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As many as 5,000 motorhomes are expected to be driven by their owners to the Family Motor Coach Association’s (FMCA) Winter International Convention in Perry, Ga., in March, according to Jerry Yeatts, the FMCA’s director of conventions and commercial services.

The 27th annual event will take place at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry, located about 100 miles south of Atlanta, March 19-21.

This year’s gathering will be the third the Cincinnati-based FMCA has staged at Perry. Although the rally in March apparently will not break attendance records, Yeatts is pleased with the expected size of the turnout. His estimate of up to 5,000 coaches is based upon early registrations.

“I think we’ve done a good job of respecting what has happened in September and putting that past us and looking toward the future,” Yeatts said, referring to the shock delivered to the nation’s economy by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“I think motorhome owners and people of our association are getting on with their lives,” Yeatts continued. “We hope this will be a wonderful convention for people to sort of reassert their sense of adventure and their patriotic attitude. And we’ve got some wonderful entertainment to underscore the whole patriotic theme of America.”

For the first time this year, the FMCA will provide electrical hookups for up to 2,300 motorhomes, providing 30 amp service. The cost per motorhome will be $130 for five days, the equivalent of $26 a day. In the past, attendees at FMCA gatherings had to “dry camp” without the luxury of supplied electrical service.

“We’re doing (this) on a trial basis in Perry to see what the response is,” Yeatts said. “If the response is positive enough, we’ll continue to use it in future conventions.”

The need to set up a “generator field” will require “a modified set-up for parking,” he added.

The fee for electric hookups will only cover the FMCA’s expenses related to setting up and operating the generator field, Yeatts said. The association will not profit from providing the service.

Of course, dry camping sites will be available at Perry.