Learn more about your motorhome and the RV lifestyle during the educational presentations at FMCA’s 88th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase this June.
By Doug Uhlenbrock
Education has always been an important facet of Family Motor Coach Association’s mission and an integral part of its international gatherings. At the association’s first annual meeting, held at Fort Ticonderoga in Ticonderoga, New York, in 1964, less than a year after the fledgling organization began, activities included panel discussions regarding the future of the motorhome industry, bus conversions, and sanitary disposal. The gathering also featured a discussion about citizen’s-band radios and an illustrated talk about the manufacture of Frank Dodge Motor Homes. Not a bad start, but nothing compared to the large selection of learning opportunities available to attendees at contemporary Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase events.
During the “Celebrate In Gillette” event, June 19 through 22, 2013, at the CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities in Gillette, Wyoming, FMCA will offer more than 100 separate seminars encompassing technical, educational, product-specific, and crafts topics, including nearly 30 new entries.
FMCA’s seminar lineup covers just about everything a motorhome owner would need to know. From servicing the vehicle to making it shine, attendees receive instruction from industry experts and knowledgeable RV enthusiasts who have years of experience helping motorhomers enjoy trouble-free travel.
Some of the best-attended seminars revolve around technical subjects, and for good reason. Nothing can ruin a much-anticipated trip more than sitting on the side of the road in a disabled motorhome awaiting help, or arriving at a destination and discovering that the waste-water system — and the smell inside the vehicle — is fouled up. During these seminars you will learn the intricacies of the motorhome’s major systems, appliances and equipment; preventive maintenance steps to assure the equipment is in good operating order; and troubleshooting tips to get malfunctioning items back in service quickly.
Sessions about engine and chassis maintenance, generator maintenance and operation, suspensions, refrigeration, and towing are just a few of the topics covered. RV expert Gary Bunzer, author of the monthly “House Calls” column in Family Motor Coaching, will present a quartet of seminars in Gillette that address optimizing the motorhome’s batteries, RV waste management, how to choose your next motorhome, and 10 maintenance tips every motorhome owner should know.
Safety is another important topic, and FMCA offers numerous seminars dedicated to keeping you secure both on the road and while camping. The Recreation Vehicle Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF) will present a pair of seminars to assure that the motorhome and operator are prepared for travel. The “RV Driving Safety Program” provides instruction on how to operate the motorhome safely, while the “RV Weight & Tire Safety” presentation focuses on weighing the motorhome, proper tire inflation pressures, and distributing the load. RVSEF also will provide motorhome weighing services at the Family Reunion for those who wish to receive a detailed weight analysis report. An extra fee is charged for this service. Other seminars cover fire safety, including prevention, extinguishers and their use, detectors, and how to exit the motorhome in a fire emergency.
To make life on the road more comfortable, FMCA has numerous seminars that address the topics of organizing, cleaning, cooking, renovating, and more. Other seminars will detail places to visit, either on your own or through the services of a tour company. Attendees can find out about professionally arranged motorhome tours to places such as Alaska, Mexico, and the Canadian Atlantic Maritimes, and discover leads on great places to take grandchildren, overnight stays at wineries and farms, and other exciting RV destinations.
While advances in Internet and cell phone technology have benefited society as a whole, they have been especially helpful for motorhome owners. Travelers now have telephone, texting, and even Web browsing at their fingertips just about anywhere they go. Seminars in Gillette will help owners of computers and smartphones to understand how these magical machines work, realize their capabilities, and use them to communicate and create lasting memories. Geeks on Tour’s Jim and Chris Guld will present several seminars about how to use your computer to organize and share photos, make movies of your travels, create a blog, and use Google Maps. They also will conduct a session that provides an overview of the smartphone, and will offer a 2-hour class dedicated to taking and sharing images using a smartphone. A fee will be charged for the latter seminar, and class size will be limited.
Attendees also will find seminars that address health matters; driving the motorhome; full-timing; insurance; and more. For those interested in the high-tech version of hide-and-seek, there will be an introductory geocaching class, along with a special cache-finding contest for attendees.
An array of product-specific seminars will be presented by company representatives wishing to introduce a particular product or service. Learn about tours to Russia or Africa, video monitoring systems for your motorhome, and more.
Attendees interested in putting their hands to work making crafts during the Family Reunion can choose from more than a dozen classes. From fashioning kiln-fused glass jewelry to creating hand-designed greeting cards, participants will learn how to make a variety of keepsakes or gifts to bestow on family and friends.
Make sure to check out the “Celebrate In Gillette” program when you arrive at CAM-PLEX for more information about the seminars that will be presented throughout the Family Reunion. Attend one or more of these educational sessions and leave with a better understanding of the motorhome and the travel lifestyle.
Gillette Family Reunion Seminars
The following seminars were scheduled as of press time. Last-minute changes could alter this list. Please check your Gillette event program for dates, times, locations, and seminar descriptions.
Aqua-Hot And Hydro-Hot Heating Systems
Ask The Experts
Basic Principles Of Generator Operation
Cummins Onan Generator Maintenance
Generator Maintenance Roundtable
Optimizing Your RV Battery
RV Battery Fundamentals
RV Waste Management
Spartan Chassis Maintenance
Supplemental Towed Car Braking
Suspensions — Coach Ride And Handling
Technically Choosing Your Next Motorhome NEW
Ten Maintenance Tips Every RVer Should Know
Appliance Maintenance NEW
Aqua Hot Maintenance/Annual Service
Backing And Cornering NEW
Benefits And Limitations of RV Extended Warranties
Best RV Destinations With Grandchildren NEW
Canadian Atlantic Maritimes — Caravan With FMCA Members
Controlling Odors And Water Heater Maintenance
Diesel Versus Gas And Motorhome Selection NEW
Do I Need Mud Flaps?
Dos And Don’ts Of RV Insurance
Exiting The Motorhome In A Fire Emergency
Experience Alaska With FMCA’s Tour Connection in 2013
Finding Your Signal NEW
Fire And Life Safety In Your RV
FMCA Member Benefits
Full-Timing . . . The Dream Of So Many NEW
Getting Started With Rand McNally RV GPS Workshop NEW
Getting The Most Out Of Your Motorhome Adventures NEW
Green Cleaning NEW
Honey, Let’s Clean The RV
Improve Engine Performance And Save Fuel
Insider Cleaning Tips
Interior Refurbishing And Upgrades
Knowing Your Weight Label
Look 10 Years Younger In Less Than 5 Minutes
Making A Difference Through Habitat For Humanity®
Maximum Connectivity — Being Online As An RVer
Microwave Convection Cooking Beginner Basics
Microwave Convection Cooking-On-The-Go
Microfiber Made Easy
Movie Maker NEW
New Technology Of Tire Monitors
Outsmarting Your Smartphone
Overnight Stays At Wineries And Farms NEW
Overview Of Towed Vehicle Braking Systems
Picasa And Picasa Web Albums
Pros and Cons Of Extended Warranty Policies
Quilts For Kids Exhibit
RV Australia And New Zealand — FMCA Tour Connection
RV Destinations Idea Exchange
RV Driving Safety Program
RV Space-Saving Tips & Ideas NEW
RVing To Mexico
Sharing Your Adventure Via The Internet NEW
Slideouts And Leveling NEW
Smartphone Overview NEW
Smartphone Photography Workshop NEW
Sudden Cardiac Arrest And AED
Technology For Travelers NEW
The Ins And Outs Of LED Lighting
Tire Safety And Pressure Monitoring Systems
Understanding Escorted RV Tours
Understanding, Monitoring, And Protecting Your RV Electric
Use This, Not That!
Washing And Waxing Without Water And Ladders
Welcome To Gillette NEW
What Insurance Do I Really Need As An RVer?
What Shocks Do NEW
White Knuckles And Windstorms
Witness The Polar Bear Migration
Women — You CAN And Should Drive Your RV! NEW
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Africa Wildlife RV Safari — FMCA Tour Connection
America’s Greatest RV Rallies For FMCA Members!
Better Diesel-Engine Driving With SilverLeaf Electronics
Great Extended Warranty Policies For Great Prices
RVing Russia: “The Golden Ring”
SkyMed Takes You Home
USA Grand East Coast — FMCA Caravan
Fun, Games & Exercise
Bean Bag Baseball
Bean Bag Toss
Early Morning Workout for All
Beaded Iris NEW
Decorated Bracket Frame NEW
Emery Board Box With Lotion NEW
Gillette Necklace And Earrings NEW
Greeting Cards NEW
Half & Half Bracelet
Magnetic Hematite Bracelet And Earrings NEW
Rainbow Bracelet NEW
Stretch Bracelet NEW
Wild West Bracelet And Earrings NEW