The Coolest RV Meetups & Rallies for 2023
A Rundown of the Best Gatherings for RVers and Overlanders Taking Place This Year
For more than a century, RV owners have been gathering at rallies and meetups to connect with one another. In fact, America’s first camping club—the Tin Can Tourists—organized such gatherings as early as 1919 and continues to do so today. Much has changed over the past 100+ years, though, with modern RV expos taking on a different vibe from their predecessors.
Today’s rallies are an opportunity for like-minded RV owners to connect, establishing bonds that continue long after the event is over. But they are also a chance to learn more about the RVing lifestyle, interact with manufacturers, and meet with some of the most influential brands in the industry. Many of these meetups also offer valuable seminars on vehicle repair and maintenance, adding upgrades, and making the most out of life on the road.
If that sounds fun and exciting to you, there are plenty of RV rallies scheduled for 2023. These are some of the best ones you should have on your radar.
Family Motor Coach Association International Convention & RV Expo (March 15-18)
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) holds one of the biggest and best RV rallies each year, with tens of thousands of people attending. The 2023 convention and expo is the organization’s 106th event and takes place on March 15-18 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia.
The event is open to members and nonmembers alike, with a wide variety of options for those who want to attend. As usual, the FMCA offers seminars on the basics of RV ownership and will even has an RV driving school.
Escapee’s Escapde (March 19-24)
The Escapees Club has been holding RV rallies—known as Escapades—for years, inviting both members and nonmembers to join in on the fun. This year’s event takes place at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Arizona, where hundreds of RVers will congregate for five days of seminars, entertainment, camaraderie, and fun. There are even activities designed specifically to keep RV kids occupied, including games, educational courses, and a talent show.
Airstream Club International Rally (June 24-30)
The famous Airstream Club International will hold its 66th International Rally in Rock Springs, Wyoming, this summer on June 24-30. The event welcomes thousands of fans of the famous brand, which has been a mainstay in the RV space for decades. Attendees of the rally can participate in an Airstream parade, tour vintage, and new trailer models, and interact with various vendors. The expo is kid-friendly, with popular events like an ice cream social, movie nights, games, and other fun activities.
Winnebago Grand National Rally (July 16-20)
For more than 50 years, Winnebago has been inviting owners and fans of the brand to its annual Grand National Rally in Forest City, Iowa. The meetup is a favorite of RVers across the country, allowing them to connect with this legendary brand at its headquarters in the Hawkeye State. During the four-day event, attendees mingle with Winnebago employees, soak up educational info at seminars, and enjoy a variety of entertainment options. Factory tours are a popular activity, as is interacting with vendors.
FROG International Rally (August 13-19)
This year’s FROG (Forest River Owners Group) International Rally is scheduled to take place in mid-August at the Elkhart Count 4-H Fairgrounds near Goshen, Indiana. As with other brand-specific events, this one aims to connect owners and fans of Forest River RVs. Highlights of the five-day event include tours of local attractions, a visit to Amish country, RV walkthroughs, live music, informational seminars, and onsite vendors.
Grand Design RV National Rally (August 28-31)
The GDRV National Rally is sponsored by Grand Design and brings together owners of the company’s very popular travel trailers and fifth-wheelers. The event takes place at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Indiana, where attendees get unprecedented access to GD staff and technicians. This makes it a very popular gathering, allowing owners to ask questions and gain insight directly from the team itself.
The well-organized meetup offers the usual line-up activities, including workshops, social outings, live entertainment, and plenty of good food. Tickets for the rally go on sale on April 1 and tends to sell out quickly.
Alumapalooza (September 5-10)
Alumapalooza is Airstream’s official rally, taking place at the company’s headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio, each year. Despite the name and sponsorship, the event is open to anyone who wants to attend, even if they don’t own one of the iconic travel trailers. Attendees spend five days enjoying live entertainment, attending workshops and taking factory tours.
Hershey America’s Largest RV Show (September 13-17)
The largest RV show in the country is held in Hershey, Pennsylvania each year. Over 40 manufacturers are on hand at the event, showing off more than 1,400 motorhomes and travel trailers. This makes it an excellent option for RV buyers looking for a new camper, as there are acres upon acres of models to walk through.
But even if you’re not looking to buy a new RV, the show has plenty to offer. Brands like Thetford, Dometic, Blue Ox, Roadmaster, and dozens of others will be on hand, showing off a range of accessories and add-ons. The expo also hosts experts who hold seminars on RV safety, trip planning, maintenance, and more.
RVing Women National Convention (September 16-24)
RVing Women is an organization dedicated to helping female RVers to learn about the lifestyle in a safe and welcoming manner. RVW hosts a national convention filled with fun events, educational opportunities, and bonding each year. The 2023 edition takes place in Amana, IA, on September 16-24. The event is very newcomer friendly, and all women RVers are welcome.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (October 7-15)
While the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta isn’t an RV-specific event per se, but it draws so many campers each year that it has become a de facto RV rally. Held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Fiesta is the largest hot-air balloon festival in the world. For nine days, attendees celebrate the colorful dirigibles, with dozens of balloons taking to the sky.
For RVers, the Fiesta is a chance to connect with others who share the lifestyle, meet with RV brands, stroll through rows of vendors, and enjoy outstanding food. It is also an opportunity to go for a balloon ride and take in the sights from above.
Adventure Van Expo (Various Dates)
As camper vans and van life have grown in popularity, a number of rallies have sprung up to support this style of RVing. Some of the more popular of those meetups is the Adventure Van Expo, which take place across the country at various locations and dates. For 2023, nearly a dozen of these events will be held in destinations like Sonoma, California; Bend, Oregon; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dates range from the end of April through mid-October.
Expo attendees will learn about camper vans, off-road rigs, overlanding, and camping gear like rooftop tents, equipment racks, and other accessories. They can meet with professional van builders to get tips and suggestions on how to improve their own vehicles and learn about the best places to explore in their rigs. The event hosts product demos and workshops, live entertainment, food and beverages, and lots of opportunities to build relationships.
Overland Expo (Various Dates)
Overland Expo is a series of events made for adventurous travelers, including off-road RVers, camper van owners, and overlanders. This rally is all about getting off the beaten path and exploring the remote areas of our planet, often far from highways and urban environments. Attendees learn how to be self-sufficient while off-grid camping and how best to equip their vehicles to survive in rugged environments.
There will be four Overlanding Expos in 2023, with OE West first taking place in Flagstaff, Arizona, on May 19-21. OE Pacific Northwest is up next in Redmond, Oregon, on July 7-9, and OE Mountain West on August 25-27 in Loveland, Colorado. Finally, Overland Expo East goes down in Arrington, Virginia, on October 6-8.
This is just a sampling of the best RV rallies and meetups to have on your schedule for 2023. There are literally dozens of others varying in size from small and intimate all the way up to massive and raucous. Which style appeals to you depends on what you want to get out of the event. Chances are, you won’t be disappointed.