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2021 Western Central US Rally: Please give your input ! :)


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Hey Ollie Owners!  My name is Lexi Griffin and I work in marketing as an Intern with Matt for Oliver Travel Trailers and I have been looking into spots to add another rally to our roster! So far I have found that the Salt Lake City KOA is a great option and I am looking into the Jellystone Park in Larkspur, CO as well as the RiverRun RV Resort, also in CO.  The idea is to have it in the fall, most likely in September time (but so far the weather in CO and WY may be too cold).  If you want to suggest a campground, the sites need to have at LEAST 100 RV sites, preferably 150-200 would be best so we can get as many Ollie's together as possible.  The weather at the site you recommend shouldn't get too cold or hot for the time that we stay there.

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Excited at the possibility of a Western Rally so we can meet other Oliver owners, face to face :classic_biggrin:

I'll be thinking of some suggestions for a venue.

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Lexi, you might also consider Jordanelle State Park in Park City, which may be a bit more scenic than the KOA.  They have well over 100 sites, a decently sized event center, the lake, and of course all the restaurants and amenities of Park City.  It would probably be a bit cooler there as well.

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Sounds like you are thinking more mountain west than west coast, but in case the latter is in scope, I'll mention that Fort Stevens State Park is claimed to be the largest campground west of the Mississipi. We were just there and the campground is pleasant, and has access to both a nice beach and also nice park grounds including birding opportunities, some great coastal forest, and  a historic fort with old gun battery mounts and so forth. It's right next to a few small towns with multiple nice restaurants and stores for supplies, and also quite close to the small and quaint city of Astoria which has yet more food etc. options as well as a very nice museum. Also, late September turns out to be among the nicest times around there, per locals I've talked with, as there's much less of the will-sapping fog that can blanket the area for days at a time during mid summer.

Edited by Jim_Oker
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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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17 minutes ago, Overland said:

Lexi, you might also consider Jordanelle State Park in Park City, which may be a bit more scenic than the KOA.  They have well over 100 sites, a decently sized event center, the lake, and of course all the restaurants and amenities of Park City.  It would probably be a bit cooler there as well.

I looked at it and made an inquiry! We'll see what they say, thank you for the suggestion.

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Lexi - 

Thanks so much for getting on this with such a great attitude.  Pick a place, pick a date(s) and they WILL COME!

Bill

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11 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Lexi - 

Thanks so much for getting on this with such a great attitude.  Pick a place, pick a date(s) and they WILL COME!

Bill

Haha no problem Bill, I'm more than happy to do it!  I'm excited to see where we land.

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There have been discussions here on the forum about a Western US Oliver Rally, as well as communications via private message or email, but nothing has ever come to fruition. Thanks to Lexi for spearheading this effort!  We would love to attend a Western US Rally! 

I think any of these locations would be good. One of the advantages of Lake Guntersville State Park venue is the availability of rental housing for prospective buyers or people waiting for their build. I did not think the SLC KOA had such rentals, but I checked their web site and they do. The websites for Jellystone Park in Larkspur, CO and RiverRun RV Resort in Granby CO indicate that they have rentals. 

Lake Guntersville State Park also had communal gathering areas, which was great. The SLC KOA lists a Pavilion on their list of amenities, but it is not clear what that is. Jellystone Park lists a Campfire Canteen Restaurant and Bar, and RiverRun lists a Headwaters Tavern, and they could server as gathering spaces. Last year we went to the Inyan Rally, which was held sequentially in two different campgrounds. The first was a State Park where the organizer reserved a picnic pavilion space, and the second was a commercial campground where we congregated at the bar/restaurant every evening, although it was not ours for exclusive use. 

Lexi is correct that weather and time of year come into consideration. Today, Sept 15, it will be 90° in SLC, but this weekend the high should be 75°, and then 82°-84° next week. While anecdotal weather observations can be useful, I prefer to look at historical weather information. If you don’t know about the weatherbase.com website, I suggest you bookmark it, as it has historical weather information. We try to avoid camping in temperatures where the AC will be needed, and weatherbase is extremely useful. Weatherbase says the average highs in September are: 73° for SLC, 68° for Granby, and 77° for Castle Rock, CO. (Larkspur lacks weather data, and Castle Rock is nearby at similar elevation.) 

Living in SLC, I can provide some useful information. The Utah State Fair runs for 10 days in September, beginning the Thursday after Labor Day. They are on now, despite Covid-19. The SLC KOA is probably a half mile from the State Fairpark. There are a lot of 4-H families from rural Utah who attend the fair, and I expect the KOA was fully booked many months in advance for the Fair. So the choices are either to avoid the dates of the fair, or to book far in advance. The State Fair is a lot of fun, after all.  

Two other things about the SLC KOA location. It is directly adjacent to the Jordan River Parkway, a really nice biking and walking trail along the river. Also, SLC has a light rail system, and the SLC KOA is one block from a light rail stop. 

I was going to suggest Jordanelle State Park, as we have camped there several times, but Overland posted on that while I was writing this. Jordanelle does have an events center, and a small number of cabins for rent. Both the campsites and the cabins are reserved far in advance, particularly for weekend dates. Utah State Parks have a four month reservation window. 
 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

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58 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

Sounds like you are thinking more mountain west than west coast, but in case the latter is in scope, I'll mention that Fort Stevens State Park is claimed to be the largest campground west of the Mississipi. We were just there and the campground is pleasant, and has access to both a nice beach and also nice park grounds including birding opportunities, some great coastal forest, and  a historic fort with old gun battery mounts and so forth. It's right next to a few small towns with multiple nice restaurants and stores for supplies, and also quite close to the small and quaint city of Astoria which has yet more food etc. options as well as a very nice museum.

Hi Jim!  Our idea was to pick a location further west, but not too west so that we can make the trip doable for our Eastern owners as well!  I'll check it out and even if it doesn't work out this time, I'll be cataloging all of the suggestions in case we can use them at a later date.

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4 hours ago, Overland said:

Lexi, you might also consider Jordanelle State Park in Park City, which may be a bit more scenic than the KOA.  They have well over 100 sites, a decently sized event center, the lake, and of course all the restaurants and amenities of Park City.  It would probably be a bit cooler there as well.

Jordanelle SP UT is on our list of State Parks to camp at during future western trips! Would be nice to visit during a rally in the fall.

Edited by rideandfly
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Bill

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1 hour ago, Jim_Oker said:

Sounds like you are thinking more mountain west than west coast, but in case the latter is in scope, I'll mention that Fort Stevens State Park is claimed to be the largest campground west of the Mississipi. We were just there and the campground is pleasant, and has access to both a nice beach and also nice park grounds including birding opportunities, some great coastal forest, and  a historic fort with old gun battery mounts and so forth. It's right next to a few small towns with multiple nice restaurants and stores for supplies, and also quite close to the small and quaint city of Astoria which has yet more food etc. options as well as a very nice museum. Also, late September turns out to be among the nicest times around there, per locals I've talked with, as there's much less of the will-sapping fog that can blanket the area for days at a time during mid summer.

We LOVE Fort Stevens and try to stay there a few times a year.  The beach, the Columbia River and a lake all within the same park.  Bike riding is fun on the paths.  Just a wonderful spot, perfect for a September rally!

 

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Steph and Steve from Jacksonville OREGON


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25 minutes ago, sakthorp said:

We LOVE Fort Stevens and try to stay there a few times a year.  The beach, the Columbia River and a lake all within the same park.  Bike riding is fun on the paths.  Just a wonderful spot, perfect for a September rally!

 

Yeah, we ran into  a small group  of recumbent bicycle riders who normally have a HUGE post Labor Day rally  there but this year due to COVID just had an unofficial gathering of a fairly small group  of the  more dedicated regulars. They said they love the logistics of the campground for their rally which sounds like tends to use something in the neighborhood of 100 of the over 470 sites (about 170 full hookup sites and about 300 sites with electrical and water, plus a handful of tent only sites, yurts, cabins, and hiker/biker only sites, as well as a large group site that they said they always  book for things like booths and other group  activities).

BTW we learned about the nicer early fall weather there from a captain from the Ilwaco WA coast guard station, and she explained that it  has to do with the difference between the air and water temperature  not being as conducive to  fog as in summer when the  two temperatures tend to be closer to each  other. The folks  from  that station have some amazing  stories to tell  from  being  out around the sand bars at the  mouth of the Columbia in  bad winter weather. They do this in boats that can (and sometimes do!) flip upside down and back up again. Yikes!!

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

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48 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

Yeah, we ran into  a small group  of recumbent bicycle riders who normally have a HUGE post Labor Day rally  there but this year due to COVID just had an unofficial gathering of a fairly small group  of the  more dedicated regulars. They said they love the logistics of the campground for their rally which sounds like tends to use something in the neighborhood of 100 of the over 470 sites (about 170 full hookup sites and about 300 sites with electrical and water, plus a handful of tent only sites, yurts, cabins, and hiker/biker only sites, as well as a large group site that they said they always  book for things like booths and other group  activities).

BTW we learned about the nicer early fall weather there from a captain from the Ilwaco WA coast guard station, and she explained that it  has to do with the difference between the air and water temperature  not being as conducive to  fog as in summer when the  two temperatures tend to be closer to each  other. The folks  from  that station have some amazing  stories to tell  from  being  out around the sand bars at the  mouth of the Columbia in  bad winter weather. They do this in boats that can (and sometimes do!) flip upside down and back up again. Yikes!!

Yeah, that group does an annual ride for a few days each September.  We too are recumbent 'trikers' and enjoy riding there and across the bridge in Washington.  We're hoping to get over there next week if the smoke lifts.  

 

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Steph and Steve from Jacksonville OREGON


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1 hour ago, sakthorp said:

We LOVE Fort Stevens and try to stay there a few times a year.  The beach, the Columbia River and a lake all within the same park.  Bike riding is fun on the paths.  Just a wonderful spot, perfect for a September rally!

 

I agree, Fort Stevens is a beautiful park.  However, the location is not the best for a rally.  People will be coming in from all directions with only one major highway (US 101) into the area.  A more central location would be necessary to insure a good turnout.

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Lexi, glad to have you on board working this event!  My thought is that a Utah/Colorado event would be more accessible to those coming from the eastern states.  A west coast event would be nice but you might limit those not west of the Rockies.  We’ve got a year for planning....  Mike

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On 9/15/2020 at 1:22 PM, rideandfly said:

Jordanelle SP UT is on our list of State Parks to camp at during future western trips! Would be nice to visit during a rally in the fall.

 

On 9/15/2020 at 12:59 PM, DavidS said:

There have been discussions here on the forum about a Western US Oliver Rally, as well as communications via private message or email, but nothing has ever come to fruition. Thanks to Lexi for spearheading this effort!  We would love to attend a Western US Rally! 

I think any of these locations would be good. One of the advantages of Lake Guntersville State Park venue is the availability of rental housing for prospective buyers or people waiting for their build. I did not think the SLC KOA had such rentals, but I checked their web site and they do. The websites for Jellystone Park in Larkspur, CO and RiverRun RV Resort in Granby CO indicate that they have rentals. 

Lake Guntersville State Park also had communal gathering areas, which was great. The SLC KOA lists a Pavilion on their list of amenities, but it is not clear what that is. Jellystone Park lists a Campfire Canteen Restaurant and Bar, and RiverRun lists a Headwaters Tavern, and they could server as gathering spaces. Last year we went to the Inyan Rally, which was held sequentially in two different campgrounds. The first was a State Park where the organizer reserved a picnic pavilion space, and the second was a commercial campground where we congregated at the bar/restaurant every evening, although it was not ours for exclusive use. 

Lexi is correct that weather and time of year come into consideration. Today, Sept 15, it will be 90° in SLC, but this weekend the high should be 75°, and then 82°-84° next week. While anecdotal weather observations can be useful, I prefer to look at historical weather information. If you don’t know about the weatherbase.com website, I suggest you bookmark it, as it has historical weather information. We try to avoid camping in temperatures where the AC will be needed, and weatherbase is extremely useful. Weatherbase says the average highs in September are: 73° for SLC, 68° for Granby, and 77° for Castle Rock, CO. (Larkspur lacks weather data, and Castle Rock is nearby at similar elevation.) 

Living in SLC, I can provide some useful information. The Utah State Fair runs for 10 days in September, beginning the Thursday after Labor Day. They are on now, despite Covid-19. The SLC KOA is probably a half mile from the State Fairpark. There are a lot of 4-H families from rural Utah who attend the fair, and I expect the KOA was fully booked many months in advance for the Fair. So the choices are either to avoid the dates of the fair, or to book far in advance. The State Fair is a lot of fun, after all.  

Two other things about the SLC KOA location. It is directly adjacent to the Jordan River Parkway, a really nice biking and walking trail along the river. Also, SLC has a light rail system, and the SLC KOA is one block from a light rail stop. 

I was going to suggest Jordanelle State Park, as we have camped there several times, but Overland posted on that while I was writing this. Jordanelle does have an events center, and a small number of cabins for rent. Both the campsites and the cabins are reserved far in advance, particularly for weekend dates. Utah State Parks have a four month reservation window. 
 

 

On 9/15/2020 at 12:04 PM, Overland said:

Lexi, you might also consider Jordanelle State Park in Park City, which may be a bit more scenic than the KOA.  They have well over 100 sites, a decently sized event center, the lake, and of course all the restaurants and amenities of Park City.  It would probably be a bit cooler there as well.

Hey Y'all, I got a response from Jordanelle SP and they don't have enough space for anything more than 95 trailers at their campsite, so we won't be able to get to make use of them for a rally 😔 Thank you guys for the suggestion though!!!

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Greetings,

September in Washington would be great or Utah. For us, Washington would be our first choice; second Utah. It would be great to meet other Oliver owners.

Safe travels to all!

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R2W

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A Oliver Rally in the Western US sounds Great!

The Location is not as important to me as much as I want warm, not cold weather and do not want to travel through snow or potential of ice/ snow.  Having lived and traveled in the West, I know snow in the Fall is not unusual.  I like the idea of Salt Lake City, but not surrounding mountians if weather in the Fall is “Iffy”.  When we planned the Lake Guntersville Oliver Rally, much thought was put into the safety and convenience of those traveling long distances.  Salt Lake City is easily accessed in the Fall without bad  weather.  Most people, especially those of us from the Eastern US, should be able to travel there easily.  

I have a friend that left going west recently to visit some of the national parks in the western US.  They returned today saying that the smoke prevented them from seeing much of the western US.  The forest fires are much greater this year but heavy smoke from Fall forest fires in the Western US  is not unusual in the Fall.  2 years ago we went to Winnipeg, Canada in the Fall and the smoke from Oregon and Washington was really bad in Canada.  My point is that Salt Lake City / Utah area should be somewhat “smoke -free”.  

Having  put on the Oliver Rally for years, it will be very important to have someone from the area where the rally will occur.  Establishing and maintaining  on going relationship with the campground administration is important.  
As a person that likes to travel, I can see  some great side trips going to the rally and returning home.  I prefer it to occur very soon after Labor Day.  Less traffic on the roads and the national parks would hopefully be less crowded.  Utah has spectacular scenery and many places to boondock.  
We can all make suggestions on great places for a western rally.  I think Lexi is really looking for a person to be the front person to organize the rally and therefore have a greater “Say so” where the rally is to occur.  I will volunteer to offer support, but someone on the ground near the rally campground is a primary focus at this time. In my humble opinion,

coy 

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If that's the River Run I know then there is some good trout fishing nearby too.

Bill

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Criteria for a great Oliver Rally Venue

First, THANKS  to Lexi, Matt and Oliver for putting together a Western Oliver Rally

It is important that we have a venue that promotes socialization and sharing of all things Oliver.  It does need to be a venue that promotes sharing of ideas, making new friends and seeing old friends.  We have alot we can learn from each other and this is one of the greatest values offered by the rallies, wherever they may occur.

Also, human nature and needs dictate we come to gather for dining and sharing.  A campground without such resources will be adversely impact the value of the rally for many.  I am suggesting some of the criteria we need to measure against when recommending a location for any rally. Full hookups, dining venue and kitchen, dog friendly, 100+ campsites, enclosed facility to allow socialization, open discussions, nearby accommodations, local attractions,  cultural events, dining alternatives, shopping, quiet campground, reasonable weather, easy access from across the US, etc.  

For Oliver to sponsor the rally, sales of new units is a consideration. The rally location should have the ability for those wanting to see an Oliver to purchase;  a nearby place to stay that the cost, commute and accommodations are reasonable.  As David Stillman pointed out in his post that Lake Guntersville State Park offered such accommodations when he attended the rally to view an Oliver.  Each year we have several families that attend the rally to not only see an Oliver for the first time, they want to speak to Oliver owners to learn about the Good (lots of that!) the Bad (very little of this) and the Ugly (no way...Olivers are beautiful)

If we are going to recommend a location, I suggest we apply some of this criteria before we post.  Oliver staff is supporting this new rally and I think Oliver would appreciate that we do our "Due Diligence" before recommending a rally location.  

It is not so much for me the location as the journey getting there.  I always look forward to the trip.  Goodness!!!  many of us travel across the US in January to Arizona to camp on the desert with 100,000 other RVers.  Getting there and coming home is 3/4 the enjoyment of the venture.  Not a rally, definitely !! 

As a recommendation, please look at this campground to see if it meets the criteria, is a location that offers things you would like to see (google activities in September) and tickles your tastebuds !! 

Just an example 

http://www.rt66rvresort.com/

 

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I don't own an Ollie yet, but I will by next June, so I'm in!  I don't have any experience with good, or even poor, rally sites, but just let me know when and where, and I'll be there!

Thanks Lexi!

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Mike / Wet Mtn Valley, CO / LE on order / Tundra SR5 5.7L 4x4 w/3" lift

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