FMCA’s future unclear. Your thoughts, please?

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By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
The Family Motor Coach Association, FMCA, has begun surveying its members about including owners of towable RVs into the club, which is currently restricted to owners of motorized RVs only. If more than 50 percent of current members vote yes, to accept towables, then FMCA will welcome all RVs, motorized or not. Voting is being conducted through the club’s magazine and ends November 30.

If you would like to learn more about what the change would mean, watch the video I recorded in March at FMCA’s rally in Chandler, Arizona where then-club president Charlie Adcock spoke to members


I plan to provide my thoughts in the next week or two, but I would first like to ask you what you think. If you are member of the club, will you vote to accept towables or not? If you are a towable owner, are you interested in joining? The current results tally will appear immediately after you vote.

THE POLL IS NOW CLOSED AFTER 1,772 RESPONSES.

 

 

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Popeye

I voted NO. From a business standpoint I feel the membership in FMCA will decrease even more if the proposal passes. Management needs to improve. The organization is old and tired.

Ken Buck

I bought a 5 year FMCA susbscription when I first bought my MH. I had tried to join before buying my MH, to learn more about what I might want or need, but they only accept memberships from you if you have a VIN number from your rig.

I found that all the “benefits” were subject to seniority. That is, there is a pecking order. The members that have been there longest are running the show. Period. If someone asks a question on one of the specialty forums, the resident expert will answer when he gets to it. If someone else answers, sometimes with the exact same answer, the back patters will wait for the expert and then thank him for his wisdom in helping the newbie, ignoring the person who answered right away.

You will not change their system. When they decide on a course of action, you will bend to their ways. I had a name on one forum which had a number and my last name. The powers that be decided everyone had to use just their name “so we know who we’re talking to”. I resisted taking the number off. (a single digit number) They went in and changed my log in name to match their new system, and sent me a email advising me of my new log in name.

My tag axle diesel pusher uses large expensive tires. When I went to purchase tires I found their Michelin tire program price was identical to what the dealer would sell them to me without the FMCA involved. No benefit there.

I’m a member of a number of organizations. Fraternal organizations and others like my Yacht Club. Even a stuffy yacht club doesn’t compare to the inbred hierarchy of FMCA.

The FMCA had a big “phone call” push a couple years ago where they attempted to call every member and get their ideas. After I told her the items I just listed here, she simply replied “then you don’t want us to send you reminders to renew your membership?” They said they were calling to find out how to change and improve, but she showed absolutely no interest in changing, just wanted to check the box that she’d called.

FMCA is in a death spiral. There is no market for a paternalistic organization like them. Having been retired with my coach for 7 years, 5 with membership and 2 without, I can’t imagine anyone ever spending the money to join once they know how they’ll be treated.

Terry

Impressions are oftentimes everything, even if the impression is inaccurate. I have had the impression that FMCA was the “country club” group, and the pickup driving commoners who had towable RV’s were of a lesser social status. I expect that I’m not alone in that impression. No, I’m not interested in becoming a member.

Coachman

I joined the Family MOTOR COACH Association because it is about and for MOTOR COACHES !! I joined Rotary because it is about being a ROTARIAN. I joined GOOD SAM because it’s about savings and information on RV campgrounds. I joined Passport America because it’s about savings on campgrounds. If I want to take my family on a RV vacation, I do it. If I want a lot of children around, I can go to Jellystone or other family orientated parks… When I go to a FMCA rally, I don’t want to be surrounded by children, bikes,tents, etc. And I prefer the focus of the rally to be about MOTOR COACHES and motor coach related programs, issues, and friendships.

Sharon Naismith

When we bought a class C motorhome, in 2002, we became members of both FMCA and Escapees RV Club.
FMCA is open to not only class A’s, but any motorized RV you can walk through inside of the vehicle from the coach to the cab. That means class A, B, and C motorhomes. It does not mean “motorCOACHES” only! That misconception is something I think FMCA should try to correct, possibly by making its magazine available not only to members and subscribers, but on newsstands, too.
When we first joined FMCA, there were some good perks that went with membership, including travel insurance. As I understand it, those are now gone. They do still have a good magazine, but it’s much smaller than before. They have quite a few active chapters, and hold regional and national events.
Escapees RV Club, on the other hand, has made an effort to attract younger RVing families with a group called XSCAPERS; has an excellent magazine; a directory of RV parks that offer various discounts; a number of Rainbow Parks, run by Escapees, which are open to both members and non-members; several Escapee (SKP) co-op parks, with some rental spaces available, to members only; a very informative web site; many state/province chapters; they have regional and national Escapades; and they run the most impressive mail forwarding system I’ve ever seen (available for a fee). We were so impressed by our experience with the organization we became Lifetime members.
Due to health issues, we’re no longer RV owners. We still receive our Escapee magazines, however, and enjoy armchair RVing through them.
I think FMCA needs to do more to reach out to potential RVers, not only to current RV owners. As I’m no longer actively RVing, I probably don’t have a say in this, but I do think they should continue to stick with being a motorized RV club, as that’s their stated purpose and have a history of being good at it.

artie

will not join

TPM

I would like to know why FMCA’s membership is falling while motorcoach sales are up. My guess is that motorcoach owners don’t see any advantage to being a member of FMCA.

BruceinAZ

I belong to the Escapees, am a lifetime member of Good Sam, and have been a member of FMCA for over 20 years. When we bought our first class A motorhome after owning several truck campers and towables we felt that we had achieved a certain plateau in life and were proud to join an organization that seemed to recognize that achievement and was geared exclusively toward enhancing our ownership experience. As others have mentioned I expect the focus on motorhome related issues will become less prevalent as the membership becomes diluted with a higher percentage of non motorhome owners. At that point it becomes a moot point for me to maintain my membership as it would no longer be much different than the other RV organizations I already pay dues to. In fact just the possibility of this change being considered has made me decide not to renew my membership when it comes due in several months. After all what would be the point or benefit of wasting my money to belong to an exclusive organization called the Family Motor Coach Association if that’s no longer what it is. I expect the next move will be opening membership to tent campers then to virtually anyone willing to pay dues. I think the future of FMCA looks pretty bleak as the generation they’re about to attempt catering to are not joiners for the most part and those that are already have other viable options. I’m sorry to see it fail after all these years but I don’t think the solution is to change the focus on what the core emphasis was for it’s creation in the first place.

Kim

I have a towable. The debate is whether or not they want me. I’m asking, “what’s in it for me”? For me the question is whether I want to be a member or not. I don’t care if you want to be exclusive. In my opinion, that’s your choice and I respect it.

Karin Reilly

As an owner of an A and previously a C, I hate to see discrimination against any camping vehicle. With the insurance to get yourself, your rig and your travelers and the Seven Corner insurance plan included in dues, it’s a good deal even if you’re not interested in joining any local fmca Clubs. I say change the name from motor coach to Family RV Assoc., and welcome everyone!

LeBlanc Randy

I belong to FMCA, and travel with family who has towable no problem there. But why in our society now we must treat everyone the same and you bad for belonging to a group with a specific theme. Why would I want to join an organization that is listed as motorhomes if I had a towable. Makes getting specific information about motorhomes harder. With that logic,crazy as this sounds, why not let the NBA join the NFL (Comprised of athletes). Leave FMCA alone when they pass a by-law stating members may only camp with other motorhomes, then it time to make a change and disown that type behavior.

Hardy Jackson

The only concern is if allowing towables into the group does not dramatically increase membership, then where do we go from there? I understand the issue at hand, but am not sure going this direction will resolve the membership issue.

MikeABQ

I own a TT and I had not heard of this club before and do not know anything about this club, so it is hard to vote yes. Also, since it is losing membership means it has issues. and reading some of the comments above, I had to vote no. Maybe before asking for a vote, a good description of the club and what they plan to do in the future to fix their issues would help.

Bob Robinson,USN Air ret.{30}

I totally disagree with joining the failing FMCA ..as for years & years I was rejected from FMCA from ordering one of their great road atlas book maps for a mere $25 which is a fantastic guide as it shows all campgrounds and so much more with phone #’s in the back and just a great product. My daughter had to order one and lie so I could have the book. You see I have been RV’ing since 12/77 and currently have a $35k Truck Camper plus my $45K truck but wasn’t allowed to buy the book..Now they need us to survive and I say HELL NO ..let a company provide such a publication for poor folks and let the so called wealthy monsters rigs join us and bow down to our standards which are for sure more friendly..They are “SNOBS”.. and Towable & Truck Campers are the best for sure. Truck Camping doesn’t get a fair shake anywhere and we have no problem finding camping spots as we are rejected in most exclusive FMCA campgrounds or RV parks because we may have to park next to a FMCA member and lower their standards ..

Barbara

At first I though that allowing all types of Rv’s in FMCA was a great idea. Then after reading some of the posts on Facebook about problems with towables versus problems with class A’s my thinking changed. If FMCA membership could be separated into two different membership areas (one for A’s and one for towables it might work. My thinking is also about the two different age groups… most A’s are retired folks (no children and a decent income) and towables seem to be the younger people just wanting to camp out and have fun. As in any group of people, i’m sure there are both in either group but the majority seem to lean towards an age separation.

Cheryl

Wouldn’t be Family MOTOR COACH Assc then. Change the name and include who you want. While I belong to several discriminating….yes people it is discrimination….. clubs, I believe that we are one family of camp loving people. Well except for Mike, the guy who posted above and who called me fat; I’m disowning him. :-}

“Face facts the FMCA membership personifies the “Fat, 60 and up” crowd. This membership base is NOT a viable path for the future of this organization.”

Bob Lewis

I vote no. If FMCA becomes an open RV organization then it becomes no different from other all inclusive organizations like Escappees and Good Sams. I would imagine that most Class A motorcoaches are owned by retirees and the older RVers – that has been my personal observation. When I go to an FMCA rally I prefer not dealing with children running around. I prefer adult programming and Class A motorcoach seminars/vendors. FMCA does not need to re-invent itself. It just needs to learn to manage itself within its means.

Lori Singels

I voted against towables being eligible to join FMCA — not because of any snootiness but because towables and nontowables have quite a different base of functioning — i.e., steering, transmissions, driving parameters (speed), tires, weight. We’re all doing the same thing but in different ways, and not that one is any better than another; it’s just that each form of RVing needs a different focus.
I can’t begin to tell you how many RV folks over the last, say, ten years have answered “What?” when I’ve mentioned FMCA and all the bennies it provides and how cost-effective it is.
FMCA needs to do stuff like sending free issues to all repair shops in the USA and three courtesy issues to MH folks whose names appear online in different forums. The base is out there but uninformed. Unfortunately, not all of them think they need to be informed when they’re driving tons of steel along the road.
Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Edward Avance

FMCA needs to 1st get leaders who listen to their members. To think they are going to appeal to the younger melineals is fantasy. NASCAR, NFL, NBA are all trying this approach. This group has an attention span of 60 seconds. FMCA, improve your product, show your members a value for the buck. Presently for 50 bucks a member gets a Motor Home magazine, comprised of 60% ads. Go to their rally, what do you get ? Infomercials panned off as seminars. No thank you. What’s next, hikers, centers, maybe even a politician.

Ev Davis

I opposed opening membership to other than coach owners not because I have an issue with travel trailers or 5th wheels. My concern is that this approach does not address why membership is falling. Doesn’t make sense if RV ownership is growing that FMCA membership is dropping unless there is something wrong with the product FMCA is offering. Opening up the membership to other types of RVs doesn’t fix the problem. It just kicks the can down the road.