Monaco RVs gathered at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind. Photo courtesy of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Escapees RV Club is not the only RV group assembling this year at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Ind.

Some 2,500 RVs are expected during 17 RV rallies and groups meeting at the fairgrounds, starting next month.

The fairgrounds has hosted RV travel rallies since the mid-1970s.

“Over the past decade we have focused on RV rallies as our main source of ‘non-fair’ revenue,” said Kristine Ambrosen, marketing director. “It makes sense for our facility to be used to host these gatherings. We already have the camping facilities, large buildings and staff in place due to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. If it wasn’t for the RV rallies, the majority of our facilities would remain idle 11 months a year.”

Not only do the RV rallies benefit the fair facilities, they also contribute to the local tourism, bringing in millions of dollars.

“RVers benefit local businesses by patronizing restaurants, stores and RV repair shops,” Ambrosen noted.

Elkhart County has been labeled the RV Capital of the World, where over 50% of RV’s are manufactured.

“We want to support the RVing lifestyle in any small way we can because it benefits our community and the livelihood of many of our neighbors,” Ambrosen said. “Our staff views our regular RV-ers as more than business associates, in many cases they have become our friends. We look forward to seeing them each year if it is with an organized rally or they just stop in for a few nights when they are passing through.”

The fairgrounds also hosts year-round public camping.

The following is a list of this season’s rallies and groups and the dates they will be visiting the fairgrounds:

  • Holiday Rambler Pusher 419 Rally – May 2-7.
  • Barth RV Group – May 13-16.
  • Cardinal Owners RV Group – May 13-16.
  • East Coast Pullers Group – May 17-21.
  • Suite Owners Indiana Chapter Group – May 20-23.
  • NAARVA – May 30-June 6.
  • Carriage Group – June 10-13.
  • National Deaf Rally – June 11-20.
  • RVFEST 2010 Rally – June 21-28.
  • Summit City Sam’s Group Aug. 6-8.
  • Newmar 25th International Rally – Aug. 14-21.
  • Escapade Rally – Sept. 8-17.
  • Kountry Kampers Group – Sept. 21-28.
  • Montana Owners Group – Sept. 22-29.
  • Hoosier Cruisers Group – Sept. 23-26.
  • Jayco RV Club/Starcraft RV Club Rally – Sept. 30-Oct. 3.
  • Mandalay Travel Club Rally – Oct. 4-9.