Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | FMCA
This chapter is based on ownership or interest in Motor Coach Industries bus conversions.
By Larry Plachno, F72766
FMC Magazine, July 2010
Motor Coach Industries (MCI) builds conversion-ready coach shells, as well as intercity buses and other models. The company was established in 1933 and grew rapidly after Greyhound of Canada acquired a majority of it in 1958. Soon MCI was building the very first 40-foot motor coaches, and, as you can imagine, eventually some of these buses were converted into motorhomes. FMCA's MCI International chapter was founded in 1981 with 43 original member families. Today the chapter has more than 80 member families on its roster.
Chapter members live throughout the United States and Canada and either own or have an interest in MCI coach conversions. Owning an MCI coach is not a requirement for membership, as some members are considering purchasing an MCI coach, while others have owned one in the past.
Because MCI has been in existence for so long, there are vast differences in the types and ages of coaches owned by chapter members. Some are more than 40 years old and were converted by their owners. In contrast, many of the newer coaches owned by chapter members were built by professional conversion firms.
Our rallies provide us with a great opportunity to meet. Often we get together just prior to or after an FMCA international convention, but we also schedule events at other times. Rallies typically include sight-seeing at local attractions and group meals preceded by a happy hour. Our discussions frequently center on converted coaches.
Following FMCA’s July 2009 convention in Bowling Green, Ohio, we met in a campground in Delaware, Ohio. Our chapter rally included a tour of the Creative Mobile Interiors bus conversion facility as well as stops at Franklin Park Conservatory, the Ohio Historical Society, Camelot Wine Cellars, and the Columbus Zoo. Several meals also were included in this rally. MCI sponsored a luncheon for members and sent a representative to talk about current MCI conversion shells.
Chapter members receive a newsletter approximately four times each year. It includes reports of past events, information about forthcoming rallies, updates on members, and other news of interest. The chapter’s Web site can be found at www.plachno.com/mci. In addition to providing information about the organization, it contains links to appropriate Web sites. One section lists information about past and future chapter rallies. Another section serves as a simple marketplace for members.