EXCELLENT turnout and enthusiasm was demonstrated by the Flamingles during our 3-day rally in Naples, Florida at Rock Creek RV Resort. We saw a record turnout, with 65 attendees: 32 Unity, Serenity, Free Spirit, or Wonders were present, PLUS one couple considering the purchase of an LTV stayed in a hotel.
On Friday evening we officially began our rally with a pot luck dinner and cocktails at the community center. Delicious food was provided by the members and we had quite the spread: homemade soups, meat balls, chili, ham, broasted chicken, and many varied salads and sides. Lots helped themselves to seconds and even thirds! Door prizes were received by some, including those who had the longest history of owning an LTV (since 2003), those who logged the most miles on their rig in 2019 (20,000), those with the best adventure story for 2019, or those who had traveled the furthest to get to the rally in Florida.
Don Klassen and his lovely wife Rose were present, conducting a Q&A. Our enthusiastic group had lots of questions, lasting 1 ½ hours. We gained so much knowledge about mattresses, how the microwave is insulated completely when installed above the refrigerator; how each new prototype rig is tested on the road for function and practicality, that the LTV’s wheels should never be off the ground when using equalizers, and more. Many members stayed after the Q&A to just hang out together!
On Saturday our rally began in earnest with a breakfast of 5 different kinds of muffins, coffee, orange juice, yogurts, cereals, fresh fruits and lots of camaraderie – all provided by the Chapter! It is no small task to feed 65 hungry active LTV owners, of course! We then began our morning workshop of Maintaining Your Rig. Lyle Kusler, sales representation from RV World in Nokomis, Florida, was in charge of this presentation. He arranged to have a LTV brought to Rock Creek for use as a demo by one of his best technicians, Patrick Grzywna, who took us through a hands-on demo of what to remember and look for in maintaining your rig. Lyle also left the rig open for those who wanted to see the Murphy Bed model. So many tips were shared on topics such as maintaining the gaskets around slide-outs, how you should never use the battery connections under the hood to jump start the rig (rather use the battery connections under the floor on the driver’s side), why it is imperative to have a GOOD surge protector for excess or not enough shore power, the reasons that with synthetic oil it really is okay to go 20,000 miles between changes, and the ease of working with LTV rigs because of the superb nature in which they are designed, constructed, and serviced.
On Saturday afternoon the business meeting was held, with so many invaluable suggestions to create an even better rally. Members stepped up to the plate to help and create a new regular benefit: providing on-site services for detailing or mobile electronic repair or plumbing repairs. Lyle brought 2020 brochures with him and that sparked much enthusiasm. Many positive comments were directed at LTV, especially following the presentation by Dee and Alan Galbreath on their Winkler Rally experience. New guidelines were released by LTV for 2020.
On Saturday night was a catered dinner, which all members attended. This was followed by a wine tasting event by Denise Deters of Wine from the Vine, who provided an excellent overview of finding “clean wines” and their benefit. It was a spirited presentation with many exuberant toasts. Following the wine tasting, groups met on the dock for a cool summer night breeze! We had great photo ops with our members. Look at the pics – a smiling energized group!
Sunday morning was our tour called My Personalized LTV, where each rig opened their doors for show and tell of how they improved living by storage, gadgets, decorations, etc. We got to see the 2020 Unity — just gorgeous with its excellent electronics and fancy fabric on the upholstery. There were so many creative ideas on touches for our rigs to make them more functional, comfortable and cozy that it was hard to take them all in. Members were so gracious in sharing their ideas!
We then shared a lunch of leftovers followed by our afternoon workshops, which were an unmitigated success. Bob Coleman and Harry Parsonage did an excellent job on providing tips about different types of batteries, battery life and performance, and other technical details. The handouts are excellent, with diagrams on wiring, voltage vs. capacity, the use of Sensaphone Webb800 to monitor temperatures in various locations, the benefits of solar panels and installation, and many invaluable tips. We then had the Park Ranger from Seminole Park speak, who provided an overview of the Park with a presentation and tips on registering with Reserve America. This was followed by an open discussion lead by Bernie Ortwein, where we learned about the hazards of fires starting in refrigerators when not level, oil levels on the instrument panel, and many other great exchanges that resulted in some great ideas for future workshops.
Most of the group left in Ubers for our evening cruise on Naples Princess, which 47 members attended. Although the weather was a bit colder than we all anticipated, a lovely evening was had by all as we toured the waters through Naples’ exclusive neighborhoods, awed by the architecture, the size of the homes (some looked like hotels), and the gorgeous nature surrounding us. We got to see several baby dolphins jumping, and the view from the upper open deck was breathtaking. Members shared appetizers, drinks, and lots of stories, and many friendships were created during the 2-hour cruise. After dinner, folks found great dinners opportunities at the 4 restaurants on the water!
Afterward, we headed back to our rigs, sharing our goodbyes and looking forward to our next rally!