The North American Heartland Owners Rally wrapped up in Goshen, IN, last week.
Nearly 500 Heartland RVs owners gathered at the Elkhart Country 4-H Fairground from June 13-18 to meet with one another, explore the local area, and educate themselves on all kinds of RV-related topics.
Throughout the weekdays, attendees enjoyed full days of technical and lifestyle presentations. Presenters included Heartland owners like Tim Rohrer of OwnLessDoMore.us, Heartland RVs blogger Kelly Barnett, and Lisa and Dan Brown from Always On Liberty. Terry and Evada Cooper, superstars of the RV community [Terry runs the Mobile RV Academy, Evada is the author of "The RV Centennial Cookbook: Celebrating 100 Years of RVing", and the couple recently took over RV Daily Report, just to name a few] and owners of a DRV Luxury Suites Full House toy hauler, led a number of presentations. Terry, the Texas RV Professor, focused on technical topics like RV water systems, air conditioners, and propane systems. Evada presented on cooking in the RV kitchen and cooking on convection cooktops. Vendors such as Lippert Comonents Inc, Kleen Tank, RV Snap Pads, Dexter Axle, Winegard, and Dometic also presented on their products and RV-related topics. Recreational Vehicle Safety Education Foundation presented and were also offering rig weighing services on site.
Heartland RVs service team was on-site doing maintenance for attendees. Lippert, AALL-Brite RV Cleaning, Kleen Tank, Elkhart Satellite, Tyson's Carpet Cleaning, and Performance Trailer Braking were also offering on-site service for attendees. Tiara RV Sales brought out a number of current Heartland RVs models for attendees to walk through. Lippert and MORryde had demo trailers displaying their components. Classy Chassis were showing off their truck customizations. Richard Anderson (Sterling Enterprises) was selling his famous stained glass windows and Signmaster (Wooden Signs by Chris) was making his famous hand-crafted wooden signs.
Attendees could also visit the Heartland Marketplace. At the center of the marketplace was a swap meet kind of table where Heartland Owners could buy and sell their wares. The marketplace also hosted a number of vendors, including Blue Streak Chemical, Cords of Love, DMJ Supplies, D&G Sales, Dexter Axle, Dometic, Elkhart Satellite, Fire & Life Safety, G&L RV Specialties, Hairball Creative (they make "easy travel cards" for Heartland Owners Club members), Kleen Tank, Lippert, Martin Marketing, Mary Kay, MORryde, Performance Trailer Braking Systems, Redi-Set-Go (to-go place settings), RV LED Lites, RV Improvement Systems, RVLock Keyless, RV Safety Accessories, SkyMed, Torklift, Vinyl Your Way, and Winegard.
Torklift gave away two sets of their GlowStep Revolution steps with their "Gimme My GlowStep Revolution" contest. The winners were announced in the YouTube video above. Dave Hromek did a demo of the RecTec Grill pellet smokers and one of the cookers was given away. Nelly Wolbeck (Nelly's muffins are famous among HOC rally attendees, link to the recipe below) won the grill, but we're told she passed it along to another Heartland owner.
Though there was plenty of fun to be had in the fairgrounds, attendees were treated to a number of field trips to explore northern Indiana. Tours of the Amish countryside, South Bend (home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish), and Cook's Bison Ranch. Pre-rally attendees could participate in a golf outing at Black Squirrel Golf Club in Goshen. On Saturday, June 17, rally attendees were bussed to Heartland RVs main campus in Elkhart for factory tours. This trip also included a tour of Furrion's Innovation Center, lunch at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, and a Q&A wit Heartland RVs general managers, A.J. Jones, Joel Eberlein and Tom Montague.
Rally attendees were treated to musical entertainment. On Thursday, June 15, Chicago Tribute Anthology - a Chicago cover band - rocked Heartland owners until the wee hours of the night.
The rally also gave Heartland owners an opportunity to contribute Heartland Gives Back. The charity collected hundreds of items and more than $1,000 for Hats & Hugs and Baby Blessings.
?The rally closed on Sunday, June 18, with a Farewell Breakfast. Then hundreds of Heartland Owners dispersed. The North American Heartland Owners Rally comes to Goshen, IN - just down the road for Heartland RVs manufacturing facility - each odd-numbered year (this was 2017, the next will occur in 2019). There are, of course, other regional Heartland Owners Rallies happening all over the North America. To get involved with the Heartland Owners Club and its affiliated rallies, visit heartlandowners.org.
This article merely serves as a taste of the experience that is the North American Heartland Owners Rally. For more from the rally, check out Heartland Owners Club and Heartland Owners Club North American Rally 2017 on Facebook.
Author's Note: I videoed tours of OwnLessDoMore.us's, Always On Liberty's, Heartland Owners Club Director Of Owners Interest Jim Beletti's and the Kelly and Michael Barnett's coaches during the rally. I also shot a detailed walk through of the new Landmark 365 Louisville with Landmark 365 General Manager, Andy Wesdorp. Follow us on Facebook and YouTube to see these as they become available in the coming weeks.