110 Rigs at Ramblin’ Pushers Maintenance Session
GOSHEN, Ind. – Paul Miller, maintenance session coordinator for the Ramblin’ Pushers Annual Maintenance Session explained that this gathering of some of the finest brands and models in the motorhome industry is not as much a rally as it is an instructional-series of educational seminars. Held at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind., 110 coaches wheeled in to take advantage of this opportunity.
“It’s like a rally but it’s different because we don’t have a lot of entertainment and we concentrate on educational seminars,” reported Miller. “We’ve got six days of seminars in all aspects of operating and maintaining a diesel coach. Everything from tires to RV inspections. We have roundtables where owners with different chassis get together to discuss issues and solutions. We have a mentoring program, where someone can sign up, and a mentor with a similar coach will come out to their unit and answer any questions. All for diesel pushers and Super C coaches.”
He explained that this club started in 1990 with a bunch of guys getting together and just fixing each other’s coaches, and it evolved over the years to one of the most comprehensive centers of expertise in the RV realm.
“We’re an FMCA chapter now for a year,” he stated. “That’s a great organization. They support us and we support them. There are also suppliers and OEMs here with instruction on exterior detailing, internet, Lippert systems, fire safety, tire safety, Aqua-Hot functioning, lithium batteries and just too many to mention.”
Many suppliers take the opportunity to send technical support teams to the session to properly diagnose and repair.
“Today it was Palmer Trucks. A Kenworth Center out of Fort Wayne, Ind.,” shared Miller. “They came in and they did oil changes on new coaches and generators.”
The number of 110 coaches may sound substantial but it is half of what it was before COVID.
“Before COVID, we’d have 200 or 250 coaches here,” he explained. “And then for two years we didn’t have the gathering. And then last year we were at 130. This year is 110. So we’re trying to build back up. The fact is people age out of this lifestyle. So the lifeblood of the organization is our first timers. And so about 40% of the coaches here are first timers this year.”
He discussed that other factors for the smaller turnout is the price of diesel and the fact many owners who used to travel long distances now stay closer to home, for longer periods of time.
OEMs coming to meet the owners and showcase new products included dealers from Tiffin, Newmar, and Holiday Rambler.
“We’ve got some Super Cs, Beavers. Entegras, lots of Tiffins,” he said. “We’ve opened it up to all brands. It started out as a Holiday Rambler chapter and expanded to Monaco.
“I would just like to say thanks to all our vendors, our service providers, and our dealers that came. Anyone that wants more information, we have a website. It’s ramblingpushers.org. That’s all one word. We have a Facebook page, which is Rambling Pushers Inc, I-N-C.”
A full list of the vendors, suppliers and companies displaying product can be found at www.ramblinpushers.org/index.php/419-sponsors.
“People that own these coaches are the best ambassadors to spread the word about what a good deal this event is,” said Miller. “It’s a bargain. You get seven nights of camping. Next year, the rates are going to be $320. And you get a breakfast every morning. And it’s an all-volunteer organization. This year we had 110 coaches. And we had 101 volunteers.”
Touring the grounds means not only seeing some of the most beautiful and advanced diesel pushers in existence, but meeting enthusiastic owners.
Adam Haybach of Marshall, Mich. finds the experience invaluable as an owner of one of these big rigs.
“I’ve been coming to this for 13 years,” he said. (no photo of Adam, Rick)
Bill Klaes from Seymour, Ind., a third year attendee and comes from a family of motorhome owners. Lee Adkins from Roanoke, Va. is in his fouth year at the sessions.
“If you’ve never been before, you are guaranteed to learn something here,” said Adkins.
“No one gets paid here it’s all volunteer,” concluded Miller. “We do it because we like it. I wished one of our vendors good luck with sales, and he just said, ‘We don’t come here expecting to make money, We come here because we support what you guys do to support the lifestyle.’ That’s the spirit here.”
For information, visit www.ramblingpushers.org