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Old 02-16-2009, 01:08 PM   #15
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The street address is: 3000 Ringling Blvd
Put that into your GPS and Jill will take you right there.

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Old 02-18-2009, 07:20 PM   #16
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I just bought a 1969 Globe Trotter which is now in pieces. As a newby, I would like to attend this rally (Florida State) as a walk-on to get ideas about my own project. Is there an official site where a schedule of events is available? I know there is an open house on Saturday. Can I attend seminars? I also need directions (or an address)?


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Old 02-19-2009, 07:33 AM   #17
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I tried to find a schedule last year but could not so we just popped in and walked around. Take the Fruitville Rd exit off I75 and head west. It won't be too far down on the left hand (south side)... You cant miss it.. Even though the streamers in the pic will be in the back there's still a bunch of new ones set up in the front.

If you didn't read the previous posts go back a few, I put a picture of what you'll be looking for.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:09 AM   #18
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Who can attend the Rally's events?

We are new members of the AS Forum and expect to find ourselves travelling through the Sarasota area this weekend....want to attend the
Rally. Couple of weeks ago we attnded a RV show in Fort Myers and had the good fortune to meet some super vetern Airstreamers while we were drooling over a new 25 Safari .... they suggested that we go to the Rally...Is this possible?
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #19
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If you want to get inside the Rally there is a $10.00 per day charge. You may see the new dealer set up out side the entrance. I was told there is 18 Airstreams on display for Sale. Airstreamhobo
Lancaster Co. Pa.
1999 28' Excella
Ford Diesel Van "The Obie Van"
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:32 PM   #20
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We are very lucky to spend our winters in Sarasota and attend the Florida Rally as day visitors. We usually meet up with members of our WBCCI Unit or Region for various activities. I have never been charged a day fee to attend, hopefully I have not been breaking some rule. There are several hundred attendees this year and the tone is reflective of the economy. The Airstream company did not even attend this year. The good news is you still have time to attend the flea market on Saturday 21 Feb at 0900 and perhaps locate those hard to find parts. Best of all you can mingle with other owners who like to show off their Airstreams and offer tips to anyone willing to listen.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:50 PM   #21
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Just what I know... Our unit had 4 volunteers who were in Sarasota show up to help(without their trailers) with the coffee breakfast committee and were turned away from helping because they did not have the Rally Ribbon on. So the coffee committee had to scramble to locate 4 NEW Volunteers to help serve the Coffee & Donuts. Thats why I advised Barbara that there is a $10.00 fee for each day to attend. I know that when the Vintage Open House is open to the public then the rules are relaxed. But you can't go to vendors without the Ribbon. Airstreamhobo
Lancaster Co. Pa.
1999 28' Excella
Ford Diesel Van "The Obie Van"
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:19 PM   #22
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How was the rally? Too cold? jim
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:13 PM   #23
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Hi Barb, Did you get to Sarasota ? I just wondered if you got in without any trouble? I hope so...AirstreamHobo
Lancaster Co. Pa.
1999 28' Excella
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:04 PM   #24
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Great Day

We went to the Rally on Wednesday for a day. Don't have our trailer yet. There is NO entrance fee. We went to seminars, shopped at vendors and met the most wonderful and friendly people. Thanks to Frank Carson for a great event.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:36 AM   #25
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I went to my first rally this past week. Actually, I just attended the weekend part of the rally. Since I am still in the work force, this is the only way I could attend. However, my wife and kids did not go with me.

I went to the Florida State Rally...who wouldn't want to go to Florida in February? I took a couple of days off to go and drove the eight hours from Atlanta on Thursday and spent the night in a nice Florida State Park (Little Manatee River State Park) about a half hour away. I would have camped at Wal-Mart or Sam's, but my wife didn't want me to for security reasons. Her logic was good: $18 for a safe place to camp.

I arrived at the rally about 10:00 and was met by the parker and asked if I was a good "backer" or did I want a pull through. I told him I'd prefer a pull through since I was by myself. He said he had a couple of places I could camp. He led me to an open field where there were rows of Airstreams and had me park in line with one that was lined up on the other side of the little dirt road running through the "field". I was the only one on that side of the road. He then started telling me about the water and electrical hook-ups.

The information that was on the website said to bring a 10' and 20' white drinking water hose and I think it may have said to bring a 30 or 50 amp extension cord, but I missed the extension cord part. I told Ron that I didn't have enough water hose to reach the water connection on the streetside and still be able to reach the electrical on the curb side. He said he could probably put someone in between me and the water hook-up and we could daisy chain the water. I asked about the other site he mentioned and he told me to follow him on his golf cart.

We went inside the fenced area and he led me to the end of a row of trailers. There was a motor home that was setting up from checking in before me. This site had a power pole with plenty of outlets and several water spigots. We combined "Y's" and hooked up to the water. While I was setting up, I noticed that there were several small concrete pads that had what appeared to be sewer hook-ups in them. Turns out, Ron parked me in one of the few rows that had sewer connections. We were told, however, not to connect and stay connected. If we needed to dump our tanks, we could after dark and we would have to stow our hoses during the day. No problem I thought. Since I dumped my tanks when leaving the state park I didn't need to dump until I was ready to pull out. But I did use one of those sewer connections in stead of going to the dump station at the end of the rally.

Now about my experience at my first rally. The couple in the motor home next to me were not WBCCI members and this was, of course, their first rally, too. I think I made long time friends this weekend with this couple. We hung out together pretty much the whole weekend. Part of this was the cliquish nature of the long term members that have made friends with their fellow unit members over the many years they have been members of the Florida units. Another reason was probably age difference. I'm 47 so I was among the youngest attendees at the rally. I must admit, this body of members were closing in on 80 and some had past that mark. This wouldn't have been a problem for me because I'm pretty laid back. There was one member whose number was 23. I assume this meant he was one of the original WBCCI founding members. It was obvious that he was not the son of one of the original members. He was appropriate generation of the originals.

By the end of the first day, my neighbors in the motor home confided that they had come to see if the WBCCI was something that would be of interest for them to join. Unfortunately, the husband told me it was not. I did spend the weekend passing on my limited knowledge of the WBCCI traditions and activities, but it was in vain.

Personally, it was about what I expected after reviewing the comments from the airforums. I was a little surprised at how infirm some of the members seemed. There was a lot of the cane crowd and quite a few scooters. Each night at the entertainment and on Saturday night at the banquet I really felt like I was at entertainment night at a super huge nursing home. I'm not knocking it, mind you. But I'm not sure I will invest the time to drive down next year for the weekend.

I did enjoy the Vintage Tour of trailers on Saturday afternoon. This was the area where the other younger attendees seemed to be. This of course was no surprise. I needed to have a couple of items repaired and that played a big part of my decision to attend. Airstream decided not to send their repair department as they normally would, BUT, Camping World was there and announced that 14-15 of the Camping Worlds would now be factory authorized service centers for Airstream and a select few CW's would be Airstream dealers. This apparently was the reason for the $10,000,000 loan from Thor. Since this was such a new development, Camping World didn't stock the two parts that I needed to make the repairs and suggested that I go to one of the two Metro-Atlanta area Camping Worlds (they recommended which one) and have them order the correct parts from Airstream.

Leaving was as easy as vacating any campground. In fact, it was probably easier except that was the time that the other ralliers decided to stop by and make a social call. I think they were interested in the details of me using the dump connection behind my Airstream.

I found the information on the website that told me what I needed to bring in terms of brass "y" for the water and hoses to bring. I also knew that I had to be there and parked by 4:00. I understand the reason for this after attending such a large rally. The majority of the units are small enough to hold their rallies at state parks or commercial campgrounds where you park yourself on fixed campsites and the parking police isn't necessary. At a rally of this scale you have to have structure to prevent chaos. The trailers aren't parked just for aerial photos, but for order and to make it easy to find your trailer. There were trailers with nurses in one section in case there was a medical emergency. If every body parked helter-skelter and someone needed a nurse in an emergency, how would the nurse find the right trailer? How would the "gate keeper" or guard tell EMT's how to find the right trailer or lead them to the right trailer? I was the last trailer in my row and all hours of the day and into the early evening there were trucks slowly driving past my site. Could you imagine trying to navigate nearly 400 trailers that are just scattered out over the fairgrounds? Could you imagine trying to find your trailer among nearly 400 other almost identical trailers if you didn't have an "address". I was in B-2. Easy to find. Row B, site 2. What if it had been H-8? Where was that? Easy to find, Row H, site 8. Without this system, you'd have to say it's over there near that tall light pole. Or is it that light pole over there. No, no, wait a minute, there were no motor homes near me. See the problem?

As far as a deadline for arrival, I knew the deadline time. I don't recall exactly if I got if from the Florida Unit website or the registration form, but I knew. Even if I had had to park in the bullpen, I could have still attended all the functions as if I were parked in site B-2. During the day there are optional opportunities such as seminars, lectures, vendor displays and shopping, and even a flee market one morning. All of the entertainment that one would not want to miss if you were a regular was in the evening. The entertainment, banquet, and door prize awards (BTW, I won a door prize!) began at 5:00. I know that is early, but it ran until about 9:30. How late would you want it to run? By stopping the parking by 4:00, that gives the parker time to return to his trailer and freshen up, and after spending several hours in what could have been 80+ degree weather I'm sure he wanted to shower before going to a community function, and eat a quick bite to eat or get ready to go out to eat with someone else that may not have wanted to go to the night's entertainment. BTW, my mom lives in a retirement community in Florida and if you eat early, 5'ish, you get the early bird special. So there is a reason for what may seem like madness.

All in all, I am not sure I will drive the distance to return next year, BUT, I am seriously considering attending the Region 3 Rally in Perry, GA next month. This is about 115 miles from my home and alone I can attend the weekend program for $30. Cheaper than two nights at a state park, but I'm not sure I can get there before 3:00 (their parking cut-off) so I may have to go early Saturday or dry camp in the bullpen. I'm also considering the Georgia Unit Rally at Top-or-Georgia Airstream Park in May.

All-in-all, I enjoyed the weekend. Yes, it would have been nice to have someone my own age there. It would have been nice to have other working members of the unit there. It would have been nice to see more than the one family with a young child there. But it is what it is and it isn't a bad thing.

I think after attending the rally I understand that the WBCCI is a Caravan Club not a camping club and we should all remember this. It is built on traditions (some that Wally would approve of and some he wouldn't) but it isn't intended to be the same type of rally experience that we have through forum rallies. Perhaps, what we need in WBCCI, just me thinking out loud, is an intra club for rallies like we have an intra club for vintage trailers or Classic model trailers. Just a thought.
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:30 PM   #26
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We did this rally and would not go back... found it overrated. Sorry but that is my opinion.
Marvin & Annie
Niki (fur baby)
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:43 PM   #27
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Sorry we miss you. My wife and I our in are early forty and hung out with group(we came in on Friday) that are the same age. If you change your mined about next years give me a shot out and we will hook up.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:50 PM   #28
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Martinez , Georgia
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Upcoming Rallies

We have attended 2 International Rallies but have never made it to Sarasota. Our experience at all the WBCCI Events we have attended, is you can always find friends. Making friends in the Vintage Section (younger / WORKING members) is a great way to find folks who have similar interests.

We are also still working. We will be attending the Rally at Perry and are members at the GA Unit. I look forward to seeing you in Perry, and at the TOP. Don't give up on rallies just yet.

Matt WBCCI 3518
GA Unit

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