Here’s how: Simply arrange for ten rigs (or more) to travel together to any Alumaevent. Collect all ten registration forms from attendees, and send them in with one check for all. (Submitting the complete package of forms with one payment is key.) Then the leader—that’s you—attends for free!
You might already know some RVing friends who you’ll see at an Alumaevent. Gather a few more and your event fees will be waived—plus you’ll enjoy all the camaraderie of a “pre-party” on the way.
Lynda and Jim Polk, President and Treasurer of the Greater Los Angeles Airstream Club, organized a group of Airstreamers to travel together from Southern California to Alumafandango in Oregon. It was the first short caravan for the recently-formed “GLA”, the newest Unit in the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI), and they offer some tips for would-be wagon masters.
- Select a convenient site for your first night on the road—one that’s not too far away. “We came from all points,” said Lynda, “from San Diego, Los Angeles, the coastal region, Ojai—so it was important to find a central location not more than a day’s drive, five to seven hours max, to get there.” The Airstreamers met up in Patterson, CA, “in the middle of nowhere,” and had club-sponsored cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres waiting for them in an air conditioned RV park clubhouse. “When people rolled in tired and hot, they just joined us there,” said Lynda.
- You don’t need to stick together. “The next morning we all just peeled off and went whenever we wanted,” said Jim. “Some people like to leave at five in the morning, others at ten,” added Lynda. “We had an early leaver, and a sweeper that stayed behind to make sure that everything was all right at the campground. Everybody goes at their own pace.”
- Plan an activity or two at each destination. “The second night of our caravan was in Dunsmuir, at a real sweet rustic campground,” said Lynda. “The GLA hosted another get together under the pines, and there was a little creek running in the back. We threw on swimsuits and ran down there and sat in the creek with our drinks and our dogs,” she laughed. Later, the group dined in a private room at nice restaurant. “We took the opportunity that night to welcome new members and hand out their badges,” she said.
- Ask your fellow caravaners to share their expertise. The GLA caravan benefitted from “a little bit of learning on the way,” said Lynda, when experienced members hosted an interior riveting class, and taught others the finer points of changing a tire.
- Stay and smell the roses. “We spent two nights in Dunsmuir so we had a whole day to relax,” said Lynda. “Some folks took off and played golf, others went biking, some went down to the creek, and some were reading or napping under the beautiful tall trees.” Take it easy on your journey, because the Alumaevent you’re headed to will be jam-packed with activities each day (and night).
- Advertise! Use your Airstream community outlets—WBCCI Unit website and newsletter, vintage group, Facebook, Twitter, Airforums, word of mouth—to let people know they’re welcome to join in the fun and encourage them to participate.
- Consider a sponsor, and/or collect a caravan fee. Your home WBCCI Unit, vintage club, or even a product manufacturer might be delighted to help cover expenses, and potentially more. “This was a WBCCI-sanctioned caravan,” said Jim. “If there had been a disaster on the way, we’d of had all their coverage.”
The members of the GLA caravan appreciated the club-sponsored snacks and drinks. “People would still bring along their homemade guacamole and chips,” said Lynda, “but nobody HAD to.” The munchies sometimes ended up being all that people wanted for dinner. “It’s great being together for meals, but not having to cook,” she said. “That gives us more time around the campfire.”
“We’re definitely doing it again,” said Lynda. “We’re already bringing a minimum of fifteen trailers to Alumafiesta!”