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Old 03-04-2008, 11:41 PM   #29
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I agree with Leo completely. The International Rally is what you make it. We attended our first in Salem in 2006 and we will attend our second this year in Bozeman. We went to Salem to see 1,000 Airstreams in one place and to meet all of the friends we made in the various internet groups. We will attend in Bozeman for two reasons 1) to visit all of our internet friends again, who we have no face time except for the International and 2) to attend the VAC meetings.

We will visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone NP on the way up and hopefully Glacier NP on the way home. It is a good use of two weeks vacation, although a little expensive in Bozeman.

Bill
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:34 PM   #30
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Help clear up WBCCI Ntnl Rally questions

The tradition of the International Rally was one of the things that motivated my Airstream purchase. The original owners of my coach had introduced me to RVing when the Overlander was new and I was five years old -- they were active members of the WBCCI and their example influenced me to join. Since purchasing my Overlander, I have missed very few International Rallys. As several others have posted, I have found the International to be an experience that is what you want to make it -- in fact, I have found the Rally to be more enjoyable as I have gotten more involved with various activities.

There is nearly always a neighbor at an International Rally who is willing, if not anxious, to become a "mentor" for a first-timer. I know that one of my dearest friends in the WBCCI is the member who was my "mentor" at my first International Rally. That first International Rally can be an overwhelming experience but it can also be greatly enjoyed as well. My suggestions to a first-timer would be:
  1. Carefully check the pre-rally publicity for any special preparations that may be needed in the way of special or specific items that will need to be available in your coach.
    1. My experience has been that the bare minimum is two 75' 5/8" inch potable water hoses -- this may be more important in the Vintage section where there usually are more members who are still working and may have to leave early due to work responsibilities.
    2. A 30-AMP extension cord may be necessary if you are parked in the 30-AMP section particularly if your coach has an unusually short shore power line -- or if your coach is one of the shorter models.
    3. An extra dump valve cap with the wash water hose connection can be quite valuable along with a blue "tote-tank" to handle wash water during the Rally (these are indispensible if you are traveling in a Vintage coach that doesn't have a wash water tank).
  2. Be sure that you have devised some method for displaying your membership numbers. These numbers provide emergency personnel with a quick means of identifying your coach -- in addition these numbers will also help your fiends both old and new find your coach among the sea of Airstreams. Essential your section color, row number, and membership number become your address -- for instance you might be in Green Section, Row 9, and your membership number is your street address in row 9.
  3. As a first-timer, be open to offers of assistance from members familiar with the International Rally experience -- that person (mentor) may become one of your dearest friends over time, and their experience may help you to have an enjoyable and memorable experience.
  4. Check your Rally program book early in the Rally to get an idea of what seminars and other presentations will be available. Partake of those that are of most interest, but don't forget to allow time to just relax and enjoy your Airstream and conversing with your fellow Airstreamers.
  5. Check-out the Intra-Clubs. Most of the Intra-Clubs are active at the International Rally. As a member of three Intra-Clubs, I can attest to being able to be busy with Intra-Clubs during most of the Rally. Most of the Intra-Clubs will have regularly scheduled social times in the afternoon. Many of these Intra-Clubs will also offer the opportunity to meet at a pre-determined location and caravan into the International Rally together thus permitting parking together.
  6. Don't forget to check-out your local unit activities. There will often be at least one catered meal -- and with some units a pot-luck as well. Some units will also offer Caravans to the International Rally -- I know that I will be caravanning in with members of my unit this year to the Vintage Pre-Rally location and then into the International with the Vintage parade.
As with any big organization, and any event managed committee style, there will be a variety of personality types involved in the operation. There are those who are there to enjoy the experience while others emphasize "by the rules". We often get a chuckle out of an experience that I had at my first International Rally in 1998 (Boise, ID). I didn't like heights, and had applied my WBCCI numbers with my eyes closed -- the dead giveaway was something that I didn't notice until my arrival at the International -- and then I don't think it would have noticed had it not been brought to my attention by one of the volunteers who came by to register newly parked coaches -- my number is 6359 and I had managed to apply the 3 backwards so it looked more like 6E59. I was scolded for an improperly applied number and the problem that it would cause if emergency personnel were to need to find my coach. One of my neighbors overheard the conversation and immediately came over to reassure me that it wasn't such a big problem and advised me to relax and enjoy the Rally. In the ten years that I have been attending International Rallys, I can say that I have met many people who have become my closest friends and are what can best be described as my extended family.

The 30-AMP cost can seem quite high, but after spending a VERY hot (and extremely humid) International Rally in Dayton, OH as well as Rapid City and Sioux Falls where the discomfort wasn't as great due to the lower humidity, I have been happy to pay the fee for the additional comfort. There seemes to be some kind of unwritten rule that says that wherever the WBCCI International Rally is held it will be during a record or near record heat wave. I can remember filling the tub in my Overlander so that my Chihuahuas could swim in the cool water at both the Sioux Falls and Rapid City International Rallys.

My experience has been that the International Rally can be quite enjoyable. I always approach the event with the idea that I am going to enjoy the experience, and I haven't been disappointed. Something that I have learned along the route is that some of the great frustrations of the day become some of the most memorable events that can become quite humorous a few years later. As an example, the experience of arriving back at my coach in Dayton, OH to discover the bathtub in my Overlander nearly ready to overflow with wash water -- we were on a "daisy-chained" wash water system that while well-intentioned resulted in a number of problems -- the drain tile into which our row's wash water was to be drained wasn't at the correct angle and that caused the wash water to back up in the system -- my bathtub was one of the low points and became a retention pond -- I had to pull the wash water connection on my coach to prevent the tub from over-flowing which caused a cascade of wash water down the hill below my coach (we were parked on a blacktop parking lot -- it was old and nearly covered with grass). The two coaches parked below mine also escaped interior damage from the backup (their coaches were close to overflows in the bathrooms as well). It was an unpleasant event at the time, but now it causes me to chuckle when I think about the frantic scene that an observer may have witnessed on that day!

Kevin
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:33 AM   #31
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S5GT, Bill, and Kevin...............Thanks for the thoughts, concerns, and insights..............Perhaps in the early mornings I should refrain from sharing my thoughts and concerns until at least the sun comes up...........All really good food for thought.............Thanks and God bless........Dennis
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:14 AM   #32
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Bozeman

Since my Caravel is not ready to travel yet - is there an open visitor's day where I could mill around?? Is there a way to register without a trailer?
thanks, paula
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:14 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcasa
Since my Caravel is not ready to travel yet - is there an open visitor's day where I could mill around?? Is there a way to register without a trailer?
thanks, paula
Paula,

You don't have to bring a trailer (or motorhome) to register. There are several motels in town and you can rent a dorm room for $26 single and $21 double occupancy (I think, the prices are in the latest Blue Beret). If you register, you have full access to all events. If you just want to wander around, I think you can do that, but you may have to answer many questions about where is your attendance ribbon, make sure you wear your name badge. The VAC open house in on Sunday, June 29 and you are welcome to visit.

Bill
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:23 AM   #34
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Thanks Bill! that's just what I needed to know - I have sent in my dues and am just waiting for my "number". I will register then.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:32 PM   #35
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I'rally

Thanks Leo, Bill and Kevin. You posts on this thread are great reading, especially for those planning to attend their first I'rally. I have passed along the link to this thread to some of our members who plan to attend for the first time. I think the tips and info will help them get the most out of the experience.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:47 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
I even had a great dinner one night with some great people at 1am of all times. That was a busy meeting day for me, but not for most. Dinner at 1am was fantastic!
Aw shucks...thanks! It was fun...you gotta eat!

Shari
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:08 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
Remember, it should be an unobstructed Y to allow the free flow of water. The kind sold in the garden section of your local WallyWorld will not do, the valve portion necks down the diameter of the pipe and bunches of these greatly effects the flow of the water. Go to Home Depot (or your favorite box store) and go to the plummbing isle. There are nice brass Y's there that are full inside diameter and have no valves. A little high in price - about $10, but eveyone will be happier.
I found the ones at H.D. and Lowes dont have valves attached so I bought brass valves too. I should be all set for the daisey chain...
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