Happy 60th, FMCA!
In July 1963:
. . . ZIP codes were introduced in the United States.
. . . Lisa Kudrow -- who later starred in the hit TV show “Friends" – was born.
. . . Pitching greats Juan Marichal (San Francisco Giants) and Warren Spahn (Milwaukee Braves) dueled for 16 scoreless innings until the Giants’ Willie Mays hit a home run to end the game.
. . . A total solar eclipse was visible from North America, dubbed “the most scientifically observed eclipse in history” up to that time.
. . . A couple dozen families traveled in their “house cars” to the Good-Will Hinckley School, in Hinckley, Maine, to meet each other, view that solar eclipse, and form the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA).
Now with 60 candles on the birthday cake — whew! — FMCA continues to provide benefits, services, events, information, camaraderie, and so much more to enhance the RV experience. Thanks for being along for the ride with us!
The FMCA Team
Test Your FMCA Knowledge
With FMCA turning 60 this month, celebrating its formation on July 20, 1963, we thought it would be fitting to share an FMCA history quiz. This short, 12-question quiz is sure to test your knowledge about FMCA’s history. Enjoy!
Don't forget to hit the great outdoors with an FMCA membership, now available for the month of July ONLY at 60% off 1 year of family membership. That's a $36 savings! Click here to learn more.
Restore And Care For An Older RV
If you are thinking about buying an older or vintage RV, there are a lot of things that need to be considered when it comes to caring for it. Even if the vehicle has been well maintained by its previous owner, older motorhomes and towable RVs are more likely to require repairs and/or extensive maintenance. Water damage, existing or ongoing leaks, electrical problems, odd smells, and the RV’s overall structural condition are possible issues that may need attention. Before purchasing or starting your renovation, consider hiring a certified RV inspector to help you diagnose these issues.
The process of restoring an older camper can range from relatively simple repairs to a complete makeover. Some may be straightforward, such as painting the interior, or may be more involved, such as doing electrical work or replacing a floor damaged by water. Because of the wide range of refurbishing possibilities, you’re not likely to find a step-by-step guide for your unique situation. But J.D. Power offers a valuable tip to always keep in mind: Go with what you know. For example, if your RV has a propane stove, it may be simpler to replace it with a similar appliance than to convert it to electric. If you can replace what isn’t working instead of overhauling the entire system, it may help your wallet.
It’s also important to know the extent of your own DIY and repair skills. Always on Liberty has simple DIY restoration tips anyone can perform when restoring an older RV. Spacewise also offers 23 RV makeover ideas for any novice or experienced DIYer to help create that dream RV.
If you do your due diligence, and determine what’s best for you, you’ll be able to enjoy your newly restored RV in no time!
How We Got Here
RV historians cite 1910 as the beginning of the era of modern RVs, since that is when the first auto-related camping vehicles were built for commercial sale. Americans’ love affair with the automobile, coupled with the desire to escape the hubbub of modern life and spend time in the great outdoors — but not without the comforts of home — ultimately led to the creation of recreational vehicles.
The Great Depression and rationing during World War II stopped production of RVs for consumer use, but after the war ended, RVs experienced a resurgence in popularity. Young families sought inexpensive ways to vacation, and the development of the interstate highway system fueled the desire to hit the open road, which spurred an RV boom that continued throughout the 1960s.
Also during that time, families began to discover the appeal of motorized RVs. Many of them purchased school buses and transit buses that had been retired from service and converted them for family vacation travel. And in the 1960s, commercially produced motorhomes came into being, with manufacturers such as Dodge Frank Motor Home (later Travco), Clark Cortez, and Winnebago entering the scene. Winnebago used automotive-type assembly lines to manufacture motorhomes, allowing the company to sell them for half of what their competitors were charging at the time.
In the early 1960s, owners of these “house cars” started discussing the idea of forming groups of like-minded individuals. This and a solar eclipse led to the birth of FMCA, 60 years ago this month. Today, FMCA continues to embrace that heritage but now welcomes owners of all types of RVs.
And so, as we celebrate 60 years of the FMCA RV community, we reflect on the history of RVing and, more importantly, on all the friendships and fun the association has made possible throughout the decades — and we look forward to much more to come!
Stay Connected With FMCA's Tech Connect+ Plan
The FMCA Tech Connect+ benefits package brings members mobile data plan offers starting at just $59.99 a month, plus tech-related discounts with WifiRanger, CellBooster.us, DISHForMyRV, and Winegard! Choose the Tech Connect+ plan from AT&T or opt for FMCA Accelerate, which runs on one of the leading, most advanced and reliable 5G networks in the United States.
Helping RVers Get The Most Out Of Every Mile
Whether you’re traveling in your RV or personal vehicle, where you fuel up matters. Circle K offers high-quality fuel you can trust at over 3,600 locations nationwide. Circle K offers FMCA members an exclusive 10¢ off fuel at participating locations. Find the closest location to you here.
Feelin' Groovy Friday
Are you planning to attend FMCA’s 107th International Convention, “Celebrating Sixty,” August 23-26? If so, prepare to get your groove on during a full day of hip and happenin’ activities on Friday, August 25. Start the day by stretching your legs at the morning Magic Mile run/walk/ride; all proceeds will go to Energy Capital Habitat for Humanity. That afternoon, participate in the “Feelin’ Groovy” Parade, riding a decorated golf cart or bike, or walking on foot. Wrap up your evening at the “Good Vibrations” Chapterfest, featuring live entertainment by Kazual. And enjoy squeezing in all the additional fun throughout the entire convention — seminars, exhibits, socializing, and other events. Don’t miss out on this far-out celebration; register to join us today!
Deer Park Campground, C10663
This exceptional RV park and campground is in the beautiful city of Buffalo, Wyoming. Located midway between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, it’s an ideal stopping spot for those traveling out West. Deer Park has pull-through sites that are spacious enough for large RVs and equipped with 50-amp electric. Other offerings include free broadband Wi-Fi, free cable TV, a heated pool, laundry and shower facilities, and a private half-mile wooded walking path. Pets are welcome. Book your stay today using the FMCA member discount!
FMCA members receive a discounted rate at many FMCA commercial member campgrounds. To find more locations along your route, check out our RV Marketplace!
FMCA’s history is woven into the fabric of RVing. Take in views of Vintage RVs & FMCA History on FMCA’s Video Playlist page. One video is a two-parter: The Peaceful Invasion, which was filmed during FMCA’s 1973 Du Quoin, Illinois, convention. Another features a visit to FMCA’s birthplace in Hinckley, Maine, where a black granite monument commemorates the association’s founding there in July 1963. Additional videos include a look at member-owned Flxible buses and an assortment of FMCA memorabilia displayed in Gillette, Wyoming, during FMCA’s 50th anniversary convention there in July 2013.
Tiny, Tiny, Tiny
A YouTube channel, Tiny Home Tours, shines the light on the smallest of living quarters — stationary homes, “skoolies” (converted school buses), and RVs of all kinds. Be inspired to start your own tiny homes project, or at least marvel at the owners’ clever use of minimal space. For example, check out a beautifully renovated 1966 Kit Companion travel trailer, which owners Jordan and Tony lovingly updated while retaining its retro vibe.
A Hall Of Fame Experience
If you find yourself in northern Indiana, don’t miss the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart. The museum’s RV Founders Hall showcases travel trailers and related memorabilia, some from the 1920s and 1930s, and explains chronological and technological advancements in the industry from pre-World War I times to the present day. Other galleries illustrate the history of RV parts manufacturers and service providers; celebrate today’s RV lifestyle; and feature the MH (manufactured housing) industry. Museum guests and Harvest Hosts members are invited to stay one to two nights on the property in their RVs. For more information, visit https://www.rvmhhalloffame.org/harvest-hosts-program/
Rad Recipes For A 1960s Party
As FMCA celebrates its 60th birthday, we encourage you to celebrate with us! When you think of recipes that defined the 1960s, cocktail party appetizers, Jell-O molds, fondue, or anything Julia Child may come to mind. Here are some recipes that we recommend for hosting a totally groovy 1960s theme party or to serve at a chapter get-together during FMCA’s upcoming “Celebrating Sixty” convention.
Lipton Onion Soup Dip
Onion dip was wildly popular in the 1960s and made extremely easily with Lipton onion soup mix. Mix one packet of Lipton onion soup mix and one 16-ounce container of sour cream. Chill it, and you’re done!
Meatballs With Grape Jelly
This may sound like a weird combination at first, but the sweet and savory appetizer is sure to please a crowd.
This timeless appetizer is heavily associated with the fine dining centers of the decade — the steakhouse! But don’t be intimidated; this recipe includes tips for selecting and prepping the shrimp, and directions for making your own cocktail sauce.
Cheese and meat fondues took off in the ’60s and are still popular now. You can make the perfect cheesy concoction and creamy chocolate fondue with any of these fondue sets available on Amazon.
Tunnel Of Fudge Cake
This cake was introduced in the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, and bundt pan sales skyrocketed. It mysteriously develops a “tunnel of fudge” filling as it bakes that can satisfy any sweet tooth.
For more ideas, check out this list of 10 recipes that defined the 1960s from thekitchn.com.
FMCA Area Rally Schedule
Northeast Area Rally — August 3-5 — Frankfort, New York
South Central Area Rally — September 13-16 — Shawnee, Oklahoma
Eastern Area Rally — October 4-8 — Lewisburg, West Virginia
Western Area Rally – January 10-14 – Indio, California
Southeast Area Rally – February 7-10 – Lakeland, Florida
Great Lakes Area Rally – June 5-9 – Greenville, Ohio
Northwest Area Rally – June 27-30 – Albany, Oregon
Midwest Area Rally — July 24-27 — Amana, Iowa
Click here for more information about FMCA’s upcoming 2023 event schedule.
Are you looking to meet other RVers? Look no further. FMCA has nearly 300 chapters across the United States and Canada. FMCA chapters are made up of RV enthusiasts who have a zest for travel, as well as hobbies and interests off the highway. Find a chapter that best suits your interests here.
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Family Motor Coach Association 8291 Clough Pike | Cincinnati, OH 45244 US
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