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Old 05-18-2003, 06:40 PM   #1
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Talking Just returned from First Rally

Hi All, We just got back from the Rhodedendron Rally in Florence Oregon, hosted by the Oregon Unit and the Western Oregon unit. It was the first trip out with the Caravel. Boy did we have a great time!

First off, the Caravel towed behind the van like a dream. We were nervous at first, but after we had a few semi's blow by us, we realized it wasn't going to give us any trouble. Even fast semis (bus-type motorhomes were the worst) only gave us alittle push, nothing scary at all. We got to drive on both the freeway and on two lane highways. Once we got used to it, and got the brake controller adjusted just right, it was like we were just driving the van by itself.

We stayed at the Oddfellows Park in Florence. There were about 20 AS there. Our spot was tucked away under shady pine trees. It was super nice. The friendly 'streamers around us quickly sensed we were new and came over to help us figure out how to hook up for the first time. We ended up parked next to a couple from Ridgefield, WA - about 10 minutes away from our home in Battle Ground. Funny we had to go five hours away to meet neighbors!

Everyone there was great. The previous owners of our Caravel were there. We asked them a bunch of questions we'd come up with about the trailer since we took it home, and he went over some stuff with me again. All the other folks were friendly, had lots of tips. We all had a bunch of meals together and there was lots of time to mingle and hear people's stories. We also went on a tour of a coast guard station and got to walk onto one of those boats they have that can completely roll over and then right itself again.

Our only problem was we had trouble hooking up the water hose to city water because it didn't seem to thread on tight, so I took it off and used the tank instead. Then later the tank was empty, and we realized we had a leak. The water pump had been pumping the water back out of the city water inlet because I hadn't got the cap screwed back on tight and the one way valve wasn't working to stop it. Luckily it only flooded a small area in the side compartment. Everyone was very sympathetic and regaled us with stories of the time they had flooded thier trailers, including one gentleman who flooded his with margarita mix. They said everyone floods their trailer sometime :-)

So now we're home. Everything went so good, we slept like a baby on the pull out bed. The dogs were well behaved (we took both of them, the eskimo and the dalmatian puppy) and didn't destroy anything when they had to stay in the trailer alone. We even figured out how to take showers without flooding the trailer again. After spending four days in it, the trailer didn't seem as small as when we had started. I think it's just right, and we can't wait to take it out again.
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Old 05-18-2003, 06:50 PM   #2
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Sounds like you had a great time

There is so much to be learned at rallys and so much to do that it is a shame that more folks don't participate. Our unit may be somewhat "age challenged", but you would swear that everyone was 20 years younger by the way they approach life.

We have one 84 year-old couple in particular that I can hardly keep up with. When I commented on their energy, I found that the lady had a hip replacement after she hurt it in Alaska a couple of years ago. It didn't slow her down a bit.
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Old 05-18-2003, 07:33 PM   #3
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Just returned from First Rally

Greetings Stephanie!

It sounds like your first rally was a great experience. In many ways it is what an experienced Airstream told me at my first rally - - "Much of your rally experience will be what you make of it."

Nearly everyone with whom I have spoken tended to worry about what their first rally would be like. For the most part, when approached with the idea that it is going to be an enjoyable experience it will be. I try to make every rally that I can and have to admit that I have enjoyed every one that I have attended - - it is rare to leave a rally without learning someing.

I agree with Pahaska - - Airstream rallys may be one of the great undiscovered fountains of youth. It never ceases to amaze me the energy of many members who are thirty or forty years my senior at many of the Rallys that I have attended.

Don't forget if you decide to join WBCCI that you and your Caravel are eligible for full membership in the Vintage Airstream Intra-Club. The Vintage Airstream Club quarter magazine The Vintage Advantage is always loaded with a plethora of helpful information for Vintage owners.

Kevin
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Old 05-18-2003, 08:34 PM   #4
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We did join the WBCCI, and the Oregon Unit had our badges waiting for us when we arrived. They had a litle swearing in ceremony for us and one other couple who were new. Nothing scary, everyone had a few good laughs at the whole thing.

There was mostly older people there, there was one other couple our age (we're in our thirtys) and they had a two year old who helped liven up the place. The rest of the group were older than us, some not by much, and one gentleman was 91! I hope I'm that active when I'm that age. My father in law is always saying he can't do things because he's getting old, and he doesn't think people his age should do things like that. I wouldn't have wanted to tell any of these people that! They were not letting anything slow them down, and they were lots of fun to be around.

I enjoyed seeing the variety of tow cars, after having such a time figuring out what to tow my Caravel with. Although I'm happy with the van, I saw two people towing with caprices, both bigger trailers than mine. One lady towed her 61 Bambi with a crown vic. The people next to us towed their 25ft with a dakota. Quite a bit of variety. But like I said, I couldn't have been happier with how our E150 performed.

It was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to going to another rally when we get a chance. There's a lot I could learn about airstreams yet, and I hardly talked to anyone who were on their first one. Most of the people I talked to said 'I've had five' or 'I've had eight'. One guy used to lead international caravans for Airstream. Talk about learning from people who have been there!
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Old 05-19-2003, 02:10 PM   #5
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Stephanie, it is comforting to read that you enjoyed the AS rally. I plan to attend my first rally next month--the international rally in Vermont. I have had mixed emotions but reading that you had a good time helps.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Jerry
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Old 05-19-2003, 04:00 PM   #6
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Just returned from First Rally

Greetings Jerry!

RE: WBCCI International Rally as First Rally

I think that you will find the International to be a very rewarding experience; possibly a bit overwhelming, but still enjoyable. Due to timing, the 1998 WBCCI International Rally in Boise was the first Rally that I was able to attend. It was a bit frightening at first, but within a few short hours my neighbors helped me to feel right at home - - the WBCCI Rally preparation notes that were attached to the owner's manual for my trailer helped immensely in insuring that I had the basic supplies that were needed upon entering the Rally grounds.

Something that I inadvertently learned through my first experience was that it is quite helpful to "Caravan" in with a group. Check around - - your local unit or one of the Intra-Clubs that you belong to might be "Caravanning" in - - the group will gather near the Rally Grounds and will travel together to the Bull Pen area for caravan group parking. Given some of what I have been hearing, this may not be quite as true for this year's rally as it has been in the past - - I have always caravanned in with either the Vintage Airstream Club or the Free Wheelers and we have been parked together - - it is my understanding that this year due to the limitations of the site, it may not be possible to park all caravan arrivals/groups together in the same way as has been done in the past. If this is a possibility for you, it can ease many of the first timers problems with entering and parking at the Rally grounds.

As it stands at this time, my plan is to caravan into the International Rally with the Vintage Airstream Club - - '75 Cadillac towing '78 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre.

Kevin

P.S. If you haven't already found them, there are at least two threads dealing with the International Rally - - try searching the forum for International Rally.
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