Supercharge your mental engine and learn more about the motorhome lifestyle by attending seminars presented at FMCA’s Family Reunion in Indianapolis, Indiana.
By Doug Uhlenbrock, Associate Editor
While you may be many years removed from your days of sitting through lectures or studying for exams, you never stop learning. This is especially true when it comes to the motorhome lifestyle.
Perhaps that’s why the seminars presented at FMCA Family Reunions attract such large and captive audiences. Seldom do motorhome owners have the opportunity to tap into the cumulative knowledge base that is present during one of these events. The classes are presented by manufacturer’s representatives, field technicians, and some of the top RV experts in various disciplines, providing attendees the unique opportunity to hear and discuss topics with specialists.
During FMCA’s “Formula For Fun” Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, being held August 27 through 30, 2012, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, attendees will have access to more than 120 technical, educational, and product-specific seminars, along with several exercise and crafts classes. Here’s a preview.
One of the most important motorhome-related topics is safety. While a motorhome may operate similar to a car, the handling, driving, and stopping characteristics are significantly different.
Walter Cannon, executive director of the RV Safety & Education Foundation, will present a pair of seminars specifically for operational safety. During the two-part “RV Driving Safety Program,” attendees learn how to become more conscientious operators according to road, weather, and traffic conditions; better understand the vehicle or combination of vehicles they are driving; and identify their specific driving abilities. His “RV Weight & Tire Safety” class provides detailed information about determining your motorhome’s weight ratings; making sure your vehicle fits within those guidelines; and the correct tire pressures to use in accordance with your motorhome’s weight.
It’s also important that motorhomers protect themselves and their vehicles from the threat of fire. Veteran firefighter Mac McCoy’s “Fire & Life Safety In Your RV” presentation provides information about preventing fires, detection systems, and fire-extinguishing options for the various types of blazes.
Gary Bunzer, the “RV Doctor,” tackles the topic of electrical dangers in the motorhome with his newest seminar, “RV Electrical Safety: The 120-Volt-AC System.” Gary also will present “Optimizing The 12-Volt Battery System” and a pair of plumbing seminars that discuss the fresh water and waste water systems. Gary will be joined by Walter Cannon and FMCA’s Technical Advisory Committee chairman Brett Wolfe for the “Ask The Experts Roundtable,” where they will field questions concerning all types of motorhome-related issues.
Because towing is such a major topic among motorhome owners, several seminars will address the various aspects of this subject. In “Towing Roundtable,” panelists from the major towing equipment suppliers exhibiting at the Family Reunion will take questions and explain the key elements and equipment needed for safe towing. “Overview Of Towed Braking Systems” will discuss the importance of these safety devices and provide attendees with information about the various supplemental braking systems. During the “Beating The Breakdown Blues” seminar, John Hawkins of Miller Industries will demonstrate the proper methods for towing a disabled motorhome, which will provide owners a better understanding of the steps to take should their vehicle require roadside assistance.
FMCA has a robust lineup of seminars that cover a range of nuts-and-bolts topics such as generator maintenance and operation, batteries, and RV satellite setup and use. Representatives from Caterpillar, Cummins, MaxxForce, Allison Transmission, Freightliner Custom Chassis, and Spartan Chassis will be on hand to talk about their products and answer specific questions regarding maintenance and operation.
FMCA’s seminar schedule includes coverage of such topics as cameras, cooking, genealogy, and geocaching. Numerous sessions will provide information about exciting places to visit, either alone or as part of a larger group. Attendees also will have an opportunity to discover information about RV insurance, health issues, cleaning the motorhome (inside and out), full-timing, repair projects, and much more.
Perhaps the most important “appliance” that’s made its way into motorhomes in recent years has been the computer. Besides its word processing and spreadsheet capabilities, a computer makes it possible to check e-mail, surf the Internet, edit and store photographs, create Web pages, and much more. Seminars such as “Apple Computers & The Mac Operating System,” “Designing & Publishing Web Sites,” and “Photo Sharing Online” are just a few of the computer-related classes that will be offered in Indianapolis. In addition, several seminars will be dedicated to discussions of smartphones and tablets for those who already have one or who are thinking about buying one.
The “Formula For Fun” seminar lineup also includes several sessions concerning health and wellness issues, as well as light workout, rehabilitative exercise, and strength-training classes designed to keep travelers in tip-top condition.
Attendees also have the chance to discover a range of interesting products and travel opportunities during the product-specific seminars that will be offered. During these sessions, company representatives will talk about the benefits of their products and services.
The Family Reunion will feature 17 craft seminars at which participants can learn the art of Swedish weaving; create kiln-fused jewelry; design a miniature memory book; and much more.
If you’ve ever wanted to discover more about your motorhome and the travel lifestyle, plan now to attend FMCA’s “Formula For Fun” Family Reunion. It’s a great opportunity to learn while lingering with fellow FMCA members.
Indianapolis Family Reunion Seminars
The following seminars were scheduled as of press time. Last-minute changes could alter this list. Please check your Indianapolis event program for dates, times, locations, and seminar descriptions.
Aqua-Hot And Hydro-Hot Heating Systems
Ask The Experts Roundtable
Basic Principles of Generator Operation
Basics Of Refrigeration
Cummins Onan Generator Maintenance
Driving With The Allison World Transmission
Freightliner Custom Chassis Preventive Maintenance
Generator Maintenance Roundtable
Introduction To RV Satellite And What Is Available
Optimizing The 12-Volt Battery System
Optimizing Your Motorhome Battery System
RV Battery Fundamentals
RV Electrical Safety: The 120-Volt AC System NEW
RV Plumbing – The Fresh System
RV Plumbing – The Waste Systems
RV Weight & Tire Safety
Satellite TV Technical Talk
Spartan Chassis Maintenance
Suspensions — Coach Ride & Handling
Technology & Maintenance Of MaxxForce Engines
100 Years Of RVs In America
Africa Wildlife RV Safari
Apple Computers & The Mac Operating System
Be Safe On The Road — RV Tire Safety NEW
Beating The Breakdown Blues NEW
Boot Camp For RVers
Bugs Bugging You?
Coach-Net Emergency Road Service
Computer Safety & Security For The RV
Controlling Odors/Water Heater Maintenance
Designing & Publishing Web Sites
Digital Diesel Instrumentation & Diagnostics
Do’s & Don’ts Of RV Insurance
Downsizing? Enjoying Travels In A Type ‘B’ Motorhome NEW
Every RVer Needs A Blog
Facebook, It’s Not Just for Kids
Fire & Life Safety In Your RV
FMCA & Member Benefits
Fogged Window Repair
Genealogy — The Next Step
Getting The Most Out of Your Digital Camera
G.R.O.W. — Go Recruiting On Wheels
Health Considerations For Hypertension, Diabetes & Coronary Heart Disease
How To Fraud-Proof Your Life.
If I Only Would Have Known (LED Lighting)
Insider Cleaning Tips
Insurance — Shopping for Insurance Is Not Like Comparing Apples to Apples
Knowing Your Weight Label NEW
Let’s Talk About Dirt NEW
Let’s Talk About RVing NEW
Living With Arthritis NEW
Macintosh Operating System Tips & Tricks
Make Your RV More Energy Efficient With Day/Night Roller Shade Systems
Making A Difference Through Habitat For Humanity®
Microwave-Convection Cooking – Beginner Basics
Microwave-Convection Cooking For Two
Mission Of Mercy — Charitable Adventure NEW
Mobile TV Solutions
Orientation For First-Time Attendees
Outsmarting Your Smartphone NEW
Overview Of Towed Vehicle Braking Systems NEW
Photo Sharing Online NEW
Photo Story 3
Picasa — Getting Started
Picasa Photo Editing Workshop NEW
Posture & Joint Stability NEW
Projects & Repairs With Glue NEW
Quilts For Kids Exhibit
Resolve Your Sugar & Carb Cravings!
RV Australia & New Zealand — FMCA Tour Connection
RV Destinations Idea Exchange
RV Driving Safety Program
RV Homebase — The Ultimate RV Lifestyle NEW
RVing Russia — “The Golden Ring” NEW
RVing To Alaska
RVing Atlantic Canada
Smartphone Hands-On Workshop NEW
Smartphone, Mobile Internets & Tablets
Smartphone, Tablets & eReaders NEW
Tire Basics For The RV Owner
Tire Safety & Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
Trip Planning With Streets & Trips And Google Maps
Weigh Less And Live More
What Insurance Do I Really Need As An RVer?
What The Heck Is Microfiber
Witness The Polar Bear Migration
America’s Greatest RV Rallies For FMCA Members!
Canadian Atlantic Maritimes – Caravan With FMCA Members
East Coast USA
Experience Alaska With FMCA’s Tour Connection In 2013
Exterior Coach Care & How To Restore Your Older Coach NEW
Great Bissell Products For RVers NEW
How To Only Polish & Wax Your Motorhome Every Three Years NEW
No Fuss, No Muss, Just Microfiber
Sick & Tired of Being Sick & Tired NEW
The Mythology Of The Dreaded “Black Streak” Phenomenon NEW
Use This, Not That
Understanding, Monitoring & Protecting Your RV Electrical
USA Grand West Coast-FMCA Caravan
Wood Restoration And Your Motorhome NEW
Fun, Games & Exercise
Bean Bag Baseball
Bean Bag Toss
Early Morning Workout for All
Strength Training Essential For Wellness NEW
Advanced Swedish Weaving
Beginning Swedish Weaving
Designing Your Own Jewelry NEW
Half And Half Bracelet NEW
Jewelry Making The Easy Way
Kiln Fused Glass Bracelet
Kiln Fused Glass Jewelry
Kiln Fused Glass Watch
Making a Canvas Art Picture Board NEW
Mexican Stars Necklace NEW
Miniature Memory Book
MyZaic Custom Mosaics NEW
Paint Along With Josephine
Pearls & Shell Necklace NEW
Pretty In Pink & Lavender Badge/Lanyard Holder NEW
Red White & Blue Necklace