Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our First Rally

100_1553What is a rally?  In this context, the best definition I read was: “a gathering with a common purpose”.  Rallies are very popular with many RVers.  There are motor home rallies,   There are rallies of people who pull fifth wheels with Class 7 and 8 tractors.  There are rallies of people from internet RV forums.  For some RVers, rallies are the main use of their RVs.  Well, we had never been to a rally.  But we saw that Escapees, the premier organization of full time RVers that we belong to, would be having an east coast rally that fit with our travel schedule and plans.  So we are attending our first ever rally in Marion, North Carolina, just east of Asheville.

What does one do at a rally?  The first thing we did was have a weighing of our motor home.  Escapees conducts four corner weighing at their rallies.  In our case as we have a tag axle, we had a six corner weighing.  We knew we would be well under our maximum weight ratings, but we wanted to see if we had any uneven loads and we also wanted to be able to adjust our tire pressures to the exact weights they are carrying.  Gary had known how the motor home had weighed coming out of the factory and he loaded it to try to keep the weight uniform side to side on each axle.  I don’t get it.  The only corner weight that is relatively somewhat high is the front passenger side – the corner I sit at.  I don’t weight anything remotely close to what Gary does on the other side.  How can this be.  Well, maybe it has something to do with the big propane tank being over there.  We did find that we were running with a lot more tire air pressure than we need to.  We can lower them at least 10 pounds each and still have plenty of safety margin which should smooth out the ride even more.

100_1554Back to the rally – they have a daily schedule of events and seminars and of course there are socials and pot lucks.  Many of the people attending this rally are full timers so you learn some things from some very experience people.  The RV park is full of Texas and South Dakota license plates, the two main choices of full timers.  The park is a part of the Tom Johnson RV Center.  This dealership is one of the most respected in the country – within an industry that doesn’t always earn great respect.  They maintain two campgrounds, and we are at the rally center which has a large pavilion for rally events.  The rally park is a win-win.  Users get a great facility at a reasonable cost and the dealership which is right next door gets a new influx weekly of RVers to shop for RVs, parts and service.  Tom Johnson has another location near Charlotte that is noted for selling and servicing RVs for the NASCAR circuit.

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