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Live from the FMCA High Desert Reunion

We’ve been in Redmond, OR most of the week attending the Family Motor Coach Association 90th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase (a rally). The aerial photo above, taken by the FMCA, shows the 1,500 coaches parked here at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center.

There’s about 3,000 people here and, like all such big gatherings, there are lots of folks to visit with, motorhomes to tour, evening entertainment programs and vendors to haggle with.

We spent a great night socializing with the Roadtrek International (RTI) FMCA chapter members, hanging out and sharing the fun things we do with our Roadtreks.I liked what John Macinnis from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada said: “We can do so many things and go so many places with our Roadtreks. This is all about sharing our travel experiences with the perfect touring vehicle.”

So we did just that. It rained. So two Roadtreks parked side by side, front to back and extended their awnings. About 20 of us congregated under the rain protection, sharing  the places we’ve been and the adventures we have had. And the adventures we plan to have.

FMCA National President Charlie Adcock stopped by. He’s a huge supporter of RTI. “If it wasn’ t for Roadtrek International, the FMCA would not be what it is today,” he told me. The Roadtrek International chapter is the third largest chapter of the 80,000 member FMCA.

FMCA National President Charlie Adcock says Roadtrek members constitute the third largest chapter of the 80,000 member group.


My new Bike Friday

My favorite vendor was Bike Friday, maker of the hand-built and customized folding bike you see me riding in the photo above. Bike Friday is an Oregon company and I was amazed at how well the small-wheeled bikes performed. They were fast, nimble and very comfortable. Both Jennifer and I bought one.  From our Roadtrek Facebook Group, Jim Langely, a fellow Roadtrek owner and one of the top experts on cycling and all things that have to do with bicycles (see his books) gave me a thumbs up on the brand.

I’ve been looking for a way to add more exercise to our traveling and these bikes, which fold up so compactly, will get me moving. I’ve been trying to figure out for some time how we could take our bikes and once I saw how these fit so well in our StowAway2 cargo box, it was a no-brainer.

I rode it all around the campground last night. I can’t wait til I get it out in the boondocks.


Jennifer and I both got a Bike Friday
Jennifer and I each got a Bike Friday


Mine and Jennifer’s new Bike Fridays in our StowAway cargo box

The expo of RV related accessories, services and parts is always a big draw. I bought yet another supposedly kinkless water hose and some Velcro strips to keep it neatly and tightly wound. We’ll see. I am vowing to wind this new one correctly, the same way, every time.

Paul, Dawn and Alex from Roadtrek
Paul, Dawn and Alex from Roadtrek

Roadtrek is here, showing off the entire line. The local dealer is Guaranty RV Supercenters from Junction City, OR and I got a chance to visit with Sales Rep Matt Elliott. He says the Pacific Northwest and the whole west coast is a strong area for Class Bs thanks to the abundance of awesome places to camp, from Pacific shorelines to mountain boondocking. Roadtrek’s sales manager and VP  Paul Cassidy is also here,  along with Dawn and Alex from the Kitchener team. They stopped by to chat with some of the Roadtrek owners after the motorhome showcase displays closed for the night.

I looked but if there were other small motorhomes on display at the show here, they were hidden among the Class A skyscrapers.

Besides the new motorhomes and the vendor display there are seminars throughout the day, dozens of them on every possible topic of interest to RVers, from traveling to Alaska, to how to do basic repairs ,to technology for travelers ,to the pros and cons of fulltiming. I taught two seminars this week, one on smartphone apps for the open road and and one on the history of the Oregon Trail.

Jennifer and I met lots of folks interested in our Roadtreking experiences over the past couple of years. We did a lot of explaining how the two of us and our dog, Tai, manage to live in a 24 foot van.

I like to send them to this story about our top 10 rules for getting along in a motothome.

Rallies like this are a great time to connect with the larger RVing community, be they in Class A , C or B motorhomes.  It reminds me if the pioneer mountain men who spent most of the year in the wilds, trapping and hunting and alone in the wilderness. Once a year, they’d gather for a reunion and gathering.

While they preferred solitude and independence most of the time, connecting with their extended community from time to time was always a highlight of the year for them. So it is for Jennifer and I and the FMCA reunions like this one.

We’re leaving here for Glacier National Park. Back to the wilds. But we’re refreshed and energized by the camaraderie we just experienced.



9 Responses to “Live from the FMCA High Desert Reunion”

August 17, 2014at8:25 pm, James Eldon Taylor said:

Nice and shady…..Not!

August 17, 2014at12:50 pm, Linda A Eaton said:

Tight parking. Had to fit all rigs in area.

August 16, 2014at7:33 pm, Steve Harmon said:

Looks like a nice, friendly family reunion, to me.

August 16, 2014at4:49 am, Lori Merry said:

way to crowded

August 15, 2014at7:58 pm, Neil McMillin said:

Open your window and shake hands with your neighbours. Too close and jammed in for me. No thanks.

August 15, 2014at6:10 pm, David Green said:

What a great lay-out – wish all reunions could be this compact

August 15, 2014at11:45 am, Amy Lewis Tiffany said:

That’s a great view! I wish I was in a motor home driving, but I’m a truck driver.

August 15, 2014at11:28 am, bill walters said:

Wow. What a difference in FMCA rallies since the 1980’s and 90’s. We were at Minot ND in 1995 with over 4000 RVs and the following year at Perry GA, in the mud, with over 6600 RV’s. But none the less, according to your purchasing habits they are just like mine. Visit the vendors to buy all those items that we really really think we need to have and then take them back to the RV and try to find place to put them and then remember to use them.

August 15, 2014at10:46 am, Rico Muscatel said:

I thought one of the beauties of motorhomes was getting away from crowds. Yikes!

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