Highlights of the Mods-Focused Winnebago Compact Coach Meetup
Highlights of the Mods-Focused Winnebago Compact Coach Meetup
Check out this fun recap of the “Mods, Maintenance & Merriment” owner meetup in Iowa.
By: Noel Fleming & Chris Miller
Gemuetlichkeit was the word of the day as Kathleen Hanson, Chris, and I did the final prep for our April meetup in the Amana Colonies of Iowa. This German term, often heard in that region, means “a state of warmth and friendliness - a feeling of belonging.” It was a primary goal of our gathering. The meetup invitation had been extended to owners of any type Winnebago Compact Coach. We were eager to meet the 70 owners who would attend this inaugural event.
Soon the landscape was dotted with EKKO, Revel, Spirit, Solis, Solis Pocket, and Travato RVs! An exciting mix of products and an even more exciting mix of people. They had all come with the purpose of helping each other with mods and maintenance. As the days of the event unfolded, we were invigorated over and over again as we witnessed the positive impact of kindness and teamwork.
[Please note: Winnebago did not facilitate the completion of mods at this meetup. Mods were done by owners who decided to do so at their own risk with the assistance of others from the Winnebago family. Any mods noted here are not direct recommendations from Winnebago.]
A New Type of Owner Meetup
This was a bit of an epic meet up in terms of the people and the purpose. As for the people, this meetup broke the mold and created a new format option for meetups in three significant ways: inclusion of multiple rigs, owners helping owners do mods and maintenance, and giving back to a local non-profit. The activities extended beyond the usual inspiration of viewing neighbors’ mods. Attendees actually worked together to complete mods and maintenance.
Necessary supplies for targeted mods were available on site, and group members provided expertise and hands-on support. The campground facilities even included an expansive air-conditioned garage space. Yes, you read that correctly – air-conditioned garage space! What a gift to keep cool while working!
Winnebago Compact Coach Meetup Recap
Interested in attending a future meetup? Here is a snapshot of how this event went:
Day 1: At the sign-in table, attendees viewed the schedule, received their welcome packets, and immediately began filling in their mod forms. Each participant had the opportunity to complete a form indicating which transformations they had done in their own rig and were willing to do a show and tell for. The forms were then organized and laid out on tables for all to investigate and determine which forms to photograph to correlate with which rigs they wanted to see during the next day’s “Mods Meander.”
Additionally, boards were displayed for attendees to sign up to have a mod or maintenance item completed. Participants continued to monitor the boards throughout the day, adding their names to where they could help a fellow RVer complete a mod or maintenance item. It was a joy to see group members not only show how to perform a task but to coach others, enabling them to complete the task themselves.
Day 2: We began the day with the much-anticipated Mods Meander. Neighbors traveled from campsite to campsite eager to see completed mods. Ideas were shared, connections were made, and people were inspired. Of course, some people just drooled over the talent and ingenuity of some remarkable modifications. We sure did!
Afterward, we created a caravan of rigs and headed into town to enjoy a Heritage Society Tour led by a spectacular docent. Once back at our base, we had a presentation by the three Winnebago Product Planners who joined our meetup and camped with us. We completed a real-time online customer input survey, then the data collected was projected on the screen and provided prompts for group discussions.
Next, we had a presentation by a representative from Shelter House Iowa City which was our chosen charity. We learned how the mission of Shelter House is not just to provide for those in need, but to teach them how to provide for themselves in order to help break the cycle of poverty. Finally, the night was capped off by a competitive game of trivia. Categories included Winnebago Wonders, Iowa Information, Travel Trivia, and Amana Awareness. It was fierce as teams battled it out!
Day 3: We began the day with one of the meetup highlights - the Mods & Maintenance Fest. And what a fest it was! There were newly made friends helping complete all kinds of tasks including: installing wheel well liners, spray painting jack points, securing loose wiring, aligning latch handles, adjusting roof racks, and more! You name it, people stepped up to help one another. Newbies to well-seasoned RVers all had something to share albeit experience, knowledge, or a special skill set.
During the afternoon, a local RV roof inspection company came to the campground and provided information about roof maintenance. Later, they performed discounted roof inspections for interested parties. The night concluded with a wonderful shared grill group dinner and a raffle unlike any other. In the preceding days, attendees had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for various prizes that were displayed in our workshop area. Attendees chose which prizes they wanted a chance to win by depositing tickets into containers that aligned with desired prizes. There was also a cash prize of one-third of the proceeds.
An additional one-third of the proceeds went directly to Shelter House to help fund their mission. In conjunction with the support of various sponsors who provided both prizes and donations, we collected over $1,725 for Shelter House. Our contribution enabled 69 days of shelter, meals, and employment services for people who are trying to restart their life. Our group was incredibly generous and thankful to be able to support such a worthy cause.
Day 4: The Mods & Maintenance Fest finished up just before many attendees said goodbye to new friends, extended their gratitude once again for the support and camaraderie, and vowed to make this an annual event.
Our merriment was strong throughout our time together. Shared meals, games of Five Crowns, trips to the old general store, and time to just hang out together. On the last night of the event, the temps finally chilled enough for us to gather around the fire pit and enjoy s’mores of celebration. We settled into the circle, savoring what we had accomplished together.
For future compact coach meetup announcements, be sure to check your model-specific Winnebago owner Facebook group for updates.