Guides to Caravanning
The Guidelines to Caravanning contains information and policies pertaining to Winnebago Outdoor Adventure caravans. Caravans developed by Winnebago Outdoor Adventures are conducted in select areas of the United States, Canada and Mexico, and are designed to provide you with an unforgettable experience you will remember forever. Traveling together is a wonderful way to meet new friends and to share new and unique experiences. Winnebago Outdoor Adventure caravans are carefully organized to ensure complete comfort and safety to the caravan participants.
CARAVAN FEES – WHAT DO THEY COVER?
Included in your caravan price are camping fees, which includes water, electric, and dump when available, admission to attractions and tours and meals noted in the itinerary, busing (when traveling a short distance you may be using your tow car), some staff expenses, taxes and gratuities.
Visit WGOadventures.com/cancellations to learn about the cancellation policy.
Approximately 6 weeks prior to rendezvous, you will receive the following pre-caravan information by email:
- Phone number of rendezvous campground
- Directions to rendezvous campground
- Check-in-time at rendezvous campground
- Time of caravan orientation
- The name of your caravan hosts and cell phone numbers
- Information to help you prepare for the caravan
- List of caravan participants
- Listing of campgrounds where you will be staying with dates of your stay and telephone numbers
- A sneak preview of events planned during the caravan
A mailing through the US Postal Service will be sent out with the following information:
- Emergency Data Form for each person to complete. This form will be given to your caravan hosts at orientation
- Special Need Form – To be filled out and returned to the Winnebago Outdoor Adventures’ office informing staff and caravan hosts of a special need or handicap.
- Orange Card to be placed in the windshield of your motorhome when arriving at the rendezvous campground and throughout the caravan.
LENGTH OF CARAVANS
Winnebago Outdoor Adventure caravans range from 15 – 50 days.
You can relax knowing that you are accompanied by professionally-trained event hosts who will be with you throughout the caravan, making sure the itinerary planned for you runs as smoothly as possible. Our highest priority is to satisfy our customers with every trip you take by providing standards of excellence exceeding your expectations.
The tailender is responsible for bringing up the “tail end” of the caravan. It is the tailender’s responsibility to keep the caravan rolling in an orderly and safe manner on travel days; therefore they will be the last to leave the campground. In case of a motorhome breakdown, the tailender will assist in getting you back on the road, or make sure you have tow service to the nearest repair facility.
Casual and comfortable clothing is recommended on caravans. If there is an occasion where more formal dress is required, you will be informed in the pre-caravan information packet. You will want to bring along clothing for warm days and cool evenings, comfortable walking shoes, rain gear, and swim suits. When traveling in Alaska we suggest winter outerwear.
GUESTS IN YOUR MOTORHOME
Guests in your motorhome are welcomed but before you decide to invite guests, you may want to consider the length of time you will be sharing your home with them. What sounded like a good idea in planning your trip may end up not such a good idea.
- You are responsible for your pets
- All pets are to be kept on a leash at all times. NO EXCEPTIONS
- All pet stools are to be picked up by the owner and deposited in the garbage bin
- Pets are NOT to be tied up and left outside your motorhome while away
- Pets are NOT allowed to attend any WOA activities where food is being served
- Excessive barking must be controlled
- Pets MUST be muzzled if aggressive
- Please be aware your pet may be left for up to 10-12 hours during the day while out on tour
- At some campgrounds, especially in Canada and Alaska, you may find inadequate shore power for air conditioning and/or prohibition against running generators which may be hard on your pets
Tow cars are recommended.
We have researched and selected the campground with the best facilities available to you in a given area. Campground sites have been mapped out in advance of the caravan’s arrival. When you arrive at the campground, the parkers will direct you to your camping site. We try to give everyone full hookups when available, but when traveling in large groups, this may not be possible at all times. You do not have the option of moving to full hookups from a caravan area, even by paying the difference in cost since not everyone in the caravan would have the same option. The parkers will keep a chart rotating units receiving hookups. Some caravans may have overnight dry camping.
When traveling on the Alaskan Caravan you may have RV parks with little or no grass, gravel surfaces, & some with only dirt. There are some RV parks that will have 15/20 amp electrical service as well as parks with limited 30 amp service. You may not be able to use electric heat or air conditioning in these CG’s. It is recommended that you have equipment that allows you to monitor the electric supplied by the campgrounds.
You are requested to arrive for orientation on time. During orientation, your event hosts will go over the caravan forms and itinerary.
Caravan participants will receive name badges. Please wear your name badges as they help you become acquainted with other caravan members and are required identification for boarding buses and admission to attractions.
When arriving at caravan orientation, you will receive a folder containing a Critique Sheet. Please fill out and return this form to your event hosts following the caravan, or mail to the Winnebago Outdoor Adventures office. Completing the critique form is important to the Winnebago Outdoor Adventures’ tour administrators in assessing the following year’s event.
EMERGENCY DATA FORM
An Emergency Data Form will be sent to you in your pre-caravan information. Each person attending the event will fill out this form and give it to your event hosts at orientation. In case of an accident or illness, it is important for forms to be available to treat guests. Please list all foods and drugs you may be allergic to. Please list all prescriptions and over the counter drugs you are taking at time of caravan.
SPECIAL NEEDS FORM
A Special Needs Form will be mailed to you in your pre-caravan information. If you have a medical, physical, or other condition which may require attention during the trip or use of special equipment, please fill out this form and return it to the Winnebago Outdoor Adventures office. We must be aware of any medical conditions or special equipment used well in advance of the event.
In case of an injury/illness, the event hosts will fill out an Injury/Illness Report Form describing what took place, and if hospitalization or treatment by a doctor was required. If you refuse to seek treatment when treatment is recommended, you will be asked to fill out a Medical Release Form stating it was your own decision not to seek medical treatment, releasing Winnebago Outdoor Adventures and Winnebago Industries, Inc. of any liability concerning injury/illness.
Check your health insurance coverage for traveling in Canada and Mexico. Canadian citizens will want to check their insurance when traveling in the U.S.
It is necessary that persons requiring assistance be accompanied by a companion who is capable of and responsible for providing assistance. Neither the Winnebago Outdoor Adventures tour personnel, nor its suppliers, may assist with medications or physically lift or assist clients onto transportation vehicles.
Tips for bus drivers, guides, waiters, etc. are included in your caravan price.
A travel meeting will normally be held the day before a travel day. It is important for you to attend these meetings in case there is a change in the itinerary or a change in the road directions. Please bring your caravan itinerary, maps, etc., as well as pen and pad for taking notes. In case you miss a meeting, please check with another caravaner or your event hosts for changes.
Everyone should routinely check your event host’s “Message Board” displayed at their motorhome for the latest changes and important information pertaining to the caravan. It would be unfortunate for someone to miss an event because he or she was unaware of a time change in the itinerary.
In mapping out caravans, the route may not be the most direct route from one campground to another, but we can assure you it will be the most scenic route noting attractions along the way you will not want to miss. Road directions may have changed since going to print due to road construction, flooding, etc. If there are changes in directions, you will be informed during the travel briefing.
All the highways the Alaska Caravan travels are paved, however, with the severe winters there will always be road repair/construction. In these areas you may travel on dirt and/or gravel road sections. Winnebago Outdoor Adventures and Winnebago Industries, Inc. are not responsible for any damage to your motor home due to road conditions.
Seating will be determined by the card you draw from a deck of cards each time you board the bus at the campground. Your event hosts will explain the deck of cards seating system at caravan orientation. The first seats (to the right of the bus driver) are always reserved for your event hosts or designated bus captains. Handicapped and step-on guides may also require seating up front.
Out of courtesy to your fellow caravan members, bus companies, and attractions scheduled for the day, we ask you to be on time when boarding the bus. The Winnebago Outdoor Adventures office and charter companies have worked closely together to plan your day’s itinerary. Attractions have been notified ahead of time of your group’s arrival, and may have other groups scheduled following your departure.
Please be considerate of others at group gatherings. There will be no smoking on buses and areas designated “No smoking”.
LEAVING AND REJOINING A CARAVAN
Please inform your event hosts if you are not going to attend an event. There are no refunds for the events you do not attend. If you decide to leave the caravan for a period of time, or in case of an emergency where there is an illness or crisis at home requiring you to leave the group for an extended period of time or duration of event, you will be asked to sign a “Release Form”. By signing this form, it is understood you will not receive a refund for those parts of the program that were missed, or campground fees, and agree to release the Winnebago Outdoor Adventures and Winnebago Industries, Inc. of any liability concerning this event. This is why we encourage you to have cancellation insurance.
Each motorhome will be assigned a caravan number at rendezvous. You will keep this number throughout the caravan. Caravan numbers will be displayed on the front windshield and rear portion of your motorhome for the duration of the caravan.
A CB radio is required for communication among caravan participants during travel days to ensure a smooth and safe caravanning operation. You can use a hand-held CB radio as long as it has CB radio frequency and is not the FRS (Family Radio Service). Your event hosts will explain monitoring and use while traveling. Your tailender will explain how the CB will be used for announcements.
Your event hosts and caravan parkers will depart the campground approximately 2 hours prior to the group’s departure to allow them enough time to meet the next campground manager and review the camping situation.
For your safety, units will be dismissed by the tailender in daily groups of 5. This keeps the number of units on the highway together at a minimum. When traveling in a group, please observe a minimum of 200 – 300 feet spacing between coaches to allow trucks and other traffic to pass without undue dangers. We also recommend you drive with headlights on for added safety. Normally we request you to monitor Channel 13 during transit.
You will be assigned to a different group each travel day with starting times carefully worked out to prevent everyone from leaving at the same time in the morning, and most importantly, to provide you with an excellent opportunity to enjoy meeting and being with different caravan participants every day. The tailender will post a departure notice on his motorhome the evening before a travel day. It will contain the individual group assignments, the time for CB announcements, and first group departure. With a group departure interval determined by the event hosts, (usually 10-15 minutes), one can determine his group’s approximate departure time. Using the CB Radio on travel days, (at the time stated on the call-out sheet and/or announced at the travel briefing the day before), the tailender will make general interest announcements or last minute changes, and then supervise the call out, assembly, inspection, and departure of the individual travel groups for that day. The tailender will announce over the CB in the morning when your group will depart the campground.
After you leave the campground, you may park and wait for a friend to travel with you. You do not have to stay in your daily group. The daily group is only for dispatching purposes.
PLEASE DO NOT RUSH TO BE THE FIRST TO ARRIVE AT THE NEXT CAMPGROUND.
A caravan trip should be a leisurely one, driven at your own pace, with rest stops, coffee breaks, and sightseeing opportunities taken as you wish. Your event hosts and parkers will be enjoying the sights along the way. If you arrive before the parking committee has determined where units will park, you will be directed to a holding area until parking has been determined. If you arrive and try to park your motorhome without direction from the parking committee, you may be asked to move your motorhome to another site.
There may be times when an event involving busing is planned for the evening of your travel day, and possibly a travel meeting has been sandwiched in before your bus departs the campground. With this schedule, it becomes important to meet the event hosts suggested latest arrival time. This should allow time to park, dismiss the parkers, get dressed, attend the travel meeting and board the buses on time. The arrival of the tailender signals that all caravaners are safely in or accounted for.
Please do not deviate from the planned route. If you decide to leave the designated route, PLEASE INFORM THE HOSTS OR TAILENDERS OF YOUR PLANS. Use your CB to report out of sight excursions and get acknowledgments to insure your whereabouts are known. The tailender will not knowingly bypass anyone who is stopped for any reason along the prescribed route. However, doing laundry during a travel day is not an acceptable sightseeing stop, and the tailender is not permitted to wait or follow you.
When arriving at the campground, you will be greeted by your volunteer parkers who will direct you to your camping site. Please extend courtesy to your parkers as they are paying members of the caravan also, and have volunteered their time to make sure caravan parking runs as smoothly as possible.
The parkers will depart the campground with the event hosts, or 1 hour before the caravan begins its departure. When the parkers arrive at the campground, the event hosts will brief them on the parking situation, and together they will map out where units will park. During the caravan, there may be some campgrounds where all units will not receive full hookups. In fairness to caravan members, the parkers keep a chart to rotate units receiving hookups.
Handguns, mace, and pepper spray are forbidden in Canada & Mexico. PLEASE LEAVE THEM AT HOME. Penalties for possession are very severe. Various rules cover rifles and shotguns, but again, the best policy is to leave them at home. Remove all ammunition since it is hard to convince a customs you don’t have a gun after they have found the shells.
We recommend you belong to an emergency towing service, as one of the biggest headaches on the road is finding a qualified service agency if you have a problem with your RV while traveling.
MOTORHOME BREAKDOWN AND REPAIR
In case of a breakdown, the tailender will standby until proper outside help is on the scene, or towing is in process. Lengthy repairs will of course require one to play catch-up since the caravan is committed to a precise day-by-day schedule.
It is recommended that you carry spare parts such as hoses, belts, fuses, gas filters, and light bulbs.
NOTE: Make sure your motorhome is properly serviced per your owner’s manual prior to the event. Do not expect your tailender to service your motorhome upon arriving at the rendezvous campground.