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FMCA Celebrates 60th Anniversary

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FMCA RV Club is celebrating 60 years running with what started in Maine on July 20, 1963, when a group of RV owners gathered to view a total solar eclipse and talk about forming an organization for like-minded travelers.

The club – formerly known as Family Motor Coach Association – recounted the early days, when families had discovered a convenient new way to vacation, among them Bob and Jean Richter of Hanson, Massachusetts. The two converted a 1940 Greyhound bus to accommodate their four children and joined a group of travelers who felt “it would be beneficial to band together to work to ensure their rights, to allow for collective buying power, to exchange information and ideas, and to enjoy each other’s company,” FMCA said in a release.

In April 1963, they mailed out a letter inviting families to gather in Maine to view July’s solar eclipse, which created a frenzy and served as an exciting reason for “house car” owners to gather, the organization said. During that get-together at the Good Will-Hinckley School in Hinckley, Maine, they decided to form FMCA, 60 years ago this month.

Bob Richter described that first gathering: “It was an experience impossible to describe as we first heard – and then saw – the 26 coaches arriving, one after another, with our new friends. The coaches varied from a simple school bus on its fifth engine with only a mattress, a crib and a stove in it, to a lush executive coach costing well into the six figures. What a sight to see them coming up the hill! And what great people!”

In its 60 years, FMCA has issued more than 543,000 memberships. Six years ago, members voted to transition from a group of motorhome owners to an all-inclusive RV owner’s organization.

“One thing that has remained constant throughout six decades of FMCA’s efforts to enhance the RV lifestyle are the ‘great people’ Bob Richter described from that inaugural gathering in Maine,” FMCA CEO Chris Smith said. “While RVs provide the basis for the bond that ties the organization together, it’s the people who form the fabric of FMCA. Thousands of RV enthusiasts have helped to write the story that began with a group of house car owners gazing at the sky one July afternoon, and dreaming of what could be.”

To learn more about FMCA RV Club, click here.

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