By CHERIE ILG HAAS
Getting in touch with an RVer can be pretty tough sometimes. In fact, along with bingo, potlucks, and horseshoes, phone tag may be considered a new recreational pastime. So, when I called the president of Alpine Coach Association, I wasn’t surprised to hear the sounds of travel in the background.
Claudia Gayhart, F26466S, is a busy woman. Alpine Coach Association chapter members had just finished visiting a windmill farm and were on the tour bus and on their way back to the campground when I caught up with Claudia via her cell phone. The chapter was enjoying a get-together prior to the FMCA convention in Pomona, California, in March. In addition to the windmill farm, chapter members visited The Living Desert and an aviation museum, among other activities.
Considering that the chapter formed in September 2002, it’s surprising how many families belong to the chapter “” approximately 350. To be fair, however, the Alpine Coach Association existed before the group received its FMCA charter, and they’ve quickly settled into the groove of being an FMCA chapter. “We all very much believe in FMCA,” Claudia said. She added that the members always put to use the helpful information they glean from the convention seminars, and share it with each other.
For example, “show and tell” is a common rally activity, where several hours are set aside one day for members to invite others into their coaches and share new RV-related projects, storage solutions, updates and changes, and ideas that were inspired by the seminars. “Our members have found so many benefits to attending FMCA conventions,” Claudia said.
And what better way to prelude a convention than with a rally? Alpine Coach Association holds rallies four times a year: two pre-convention, one prior to an area rally, and an informal rally at Quartzsite, Arizona, where they invite friends who own coaches other than Alpines.
As you may have guessed, owning an Alpine motorhome is a requirement for joining the chapter. When asked what makes this coach different from others, Claudia enthusiastically replied, “They’re the best!”
She elaborated by saying that Alpines have a custom chassis, a sleek body style, and quality interior components. They come in four lengths, two of which (36-foot and 40-foot) are available with a mid-door instead of a bus-style front entry. Western Recreational Vehicles, based in Washington, manufactures the Alpine.
Company owner Ron Doyle visited Alpine Coach Association’s March rally, where he answered technical questions and brought along five new Alpine models to display.
Perhaps it’s through the hustle and bustle of an active lifestyle that FMCA members create lasting friendships within chapters. So while phone tag may or may not become a popular sport, we should consider ourselves fortunate to have so many things to do as we travel: lakes to relax by, museums to learn from, and roads to discover.
For more information about the Alpine Coach Association or other FMCA chapters, contact the FMCA Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.
Travel Queen Survivors
Travel Queen coaches are no longer produced, but that doesn’t stop members of the Travel Queen Survivors chapter from enjoying them. And although only five of the 18 members now own Travel Queens, the chapter started in 1990 with 21 owners of this fiberglass motorhome.
Joan Verdi, F168335, newsletter editor, fondly remembers Travel Queen motorhomes. They were a very well made coach when they were built, she said. All-oak interiors and an unusual bullet-shaped nose made them stand out. “When you saw one, you looked at it twice; they were just that different,” she added.
With the exception of a variety of coach brands being allowed in the chapter now, the group hasn’t changed much over the years. At rallies, you’ll find members enjoying happy hours, snacks, and games. These rallies are held two to three times a year, anywhere from the beach to the desert, from big cities to historical areas “” just anywhere to have a good time. “We’re a pretty active group,” Joan said. “We have quite a bit of fun.”
Although most chapter members live in California, all FMCA members are invited to join the Travel Queen Survivors. “We’re looking for new members all the time,” Joan said.
For more information about the Travel Queen Survivors or other FMCA chapters, contact the FMCA Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.