We swear.. we’re not becoming rally people! But when the Wynn’s invited us to join them for the Fleetwood rally they were presenting at in Goshen, IN – we couldn’t resist attending our 3rd major rally this spring.
After years of blog stalking each other, we finally got to meet up for dinner a couple months ago as we were both passing through Georgia. This would be a perfect opportunity to get more time together, and check out another style of rally too.
We met up in Goshen for early entry on Monday, which gave us two chill days together before the rally officially started.
We decided to park our RVs ‘awning to awning’ so that we’d have a shared yard space for hanging out, sharing meals, co-working and letting our cats mingle. Kiki, Singa and Cleo got along pretty well, as well as cats can anyway. At least there’s wasn’t too much hissing.
And it was pretty evident from the beginning, this was going to be an amazing time getting to know Nikki & Jason better.
The rally itself was on the same fairgrounds where we had just attended the Escapade, and was similarly attended in terms of numbers. However, this rally was actually a meshing of two smaller ones – the Fleetwood Motorhome Association and the Great Lakes Area Motorhome Association (i.e.. GLAMA). The Fleetwood rally had lost their other venue and the two merged rather last minute.
Seminars! Seminars! Seminars!
Given the chaos of merging two rallies with two different schedules together, it came together pretty well. But there was a lot of confusion, as different versions of the schedule with different information were floating around.. which led to seminars being less attended than anticipated.
Jason & Nikki were signed up to present 4 different presentations (Boondocking Tips, Solar for Newbies, Kitchen Gadgets and Top 5 Destinations). However given the scheduling debacle, they ended up with a bonus time slot.
That open time slot was Saturday morning at 9am – definitely not night owl friendly. We offered to brave the morning hours with them, and co-present on a topic we both know lots about – Working on the Road! Since we weren’t sure how many rally attendees were interested in earning incomes on the road (many tend to be retired), we decided to also livestream the presentation to our readers.
We were really surprised with how well attended and engaged our audience was – both live and on video! It definitely seemed to be a welcomed and needed topic, and personally I think the four of us totally rocked it, especially considering we put the material together last minute. Not to mention that whole morning thing.
Here’s an archive of that presentation, if you’d like to hear what we had to say:
We also stayed afterwards and did a live video Q&A session, if you want even more Gone with the Wynns & Technomadia goodness!
If you’d like to be notified when we schedule our live video chats, which sometimes we do rather last minute, be sure you’re on our video notification e-mail list.
Our friends the Geeks on Tour were also presenting at the this rally, and invited us to participate. For their ‘Tech for Travelers’ overview seminar, they had us present on mobile internet – a topic we know a thing or two about.
So, for not having planned to attend this rally a week prior – we ended up contributing to three different seminars. Fun! We do love presenting, it’s so much fun to share with others and help educate.
One of the reasons we went with our vintage bus was because at the time, there were slim pickings for well constructed motorhomes 35′ and under with appealing designs. It’s always fun to have an opportunity to tour the latest and greatest and see how the manufacturers are coming along.
Fleetwood had a good selection of all of their current floor plans on display, so we spent some time with Nikki & Jason touring them and hearing their perspective after now having traveled in a new 33′ Fleetwood Excursion for the past 6 months to help give the company feedback about what younger RVers are desiring.
We were impressed with some of the Bounder & Excursion floor plans that integrate in L-shaped collapsable couches that create a separate living area from the dining/kitchen and bedroom.
And it seems some other manufactures are also playing around with this concept and innovating making comfortable living spaces in a compact space.
But what’s still missing is usable work space. With more and more pre-retirement folks hitting the road and combining work & travel, this just seems like a market that remains mostly ignored by the RV industry. Heck, the boomer generation is retiring now in mass numbers – and many are armed with computers and a desire to do part time work, keep in touch with family, blog, participate in social media, and other desk oriented tasks.
It’s rare to see anything but a laptop nook or dining room table to cater to those who need a spot to set up shop.
While spending $100-200k for a new house on wheels is not insurmountable for a career focused professional replacing a sticks-n-bricks home, needing to immediately remodel one to accommodate usable workspace can become an obstacle.
Who wants to rip out or modify the interior of a brand new rig? Those desiring office space still tend to lean towards converting an at least slightly older coach.
But of course, in this class of entry level motorhome – the construction quality is a bit on the low end. Quite honestly, most of the ones we toured just didn’t feel solid. Mis-aligned cabinet doors, wonky shelving, filmy feeling walls, flooring that easily gets scratched up, and non well integrated systems.
It’s hard to imagine many of these vehicles being in good enough shape 10 years from now to be worthwhile keeping on the road… especially if used for full-timing.
Not to mention the off-gassing smell of the construction materials. I was getting quite the headache after touring just a few new coaches.
We’ll stick with our vintage bus conversion, thank you very much… which we’ve now had 3 years this weekend. Stay tuned for a post summarizing our thoughts after of living in our bus a few years, including our maintenance and remodeling costs.
Other Rally Fun
Probably the best thing about attending rallies is meeting people, and then seeing them again at future rallies. Each rally we’ve attended has gotten more and more fun, simply because we know more people. And that’s awesome.
Some random shots from around the rally… random bits of mayhem left out to protect the innocent. 🙂
What’s Next? We’re now off on our adventure of exploring Michigan. Two summers ago we started in Madison, WI and explored parts of the UP and then the gorgeous west coast of Michigan. It was part of secret mission, ‘Operation: Dip Toes’ – a special present for my father before he passed away.
So this time around, we’re exploring the upper east coast along Lake Huron. We’ll be aiming for Tawas later this week to meet up with some friends, and then keep heading north into the UP. We hope to rendezvous again with the Nikki & Jason, who are setting off to explore the western shoreline.
Along the way we’ll be finding scenic and quiet spots to super focus on re-writing The Mobile Internet Handbook, and testing out cell phone boosting gear in weak signal areas.