2014 RV-Dreams Fall Rally Information

This is the page for our 2014 Fall Rally to be held in Elkhart County, Indiana - the "RV Capital of the World" - in September

For Fall 2014, we are working with the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen, Indiana.

The Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds hosts numerous rallies each year. It's not our typical rally venue, but we hope the proximity to numerous RV factories and suppliers will make up for the lack of RV park amenities usually present at our Rallies.

We plan to bring in eight RVs for display, and we'll have a few special guest speakers as well.

The itinerary includes several seminars from Linda & I based on our nine years of experience as full-timers, our own research, interviews with other full-timers, and the wealth of information from our Forum. Below you will find a preliminary itinerary, but keep in mind that more will likely be added.

Also, for the first time, we are bringing in the RV Driving School to present their "Driving Your RV Safely" seminar. AND they will be offering their private driving lessons before and after the Rally (additional fee applies).

In addition to educational seminars, we will have other activities such as rig walk-throughs, a welcome dinner, a pizza night, a potluck, a catered dinner, a full farewell breakfast, entertainment, and lots more!

NOTE: After we scheduled this Rally, it was later announced that the Elkhart manufacturer "Open House" (a Dealer ONLY show) would be scheduled for the same week. Some manufacturers may not be offering factory tours during the week of the Rally. If you were planning to do a factory tour or multiple tours in the days before or after the Rally, we recommend you call the manufacturers directly to verify dates when tours will be available. However, we are working with some manufacturers that have promised us they will have someone to conduct tours. More info to come.

2014 RV-Dreams Fall Rally

The Elkhart 4-H County Fairgrounds

Goshen, Indiana

September 16 - 21, 2014


Registration Deadline was September 1. Registration is now closed. Our next educational Rally is scheduled for April 28 - May 3, 2015 in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Rally Details

The Place

Come join us at The Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Elkhart County, Indiana - The RV Capital of the World. The Fairgrounds are convenient to I-80/90 in northern Indiana and are 30 miles east of South Bend, 125 miles east of Chicago, 150 miles north of Indianapolis, 200 miles southwest of Detroit, and 240 miles west of Cleveland.

We are partnering with the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds to provide our website visitors, Journal readers, and Forum members - our RV-Dreams Family - with a great location to come together for RV education and a little fellowship as well. The Fairgrounds are within 20 miles of 25 RV manufacturers, so we encourage you to come to the area early or stay a little longer to combine some factory tours with the Rally.

We have selected the northwest camping section of the Fairgrounds which has 76 sites offering:

  • Full hook-ups with 30/50 amp service
  • Big Rig Friendly
  • Paved interior roads with gravel sites
  • Free Wi-Fi

    NOTE: Here's the BIG negative. The RV parking is right by a very active railroad track. Just want you to know up front. :)

    The Area

    Goshen, Indiana is located in the heart of Amish Country and is within 20 miles of several RV manufacturers and suppliers. Take a factory tour, enjoy an Amish restaurant, or just take a drive through the expansive farmlands and listen to the clip-clop of the horses pulling their buggies. Check out the Amish Country Website for more information.

    The weather should be wonderful with temperatures right around 75 for mid-September during the day and cool nights.

    Tentative Itinerary
    Note: This Rally is on our usual Tuesday - Sunday schedule. Also, check back frequently as we often add seminars/events and change the schedule slightly

    Though much of the content is geared toward the education of full-timers and future full-timers, everyone is welcome and we guarantee even the most part-time RVer will learn something and have a great time. :)

    3:00 - 5:00 Welcome, Check-in, and Social Time

    6:00 - 7:00 Catered Welcome Dinner

    7:00 - 8:00 Rally Overview & Introductions

    8:00 - 9:00 Icebreaker

    8:30 - 9:30 Buying An RV - Pros, Cons & Must Haves

  • In this seminar we discuss the pros and cons of the types of RVs in a full-timing lifestyle. In addition, we suggest features to look for that we consider "must haves" in any full-timing rig.

    9:45 - 10:45 Vehicle Safety Evaluation - RV Driving School

  • This seminar will cover the safety considerations of owning various types of RVs. Topics will include gas vs. diesel, motorhome vs. towable, and other specific safety items.

    11:00 - 12:00 Understanding RV Insurance & Extended Warranties

  • We start this seminar by explaining the various RV insurance coverages and options. We also discuss the most common claims and the considerations that affect your rates.

    In the second part of this seminar, we explain the differences between manufacturer warranties, extended warranties, and extended service contracts. In addition, we provide advice on what to look for in an extended service contract, what extended service contracts typically cover, and how to get the most out of an extended service contract.

    Lunch on your own

    1:00 - 2:30 RV Weight & Tire Safety

  • This seminar will provide the RV owner with the knowledge required to assure that their RV is operated within all safety limitations. The information is designed to assist owners in managing their existing RV weights as well as purchasing the correct RV to match their personal needs.

    Also, major emphasis of this seminar is maintenance and care of tires for optimum safety and durability. Participants receive information to assure that they are well informed consumers when purchasing tires. Tire pressure and proper inflation are covered in depth

    NOTE: We will be offering RV weighing on departure dates after the Rally. We will be doing sign-ups and setting appointments after this seminar. Click HERE for more information on the safety benefits.

    3:00 - 5:00 Driving Your RV Safely - RV Driving School

  • This is a must seminar for everyone! You’ve been driving since you were 16. You have driven your RV for years. Basically, you feel you are a really good driver. Let’s talk about how safe you are as you drive your RV. This seminar covers bad driver habits and how to make sure we are safe driving our RV. This is highly recommended if you are going to have a “Rally” lesson before or after a rally.

    NOTE: Behind The Wheel Driving Lessons will be offered before and after the Rally.

  • $250 Rally Lesson (3.5 Hours)
  • $445 Private Lesson (2 Days, 4 Hours each day)
  • $635 Private Lessons - 2 People (2 Days, 6 Hours each day)
  • $250 Backing Assistance (3.5 Hours)

    Click on the link or banner above for details. You can schedule your lesson from their website or by clicking on this link: Schedule Your RV Driving Lesson Here.

    6:00 - 7:00 Catered Meal For Everyone!

    7:30 - 9:00 RV Accessories Show & Tell

    8:00 - 9:00 For The Ladies - You CAN and Should Drive Your RV - RV Driving School

  • This seminar discusses the reasons why it is best to have two people that are able to drive, and it will help give ladies the confidence to drive their RVs.

    9:15 - 10:15 RVing Basics - RV Systems Overview, Hooking Up Utilities, Dumping Tanks, Safety, & Checklists

  • This seminar is for the less experienced RVer although we're pretty sure everyone will learn something new. Performing certain tasks and having a basic understanding of your RV can prevent some problems and help you troubleshoot issues later on.

    10:30 - 11:30 No Right Way To Full-time - Evaluating The Options

  • In this seminar we emphasize there is no “right way” to full-time. We explore many of the different ways people live the full-timing lifestyle and provide some insight into what might work best for you.

    11:45 - 12:30 Emotional Aspects of the Full-timing Decision

  • This seminar is a discussion of what to expect from your heart as you announce your plans to full-time, prepare to full-time, transition to full-timimg, and even after you hit the road. Very few seminars deal with this issue, but everyone goes through some surprising, but normal, feelings in the process.

    Lunch on your own

    1:30 - 2:30 What Does It Cost To Full-time?

  • The cost of full-timing is so important, but it is not easy to find real information on the subject. We'll show you some real numbers and how you can adjust those numbers for your planned lifestyle.

    2:45 - 3:45 Working On The Road

  • We pack a lot of information into this seminar. Why work on the road? What are your options for working on the road? What types of jobs might you find? How do you find jobs? How do paid jobs compare to volunteer jobs? What are the tax implications of workamping?

    4:00 - 5:30 Selecting A Home Base & Insurance Considerations

  • All U.S. full-timers have to be a resident of some state. This seminar provides some guidelines on what to consider when making that very important choice. And since the selection of a home base affects insurance rates, we discuss the various types of insurance RVers typically have and how to keep premiums low.

    6:00 - 7:15 Potluck Dinner

    7:30 - 9:00 Road Tested OR RV-Dreams Family Feud

  • Either of these game shows adapted to RVing promise to make you laugh. :)

    8:30 - 9:30 Basic RV Maintenance I - Engine/Chassis, Tires & Wheels, Axles, Brakes, & Exterior

  • This seminar provides an overview for the RV owner to help keep the RV in good working order for maximum safety and to prevent the need for major, costly repairs later.

    9:45 - 10:45 Basic RV Maintenance II - Batteries, Appliances, & Generators

  • Batteries are the heart & soul of an RV, and proper maintenance helps prevent a myriad of problems that can be traced to battery issues. In addition, we discuss how to keep appliances and generators running as they should.

    11:00 - 12:00 Basic RV Maintenance III - Plumbing System, Propane System, & Safety Considerations

  • In this seminar, we discuss simple maintenance of water heaters, fresh water systems, holding tanks, valves, and more. Also, we talk about annual tests of the propane system as well as ways to make sure the built-in safety features of your RV will function properly in an emergency.

    The rest of the day will be set aside for RV experts from the area. Schedule and topics to be determined.

    The evening will be free. We may have some impromptu group activities you can take part in, or you can join your new friends for a get-together or local touring, or you can just relax. It's all up to you.

    8:30 - 9:30 Internet On The Road

  • Technology is changing fast. Get the latest information on how to best access the internet on the road keeping in mind costs of equipment, recurring internet access charges, methods of connecting, and how that all fits with your internet needs.

    9:45 - 10:45 Boondocking/Solar

  • In this seminar, we lay out the basics of boondocking. We talk about what you might need for extended boondocking and discuss solar/battery set-ups. We also discuss holding tank management and other aspects of parking without hook-ups.

    11:00 - 12:00 Choosing Campgrounds/RV Parks

  • This seminar includes tips on finding campgrounds and RV parks that fit your RVing lifestyle.

    Lunch on your own

    2:00 - 5:00 Open Rig Walk-throughs (Voluntary)

  • This is one of the most popular events at our Rallies. Several attendees graciously open their rigs for inspection and there is an opportunity to tour "lived in" RVs. See what RVers do to modify their rigs for their lifestyle, see how storage space is used, and feel free to ask questions.

    6:00 - 7:00 Catered Dinner

    7:00 - 9:00 PARTY!! We'll conclude the Rally with dancing, games, and more fun. (Theme to be determined)

    9:00 - 10:00 Full Farewell Breakfast
    Time for hugs & handshakes and a few final words from your hosts

    Rally Registration Fee (Does not include camping):
    $320 for 2 people
    $160 for 1 person
    $380 for a family of 3 (includes 1 child under 18)
    $440 for a family of 4 (includes 2 children under 18)

    Prior Rally Attendee Discount: All attendees of the 2014 RV-Dreams Fall Rally that have attended any prior RV-Dreams Educational Rally (not including Boondocking Rallies) will receive discounted pricing as follows:
    $250 for 2 people
    $125 for 1 person
    $310 for a family of 3 (includes 1 child under 18)
    $370 for a family of 4 (includes 2 children under 18)

    There are NO partial deposits on the Rally Registration fee. The entire Rally amount is due at time of registration. Registration must be completed by September 1, 2014. If you cancel, $70 per person is NON-REFUNDABLE. The remainder of the registration is refundable for cancellations prior to September 1, 2014.

    The Rally Registration Fee includes all seminars, four catered meals, entertainment, required event insurance, and use of a Fairgrounds building for registration, seminars, and meals. The facility costs are higher than usual, so we've had to increase the pricing a bit for this event.

    The Rally Registration Fee does not include camping which we will collect separately. See below.

    RV Sites

    The Rally registration fee DOES NOT include RV sites or other accommodations. We have set aside 76 RV sites and your Rally registration will serve as your RV site reservation for the five nights of the Rally. We will collect for your five nights of camping ($145) a week or two before the Rally.

    NOTE: All five nights of camping for the Rally must be paid. Due to our contract with the Fairgrounds we will be unable to adjust for late arrivals or early departures.

    Rally Rate For RV Sites

    All RV sites are 50/30 Amp electric with full hook-ups. The five nights of camping for the Rally will be $145 (tax included). YOU DO NOT need to make reservations for the five nights of the Rally. Your registration will serve as your reservation, and WE will be collecting for the Rally camping fees a couple of weeks before the Rally.

    Pre & Post Rally Camping

    The Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds will allow you to come in early or stay late (on a space-available basis) at a rate of $30 per night plus tax ($32.10 including tax) for full hook-ups and $23 per night plus tax ($24.61 including tax) for water and electric sites. Pre & Post Rally camping arrangements are to be made directly with the Fairgrounds by calling 1-574-533-3247. Depending on when you come in or how long you stay, there is a good chance you may have to move sites.

    Other Accommodations

    For those not bringing an RV, there are few hotels within a few minutes of the Fairgrounds. There is a Best Western and a Holiday Inn Express less than two miles from the Rally site. And there are a few others three, four, and five miles away. Here is a link to the Amish Country "Where To Stay" page. Select "Goshen" in the "City" drop-down box.

    Additional Costs

    Rally T-Shirts (Optional) - $15 Each
    We will be ordering Rally T-shirts based on your selections during the registration process. Those that pre-order T-shirts will be able to pick them up and pay for them at registration on September 16. Please do NOT pre-pay for the shirts with your registration. Note: We won't be ordering many extra shirts, so the only way to guarantee you get one is to pre-order.

    Here are sample T-shirt designs from the last two rallies.

    RV Weighing (Optional) - $60
    We will do RV Weighing sign-ups after our RV Weight & Tire Safety Seminar. Though we highly recommend this service, it is completely up to you. If you choose to be weighed, we are under contract with the RV Safety & Education Foundation to charge $60, part of which supports the work of the non-profit foundation.

    Final Thoughts
    About two weeks prior to the Rally, we will send an email letter to all registered attendees providing details about what to expect. We will also send a link so that you can pay for your camping.

    An RV-Dreams Rally includes a great mixture of experienced full-timers, new full-timers, savvy RVers, wannabe full-timers, and folks just exploring their options. The time before and after the Rally and the other times spent with other attendees can be as fun and informative as the scheduled activities. Life long friends are made at these Rallies and that's one of the reasons why we have return guests every time. :)


    Registration Deadline was September 1. Registration is now closed. Our next educational Rally is scheduled for April 28 - May 3, 2015 in Sevierville, Tennessee.