Sunday, May 1, 2016

Welcome to our Vintage Camper and Airstream Rally Pages!

  In the year 2000 my family purchased a 1982 Airstream Classic Motorhome. This was our very first experience with Rvs and camping trailers. I searched the internet for more information on how to use it better, and what to do to maintain this beautiful coach. I won't bore you with the story of how I found the Airstream, but suffice to say it took quite some time and a lot of digging through web sites and online classifieds to even locate any of these for sale.

  Once we got the coach we set out for a weekend to try out the "new to us" camper. It proved to me how little I knew about it, but also how much we enjoyed the big old thing. I later stumbled onto a web chat board maintained by a sales person at an RV dealership. There were a handful of people on there who had the same goals as I did. Some of us are still friends all these years later.

  We chatted for some weeks and then as the group started to grow, the owner of the board backed off maintaining it and it was soon unreachable much of the time.
  Among us was an Airstream owner who also had a web hosting server and a small company to manage it. He offered us space on a server and better software at no cost.
This became known as the Airstream Forums. Finding some difficulty with using the Airstream name, as it is their company trademark, he dropped the "stream" and named it the Air Forums. I tell you this because from the small group of people on the newly created web forum, we developed the idea of getting together (as others had been doing for some time...see Wally Byam) to share our passion for these Airstream Classics. Also we had the goal of learning from each other's experiences and common interests face to face.
Our first "Rally" was a meeting of 7 units in the Florida panhandle. Mystic Springs Airstream Park was the place, and we choose a weekend in Spring to get together there. The Mystic 7 as we called ourselves, had a terrific weekend of fellowship, fun and learning. I had never riveted anything and did not even know where to begin the process. Our Airstream it seemed, had a few missing rivets in the shell and interior, and I was told of the importance of replacing these promptly and correctly. With a borrowed rivet gun I learned through the hands on method just how to accomplish this basic task. We all enjoyed ourselves so much the group decided to do it again in a few months. After arriving back home I set out to arrange a Rally or meeting of anyone interested, with no restriction as to the type of camper they could bring. Also, this would hopefully be closer to my home than the 6 hours drive to Florida. The first of our Rallys were held at various State Parks around North Georgia.
The attendance grew and soon surpassed my expectations by a lot. A whole lot....
In 2005 we chose the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds campground as our spot for the next rally. This place in Hiawassee, GA is located on Lake Chatuge, a truly beautiful lake surrounded by Blue Ridge mountains. Early in the morning the fog slowly burns off when the sun comes out and it makes for some scenic views that captivate and inspire everyone.
  The campsites mostly have full hook ups and are arranged in a way that give almost everyone a view of the lake. We found ourselves a home, that we would revisit every Fall and Spring for years to come. In order to separate ourselves from the more stodgy clubs that had held rallys like ours, we named the Spring rally Springstream, and the Fall version became Falluminum. This gave an even more special meaning to everyone who attended over the years.
  Now in 2016 we are in our 11th year at this campground, and as we have grown, our rally has inspired quite a few others to plan their own get together, nearer to their home base. We typically host a crowd of 50 or more campers with 100 plus people, dogs, cats, and more.
 The dates are each April and October, and we have settled into an enjoyable and relaxed routine with no rules, no fees, and really- no requirements other than showing up. Even those without camper have been encouraged to come and learn what this pastime is all about. Most will find a camper style that suits them and they can then seek to find one of their own. All on a fun weekend, where thankfully (!) the weather has cooperated almost all the time.

Attending a Rally with Us :

You can join in our Springstream or Falluminum rally as a camper simply by making a reservation for one of the weekends. The cost is typically $35.00 or so a night for the camp site. You can choose to pay for one night as a deposit and then for the additional night on arrival. Some campers will book extra nights, as the beauty of the campground and the proximity to other interesting places and things makes it worthwhile.

For example : the Bavarian -like town of Helen, Ga is only a short drive over the mountain, and the town of Murphy, NC is 30 miles North. Antiquing and outdoor activities of all kinds are found in the area.  Outside Murphy is Harrah's Cherokeee Casino.

Our Rallys are now held at RIVERBEND CAMPING in Hiawassee GA

It is important to try to reserve your site early. A map can be found on their web site.,. Any site will work for you as an attendee. But you should ask what area they are holding sites in.

 Check our Facebook Page , the Tin Can Tourists home ,Yahoo and Facebook pages, or the venerable AIRFORUMS.COM for more specifics. AirForums has a "Forums Rallys" section that is most helpful. Also we post a thread for chatting about the rally and a list of attendees on the AIRFORUMS site.
If you like you can join our Georgia Vintage  Campers group on Air Forums and Facebook to keep up with information.

Hope to see y'all sometime!

Alan & Shannon