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Thursday
Sep142006

Our First FMCA Convention

Someday we want to move up to a larger RV as we plan to go on the road for 3-6 months at a time once Tom retires.  For longer trips we really need more space in the bedroom and we’d like a tag axle coach (6 rear tires vs 4).  The extra tires provides a smoother ride and allows us to carry more stuff - safely. Most likely we’d would get a 42’ or 45’ coach - today we have a 40’.  The extra length - and extra slide in the bedroom would satisfy our space needs for sure. 

Like most RVers we are always looking at new or different coaches and last month we attended the largest RV show we have ever seen.  The FMCA convention in Charlotte, NC.  FMCA sponsors 2 conventions a year and since Charlotte is only live 3 hours from our home we could not skip this one.  Only problem is - the show is mid-week vs. weekends so Tom had to use a couple vacation days.

FMCA Charlotte.JPGWe heard stories that FMCA shows are huge — and wow - it was just incredible. Over 3K owners brought their coaches and parked onsite.  The RV dealers and manufacturers brought 1K+ new coaches for the exhibits.

I snatched this pic from the FMCA website.  This is a good example of what it looks like to park at the convention.  If you can imagine - several large fields of coaches setup just like this.  Amazing.

Walking through the exhibit coaches was fun but getting there was exhausting.  You need good walking shoes and a 20 year old body.  I had the shoes.  They had several golf carts, trolley cars, buses to help you get to the exhibits locations - thank the Lord. 

We did not stay onsite.  I considered it as it sure would be convenient, but they offer limited electric sites.  I knew without electricity we would be sitting in a field of RVs with generators running over several days.  That did not appeal to us.  Instead we stayed at Dan Nicholas County park in Salisbury, NC - 35 miles from the convention.  A bit of a drive - but it worked out OK.   There was a huge thunderstorm one night and we heard some of the RV parking areas @ the convention flooded.  Rumor has it one was swept into a creek.  Good Lord.

Here are a few pics of our site @ Dan Nicholas.  201966-469042-thumbnail.jpg A nice campground - though getting into this site took some maneuvering.  That Tom, he is getting pretty good at parking this monster - huh?  he he.  201966-469102-thumbnail.jpgLook at those trees. 

This assigned site was a reservation mess-up.  But since we spent most of our time @ the convention - we just stayed put.  You can read my entire review of this campground here.

We spent the nights @ Dan Nicholas and our days drooling over the 2007 Mountain Aire.  Well we did look at many other coaches - but returned to this one often.  We first saw this coach in Wilmington, NC.  And lucky for us we were able to see the exact floorplan we would choose - a 3 slide coach. Some pics below.

201966-469173-thumbnail.jpgMost RVers prefer 4 slides - and that is predominately what you can get today.  We are odd balls i guess. 201966-469175-thumbnail.jpgWe don’t want a slide to intrude on our patio area.   This coach has 2 slides in the bedroom and night stands around the King bed.  Plenty of room and 1 slide in the front living area.  The only issues we had - the bathroom vanity is too low, it does not have a tub, and the outside TV is not in the right spot and we would want a euro recliner and table on the patio side vs. a sofa.  The Newmar rep said they could fix all of these things.  Overall we were quite pleased with Newmar and their willingness to make changes to the coach if we ordered one. 201966-469194-thumbnail.jpgOur current  manufacturer, Tiffin Motorhomes, will not do this even on their higher end units. *sigh*  Sure wish Tiffin would be more flexible - because we love our Bus and are happy with the quality and the company. 

While it was wonderful to see this coach and we would love to own one - 201966-469197-thumbnail.jpgit’s just not the right time for us.  Geez — our Bus is only 1 year old.  It’s just a baby and Tom has several more years until he retires.   So - it remains a dream for now.  But it was sure fun looking and we will keep watch over what manufacturers do in the years to come.   

Reader Comments (8)

That is gorgeous!!! Do I dare ask what the price of something like that is?
I love the shower.
Tom is certainly getting the hang of handling that big rig!! LOL
September 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
Very nice. Have a great weekend. ;)
September 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike
♫ Dream a little dream for me...♫

♥Pam
September 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPam
Oh pooh, those boxes are supposed to be music notes...dang things.
♥Pam
September 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPam
That looks pretty cool alright Lucy, but then so does your present bus.
September 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPeter
So do you have to stand outside the RV and make hand signals to help Tom get it backed in like that???
September 17, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdeb
Julia - The Mountain Aire lists around $450K. One thing you quickly learn on the RV forums - you can usually get 25-28% off new motorhomes. So the real price is between 311 - 324K. We would obvioulsy get some $$ for our current Bus - but each year it would be less. This is an extreme dream for us. By the time we are ready to trade up there will be something else in our price range. There has to be, cuz we would have to win the lottery to buy this. :-)
September 18, 2006 | Registered CommenterLucy
Lucy, how funny you posted this. Jim and I were thinking about switching to a MH, and the Newmar was what we looked at. But, even with 4 slides, the space just doesn't work out right for us. They are definately more convenient to move around in than a 5th wheel!
September 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

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