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AWCHIEF 07-06-2015 06:45 AM

"I learned where I could access the technical materials on line and will get the information that way in the future."

Can you share that information?

tsunami 07-06-2015 07:31 AM


Originally Posted by hhendrix (Post 1645731)
We have been a member since 2009. When I first got the "promo" packet from WBCCI, the dvd was like something from the 60's and every picture in the Blue Beret was really very old people. Lots of them. All of them.
When we went to our first rally, I told my wife "If we can get thru this first weekend without having to do CPR, maybe we'll hang in there for a while." We even thought about bringing a defibrillator from her office. Seriously. As it turned out, we had a great time and have made a lot of good friends of all ages that we often see outside the rallies.
My wife is on the local board and we have hosted several rallies. We DO NOT wear berets or ties. In fact, I've never seen a tie at any rally and beret maybe once or twice. We go to great locations, have great food, have fun and interesting events, and happy hour starts promptly at 5 every time.
That being said, the governing board is bloated, bureaucratic, somewhat autocratic with entrenched leadership, way out of date and out of touch, has ancient and silly rules like dress codes, and sometimes acts more like a Christian organization than a camping club.
For example, at the last international rally, one of our board members towed her trailer all the way there by herself only to discover that no one would help her park her trailer of even show her the way because it was the "Lord's day." That didn't stop them from smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, so I guess that's approved by the Lord but not parking. Many locals start the meeting, meals, or events with prayers honoring Jesus. That gets right in your face if you're Jewish or another faith that doesn't recognize Jesus. It's a CAMPING CLUB!!!!
The international organization election of board members is really a coronation as a "nominating committee" selects one person to run for each office. So why bother voting.
Our unit is very open, progressive, inviting, tolerant, and full of fun people of all ages and convictions. While some other units are shrinking we are one of the fastest growing units. You almost never hear any discussion of religion or politics except that religion plays way too big a role in the organization. I can't even figure out how religion became so entwined in the club. Nothing I've ever read about Wally Byam indicated any religion was a major part of his life or had anything to do with Airstreams. In fact, when asked, he said "His religion was camping."
If it wasn't for the clubs insurance coverage for rallies and caravans, many of our members don't see a huge benefit to the larger organization. Probably the single biggest and best benefit is meeting the members of other local units. Very few of our members go the the international. There's just not much interest in except for a few who are trying to inject new blood into the leadership. Kind of a Don Quixote thing maybe. I wish them the best but frankly, I find many other ways to beat by head against a wall with better results.
I read all the comments so far and only a couple know what they are writing about. The rest are uniformed, too cheap to even being a contributing member here, clearly don't like people, or people don't like them so they don't see any reason to socialize beyond Facebook, the narcissists playground. Sorry, my rant drifted a little off course.
None the less, I stay in the organization because of all the wonderful and generous people we have met traveling the US. For example, the organizers of the Mardi Gras and Albuquerque Balloon Festival have worked so hard to put on a premiere event, that I feel both obligated and privileged to support their efforts.

Not a member of the WBCCI, but am here to attest to the outstanding job that the wonderful folks do hosting the International Balloon Festival and the Rose Bowl Parade. We requested to attend and they graciously allowed us to join them. They were inclusive in all activities and we thanked them profusely for allowing us non-member to join in the festivities. When we purchased our AS in 2006, we looked into joining, but there was way, way to much trauma/drama and infighting that we decided to not join. We have met a lot of WBCCI members and they have been extremely nice. Joining anything has, for me, been an ardjous decision. I joined the Boy Scouts, joined the U.S. Navy, and joined my wife in matrimony and thats about it. So now that I've droned on, I just wanted to agree with your assessment of how hard they works to make these event a success.

switz 07-07-2015 10:35 AM

Howard Lefkowitz put on several seminars at the International, Rally. His detailed handouts can be found here:

WBCCI Caravans

The column of informational topics is on the right. Starting with the "Troubleshooting...." there is lots of useful information that he has prepared on various topics. He suggested printing it out and binding it for reference and storing it in the coach or tow vehicle. They are written for the non-technical person to be able to do an initial trouble shooting and make simple repairs or do preventative maintenance.

He is very knowledgable and comes across like the W-4 Warrant Officer with 32 years of active duty on my ship in the Navy who had forgotten more than all the "new" chaps knew in the Repair division.

He does update the files when an error is found or something new comes out.

blickcd 07-08-2015 05:54 PM

My sweetie and I tend to do our own thing and avoid the crowds, so WBCCI and rallies in general have no appeal to us.

In our eleven years of owning our trailer and taking it almost coast to coast, we've met and spoken with only two couples who were members. Super nice people.

The younger of the two couples, in their 30's maybe, had bought their early 80's trailer and found WBCCI members to be a valuable source of information when it came to how to fix or upgrade various things. Sort of like a person might belong to a classic car club. I suspect the internet, and dare I say possibly this forum, may have made the club obsolete as a source for repair advice, lowering the interest in membership.

Protagonist 07-08-2015 06:03 PM


Originally Posted by blickcd (Post 1648751)
I suspect the internet, and dare I say possibly this forum, may have made the club obsolete as a source for repair advice, lowering the interest in membership.

Not necessarily. There's still no substitute for, "Hey, got a minute? Come over to my site and take a look at this and tell me what you think." WBCCI still offers face-to-face help that the Internet hasn't caught up to, by virtue of getting members with problems together at the same rallies or caravans as the people with answers.

Though I'll admit, not everyone needs or wants face-to-face help from some crusty old geezer who is probably old enough to have known Wally Byam personally— or from some young but knowledgeable fellow whose trailer is older than he is!

Ultradog 07-08-2015 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by KWN306 (Post 1645608)
I'll probably will get a lot of grief for what I'm going to say but AS owners are snobs, just like...

...this place?
I have a beleaguered old AS camper that I use for hunting and fishing.
It's tight, warm and dry.
I haven't had to fix it much. It never goes anywhere.
It is cool but I don't think it is special or magical. It is not the Holy Grail or a thing to be revered.
And it certainly isn't such a part of my identity that I would spend all my dough making it new and perfect or join a club and wear blue hats.

SteveSueMac 07-08-2015 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by Ultradog (Post 1648800)


or join a club and wear blue hats.

Wait, what? We're supposed to have blue hats?!?!😄

TWA640316 07-08-2015 08:28 PM

Why do you not belong to WBCCI

Don't have a Airstream. Had plans to buy one, but then found out about Oliver Trailers (molded fiberglass) and bought one of those.

There was a WB rally at the fairgrounds here in Tonganoxie, KS this spring. Was surprised to see all the Airstreams, but could not find anything in the forums about it. So went out and paid them a visit, nice folks.


rvb 07-08-2015 11:04 PM

Club membership
We've had our Argosy and been a member of WBCCI for about a year and a half. The club was not what we expected, but, we like it better each time we go out. We met Protagonist in the VAC (Vintage Airstream Club) tent at the Farmington, NM Rally, where we had a great time. The VAC members are definitely one of fun groups. While at the rally we visited the nearby sites including the Durango/Silverton train, Aztec ruins, Mesa Verde and 4 Corners. We also visited Sante Fe on the way up and Roswell on the way back. It was a great trip.

The appeal of an Airstream to my wife was specifically the club and camping with other owners. The club is definitely geared toward retiree's and we both work, but, we've found time to be members of a local club, affiliates with another 4 hour away, members of VAC and we stay at an Airstream only park occasionally for shakedowns.

The club is about the people and we've made friends in each club and at the park, some from across the country. Each club has different emphasis on activities. If you are not impressed by the local club, look around and go to some rally's sponsored by others.

tvketchum 07-19-2015 10:00 AM

You are Assigned a number, but there is no requirement to display it on the trailer. Many members opt to display on a sign at the campsite.

Besides the commonality of an Airstream, when I meet other WBCCI members, we have another bond of friendship.

We have enjoyed courtesy parking three times now, on our journey. Each night saved us at least half of the annual dues. One couple went over and above, by offering dinner, and a continental breakfast the next morning. All three offered electric connections, to boot.

We have met many wonderful people in our local WBCCI unit, the Central Indiana Unit. We spent wonderful weekends camping with these friends, and enjoyed a short local caravan to sites and places we lived near but never knew existed.

Not to mention, seeing the red number on the road on another unit, being able to look them up, and send a greeting. WBCCI is changing, and evolving, to what many think it should be, as new members come in and participate.

Run by volunteers, with very few paid employees, it is what participants make it. Some folks want to sit back and be catered to, others want to step forward and take control.

Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums


eubank 07-19-2015 10:25 AM


Originally Posted by SteveSueMac (Post 1648805)
Wait, what? We're supposed to have blue hats?!?!😄

Yep, blue hats, for sure! This is the one I wear (when I'm all dressed up):$_12.JPG


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