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Old 07-07-2003, 07:51 PM   #1
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Vermont rally recap

Can those of you who attended give those of us who didn't some observations regarding the rally? The good, the bad, the ugly???

Jack
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Old 07-08-2003, 07:50 AM   #2
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International Rally recap

International Rally

Let me begin my response to your request by stating that for the most part of our 33 year marriage, my wife and I have not been joiners. We are not people who have joined the JC’s, the Elks, or other social or civic organizations. I had a brief membership in the Rotary Club, however when we moved to New Hampshire, I gave up that membership. We joined WBCCI primarily out of curiosity. In my opinion, those of us who participate in airstreamforums.com and those in attendance at the international rally share much in common. There are also some differences.

First of all and probably most important, we have airstream trailers or motorhomes. We share the same ideas, thoughts, and experiences we’ve had with our trailers. We are interested in the same care and maintenance issues involved with our vehicles. On the forums, we correspond about our questions and issues in print and with pictures, whereas at the rally we attend seminars and openly discuss the same questions. The difference is, at the international rally, we are able to meet with the factory representatives of the parts and pieces making up our trailers, and we are able to receive professional and timely help in the maintenance or upgrades we have with our units.

Here on the forums we have members actively organizing weekend “get-togethers”, whereas at the rally we already have the organization, structure, and experience in organizing weekend rallys. Our individual unit is well equipped to handle these organizational issues. Believe me, if there is a particular place you would like to share with other airstreamers, your local unit will accommodate you. From my own experience, this is happening here in New Hampshire.

I think WBCCI has a lock on caravanning. When the time comes for my wife and I to travel in an organized program, we certainly will check out the different caravans available through WBCCI. I haven’t seen any indication of forum members organizing this type of an event.

In the area of timely communication of relevant (or for that matter, irrelevant) issues, airstreamforums.com is far superior to the limited information passed in the Blue Beret or your unit newsletter. As a matter of fact, I don’t think anyone would expect printed material from WBCCI to even come close to the information available here on the forums.

Organizational structure is what WBCCI brings to the airstream community. Without a constitution, bylaws, elected and nominated volunteers WBCCI would not survive. It would be impossible for this forum, or any other forum for that matter, to assemble almost 2000 airstream trailers in one place. Some of the traditions and pomp of the organization are truly dated and some forum members are even offended by them.

All in all I found the international rally to be informative and fun. I appreciate the opportunity to share fellowship with others who own airstream trailers. I’ll even go out on a limb and state that WBCCI should think strongly about sponsoring something like airstreamforums.com if for no other reason than to “gather in” those of us who like to communicate in cyberspace.
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Old 07-08-2003, 08:02 AM   #3
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Did anybody take any pictures they could post?

Ken J.
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Old 07-08-2003, 08:47 AM   #4
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Re: International Rally recap

Quote:
Originally posted by markjoandall
International Rally

. In my opinion, those of us who participate in airstreamforums.com and those in attendance at the international rally share much in common. There are also some differences.

I guess I wasn't clear in my question. I was just wondering how the rally went. For example I heard that in one session the Airstream President was grilled by a few owners regarding the fact that some trailers slipped out with the wrong rated tires on them which subsequently caused on the road blow outs.

Another issue I heard was the fact that the main parking area was oversubscribed and some folks were turned away from that area even though they had proper credentials.

I'm sure there were lots of good things too. We just need to hear some of these things.

So that's some of the flavor I was looking for.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 07-08-2003, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: International Rally recap

Quote:
Originally posted by markjoandall
International Rally

Organizational structure is what WBCCI brings to the airstream community. Without a constitution, bylaws, elected and nominated volunteers WBCCI would not survive. It would be impossible for this forum, or any other forum for that matter, to assemble almost 2000 airstream trailers in one place. Some of the traditions and pomp of the organization are truly dated and some forum members are even offended by them.
Please excuse a stupid question but, 2000 Airstreams were at this rally? How big a park was it?

And, I'm curious if anyone attended the "polishing demonstration" where this "Southern Shine Polish" was used. Did it work as advertised?
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Old 07-08-2003, 11:49 AM   #6
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I was only able to visit the rally for one day. We stayed at a nearby campsite. I found out that there was a flea-market being held the next morning, so I thought I'd check that out, too. I was told by a region-poobah that it would be just fine to park my trailer there for a couple of hours, so that's what we did, and after we had seen everything, we hit the highway right from there, as we were in a rush to get home. I didn't see anyone checking tires on the way out. was there supposed to be??

anyway...I suppose that "just visiting" on a randomly picked day is going to give one an entirely different experience, but I was kind of surprised at how little was going on. I didn't even think there were that many people there...trailers, yes, but as we were just wandering around, I didn't see too many folks. we were kind of wondering where everybody was! They must've all been out touristing around the area, or something.

We did catch an "ice-cream social", which was held in an area where a couple of A/S dealers had a bunch of brand-new units on display. We chit-chatted a bit with folks, and got some free Ben&Gerry's.

We saw very few young people...I mean almost none. it seemed that everyone there was 60+. we really felt out of place, particularly as we were pushing around a baby carriage with a 10-week old. The old ladies were really taken with the little guy, though.

At one point, we had parked ourselves at a shaded picnic table to feed the little one, and one of the many people who paraded by to check him out happened to be the region 1 prez. She noticed our "member at large" badges, asked where we were from, and when she heard 'MA'....all of a sudden, there were a bunch of region-1/cape cod unit big whigs buzzing around us, telling us how great the unit is, etc, etc, enthusiasticly trying to get us to join the unit right there on the spot It was pretty funny. they were all very nice, though. they did seem really excited about getting some newer/younger members.

So anyway...here's a pic or 2. didn't take too many..everything looked the same! everywhere you looked...airstreams airstreams airstreams....
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Old 07-08-2003, 11:53 AM   #7
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Big rally!

The local paper reported 1500 on site by Monday and 200 more off-site. The location was the Champlain Valley Exposition Center, which is where we hold the state's biggest County Fair every year. It's pretty darn big -- but with 1500+ Airstreams just about every square inch was occupied!

If I can scan the picture from the Burlington Free Press I'll post it. Or maybe someone has the aerial shot? It was better than the newspaper's picture.

-- RL
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Old 07-08-2003, 11:55 AM   #8
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NDS: the rally wasn't at a campground; it was held at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds, just outside Burlington VT.

here's another panoramic view....this is only about a quarter of what was there. I couldn't find a spot that would enable a decent view of the whole place. It is just too big.
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Old 07-08-2003, 12:00 PM   #9
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and here's another pic I know you're all just dying to see.....I'd bet this guy was the youngest rally attendee....
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Old 07-08-2003, 12:03 PM   #10
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OK, that makes sense. In essence, just a big parking lot converted into a trailer park. Was electricity available for everyone, or were you required to use generators for A/C, etc?

These may seem like dumb questions, but never having been involved in anything like this...

I envy you guys!
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Old 07-08-2003, 12:20 PM   #11
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Electricity is supplied, but it is called "rally electric"

No Airconditioners, no Refers, no hair dryers. Just enough to run the univolt battery charger, a fan, a small tv, or an electric razor.

Water is also supplied, but this year there was no draining on the ground of wash water. Depending on the rally site wash water can be drained on the ground.
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Old 07-08-2003, 12:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
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No Airconditioners, ...
Ouch! I hope it wasn't as hot as it has been here in Kentucky. In the low to mid 90's and the humidity has been pretty high too. I guess if you had enough cold Budweiser, you could just remain in a stuper and get through it.
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Old 07-08-2003, 05:09 PM   #13
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Here are my thoughts on the 46th International Rally. BTW, this was my first WBCCI event and I was there for the "official" duration.

1. As a Vermonter, I was unprepared for the heat, wind, and dust. The Fantastic Vent guy said he installed over 200 fans that week. Otherwise, Burlington is a great area with much to do.

2. I only got pumped out once (on Wednesday). With a 21 gallon gray water capacity in my 22' AS, diswashing and showering (to remove aforementioned dust) was challenging. Vermont does not even allow the discharge of city drinking water into the environment (elevated chlorine) so dumping gray on the ground or in sewers was not permitted, although I did hear a few gurgling airstreams late at night.

3. To sum up WBCCI, the people are wonderfully friendly but the organization is not. For example, with limited vacation I showed up at 11:00 AM on Saturday - game over for opening ceromonies. The orientation for first-timers was at 1:00 PM while I was still parking and setting up. Most retired people had been there for over a week so it was no problem for them. Those of us who work missed all of that.

4. Unfortunately, the acoustics in the main hall were very poor and marred the entertainment. WBCCI also needs to update their schedule of events. Teen Beauty Pagents?! I agree that everybody's granddaughter is beautiful so let's just cancel that and have an evening of minor league baseball or a big Texas style barbeque.

5. I loved seeing the Vintage airstreams during the open house, talking to members from all over the country, having discussions with members of airstream and their suppliers, and having the opportunity to buy all kinds of neat airstream stuff.

Would I go again to an International? Probably if the area was interesting to me. I still have about 30 years to go until I hit the age where the WBCCI sponsored events interest me so the value to me is in the surrounding area, the comradarie of fellow streamers, and the atmosphere. Burlington had that.
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Old 07-08-2003, 05:24 PM   #14
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Tourist

I have traveled the world and there are many places that I went to just so I could say that I have been there.

I would like to attend an International so I could say that I have been to one.

It is no secret that International rallies are dust bowls that are intrinsic to their locations. I do not condone having rallies at fairgrounds but it seems that this is the typical location for large rallies.

I am going to the region 3 rally next year and it is going to be at a fairground. I admit that I am not excited about the location but I will be going never the less with a collection of fans and cooling devices,
( has any one seen the 12 volt "airconditoner" on EBAY?, Now thats a coleman AC! )

I will someday make it to an International and I will be glad that I did.

Smily
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