Minot FMCA rally

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Smoky

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Anyone ever been to the FMCA Minot North Dakota rally?

Is this one worth attending?? It would be my first rally in a motorhome.

they are charging $99 for genset only location, and $209 for full electric.

Would this be a good place to try out dry camping with our Onan genset and save a hundred dollars by avoiding the full electric?? Any tips for making this trip a success?? Anyone else going from here?

Ah yeah, dates are August 15-18, 2005.

Smoky
 

BernieD

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Smoky

FMCA hasn't had a national convention in Minot for over 5 years now. It holds 2 national rallies a year rotating around the country and at different venues. Last March it was at Perry, GA, next March in Pomona, CA and August, 2006 in Charlotte, NC.

Is it worth attending?  IMHO the FMCA rallies are ones not to be missed. Nearly every coach builder will be showing their new products (of course you won't be interested  ;D). Nearly every OEM supplier will be there demonstrating their new products. Most of the coach builders and suppliers will have technicians to repair problems, in many cases at no charge. Most of the exhibitors will be presenting seminars on the use and maintenance of their products. IIRC you will have a Spartan chassis, there will be a parts truck there selling maintenance and repair parts at very good prices, a Spartan bare chassis to look at to see where everything is, seminars by Spartan factory people on the maintenance and operation of the Spartan chassis and I'll be around there at times promoting membership in the Spartan Chassis Club :D :D Other manufacturers will be doing similar activities.

Genset or electric? Depends on what you plan to do. If you are going to spend a lot of time outside the coach and know how to monitor and maintain your batteries, go genset. If you are going to be running your A/C all day long, you may want electric (probably a low 30 amp).

Only you can determine whether it is a success or not. You'll be with maybe 4-5,000 other coaches, 10-15,000 people over the course of the rally. Probably 600+ vendors. Weather can be iffy. Register early to get an early entry date, get there early and plan out your schedule carefully. You'll have a lot to see and do.
 

Jim Godward

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Smoky,

August in Minot is usually HOT with a good chance of thunderstorms and the posibility of hail.  That said, I am trying to talk Pat into going.  We do have a Newmar Rally in Red Lodge MT the week before so I may be fighting a losing battle!  VBG

The FMCA rallies are the best!!

Jim
 

Betty Brewer

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Smokey,

As a new RVer I,d say yes to attending the FMCA Rally no matter where it is held.  The seminars will answer many of the questions you did not even know you had.  It is like going to an RV school for a few days.  Since you most likely will not have the need to look at new coaches you can spend you time with the vendors getting the goodies required to  be full time.  You know lounge chairs, portable camp fires, Bamix, pots and pans that stack easily.  Comfortable clothing and jewelry are all on sale.  I have always enjoyed the entertainment.  The one year we sprung for the electric sites the weather was perfect and no AC needed.  The one year we did not buy the electric sight it was scorching hot and  we ran the generator to keep cool.  If I were you I'd  try out the dry camping  features of a  rally.  Have fun.  While they are well attended, everyone is in a good mood so th e crowds don't bother us.  We have also met very nice  people at rallies.

Betty Brewer
 

rhmahoney

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U agree FMCA puts on the best rallys.

For your first one, go with generator parking. and see how you like it. Try electric on a subsequent rally. Then you can better judge the trade-off ov convienience versus cost.

A few years ago, we all would have chosen electric at the Ames Iowa rally where the temp and humidity were each at 100! BernieD's coach at the time had a propane genset and he had to go off and refill 3 or more times!

Find out who else is going and arrange to enter as a group. This makes sitting arround at sundown easy to arrange.
 

Smoky

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Thanks all for such wonderful replies!? I am really excited about this!

My biggest problem will be The Admiral.? Sharon reacted, when I mentioned this, that it would cut into her time with her family in MT.? We plan to only spend July and August each year at "home", but this year we might extend that into the first part of September, if it will help get us to the Minot rally.? If not, I will consider coming with just Sky, my dog.

Re: heat...? I though ND was in the north and would be cool.? If it is too hot to leave a dog inside the coach at times during the day, maybe I should opt for electric?? and are dogs permitted on the premises?? I am told I can run air conditioning off the generator, is this true?

Jim, is Red Lodge anywhere on the way from Kalispell to Minot?? It would be so cool to hit both!
 

Betty Brewer

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Smoky said:
, but this year we might extend that into the first part of September, if it will help get us to the Minot rally.? If not, I will consider coming with just Sky, my dog.

Re: heat...? I though ND was in the north and would be cool.? If it is too hot to leave a dog inside the coach at times during the day, maybe I should opt for electric?? and are dogs permitted on the premises?? I am told I can run air conditioning off the generator, is this true?

Jim, is Red Lodge anywhere on the way from Kalispell to Minot?? It would be so cool to hit both!

Smokey,
Dogs are usually NOT permitted in the displays, though I have seen people carrying little dogs in the vendor booths. YES,  It does get hot up North.  If you need a cool place for the dog to stay home all day , you may need electricity, but  those sites sell out fast and if you want to go that way you should do it quickly.  We have found September to be the most beautiful weather month up here in the Northwest.  Stay a little longer, you won't be sorry.

Betty
in Clark Fork, Idaho
Sunny and 70
 

Smoky

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Thanks Betty on the September info.  In he last half hour my wife was talking with her sister in Kalispell and was agreeing with her on the same thing.  So I guess we stay another month in MT.  :D  I read her this thread and could see the wheels turning.  Now I think there is a very good chance she will be with me at Minot.  I owe this forum more and more each day.
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Smoky

>>My biggest problem will be The Admiral.? Sharon reacted, when I mentioned this, that it would cut into her time with her family in MT. <<

You might try what Betty & I do. We alternate planning years...On her year we do what she wants & on my year we do what I want, that is go to all the rally's.<G>

Terry
At Clark Fork, ID
 

Smoky

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Good idea Terry.  If your Admiral is like my Admiral, she lets you pick the rally on your turn, even though she wants to go there too.  ;)
 

Jim Godward

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Smoky,

>>Jim, is Red Lodge anywhere on the way from Kalispell to Minot?  It would be so cool to hit both!<<

Yes and NO!!  To go to both, you will have to cross MT from North to south and then back again.  Easily 500 miles.  From Kalispell, Minot is straight across northern MT on US 2.  To get to Red Lodge, you could come south through Missoula then east on I-90 to near Billings then south again to RL.  From RL to MInot, north to Billings, then east on I-90 to Glendive and north again to US 2 and on to Minot.  Lots of miles in MT but you will see the country!  VBG 

I can plan several alternatives including a stop in Lewistown and see Ron, or stop in Belgrade and see us, etc.  VBG

I think September is one of the best months in MT IF the weather is good.  There is usually one storm and then the weather is fairly good to at least Halloween although it will freeze nights.  Should be no problem with a Newmar KS.  BG

Let me know if you want me to run alternative trips.

Jim
 

Smoky

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OK Jim.

At this point we will definitely go to Minot.  We may wait until we reach MT before deciding on the additional mileage and time to Red Lodge.  I will look at my mapping software in the meantime.

 

Ron

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Smoky said:
OK Jim.

At this point we will definitely go to Minot.? We may wait until we reach MT before deciding on the additional mileage and time to Red Lodge.? I will look at my mapping software in the meantime.

Great trip to Red Lodge is to park the motorhome in Cody, Wyo and drive the toad North of cody to the Chief Joseph Highway and the Chief Joseph highway to the Beartooth highway and over Beartooth pass to Red Lodge.  Have lunch in Red Lodge then return to Cody via the same route.  Great scenic drive in the toad.  Not recommended for MH travel.  The scenic quality is better than Yellowstone IMHO and others that have been over this route.  While in Cody the Buffalo Bill museum is a great stop.

 

Smoky

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Well I am puzzled Ron, then.

How can Newmar have a rally at Red Lodge if we cannot bring our MHs?  I must be misunderstanding something?
 

Ron

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Smoky said:
Well I am puzzled Ron, then.

How can Newmar have a rally at Red Lodge if we cannot bring our MHs?? I must be misunderstanding something?

Sorry I didn't realize you were going to a rally.  No problem driving to Red Lodge from the Montana side.  The drive I suggested is one to keep in mind if you ever get to Cody, Wyo.
 

Jim Godward

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Ron & Smoky,

>>Great trip to Red Lodge is to park the motorhome in Cody, Wyo and drive the toad North of cody to the Chief Joseph Highway and the Chief Joseph highway to the Beartooth highway and over Beartooth pass to Red Lodge. <<

This is NOT the year for that drive in either direction.  The road is closed and is estimated to cost over $20 million to repair.  There should be some pictures on the web some where but I have not looked for them.  Lots of land slides and washouts!  :-((

We were going to go to Cody after the rally via that road but I don;t thinks so now.

Jim
 

Ron

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Thanks for the heads up on Beartooth.? It is a shame but I think they will get it fixed just don't know when.? Given the Slides on Beartooth pass I guess I had better withdraw my recomendation for this route for now.? :mad:

Details of the slide damage including photos can be found [HERE]

The above link does provide a recommended route between Red Lodge and Cook City and indicates the Chief Joseph Highway to Cody is still open.
 
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