2020 RV-Dreams Spring Educational Rally

The Ridge Outdoor Resort

Sevierville/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

April 20 - 26, 2020



2020 RV-Dreams Spring Rally Information

Welcome to the information page for our nineteenth RV-Dreams Educational Rally. Read on for details!

For Spring 2020, we are pleased to announce that we are returning to the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area.

But this time we will be holding the event at The Ridge Outdoor Resort, a brand new smoky mountains RV camping & glamping resort located just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

More on this exciting new venue below.



Rally Overview

An RV-Dreams Rally is primarily educational with social activities and fun mixed in. It is quite different than most other RV "rallies".

It includes several seminars from Linda & I based on our fourteen years of experience as full-timers, our own research, interviews with other full-timers, and the wealth of information from our Forum. Farther down the page under "Rally Details", you will find a preliminary itinerary.
 
In addition to seminars, we will have open rig walk-throughs and four catered meals - a welcome BBQ dinner, an Italian dinner night, a final night catered dinner with entertainment, and a full, hot farewell breakfast on our last morning. On one night we'll have a potluck dinner where we all pitch in and create a wonderful meal together, a good old-fashioned RVing tradition.

Also, an instructor from RV Driving School will be present to provide "behind the wheel" driving lessons, and our good friends at the RV Safety & Education Foundation will be providing wheel-by-wheel RV weighing services (additional fees apply).

In addition, RV Insurance Benefits will be doing a seminar on Health & Medicare Updates & Options For RVers.

AND, RV Solar Solutions will be there doing a couple of installations for attendees and providing quotes for future installations.

Also, it's important to note that 20% - 30% of our Rally attendees do NOT have an RV at the time of the Rally, and many find it very beneficial to attend BEFORE they make the purchase of their home on wheels. SO, TO BE CLEAR, YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE AN RV TO ATTEND.

AND The Ridge has on-site accommodations such as Glamping Tiny Houses and Safari Tents for those that want to be close to the action rather than in a hotel (which we would recommend).

Of course, for those without RVs and those that don't yet have their "full-timing homes", our friends at RVs For Less will be bringing a selection of their full-timing fifth wheels to show. Plus, we're working hard on getting a nice variety of motorhomes to walk through as well. 

Still curious? Check out our Rally Overview video below.


Registration for the

2020 RV-Dreams Spring Educational Rally

is now open!!

Click Here To Register 

or

Continue Reading To Learn More




Rally Details

The Venue


Come join us at The Ridge Outdoor Resort in eastern Tennessee just outside The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The resort is conveniently located off of I-40 about 30 miles from Knoxville, 35 miles from the Knoxville airport, and 90 miles from Asheville, NC.

Though it's located outside the hustle and bustle and traffic of the busy Parkway, it's only ten to fifteen minutes from the shows and attractions in Pigeon Forge which can be reached more easily from the back roads. Also, it's less than ten minutes from Dollywood.

A half hour drive gets you to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We are partnering with The Ridge for the first time to provide our website visitors, Journal readers, and Forum members - our RV-Dreams Family - with a great location to come together for fellowship and a lot of RVer education.

The Ridge is a brand new RV resort built by the former owners of River Plantation RV Resort where we've had so many great rallies in past years.

In fact, it's still being built. Phase I is complete, and Phase II will be complete by the time of our Rally.

The staff that took such good care of our group at River Plantation has moved over, and we expect the same top level service added to the all new modern amenities.

Speaking of amenities, this is what The Ridge has to offer:

  • Full hook-ups with 30/50 amp service
  • Big Rig Friendly interior roads and sites
  • Level concrete sites ranging from 62 to 100 feet
  • Modern Gas or Wood Firepits
  • Free Wi-Fi hotspots, a Wi-Fi lounge, & Ethernet Connections at every site
  • Laundry Facilities 
  • Zero Entry Swimming Pool With Sun Deck 
  • Fitness Center
  • Pickleball Court
  • Bark Park
  • Glamping Tiny Homes
  • Glamping Safari Tents

  • The Area

    Most people are quite familiar with the Great Smoky Mountains. It's a gorgeous area and the weather is wonderful in the Spring.

    Some people come early or stay after the Rally to enjoy many of the potential outdoor activities available. There are short and long hikes with views and waterfalls, and there are scenic drives with a good chance to see bears.

    Or, if you prefer, Pigeon Forge offers over 20 live shows providing world class entertainment. Also, the Dollywood theme park is only 10 minutes away from the RV resort.

    And though shopping is more limited for us living in RVs, there are at least three outlet malls in the area.

    Some might enjoy the Rocky Top Wine Trail or, if wine is not your thing, there are some moonshine distilleries that offer tastings. Just make sure you have a designated driver.

    The location, as much as anything, has caused us to sell out every Rally we've ever held in Sevierville/Pigeon Forge.


    Tentative Itinerary - (Note: Everything will take place in the Event Center unless we tell you otherwise)

    This Rally will officially start on Monday with check-in and a Welcome Dinner.

    Seminars will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Saturday afternoon we will have our very popular "Open Rig Walk-Through".

    On Sunday, we'll have a Farewell Breakfast as we end the Rally.

    The following is a tentative, detailed schedule.  As we get closer, we may move the seminar schedule around a bit and we may add or replace some seminars, but the content will remain mostly as indicated below (just maybe on different days).

    Also, we typically have various impromptu events that we schedule right before the Rally or even during the first couple of days. For example, if there is enough interest, we might do a pickleball clinic.

    Pre-Rally

    We always arrive a few days early, and we generally have some type of gathering each night (weather permitting) for the early arrivals.


    Monday


    5:00 - 6:00 Welcome, Check-in, and Social Time

    6:00 - 7:00 Catered Welcome BBQ Dinner

    7:00 - 8:00 Rally Overview & Introductions

    8:00 - 9:00 Icebreaker

    Tuesday


    9:00 - 10:00 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.

    10:15 - 11:00 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-timing, 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.

    11:15 - 12:15 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.

    This seminar is great for those that don't have an RV yet, those that don't have a "full-timing" rig yet, those that may be looking to change RVs, and those that might want to modify their RVs.


    Lunch on your own OR bring your lunch to the Event Center and join us for an informal question & answer session.


    1:30 - 2:30 - Driving Your RV Safely - RV Driving School

    You’ve been driving since you were 16. You may 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 safely operating our RVs. This seminar is especially recommended if you are going to have a driving lesson before or after the Rally.




    6:00 - 7:00 Catered Dinner

    7:00 - 9:00 "Your Favorite RV Gadget" Show-And-Tell and Door Prize Drawings

    Though we've been RVing for 14 years, there's always something new or a great idea that we implement after this fun evening.


    Wednesday

    9:00 - 10:15 RVing Basics I - Driving, Towing, Hitching/Unhitching

    In this seminar, we discuss basic tips and techniques to take away some of the anxiety of driving and towing an RV and hitching/unhitching. We hope to have hitching/unhitching demonstrations during the Rally. 

    10:30 - 12:00 RVing Basics II - Hooking Up Utilities, Dumping Tanks, RV Systems Overview, & Campground Etiquette

    The earlier seminar discusses getting to the campground or RV Park while this seminar discusses what to do once you arrive.  We also provide an overview of the systems common to almost all RVs and finish up with how to be a good neighbor in the campground.


    Lunch on your own OR bring your lunch to the Event Center and join us for an informal question & answer session.


    1:30 - 3:00 - RVing Basics III - Safety & Checklists

    In this very important seminar, we'll talk about various aspects of staying safe on the road.  We'll discuss the problems related to overloading your RV, and we'll touch on how to properly match trucks and trailers.  We'll also talk about RV tires, the foundation of our homes on wheels, and how to make sure they are properly inflated and maintained.  At the end we'll cover some additional safety issues and checklists. 


    3:00 RV Weighing Sign-Ups

    Don't miss this rare opportunity to have your RV weighed wheel-by-wheel with certified portable scales. We are happy to have RVSEF coming to do the weighing as they are the best in the business (we know because we were once a weighing team for them). We'll provide more details regarding costs and procedures soon.


    The rest of the day and evening is "FREE". We may have an optional impromptu event.


    Thursday

    9:00 - 10:00 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. We'll discuss the most popular domicile states for full-timers and why they are the most popular. Also, we will touch on how your selection of "Home Base" affects your insurance choices. 

    10:15 - 11:45 Health Insurance and Medicare 2019-Updates & Options For RVers - RV Insurance Benefits

    Health Insurance is a HUGE issue for full-time RVers, and this seminar will provide updates on recent changes and the various options for RVers.


    Lunch on your own OR bring your lunch to the Event Center and join us for an informal question & answer session.


    1:00 - 1:45  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.

    2:00 - 3:00 Working/Volunteering 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?

    3:15 - 4:00 Internet On The Road

    Technology is changing fast. This seminar will provide an overview of internet connections and provide resources that will help you get the latest information to determine what is best for you when you are ready.


    6:00 - 7:15 Potluck Dinner

    7:30 - 9:00 "Road Tested"

    This take-off on "The Newlywed Game" has been adapted to RVing and promises to make you laugh. 


    Friday

    9:00 - 10:00 RVing To Alaska

    With our 2019 Alaska RV trip fresh, we share planning tips and what we learned from our own experience. We'll discuss routes, places to go, things to see, timing, and more plus we'll offer a few of our own recommendations for this classic RV adventure.

    10:15 - 10:45 Basic RV Maintenance I - Engine/Chassis, Tires & Wheels, Axles, Brakes, & Exterior

    This seminar provides a very basic 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.

    10:45 - 11:30 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.

    11:45 - 12:30 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 is a "FREE DAY".

    We may have an impromptu group activity 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. 


    Saturday

    9:00 - 10:00 Choosing Campgrounds/RV Parks

    This seminar includes an overview of all the types of camping available and provides tips on finding campgrounds and RV parks that fit your RVing lifestyle.

    10:15 - 11:30 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.


    NOTE: RV Solar Solutions will be at the Rally to answer additional questions and provide quotes for installations.


    Lunch on your own


    1:00 - 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 at our Saturday night theme party (them to be determined).


    Sunday


    8:30 - 9:30 Full Farewell Breakfast
    Time for hugs & handshakes and a few final words from your hosts


    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. :)

    Rally Pricing* (Does not include accommodation costs):

    $360 for 2 people
    $190 for 1 person
    $400 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 2020 RV-Dreams Spring Educational Rally that have attended any of our eighteen previous full educational rallies receive the following pricing:

    $280 for 2 people
    $150 for 1 person
    $320 for a family of 3 (includes 1 child under 18) 
    $360 for a family of 4 (includes 2 children under 18)

    * - There are no partial deposits. The entire Rally amount is due at time of registration. Registration must be completed by April 1, 2020 (although it will likely sell out long before then).

    Cancellation Policy: If you cancel, $80 per adult ($40 per adult for returnees) is NON-REFUNDABLE. The remainder of the registration is refundable for cancellations prior to April 1, 2020. 

    However, IF we sell out, have a Waiting List AND fill your spot (with payment received), we will refund the remaining portion. OR, you will have the option of applying that amount to a future Rally.


    The Rally registration fee includes all seminars, four catered meals, entertainment, and use of the Event Center for registration, seminars, and meals. 


    RV Sites

    Reservation Information

    The Rally registration DOES NOT include RV sites or other accommodations. We have set aside 60 RV sites at The Ridge Outdoor Resort but you must make your own reservations. When you call, BE SURE to tell them you are with the RV-Dreams Rally BEFORE they begin the reservation process.

    Note: You MUST complete the registration process and submit payment to us before making your reservation with the RV park. We periodically cross-check Rally registrations with RV park reservations. If you reserve a site under the RV-Dreams Rally without registering with us and making payment, you will not receive the Rally rate and your site will be subject to cancellation.


    Once you have registered for the Rally, you can give The Ridge a call at 865-505-3111 to make your reservation. Again, be sure to tell them that you are with the 2020 RV-Dreams Rally BEFORE they begin the reservation process.

    Rally Rate For RV Sites

    All sites have 50/30 Amp electric with full hook-ups, concrete pads, and free Wi-Fi.

    The Rally rate for all sites is $49.99 per night (plus tax).

    Usually our Rally partners offer our attendees the Rally rate for a few days before and after the Rally, but we haven't confirmed the number of days yet. We'll update this page when we have that information. When you register, let them know if you would like to arrive or early or stay later. NOTE: The offer of extra days at the Rally rate is subject to availability AND you may have to move sites.

    Your deposit amount is one night's camping fee, and be sure you ask about their cancellation policy.


    Other Accommodations

    As mentioned previously, many of our RV-Dreams Educational Rally attendees don't have RVs yet, and they stay in cabins, local hotels, B & Bs, cottages, etc.

    On-Site

    Fortunately, The Ridge has on-site "glamping" options as follows:

    Tiny Homes (5) - (SOLD OUT as of Nov, 10, 2019) Rally Rate of $90/night

    • New!
    • Sleeps 2
    • Modern Bathroom
    • Kitchen
    • Bedroom
    • Living Area
    • Equipped with lines, towels, and cooking utensils

    Safari Tents (8) - (Only 3 left as of Nov. 10, 2019) Rally Rate of $100/night

    • New!
    • Sleeps 4 - 6
    • Glamping Sleeping Quarters
    • Bathroom
    • Kitchen
    • Equipped with linens, towels, and cooking utensils



    Again, one night's deposit is required for these accommodations and, again, ask about the cancellation policy.

    These alternative on-site accommodations are always the first to sell out, so don't wait too long.

    Note: NO PETS are allowed in the tiny houses or safari tents.


    Off-Site

    There is no shortage of lodging in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area, so finding a hotel, lodge, or hotel won't be a problem.

    Check out the PigeonForge.com Cabins, Hotels, & Lodging page for choices. They even have a link to pet-friendly options.

    You may also want to check VRBO, Airbnb, and other private, peer-to-peer house and room rentals in the area. You may find something more convenient to the RV resort and it may be less expensive.


    Of course, you may also consider renting an RV and joining us at the RV resort.


    Additional Costs

    Special Meals

    Our caterer will do special meals, but there is an additional fee of $30 per person. If you prefer special meals due to diet, health, or otherwise, you'll indicated that on the registration form and add the extra fee to the total amount for registration.

    RV Wheel Position Weighing (Optional)

    Expect prices to run from $60 to $100.

    We will update this section when we secure the service provider.


    RV Driving School Hands-On Driving Lessons (Optional)

    RV Driving School will be providing driving lessons before and after the Rally. Contact RV Driving School directly to schedule lessons - there are a limited number of spots available.

    RV Driving School - (530) 878-0111 

    Private Lesson $495 **

    2 days – 4 hours each day

    Two Person Private Lesson $695 **

    2 days – 6 hours each day

    ** A certificate will be presented after specific lessons. This can be submitted to your insurance carrier. Many insurance companies will authorize a discount for completing the training.


    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.

    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 for the

    2020 RV-Dreams Spring Educational Rally

    is now open!!

    Click Here To Register 



    Cancellation Policy: If you cancel, $80 per adult ($40 per adult for returnees) is NON-REFUNDABLE. The remainder of the registration is refundable for cancellations prior to April 1, 2020. 

    However, IF we sell out, have a Waiting List AND fill your spot (with payment received), we will refund the remaining portion. Or you can apply the non-refundable portion to a future Rally.