Our first Rally

Our destination on this trip was the “Wanderlodge Owner’s Group” (WOG) Rally in Pine Mountain Georgia.

Bluebird Lane
Bluebird Lane

This is definitely FUN.  Meeting nice people.  Seeing all manner of coaches from older and much more ragged than ours to gleaming hot rods.(There were 125 coaches here!)  The people are great with technical advice and ideas.  For example,  one guy showed us how to take apart and service the propane furnaces.  I learned from him that:  1)  They are really pretty simple, and 2) If they fail,  they do not go BOOM (I am afraid of propane),  they just won’t lite.  And IF they don’t lite,  I now know EXACTLY why that might be and what to do about it.  BTW,  all three of ours lit on the first try and work great.  People say you only need one…they cannot imagine why Bluebird put three of the suckers in…you could live in Antarctica with three.  People say the other two are just spare parts for the one you use.  😉

Another aspect of “Nice people..”  Most folks have full hookups at their house and if you have a mechanical problem,  they will be GLAD to have you come to them,  park at their place,  use their jacks and tools and assistance in fixing or modifying.  We cannot reciprocate in this regard since we don’t even have a place to park ours.  Of course,  we do have other things to offer in return (Baseball,  Hockey,  Blues Music,  Pizza, etc.).    There is even an “Emergency List.”    These are people that are willing to get in their car, rive hundreds of miles and bring parts and expertise to you if you are stuck somewhere.  WOW.

I have also realized there is a MUCH bigger gap between our bus and the newer, fancier ones than between ours and the older ones.  The “break” happened in about 1990.  Before 1990,  similar to us.  After 1990…going WAY upscale.  But to be honest,  I do not care for the big gleaming castles-on-wheels the more I see of them.   They are exponentially  more complicated in every way; below the floor from engines to hydraulics to suspension and above the floor continuous hot water, ducted furnace and air — even the décor.   I like ours:  SIMPLE in every way!  And,  I am not just saying that because we HAVE ours…if we had been given a fancy newer one,  I would leave this rally daunted by all the “stuff” I would need to master.  I think it would take awhile with all those systems to feel comfortable enough to actually have FUN!   I COULD learn all the “stuff, ” I am sure,  but we do not have a place where we can work on all those systems.  Many people I am sure pay others to keep their systems in top form…we would not be able to do that.

The “Program” at the rally consisted of some seminars, some pot-luck dinners, campfires and lots of coach tours (to see what other people have done and ask lots of questions).   Highlights?  Hard to pick just a few.

  • Alaska Caravan.  4 months.  What an adventure.  DEFINITELY now on our agenda
  • Tech Forum.  Random thoughts.  A whole list of really good suggestions and things for us to do (and offers to help).
  • WiFi on the road.  The park’s WiFi was really bad.  Good to know what other options are available.
  • Vendor recommendations.  Who knew there is an Amish guy (Leon)  in Shipshawana, Indiana who rebuilds refrigerators and A/C units?
    — One of our A/C’s is dead.
    — And,  who knew that  old NORCOLD fridges (we have one!) have a tendency to burn down buses.  Refitting sounds pretty good! We may visit on the way back,  or in the spring.
  • Investigation of furniture and flooring (two things we want to change on our bus).  On the latter,  there are guys here who in their careers were flooring people.  We got a LOT of good advice.   On the former, we took pictures of layouts that will work for us.  There was even a computer desk that fits over the steering wheel.  GREAT idea…comfy chair,  and Liz will appreciate my junk NOT on the dining table.

    And for those who are wondering how that could possibly be a good thing if TEXTING is a dangerous… this is NOT meant to be in place/used while driving!!!

  • A presentation by Laurence Coppedge.  He is the great grandson of Laurence Luce…founder of Bluebird and RV visionary.  FASCINATING history.
Rally in Style!
Rally in Style!
We discovered that there are DOZENS of rallys a year.  Birds at the Beach (South Carolina), Mushroom Festival (Wisconsin),  Shipshewana, IN, even one in Casper Wyoming for the 2017 Solar Eclipse (got on the waiting list for that one!!!).    Many are smaller…hardly more formal than just “I am going to be here,  why don’t you come?”  (and 20 people show up). Some are HUGE (Quartzite,  AZ in January).  http://roadslesstraveled.us/quartzsite-arizona-rv-madness-in-the-desert/   We won’t go to all or even many.  But we’ll pick a few cuz it is a great time and a good way to explore different areas.

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