The Escapees RV Club celebrates its 50th Escapade, which coincides with the RV industry’s 100th birthday, in Goshen, Ind., Sept. 12-17.

The event, bearing the theme “Honor the Past, Embrace the Future,” will take place at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds in Goshen.

This year’s event is expected to draw at least 1,500-1,600 people and 800 coaches.

“This is a perfect opportunity to honor our past, but at the same time embrace the future,” said Cathie Carr, president and Escapade director along with her husband Bud. “While the pioneer-like days seem far behind us now and access to every kind of information is as close as the stroke of a computer key, nothing takes the place of face-to-face interaction, where kindred spirits share what really works and what doesn’t according to the book of experience. There is no better way to gain this level of inside knowledge than from the folks who live the lifestyle.”

The Escapees RV Club got its start in 1978 by Carr’s parents, Joe and Kay Peterson. The group has held one, sometimes two Escapades a year. Carr said the group plans events three to four years in advance and it was sheer coincidence this year’s Escapade in Goshen coincides with the RV centennial.

Al Hesselbart, RV/MH Hall of Fame historian, will be talking at the Escapade, and many Escapees members will visit the Hall of Fame in nearby Elkhart during their visit to the area.

“Our members just love the Goshen area since that is where so many RVs are manufactured,” Carr noted.

The Escapees is considered an organization for full-time RVers, but during the Escapade there will be several classes for novices, including a boot-camp program. There will also be classes for more seasoned RVers.

“There is something for everyone, including crafts, hobbies and chapter activities,” Carr said. “We want to make sure people know the Escapade is not just for Escapee members, non-members are welcome to attend, too.”

“Our events are focused on education and we have a lot of fun and entertainment,” Carr added. “We are very proud of our faculty line-up this year and are offering some really neat classes.” Visit www.escapees.com/escapade/2010 for a list of the faculty lineup.

In addition to class time, each day those attending can shop for new products in the centrally located commercial market area.

“The Escapade provides the perfect forum to inspect products up close and ask questions of some of the leading service and product representatives that will be available there,” Carr said.

Escapade Exhibitors

The list of exhibitors at the Escapade includes: Adventure Caravans, Alliant Credit Union, Almost Heaven Micro Fiber, America Hears, Blue Ox, Blue Streak LLC, Cliff Spears Enterprise, Coffelt & Co., Community Resource Credit Union, Coyote Enterprises, Fantastic Vent, RV Advantage/Farm & City Insurance Services, Fire and Life Safety, Flags Galore N More, G & L RV Specialities, Geeks on Tour, General RV, Generations Financial Services, C & C Marketing and Insurance, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC, Lawrence RV Accessories Inc., Magne Shade, Master Tech RV Services, Miller RV Insurance, Minelab USA, Mobile RV Academy, MOR/ryde International Inc., One More Time Music, Passport America, PoliSeek RV Insurance, Bensten Palm by Rhodes Ent. Inc., Rolling Home Press, RV Driving School, RV Glass Solutions, RV Safety Education Foundation, SkyMed, SMI RV Parts and Accessories, SMI’s Vacuum-Assisted Braking Systems, Southeast Publications, Sunrise Bedding, TechnoRV, Tire Traker tire Pressure Monitor System, The RV Solution, The Shop, Thumbs Up Store, Titan Tire, Too Crazy Ladies, U.S.B. Med I.D., Workhorse Custom Chassis and Your Water Filter Source.

Heartland RV and General RV will showcase new coaches during the event.

The Escapade will also feature craft classes and for the not-so-crafty, items can be purchased at the Crafts Show & Sell. There will be medal-detecting treasure hunts with prizes, geocache explorations, exercising, dancing, and CPR training, plus a chance to visit with chapter reps or learn more about Birds of a Feather Groups. Those attending can even take a day off and go on a Head Out Program (HOP) tour. (Call (888) 757-2582 to book a tour.)

Those that would like to order Escapade clothing with the 50th Escapade logo on it, visit Escapade Clothing, www.sportsindiana.com/escapees/index.html for polo shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps. Those that prefer the national Escapade logo will find that apparel there as well. Attendees who order early may request delivery to the fairgrounds to avoid shipping charges.

Major sponsors for the 50th Escapade include:

  • Adventure Caravans, grand prize ($2,695 value).
  • RV Advantage Insurance, blast-off prize ($2,500 cash).
  • Heartland RV, attendee badges.
  • PoliSeek RV Insurance, transportation.
  • Coach-Net Roadside Assistance, Wi-Fi Coffee Cafe.
  • Foremost Insurance Group, ice cream social.
  • General RV, Fare-Thee-Well Picnic.