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Old 02-25-2008, 11:58 PM   #43
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ditto that, well said AZfiredog.

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Old 02-26-2008, 04:00 AM   #44
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I want to ditto the ditto..AZfiredog was kind enough to reserve judgement until he knows....

I do totally understand the no parking after dark, it is just not safe to have folks driving around a field in the dark. the walkers and hoover rounds are hard to see in the dark.

I want to say that if anyone fines me a quarter for not wearing my badge, well just try, hopefully there is a doctor around that will be able to help you remove it from your posterior.... That is not how it should or will be. I do not have a problem with the badge or with wearing it, I am just not going to wear it all the time. I did not sign any contracts when I joined and I simply just think it is petty. If any WDCU members are reading this, well you can count on no stinking badges on the Yensans at the next rally.

No booze at happy hour? So what would make it different than any other hour? Once again, maybe in your Puritan world, but not in mine.... I have heard it said that no wine is allowed at dinner. Not in our unit, but in others. I think the Shakers had that rule too, look where they are today.

My father was a career Army guy. That fact forced me to spend 20 years in the Army. I did not join the WBCCI to join the military again or be forced into it again either. A smile gets much more out of me than an order so the ten hut can march on down the line.

Here is the quick of it for me... go camping have fun. Respect your neighbors so they can do the same...

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Old 02-27-2008, 07:47 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by 62overlander
If any WDCU members are reading this, well you can count on no stinking badges on the Yensans at the next rally.
Don't worry - I doubt you'll see very many badges.

No booze at happy hour? So what would make it different than any other hour? Once again, maybe in your Puritan world, but not in mine....
You're gonna love WDCU rallies.
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Old 02-28-2008, 02:06 AM   #46
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Thumbs up My experiences...

Having attended a Regional and an International during our relatively short membership, I can see the necessity of some structure at the larger rallies due to the sheer volume. I read the literature and rules before I arrived, pretty much knew what to expect, and wasn't disappointed. But, as 2air' has so eloquently put it, the larger events are more like conferences and have very little in common with camping, or the smaller unit gatherings we've been to (and prefer). It's a good thing to keep in mind.

At the Regional, we arrived a bit too late to be parked so we spent a lovely evening at the nearest Wal-Mart with some truckers and SOB's. We enjoyed it and actually got a chance to give two tours of our AS. The next morning, we were cheerfully parked and took a little flack over our numbers not being applied. At a banquet, our unit was politely told that adult beverages were not permitted on the table. So, in true WDCU form, we put them under the table... until the banquet started. We were told by friends that a Regional is a good tune up for the International, and they were right.

At the International the parking procedure was carried out with amazing precision, complete with special numbers and color coding. We took some subtle ribbing about not having our numbers applied. One gentleman even gave me some excellent tips on how to put them on, should I ever decide. (They're still not applied, and it's not likely they will be.) I was especially impressed by the special teams sent to check on our electrical, gas, and water hook ups. The left a note on my neighbor's trailer because his hose was dripping. Badges are required to get into most of the events, entertainment, and meetings.

That being said, we went to the International just to experience one, (and because we had family living nearby), and unless one is being held in our backyard, or in some exotic place, we probably won't need to experience one for a long time. We're going to the Regional this year because it's in Canada, and we love it up there.

On the other hand... At our first WDCU (CBR) rally, we were met, greeted, parked, introduced to several interesting characters, invited into their campers, and introduced to the "Golden Tap" by people who had never laid eyes on us, before we had a chance to unhitch. We met people there who are now some of our best friends. The happy hours last from whenever to whenever, and badges are optional.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:33 AM   #47
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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 various 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.

A lot of the comments in this thread have been complaints about the "parking police" and the cut-off for parking in the rally camp sites. 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 all should 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.

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