Motorhome owners are known for their great sense of community, as one of the most fun parts of travelling on the road is meeting new people along the way. There are many communities for motorhome owners; however an American organisation which has now gone international is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) started in America back in the nineteen sixties and since then has gained eighty thousand international motorhome enthusiasts as members.
Before interstate highways were built across the States, those that wished to travel long distances decided to alter retired school buses, transit buses and other vehicles so that they could not only travel in them but also live comfortably during long haul journeys. At first only a few families took part in creating these “house cars”, and after much practice even found ways to include bunk beds, couches, stoves, refrigerators and other facilities into their vehicles before setting off on the road. Eventually, these families started to meet one another and decided to start meeting up in various locations, and by 1963 they decided that an official not-for-profit community should be formed.
One weekend in July, twenty six families met at the Hinckley School in Maine, where they viewed a solar eclipse, socialised, and created the organisation which is still running to this day. The world of motorhomes may have changed a lot since then, but owners still enjoy meeting up and discussing their vehicles, trips they have been on, their motorhome insurance policies, and advice. To mark the fiftieth anniversary the FMCA is planning on hosting the 88th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase at the CAM-PLEX Multi-Events Facilities in Gilette, Wyoming, where members from across the world can meet and take part in special events. Furthermore, there will be a “nostalgia room” where vintage “house cars” will be on display as a nod to the community’s beginnings.
The national president of the FMCA, Charlie Schrenkel said: “FMCA has a great deal to celebrate this year, I’m grateful to the early leaders, who had a vision to lay such a solid groundwork for our organization, plus all the members who have labored throughout the past five decades to nurture it and watch it grow. Today, I’m proud to say that I belong to FMCA – the world’s finest organization for motorhome owners.”