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Rally FAQ Answers: Tips , Procedures, Details

We are delighted that you have joined our Airstream Club and are looking forward to meeting you at an upcoming rally.  Everyone will help you in any way that they can.

It is always a bit daunting to attend your first event of any type where you know that most people there have many years of experience.  The following ...based on a letter written by Kay Fisher-Irwin... may assist you in navigating your first rally.

Rallies are a great way to meet your fellow unit members.

B4 THE RALLY

  • see the section below labeled PROBLEMS.
  • MAKE YOUR RESERVATION ( see rally page for reservation info )
  • MAKE YOUR RESERVATION EARLY! You can always cancel.
  • fill your water tank.
  • turn on your refrigerator .
  • check your air conditioner/heater .
  • make sure your trailer 12V batteries are ok, and charged.
  • buy a key blank for your trailer on internet, and have a spare trailer key made. Write down the key code from your keys on the outside of the trailer.:-/

WHO

The people at a THLU rally are the rally hosts The members who started working on the rally months ahead of time.
They are in charge.
They are listed on the rally schedule, with contact information if you have questions.
, The THLU officers They are in charge of THLU, and work closely with the rally hosts.
They can also answer most questions.
, and those who signed up in time to get reservations.

Rallies can involve any number of Airstreams, depending on the space available.

There can be attendees from anywhere ... any WBCCI member in the USA might see the schedule and sign up... but usually the attendees are THLU members.

There are often a few who could not attend the whole rally, but drop in to visit.

Know that we want every member included in every event, so you don't have to wait for an invitation.

WHAT

A rally is an organized RV stay of several days duration, ... together as a group at pre-reserved parks... and usually focused on a theme.

The information needed for rally attendees is usually emailed to the attendees, but is often available on the website.

Most rally themes and locations are picked by the THLU president, with input from other members.

Special Rallies

Sometimes we do not have a THLU rally, but invite members to attend a regional or international rally.

The November rally is special, and includes a meeting for new officer installation.

The December rally is the Christmas rally. It has an auction, where the proceeds are split between THLU and a charity. You are asked to bring and donate new or used auctionable goods ( toys, paintings, flamingos, Airstream gadgets, etc.) - whatever you think will sell.

RESERVATIONS

Reservations must be made with the RV park and with THLU. Sometimes you need to specifically make reservations with both; sometimes making reservation with THLU will also take care of the park reservation, or visa-versa, but make sure you get-r-done.

Park Reservations

We are a large group, and some RV parks have limited space, so prudence demands that reservations be made early, sometimes weeks in advance.

Instructions on how to make reservations is provided well before the event, eg- is described on this website at the rally description.

Reservations can be made:

  • by contacting the event park, via website link or by phone.
  • sometimes on a signup sheet at a previous rally,

THLU Reservations

This is mostly needed so rally hosts know how many to expect, eg- for meals.

Reservations can be made:

  • by responding to email request for reservation
  • by contacting the THLU president ,
  • by contacting a specified rally host.
  • sometimes on a signup sheet at a previous rally,

The website rally schedule page offers reservation instructions and lists the officer or rally host to contact.

Cancellation

If you have a reservation, but can not attend, contact whomever is taking reservations as soon as you can. There may be a waiting list of others who can use your space.

This contact can also discuss any refunds.

WHERE

Airstream rallies can be anywhere in North America. THLU rallies are usually at an RV park in central Texas. We have stayed at commercial parks, state parks, and a member's ranch. Usually we park as a group.

Check the rally information or RV park information to see where we will stay, and what is available there.

Facilities

Facilities available for your Airstream depend on what is at the rally park, so be sure to check the rally information. Unless it is a dry camping rally, you can usually count on electricity, water, black water dump hookups.

Restroom and shower facilities vary widely, but the parks almost always have these. ( for some reason, NTAC does not have showers :-? )

All of them either collect trash daily or have trash dumpsters. I have not yet seen one that separates recyclable trash.

WHEN

Our rallies usually the Texas Vintage Rally starts on Wednesday.
start on Thursday afternoon , and end Sunday morning. Most parks have a loose or strict checkout time of 11 AM.

Arrival To Rally

Usually the standard arrival time is in the afternoon on the date designated as the rally start. If you arrive then, the hosts may direct you to a parking space and assist you as necessary. Always ask for assistance if you need any help.

Generally, when we arrive at the park, we stop and inquire at the RV park office - especially if you don't see any Airstreams.

Early Arrival To Rally

You can always come early and stay late, if you make the needed reservations. Many of us arrive a day early just to spend more time with our friends.

If you wish to come in early, please check with the park or rally hosts, since early parking sites may be limited and reservations required.

Leaving

People leave as they must: a few on Saturday evening; most on Sunday morning; a few later.

Also see the EMERGENCIES section below.

Events During the Rally

The rally information includes a daily schedule of meals, events, activities, etc.

An informal Social hour usually happens about 4 PM on any day when something else is not scheduled. Its location depends on the weather: it could be in the rally room, or another building, or around someone's trailer or a bonfire. It's just a "happy hour" so bring your drink of choice, chairs if it is outdoors, and you can also bring a snack to share (small amount as we always have way too much).

A happy hour may not be planned, or just happen - so do not hesitate to start your own. Know that everyone is welcome, so don't wait for an invitation.

Airstreamers are always early! If it says dinner starts at 6:00 P.M., people start arriving well before 5:45. That's just the way we are!

Typical Daily Schedule

Rally hosts get up at some really early hour :-( .

Attendees can get coffee at 7 AM, breakfast at 8 AM. Come if you want to.

Mornings and afternoons can have a scheduled event, or not. Attend if you want to.

Happy hour is usually about 4PM; sometimes scheduled.

Dinner usually at 6 PM

evening games, cards, whatever after dinner in the rally room, or whatever you want to do.

quiet time starts at dark-thirty, so early sleepers are not disturbed.

HOW MUCH

There are rally fees and park fees. Sometimes they can be paid in advance, but usually are paid at the rally. Sometimes they are paid together, and sometimes separately. This can be confusing - just ask someone.

The pre-rally information should indicate when, where,and how much is due,

So at worst, be ready to pay them at different places .

The RALLY FEE is paid to the THLU treasurer at a scheduled time - usually Saturday or Sunday morning. The treasurer takes checks.

For PARK FEES, checks are usually fine. Credit cards work at most parks. Nothing wrong with cash.

We sometimes take up a collection ...money, food, goods... which goes to a charity. The pre-rally information describes this.

FOOD

pic Setups

Meals

Meal requirements are described in the schedule, and are either:

  • prepared for you by the hosts (usually breakfasts and one or more evening meals)
  • potluck (provided by the members).
  • catered (cost included in rally fee)
  • you are on your own if you arrive early or stay late, and for most lunches and sometimes an evening meal

There is no breakfast served on Sunday morning.

There are always a few in the group who prefer to sleep in and eat breakfast in their trailer, so don't ever feel like you have to set the alarm to be there. We are very laid back.

Food You Provide

Check the schedule to see if you need to bring something to a happy-hour or potluck dinner; the first letter of your last name is often the controlling factor. Sometimes you are asked to bring an entree, sometimes a desert. Generally people make something, but nothing wrong with buying and bring good stuff. You get to take back your leftovers.

BYOB , although coffee/tea/water is usually there. Bringing wine or beer is common - and you do not have to share unless you want to :-).

Places to eat or buy food are not always close by, so be prepared - always have something in the trailer to eat.

Set Ups

Setups are your table settings (knife, fork, spoon, plates, cups, napkins). Bring set-ups to all meals unless the schedule says not to.

PETS and KIDS

If you want to bring them, bring them. You are responsible for their actions.

Check the RV park rules, and make sure their rules are followed. Most do NOT allow pets to run loose - I have seen cats on a leash :-) We have lots of pet owners in our group and many of the pets come with their owners to happy hour.

Now that I think of it, I have seen kids at a rally only once; ( of course, we always have some old goats attending :-).

DRESS

Normally, casual dress ...jeans, bermuda shorts, tee shirt, etc... is fine.

The only rally we dress up for ( " informal church attire" ) is the Installation Rally in November, and only for the evening installation ceremony - no coats and ties. The officers, however, make a point of looking good - sometimes it works, sometimes not :-)

ACTIVITIES

Activities are both scheduled and unscheduled, organized and not. Sometimes in the park, but often not.

If an event is not your thing ...eg- you've seen it already... do something else. Don't ever assume you have to go to make someone happy.

Scheduled Activities

A description of what is scheduled to happen at the rally is almost always communicated in advance - what you need to do, and any associated cost. Usually you sign up so the sponsor knows how many to expect.

Occasionally, you will need to make your own reservations.

There is usually a non-denominational devotion scheduled for Sunday morning. It may be a spiritual talk or a book report. Dress is casual. If you come, you are free to bring your own coffee with you.

Unscheduled Activities

There are often scheduled or unscheduled games in the rally room in the evening - anyone is welcome. Start your own activity - others will probably come by just to see whats going on.

Go and explore the local restaurants, shops, points of interest. Ask around for suggestions; go with others.

If someone has a trailer you want to see, ask for a tour.

Transportation

Outside activities are an excuse to carpool and get to know people better. Do not be bashful - ask around; make some new friends. You can always drive yourself.

WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO

You never HAVE to do anything at a rally. You probably came to participate.

But, if you want to skip something , it is courteous to let others know so we do no worry about you.

RALLY HOSTS

If you want to be a rally host The members who started working on the rally months ahead of time.
They are in charge.
They are listed on the rally schedule, with contact information if you have questions.
just talk to a rally host or a THLU officer as to the duties, and volunteer if you are so inclined.

PROBLEMS - when it is not too serious.

Things happen. To us all. They are usually unpredictable.

IF.......... THEN..........
you forgot your beer or wine Oh, the horror! :-0
Ask around and borrow some.
you forgot silverware borrow some, or use the plastic almost always available at the meals
you forgot to bring anything for potluck hosts can tell you if they already have too much, or if not - what to buy and where.
you are sleepy take a nap, but tell another Airstreamer you are not sick.
you are sick Ask for help; There are usually several nurses around.
Also - check with the park staff if you need real medical help.
you locked yourself out of your trailer :-( This is not a problem, until it becomes an emergancy! Ask for help; There are ways of breaking in that others have used. Sometimes you may have to break something to get in.
Your spouse has their key - right?
whats the best way to NOT lock yourself out? :-) I keep my trailer key on the neckloop holding my THLU member card; (kills two birds with one stone). Or, Leave it unlocked.
OR, you can wire a spare key somewhere outside the trailer ( do not make it obvious!).
how do i get a spare key? Purchase this hard to find blank AHEAD OF TIME, and take it to your local locksmith to get it cut. Those damn key blanks are about $3-$10, and hard to find when you need one. (There are way too many different key blanks for Airstreams).
Several internet vendors sell key blanks, but make sure you get the right blank. Ask other Airstreamers if they know a good source. On the better caravans, someone will have a few blanks, and they might fit your trailer.
you want to buy something for your Airstream;
eg- insurance, a part, ...
Ask around if you do not know which one is the best. THLU does not make recommendations, but members do.

IE- ask for help from another Airstreamer. We are a friendly bunch :-)

EMERGENCIES when the problem seems reallllllly serious.

LEAVING EARLY

If you have to leave , leave. Its courteous and prudent to tell someone at the rally, so any needed rally adjustments can be made, but do not be bashful.

Mechanical Problems

If there are problems with your tower or towee or you, ask for help. It is astonishing what tools, spare parts, first aid, and knowledge jump out when a problem comes up.

At rallies I have seen:

  • AC not working - there is probably an AC repairman at the rally, or at least someone who knows more about it than you. I borrowed a ladder once to get at the roof AC and remove a big mud daubers nest from an AC fan; it was shaking the trailer like you would not believe.
  • electrical problems can be caused by the trailer, the park, or you. Sometimes it is difficult to decide which is the cause :-) , but I am willing to bet that your problem has already happened before to at least one member.
  • Truck transmission died - locals know who to call.
  • flat tire - others can help, and again, locals know who to call

you were Injured/robbed/fell down and can't get up

call 911 if you need real help quickly.
Check with the park staff;

I HAVE A QUESTION

Well, for petes sake, ASK SOMEONE !!

 

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