Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | FMCA
By Peggy Jordan, F401999, Associate Editor
FMC magazine, April 2010
Country Coach International (CCI) was established more than 25 years ago as an FMCA chapter for owners of Country Coach motorhomes. Although functioning as an owners club, it has always been a separate group neither owned nor operated by Country Coach, the manufacturer.
Sherry Fanning served as the company's liaison to CCI, which currently has approximately 2,000 member families. She said that for many years Country Coach executives permitted CCI to house its headquarters at the corporate offices in Junction City, Oregon. It was a symbiotic relationship. CCI benefitted from the use of the office space, and its members received fantastic coach service. Repairs were usually provided for free during CCI rallies, with members paying only the cost of parts. The company, in turn, benefitted from a great form of public relations — plus repeat sales from owners.
All of this came to an end when Country Coach LLC was ordered to enter Chapter 7 liquidation by a federal bankruptcy judge and closed its doors in late 2009.
Sherry now manages CCI, which is located elsewhere in Junction City. The chapter's mission is to make sure Country Coach owners know that a support network is available. “Now more than ever, CCI needs to stand up and let people know (we’re here) — give us a try,” she said.
Sherry said that since the bankruptcy, CCI has been working on additional member benefits. For example, although coach repairs are no longer free at rallies, CCI members can purchase an extended warranty plan that entitles them to discounted labor rates.
The chapter is busy putting on some impressive rallies throughout the year. For example, the next gathering takes place May 19 through 23 at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort in Kerrville, Texas. And in October the group will hold a “Fall Party Rally” in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Chapter president Ted Wright, F97624, noted that the rallies often include seminars that educate members about the engines, transmissions, tires, and other critical parts of their coaches. “Of course, food, fun, great entertainment, and touring the local areas play a big part," he added.
CCI has regional groups, too, so that smaller rallies can be held in various parts of the country and members don't have to travel as far to meet. In addition, CCI members can exchange information at the chapter Web site's members-only forum. They also receive a monthly electronic newsletter. Although the company has closed, Country Coach owners can still get the information and support they need.