The Tiffin Allegro Club hosted our third rally for 2016 in beautiful Gillette, WY June 20-24th. The weather turned unseasonably hot and dry, but cool heads prevailed and everyone enjoyed the rally despite the heat. Located in the Black Hills between Yellowstone National Park and Mt. Rushmore, Gillette was a good central location for touring the area. We were very excited to host 307 coaches from 35 states and 3 provinces of Canada.
Monday saw coaches arriving early and steadily throughout the day. Thanks to a top notch parking crew of volunteers, the coaches were guided in and parked quickly and efficiently. Guests made their way to the Energy Hall where they were greeted by more volunteers manning the Registration Tables and they visited the vendor area for shopping. We were very happy to have several vendors present, even though Gillette is an area that is more isolated than other rally locations we have visited. A very popular booth was the folks representing the Tiffin Parts Store. We hope to include this benefit in more of our future rallies!
The rally officially kicked off Monday evening with a welcome by Kelly & Sally Moore and Andy Baer, Tiffin National Sales Manager. Tiffin owner, Noel Chalmers from Richmond, BC blessed everyone by playing Amazing Grace on his bagpipes. Beautiful! After a delicious meal from Prime Rib Catering, we were honored to salute our many Tiffin owners who have served our country & Canada both in the military and as first responders. Anthems from each branch of the service were played as the veterans stood. Lee Greenwood’s, “Proud to be an American” then had everyone on their feet waving American flags. Veterans, we are honored to pay tribute to you! Thank you, volunteers, for the beautifully decorated stage! After the veterans salute, Tom & Pat Webber of Tampa, FL entertained everyone with our version of Bingo, aka TIFFIN BINGO! Thank you, Webbers, for helping throughout the rally!
Our trusty crew of golf cart & trolley drivers were out early on Tuesday morning bringing everyone to Energy Hall for a delicious buffet breakfast. Seminars began immediately following breakfast in three conference rooms. Among other topics, rally attendees learned more about the operation of their television & navigation systems from Triple H Electronics, the Tiffin electrical system by Daniel Allen and better ways to utilize the convection/microwave oven with convection/microwave expert, Janet Sadlack. After all of these talks and discussions, it was time for ice cream. Thank you to Mary Moppins, www.goclean.com, for sponsoring our ice cream social. It was a perfect treat for a hot, sunny afternoon. A special feature for attendees was visiting the Craft & Hobby Show hosted by other Tiffin owners. Beautiful handiwork was on display. Everything from wood working to quilting to jewelry was shown and all of it made by Tiffin RV enthusiasts.
Always a crowd favorite, Bob Tiffin, addressed the group on Tuesday evening and welcomed everyone to the Tiffin rally. Bob & Judy Tiffin are very gracious to take time from their busy schedules to attend many of the Tiffin rallies and visit with the owners. After a great meal served by the caterer’s staff, everyone was treated to a fantastic performance by Sarah Getto from Norman, OK. Sarah was born blind with a cleft palate. She taught herself to play the piano at a very young age as well as several other musical instruments. Her singing voice was fantastic and the crowd fell in love with her. Her greatest desire is to use her college degree to teach music in high school. We know she would be an awesome teacher, but we will really miss her if she quits performing.
Wednesday brought another series of seminars with popular presenters such as Marcus McCluney from Freightliner Custom Chassis and Tom Webber with his Tips for Terrified RV Drivers. With a break for hamburgers & hot dogs at lunch, the seminars concluded mid-afternoon. Always a fun activity is the RV & campsite decoration contest among the owners. Competition was fierce! We had some fantastic entries this year in the theme of “The Old Wild West”. Three winners were announced at dinner and each won $75 Tiffin gift certificates. They are George & Sandi Fizell from Tucson, AZ; Wayne & Diane Heath from Kent, WA; and Doyle & Doris Freeman of Jackson, TN.
Bretz RV had a busy week helping several couples move into their new dream coach. Each night these lucky folks were awarded Tiffin gift certificates for two embroidered Tiffin jackets! We certainly hope all of these folks enjoy their beautiful new coach and have many miles of safe travels. After another fantastic meal, the group was treated to some Motown hits by DD & The Fayrohs.
Thursday had everyone up and out early again to partake of another delicious breakfast buffet. More seminars followed breakfast. We were very fortunate at the Gillette Cam-Plex to have three large seminar areas where everyone could comfortable enjoy learning more about their coaches. Gary Harris, Powerglide Chassis manager, drew a large crowd as always along with Harold Kimbrough and Ross Fischer from Cummins Onan and many others. The information gleamed from seminars alone is worth the price of a Tiffin rally! Delicious meals, good entertainment, fun and fellowship with other Tiffin owners are great side benefits.
Despite the high temperatures and a dust storm, we are thankful to our owners who participated in the Tiffin swap meet. Bargains were found and another great opportunity to visit with everyone.
A very special ‘thank you’ goes out to the Tiffin and Bretz service teams who worked tirelessly in the heat and dust to visit each Tiffin coach performing minor repairs and adjustments. Our Tiffin techs sacrifice time away from their families to travel with us to rallies across the nation, sometimes working under hard conditions without the proper equipment, to represent the Tiffin brand and help owners any way possible. A big hat’s off to these guys!
Thursday night was our Farewell Evening and many took the opportunity to break out their 10 gallon western hats and boots. Thanks to everyone who participated! After door prizes and a fabulous meal of prime rib with all the trimmings, everyone enjoyed the country/western band, Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. A few couples even broke out in the two-step!
Gillette was the conclusion of our 2016 rallies. Watch for an email from Tiffin Sideroads in September or October announcing our 2017 schedule. Tiffin rallies are very popular so make your plans early if your travel schedule pairs up with ours. Registration will be made online at www.tiffinmotorhomes.com for each rally. When we announce the 2017 locations & dates, we will also announce the date that each rally will be available for sale (approximately six months prior to the rally). We look forward to hosting you at a Tiffin rally next year!
Until next time, “Happy Trails”!