President’s Messages

February 2019

Hello from the beautiful American Southwest.

Do you ever feel that when you volunteer for something, you are actually signing on for much more later on? Yep, that was my thought when I agreed to become chapter VP. The more later has arrived and I am good with it.

I want to give a big shout out to Fred Sotelo for carrying the torch these past few years. Good job Fred. Kick back and relax! Hopefully I can find a volunteer in the not too distant future to take over as treasurer so Stella can kick back, too.

For those of you in the chapter I have not yet met, let me give you a little background about me. My lovely wife Gail and I both retired from State of Illinois government. We relocated to Colorado and soon found ourselves exploring options for traveling the country. Before too long we found ourselves looking at coaches. That probably came from me being an Illinois farm kid with an engineering degree who likes big things with diesel engines. So, we bought our first coach, a 2002 Fleetwood Revolution 40C, and off we went to see America.

We discovered the ACA reading the magazine while sitting in the waiting area at “Camp Decatur” and figured out our old Rev made us eligible for membership. Given our then Colorado location and our site in Las Vegas Motor Coach Resort, we soon joined the SW Chapter as well. We have attended many rallies in the west and the Nationals in Shawnee and Spearfish. And, we look forward to Lake Conroe in May. Hope to see you there!

Our “starter coach” was replaced in 2014 with a 2008 Tradition 42F and last year at Spearfish we became the proud owners of a 2018 American Dream 45F. Our dream coach for sure.

We have long since sold our Colorado home and have been full-timers for soon to be 4 years. Time is split between Las Vegas, the road, rallies, and Northern Idaho.

This is my second foray into leadership in a volunteer run social organization. Past experience has told me that it takes a team of people who have enthusiasm and a goal to keep improving the organization and events for all the membership. It is great to see this happening today at the national board level of ACA. So if you are one who wants to get the most out of your chapter membership and see us grow, please reach out to me. Team members welcome!

In addition to National, Gail and I will be attending the Western Regional at Cava Robles Resort in California and our Southwest Chapter rally in Alamogordo NM in April. This will be a very unique event. Please consider joining us.

Rich Hunter, SWC President

May/June 2018

As the Summer travel season approaches Stella and I are preparing for the rally in Camp Verde. Our co-host will be Gail & Rich Hunter. Thank you Gail & Rich.

We start our travels in Yuma and begin our journey towards the Western Regional in Tuolumne, Ca. (Had to look up the spelling on that one). There is still time to register for this regional rally as of this writing and I highly recommended it. Glen & Jeannine Caldwell and company have gone the extra mile to plan this event.

After this rally we will work our way to Omaha NE to visit our granddaughter Katie who attends Creighton University. We are looking forward to seeing her and spending time with her since she spends her summer break working in Omaha. As I’m sure you all know, once they’ve grown we don’t get to spend quality time with them.

After this we’ll work our way to Indiana then on to Spearfish, SD for the National rally.

On another note I would like to urge our Southwest Chapter members to search your area for rally sites and make suggestions for future rallies. Our chapter covers 3 entire states and part of Nevada. The Great Southwest has many vacation destinations and it would be great if we could come together and identify rally sites in our areas.

Until next time,

Fred Sotelo, SWC President

March 2018

The 2018 travel season is just around the corner and we are preparing for the rally at Distant Drums in Camp Verde, AZ. But first there is the No Rain Rally in Wildemar.

The SW rally will be on April 24th, 4 nights leaving on the 28th. We have 20 slots set aside with options for more if necessary. See the rally info on this or the ACA website or in the SW chapter newsletter. As we continue to plan this rally — look for updates on both sites.

Til then, Fred

December 2017

Well the Holidays Season is progressing nicely, and Stella and I are busy preparing for Christmas as are all of us I’m sure. Our tree was put up just after Thanksgiving. Stella and my granddaughter decorated it with what I believe to be every fire department ornament known to man. Anyway, we have to begin our gift shopping soon, but first we are going to my mother’s house to help with her Christmas tamales. As always, I will be on hand to taste test her first dozen. Soon after, I will again assume my official duties as taste tester for Stella’s famous Christmas tamales. Can’t hardly wait!

Now, I have scheduled a SW rally at the Distant Drums RV park in Camp Verde, AZ on March 31st thru April 5th 2018. There is much to see in this area of Central Arizona. There is a casino across the I-17 for you gamers. There are some interesting wineries in the area as well. The former ghost town of Jerome is up on the mountain overlooking the town of Cottonwood which is within a few miles of the Indian ruins of Tuzigoot. You may also want to visit the towns of Sedona and Prescott. Details to follow on the ACA rally website.

Don’t wait too long to register for the ACA national rally in Spearfish, ND. The slots are filling up fast so don’t get left out. Also the Western regional at the Black Oak Resort and RV park inn Tuolumne, CA is on June 14 thru 18.  We are looking forward to both summer events.

Stella and I wish you a heartfelt  “FELIZ NAVIDAD!“

August 2017

The Shawnee rally was a great experience for all who attended. We now focus our efforts on the 2018 rally to be put on by the board. Our first choice was the Pueblo, Colorado fairgrounds but the Fords and Sotelos paid that venue a visit and it was found wanting to say the least. So now we our seeking another venue so that the next national rally will be a most memorable one. The Southwest chapter has drawn the responsibility of parking for that rally.

I encourage all Southwest chapter members to make the effort to attend the 2018 rally. Our chapter’s representation at the Shawnee rally was not what we would have liked. Hopefully we can improve on that next year.

Stella and I are in Colorado enjoying mild Summer weather although we have had plenty of rain this week. Its nice to have a break from the hot and humid weather we encountered travelling through the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. It made us appreciate the dry heat of Phoenix.

Have a great and safe rest of the Summer and the rest of the year. We hope to see you all very soon.

Fred and Stella

June 2017

As I write this article Stella and I are getting the motorhome ready to set sail for the national rally in Shawnee. We will meet the SoCal rolling rally at Black Bart’s RV park in Flagstaff, AZ.

Our last week’s trip to New Orleans is history. We encountered lots of rain, some humidity but we enjoyed lots of food and entertainment. After 2 taxi rides into the French Quarter, the first one taking us the long way almost doubling our fare and the second ride back where our cabby upped the charge for 6 passengers when we were 5, we next called a little something called Uber. Our fares were cut in half and our party’s fun increased tenfold. We summoned them with a phone app, they picked us up at the hotel and charged our credit card and would not take tips. WHAT A CONCEPT!

Anyway, after Shawnee we are headed to Indianapolis for the FMCA rally with stops first at Charlie and Gloria Adcock’s place, Memphis, Nashville, Louisville and  Decatur.  After Indy we will work our way back to New Orleans along with Tony and Sue Ford and Gary and Pat Adams and anyone else who wants to come along. You just can’t have enough of them cajun and creole delicacies.

By the way our Southwest chapter Vice President Doug Anderson has built up the chapter website. He has done a phenomenal job on the website and you can access it on our ACA website or by going to

We look forward to a great rally to be put on by Bob Carani and company and I hope to have lots to write about for the fall issue of the ACA magazine.

In closing I want to wish all of our members a safe and happy Summer, and to our friends who have unfortunately been under the weather we wish you a speedy recovery and we hope to see you again real soon.

Happy travels,

Fred and Stella Sotelo

May 2017

Stella and I are well rested after our return from the Western Regional Rally in Yuma and we are looking forward to the Rolling Rally to the ACA National Rally in Shawnee Oklahoma in June.

The rally in Yuma was very well attended. There was great entertainment and some really tasty food. RV World was there to start it off with Carne Asada from the grill and beverages, and with a number of show coaches for us all to drool over.

We were able to raise a good amount of Scholarship moneyu as well. The attendees were very generous with purhasing 50/50 and gift basket tickets. Here’s a shout out to the SW, SoCal, NorCal chapters and all the other attendees.

Before our trip to Shawnee, Stella and I are going on 2 Elks RV Club outings and then we are flying to NOL, the Birthplace of Jazz, the Crescent City, the Mardi Gras City, the Big Easy, the FOOD of New Orleans, LA. We are staying within walking distance of the French Quarter. What a great year this is shaping up to be.

Hasta Luego! See you all in Shawnee.

Fred Sotelo
President, Southwest Chapter