Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Texas National Carriage Travel Club Rally Wraps Up

April 15, 2010.
The Texas National Carriage Travel Club rally officially ended Thursday evening. As I'm writing this blog update, Carriage rigs are moving out of the park. We however, will be here at Guadalupe River RV Resort till Monday. I'll share some photos I took of rigs leaving the park.

The weather over the last few days has been terrible with rain each day throughout the day. Our site here at Guadalupe River RV Resort floods and we have a 3 inch pond outside our steps when it rains. I purchased a floor squeegee from Home Depot to push the ponding water down the driveway.  It works till it rains again! The river has risen several feet since we've been here from all the rain.

At the rally there were a number of “first timers” like Joyce and I of mixed ages including many from our generation.  However, it’s apparent at least at this rally that the majority of the participants are at least a generation older than us. I’m still processing my opinions of the rally however, I’ll share what I’m currently thinking. 

To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the seminars that I attended. Naturally, the brand name professional seminars were geared toward selling something. Others such as Senior Safety, just did not appeal to us. A lot of time was dedicated to playing organized games. I’m not a game person, but Joyce did come in second in a Skip-Bo tournament.
Along with a host of tournament games, the agenda included seminars on:
  • Fuel Saving and Engine Performance (sales pitch for filters and mufflers)
  • Plug it Right (Sales pitch for stabilizers and other items)
  • Mor/Ryde Systems (Sales pitch for upgrades)
  • A Safari style ranch tour (additional $40)
  • Armchair Exercises (huh?)
  • Tech Talk (computers, televisions, satellite cubes, antenna reception, etc.)
  • Bigfoot Levelers (Sales pitch for the leveling system)
  • Senior Personal Safety (local law enforcement canned presentation)
I had expected seminar topics related to practical hints and tips for the RV lifestyle specific to Carriage products such as:
  • Towing
  • Carriage RV repairs and maintenance
  • Travel Destinations
  • Cooking 
  • Tires
  • Workamping
  • Solar Power
  • Generators
  • Scheduling Factory Service at Carriage protocols etc.
  • Presentations by Carriage representatives.
The apparent lack of Carriage Inc. participation in a National Rally is particularly shocking to me. (I'm not aware if they even donated anything). We had over 100 Carriage RVs at this rally and yet to my knowledge,no-one from Carriage Inc., ever addressed the rally participants or made themselves available. I don’t think anyone from Carriage Inc. even came to the rally.
Much was made by the officers about the club’s participation at the Tampa RV Show with Lazy Days and the fact that a number of Carriage fifth wheels were sold as a result of the Carriage Travel Club (CTC) members helping at the show.  Yet, Carriage Corporation seems to have minimal involvement with the CTC. It seems to me (with my limited experience) that the club benefits Carriage Inc, with apparently little or no cost or participation from its namesake. 
Understandably, the rally can’t please everyone. But from a practical/ informational and helpful stand-point, the rally was not what I expected.
The dinners and gatherings were dedicated to presenting awards, introducing officers, discussing club business to include taking control of the club management from a commercial organization and announcing future club and national rallies and pending national club elections.
Because of the foul weather, (it rained throughout the event) the opportunity to socialize outdoors at our own rigs was very limited. The meals allowed for socializing.
Overall, I’m glad that we had the opportunity to experience a National Carriage Travel Club Rally. We will continue to maintain our membership, to see what direction the club takes. I would like to experience however, some of the local chapter gatherings/ campouts in the future. 

All of the participants and members were very friendly/inviting and the organizers undoubtably worked hard to make the rally successful.

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