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Old 02-24-2008, 05:42 AM   #1
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First Time Rally Experience

Having owned our AS for a year now, we felt it was time to venture into the WBCCI rally world for the first time. Chose the Fla State Rally in Sarasota 2/19 - 2/23. Weather could not have been better. 70's and 80's each day.
The folks in our unit went out of their to make us feel welcome. A genuine nice bunch. Rally itself was very well organize with entertainment at night, and seminars during the day etc. Only one group feed though. Thought it might have been nice to have a meal each evening.

At ages 55 and 54 we were I'm sure among the 1/2 dozen youngest in attendance. This out of about 500 + trailers. Plenty of canes and power scooters were noted. Opening ceremonies were very lodge like. The comedian on the second night did Walter Brennan impressions, and, everyone there knew who he was doing! Roll out for dinner at 5pm. Nothing wrong with all of this of course, but, a fellow of similar age who grew up with the WBCCI, wondered what would be left of the club after these folks are gone.

We got in trouble from the get go when we pulled right into the fairgrounds at 7 pm. ( No signs otherwise ). Well, you don't break the rules! About every 10 ft someone would approach the truck to tell me to go spend the night in the " Bullpen." Fine. One guy screamed it so loud I thought he might stroke.
After finally extracting ourselves we skipped this bullpen thing. In our minds it was still very early and we weren't going to waste precious vacation time sitting in a parking lot until the next day.
Found an isolated field where we could have 30 amps per our quiet generators. The rest worked out well.

We will be back. As we like amenities, it will be where there are 30 amps offered or where we can run generators again.
Maybe in the summer. School will be out then, and, maybe some children will be there.

Tom Wentzell
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henw
We got in trouble from the get go when we pulled right into the fairgrounds at 7 pm. ( No signs otherwise ). Well, you don't break the rules! About every 10 ft someone would approach the truck to tell me to go spend the night in the " Bullpen." Fine. One guy screamed it so loud I thought he might stroke.
One time I was traveling with my parents and we pulled into an Airstream-only campground around 9 p.m. The host said, "Running a little late tonight?" We laughed, then realized he was serious.

That kind of welcome would've soured me on the rally pretty quickly. I can see if you rolled in at midnight or something, but 7 p.m.? That's crazy. The first rally for our unit this year is just 8 miles from my house, and I'll be lucky if I'm there by 7 p.m. after getting home from work around 5 p.m. Fortunately no similar rules apply for that rally.

I'd love to know why that rule exists, and how the cutoff time is set. I have some ideas, but I'd rather hear from someone that knows...
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:31 PM   #3
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I'm glad you had a good time. I'm also happy to hear that you were warmly welcomed in.

There are other Units out there that are more informal if that is important to you.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:34 PM   #4
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If we were sent off to be punished in the parking lot, we would have left . not to return. That is plain stupid.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:37 PM   #5
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The cutoff time is set because the parkers are volunteers, and usually not young ones. One year all the parkers quit in the middle of the rally, and several of us non-official people wound up parking rallygoers. I personally parked people at 10pm. I think it would be better to have two shifts, the early parkers and late parkers, but I guess the powers that be think if you aren't there by 4 pm, you aren't going to be there.
It is the same issue with meals or other activities, if you arrive on time, you are 15 minutes or more late, and all the food is gone.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
If we were sent off to be punished in the parking lot, we would have left . not to return. That is plain stupid.
Without knowing the reason having a pleasant conversation about. I'd probably feel the same way.

Fortunately Henw is a more relaxed person than I and had a good time anyway.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:50 PM   #7
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Why do you need a "parker" anyway?
Can't you just park yourself?

When someone arrives late at a forum rally
we are just happy to see them make it to the campground.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamCamper
Why do you need a "parker" anyway?
Can't you just park yourself?

When someone arrives late at a forum rally
we are just happy to see them make it to the campground.
Parkers are needed so the fairgrounds don't become chaos when several hundred rigs try to park wherever they can. I think they get a little carried away by it, though. The parking committee will go out days before the rally with spray cans of orange paint, and orange flags, and measuring tapes, so everything looks very symmetrical.
My first year there, I got (literally) yelled at because I parked 6" to the right of the orange flag. I told that parker to go do something biologically impossible, and the following year I was ready. When I got to where I was to park, I hopped out of the truck, ran back, and moved the flag directly under the hitch...
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
When I got to where I was to park, I hopped out of the truck, ran back, and moved the flag directly under the hitch...
That works!

But your other comment was my point...if the sites are marked
you should be able to park yourself and eliminate the "parker" problem.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamCamper
That works!

But your other comment was my point...if the sites are marked
you should be able to park yourself and eliminate the "parker" problem.
This becomes a circular argument. A first-time rallygoer would not know to park at the flags, but they also don't know to wait for a parker...
A simple sign saying "Park Here and wait to be Parked" would work wonders. But that would make too much sense.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamCamper
That works!

But your other comment was my point...if the sites are marked
you should be able to park yourself and eliminate the "parker" problem.
Bam,

You cannot appreciate the situation until you have been to a rally with several hundred trailers and motorhomes. Water is daisy chained from one unit to the next. If everyone parked themselves and they did not park next ot each other, you might never have water. In addition, the electric is turned on section by section. An area must be filled in order to make this work. A regional rally, such as Florida State at a fairgrounds, cannot be compared to a fourm rally with 20 or 30 units at an established campground.

There are reasons for most rules, hard to understand if you have not been there.

Bill
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:39 PM   #12
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The bull pen isn't anything more than stopping at the sign and lining up in the order you arrive as you do if you were to drive onto a ferry or pay a toll. You pull up turn off your engine and camp self-contained for the evening until the morning parkers come and tell you it's time to head on out. It's like a tailgate party in a parking lot except these people stop playing early.

Someone with a clipboard may check with you and then you follow a golf cart and you are led into the proper section (pets, generators, etc.) Along the way you are handed off to others on the next leg of the trip. Usually plenty of people in those carts, people on the side and then wavers to wave you in and give you final directions and you sprint down your lane with the next Airstream not far behind as you drive across the grass to your flag and stop when they say you are good. Parkers are calling other parkers on their CBs, sometimes you wait en route. Very exciting and unusual.

Terry you are funny!
Quote:
When I got to where I was to park, I hopped out of the truck, ran back, and moved the flag directly under the hitch...
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:46 PM   #13
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It's like a tailgate party in a parking lot except these people stop playing early.
I suppose they get up at dawn as well.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:54 PM   #14
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How many is too many?

WOW...all I can say is WOW...and we thought 30 or so Airstreams at one place at the same time was pushing the comfort level of a relaxed rally, I couldn't imagine the time it takes to coordinate 500, nor do I have a desire to try.

To each his own, in this case, that clearly is not going to work.

As Goin camping suggested, there are different ways to rally, none are better than others, just different for different folks.

time
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