Feb 16, 2018

FMCA Ready To Charm RVers in Perry

When FMCA rolls into Perry, Georgia, for its “Southern Charm” International Convention & RV Expo, March 15 through 18, it will be the Cincinnati, Ohio-based RV association’s 10th visit to the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. While many attendees have partied in Perry during one (or more) of the previous conventions, this year’s gathering will have a new and improved feel that folks are sure to embrace.

“What we heard from attendees is that they wanted a nice variety of activities to keep them busy, but
they also wanted a chance to relax with friends, laugh, have a good time,” said Doug Uhlenbrock, FMCA’s Director of Events. “So we set out to make this convention more attendee-friendly. People don’t come to something like this to feel rushed all the time. They want to have fun at their own pace.”

The “Southern Charm” convention will feature many of the hallmarks of previous FMCA events. The seminar schedule will include more than 100 learning opportunities. From technical seminars presented by some of the RV industry’s leading experts to take-home craft classes, attendees can learn something new about anything related to the RVing lifestyle.

Another draw is the opportunity to visit the RV displays and check out what’s new. Outdoors,
hundreds of RVs will be parked, doors wide-open for inspection; you may just find your next home on wheels. Indoor exhibits will feature just about anything needed to make RV travels more enjoyable. To make sure attendees have an unfettered opportunity to visit the commercial displays, on day one of the event, Thursday, March 15, the exhibits will be the only major activity scheduled that afternoon.

When not learning or shopping, attendees look to be entertained, and the lineup for both daytime and evening entertainment during the “Southern Charm” convention will have folks dancing in the aisles, doubled over in laughter, or both. The fun begins on the first evening when Thomas Michael Riley opens with his unique brand of Texas country music at the FMCA Town Center tent. Later that night, attendees will welcome Big Mike and the Booty Papas, who will bring their energetic sound direct from Macon to the Town Center stage.

On Friday night, the fun moves inside Reaves Arena where The Grapevine will lead listeners back through the great days of classic rock. On Saturday, The Macon Pops light up the arena with their
take on well-known, well-loved songs from yesterday to the present. Last, but certainly not least, will be Jeanne Robertson to close the event on Sunday night. Jeanne will have attendees roaring in approval at her many humorous observations.

The good times aren’t limited to the evening hours. Attendees will be serenaded each morning during Coffee Hour. FMCA’s own Frustrated Maestros will perform on Friday and Sunday mornings, while Ah Surely!, a traditional Irish trio from Atlanta, will get St. Patrick’s Day off to a green start on Saturday. Plus, midday entertainment will take place at the FMCA Town Center Friday through Sunday. And no FMCA convention would be complete without the ever-popular Ice Cream Social.

Other activities are scheduled throughout the event. On Tuesday night, before the show begins, try
your hand at Card Bingo. Friday through Sunday, put some of that extraneous knowledge locked in your brain to good use at the daily Trivia Contest. FMCA chapter members will have a chance to show off their nautical skills by entering the Chapter Boat Race. Female attendees can get all gussied up and join in the fun at the Ladies’ Social on Saturday. If you enjoy singing – or just like to see and hear others on stage — stop by the Town Center on Sunday for Karaoke.

For many folks, the best times at an FMCA event are the ones spent with friends — both new and old – kibitzing about life. To make sure this aspect of the convention isn’t short-changed, there will be a midday break from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with no seminars or activities scheduled. Attendees can grab a bite to eat, return to the RV to walk the dog, or gather with friends. Other “timing” changes include shorter seminars; a later start time for the traditional Coffee Hour and seminars; and consistent start times for seminars throughout the event. Impromptu gatherings, and perhaps a few surprises, will be sprinkled throughout the four days also.

One thing’s for sure: If you’re looking to have a good time with several thousand of your closest
RVing friends, Perry is the place to be in mid-March. Come experience some Southern hospitality done up the FMCA way!

To register for the “Southern Charm” convention, visit FMCA.com or call (800) 543-3622. If you can’t make the full event and just want to stop by for a day, $10 day passes will be available at the gate.

Following Perry, FMCA reconvenes July 18 through 21 in Gillette, Wyoming, for its 98th International Convention & RV Expo. RV pardners are welcome to gather their wagons at the Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities for “Wanted In Wyoming,” a Western-themed RV hoedown. Visit FMCA.com or phone (800) 543-3622 for details.

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RV of the Year: Affordable Coach with “Million-Dollar Vibe”

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If you think Class A motorhomes all look alike, you owe yourself a look at the surprising new Horizon. The ultra-contemporary 2018 diesel coach won this year’s “RV of the Year” award from RV Business magazine. Along with the small 4x4 capable Class B Winnebago Revel, the Horizon also won RV PRO magazine’s “Best of Show” award at the RV industry’s national trade show in Louisville.

Handing Winnebago the trophy last November, RV Business editors praised the Horizon’s “authentically different modernistic interiors”—and predicted the Horizon would attract a new breed of first-time buyers into the RV lifestyle. In other words, the Horizon is not your grandparents’ coach.

“We had this dream to create a million-dollar look in something much more affordable,” says Mike Happe, CEO of Winnebago. “It looks and feels more like a Manhattan condo than a traditional diesel RV.”

Starting at $385,214, the Horizon is no small investment. But it sets a new bar for the high-end luxury category with a significantly lower price than other offerings.

After you’re struck by the elegant, clean lines of the 41’ to 43’ exterior (without the traditional “swoops”), the Horizon’s light interior greets you with a sophisticated vibe. A lot of design touches create this impression of soft vibrancy:
  • High-gloss laminate built-ins with LED backlit translucent panels 
  • Open floor plan with roomy meal prep, kitchen, and a dining area you can rearrange to fit the occasion 
  • Plenty of stainless steel, porcelain tile, and luxurious Villa furnishings 
  • Grooved countertop for self-drying dishes 
  • 50” HD TV that pops up directly across from the couch for easier viewing 
  • Full galley with residential French-door refrigerator and Induction cooktop 
  • Double-sink master bath and roomy shower 
  • 50” HDTV, satellite system ready, with soundbar and Blu-ray™ Home Theater System 
  • Ample, creative storage areas that “disappear” into the walls 
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Head to Oregon. It’s Worth It.

Oregon feels like the hidden gem of the United States. We were awestruck by how vast and beautiful the landscape is. The whole state is packed with amazing places to visit, all of which will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world - but these are the ones we feel should not be missed.

Opal Creek
Let’s just state the obvious - the water at Opal Creek is incredible, amazing, breathtaking - and any other adjective you’d like to add in. This is worth the stop just to see water this blue outside of the
tropics. And the best part is - the hike alongside Opal Creek is equally as amazing. Deep within the Willamette National Forest, the trail is also scattered with remnants of the logging and mining industries that are a big part of Oregon’s history. There’s nothing like walking through pristine wilderness only to come across rusting metal that almost looks like it’s been there forever.

There are three really amazing landmarks within Opal Creek - (1) Opal Pool, (2) a natural waterslide, and (3) Sawmill Falls. Opal Pool is so clear you can easily see the bottom, but is known for being quite chilly - although on a hot summer day, that might be amazing after the hike. And who doesn’t love a natural slide? This is fun no matter the age range of people traveling with you. And last, but certainly not least, Sawmill Falls mixes the beautiful white from the falls with the deep green of the water - and it’s stunning.

Haystack Rocks
If your not paying attention, you might think for a second that you’ve stumbled into Halong Bay in Vietnam, and while these beautiful rocks do share a similar feel to their counterparts in Vietnam, they
certainly are closer and - for those of us who prefer to RV, rather than fly - much more conveniently located. These amazing formations are found at Cannon Beach, but you should time your visit for low tide so you can get out to them. And the walk out is not short of wildlife. The low tide leaves behind plenty of tidal pools and you might just be able to spot a puffin hanging out on the rock as well. A few times a year, the tide gets so low - you can walk all the way around the behemoth and if you choose to venture out there at night, you’re sure to be impressed by the number of stars you can see.

Columbia River Gorge
Not that we’re ranking favorites - but the Columbia River Gorge is definitely packed
with things to do, and all of them will make you feel like you’ve stepped into some type of natural oasis. Honestly, we could probably make a list just of breathtaking sites in this one area alone - there are that many. The gorge itself is 80 miles long and borders the Columbia River, that divides Washington and Oregon. It’s so big it actually has gorges within it, including the Oneonta Gorge - and the beautiful green moss that covers the rocks on the side of this gorge has earned it the name the Emerald Canyon. And, to make it even better, the creek that runs through the gorge is often the only way through - so make sure to wear you water shoes and be prepared to get wet. Oh - and to top it all off - the creek has several beautiful waterfalls throughout. 

If you want to get up close and personal with some waterfalls - the Eagles Creek Trail might be the
one for you. As you near the end of the trail, you’ll pass through Tunnel Falls where you literally can walk behind the waterfalls - ducking into the cavernous rocks thanks to trail builders from the early 1900s. If you choose to keep going for another half a mile or so - the trail will come to an end, but you’ll get to see Twister Falls - where two waterfalls come together to look somewhat like a twister, hence the name. Be warned though - the path to get there is tight and has been lovingly referred to as the Vertigo Mile.

And if you’re not convinced, maybe this will tip you over - Oregonians are known for being extremely friendly - going out of their way to welcome visitors and offer whatever help or guidance they can offer. So, this destination is a win-win, friendly people and truly jaw-dropping scenery. Sounds like an RVers paradise if you ask us!
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Crazy Creative RV & Camping Hacks

There’s nothing we love more than a good hack. Usually, they are so simple, but so smart that they make us jealous we didn’t think of them first. But - let me tell you - the list of hacks we’ve compiled below has us green with envy - these truly are the best of the best.

Doritos make the best fire starters. As surprising as it may sound - there really isn’t a better fire starter out there than a good old bag of Doritos - and the best part? There’s literally nothing to it! Pick up your favorite - or maybe least favorite - bag at the grocery store, light one corner on fire, and watch it burn. But there’s a catch - it’s actually necessary to get the Doritos brand. Apparently it has something to do with their fat content. This is one of our favorites - but definitely slightly concerning if you’re a Doritos lover because once you see how long these burn, you might lose your appetite. 

Make a zipline for your dog. We, like many RVers, are big time dog people - so we’re all about anything we can do to make our pup’s trip more comfortable. And making them a zipline, instead of tying them out, gives them way more freedom to enjoy their interesting, new surroundings. And, like the Doritos, this is another super easy trick. You just need a piece of rope and some carabiners to attach their leashes to it. From there - find some trees a decent distance apart to tie the rope to and hitch Fido on up. He’ll be much happier being able to wander back and forth freely - but you’ll still have peace of mind knowing he’s not going to take off on you.

Sage bundles repel mosquitos. We hate mosquitos. They are the fastest way we can think of to drive even the most tolerant RVer back inside. So this hack is definitely worth a try. This particular article says that you can also throw some lavender and mint in there - but the majority of reading we did specifically called out the sage - so if you add nothing else, make sure to have that. You can hang these outside of your camper or put them in your fire - either way, they seem like an essential way to keep the ultimate pest away.

Turn an acorn cap into a whistle. This is a great hack - and the link shows you exactly how to do it, step by step. Thankfully, there are plenty of acorns to practice on out in the woods - so even if it takes you a few tries to get it right, this is sure to come in handy - and hopefully, you will only need to use this for fun.

Ok - so tell us the truth. Had you heard of these before? We hope there were at least a few that surprised you and will make their way into your bag of tricks as you head out on your next great adventure.
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