If you’re new to RVing, you may feel a little overwhelmed with all the groups, clubs, and other RV-related organizations out there. In this chaotic mess, quality groups like the FMCA can get lost in the shuffle.
But you shouldn’t ignore the valuable benefits FMCA membership provides. Let’s take a closer look and see if it’s right for you.
What Is FMCA?
FMCA stands for the Family Motor Coach Association. The organization works to organize social events for RVers, exchange information, and share discounts and benefits.
In exchange for membership benefits, FMCA members agree to follow the group’s code of ethics. This includes, among other things, respecting the rights and privacy of other drivers and RVers and following all laws and rules while RVing.
Membership costs $85 for one year, with discounts for two- or three-year memberships. Until recently, FMCA limited membership to those who owned drivable RVs. However, members have since voted to allow all RV and trailer owners to join.
Brief History of the Family Motor Coach Association
The FMCA was founded in July 1963, when 26 families from eight U.S. states and Canada met in Hanson, Mass. They hoped to socialize with other owners of so-called “house cars,” but the event sparked the formation of the Family Motor Coach Association the next day. The first of the organization’s annual gatherings took place one year later in Ticonderoga, New York.
The organization has seen more than half a million members in its nearly 60 years of operation. The group operates almost 400 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. They often divide the chapters by region or type of RV. Other groups formed around common interests like music or sports.
FMCA Member Demographics
FMCA members tend to be older. This, in part, reflects the demographics of the RV community at large, but also the organization’s former ban on towable RVs. This resulted in members who could afford the typically pricier drivable RVs, who tended to be older and wealthier. As of 2018, the average age of a member was 71.
Top Benefits of an FMCA Membership
While there are tons of different benefits and discounts that come when you join the FMCA, here are a few we particularly love.
Tire Saving Program
Your tires are one of the most crucial parts of your RV. Ensuring they’re in good shape is vital to making sure your next trip stays safe. Unfortunately, anyone who’s replaced RV tires knows they can put a massive dent in your budget. Thankfully, your FMCA membership is here to help. FMCA members can receive discount pricing on Michelin and Continental tires at all authorized participating dealers nationwide. With the price of RV tires, these savings can really add up!
Stay in the loop with the latest news on the FMCA and the RV world with your complimentary subscription to Family RV Magazine. You’ll receive monthly print editions for the duration of your membership, in addition to a digital version. The magazine contains valuable travel guides, RV reviews, community updates, and more. Plus, with archives stretching back to 2002, you’ll always have something new to read and learn.
One of the unavoidable facts of life for RVers is that eventually, you’ll run into mechanical or other trouble while out on the road. That’s one reason the FMCA partners with the SafeRide RV Motor Club to offer an extensive roadside assistance program.
This program costs extra ($129 for towable RVs and $159 for driveable ones) but comes with a huge range of benefits. For example, you can take advantage of towing to the nearest qualified repair center, fuel delivery, lockout service, tire changes, battery jumps, and more. Your spouses and dependents are also covered while driving your rig, and you’re eligible for up to $1,500 in trip interruption benefits if a mechanical issue ruins your vacation.
RV Internet and Wifi
Staying connected on the road is a top priority for many RVers, and the FMCA has some great benefits to help you do just that. For an additional $50 per month, you can enroll in the FMCA TechConnect+ package, which includes a Sprint hotspot with unlimited mobile data. Unlike other plans that throttle your connection to unusably slow speeds after using a certain amount of data, this is truly unlimited. The month-to-month nature of the plan is also convenient for RVers who want to avoid committing to a long-term contract.
You’ll also be able to take advantage of other tech bonuses like reduced-cost cell boosters and antenna and discount satellite equipment.
There’s nothing better than a free night of camping, right? With your membership, you’re entitled to two free nights every month at the FMCA’s members-only campground in Cincinnati, Ohio. It includes two dozen sites, 15 of which have full hookups. You’ll be able to use the park’s free wifi, and it’s pet-friendly as well. If you’d like to extend your stay, you can add up to five nights for just $30 a night.
If you enjoy getting together with other RVers, you’ll love the community aspect of the FMCA. It’s an organization founded on bringing together the motorhome community and is still dedicated to that mission today. Regional groups regularly hold rallies, and the organization has international conventions twice a year for all members. These events will allow you to attend seminars, check out new RV equipment, enjoy entertainment, or just socialize with your fellow RVers. In addition, smaller chapter-level rallies frequently occur on a local or regional level.
Is an FMCA Membership Worth It?
An FMCA membership can absolutely be worth it for active RVers. As with many RV clubs and memberships, the more benefits and discounts you use, the more you’ll get out of your membership fee. Tire savings alone can help defray some of the cost of the $85 yearly membership.
However, it’s important to note that many of the top FMCA benefits require you to pay an additional fee. These include the roadside assistance program, the Sprint hotspot plan, and the registration fee for events. However, at just over $7 a month, the cost of the membership itself is modest if you’ll be taking advantage of the other programs as well.
Consider your camping style and social preferences before enrolling in an FMCA membership. If you’re looking for a great way to meet and hang out with fellow RVers while also providing access to valuable benefits and programs, an FMCA membership might be a good choice for you.
If You Love RVing, You Need to Stay Informed
Don’t rely on biased RV industry news sources to keep you informed with RVing news.
Stick with Nomadic News. We publish daily articles and breaking stories that matter to your RV lifestyle.