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2014 Winnebago Itasca Travelers Grand National Rally, Forest City, Iowa.
2014 Winnebago Itasca Travelers Grand National Rally, Forest City, Iowa.

Tips for surviving your first RV rally

If you haven’t been to your first RV rally yet, then you are surely missing out! What could possibly be better than being surrounded by a large group of like minded people who love to travel and are full of knowledge? Rallies come in all different shapes and sizes so you’ll be sure to find one to fit your needs, lifestyle and interests.

Large companies, such as Good Sam, host national rallies which are attended by more than 5,000 people each year. RV manufacturers often have rallies for the different types of RVs they make. Airstream and other vintage RV owners especially love to get together at “tin can” events every year. www.tincantourists.com.

Other groups that get together for rallies revolve around special interests. Whether you enjoy race car events, are a family that travels or love traveling as a single, there is a rally for you. Making sure you are prepared to get the most out of your first rally is very important. www.fulltimefamilies.com

These seven tips will help you to make sure your first rally experience leaves you excited for more.

The Winnebago Itasca Travelers Rally 2014.
The Winnebago Itasca Travelers Rally 2014.

1. Arrive early and stay late — If your schedule allows, make sure to get to the rally location a few days before the actual event begins. This will allow you to see the surrounding area without missing out on any rally events. The actual rally will be a whirlwind of activity and you will certainly appreciate some downtime before and after the rally to relax. Staying after the rally also allows you to follow up with people or services in the area that you connected with earlier in the rally.

2. Rest up — RV rallies are never short on things to do and fun to be had so you want to make sure your battery is fully charged. Make sure you get a few good nights sleep and have some low key days prior to the rally. Especially if you have kids joining you, it is important that their tanks are on full before the rally chaos empties them.

3. Get out of your comfort zone — If large groups of people aren’t your thing, it is natural to stay in your shell and miss out on a lot of fun. Take the plunge right at the beginning. Put on that name tag, go to the first cheesey icebreaker and make a new friend.

4. Take advantage of classes — Besides all the fun, rallies are also known for their educational content. There will be many specialists there sharing with you all they know on their chosen topic. This is your chance to soak in new information, ask questions and learn from experts in their fields.

5. Go to the social events — You will have fun, I promise! Take a chance on the guys night BBQ or hang out at the pool and you’ll be sure to meet a new friend to network with.

2015 Fulltime Families Boondocking Rally at Lake Mead, Nev.
2015 Fulltime Families Boondocking Rally at Lake Mead, Nev.

6. Have question ready for those with experience — Rallies are great events to bring together people of all experience levels. If this is your first rally, you are probably full of questions that you might be too embarrassed to ask. This is the perfect time to bounce ideas and questions off those that have been RVing for quite some time. Looking for a way to transport bikes or wondering how to install your new wireless booster? Just ask! You will be sure to find someone who had the same question and already figured it out.

7. Be ready to network — Rallies are full of people looking for something and they might not even know it yet. This is a great time to get the word out about a service or product that you sell or seek out a new employee. Maybe you are a blogger looking for work or own a business and need some part time help. Whatever it is, get your name out there and make connections.

After you attend your first rally, you will be hooked. Make connections, learn something and most importantly relax and have fun!

Fulltime Families Castaway Rally in Tampa, Fla., 2015.
Fulltime Families Castaway Rally in Tampa, Fla., 2015.

About Jen Holt

Jen Holt and her husband Drew are parents to two young kids and travel the country in their fifth wheel nicknamed Big Moosey. The Holts have a passion for the outdoors and love visiting National Parks. You can follow more about the Holts adventures at www.free2breathe.com

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