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Perry Registration Is Open!

Finally, registration for FMCA’s 97th International Convention and RV Expo, scheduled for March 15 through 18, 2018, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter is open. Click Here to register.

Keep your coach info up to date!

In order to better serve you, we ask that you please update the Coach Make/Manufacturer field in your Membership Profile at your earliest convenience if you have not already done so.

To All Our Friends in South Texas, Louisiana and Florida

Here at FMCA our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. These include the area residents, victims, first responders, and citizens who have stepped in to assist their neighbors.

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma: Looking for resources or ways you can help?

1. Make a Donation
The following organizations* are accepting donations for South Texas and Florida relief efforts.
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org (https://www.redcross.org) or call 1-800-HELP-NOW (800-435-7669). Or text IRMA or HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Salvation Army: give.salvationarmyusa.orgor call 1-800-725-2769. Or text STORM to 51555.
Catholic Charities USA: www.catholiccharitiesusa.orgor call 800-919-9338. Or text CCUSADISASTER to 71777.
*Please note FMCA is not affiliated with and/or advocating these organizations.

2. Volunteer with RV Disaster Corps
RV Disaster Corps has put out a call for RVers to staff volunteer centers. Volunteers with RV Disaster Corps assist people displaced by storms and help first responders. Because RV Disaster Corps volunteers have their own accommodations, they can relocate to the impacted area without requiring scarce local housing resources. www.rvdisastercorps.org.

3. Help Evacuees Find a Safe Place
Texas: The Texas Association of Campground Owners has identified RV parks with space available for Hurricane Harvey evacuees. Visit https://texascampgrounds.com or www.TexasCabinRentals.net. It is recommended to call the parks in advance; availability may change based on current weather.

Florida and Alabama campgrounds: Information will be posted as available: www.CampFlorida.com and www.CampInAlabama.com.

Alabama state parks: Call 1-800-ALA-PARK (1-800-252-7275) for availability.

Florida road conditions: Real-time traffic information is available at https://fl511.com. Or call (866) 511-3352; in Florida, dial 511.

Member Vote: Voting Now Open

CLICK HERE to download and print a copy of the ballot.

Please note, all ballots must be sent via postal mail to: Mandel and Associates, Inc., 431 Ohio Pike, Suite 201, Cincinnati, OH 45255

FMCA Remodel

Big news! It's time to take a step in the right direction, CLICK HERE to learn more about FMCA's plans to remodel.

Latest Videos


By Chris Guld
Geeks on Tour    

Wi-Fi can be the best way for motorhome travelers to connect to the Internet. Here's why.

1. All current laptop computers can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots.
2. Wi-Fi hotspots are easy to find. Many RV parks, cafes, truck stops and libraries have Wi-Fi hotspots.
3. There’s no contract; it’s pay-as-you-go. Many hotspots are free.
4. Some Wi-Fi hotspots are extremely fast.

BUT …

“You never know what you’re gonna get.”

You may get a great Wi-Fi hotspot

One RV park may have multiple access points (the antennas/routers you connect to) and have a full T1 connection (a high-capacity, high-speed, direct line through the phone company) to the Internet. In such a park, you could be just about anywhere and get a good connection. When you do, it will be a nice and fast web-browsing experience because of the T1.

You may get a poor Wi-Fi Hotspot

Your next RV park may be using a residential-size satellite dish for its Internet connection and only have one access point/router. A residential-size satellite dish may be a good way for one person to connect to the Internet – but not for dozens of people to share. And the one access point means you need to be close to it – it may only work in the clubhouse.

You may even get a great hotspot that turns bad

Things can change or go wrong. For instance:

  • You may have a great connection – and then some large RV pulls in next to you and blocks your signal so you can’t connect to the hotspot.
  • Radio Frequency (RF) interference may limit your connection to the hotspot.
  • The hotspot may get its Internet connection from a local cable company, and the cable company has an outage. This happened to us once when a construction crew mistakenly cut the cable. In this case you’re still connected to the hotspot, but the “backhaul” connection to the Internet is non-existent, so you can’t browse.
  • You might even be at an RV park hotspot where your Internet usage is monitored and you exceed your limit and therefore get cut off.

No. 4 is fairly rare, but it has happened to us. We’d stayed at a series of RV parks with poor or non-existent Wi-Fi. We had to rely on our Verizon tethered phone connection and were approaching our monthly limit. Then, we pulled into a park where the Internet was screaming fast. We were so excited! We downloaded all of our updates, watched our favorite TV episodes and TED videos, and caught up on lots of work.

Then it died.

We were getting no better than dial-up speed. Only then did we notice the fine print on the login screen, “This service is designed for e-mail usage and web browsing; downloading large files or excessive use of bandwidth will result in automatic limitation of access.”

Although it was aggravating to be on the receiving end of that message, a hotspot that monitors bandwidth actually is a good thing, usually. We used to support Wi-Fi hotspots and know how one or two users can ruin it for everyone else.
If you really need the Internet …

The main lesson to be learned: If you really need the Internet, you need more than one way to connect as you travel. Wi-Fi can be great, but when it’s not, you need cellular or satellite. If you do use cellular or satellite, remember that Wi-Fi can be a good alternative when you’re in a bad cell area, or when there are too many trees for your satellite dish.

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