FROG INTERNATIONAL RALLY TIPS
We’re almost there! We’re looking forward to this year’s FROG Rally, and we hope you are, too. Here are some items to help make your arrival as easy as possible and to help ensure that we all have a great week.
We’ll be checking for name tags at meals, so you want to make sure that you have yours.
The address of the fairgrounds is:
Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds
17746-D County Road 34, Goshen, IN
If you’re coming into Goshen from the north or south on US 33, you want to watch for Goshen High School. If you’re coming from the south, it’s about a mile and a half north of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, on your left just after the football field. From the north, it’s about a mile south of downtown and the courthouse, by the school bus lot. There’s a traffic light in front of the school. Turn east (the only way you can turn) and go just past the railroad tracks. The fairgrounds are on the right, and you’ll enter Gate 2 by the tall electronic sign.
Most of the sites – roughly 500 out of 700 -- do not have a sewer. Please try to arrive with empty or nearly empty holding tanks. There are dump stations on the grounds, but most of them are not laid out well and are a mess if we’ve had heavy rain.
If you plan to arrive early, please call Bev or Diane at the fairgrounds at (574) 533-3247 and let them know. They’ll put you on a list and send me the list, but won’t assign you a specific site. I’ll make sure that you get on a site where you can stay for the FROG Rally. Be sure to stop by the fair office and settle up for extra nights while you are here. NOTE: Early arrival does not guarantee you a full hookup site.
We’ll have parking team members on hand starting about 8:00 each morning. You’ll be met by a member of our parking team. If traffic isn’t backed up, you’ll be sent up to the main gate. If it is, you’ll loop the lot in line for the main gate so that we can keep traffic from backing up on the street. If you have a motorhome and are towing a car, please pull over and drop the car rather than waiting to get to the parking area.
At the main gate we’ll get your name and determine the area in which you’ve been assigned to park. You'll be escorted to the area, and a team member there will help you get parked “hobo-style,” meaning in the next available site. If you want to park next to someone specific, please arrange to arrive at the same time as that person so that we can park you together. Unfortunately, given the volume of units and the need to use some areas for specific purposes, we cannot honor requests to park in a particular spot or to hold a spot next to you for someone arriving later. As we've repeatedly mentioned, I wish we could park all 700+ units in the roughly 200 full hookup spots. We cannot.
Once you are been parked, you’ll receive an orange tag with your last name and your parking spot marked on it. Please put this tag on the front of your unit – on the king pin of a fifth wheel, jack crank on a trailer, windshield wiper of a motorhome – so that it can be seen by service technicians and in case of emergency. If you are not on a full hookup site, you’ll also receive a green tag. If you want free pump-out service midweek, please display this tag as well. It’s the signal for the pump-out truck to stop by and empty your tanks. Please make sure the sewer compartment is unlocked.
Please note that most of our sites have 30-amp electric service. Even if you have a 50-amp unit, you might be on 30-amp service.
(We hope to have mild weather, but who knows? On Wednesday last week we had a low of 58 and a high of 75. Saturday was in the high 80’s and sweltering. This week we have Rally weather – mid 70’s, puffy clouds, and a light breeze.)
Here’s where we need your help. Please try to conserve power. We’ve not had any major power issues in the past, but this year we’re loading the system. Please try to get by on one air conditioner as much as possible. If you can run your water heater and refrigerator on propane, please do it. One person told me that he absolutely needed 50-amp power and a sewer because he’s a full-timer. For these six nights we’re all full-timers. Your cooperation will ensure that both you and your neighbors get through the week with no issues.
Registration will be open Friday from 10:00 to 4:00, Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00, and Sunday from 10:00 to 4:00. After you’ve parked and gotten settled, please go to the registration building, which is also the dining hall, to register. Some of the fairgrounds maps show it as Building A, some as Building 6. Either way, it’s the largest enclosed building on the fairgrounds, and you’ll see it ahead and to the right from the main gate.
You’ll receive name tags and lanyards, an agenda, and a welcome packet. You’ll also have the opportunity to sign up for factory tours during registration. We’ve tried to schedule tours based on attendance by brand for the most part. There are some plants that are just too small to accommodate a bus load of visitors. In some cases, you might be able have a sales representative in the RV display and arrange a private tour, although I can’t guarantee that it will be possible in every case.
If we have received a request, you’ll need to stop by the Service Center on Maple Street. On the fairgrounds map, it’s the Home & Family Arts Building. Be sure to write down your campsite from the orange tag and take it along so that the service techs can find you. You’ll briefly go over your form so that we understand just what you need. (Some of you might already have been contacted by your division, but you still need to go over and give them your site number.) If you’re going to be off the fairgrounds on tours on some days, please let them know.
You may give the technicians permission to enter your unit when you’re not there, but you don’t have to do so. If you have animals that are not caged, you MUST be there for the technicians to enter. We don’t want to let your pet loose by accident, and we don’t want dogs biting technicians or vice versa.
Please be sure to provide a phone number where you can be reached, so that the technicians can call before arriving. We want you to be able to be out enjoying the events, attending seminars, visiting the vendors, meeting friends, and touring the RV display (by the way, yes, they are for sale), not sitting at your RV waiting for someone to show up.
We’ll be having meals in Building “A,” the large building where you go for registration. The following meals are included in the FROG Rally:
Monday Breakfast & Dinner
Wednesday Breakfast & Dinner
Friday Breakfast & Dinner
When it’s time for meals – usually starting at 7:30 to around 9:00 for breakfast and 5:30 to about 7:00 for dinner – we encourage you to come in, find a seat, and relax, rather than standing outside on the pavement in the sun. (It’s NOT going to rain on us. Please!)
When we open the service lines, feel free to help yourself to a serving of everything. Once everyone’s been served, we’ll invite you to go back for seconds or more. We’ve never run out of food at a FROG event, and don’t plan to start now, and I don’t think we’ve ever sent anyone away hungry, so please be patient and understanding.
Some people have asked about having one or more potlucks on Tuesday and Thursday. Last year there were several events all around the fairgrounds. We can make the dining room and several pavilions available. All that we ask is that they be clean and ready for the next day’s breakfast or seminars.
And Finally …
Have fun. Come with a smile on your face, expecting to make new friendships and renew old ones, and have a great time. Be patient, especially at arrival. We currently have about 200 units slated for early arrival, which means we have about 500 to park on Sunday. Scott, Mike, Everette, and the entire parking team will be working hard to get you in and settled as quickly and smoothly as possible. Cindy and her registration team will be providing a friendly welcome and providing more information. Leo and the entire service team will be working tirelessly to attend to your service needs.
And remember, the folks working so hard on the welcome teams are volunteers – members attending the FROG Rally just like you. Without them we could never dream of putting on an event like this. Please take a moment to give them a smile and a “thank you.”
And now, Let’s Get Ready to Rally!™
(574) 825-8532 (Office)
(314) 607-1531 (Cell)
TIPS FROM HERK
If you have a 50 amp rig, you will most likely need to plug into a 30 amp supply. BRING an adapter for your camper.
If you have a 30 amp rig you may also need to plug into a 50 amp supply (luck of the draw on full hookup sites). The parking team will do their best to match up rigs and sites BUT there are gonna be mismatches! DEAL WITH IT. Bring an adapter as there may or may not be one within 100 miles.
There are many sewer connections that require A LOT OF SEWER HOSE. Bring enough hose to go 40 feet (or more) if needed.
There may or may not be one within 100 miles. Some connections require the hose to be run back under the camper for the length of the camper. Bring something to lift the hose off the ground. Some sewer inlets are 8 inches off the ground.
Bring BRASS fresh water hose splitters with shutoffs.
Some hose bibs must feed up to FOUR campers (plus many use a splitter per camper!). Plastic ones just don't cut it and a break at 3 AM will ruin everyone's day. First one to connect PLEASE use a splitter with shut offs! (Manifold is better!) so you don't get your water shut off during a shower. If you bring a manifold, everyone will love you for it.
Plenty of fresh water hose too (2 - 25 foot hoses).
A 50 or 30 amp rated extension cord would be helpful at a few sites.
Obviously you won't need everything listed here, but some sites will require one or more of them.
MOTORHOMES with TOADS and/or DOLLIES
Disconnect in the large parking lot (if lot has room)
– Leave your Toad in the parking lot safely away from the martialing area! Return to get your Toad AFTER you are checked in and parked; just flag down any golf cart for a lift.
If we are stacked up in the parking lot you can disconnect as you wait.
Disconnect your TOAD prior to arrival if at all possible (at a gas stop or in a shopping center perhaps).
If you get jammed up and none of the above works for you we can stop on the way to your site and you can disconnect there. This is not a great option for Sunday though as we will be very busy.
TOAD drivers STAY CLEAR of the campers until everyone around you is safely parked.
BLACK AND GRAY TANK MANAGEMENT
There are only 200 FULL HOOK UP SITES!
Most likely, YOU WILL NOT BE GETTING ONE.
If you do, you are a LOTTERY WINNER
If you are a light sleeper, you should bring ear plugs
, Trains come by 4 or 5 times a day (and night!). Thursday night is the worst. Some "lottery winners" will be right against the train tracks... Good News; Bad News
As noted in the email, everyone PLEASE dump empty before arrival
; betting you will get a sewer connection is a bad bet. As noted, there ARE dump stations at the Fairgrounds but it will add almost 30 minutes to get you parked and we need to park a rig every 90 seconds for 10 hours to get everyone in on Sunday.
For the most part, once you are parked you are there for the duration so plan on that and everything will be fine. DO NOT ARGUE WITH THE PARKING TEAM; special medically necessary arrangements MUST BE HANDLED BEFORE ARRIVAL.
BE COURTEOUS AND STAY WITH YOUR CAMPER UNTIL THE UNITS AROUND YOU ARE PARKED.
DO NOT BLOCK ACCESS SO WE CAN PARK OTHER CAMPERS.
NOT EVERYONE IS A MASTER TRACTOR TRAILER DRIVER; PLEASE DO NOT DEPLOY YOUR AWNING “TO RESERVE SPACE” FOR IT. WE WILL MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO LEAVE YOU ROOM.
(It may be just barely room, so don’t deploy it if you need to leave the camper for any reason.)
Bring a regulator! The Fairgrounds has AWESOME pressure (though this year there will be twice the number of campers. White water hoses can look like white sausages if you don't.
If you would like wine or beer with your meals, you can bring it; just act responsibly! (Well, as responsible as Phat Phrogs get anyway...)