The 1st Annual ATC Toy Hauler Rally was held in Bremen, Indiana, from August 9-11, 2018.
Turns out, it was a huge success, on many levels.
The rally was located in Pla-Mor Campground, which is about a few miles outside of Nappanee, the headquarters for ATC (Aluminum Trailer Company). ATC paid for the campground, along with a BBQ lunch on Saturday, and gave away dozens of swag to attendees. They also gave us a tour of their manufacturing facilities.
For most attendees, it was a chance to meet in person other ATC Toy Hauler owners and get an up-close look at how others have customized their rigs. It was also an opportunity to meet ATC execs in person and get some feedback about their trailers. Many owners towed their trailers into ATC’s service center to get repairs and custom work done.
But for ATC as a company, it was a coming of age moment. The rally, which was organized by ATC owners, meant that the company had finally reached a certain level of success with its toy hauler. So many other brands of RVs have rallies, and now ATC had reached that level as well.
There were some ATC dealers that sponsored the event. 99 West Trailers (Sherwood, OR) sponsored gift cards for the contests. Toppers and Trailers Plus (Mankato, MN) sponsored trophies for the contests. Custom Outfitters (Brandon, SD) sponsored the soda, water, and ice.
For Sash, it was a moment for her to shine. Organizing events is such a favorite of hers, she was able to dive deep into her skill set and put on a great time for everyone. She put together a schedule of events, gathered up sponsors, and organized attendees all weekend long. She’s already put together a committee for next year’s rally.
Those of us who attended had only known each other through the ATC Owners Facebook group, yet now we know each other personally and have forged stronger friendships.
Some of the attendees were new owners and had not traveled this far in their ATC, or had not yet used all of its features. Hence, this was an opportunity to experience their trailer to a greater level.
For Sash and I, it was welcome relief from our day-to-day work, and a fun time for each of us as individuals. Sash felt like she had achieved something for each attendee as well as herself. For us, it was also the mid-way point of our year. This rally was the entire reason why we traveled this far east, into hot, humid, and buggy weather.
Pla Mor Campground was friendly enough, but we did have issues with them booking other campers into spaces we had reserved for the rally. Unfortunately for those campers, they were asked to leave. It’s largely Pla Mor’s fault for not keeping track of their bookings. I feel bad for the campers who were forced out. Some of the spaces had 50 AMP electricity, others had 30 AMP.
Perhaps the only negative is that the weather was largely humid. Temperatures got up into the mid-80s, but the direct sunlight and high humidity made it feel like 100. There were also tons of flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. It also rained off and on. Knowing this now, a lot of things can be solved by scheduling this at a time and place where the weather is drier.
But now that the rally is over, is we’re headed back west.
Sash now has three weeks of work visiting clients in Alaska. She flies out of O’Hare International Airport on Friday, August 17. Meanwhile, I’ll be towing the trailer through Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana before picking her up in Portland, OR. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see the folks at 99 West Trailers and get a little more custom work done on the ATC.
As for next year’s rally?
So far, there are still a lot of questions on where and when it will be. We have a major sponsor who wants to host the event, as well as other sponsors who want to participate in someway or another. We also have several attendees this year who’ve told us what their dates of availability are, and Sash is trying to coordinate it all. She’ll be posting more details on the “official” ATC Rally site: https://atcowners.com/