Open Range RV Rally July 28-31 2016

Vicky and I set off for our first RV Rally. What is a Rally? Well in this case it is a group of people who all own the same Manufacturer's RV. Open Range is made in Shipshewana, IN. (Population 800). It is located on the boarder of Indiana and Michigan (near Elkhart, IN for reference)
This particular Rally has been going on for 4 years now and has grown to 140 RV's all made by the same manufacturer. It takes over Shipshewana RV park south.
The Rally goes on all week Monday to Sunday, but not being retired yet, as most of the attendees are, we could only join for a long weekend.
Everything is catered and there are many activities like factory tours and events to museums, seminars about RV maintenance and seminars about trips,etc.

Arriving at the campsite was easy as they had a giant balloon flying over the campground

We of course had the smallest RV in the entire Rally. We have just enough room to keep things simple but the vast majority of the models are the much larger 5th wheel variety. 

All the activities were centered around the BIG top. This is were we met and ate. Did I say ate? Yes the vast majority of activities in the rally is planning around the next meal.... 

 The Campgrounds normal pavilion was used for staging and cooking 

These rally's are a big deal. There were people from 30 states coming as far away as Alaska.

 Shipshewana is an Amish town. Actually more Amish than I have ever seen before. The horse drawn buggies were everywhere and most of the shops and attractions were owned by Amish families and craft people. 
Vicky spent a lot of time shopping in all the craft stores... I spent a lot of time following her around! 

 You could hire a buggy for a ride around town

Parking to run errands 

They were moving up and down main street all day long 

Most nights there was a dinner sponsored by either the manufacturer or supplier for the RV's

 There was at least one night of severe weather, which is always a topic of big conversation among RVers, but fortunately no hail or other damaging winds or tornadoes this week

We ventured over to the RV Museum in Elkhart one day to tour the history of RV and mobile homes

 Back to the Rally for a last big meal (they were all big!)

One of the great benefits of this Rally was that being at the factory location the manufacturer had some of its service people work all week in the campsite to fix any issues that the rigs had at no charge. This was extraordinary service and the guys worked really hard to try and solve everyone's problems, big or small

After dinner there was door prizes for everyone! the amount of merhandise that was donated or purchased for the Rally was really amazing. We managed a new waffle maker for the RV and in a very kind gesture our new friends  Donna and Eddie used one of their raffle wins to gift us Open Range Forum ID numbers for the outside of our RV. 

 Checking out the gifts before the raffle

 The final night sitting around the bonfire 

 Our little home all lit up at night

Oh did I mention the food?!
the last day with more donuts for breakfast before packing up and hitting the road.

Thanks to Sue and Jerry Goddard for being the organizers of the Rally and thanks to Open Range for making a great RV and participating and supporting the Rally.
We signed up for next year and maybe even an Alaska trip in 2019.... much more RV'ing to come.

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