FMCA decides to proceed with upcoming international rally

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FMCA, the Family Motor Coach Association, will go on as planned with its March 26-29 International Convention and RV Expo in Tucson, Arizona, despite the threat posed by the coronavirus.

FMCA has weighed the possible consequences and chosen to proceed with the event which, if all goes well, will draw 4,000 RVers or more. The average age of an FMCA member is around 70.

During the convention, members stay at the host facility, the Pima County Fairgrounds, in their homes on wheels, both motorhomes and towables. A variety of daytime and evening entertainment is offered, and attendees have many opportunities to socialize with others who share their love of the RV lifestyle.

POLL: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
If you were in charge, would you cancel the rally or go on?

Activities range from organized meetups such as morning coffee hour and an ice cream social to afternoon happy hours in the RV parking areas.

One key element of each event is the RV Expo. Major RV manufacturers and dealers bring the latest models and invite convention attendees and members of the public to stop by to take a look. Vendors also display and sell a variety of products and services for the RV lifestyle.

Previous convention at another location.

FMCA President Jon Walker offered this explanation to members of why he and his board decided to go on with the event, rather than cancel or postpone it: “You have seen all the news for the past month or two concerning the new coronavirus (COVID-19). When this started to dominate our daily news updates, we immediately began thinking about our event in Tucson and how it might affect us there.

“I can honestly tell you that we have done everything one can do to gather as much accurate, up-to-date information on this virus — and how it might affect our members going to Tucson. We have sought information provided by health officials in Tucson. We have read everything we can from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have researched what medical experts know about how we can protect ourselves from this virus.

“[My wife] Sondra and I . . . expect to have a great convention. All that will change is that we may not want to hug and shake hands with one another like we normally do. But we will be elbow tapping and dancing around in excitement with our FMCA friends and attendees! We plan to have plenty of hand sanitizer at all our gathering places. We can do all this while following the guidelines below, and while remembering, it STILL is all about having fun!”

Registrations can be made at https://www.FMCA.com and by telephone at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622 until March 18. After that, RV owners can register upon arrival at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Day passes, which provide admittance only to the RV Expo, will be sold on-site. The day pass for Thursday, March 26, also will be good for Friday, March 27.

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Admin
Kim Christiansen (@imkimc)
7 months ago

Please be respectful of others, even if you disagree with what they are saying.
We don’t need to call people names or make fun of them. That is disrespectful.
We’re adults here (even if we don’t feel like it).

I encourage all of you to educate yourselves on the Novel Coronavirus outbreak:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Check back often as you make travel plans, the situation is rapidly evolving and recommendations could change. Also, check with local officials as well, some areas of the country may have different recommendations or restrictions in place.

But please, whatever you do, don’t underestimate the seriousness of this outbreak. Please don’t make assumptions based on the flu or other viruses. Arm yourself with as much good information from the CDC and your local health officials as you can.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 months ago

Very true, Kim. This is just the beginning. We don’t know if this will fade away or if it’ll get much worse. Don’t panic, but be informed and aware, and take precautions. That doesn’t mean you’re paranoid; it means you’re smart. —Diane at RVtravel.com

HOLLY THOMPSON
7 months ago

1st of all, I love rallys and I love RVing – not the point!
I live in Tucson. Mr. Walker and the Board of the Association is putting my community in jeopardy – not good, definitely not smart.
Being home to thousands of snowbirds and RV’ers, Tucson has a very large elderly community.
I have contacted the Pima County Board of Supervisors (where the rally is to be held) and advised them about this huge horde that is headed this way, and asked him to shut it down. If the FMCA doesn’t have the good sense to do it, perhaps the governing body will show them the error of their ways.

Billy Bob Thornton
7 months ago

Wait for it. CANCELLED. Oh it’s coming.

Martin A
7 months ago

I would not want to buy a demo unit from the show, they will be like a petri dish if any one is sick.

Bonnie
7 months ago

Seems like a very risky and shortsighted decision to go ahead with the rally I was amazed by the results of the poll. 56% would go ahead with the rally

Roger Marble
7 months ago

Here is some relatively current [3/3/20] news from CDC on what over the counter products can kill the Coronavirus at home or in your RV,
“EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19.”
https://tinyurl.com/uhvnamp

There is a lot more than just Purell and not every product made by big-name companies such as Clorox, Lysol, etc are approved. BUT maybe not the Purell hand sanitizer. Here is a story on that product > https://tinyurl.com/wv3jlb9

For those concerned about this particular RV gathering. You might also look and the list of RV shows provided by RV Travel here> https://www.rvtravel.com/2018-rv-shows-in-the-usa-and-canada/

I would suggest some consistency with your travel or eating out or entertainment plans.

Gary Jones
7 months ago

I did science as a career for 40 years, and science is what we should be paying attention to. The world’s scientists on this issue say that this virus is most problematic to seniors, to individuals with compromised immune systems (cancer, pneumonia, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, already sick from any other disease, etc. etc.). The World Health Organization and the CDC say we need to be avoiding unnecessary crowds and interaction with those that might have been exposed to COVID-19. FMCA is going to attract RVers from around the country and world….. in large groups of people in multiple venues. It is clear to me that the recommendations from those who “know” the issues here is to not have gatherings like FMCA right now. If the mayor of Austin can cancel a much larger and profit-oriented event such as South by SouthWest in Austin a week before it begins (with the economic ramifications of that move to all involved) due to the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus widely, FMCA should have no problem cancelling the gathering in Tucson. Pay attention to what the scientists are saying about this issue …. not some talking head with an opinion.

larry
7 months ago

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Stay informed, keep on truckin’. Strawberry Festival just rapped up in Florida. Sun n Fun fly in is up coming. Baseball Spring training is in full swing. Beaches are beautiful. Wash your nasty hands, lets have some RVing fun!

Cheryl Bacon
7 months ago
Reply to  larry

What I find interesting is parts of the country is reporting running out of toilet paper, water etc. We had to do grocery shopping today and not only was there water, 24 bottle cases were buy 1 get 1 free. Toilet paper was not only available, it was in 4 places in the store. We went to Epcot yesterday and it was packed. I’m sure the other parks were also.

Roger
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bacon

Good for you. I just returned from Costco in Newport News, VA. No toilet paper where there’s usually a giant wall stocked full of it, and no reliable word on when to expect new shipments. Went to Lowes hardware of all places and found some mixed in with their cleaning supplies.

TSC
7 months ago

Some statistics, now this info is a couple weeks old it might have changed a bit. Approximately 2% who become infected die. That’s extremely low (I wouldn’t buy a lottery ticket on those odds). Of that 2%, 80% are over 60 years old. CDC just came out this week advising those over 60, and those that are immunocompromised should avoid crowds.

20 seconds of thorough hand washing, is light years head of hand sanitizer.

If someone gets sick, tested positive, expect to be quarantined.

Steve S
7 months ago
Reply to  TSC

Averaage age of an FMCA member is 70.

Roger
7 months ago
Reply to  TSC

Yep, and it only takes one or two to get diagnosed for the whole crowd to get quarantined.

Steve S
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger

The number of cases and States has increased in the 3 short days since reading this article. I wonder if the people that stated they would attend would still be at 56% or will it drop.

If FMCA proceed, and you still attend … do the rest of us a favour and place yourself under self isolation for 2 weeks. Be sure for yourself, for your loved ones and for the entire community. This can wait for another year.

Canada has relatively few confirmed cases but multiple events are being cancelled. Events that as of yesterday, publicly stated, they would not cancel.

Roger Marble
7 months ago

I’m 75 and in reasonably good health with no respiratory problems. I am going to Tuscon and will even be giving four presentations, so I will be in meeting rooms. I see the convention as quite different than a cruise ship since many will be eating in their own RV and spending a reasonable amount of time outdoors and not cooped up in a casino. Hand sanitizer and reasonable precautions are called for but I don’t hear anyone calling for Broadway to shut down yet? Or closing of restaurants or movie houses.
IMO it’s pretty hard to justify a call to start looking for an “ambulance chaser” given the health officials have not called for closing all events and gatherings across America.
Chuck may be a little more sensitive to the question of where to travel as he covered in his earlier post about not traveling home to an identified “hot spot” in Washington. Wondering if some feel that the gathering at Quartzite will result in dozens of sick people?
One thing I will do differently that I have not heard about from others is that when I stop for fuel along the way from Ohio is I will use some of the latex gloves I have for managing my dump tanks and wear the gloves when handling the fuel hose as that would almost be like direct contact with someone else’s hand.

Adrian
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger Marble

Handling fuel hoses.
My dad was a “house painter” back in the day of oil based paint. I learned that the paint thinner (solvent) was great at cleaning our hands, and if there were scratches or scrapes on our hands it cleaned and dried up the injury very quickly.
Todays petroleum products have a lot of other added chemicals that I’m not sure I want on my hands, but I don’t believe much would survive very long in contact with them.
I used to keep baby wipes in the truck to clean diesel off my hands, but I found that they really dried my skin. Made for babies butts? No thanks. I now reach for wipes that are supposed to be kind to my skin, and smell better.

Phil Atterbery
7 months ago

The ad for FUNTOWNRVOK.COM, did the RVTRAVEL staff insert the photo of the red truck camper? It’s a European model of truck camper. I guess I expect a US based publication to use North American built vehicle photos. Or I would ask the ad agency to use NA vehicles.
I understand you probably have no control over this. And I’m being a little picky. Love all the articles & I refer others to your site. Please keep up the good writing.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

Hi, Phil. I’ve never heard of funtownrvok.com. It’s apparently one of those “random” ads Google drops into our articles which we don’t have control over (as you mentioned). Those “auto-inserted” ads pop up on folks’ computers based on the area of the country they’re in, or items they’ve clicked on before. We’re very picky, as well, but really don’t know (and usually don’t see) what pops up on our readers’ computers. But thanks for being a long-time reader of RVtravel.com and for referring people to us! We appreciate that, and you! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Ann
7 months ago

I read a piece yesterday in he New York Times (I know that discredits me with 90% of readers here, but stay with me…), that referenced a Harvard study that looked at the swine flu epidemic in 2009. Obama and public health experts warned the public to get flu shots, while Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and even Trump himself, were saying this was a nothingburger, government overreach and whatnot. As a result, Democrats got flu shots at rates that were about 50% higher than Republicans. The result was that death rates from the swine flu were much higher in the red states than blue states.

I see this playing out again. The people who trust experts and “believe” in science (science doesn’t need you to believe in it to work, btw) understand that this is a dangerous disease, especially for older people, and that the precautions being recommended are necessary. The people who trust the guy running the country believe that “it’s just the flu.” I don’t want to see it happen, but this whole thing isn’t going to end well for them.

I’m a FMCA member. I’m not going.

Carl J
7 months ago
Reply to  Ann

Yeah the NYT is a great barometer of the truth……

Darrel
7 months ago
Reply to  Ann

Must you make everything political??

BlackZ51Vett
7 months ago

Look on the bright side. We may have an influx of nice gently used motor homes hitting the market in a few months.

Billy Bob Thorton
7 months ago
Reply to  BlackZ51Vett

Now that was just aweful. Wink, wink.

Alpenliter
7 months ago
Reply to  BlackZ51Vett

Cold man, so cold…..

Roger
7 months ago
Reply to  BlackZ51Vett

Yep, it may even make put Social Security back on the path to solvency via reduced demand.

Steve S
7 months ago

Well, the FMCA had three choices … proceed, postpone or cancel. I wonder what the legal ramifications will be if this gathering results in being ground zero for spreading Covid-19.

Hand sanitizer won’t help if someone that is infected (and, they may not know they are infected) coughs or sneezes in close proximity of others.

Is it really worth taking such a risk just to have fun?

TSC
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve S

Agree

Cheryl Bacon
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve S

Legal ramifications? They are not breaking any laws by having it. None of the closures have been mandatory, they are voluntary. Even the self-quarantine some have been asked to do is voluntary, it is not a house arrest.

Steve S
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bacon

Cheryl, you don’t need to break a law in a civil case.

Consider this scenario … SXSW is cancelled, no one gets infected. FMCA rally goes ahead, 25 people are confirmed infected, 2 die.

You don’t think the families would be able to sue based on negligence? FMCA know this is a deadly virus. FMCA knows it primarily affects those over 70. FMCA is knowingly going against the CDC’s advise to avoid large gatherings. THAT’S what I mean by legal ramifications.

Hope it doesn’t happen. 100% guaranteed if the FMCA postpone or cancel the rally it won’t. They, and anyone attending are taking a risk by proceeding.

Carl J
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve S

Rest assured the FMCA is only concern with one thing; money. Specifically your money and how they can get their hands(infected or not) on it.
They’ll risk everyone’s health instead of losing thousands of dollars already spent on planning this get together.

Ed Baader
7 months ago

Probably the only way to mitigate the financial contracts would be for Tucson to step up and forbid it,

Greg Pfister
7 months ago

You know, the H1N1 (Swine Flu) pandemic in 2009-10, there were an estimated 61million diagnosed in the US and 12,469 deaths in the US. The flu killed 61,000 in the US during the 2017-18 season with an estimated 45 million diagnosed. Not aware of a rally being cancelled. I’m all for being pragmatic and cautious, but think we have a ways to go to get to these levels. Wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes. Stay home if you are sick.

YankeeClipper
7 months ago
Reply to  Greg Pfister

The comparison with H1N1 is deeply flawed.

1) The H1N1 mortality rate was 0.08%. COVID-19 is 3.4%. So, this virus is roughly 40X more deadly.
2) H1N1 was not worse for older people. Older people are especially at risk with this virus.

Source: Wikepedia: 2009 Flu Pandemic

Moreover, it appears this virus appears to be much more contagious than H1N1!

Billy Bob Thorton
7 months ago
Reply to  YankeeClipper

Dude, thats what im talkin’ about. Good ole fashioned FACTS. Well done, my friend.

Teresa Meyer
7 months ago
Reply to  Greg Pfister

Thank goodness there are a few sensible people.

Billy Bob Thorton
7 months ago
Reply to  Greg Pfister

Please don’t spread untruths. By that I mean, there is very few SIMILARITIES to the flu strains that always circle the globe. Reciting facts and figures about diseases that are , and have been common place for decades, is not good reference. This virus is, at current statistical analysis (subject to change based on incoming data), 10 times more deadly. You havent begun to see the ramifications of this. Smoke this; 95% of the base ingredients to ALL generic drug manufacture, is made in, yeppers, China. So, if you pick up an ancillary bacterial infection, because of this virus, you better hope your local Walgreens can fill it. Its not even in the same galaxy.
I hope to God Almighty, this dies out, before it does the Spanish flu two step on us all.

TPalmer
7 months ago
Reply to  Greg Pfister

Do your math greg.
If 61 million got COVID-19 that would be 1,830,000 deaths at a death rate of 3%.

John Hartmangruber
7 months ago

Simple business decision. If they cancel the rally they must pay back registration fees. Hold the rally and those who decide not to attend have no refund coming.
As always… Money drives the bus!

Walt auen
7 months ago

You think it’s always about money ? Simply put if You want to go , go if not stay in your bedroom.

Billy Bob Thorton
7 months ago
Reply to  Walt auen

Dude, ITS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY.

Roger
7 months ago

What happens if there’s a case diagnosed there? Is it going to be a repeat of the cruise ship fiasco where everyone is quarantined until every last person is tested? Can’t have all those potentially exposed folks scattering to the four winds.

CandaceB
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger

The response that would prove the futility of such a move would be to insist that bureaucrats test people randomly at shopping malls – where everyone is touching everything – and proceed along those same lines. Can we stop the common cold? Do we even try? I will continue to do what is reasonable and prudent to stay healthy, but I won’t be radically changing my life or travel plans. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, although we seem to have a significant portion of the population who would be surprised at that statement.

Roger
7 months ago
Reply to  CandaceB

Sure, so why even try? Sorry, but with no cure and no vaccine for a long, long time, physical restrictions such as quarantines are the only thing that is working once outbreaks are detected. I’m living my life too, but I see no reason to purposely drop myself into a 4K member petri dish for a few days of partying.

Cheryl Bacon
7 months ago
Reply to  Roger

The CDC released one woman from Lackland Airforce base that came from Wuhan, China. She was released and she promptly went into public spaces. 12 hours later her test came in positive and they finally found her in the local malls food court.The state of TX then had to go to court to get the CDC to stop from from dropping off the released patients from Lackland Airforce base. The self quarantine some have opted for is voluntary and not house arrest. Health officials come by each day and take their temperature. None of that sounds like it is a very strict quarantine.

Roger
7 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bacon

Voluntary, for now. Granted we’re not Italy, but they effectively closed the entire country today. Movement only for essential jobs and emergencies. That’s with a total death toll of just 19, but health officials see it rapidly spreading. Hoping for the best, but I truly believe that the U.S. government will ultimately have to get serious about this issue.

YankeeClipper
7 months ago

FMCA’s decision to proceed with the event is a stunning example of poor judgment.

It is dangerous and reckless to ignore the CDC’s guidelines. Older people should avoid large gatherings! Why endanger the lives of the FMCA membership (as well as the larger American community)?

Please, FMCA, postpone the event until we can all be safe!

tom
7 months ago

Photo is Perry, GA rally. I can find my RV.
Yes, I’m going. Some concern. We are still in good health and will avoid some of the very large scale gatherings. Have excellent hand sanitizer.

TSC
7 months ago
Reply to  tom

Washing your hands thoroughly is light years ahead of hand sanitizer, don’t just rely on hand sanitizer to give give you a false sense of hope.
Watch a YouTube video on hand washing. I’ll bet you learn a few things, I did. 20 seconds is a long time. Lots of suds. Back of hand between fingers, suds under nails.
Wishing you a good time, stay aware.

John R Crawford
7 months ago

I think the key to the success of events like this is the average age of the attendees. I have already canceled another rv rally reservation due to the fact that my wife has medical conditions that make her very susceptible to any respiratory problems. The younger and healthier attendees can take the chance.