Over 4,000 motorhomes and around 20,000 RV enthusiasts have converged on Redmond, Ore., this week for the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) 72nd International Convention, Aug. 16-19.
According to a report in the Bend Bugle , the event, held at Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center and centering around a “Cascade Mountain Magic” theme, has attracted a broad range of RVers and motorhomes.
But the paper reported that the most prevalent demographic remains the “silver-haired empty nesters” who have upgraded their rigs over the years and are now enjoying coaches decked out with all the “comforts of home.”
“We do enjoy our comforts,” said Ken and Marge Schmachtenberger of Apple Valley, Calif, who were enjoying the festivities while sitting alongside their rig in folding chairs.
Ken said they had walked through many of the newer, fancier RVs, costing $500,000 or more, then came back to their own 5-year-old rig and decided, “This isn’t that bad.”
Paul Fulkerson of Tolono, Ill., noted that “A motor home is much like any recreational vehicle. The only way you truly get your money out of it is to use it.” He and his wife have traveled 106,000 miles in their 1995 rig.
Many of the more veteran RVers, including Fulkerson, were also looking at downsizing and moving into a smaller Class C vehicle.
Fulkerson said that including the vehicle they tow, “We take up better than 60 feet of road, and that’s getting to be too much to handle.”
The event also offered tangible proof that the industry is in the midst of one its strongest retail years.
Sales “are starting to pick up,” and are probably back to the level they were before 9/11, said Jerry Yeatts, FMCA’s director of conventions and commercial services.