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Author Topic: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement  (Read 2686 times)

John From Detroit

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2017, 04:52:06 PM »
I can give you a very good reason for Joining FMCA.  First they now offer a more or less "paperless" membership so you don't have tons of fire lighter  to process (Junk mail)

Second.. I just put USED tires on my RV (no help there) but in another year or two I'll drop a brand new set of Michelins in this beast.   FMCA has a 'Discount' Program.. The Discount will pay for my membership... FOREVER.   And that is just one set of tires.
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ArdraF

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2017, 05:08:52 PM »
Let me say right up front that I haven't decided one way or the other.  I can see both sides of the issue.  It's sad to see some comments being taken personally because staying as "motorhome only" has nothing to do with whether we want or don't want towable owners, but as someone else said we often (usually?) have different technical needs.  That's why our RV Forum has different boards for Motorhomes, Trailers, and Truck Campers, but we all come together in the other boards dealing with rallies, the Shade Tree, destinations, towing, and the various hobbies that interest us.  When we have rallies I don't care one bit what kind of rig you have - but I do care what kind of person you are.  If FMCA does include other types of RVs I can see the expense of rallies increasing because seminars on diesel engines may not be of much interest to trailer owners who might want their own seminars on subjects that interest them.  Maybe it would be helpful to look at FMCA seminars and see which ones might be of interest to everyone, regardless of the type of RV they own.

There are other factors too.  The idea of "motor coach" would be diluted so the organization's name might change which would mean a magazine name change, magazine content changes, and office expense changes such as for stationary.  It could be more costly than it's worth.  Lots to think about!

ArdraF
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Lou Schneider

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2017, 05:23:32 PM »
Twenty-odd years ago I showed up in Quartzsite in a beat-to-death, parts falling off $400 Itasca Class C motorhome.  On a whim while in the Big Tent I joined FMCA.

No one asked to look at my RV, I paid my money at the booth and was in.

That same year George Jannini also was at the Quartzsite rally in a very nice VW campervan.  After I signed up, he went over and attempted to join.

He had to submit his campervan to an inspection by a "technical committee" who determined he didn't qualify for membership because his rig used a porta-potti and did not have "stand up access" from the living quarters to the driver's seat.

What a humiliating experience!

That, in a nutshell, is what I consider wrong about FMCA and why I let my membership expire after that initial year.  For decades the club was run in an exclusionary manner - as George's experience showed, you needed the right kind of RV (and probably a secret handshake) to have the privilege of joining their esteemed ranks.

It's only now that their members are aging out, causing the club's membership numbers to fall like a rock towards unsustainable levels that they are even considering letting those other, lesser RV owners in to prop up the organization.

You can darn well bet if their numbers were still good, you wouldn't be hearing anything about admitting those "lesser" towables.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 05:59:13 PM by Lou Schneider »

ArdraF

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2017, 05:36:09 PM »
Interesting viewpoint, Lou.  I remember George but not the VW.

ArdraF
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Lou Schneider

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2017, 05:42:51 PM »
George had a nice Westfalia pop-top camper based on the later model, water cooled VW bus.  It was immaculate and he was very proud of it.

Oldedit

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2017, 05:49:22 PM »
I think that is a given if it is opened up to the entire RVing community. Whether it would be inferior or superior remains to be determined, but there is a fundamental difference in that FMCA is a non-profit owned by its members while GS is a for-profit business operated for the benefit of its stockholders rather than for RVers.

For FMCA, it boils down to survival. They cannot afford the infrastructure and services they want to provide with the declining membership. If they have to cut services, they lose even more members. They have not been successful attracting younger MH buyers, so hoping to do better with towable owners. Widening the market is bound to help some, but may not be sufficient for the need. If many MH owners don't feel the need for FMCA services & benefits, why will towable owners feel any different? Especially since their demographics are much like the MH owners who do NOT choose FMCA (younger, family-oriented, etc).

FMCA has also suffered a major financial setback with the declining revenue from their excellent magazine. It used to provide a strong revenue stream that was used to fund extra services, but advertising is way down as buyers flock to the internet for info and the manufacturers concentrate their ad budget on interactive media. FMCA's print magazine is probably doomed, just like most other print media.

Since we no longer own an RV or belong to FMCA, our dog isn't in this fight. In my opinion, though, adding towables won't really solve any problem for FMCA. However, it might be good for RVing to have an honest competitor for GS, and RV owners surely could use a voice that speaks for them rather than for improved profits in the RV industry. The latter, however, means that FMCA would have to become much more proactive in RV affairs, a role they have previously shunned.

Excellent comment. To us, FMCA is the magazine, which is shrinking for the reasons outlined above. If the magazine has to serve motorcoach and towables members, we'll all go to the internet more and more, as if that is possible.
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Paul & Ann

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2017, 06:03:53 PM »
I can give you a very good reason for Joining FMCA.  First they now offer a more or less "paperless" membership so you don't have tons of fire lighter  to process (Junk mail)

Second.. I just put USED tires on my RV (no help there) but in another year or two I'll drop a brand new set of Michelins in this beast.   FMCA has a 'Discount' Program.. The Discount will pay for my membership... FOREVER.   And that is just one set of tires.

A few years ago I signed up with FMCA primarily to get the tire discount.  The amount of savings would have paid for my membership for about 5 years.
Paul & Ann  Iowa
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SeilerBird

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2017, 06:30:19 PM »
Speaking of VW campers have you seen the new electric VW camper?  Not due out until 2022.

https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/21-27-august-2017/volkswagen-reimagines-vw-camper-van-design-classic-21st-century/
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Lou Schneider

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2017, 07:36:02 PM »
Looks nice, but I didn't see anything "camper" about it.  Just an electric minivan that wouldn't qualify for FMCA membership.  :(

RedandSilver

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2017, 08:49:51 PM »
There are many benefits to joining FMCA.  ($50/year or less if you buy more than one year at a time.)

One is their Assist program - if you fall sick or ill or have a heart-attack they will arrange for your vehicle to be returned to your home
and when ready, will get you home too.  That's included in the membership.
There are 2 companies that offer tire discounts through FMCA. There is a magazine which still has useful info in it.
And there are the international rally's which have a lot of seminars that give you info that you might not get anywhere else.
Roadside Assist is $109/year.  And that is just a few of the benefits.

I think for the fairly small investment it's worth the membership fee.

I don't think if they add towables the name will change either which might be good or bad.  They have a copyright on the logo and
are not going to change it or give it up if towables are allowed.

I'm on the fence too.
I haven't read the proposed amendment yet so I don't know enough to vote yet.


And for what it's worth I don't think it's being stuck-up to not allow them (like it is now) as we all know many many people start
very small and upgrade over and over and finally get to a Class A - but to say I'm not going to join because I couldn't before is Silly IMO.
Like I said I think the benefits are worth the small investment for dues.
Personally for the record I have nothing against anyone that wants to camp.

 
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Larry N.

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2017, 09:41:24 AM »
Quote
One is their Assist program - if you fall sick or ill or have a heart-attack they will arrange for your vehicle to be returned to your home
and when ready, will get you home too.  That's included in the membership.

This was my prime reason for joining FMCA and is the main reason I still belong (I almost quit when they dropped that benefit for a while- thankfully it came back). Anything else is a perk, to me. I don't much care whether trailers/towables become allowed or not. But I agree with others that feel the motorhome-only aspect isn't snobbishness (even if some affected that trait), but practical -- the same reason there are separate trailer and motorhome magazines on the market (I don't hear anyone calling THAT snobbish).
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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BigJohn

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2017, 10:01:13 AM »
I camp with people that have all kinds of equipment. I have been a FMCA member since 1994. Never understood the MH only requirement. Campers are campers. The rallys have become rather stale. I think new blood will be good for the org. I will be voting for the change.
Out wandering. Just can't wait to see what's over the next hill.
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blw2

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2017, 11:09:30 AM »
I guess I look at it much like Big John

...... That's why our RV Forum has different boards for Motorhomes, Trailers, and Truck Campers, but we all come together in the other boards dealing with rallies, the Shade Tree, destinations, towing, and the various hobbies that interest us. ......
ArdraF

Which illustrates my perspective exactly ....  While I'm aware that someplace buried on the forum there is some way to limit my view to these more narrow topic areas, I honestly have never looked at it.  I log in to see everything new since my last visit.  I'm interested in RVing.

That being said, I certainly don't want to push my broad agenda on someone else... & I can certainly understand folks wanting to stay more "focused"

I joined FMCA after my previous insurer jacked the rates.  I was able to get a much better rate through FMCA...and honestly I never even noticed that they excluded other rv forms.

eh...just doesn't matter to me....
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
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Mile High

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2017, 12:24:52 PM »
Hopefully the vacancy I leave will be filled with 5 new towable members if that's what they want.
Brad and Dory
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kdbgoat

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2017, 12:36:43 PM »
Hopefully the vacancy I leave will be filled with 5 new towable members if that's what they want.

I wouldn't just jump ship at the first big wave that came along. Ride it out a bit to see what effect it really has on you first.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2017, 01:01:42 PM »
Quote
He had to submit his campervan to an inspection by a "technical committee" who determined he didn't qualify for membership because his rig used a porta-potti and did not have "stand up access" from the living quarters to the driver's seat.

That's a fact, but I don't see it as humiliating.  There are quite a few Class B's that don't qualify, and even some C's. They don't ask if it's pretty or new or expensive, but it has to qualify as a "motorhome" and merely having an engine somewhere in the rig is not sufficient.  The FMCA ground rules have required coaches to be "self-contained" since its founding and that technical definition includes a built-in toilet rather than a porta-potti. It also includes self-contained power, fresh & waste water holding tanks, and other technical attributes.

If they choose to include towables, those who own park models and pop-ups will will likely have a similar problem, since they typically do not include one or more of the "self-contained" attributes such as holding tanks and off-grid power systems.

By the way, George & Joann have been good friends of ours for 20 years and we have often camped together. And they park their Vanagon in our yard when they drop by for a visit.
Gary
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Tom and Margi

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2017, 01:17:40 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, that same year or perhaps another, year George and JoAnn were asked by officials to leave the RV Forum parking area at Quartzsite and move the VW Van to within X number of feet of a portable john. 

jayc2640

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2017, 05:28:35 PM »
As a new rv'er, I'm not a member of FMCA (yet).  I have been thinking about joining, but this thread has given me second thoughts.  Not because towable owners are being considered for membership, but about the fact that most of the funding for FMCA comes from a magazine that is dying.  Several people have posted that the funding for many of the benefits of FMCA comes from the magazine.  With that funding going or gone, the benefits will follow.  Then it doesn't matter how many members they have, there will be no reason for them to stay.

This is my impression from info I got from this thread.  I may be wrong.  What does everyone think?
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John From Detroit

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2017, 05:43:49 PM »
I would not be so sure the magazine is dying.  More like it is changing.. You see in this age of computers many magazines now find that publishing an ELECTRONIC downloadable version is

1: Less expensive (You do not pay for paper,, INK, or postage) and two Well Received,,, (The Subscriber/Member does not have to stow the dang thing or pay postage to forward it) I'm "paperless" with FMCA.,

and as I said above.. When I put new rubber on this ride .. My Membership will be paid for for LIFE multiple times over .
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John Beard

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2017, 05:58:32 PM »
I understand your point John, I just don't need a whole new world. I love the one I have.

I understand.
John & Susan
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Tom

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2017, 06:20:10 PM »
Quote
... George and JoAnn were asked by officials to leave the RV Forum parking area at Quartzsite and move the VW Van to within X number of feet of a portable john.

For clarification Margi, I assume those were officials of BLM, not The RV Forum  ???
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BigJohn

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2017, 06:58:59 PM »
Brad, I hope you and others that are considering leaving FMCA reconsider and give the org an opportunity to welcome the new members and to continue to provide to all members the services and benefits they have in the past.
Out wandering. Just can't wait to see what's over the next hill.
Not all who wander are lost.

Tom and Margi

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2017, 07:12:58 PM »
For clarification Margi, I assume those were officials of BLM, not The RV Forum  ???

Absolutely!  I'm not sure whether they were BLM Rangers or Camp Hosts, but they definitely were asked to move.  RV Forum members would not have done that.  At the time George and JoAnn were a very active pair on the RV Forum and participated in many activities in many different places.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 07:17:11 PM by Tom and Margi »

SargeW

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #53 on: August 24, 2017, 08:42:07 PM »
Maybe FMCA rather than "dilute" their MH base, should consider adding a sister club, say something like "FTCA, Family Trailer Coach Association".  The two groups could be "blended" for some rallys, and some not. Make many of the benefits cross over, tires, roadside assistance, heath care, ect. 

Push the point that the club is all about RVing, in whatever you do it in. The life blood of the FMCA is aging out, and there is a strong need to get more younger family's involved. It is a testimony that it is not uncommon for us to visit a campground, especially a state park or COE campground and discover that we are the only MH among 50 towables.

Winnebago had an issue like this come up about 5 or so years ago when their own club, WIT - Winnebago/Itasca  Travelers decided to allow towables.  Winnebago had purchased Sunnybrook RV and started making and branding Winnebago towables.  Now any Winnebago or Sunnybrook towable  is welcomed at the "GNR- Grand National Rally" in Forest City each year.  They made the jump and lived through it.
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rls7201

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2017, 09:22:49 PM »
My concern is this will take the emphasis off motorhomes, and motorhome specific issues, and turn it into another Good Sam's style RV club, just one that is inferior to Good Sam's.  While there are commonalities between Towables and Motorhomes, there are also significant differences, and I feel it is important to cater to those motorhome specific needs.

And your concern can be addressed by each chapter, IE Trek chapter, Freight Liner Chapter, etc.
If the vote passes to open the FMCA to all, then each individual chapter can do a AYE or NAY to accept others.
The FMCA president (Charlie Adcock) has been a bundle of energy in his support for the FMCA. I only wished all of you could have heard his speech in Chandler, AZ this year.

I was the go to guy of a Commodore user group, many years ago and we started seeing decline. I argued for acceptance of other brands and won. Lucky us, The Commodore North User Group (CNUG) was renamed Computers North User Group (CNUG) and we survived many more years. CNUG was all about computers and FMCA can and is all about RVers.

The FMCA has a variety as it stands now. I can park my 22 year old Bounder right next to your new high end diesel coach and lower your property value, any time I want.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 09:48:08 PM by rls7201 »
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Isaac-1

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #55 on: August 24, 2017, 09:30:28 PM »
Perhaps, but I still see it as potentially diluting the regional / national rallies, as well as other content.  For example if towables are allowed, then we will see a certain percentage of the vendors, seminars, etc. at the rallies focusing on the interests specific to towables, and given that towables account for over 75% of the RV industry, opening FMCA to towables, may be the first step towards killing off the things that make the FMCA interesting to motorhome owners.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

rls7201

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2017, 09:52:27 PM »
Perhaps, but I still see it as potentially diluting the regional / national rallies, as well as other content.  For example if towables are allowed, then we will see a certain percentage of the vendors, seminars, etc. at the rallies focusing on the interests specific to towables, and given that towables account for over 75% of the RV industry, opening FMCA to towables, may be the first step towards killing off the things that make the FMCA interesting to motorhome owners.

So you are closed minded to other aspects of RVing. Look around you might be enlightened. Maybe you might just learn something that will benefit you.
Richard  & Michele Shields
& Eg the Bounder Cat
Gladstone, MO
95 Bounder 32H F53
460/528 stroker

Isaac-1

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #57 on: August 25, 2017, 12:39:26 AM »
I am not closed minded to other aspects of RV'ing, I just happen to own a motorhome, so don't want to see rallies and conventions that currently cater to motorhome use start featuring seminars on things like how to properly use a weight distributing hitch.

If the towables owners want to start their own towable only organization and feature these things, I have no problem with it, I also have no problem with more inclusive groups like Good Sams including it in their events.

Note I am a member of both Good Sams and FMCA.

p.s. I am in no way against towables, in the past I have even strongly considered buying one, I just don't want to see the only group out there currently dedicated to the specific issues of motorhome owners become a general RV group.  This is not to say that I agree with all things done by FMCA in the past, and while the FMCA has lots of room for improvement, I just feel opening it to towables is going the wrong direction.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 12:43:13 AM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #58 on: August 25, 2017, 08:35:40 AM »
The loss of magazine revenue is now old news, so I think the present level of benefits reflect the current revenue, which includes membership dues as well as magazine ad revenue.  As for joining now or not, you are only gambling the $10 initiation fee. Otherwise, it's just annual dues, so you can quit whenever you feel it is not for you.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

blw2

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Re: FMCA ballot to abandon motorhome only requirement
« Reply #59 on: August 25, 2017, 09:25:21 AM »
Maybe FMCA rather than "dilute" their MH base, should consider adding a sister club, say something like "FTCA, Family Trailer Coach Association".  The two groups could be "blended" for some rallys, and some not. Make many of the benefits cross over, tires, roadside assistance, heath care, ect. 

Push the point that the club is all about RVing, in whatever you do it in. The life blood of the FMCA is aging out, and there is a strong need to get more younger family's involved. It is a testimony that it is not uncommon for us to visit a campground, especially a state park or COE campground and discover that we are the only MH among 50 towables.

Winnebago had an issue like this come up about 5 or so years ago when their own club, WIT - Winnebago/Itasca  Travelers decided to allow towables.  Winnebago had purchased Sunnybrook RV and started making and branding Winnebago towables.  Now any Winnebago or Sunnybrook towable  is welcomed at the "GNR- Grand National Rally" in Forest City each year.  They made the jump and lived through it.

I think that would be an excellent solution.
I find this whole discussion somewhat interesting.  I'll add a bit to what I said earlier
I joined solely for insurance benefit.  Once I joined though, I looked into the social aspects a bit, thinking that DW might enjoy that and perhaps bolster her RV interest.... since she's the social one.  But looking at the pictures posted for our local chapter, and others, it doesn't really seem like there's others in our demographic involved..... while at 50 I'm closing  in on it by age, my youngest kid is still quite young.   Looks to be more of a grandparent type membership

And regarding the magazine... I now get theirs + the one from GS.  Every time I thumb through them I think how dated of an experience it is.  It takes me just a few minutes to thumb through.  Might find an article that is interesting or relevant, or I might not. I spend more time almost looking at the adds, and sometimes even find one that triggers me to go visit the advertiser's web site.... most mostly it's a quick perusal and into the recycle bin.
   With online forums like this I consume exponentially more content each month....and more up to date and even more relevant.... than the few items that make publication each month
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

 

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