The Rally Recap

author image

July 25, 2011

Freebies, Fellowship, and fun had by all!Beautiful Redmond, OR

Redmond, Oregon rolled out a beautiful carpet for approximately 6500 RVers attending the 12th annual Good Sam Club Rally, presented by Dish Network, July 14 through 17.

First-time Rally guests were amazed at the ease in which nearly 3000 RVs of all sizes were parked on the grounds of the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center, the friendly greetings at Rally Registration, the variety of informational seminars offered each day, and the wide range of exhibits and show rigs on display.

Veteran Rally-goers couldn’t help but be impressed with the improved evening entertainment line-up, including county music superstar and multiple Grammy winner Vince Gill on Friday night. Unfortunately, Friday evening was also the night that brought torrential thunderstorms, causing the show to be delayed for about 90 minutes. But the weather cleared, a magnificent rainbow appeared to the east, the audience returned to their seats (now wearing rain gear) and Vince Gill took the stage, entertaining Rally guests with his many hits and self depreciating sense of humor.

Other headline entertainers included Bobby Vinton on Thursday night, who brought back many of the crowd’s memories with his many hit songs from the 50s and 60s, including “Blue Velvet”, “Mr. Lonely”, “I Love How You Love Me”, and “Roses Are Red”. In addition to selling over 75 million records and earning a dozen gold records, Bobby also entertained guests with a mean Polish polka and his skill playing the saxophone.

Definitely a crowd favorite, Peter Noone, the original Herman’s Hermit, sang his hit songs, (including “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter”, “Henery the 8th I am”, and “There’s a Kind of Hush, All Over the World”), between some hysterical recollections of his part in the ‘60s’ British Invasion (….as opposed to the more recent one which involved playing polo in Santa Barbara). The final night featured the High Street Band, a musical group in colorful suits who played and sang everything from Big Band music of the 40s to the latest songs of this century.

With nearly 400 booths selling everything an RV enthusiast might dream of needing, and more than 600 new RVs on display, Rally guests had plenty of opportunity to shop to their hearts content. As the days went on, it was fun to see “Sold” signs on many of the rigs, and to know that there would be a number of guests leaving the Rally in brand new homes. Guests also had the opportunity to test drive a wide variety of motorhomes, courtesy of our participating dealers.

A host of informative seminars, discussing RV innovations such as generators, mobile satellite TV equipment, holding tanks, brakes, RV exterior care, shocks and solar, along with seminars on favorite RV destinations, microwave/convection cooking, campfire cooking and crafts, to mention just a few. Guests could also participate in optional tours of the central Oregon area, including rafting, cruising the local microbreweries, and hiking to Tumalo Falls.

Rally guests also took the time to participate in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record of “most high fives” in one location. At Saturday evening’s show, 1798 people were high fiving – which is expected to break the current record.

The many youngsters attending discovered new friends through the Rally children’s program, which kept them busy and entertained all day. And the family pets weren’t forgotten – the Rally’s traditional dog show “Oregon Tails”, included such competitions as a Canine Swimsuit contest, Double Vision Award (look-alike contest), Best Biscuit Balance, Doggie Musical Chairs and Silliest Pet Trick. Best in show was a woodle, named Gus.

Good Sam and Camping World President and CEO, Marcus Lemonis was present at most of the Rally activities, and created quite a stir throughout the grounds as he injected shots of enthusiasm and excitement (not to mention lots of great prizes), to the Rally festivities.

Rally guests departed Redmond on Monday, July 18. Most were tired from all of the activities, but left not only with new ideas and new purchases from the vendors, but most of all with many new friends.

There are three Rallies scheduled for 2012 – Phoenix, Arizona, March 22 through 25, Louisville, Kentucky, June 21 through 24, and Daytona, Florida, November 1 through 4.  Check for more details.




Leave a Reply


  1. Don Baker

    This was my first Rally. I was disappointed in the way Marcus gave away prizes and money. It seemed the loudmouths got the most prizes. One person yelled “I want a new motor home” and Marcus gave him $11,000. Another woman rudely text Marcus during the ceremony and got a new 5th wheel. Come on Marcus, if Good Sam has that money to give away then lower the membership dues. Also, I couldn’t understand the complaints when Marcus announced the 10 cent fuel discount from Pilot. This seemed like a good program if you are traveling. I did not like having to be present to win a prize. I wasted 4 hours setting there one day and didn’t win anything.

  2. Mary Wright

    This was our first Good Sam Rally and all in all we thought that it was pretty good; especially the entertainment. Food lines were a bit long and not much to choose from.
    I did attend some of the seminars and have to agree with some of the other comments.

    The most upsetting thing to me was the woman who text Marcus and basically threatened him with the guilt card that if he didn’t give her something that he didn’t care. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

    Her comment was that her husband had to go back to work to help raise the grand-kids. Just take a look around the grocery stores and Walmart to see how many seniors have had to go back to work.

  3. Cliff Swetnam

    We had a wonderful time, we bought a new travel trailer, we were treated very well by the dealer and all the Rally staff. I agree the lines at camping world could have moved faster, that was a bummer and the lines blocked that area of the building making it hard to move around. There could have been more food venders, we had to wait a long time to get food. All in all it was a good event, it was my first Rally and I would go again.This is a great event for the RV public. We met several very nice people and had great neighbors. The electice service was dependable, (very important as I am on oxygen and need electric service 24/7). Thank you for a great time and a fun show.

  4. Our first time at The Rally. Had a wonderful time. Definitely looking forward to the next one in Phoenix. Enjoyed everything except publications day. A lot of time was wasted in having to be present to win a prize. Many dollars were lost to exhibitors. Met some wonderful friends while waiting in the line to spin the wheel to win a rubber ducky. A big “pat on the back” for all the wonderful volunteers. Especially enjoyed the osprey nest, with two babies, on the light standard a short distance from our rig. See you at the next one.

  5. Steve Scharfe

    First Rally we’ve ever been to and we enjoyed it immensely. I do have to agree that the outside food vendors were way overpriced and showed a tremendous lack of quality. Other than that though, we enjoyed everything. We did not stay with the other rigs at the show as we were very disappointed in the price for the hookup sites (a “hookup site” was one with electrical only and THAT was provided with an extension cord) Sixty-some dollars a night was a ripoff! We stayed at a beautiful RV Park in Sisters, OR and had a great time.

  6. Rick

    This was our first Rally – – and maybe our last. Communications on what and where everything was happening and/or changes was poor. Missed Vince Gill due to rain canceled then found out they changed their minds and continued later, who knew? The seminars were the greatest disappointment, they were careful not to mention the product name they represented but tore down the competition and pushed their product. Little to no information on advantages and features of each product. The towed braking system was the worst. :o( Some sort of transportation system was needed for those of us that can’t walk very far but are not considered “Disabled”, I’m sure we missed many things because we just couldn’t walk that much. Camping Worlds computer problems constantly caused delays and long lines. A lack in number of vendors has been mentioned and I agree, I expected to find every conceivable RV product represented but that didn’t happen. I’m sure it’s quite diffacult to put on a show of this size but I would prefer QUALITY to Quantity.

  7. Rose Kidder

    Food vendors are always overpriced at fairgrounds. But the restuarants in Redmond were great. We’ve been to Redmond three times previously for rallies – Good Sam and FMCA. It’s a good venue compared to other locations we have been to. There were less vendors than in the past, but we are glad some did come, since the smaller number of RVers, and the very slow economy are very hard on the income of these vendors. And the rain really affected the sales of the smaller outdoor vendors. We were surprised by the large amount of give-aways provided. It seemed that there was almost a “feeding frenzy” when Marcus continued to give away so much. I believe there were more give-aways this time than to ALL the rallys we have been to previously – at least 8 – in various locales.
    Many thanks to all the sponsors. My husband won a vacuum cleaner. Camping World hasn’t called us on it yet, but I assume that it will eventually get here. Also, we signed up for the 1/2 price Phoenix Rally 2012, but the charge has not yet shown up on our account. I wonder if with all the “freebies” they got overwhelmed and lost some of the sign ups??? Has anyone else had that problem???
    We enjoyed the rally. Thought the volunteers were great. Would have liked to see the open air trams operating inside the actual fair grounds. Heard many people complain that they couldn’t walk from one side to the other to go to the seminars, and the handicapped carts were limited. But overall it was really a good rally. With the number of people attending, there are bound to be a few problems, but after all, that’s part of the ambience of a rally. Good job all you Good Sam affiliates!!!

  8. Linda

    Commenting on the outside vendors; really overpriced and not well stocked. HOWEVER, the indoors Sisters Bldg All you can eat daily breakfast and lunch buffets were wonderful and reasonably priced. As far as the outside entertainment VS indoor entertainment, sure it did rain one night, but everynight indoors in previous years were very hot and uncomfortable. As far as the low turnout, gas prices, and the economy in general were certainly contributing factors. Great Rally, see you in Phoenix!!

  9. Suzanne

    This was our third time to attend the Redmond RV Rally. We were both surprised at how much smaller the show was from previous years. The most obvious single difference was the fact that they moved the entertainment shows from inside to outside this year. This decision almost caused the cancellation of the Vince Gill concert (the highlight of the entire Rally, for me) because of rain. The musicians toughed it out through the sprinkling showers with all their electric gear and themselves being exposed to the elements. The Rally organizers definitely need to move the musicians back inside! Overall we had a wonderful time and really appreciated the handicapped transportation being provided throughout the entire Rally area. The volunteers were very kind and helpful, THANKS TO ALL.

  10. Nancy Yauney

    Enjoyed the rally, however, the food available left a lot to be desired. Food booths were few and were out of a lot of menu items. What they had was not very tasty! Someone missed a chance to make some big bucks if they only had a big tent with lots of tasty food.

  11. Jim & Linda Schrankel

    Had a wonderful time and met lots of great people, (best part of a rally!). This is our 3rd one in Redmond and have signed up for the Rally in Phoenix. Keep up the great work Marcus!

  12. Terri Decker

    Thank you for an awesome experience. Myself, my husband and our rescued Siberian Husky truly enjoyed the rally!