Articles Chapter Spotlight


Vintage Birds

“It’s not old; it’s vintage!” is the motto of these owners of Blue Bird motorhomes.

Do you recall the beautiful bus-style Blue Bird Wanderlodge? If so, you may also remember that these motorhomes were built at the Blue Bird plant in Fort Valley, Georgia.

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What’s more fun than motorhoming? Ask the members of FMCA’s Amateur Radio chapter, and they’ll tell you it’s motorhoming with a worldwide communication device on board.FMCA members share their common interest with friends near and far.

 

Join a group of Eastern Ontario-based members as they explore this Canadian province.

By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
December 2016

American FMCA members who join the Ontario Rovers can learn what’s to see and do in the Canadian province of Ontario. Canadian FMCA members who live in Ontario or elsewhere can experience the fun of a chapter of like-minded travelers. Joining this chapter is a win for RVers in either country!

The Ontario Rovers chapter has 25 member families, and it focuses on Ontario and the Great Lakes Area. Chapter secretary and alternate national director Kathy Chesher said the chapter is “a good group of people who get together and visit and explore the area.”

The group’s rally schedule runs from May through October, and rallies are held over Friday and Saturday nights. They have met as far east as Ottawa and as far west as London.
But besides rallying in Ontario, chapter members attend FMCA’s Great Lakes Area Rally, or “GLAMARAMA,” each summer. The group also volunteers at that event.

As for rally activities, Kathy said, “Generally we have something we are doing. One year we visited a cranberry festival. A couple of times we’ve been to old Fort Henry (a historic site in Kingston, Ontario).”

They have a tradition of attending the summer festival called “Pickin in the Park,” an amateur music event at Fiddle Park in Shelburne, Ontario. Aside from that, she said, “We tend to explore the area where we’re having the rally; then, in the evening we basically just visit.” Often, members share potluck meals.

During the chapter’s 25th anniversary rally in Cookstown, Ontario, this past September, attendees enjoyed home-cooked food, a catered dinner, cake, recognition awards, and a competitive “horse race” game. Fifteen coaches were in attendance.

The Ontario Rovers plan to attend and volunteer at FMCA’s 96th International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, next July. Otherwise, the 2017 rally schedule is not finalized yet. This brings up an important point: The chapter is seeking new ideas and new places to go. It’s ripe for more FMCA friends who want to add their own spin on the fun. “We’d like to get some new members to get some new ideas and spread out a little bit,” Kathy said.

Again, you don’t have to live in this area to join. “We’re open to anyone, basically; they don’t have to live in eastern Ontario or Canada; they can be in the United States. Anyone interested in Ontario,” Kathy noted.

The chapter has a newsletter, and dues are only $10 per year; first-year dues are $30 and include name badges and a membership directory. For more information, contact FMCA's Chapter Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622; [email protected]


If you would like your chapter to be featured in Chapter Spotlight, contact FMC associate editor Peggy Jordan, (800) 543-3622, ext. 212; [email protected]


This chapter brings together owners of a classic 1970s motorhome brand.

By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
November 2016

FMC motorhomesIt takes a different sort of RV enthusiast to head to the lot marked “classics” when searching for a motorhome. It’s even more unusual to find a motorhome bearing the letters “FMC.”

The Food Machinery Corporation made 1,050 FMC motorhomes between 1973 and 1976. Of those, approximately 500 still are functioning, and about 300 are actively used. It leaves a small potential member base for the FMC Motor Coach Owners Club, but the group is growing, nonetheless, and now stands at 32 member families.

Today many factory-built motorhomes cost at least as much as the average house, but that was rare in the mid-‘70s. FMCs were priced in the upper echelon, however, and came with luxury appliances and décor. They were owned by celebrities and/or the wealthy in general. A powerful rear Chrysler gas engine meant that the front end stayed quiet, and four-wheel independent suspension provided a smooth ride. All were 29 feet long.

“(The FMC) was not designed as a camper,” said chapter national director Stephen Heinrichs. “It was designed as a high-end, traveling/touring coach.”

That said, these coaches are now 40 or more years old. At chapter rallies, Stephen said, “We always spend part of our time on mechanics or maintenance of the coaches.” The work is mixed with fun social activities and group meals, of course. Owners have a particular camaraderie because they have more time and effort invested in these classics.

They also share in getting complimentary reactions to their RVs as they park them in campgrounds or travel down the highway. Stephen said the most often-asked question owners get is, “Is it new or old?” Not bad for a 40-year-old coach! The second-most frequent question is a request to see the interior. “FMCs are not for introverts, apparently,” he said, laughing. “If you don’t want people to speak to you, don’t get an FMC.”

Chapter members live all over North America. They get together at smaller rallies organized by geographical location. Every two years the club holds a “Mega Rally” in a central spot that enables the entire group to meet. Stephen noted that the June 2016 Mega Rally welcomed new FMC motorhome owners who joined FMCA and the chapter.

Besides chapter information, the club’s website serves as an info center for anyone curious about these motorhomes. FMC ownership is required for chapter membership, but you don’t have to be a member to check out the website forums and ask questions; just register on the website. For more info, visit www.fmcowners.com or contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622; [email protected]


If you would like your chapter to be featured in Chapter Spotlight, email [email protected]

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