Learn more about your motorhome and how to utilize it for the most enjoyment by attending educational sessions at the “Great Georgia Getaway” convention.
By Doug Uhlenbrock, Associate Editor
Thousands of motorhomers will descend on the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, March 16 through 19, 2009, for FMCA’s 81st International Convention. During their stay, attendees will be treated to great entertainment, have the opportunity to inspect the latest motorhomes and coach conversions, explore a vast array of RV-related products for sale, and enjoy spending time with old friends while making new ones.
They also will have a chance to attend a broad lineup of informational seminars. More than 100 different classes will be taught, including 30 new sessions, covering a wide scope of technical and educational subjects, along with 13 different crafts classes. So if you plan to be in Perry, make sure to pack extra pads of paper and pens for learning at the “Great Georgia Getaway.”
If Perry will be your first FMCA international convention, you’ll want to grab your convention program and head to the “Orientation For First-Time Attendees” seminar on Monday morning. FMCA executive director Don Eversmann and FMCA commercial services supervisor Maureen Mullarkey will introduce you to all the fun, activities, and opportunities available during the convention.
Mr. Eversmann also will lead several other seminars highlighting the benefits of belonging to the association during the “New Member Orientation,” “FMCA & Members Benefits,” and “Member Recruitment Training” classes. He will be joined by Family Motor Coaching magazine technical editor Jim Brightly for a discussion about “Selecting The Right Motorhome For YOUR Needs.”
Starting With Safety
Safety is paramount each time you start your motorhome, and one of the most important aspects of remaining safe on the road is to know the limits of your coach’s suspension system and tires. The “RV Weight & Tire Safety” session, presented exclusively at the two 2009 FMCA international conventions by the Recreation Vehicle Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF), focuses on how to load and properly operate a motorhome; coach weights and carrying capacity; and factors that affect the life of radial tires. FMCA members can have their coaches weighed as they leave the convention and receive a valuable weight report. Sign up for the service beginning on Monday, March 16, at 7:00 a.m. in the FMCA Information Center, or during exhibit hours at the RVSEF booth (#1147) in the McGill Marketplace. FMCA provides a $15 subsidy to the program, so the cost to members for having their coach weighed is $34.
The “RV Driving Safety Program,” also presented by RVSEF, is a two-session classroom seminar that provides attendees with helpful information and tips to make their driving experience a safer one. The sessions will focus on driver awareness and help individuals gauge their own driving abilities. Those who complete the program may be eligible for a discount on their insurance premiums, depending on their state of residence and insurance carrier. Registration will be held at the RVSEF RV Driving Safety Program booth in the Information Center beginning Monday, March 16, at 7:00 a.m. and will continue until the session is filled. The cost is $20 per person.
During the “Fire & Life Safety In Your RV” seminar, sponsored by FMCA, veteran firefighter Mac McCoy will explain the causes of most fires and how to prevent them. Attendees also will learn about different types of fire extinguishers; gauges and detectors that should be found in every motorhome; aspects of engine and transmission overheating, and more.
Other safety-related seminars will provide attendees with information about tire safety and tire pressure monitoring systems; personal safety tips while traveling; and how to avoid identity theft and fraud.
Attendees interested in how their motorhomes’ various systems work and how to keep them in good operating condition should plan to attend one or more of the technical seminars that will be offered during the “Great Georgia Getaway” convention. During these sessions, industry experts will answer questions and offer valuable tips and maintenance recommendations.
Representatives from motorhome chassis manufacturers will be on hand to provide information about their platforms. Also, officials from diesel engine manufacturers will conduct seminars and provide operating and maintenance information about these power plants.
During the “Towing Roundtable,” a panel of experts will explain how to tow another vehicle safely behind a motorhome and discuss towing equipment, vehicles that can be towed four wheels down, and related accessories. During a separate seminar, “Supplemental Towed Car Braking,” representatives from manufacturers of towed vehicle braking systems will explain how their products work.
Other technical subjects covered in seminars will address steering and suspension issues, generator maintenance, electrical systems, satellite television, tires, refrigerators, and more.
While safety and technical issues are important aspects of motorhoming, the lifestyle is also about the activities and adventures available as you roam. And FMCA’s slate of educational seminars covers a broad range of topics, one or more that are sure to attract your interest.
Want to go someplace you’ve never been before? Attend one of the many travel seminars where you can find out about RV excursions to Alaska, Mexico, Atlantic Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, and along the Great River Road Scenic Byway. Up for a game of high-tech hide-and-seek? Then grab your handheld GPS and learn more about the fun and exciting world of geocaching, now offered as an introductory seminar as well as an advanced seminar.
Many motorhomers have discovered the practical aspects of including a computer in the RV during their travels. During the “Great Georgia Getaway” convention, several seminars will cover the basics of using one, steps to keep your computer safe, and how to create your own Web pages and blogs. Learning sessions also will focus on how to access and use many popular programs available for free, such as Google Earth, Photo Story 3, and Picasa.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a full-timer, but aren’t quite sure what’s involved, you can get answers from the “Full-Timing Panel,” a group of folks who already enjoy this lifestyle. You also may have questions about the financial aspects of living in your motorhome, which can be addressed during “How Much Will Full-Timing Cost?”
The seminar lineup also will include a bevy of sessions related to health and wellness; cleaning the motorhome; money management; basic maintenance; benefit programs available to FMCA members; craft make-and-take classes; and more.
Whether you’re interested in learning more about your motorhome or how to make traveling more enjoyable, the seminars presented during the “Great Georgia Getaway” will provide the information you need to make the most of your RVing experience.
Perry Convention Seminars
The following seminars were scheduled as of press time. Last-minute changes could alter the list. Please check your convention program for dates, times, locations, and seminar descriptions. Sessions listed in italics are new seminars.
Aqua-Hot And Hydro-Hot Heating Systems
Basics Of Refrigeration
Detroit Diesel Engine
Driving With The Allison World Transmission
Freightliner Custom Chassis Preventive Maintenance
Generator Maintenance Roundtable
High-Definition TVs, LCDs, And Plasma Displays
Increasing Fuel Economy By Reducing Resistance
Introduction To RV Satellite 101
RV Charging Systems
RV Diesel 101
RV Electrical Circuits
RV Inverter/Charger Systems
RV Weight & Tire Safety
Satellite TV Technical Talk
Steering, Suspensions, Coach Ride & Handling
Spartan Chassis Maintenance
Supplemental Towed Car Braking
What Every Motorhome Owner Should Know About Tires
Workhorse & Late-Model Chevrolet Chassis Maintenance
5 Insider Tips On Saving Money On Your RV Insurance
100 Years Of RVs In America
Advanced Geocaching 201
All About RVing
Avoid The Brain Drain
Basic Battery Maintenance: A Non-Technical Presentation
Basic Training For RVers
Care And Purchasing Fine Jewelry
Chapter Secretary And Chapter Treasurer Seminar
Cleaning Tanks, Sensors, And So Much More
Coach-Net Emergency Road Service
Computer Boot Camp
Designing And Publishing Your Own Web Site
Digital Camera Photo Tips
Engine, Air Conditioning, And Refrigeration Maintenance
Enhance Your RV Lifestyle
Features Of FMCA.com
Fire & Life Safety In Your RV
FMCA & Member Benefits
Fraud-Proof Your Life
Go Green “” Extend Boondocking With Tank Saver Technologies
Great River Road By RV
Green Cleaning With Microfiber
Health Considerations For Women
Honey! Let’s Clean The RV
How Much Will Full-Timing Cost?
Insider Tips For Cleaning Coaches: Professional Secrets Revealed!
Introduction To Geocaching 101
Joint Health & Living With Arthritis
Knee, Hip, & Ankle Health
Learn The Ins & Outs Of Campground Memberships “” Save Money, Time, And Confusion
Making A Difference Through Habitat For Humanity®
Managing Digital Photos With Picasa
Maneuvering Around The Investment & Economic Bumps In The Road
MEDEX “” The Travel Program That Provides Travel Assistance, Emergency Evacuation, And Repatriation
Member Recruitment Training
Mexico By RV
Microwave-Convection Cooking “” Beginner ABCs For Sharp Oven Owners
Microwave-Convection Cooking On-The-Go
New Member Orientation
Orientation For First-Time Attendees
Photo Story 3
Practice Safe Computing
Prostate Cancer And Erectile Dysfunction
Protecting The RV Electrical System
Protecting Your Windshield Against The Elements & Flying Objects
RV Driving Safety Program
RV Electrical Circuits
RVing Atlantic Canada
RVing In Europe
RVing To Alaska
Saving Money With A Quality Windshield Chip Repair
Selecting The Right Motorhome For YOUR Needs
Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda “” Safety Tips And Other Things You Must Know
Take The Mystery Out Of Chapter Bylaws
Tire Safety & Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Travelfit & Back Pain
Traveling To The Scandinavian Countries
Understanding, Monitoring, And Protecting The RV Electrical System
Why Tire Monitoring Systems For RVs And Towed Vehicles
Windows Vista “” What’s New
Wrinkle-Free RV Laundry
23 Psalm Bracelet
Fleece Pin Cushion
Folded Fabric Ornament
Invisible Machine Applique
Needle Turn Applique
Paint Along With Josephine
Pens & Painting
Silk Painting & Sun Catcher
Think Spring Necklace
Travel Memory Box
Fun, Games & Exercise
Early Morning Workout For All