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Opinion: The future of RV rallies

By Jeannine Patané Founder, RV Compass Millennial, Millennial, Millennial! Hitch up and hold on to your seat, it’s going to be an activity-filled ride. With Millennials in the vista of camping, wheels are rolling to the reinvented rally. This is not rocket science — only event planning — but the Millennial is now dictating the atmosphere and quality experience in RV recreation. Addressing some of the distinguishing camper demographics of the 2016 Topline North American Camping Report, ethnicity is now almost a non-issue compared to older age groups, and campgrounds are chosen more based on atmosphere than location. In reference to the younger generations, it was recorded that they heavily rely on social activity and spending time with others when they recreate. It sounds like a perfect group to rally. Baby Boomers have been rallying for decades, but over time, their events have often become more political than fun. As Aristotle pointed out, man is by nature a political animal. Gatherings are not exempt from this. All too often, rallies have been organized by committees, chapters and too many chefs in the kitchen trying to make another potluck happen. If you change your RV brand, don’t return to the rally. It’s the same ‘ole dance. However, there is a tectonic shift happening underneath this complacency, and it already shook up some of the larger, established events. One event that has fallen off the map is called, “The Rally,” sponsored by Camping World/Good Sam Club. They self-proclaim it the “Greatest RV Rally in the World!” Sounds like a giant carnival more than a gathering of like-minded folks. According to their latest rally news online, the last post was over two years ago in Jan. 30, 2015, announcing that year’s Phoenix Rally. The website’s home page spun a 2016 rally opt-out to celebrate Camping World/Good Sam Club’s 50th Anniversary at a store near you, and instead of a future rally, they advertised a super RV show in the beginning of 2017. Like an antiquated circus show, “The Rally” folded up its tents and left town with no explanation. Why didn’t the “Greatest RV Rally in the World!” draw the massive numbers of these record breaking RV sales? At first guess, it was designed too large, complicated, and overly commercial for a camper convergence. The newest RV owner demographic in their smaller travel trailers weren’t even considered. The future of RVing will continue ... Read More »