- How long are caravans?
Pick a caravan that suits your needs and wishes. Caravans are often last from ten days to over two months.
- How much does a caravan cost?
The cost can vary widely. It is dependent on the cost of facilities used and the quantity of events included in the Kitty Fee. In any case, WB Airstream Club Caravans are operated AT COST and any funds not used are returned to the caravanners; this means that our per day cost is about 50% of a commercial caravan.
- What kind of Caravans are there?
WB Airstream Club Units, Regions and the International club all sponsor caravans. Unit Caravans tend to be shorter in length and may be limited to local areas. Region Caravans often travel within the limits of an individual Region since the leaders may have intimate knowledge of that area, or from the region to an International Rally. National Caravans that travel throughout the US, Canada (and soon to Mexico) tend to be extensive and repeated year after year if popularity demands it. WB Airstream Club also conducts overseas Caravans in conjunction with the International Caravanning Association. These Caravans are advertised in the “Blue Beret” magazine.
- Where can I find information about Caravans?
National Caravan information can be found on this WEB Site, at wbccicaravan.wbcci.net and in the monthly club magazine, the “Blue Beret.” Region Caravan information can be found on the calendar page of the WBCCI WEB Site and in the “Blue Beret”. Unit Caravan information can be found on he calendar page of the WBCCI WEB Site under the individual Unit listings and in the same section of the “Blue Beret”.
- We are new members. Should we go on a Caravan?
There is no better way to meet people, make new friends, and see the country than going on a Caravan. By all means, get on a Caravan and find out what WB Airstream Club Fun, Friendship, and Adventure is all about.
- Who can go on a Caravan?
You must be a member of the Wally Byam Airstream Club to go on a club Caravan.
- What does the price of the caravan include?
The price of a caravan includes all camping, many meals, and many tours and events.
- When do I have to sign up to go on a Caravan?
Caravans often fill up quickly and are filled on a first come, first served basis, so sign up as soon as you see one that interest you.
- How do I sign up?
Contact the Leaders of the Caravan. Their contact information is on the caravan website: wbccicaravan.wbcci.net They will tell you what they need and what the deposit is. There is a registration form on this WEB site in the NEWS section. You may print it, complete the information, include a deposit, and mail it to the Caravan Leader. There is also a registration form in the Blue Beret magazine.
- How do I pay for the Caravan?
A deposit will insure your place on the member or standby list for the Caravan. There may be a payment schedule or just one payment for the entire Caravan. The Leaders will inform you of that in documentation you receive from them. A personal check is the preferred means of payment.
- What if I have to cancel out?
Each Caravan varies a bit, but the general process is: There will be a $50 cancellation fee up to a specific date (usually the date that the leaders must start to make deposits to the vendors used by the Caravan). After that date your refund will depend on what deposits the leader is able to recover.
- Do I have to participate in the entire caravan? I don’t get that much time off.
Our National Caravans are usually planned for a given number of participants because of facilities and cost considerations. Campgrounds may only have room for a certain number of Airstreams; busses may only hold a certain number of people; price breaks or special tours or events may require a minimum number. In many cases there is also a non-refundable prepayment required for an event. A Caravan Leader may spend up to 2 years planning and scheduling a Caravan to offer the maximum content/cost experience and will be depending on a given number of participants. Based on all of the above, it is very difficult to add part-time members (or lose members) on a Caravan. It is also often impossible to guarantee a refund for committed events because the cost is shared between all of the planned caravan members.
- Will we be moving all the time?
Caravans are designed to provide the best taste of an area possible without traveling too far in any one day or moving too often.
- I don’t think I would like to travel in a convoy.
Caravans RARELY travel in a convoy. Most times you will travel in small groups of 3 or 4 for companionship and safety. However if you prefer you may travel by yourself.
- How will I know where to go?
At the beginning of the Caravan you will be given a “Drivers Manual”. It will contain information about the operation of the Caravan and detailed driving directions from stop to stop.
- What kind of accommodations will we have?
Our Caravans try to explore all of the areas that we travel through. As a result, camping accommodations may range from full-hookup sites to dry camping in ball fields or parking lots. Your “Drivers Manual” will contain information about each site so you can be prepared.
- Will we be moving all the time?
We encourage you to explore the areas we travel to. If possible plans are made to stay at a stopping location for 2 or 3 days (sometimes more).
- What will we be doing?
There will be group tours arranged to highlight things of local interest, plus you will have plenty of time to explore on your own.
- I don’t want to be in a big group all the time.
There will be plenty of time to explore on your own.
- What if there is an emergency at home?
You will be provided with a list of telephone numbers of the campgrounds where we will stop if there is no cell phone signal at that location. You may provide this list to someone at home so that they can contact you. If you have to leave the Caravan because of an emergency, the leaders will make every attempt to recover prepaid expenses and return them to you as soon as they can.
- What if there is an emergency while we are on the road?
You are responsible for handling any medical or equipment emergency on your own. However, there will be many people on the Caravan who will pitch in and help you all they can. On travel days there will be an assigned “Caboose” to stop with you if you run into trouble on the road. They will not be able to fix your problem, but they will stay with you until a solution has been found.
- How can we receive our mail?
You will be provided a list of mailing addresses where your mail can be sent. There will be a “postman” assigned from the Caravan that will gather the mail and deliver it to Caravan members.
- Who does all the work that needs to be done?
WB Airstream Club Caravans are a club function and as in all other club functions the members do the work. You will be asked to pitch in and help with jobs such as: Parking, Welcome Committee, Cookouts, Dumping, Caboose, etc. Jobs will be rotated so that you will not be doing the same tasks over and over.
- Can I bring my pet?
Certainly, pets are welcome on our Caravans. You must take care of your pets and clean up after them every time.
- How will I know what to wear?
Just like most WB Airstream club activities, caravans are informal. However, they do travel through many areas of the country, a wide range of altitudes and weather conditions, and sometimes for a significant amount of time. You should be prepared for any eventuality – from very hot to very cold and wet. Layering always is best and it is the most practical way to pack clothing for your trip. Sometimes the final banquet for a Caravan is a more formal affair so you should consider bringing something a little more formal (Sport coat for men, dress or nice slacks for women). Oh, don’t forget your camera.
- How should I prepare my Airstream?
We do not bring a mechanic on WB Airstream Club Caravans so your Airstream and tow vehicle should be in top condition before you arrive. Make sure you have checked the brakes, wheel bearings, belts and hoses, and have good tires and spare (be sure to check the air pressure in the spare). Check to see your cooling system is clean and in good condition. Check your hitch ball regularly for tightness, cracks, and broken welds. Check hitch platform bolts and wheel lugs. Be sure you have working fire extinguishers, good batteries, and that your water pump, water heater, and refrigerator work well. Propane gas bottles should be full and have current certification.
- What equipment should I carry on my Airstream?
You should carry, at a minimum: 1 25ft and 1 50ft 5/8in dia. Non-toxic (white) water hose, 2 free flowing Y’s with caps, 1 shut off Y, 10ft (min) sewer hose, 1 short and 1 long (25ft min) sanitary drain hose (non white), a 2-gallon waste water container or bucket, wheel chocks, leveling blocks, tow cable, highway hazard safety triangles, 50 ft. electrical extension (10 or 12 gauge), and a water pressure regulator. Mark all loose equipment with your member number.
- What if I have a break down?
Your travel companions or the “Caboose” will stop with you until you are able to get the problem fixed or have professional help if you need it.
- Will I need to cook?
There will be many planned meals on the Caravan, but you will need to cook on your own as well. There will be plenty of opportunity for you to get to grocery stores for food as you need it.
- How will we communicate?
There will be a “Drivers Meeting” before each move to review travel plans. While you are on the road (and often in a campsite) the CB may be used.
- I have a diesel engine, will fuel be available?
Although our Caravans do travel into some remote and interesting spots, there is always access to fuel (Diesel, Gasoline, and Propane).
About the Wally Byam Caravan Club International
The Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) is the RV Club of Airstream Owners. It is named for Wally Byam who was the inventor of the Airstream travel trailer. It is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio. To be a member and participate in club activities, you must own a self-contained recreational vehicle made by Airstream Inc. – also located in Jackson Center, Ohio.
In 1951, Wally Byam conducted the first group RV Tour (Caravan) in history. He did it to encourage people to get out and use their travel trailers, to see and enjoy the world around them, and to be used as a test environment for the travel trailers he manufactured. This first Caravan traveled to Mexico. Wally continued his Caravan activity and eventually operated Caravans that traveled almost everywhere in the world. It was on one of these Caravans to Eastern Canada in 1955 that the Wally Byam Caravan Club International was formed. The goal of the club was to foster Fun, Fellowship, and Adventure as members enjoyed the lifestyle offered by traveling in an Airstream. As the club grew (to more than 25,000 members at one point), more management and organization was required. An organization of Units (local), Regions (several states), and National (the whole club) was created to better respond to the members needs.
Activities at all levels consisted of lunches, dinners, rallies, and caravans – anything that could be enjoyed by members as they traveled around in their Airstreams. However, in 1972 it was recognized that groups that conducted Caravans seemed to be more successful. To encourage more Caravans, a Caravan Handbook was created to help those who were not sure of what to do (the WBCCI Caravan Handbook is included in this web site). A numbering system was developed to recognize any group that conducted more extensive Caravans and to track the club’s Caravan activity.
A Caravan need not be numbered to be fully supported by WBCCI, but participants in a numbered Caravan will have the numbers of the Caravans they have completed listed behind their names in the annual Membership Directory. In fact, non-numbered Caravans exceed those that are numbered.
Since the number system was started in 1972, WBCCI has conducted over 1000 such Caravans (an average of 30 per year). We still operate around 30 numbered Caravans each year. This continued experience makes WBCCI the leader in what has become a major activity in the RV industry today.
Because we are a nonprofit club, our Caravans are operated at cost and led by experienced volunteers. The Caravan Leader will have pre-planned the entire Caravan, arranged for campsites, set up group meals, and arranged many interesting tours. The participants in the Caravan (caravanners) pay a “Kitty” fee that has been established by the Leader to cover expenses for the Caravan. Any money that is left in the Kitty at the end of the Caravan is returned to the caravanners.
Caravans range in length from 10 to 60 or more days and can include 15 to 40 Airstreams. An average cost for a Caravan is $50 to $60 per day for 2 people in an Airstream, but this varies with the cost of campsites, the number of group meals, and the extent of tours that are included in the Kitty fee. Our Caravans do not rush from stop to stop; we try to give everyone plenty of time to get familiar with the areas we travel through. Since we are traveling as a group, we can often arrange tours and visits to locations that are not available to the general public. There is also ample opportunity to sightsee on your own.
WBCCI Caravans offer a wide choice for those who like to travel. Although specific Caravan offerings can change from year to year (a list of current Caravans is included in this Web Site and appears in the club monthly magazine – the Blue Beret) we do have many that are popular enough to run frequently.
. For those who enjoy sports, you can go fishing in British Columbia or golfing in a new area each year.
. For the history buff, you can travel the Oregon Trail, explore the Lewis & Clark Trail, or visit Civil War sites.
. If you want to see and enjoy the country, you can travel with us to Alaska, Western Canada, Eastern Canada, Newfoundland, Cajun Country, the Great Southwest, many National Parks and Monuments, and much, much more.
If you already own an Airstream, pick out a Caravan, contact the Leader to make your reservation, and get prepared to enjoy yourself. If you do not own an Airstream, now is your chance to find one and join with us on a WBCCI Caravan for Fun, Friendship, and Adventure.