Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rally Time!

Have you ever attended an RV rally?  Curious about what goes on at one? 

These events take on all variations of names whether it is called a “Rally” or “Get-togethers” or some other name, there are all types.  Some are sponsored by national RV clubs like Good Sam, Escapees, and Family Motorcoach Association while others are sponsored by RV manufacturers.  Most rallys have planned activities and entertainment, offer informational seminars, showcase new RVs and camping gear, and are a great way to meet other RV enthusiasts.  They may focus on a certain RV type or brand or on a membership organization.

We recently attended our second motorhome rally and had such a great time we thought it was definitely something we needed to share with you all.  (Click here for a blog post about our first rally.)   The recent rally we attended was put on by our coach manufacturer, Entegra Coach, one of the motorized division of Jayco Corp.  The event was called “Spring Fest” and was the kick-off of a series of year-long rallys spread across the country in interesting and fun places like Big Sky Montana, Pigeon Forge Tennessee, Las Vegas Nevada, and more.  Spring Fest also served as the official preview of the 2017 Entegra line of coaches … which was just one of many wow factors this event delivered.

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The rally was four days of jam packed informational seminars, fun outings (including an in-depth tour of the factory), service calls for repairs, driving sessions, catered meals, special dinners, and great camaraderie with other Entegra Coach owners and many Entegra staff.  The rally was held just down the road from Entegra’s home (Middlebury, Indiana) in the famed RV Capital of the World – Elkhart, Indiana and the turnout was great with over 80 coaches coming to the party! 

Monday afternoon kicked off the event with registration, a little shopping for Entegra goods, and a sign-up for repairs or service work to be done on-site while at the rally.  Later that evening was a dessert reception (with open bar), time to mix and mingle, and capped off with a trivia game.  Luckily, we sat at a table with trivia buffs and pulled off the win which scored our table some amazing prizes.  Gift prizes for each couple at our table were awarded and, to our amazement, we scored a $100 gift card!  We were thrilled, although keys to a new Entegra Cornerstone would have been welcomed too (Ha, Ha!).

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The mornings of the next two days were all about learning.  Each morning started with a hot catered breakfast and coffee to wake us up followed by four hours of absorbing all the knowledge we could about the intricate parts of Entegra Coaches from the chassis to the cook-top to the Aqua-Hot water and heat systems to more.  The seminars and question sessions were very informative to us and we learned a lot about detailed aspects of our coach, how they worked, and maintenance requirements.  It was like having the coachs’ manual explained to us.

After lunch, the afternoons had us out and about visiting museums, taking a tour of the impressive factory, test driving a 2017 coach, and shopping in the local area.  But when the sun started to set the day was not over.  Some amazing events were in store and Entegra went all out.  The first evening was a fancy gala at the RV/MH Museum Hall of Fame. 
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The event really demonstrated Entegra’s and their parent company, Jayco’s, commitment to their customers with so many staff members attending from all reaches of the company.  Chairman of the Board, Directors of Customer Service, Vice President of New Product Development, Service Operations Manager, and more.  There were more directors there than at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles which really impressed us.  The nice thing about the event is that one of these directors, vice-presidents and other higher-ups sat at each table which we found really fostered a dialogue between customer and company.  Part of this family-like feeling stems from the fact that Jayco is the largest family-owned and operated RV manufacturer in the world.  We sat with Jason Bontrager (Director of Delivery Services and grandson of the company’s founder) and his wife.  They were charming and interested in what we as customers had to say about their product.  

The star of the gala was the unveiling of the 2017 impressive line of coaches which had some people placing orders and certainly peaked our interest.   They do look pretty cool at night all lit up with their bling.

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The second night was a roaring 20’s themed event complete with flapper dancers to entertain, lessons in the Charleston, and a scattering of gambling tables ready for you to try your luck with the poker chips they provided.  And, of course an amazing meal. 

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The final day was one of the most important from a customer standpoint – a suggestion session.  Entegra owners spoke freely and constructively about changes they would like to see made to better Entegra coaches.  While many times these situations turn into the feeling like nobody is listening (or just a complaint session) this one was different.  Numerous staff were on hand to record the suggestions and relay what has been tried in the past and what future changes are already in store.  We found out there are some very good design and engineering reasons as to why some requested changes are not easy to make.  We left with the solid impression that Entegra wants to build coaches for their customers.

Entegra Coach continues to impress us with their commitment to service and striving to be a leader in motorhome quality and technology.  The 2017 models feature technological advancement like blind spot monitoring and collision avoidance, Vegatouch integrated pad systems which let you control and monitor your coach in one location, and the only manufacturer to offer a 2-year warranty.  Their commitment to providing an amazing coach, phenomenal customer service, and a dynamic approach to innovation and change that has made us loyal owners.  This rally was just one more way that they showed a commitment to the customer.  The four-day event with food and drinks, camping costs, seminars, entertainment and excursions was only $150.  What a bargain!  584

For you who may be considering buying an Entegra Coach or just wanting to learn more about the product, we encourage you to attend one of these rallys as there are some that are open to non-Entegra owners.  You will have the opportunity to learn about the coach firsthand from the manufacturer and talk to other owners.  But, BEWARE!  There is no better salesperson than a satisfied Entegra owner and you will be surrounded by a lot of them. 

We had a great time at the rally and so glad our friends Rob and Linda (of My Quantum Discovery blog) were there and it was super nice to meet so many great Entegra owners.  Definitely looking forward to attending another rally. 

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6 comments:

  1. I will have to say that this rally involved some of the best dressed "RVers" I've seen at a rally. The Rally price of $150 is excellent as well.

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    1. It was a chance for us to wear some fancy clothes we have been driving around for five years.

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  2. Betsy and Nancy,

    Great Article - We love Rallies and I believe many RV'ers miss out on not going to them! We just got back from Myrtle Beach where we attended the American Coach National Rally. Also an awesome time. Got to get our Blog article out there. Last Year American Coach had there national Rally in Elkhart as well. Sounds like Entegra through a great one! Was very impressed with how many of the Executives of Entegra showed up. Great product.

    Thanks for Sharing
    Keith landers
    www.mhrig.com

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  3. Nice recap! Love Spirits boa! As you know Entegra's superior customer treatment continues well beyond the rallies and events too. That is just one more overriding reason our next coach would be another Entegra - in fact it will be, we have ordered a 2017 Aspire 44B!

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  4. Can't miss the wonderful styling and interior at this place. As I walked upstairs, my eyes wandered about the brick wall interior and the overall décor. This is by far one of the best venue NYC to organize event.

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