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The “Rally” in
Albuquerque New Mexico, April 2009

When we considered attending the Rally, we checked with the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and the web site stated that April weather has an average range of low forties to mid seventies. Based on this we decided to attend and dry camp. Well they were wrong. The actual range was low thirties to mid sixties. It rained and rained. One night we had snow. On top of that our coach batteries failed so at eleven o’clock when we turned off our generator we also turned off our heat.

The Great North American RV Rally (the “Rally”), April 17-20, was co-sponsored by Good Sam, Presidents Club, Coast to Coast, Camp Club USA and Woodall Publications. Each sponsor had a special day of celebration. There were 3500+ RVs of all sizes and ages. Most of us were parked on the large grassy lot where the balloons lift off during the Annual Balloon Festival.

All the daily activity and vendor exhibits were at Tingsley Coliseum and it’s fair grounds, so to get there, you boarded an open tram, rode to the bus terminal, got on a bus and rode to the fair grounds. Poor planning on the first day caused people to wait in line in the rain up to three hours trying to make the return trip.

The nightly entertainment  in a giant tent adjoining the balloon field included; La La and the Hub Caps, Rita Coolidge, Neil Sedaka, Osmond Brothers and Papa Doo Run Run. Every night was a ball.

Good Sam Day, Sunday, began with everyone looking for the key they received when they registered so they could try to open the lock on the Treasure Chest and win a terrific prize. Our key did not open the lock. Next was salsa dance lessons and salsa dance contest.  Maybe next time.

As an official Good Sam Event all states were invited.  Sadly, less than a dozen states send officers or delegates. Missouri was among those missing. During the day the attending State Representatives were available to explain to Rally attendees how easy and enjoyable it is to join a local Chapter.

The evening program’s opening parade of flags was disappointing because of poor state participation.

With pride it was announced, Sue Bray, Executive Director of Good Sam Club, will be inducted into the RV Hall of Fame to celebrate her years of dedicated service to the RV community.

Good Sam is expanding it’s philanthropic programs to include the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps. For more than twenty years, These camps have,  free of charge, empowered children with serious medical conditions to reach beyond their illnesses. The first camp was founded by Paul Newman in 1988 because he wanted to create a place where children with serious medical conditions could “kick back, relax, and just be kids”. The camps have served more than 164,000 children from 40 countries since  the first camp opened.

It was announced that the next Rally will be July 22-25, 2010, at Louisville, Kentucky. All RV parking will be on pavement!!!! A huge cheer arose.

The Rally was, wet, cold, great. We got new coach batteries and had a ball. We recommend everyone plan to attend next year and we suggest our state Officers participate.

Irvin and Dorothy
Three Rivers Chapter
Good Sam Club



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