put the idea out there. Just remember to take into consideration the weather and if a/c will be needed. Boondocking is great if it's not 120 degrees in the desert. And some older trailers do not have holding tanks that permit boondocking. 2 good reasons for using "mundane" campgrounds

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Old 05-03-2009, 12:01 AM   #5
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Join us for the 4th of July Rally at Vernonia, Ore. We're boondocking at a great little campgound next to a creek. Every Rally is different, be it a forum Rally or a wbcci rally. We enjoy them both, nothing like visiting people with the same interests and ,of course, all the great food.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:59 AM   #6
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I attend three to four rallies each year. The most "mundane" campground we have rallied at was a Georgia Power campground on Lake Harbin near Columbus, Georgia. That little gem of a campground was located right on the shores of the lake and several campsites had piers right on their sites. This was no KOA I assure you. While there were no sewer hook-ups, the setting was beautiful and the facility well maintained. The sites were large and spacious. The pavilion was remote and private with a spectacular view of the sunset over the lake. Can't say enough about this little jewel.

Other rallies we have attended were on the shores of Lake Chatuge in the North Georgia Mountains. Again, great little campground owned and operated by the Towns County Lions Club. It has free WI-FI, cable and full hook-ups at most of the sites. Many of the campsites are directly on the lake shore. The rest have fantastic lake views. We have also attended the annual "Can Opener Rally" at Topsail Hill Preserve in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. This state park once was a private camping resort and has all the amenities of a resort campground. They now have WI-FI, they have always had full hook-ups and cable. Access to beautiful, undeveloped snow white beaches and plenty of other state park type activities to fill your weekend. All the campsites are concrete patios and landscaping that give you plenty of a sense of privacy. See photo below.

It all just depends on the person who sets up the rally as to where the rally is held and what type of rally it is. We are not the boondocking type so those rallies wouldn't interest us, but there are plenty of rallies in our area that don't require boondocking or staying in some really rustic campground or pass-through campground like some of the commercial ones out there. If there aren't any in your area at campgrounds that appeal to you, organize a rally at one that does.

Start a rally and they will come.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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Longdog, Nice to see you have formed such strong opinions all based on what you read here. For this is the authority on rallies and the evil empire known as the WBCCI. I have to tell you the WBCCI sucks. Their rallies are lame, such as this one....
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There was no electric or water except for the older members that needed it. All the rest of us had to use our trailers systems to get by. Central New York in full autum glorry and a town of 3000? What was the rally host thinking?
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Those pesky kids and adults went on hay rides...
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guys stood around and talked about life, politics, their Airstreams, and how incredibly boring the rally was and how what a horrible setting it was....
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Some guy helped fix eachothers trailers...
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Some guys polished a trailer just because they could...

You are so right about rallies. I strongly suggest you avoid them all.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:50 AM   #8
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Frank;

I'm glad to see you modified your post, shows how passionate you are about Airstreaming!!

And I'm also noting that The Marines were on location at the covered wagon rally.

Is that fellow pounding a screwdriver into the side of his drainpipe??

Location, location, location, bla bla bla, It's all about getting together and having a grand time.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:08 AM   #9
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Frank, the population of North Norwich (where that rally was hosted) is actuall closer to 300 than 3000. Why are the rallies located in out of the way places? Because that's where the beauty is! I suppose you could have a rally anywhere, so why not pick the most beautiful location. Besides, for many the journey to the rally is as important as the rally itself. These trailers were designed to be used without 3 point hookups. That allows you to camp or have a rally literally anywhere. A friend of mine is having a rally at his farm this summer, and there will be NO hookups. Of course, we will be one of the most beautiful areas of the Northeast, with a pond for fishing and a stream for exploring and woods to play in and wide open spaces for kite flying. Nights will be spent around the campfire, probably enjoying some adult beverages and telling lies.

My question is: Why would you want to have a rally in a less remote, more accessible location?
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:09 AM   #10
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I need to apoligize for my post. I was exaggerating a bunch.... North Norwich has a population of about 158 in town and around 1800 in the rural areas. Sorry about stretching it out. But the truth is the club sucks and so does it's rallies.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longdog View Post
I have been lurking around the rally forum for a while now, and after reviewing about 6 months of schedules, I am afflicted with the urge to ask the following questions:

Why do so many rallies take place at fairly remote, somewhat frumpy, mundane RV parks? Is it cost, capacity, availability? Am I clueless about the point of a rally? Maybe they are held in such places because the rallying type of airstreamer is there more for the group than for the setting? Is it that ralliers are a breed apart from the boondockers? Do ralliers have bigger rigs that can only be housed by a KOA-equivalent? Or is it that people like me, who believe we prefer settings like surfside, forested, mountainous, and seemingly unspoiled locations, aren't rally-oriented? (Maybe I just don't get the whole rally concept... it is about as alien to me as wanting to join the WBCCI after reading all the muck on that forum.)

Honestly, I think I'd like to get to know some of you, but I haven't yet seen a rally location that I would want to go to.

Surely you did not mean to take the tone that comes across in your post. I will assume not and make a few general points in response. First, as noted below, rally locations are a function of where someone decides to organize one. This may mean a central location is key, or it may be that a specific location is desired because of a feature. Second, the main point of a rally is fellowship, so everything else is secondary to that. Finally, there are, in fact, boondock rallies.

I, myself, pass on a lot of rallies based on location. I am a boondocker by nature and for the most part have no use RV parks, and less so as the price goes up. On the other hand, I have attended quite happily rallies at a state park, a national forest campground, and a national forest boondock rally. I guess you can add on two Padre Island events with other airstreamers, although they were not rallies per se.

If you don't see what you want in terms of rallies and want to take part in one, why not organize one. I think you will find that if you have a good idea there will be plenty of help. If not, please be respectful of the membership who do rally and refrain from sniping from the sidelines.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:59 AM   #12
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Looks like lots of comments are already posted that came to mind when I read your post. Not a bad question.... there have been some rallies I have seen posted and often the first thought that comes to my mind, is "why did they chose that place?" Here in the Northwest we have oodles of really great places to camp and visit so it often isn't more than what is available on the weekend/week we want!

Sometimes places are chosen because it is a new spot and we'd like to see what it is like, other times the places are chosen because of the number of campers that will likely join in the rally, sometimes it is the roads getting there... or how far from other Airstream campers in your area. Some campers really prefer to have electricity/water/sewer... some are easy if boondocking. Often that decision is based on how long you might be there!

The best rule, go somewhere you like to be, make sure others can camp nearby and not be spread out all over the place, and relax and have fun. It is really all about the friendship. Airstreamers are great people!
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:27 PM   #13
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Rally locations are a lot like home locations, all are picked from different criteria to meet individuals' needs. We live in the Metro Detroit area and as much as we probably would all love to camp in rugged outdoor places of grandeur there are only so many hours in a working family's weekend and only so far that we can comfortably get from the denser urban population and still manage to have the time to relax and socialize with one another. It isn't "vacation" it's more like going out to meet for dinner with the AS and sleeping over.

But hey I would also love to camp and rally in dozens of other locations I have seen rallies held at. I too like to walk and hike and take pictures of the outdoors. But regardless whether it's a rally at a state park in Michigan or Ohio or a private family campground that lets us basically spread out and "take over" the place and offers us excellent facilities for gathering together and a friendly staff, or if we can manage to travel to a distant rally such as the Florida Can Opener and stay at a luxury RV Resort/turned State Park on the ocean, rallies are about getting together with other Airstreamers and making and reuniting with friends.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:03 PM   #14
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What is the reason for rally locations?

One thing that we, as Airstreamers, need to keep in mind is that not every Rally or Caravan is going to appeal to every Airstreamer and/or his/her family members. Over the past 14 years, I have attended Rallys and participated in Caravans of all types. I guess that I may be more easily satisfied than some as there have been almost no Airstream activities that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed.

There are many things that go into planning Rallys and/or Caravans. Among the many considerations that must be made by the planner(s) are:
  • Target audience and those most likely to attend/participate.
    • What facilities will be must haves for the target audience?
    • To what extent are the planners willing to go in order to accommodate the broadest possible audience, and will enough volunteer help be available to adequately host the event?
  • Location selection.
    • What is to be highlighted by the activity – most Rallys and/or Caravans have a theme or are organized around a main activity?
    • What facilities (campgrounds or other alternate venues) are available near the main activity or that will accommodate the activity?
    • Will the owner/management of a desired facility accept reservations for large groups and be willing to work with the organizers?
    • Does the owner/management of the facility require any type of surety bond or proof of liability insurance for the group?
    • How much will the desired location charge for the Rally, and can a realistic budget be developed around that charge?
    • Will the necessary sanitary facilities be available at the site or nearby for a reasonable charge if not included in the Rally fees?
    • Will there be any special considerations regarding pets or children who may be attending the Rally (restrictions on numbers, sizes, etc.)?
    • Does the venue restrict the types of activities that may be planned – for instance, if the organizer(s) wanted to have demonstrations of polishing, riveting, etc., would this violate contractual provisions or regulations of the venue?
  • Date selection.
    • If planned around a festival or other local activity, the date of that event dictates the Rally run to a great extent.
    • The dates that the venue has available and is willing to commit to accommodating a group activity.
    • The dates that fit into the planner(s) available non-committed time.
    • The dates that accommodate the primary target audience.
    • The dates that coincide with either the high-season or low-season to accommodate a particular activity or to accommodate the Rally budget.

I also understand, now more than ever before, that aging impacts each individual differently. Today, unlike five or ten years ago, I must be very aware of the facilities available at a Rally and the places where a Caravan may be staying. During parts of the year when the humidity will be high where camp will be made, my asthma and allergies almost demand 30 AMP electric for my air conditioner if I expect to get any beneficial rest -- and while I could purchase generator(s) to run my air conditioner, I don’t particularly like having to listen to one and wouldn’t want to subject my neighbors to one that would have to run nearly constantly to keep my air conditioner going.

Something else that I realized as a result of assisting in the planning of both a Rally and a Caravan, the background preparations are far more involved than is evident in smoothly run rally or caravan. Quite honestly, I don’t think it would be possible to plan a Rally or Caravan that would satisfy every Airstreamer; but somewhere out there are several Rallys or Caravans that should appeal to each Airstreamer. I always remember a bit of advice that a long-time WBCCI member gave me at my first International Rally – “don’t pre-judge a Rally or Caravan just by location – remember that it is the people and the lifestyle that draw us together.”

Kevin
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