We had signed up for this “Gypsy Gathering”, an RV rally in Lake City, FL back in March. (An “RV rally” is where any number of any type of RV/5th wheel/trailers meet together at a designated place for several days of seminars, camaraderie, idea swapping and general fun. They can be huge- over 6000 units were at the annual Family Motor Coach Association Rally at the Perry, GA fairgrounds. Or they can be small – this one has about 75 units.) It was to be our first experience at a rally and we were looking forward to it with great expectations. We were not disappointed!
The “Gypsy Gathering” is co-sponsored by The Gypsy Journal, a bi-monthly RV newspaper that is homey, humorous and helpful! The editors/authors are Nick and Terry Russell who have been full timers for over 5 years and love to share their adventures, trials and tips with other RV-ing folks! The other co-sponsor was Jonolyn Enterprises, a company that specializes in all things electrical for RVs. This rally was especially geared to boon docking, or dry camping. That’s camping without any hook-ups – no water, no electric and no sewer. In fact, the beautiful 500 acre property that is “home” to the rally is entirely “off the grid” – using no public utilities at all. Everything is run by solar power, generator power, and batteries. And yet here I am using their WiFi connection to post this journal!
This is a selection of the seminars we’ve attended –
• Living off the Grid
• RV Maintenance
• Free & Low Cost Camping
• Fire Safety
• Batteries, Inverters, & Goodies
• The Frugal RVer
Now, these may not sound too exciting to the general public, but for those of us trying to make a go of this RV thing (and have as little experience as we do!), every one of these seminars taught us something. Plus, we’ve met some great folks who are in many different places on their life journey. We’ve met folks who have been full-timing for 15 years. We’ve met folks who started full timing in August (like us!). We’ve met folks who are the classic “snow-birds” and we’ve met folks who just like to travel on weekends. We’ve even met folks who live around the corner from us in Warminster!
We’ve had a great five days here in Lake City, nestled along the trails among the live oaks and Spanish moss, learning about batteries and inverters and having solar panels installed. We’ve picked up lots of tips and tricks, made new friends, shared some stories around the campfire and enjoyed the encouragement of folks who have “been there and done that”. Glad we came!
Oh – we even came in second in the golf cart rodeo. I was the navigator and Gary was the blindfolded driver. Quite a sight, I assure you!
The rally is wrapping up today, but we’ll probably hang around for a couple of days – parked in the sunshine to test those solar panels. So much to learn……