Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | FMCA
This Western Area chapter was formed for owners of a luxury motorhome brand.
By Peggy Jordan, F401999, Associate Editor
Hawkins Motor Coach (HMC) was a manufacturer that produced HMC brand motorhomes from 1984 to 1996. Hundreds of FMCA members who owned HMCs formed the HMC Club chapter in 1987.
"When the club was young, back in the Nineties, we had rallies at Dodger stadium, and we would have 135 coaches, all almost identical; it was quite spectacular," recalled longtime club president Philip Griffin, F128165. Today, approximately half of the chapter members own HMCs, and ownership of this motorhome brand is not a requirement for membership.
That’s not to say that HMCs are forgotten. Hawkins was a luxury motorhome manufacturer that used Gillig chassis, among others, at the company’s factory in Ontario, California. Today, when FMCA members purchase a used HMC, they go to chapter members for advice. "We receive a great deal of contact from HMC owners all over the country with questions," Philip said. A majority of the queries are handled through the chapter's Web site, http://www.hmcclub.com/. (It's interesting to note that Alfa See Ya motorhomes were made in the former HMC facility in Ontario, California, until they stopped production in 2008.)
The chapter also is known for volunteering at FMCA area rallies, and the majority of its rally schedule is built around bigger events. "At the Western Area Rally in Indio, we set up and take down all the tables and chairs in the auditorium," Philip said. They also volunteer at the Northwest Area rally and the annual California chapter Oktoberfest. When FMCA holds a convention at the fairgrounds in Redmond, Oregon, chapter members are seen there as well.
Other 2011 rallies include one that took place in March where chapter members watched the aerial maneuvers of the Blue Angels at a naval air facility in El Centro, California. The chapter’s annual meeting is at Emerald Desert Resort in Palm Desert, California, in November. And in the past, members have enjoyed rolling rallies that have taken them across North America to as far as the Canadian Maritimes.
The HMC Club and the California FMCA HMC chapter have a long history together. In 1989 the California group split off from the HMC Club, but as the years have gone by, the two chapters now complement each other. In fact, more than half the members of each chapter belong to both groups. "We have a joint newsletter that comes out for both chapters," Philip said. "We're pretty close."