Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
The FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide has been updated and is now in its 5th edition. The fresh information it contains is ready for your 2008 travels. And you can have a free copy if you recruit a new FMCA member.
We reintroduced the atlas member recruitment reward program in an advertisement that appeared in the December 2007 issue of Family Motor Coaching (page 92). The free road atlas will be sent to you for the first FMCA member family you recruit during the promotion period. The current atlas promotion began December 1, 2007, and will continue while supplies last “” usually this means 18 to 24 months.
The FMCA atlas is not a typical road atlas. It has been designed specifically to meet the needs of motorhome travelers. It contains excellent road maps, but it has several additional features that I think you will find quite informative and valuable in your travels.
FMCA’s full-color atlas contains a comprehensive list of campgrounds, similar to those in major campground directories. The map identifies FMCA commercial member campgrounds, including those that offer discounts to FMCA members, as well as other campgrounds that offer discounts, and campgrounds whose owners have indicated that their facilities are capable of handling larger-sized motorhomes “” in other words, they’re “big rig friendly.”
All of these categories are pinpointed on the map with easily identifiable symbols. In many locations, a single symbol appears, even though multiple facilities are available there. This is done for space reasons, and if you turn to the back of the atlas, you will find locations for each campground in that area, categorized by state and then city. Each campground listing in the back of the atlas is accompanied by the symbol that delineates its type, as well as a list of corresponding phone numbers so you can obtain further information concerning facilities and availability. You certainly can refer to your favorite campground directory for detailed information about the campground should you desire to know more.
Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club Locations
The FMCA atlas has separate symbols to identify locations of Wal-Mart Supercenters, Wal-Mart stores, and Sam’s Club stores on the state maps. In cities and towns that have both a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a Wal-Mart store, a single “Supercenter” symbol is used. More specific information is available on the inside front and inside back covers about the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores located at interstate highway exits. The chart lists the city and state; the type of store; availability of fuel; and the interstate and exit number of stores located within one mile of an interstate exit. Motorhome travelers have found Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations to be very supportive of their needs, both as a spot to stop and rest and as a consistent and readily available source for groceries and supplies that are essential to our travels. The large, well-lit parking areas at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations provide motorhome owners with ample parking space and shopping opportunities, so they don’t inconvenience other shoppers or need to unhook the towed vehicle.
Flying J Travel Centers
FMCA has long been a partner with Flying J and its Travel Centers. Flying J’s efforts in recent years to meet the needs of the motorhoming public have resulted in very desirable facilities where FMCA members can stop and refuel their coaches. The company’s motorhome islands offer propane, diesel fuel, gasoline, and dump stations “” one-stop convenience for the motorhome owner. Flying J’s discounts on fuel and propane only add to the pleasant experience. We have listed all of the Flying J locations on the maps in our atlas. The locations are quite spread out, so using the atlas will make it easier for you to plan ahead for this type of stop.
Cracker Barrel Restaurants
I regularly hear FMCA members talk about stopping at Cracker Barrel restaurants as they travel. I guess, as they say, it’s the kind of place where you and the family can sit down for home-style country cooking and take your time enjoying it. Most Cracker Barrel restaurants are located on major highway systems and are very convenient to interstate exits. They also offer motorhome parking in the rear, but because of the popularity of these restaurants, spots are frequently full of trucks or RVs when you visit. We can’t promise you a parking space, but as a convenience to our atlas users, Cracker Barrel locations are highlighted on the maps.
Best Deal: Free
As I mentioned, you’ll receive an FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide free by recruiting a new member to FMCA. Plus, you’ll receive a $10 merchandise coupon for each subsequent new member you recruit. The merchandise coupon is good toward FMCA logo products or Camping World merchandise. FMCA merchandise is available at FMCA international conventions and area rallies or online at FMCA.com “” click on FMCA Store.
You also may purchase an FMCA atlas through the mail, over the phone, or over the Internet at FMCA.com. In each case, the price is $14.95 plus $5.95 shipping. We also will be offering the atlas for sale at FMCA merchandise booths set up at international conventions and area rallies. Look for this atlas the next time you attend an area rally or convention “” and save the shipping fee.
Although you can purchase this atlas, obviously, we’d much rather give it to you for free. With that in mind, the Membership Services Department has prepared a packet of information we call a “membership tool kit” for you to use in your recruitment efforts. This tool kit will be sent to you upon request. It contains several sheets of information about FMCA and its history, member benefits info, and membership applications. It also includes postcards that your prospects can fill out to receive more information about FMCA and a free six-month subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine “” the best recruitment product we have. Each of these recruitment items has a place for you to write your name and FMCA membership number, so that when the prospective member initiates an inquiry, they become your referral.
To receive your membership tool kit, call the FMCA national office at (800) 543-3622 and ask for the Membership Services Department.
Historically, FMCA’s best source for new members has always been the members themselves. Last year 14,073 new members joined the Family Motor Coach Association, and 41 percent of them “” 5,832 “” were recruited by existing FMCA members.
I once heard a business executive say that he did not want an individual who was not totally familiar with his business representing it. Who better to represent our association than those who already are members and are enjoying the experience and benefits?
It was felt that we should do something special to show our appreciation for your efforts and provide a fitting reward for your continual recruitment efforts on behalf of the association. We believe the FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide is a special product that expresses our appreciation. I hope that you receive your free copy soon.