What You Gain from Attending an RV Rally
What's so great about attending an RV rally? So many things! But for now, we'll focus on the top five benefits - the five 'Cs.' We're sure one (or more) of them has got to be for you!
Depending on where you are in your RV journey, you may or may not have an RV of your own yet. If you're still searching for the right fit or just want to confirm your decision to purchase, you've likely been to a dealership once or twice. Unfortunately, you may have realized the salesperson, responsible for representing many lines of coaches, lacks the level of knowledge to answer everything on your lengthy list of well-constructed questions. It can be frustrating -- standing in what you believe to be your ultimate adventure-mobile, uncertain about your choice due to unanswered questions.
Well, you know who knows that coach better than the salesperson? Owners. And you know where to find owners? At a RALLY! Before we even purchased our Travato, we learned of a rally a few states away. I traveled to the gathering for the opportunity to speak with current owners who answered all my questions, plus some I didn't even know to ask. Although I didn't have a van to stay in, I rented a cabin at the campsite and spent a glorious day with the Travato experts. During that experience, I grew to appreciate not only the van, but also the people who welcomed me with open arms.
You know those great people I just spoke of? They come from all regions of the U.S. Social media enables us to communicate on a regular basis. Blogs offer insight and inspiration. Instagram provides snippets of updates. Facebook forums supply ongoing conversations. These digital access points have been our sidekick when making mods, planning itineraries, and solving mechanical issues. Yet, there is nothing like face-to-face time. Nothing.
Rallies enable us to do life together, even for brief amounts of time (one day to a week). These gatherings are planned and hosted by a member of the group and might be supported by sponsorship. Rallies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be intricately planned with workshops and outings. Or they can be impromptu events that spring up because someone wants to see their fellow RV compadres. These events can be small meet-ups of less than 10 coaches or there are also larger events (such as an RV show) that attract swarms of owners, resulting in a rally of 70+ coaches!
Rallies can highlight a geographic region, a shared event (i.e. tours of wineries/RV show), or a shared passion (hiking/photography). The schedules are flexible enough to allow freedom and varied enough to accommodate a variety of interests and activity levels. These shared experiences build a different level of community in person than is available online. We have found that face-to-face time often enhances our online interactions.
Regardless of which Winnebago RV you own, there are rally schedules that include dates and locations across the nation. Learn more on the WIT Club site.
Exploring Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio.
As a group, the people at a rally are a mighty force of knowledge, experience, guidance, and expertise. Over time, when you can actually cease talking about your coach for a bit, you get to know the individual members in a deeper way. Learning about others' stories, histories, and dreams of the future provides insight into who they are, and perhaps into why they chose RVing.
Now that you have new-found friends that you communicate with often, either online or in person, you get even more embedded in that sense of community. I have met some of my favorite people on the planet at Winnebago owner gatherings!
Ever since we joined the Winnebago family, we continue to be both amazed and impressed with Winnebago's willingness and invitation to gather insight from owner experience. At the annual Grand National Rally (GNR), held each July in Forest City, IA, Winnebago expressly promotes opportunities for owners to share their thoughts and ideas about various products.
Through the V.O.I.C.E. (Visits On Innovation and Customer Enhancements) Program, owners are encouraged to say what they like about their unit, or ideas about what they would like to see changed in the future. Winnebago has made an obvious commitment to listen to the voice of their customers. In doing so, they strengthen the product line and the community for which the products are made.
Learn more about GNR and this summer's rally dates here: https://winnebago.com/owners/grand-national-rally
Another opportunity that we experienced at GNR was volunteering to be an RV Care-A-Vanner through Habitat for Humanity. This rally workshop educated us about the program's goals and action plan. We worked with fellow Winnebago owners to build two sheds that day.
Working alongside other caring individuals to measure, saw, drill, and hammer, we created an item of need for someone we would never meet. Essentially, we were initial strangers who instantly morphed into work teams who were given a gift to demonstrate caring for others beyond our rally grounds. This had a significant impact on us.
The power of RV life is scattered across our country. What a blast it is when we are able to get together for the common good.
We hope that you find a rally to attend near you that exponentially extends your Winnebago experience!