RVers and Technology: Chatting with Jon Walker, President of FMCA

FMCA is the RV club where Geeks on Tour got its start in 2005. We’ve presented technology seminars at every FMCA national convention since then.

Jon Walker has been a fixture at FMCA for most of the time we’ve been around. We saw him enjoying the Herman’s Hermits concert at the FMCA Convention in Pomona, CA. We chatted with him at the INTO Area rally in Tallahassee, FL. We enjoyed the ice cream he served during the social at the NE Area rally in Syracuse, NY, and we applauded as he was announced as the new president of the organization at the Convention in Indianapolis, IN. When you’re involved in FMCA, you get around. We’ve enjoyed being members of FMCA, and we’ve enjoyed having Jon as a member of Geeks on Tour. You see, he is a bit of a geek too!

Jon has his own website: JonWalkerFMCA.com, and a companion blog at JoinJonsJourney.com. Jon’s passion is being a pilot. You can read all about his story on his website under the tab, My Story. I find it interesting that many of our most active Geeks on Tour members are also pilots. Is there  a connection? An airplane is a big piece of technology and it takes a lot of learning to master it. People who loved that experience, often love to learn to use computers, smartphones, and tablets as well. I think using computing devices is much better though – if I make a mistake, I’m not going to crash!

Today’s mobile technologies are extremely useful for travelers, and especially RVers. Jon knows this, saying, “If you don’t know how to deal with technology, you’re going to be lost.” Jon has adopted the Apple ecosystem of devices. His iPhone X (the latest and greatest) is on order, and he is looking forward to the arrival of the newest Apple Watch. The new Apple watch 3 comes with its own cellular connection. Jon likes this because he can take off on an afternoon kayak trip and he doesn’t have to take his phone with him.

Among his favorite apps are iExit which informs him of all the amenities available at the next exit on the Interstate. Waze – a navigation app by Google that includes crowd sourced information like hazardous objects on the road ahead. He tells us that the FMCA app is being updated and looks forward to using that to keep track of FMCA events and finding FMCA discounted RV parks.  He also is pushing for all FMCA board and committee meetings to be handled remotely with the conferencing software called Zoom. He says it makes a huge difference in meeting effectiveness as opposed to phone calls where you can’t see facial expressions and other body language. He hopes it won’t take too long to convert all meetings to virtual meetings. That will also save a LOT of money, he says.

As he starts his first year as President of FMCA, Jon is reaching out and opening many lines of communication. You’ll even see his email and phone number on his website enabling FMCA members to contact him directly with any questions or ideas. We got to spend a little time with Jon using the Zoom video conferencing app. Here are a few snippets of our conversations.

If you are an FMCA member, be sure to cast your vote on the big change to allow towables as well as motorhomes. You need to fill out the form and actually mail it in. You’ll find the form in your September issue of the FMC magazine. The digital edition is available online for members here.