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Air Apparent 12-19-2006 05:38 PM

Can the WBCCI Survive?
Will the WBCCI survive?

Will it re-invent itself or will it fade away as the Lawrence Welk generation passes on?

It seems like the majority of the WBBCI membership is over 60. The beginning wave of the boomer generation just turned 60.

When you look at other organizations (except for monopolies or government organizations) you usually see an alternative. For example: McDonalds & Burber King, Home Depot & Lowes, Hertz & Avis, etc.

Do you see the "Air" (Airstream Forums) movement becoming an alternative organization to the WBCCI?

Personally, I don't see boomers wearing blue berets. I believe that the WBCCI will continue to contract and maybe stabilize at around 3000 members. I believe that it will take 5 to 10 years before the boomers would be in control of the club and that is too long. I don't begrudge the older generation; it's their club and can run it the way they always have. But to think that the next generation will keep it going as it has been may be shortsighted.

It also seems like the "Air" movement is just beginning (fun rallies, blue numbers, few rules, etc.)

Just wondering how others see the future for airstreaming.

Air Apparent

Silvertwinkie 12-19-2006 05:55 PM

I think it has the potential to, particularly in some areas of the country. Here in Illinois, in our area, it's pretty much a write off.

Do a search for WBCCI. I think you'll have a good months worth of reading on this very topic. :)

Pat370 12-19-2006 06:01 PM

Can WBCCI survive
I don't think so.

Here in Region 7 that includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and Manatoba there are less than 200 members and dropping fast.


Silvertwinkie 12-19-2006 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by Pat370
I don't think so.

Here in Region 7 that includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and Manatoba there are less than 200 members and dropping fast.


No comment. ;)

But I will say that seems to be more the rule than the exception.......

Roscinante 12-19-2006 06:23 PM

It Depends!
If you mean the formal, hierarchy and organizational elements of WBCCI, the "writing on the wall" would make you feel that, like other mainstream fraternal/social organizations, it will evolve, adapt, or die.

If you mean the spirit of Wally, the fellowship of AS owners, the rallies and caravans, the camping and the joy of introducting others to our AS addictions ( :lol: ), then YES. It will.

Mike Lewis 12-19-2006 06:34 PM

Will it survive--personally I don't care. I have a couple weeks left of this years membership which I have no intention of renewing. This forum and it's rallys are more of what I envision an Airstream club should be. ---pieman

wkerfoot 12-19-2006 06:52 PM


Originally Posted by Pat370
I don't think so.

Here in Region 7 that includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and Manatoba there are less than 200 members and dropping fast.


That is definately unfortunate, we have almost that many members in The El Camino Real Unit. The picture of the Ukulele band which I posted on the music thread was from this year's International and all members of the band are in ECR.

Being only 60, and the first of the baby boomers, we are among the youngest in our unit. We enjoy everyone, regardless of age and computer literacy. I have no idea what their position on wearing a beret is and I don't really care.

One member stated at our installation rally and luncheon that if WBCCI went away, we would still rally together, we enjoy each other's company.

I know that there are other thriving units, I wish that they all were thriving and growing.

We have never been to a forum rally, our first will be 29 Palms, but we have been to many ECR and one South Coast Unit rally, in the four years we have owned our Safari and been a WBCCI member. Both units hold about 10 rallies a year, usually within 200 miles of our home and some within 50 miles. Other that 29 Palms, the closest forum rally has been about 300 miles away and I think that there have been only 4 or so forum rallies in the almost two years that we have been a member here.

We have attended only one International, this year in Salem, and no special event or region rallies. We will attend another International as our schedule permits, if for no other reason that to meet and visit with the people we know from this forum, the VAC list and the Yahoo Airstream list.

We will continue to be a WBCCI member regardless of the name, because we enjoy the people we have met both within and without ECR.


RoadKingMoe 12-19-2006 07:30 PM

The rate of decline in overall membership has slowed in the last five years compared to the previous five years. The growth in MAL numbers has slowed in the last five years compared to the previous five years. These numbers are pretty close to linear in either five year period and not too far from it over the 10 year period. MSExcel projects 3,000 total members in 24-25 years from now with 1,200 being members at large, based on the last five years linear trends.

Twenty-five years may seem like a long time, but it's not when dealing with an organization as large as WBCCI. Changes take time to be implemented, time to be accepted, and time to have an effect. Not all work and the process has to be gone through for replacements. The time to start addressing the problem is now.

TinShack 12-19-2006 08:05 PM

No doubt the WBCCI will survive. I just wish they could learn to relax. What will be the quality of the club? In my opinion, they are too political and seem to be hanging on to the past, rather than embracing the future like the Air forums is doing. They will survive, but only if they can accept change.

I have an Airstream and work full time for the government. The last thing I want to do during my time off is get political or spend it with people with too many rules and regulations. Give me good friends and cheer, rallies with 90 second organizational meetings, and no rules. I am capable of governing myself, and I love spending time with my Airstream friends.

wheel interested 12-19-2006 08:10 PM

I definitely think it will survive, allowing that the name does not change and it becomes a new club. Even then there would probably be unsanctioned sects carrying the original name. WBCCI has 50 plus years of history, and the origin, members have the experience, new people and current members have the chance to form the future. I see the numbers indictative of several factors as previously stated here. My personal opinion is that it is more important to focus on why members are leaving and why Airstream owners do not join and work to improve what can be improved. The numbers in themselves do not cause me great alarm. I don't think the issue is if the WBCCI continues to experience a smaller membership, or if the numbers grow, but rather the health, energy and morale of the body, which must be shored up and sound, and not be overly concerned with the weight (size) of the club.

rideair 12-19-2006 08:27 PM

I'll be here!
It's my understanding about 1000 members join each year, but about the same number leave for different reasons, to old, die, get tired of the system, etc... Not sure on the numbers of the VAC. One also has to think about the impact of the internet on the WBCCI and the VAC. Over the last 5-7 years the numbers of the WBCCI as we all know, have gone down. But, the use of the internet has gone up. Was "" even around 5-7 years ago? How about Hunters list? As these forums/lists have become more&more of a resource for people who purchased used/vintage/new Airstreams, there's less of a need for them to join the WBCCI and the VAC for info on the trailers of which they own. Were do people go for answers now days, here and Hunters and the VAL. People no longer "need" the WBCCI for info and for the Airstream rallies like they did 5-7+ years ago. The problem is not just the higher up's of the WBCCI. The problem is also us and our "need the info now" time of which we live in. I think one will find the "friends" that are made on the different lists will not be as deep of a friendship that one would make getting together with each other a few times a year, drinking a beer and talking shop, like is done when one is a member of the WBCCI. If you look at the number of rallies, (my guess) there are far fewer list rallies than WBCCI. Less of a chance to meet and become life long friends. I'm glad, I joined the WBCCI. It's been great for my family. We've meet some great people that I'm sure I'll know for a long time. So, I'm here as long as the WBCCI is here.

moosetags 12-19-2006 08:56 PM

I think that WBCCI is on the edge of its turn around. It has hit the ebb, and is now heading in the other direction. The proposed changes within the organization are coming in the nick of time. A new day is dawning; don't give it up so quickly. WBCCI is our history and our future.

Jim & Susan 12-19-2006 08:56 PM

As an outsider, can I ask a question? Thank you. What is "Hunters"? I'm not familiar with that.


wkerfoot 12-19-2006 09:03 PM


Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
As an outsider, can I ask a question? Thank you. What is "Hunters"? I'm not familiar with that.



It is an email list on Yahoo moderated by Hunter Hampton. The group can be found here: AirstreamList : The original Airstream discussion list... you don't need to own one to join.

It is the Yahoo list I mentioned earlier along with the VAC list.


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