RV Owner's Clubs: Join or Not?
Let me start this email with a clarification: Jim and I are not "joiners". We bought an RV to escape from work and enjoy a bit of solitude on the weekends. If we traveled with anyone, we figured it would be family or close friends. So, when we bought an RV the farthest thing from my mind was joining an RV club.
Yet, being new RV owners, we had a lot of questions. Searching the internet for answers is okay, but we agreed it would be nice to talk with others who had the same type of unit. There is a huge learning curve to RVing and owning a unit that is uncommon made that learning curve just a bit more challenging.
Learn more about how your small-RV works and what you need to to to maintain it with our a Small-RV Ninja Guide Learn More…
Then I remembered the welcome email from our RV manufacturer. They mentioned their RV owners clubs and, after browsing their website owners section, it didn't take long to find a few in our area. Since there weren't any in our home state of Georgia, I sent inquiries to a couple of groups in nearby states. The Carolina LTVers was most welcoming and we signed up for their first rally to be hosted in Ashville, North Carolina.
We had a great time meeting others with the same brand RV. We traded travel stories, shared troubleshooting tips, learned about clever modifications, and even toured the different models. I think one of the best benefits of the club is meeting people who share a love for RV travel. Even though I had a long career in tourism, there weren't many colleagues who were RVers!
We attended a second rally the following fall and it simply confirmed that our decision to join a RV owners club was a good one! We return home full of great ideas, good information, and, since the group continues to grow, we also come home with a handful of new friends.
Our work situation doesn't allow us to attend all of the gatherings, but we still enjoy keeping up with the group on Facebook. As our schedules change we plan to be more involved with the group and look forward to exploring new cities with them.
If you are new to RVing, joining an owners club is a pretty good idea just to help you through the learning curve, but even if you are an experienced camper, an owners club has a lot to offer. Here's a quick rundown
What is an RV Owner’s Club?
Almost every manufacturer of RVs has owners clubs around the country. The idea is to share the experience of RVing with others who own the same brand. Often the manufacturer will sponsor events or help organize "rallies" for regional groups while many local clubs plan their own gatherings.
One of the benefits of a group of owners is that you can find information on specific issues about the RV you own. Modifications, repair work, after market products, as well as travel experiences are all topics of discussion. You'll probably find that other owners have different or newer RV models - which is a great way to see what is available. You can also learn about the brand's upcoming improvements and optional aftermarket accessories.
A big benefit is making new friends all around the country! Even though most clubs are organized by state, there is a lot of cross-pollination between clubs as you travel. You may travel as a state club or may join up with another club for a specific trip or outing. It is a great way to explore new destinations with friends.
Add to that, when you travel with the group, you don't have to do all the planning yourself! Most groups have a host team that helps with the planning of campgrounds, sightseeing, and even meal options.
How can I find one?
Contact your RV manufacturer. Most have an owners section on their website to help owners connect. If you don't see an owners section, send an inquiry to the manufacturer's customer service department.
Search on Facebook. Our group and our manufacturer both have Facebook group pages for owners and enthusiasts. Just search the groups on Facebook for your manufacturer. Many of the groups invite other clubs to join them for trips or rallies.
Ask your dealer. Most dealers will have some literature about the RV brands they sell. Ask if they are familiar with the owners clubs and how you can connect with them.
Join! Don't wait, just find a group and join. Attend a few events to meet the others in the group. Even if you are not a "joiner" you'll be sure to benefit from the information shared and you might just find you like the camaraderie of a group of RV enthusiasts!