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SnowGypsy

What To Really Expect At An Escapade?

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We have always wanted to go to an Escapade, for decades actually.  Next year, it will be in Wyoming which is very doable for us.  I'm just torn as to whether to plan for it.  We have been living full-time in our TT and planning to upgrade and having been stalled by trying to find a residential placement for our adult son with Down syndrome, we have decided it is just do with him or simply give up and return to a house.  So, we are in KS and will spend the winter here, so Wyoming will be close, and if we go with full-timing we will have a new RV at that time to test out on the road.  Since we are unsure at this point, and tickets are already on sale, I am wondering if we decide late what our options might be as for us, plans are very fluid at this point.  We have 10 RVs of different sorts since the mid-80s, so know a LOT about RVing in general, even living full-time in an RV.  We are both military veterans, so have traveled and lived in a few different places.  

I'm wondering if others who have attended an Escapade can tell me what specifically they found enjoyable or valuable to them while attending.  I think this might make an interesting conversation for others also.  We became interested in the full-timing lifestyle 30 years ago when we lived in the Tucson area, and the lifestyle has morphed quite a bite since that time. (young people, mobile workers,  contractors with or without families and some miscellaneous types.)

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5 hours ago, SnowGypsy said:

I'm wondering if others who have attended an Escapade can tell me what specifically they found enjoyable or valuable to them while attending. 

We have attended quite a few Escapades, including each one for the past 7 years. We will be there again next June. What we always enjoy most is the people that we meet and the renewing of friendships with folks that we haven't seen for a long time or in some cases, people that we only see at Escapades. But other things tend to change in importance as you attend more of them. In our early years the seminars were probably the primary reason that we attended and nearly everyone who goes finds that couples need to split up at least some of the time in order to cover more seminars as it is not possible to attend everything. From the Escapade website:

Quote

A Typical Day at Escapade

Starts around 7:30am with coffee and conversation in the Hospitality area

Seminars begin at 8:30am and run through 3:00 or 4:00pm.

While seminars are happening, the ROW, Vendor Marketplace, and Club Booth are open, giving you something to do in between seminars.

Take a lunch break at your rig or one of the many on-site concessions.

Head back for the afternoon seminar sessions or view the RVs on display.

Evening announcements and door prize giveaways start at 7:00pm

Evening entertainment kicks off at 7:30pm, and often carries until 9 or 10pm.

Then it’s back to your rig to tuck in for the night, or join a neighbor (or few) for a drink and chat around the campsite! Everyone eventually finds their way to bed then starts it all over again the next day!

There is a happy hour put on every late afternoon by the on-site RV dealer (RV Country). We usually find ourselves participating in impromptu social gatherings in the campground at least once most days and sometimes more than one. There is entertainment each evening with door prizes before each show and some of those are really great. At our second Escapade, Pam won a prize of $500 in cash on the opening night. Needless to say, we don't miss those drawings! If you arrive early there are often some special seminars on the Saturday afternoon before, but not always. This will be my sixth year working with security for the event and the best part of my job is that I get to see every RV there and get to meet an amazing number of the people who arrive in them. I think that I have made more friends at Escapades than at any other event or location. 

5 hours ago, SnowGypsy said:

Since we are unsure at this point, and tickets are already on sale, I am wondering if we decide late what our options might be as for us, plans are very fluid at this point.

While I would encourage people to get registered as early as possible, this year should be a good one for those who can't be sure too early as the Sweetwater County Events Center has the most full hookup sites of anywhere we have attended an Escapade so we probably won't run out, but don't wait too long as one can never be sure. 

Edited by Kirk W

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We're kicking around the idea of attending. Lots of things have to line up first, but at this point it is getting serious consideration.

We've been full-timers for five years now and have never attended any sort of rally or RV gathering in that time. When we were still working and had the mpg we attended both a State rally and the national Heartland rally. We've been busy doing our own activities.

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I think the most valuable to us were the seminars teaching about RV upgrades we might want to do. These are generally put on by vendors that already have good reputations so we felt comfortable having them work on our rigs. Also, at an Escapade in Wyoming someone from the official visitor's center gave a presentation that helped us decide what to do before we left town.

Linda

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You can pretty much sign up until the first day or close to it. If they run out of serviced sites you will need to boondock.

I find the education from the seminars great. A few years ago I really lucked out. I had wanted to create a blog and tried on my own but struggled. Geeks on Tour offered a pre-Escapade course on Blogging and then had seminars throughout Escapade. I left Escapade full of confidence the I could create my own blog simply.

We learn so much from each other and the evening entertainment is good.

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1 hour ago, SWharton said:

We learn so much from each other and the evening entertainment is good.

My favorite was the comic whose wife does his scheduling. He came home from a trip and his wife told him she'd scheduled him to speak to thousands of escapees. If you weren't familiar with this group what you YOU have thought?  :)

Linda

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Thanks for starting this thread and all the information that has been shared so far. I’ve never been to one and just sold my house, so I’m brand new to full-timing. I’m on the fence for this one only because another camping group I’m involved with is having a rally the same weekend and I can’t go to both.

 I’d love to hear more about it so I can decide whether to cancel my reservation for the other event.

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8 hours ago, fpmtngal said:

I’m on the fence for this one..............

If you wish to park with a group, the solo BOF & the Boomers BOF both usually have a section to park together as long as they make sure we know how many to expect. Any one who wishes to be parked together can do so just by gathering before they arrive at the Escapade site and then arrive as a group. It is appreciated by the crew who park you if groups of more the 4 or 5 RVs will call to let us know about what time you will be arriving so that we can be ready. It is also very helpful if groups who arrive together also place a brightly colored, easily identifiable ribbon or flag of some type on the radio antenna, mirror, or somewhere else to help us keep everyone in the group together. 

It is much too early for anyone to estimate how many RVs we will have at Rock Springs as the numbers attending vary quite a lot but that number typically falls between 600 and 1000 RVs. Since parking is open from 8 am to 2 pm on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, you can easily see that there are times it gets quite busy. The most busy day is usually Sunday so early arrivals are appreciated and you will probably be closer in to the events. You are parked by when you arrive, not when you register so while early registration helps staff to plan and insures you getting the type of site you want, anyone can come in as early as Friday at 8 am and be parked. There is transportation provided from the RV sites to the event areas so even those farthest out will not have to walk excessively. 

Remember that everyone involved in getting you into the grounds safely and efficiently is there as a volunteer and is working hard to keep things running smoothly. The arrival instructions are sent to you to help them make your arrival require as little waiting as possible. 

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5 hours ago, Kirk W said:

There is transportation provided from the RV sites to the event areas so even those farthest out will not have to walk excessively. 

But, transportation is provided by volunteers so can be unreliable. At one site the volunteers came in the driveway and all turned right to begin circulating. They were always full before they got to us on the left side of that area. We finally just waited in the middle of an intersection until some other attendees offered us a ride. Also, those volunteers want to go to the main events so transportation stops altogether at times. But when leaving an event it is like leaving an airport--the drivers are all lined up waiting for passengers so getting back home is easier.

Linda

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8 hours ago, sandsys said:

But, transportation is provided by volunteers so can be unreliable.

If that is a problem you need to let one of the staff know as I assure you that we do our best to minimize that sort of problem and the transportation team leader lays out designated routes for the drivers to travel. It is true that at peak periods they are very busy and can be full and the same is true right after major events end but I do not believe that it is a frequent problem in recent Escapades. We can't resolve a problem if you do not let us know about it. My security assistants are roving all day so if you see a problem let one of them know so that we can address the issue.

I would also like to point out that while transportation drivers are attendee volunteers who sometimes have very little or no experience, almost all staff positions are volunteers and unpaid, including all of the team leaders and their assistants. When you register after arrival there is a place to sign up for a short stint as a volunteer at the hospitality desk and we encourage you to consider doing so. We could not do the things needed for an Escapade without the attendee volunteers to assist the volunteer staff members. Most of those volunteers do their very best in whatever position the volunteer for. 

Edited by Kirk W

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17 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

My security assistants are roving all day so if you see a problem let one of them know so that we can address the issue.

That's good to know. Our transportation problem was at our first Escapade back in 2008 so you may have much better systems now but I will never forget how frustrating that was watching all the drivers ignore us even with us standing in the middle of an intersection to be as visible as possible. If I could have walked between our site and the primary venue I would have done so but I really felt stuck. Not at all what you'd like to have first year attendees experience.

Linda

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1 minute ago, sandsys said:

Not at all what you'd like to have first year attendees experience.

I was not involved in the 2008 Escapade and I know that most of the team leaders today were not in their positions back then and neither were the present directors, or assistant directors. Let me personally invite you to come to WY in 2020 and give the preset staff a chance. The entire Escapade program has 11 more years of practice now so you may find things are far different next year. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Let me personally invite you to come to WY in 2020 and give the preset staff a chance. The entire Escapade program has 11 more years of practice now so you may find things are far different next year. 

I would if I could. Since I no longer own an RV and am even less mobile now than I was then going to Escapade is no longer an option. But, you all have a great time. It is an experience not to be missed even if you do find a few glitches.

Linda

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