“Concert Sound” Correction
Editor’s note: Robert H. Faulks, F211803, who wrote “Concert Sound In Your Motorhome” (October 2001, page 62), has pointed out that an error entered his story during the editing process. At one point the word “radio” should have read “satellite receiver.” The change is on the second page of the story (page 63), where the middle paragraph should have read, “So the question is, how do you get the in-dash stereo to recognize the stereo signal that the satellite is sending, not only to your television but also to those two RCA jacks in the back of the satellite receiver?”
I want to note my appreciation for the article about the Roadtrek (“Home & Park’s Versatile Roadtrek,” September 2001, page 88).
The writer of the article was right — we type B owners “have received less attention than our larger motorhome cousins.” Type Bs are great for those attempting to live within a limited income yet wishing to see the United States, Canada, and Mexico. For this reason, along with the rising prices of fuel and campground stays, type Bs could be a great part of the future of motorhoming. If you have limited parking space, restrictions on RV parking, and the need for a second vehicle, and still wish to take along the comforts of home, nothing else fills the bill like a type B unit.
Keep up the great work. We appreciate the article and look forward to many more reviews of smaller motorhomes.
David & Olene Wood, F284774
An Invitation To Mexico
My husband and I have been traveling from British Columbia, Canada, to Mexico for the past 10 years. We have stayed each year for some time at a lovely trailer park on the ocean in La Penita de Jaltemba, in the state of Nayarit. The park is on the beach, has a lovely pool, and a great group of people who stay for several months there. There are many group activities, such as volleyball in the pool every morning. This is viewed as the “happy hour” and is lots of fun. Fishing, hiking, tennis, walking, tours, shopping, games, crafts, and just about anything else you may want to do is available either in or close to the park. The water is from a deep well, clean and drinkable. The 30-amp power is reliable. The pads are large and spacious, as is the park itself.
The roads are good, four-lane highways almost all the way, if you stay on the toll roads. Several lovely, safe places to stay are located along the way. From the United States-Mexico border, it takes approximately three days to get there in a comfortable fashion. The park is on the west coast of Mexico, approximately 40 miles north of Puerto Vallarta.
We’ve stayed approximately 100 days there each year for the past 10 years, and in that time we have encountered about three days of rain. The high temperatures average 80 degrees, and it cools down at night. Air conditioning is seldom required, and heat is never required.
I urge anyone who is interested in an RV Mexican vacation to come down. The park is open from November through April. Anyone who would like more information can e-mail me at the address below. We would love to see fellow FMCA members there for a night, a week, a month, or longer.
C. Thacker, F170324
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
Mexico Travel Book Available
In light of the article about travel to Mexico in the October issue (“Are You Ready For Mexico? Is Mexico Ready For You?”, page 130), we are writing to call attention to our book, RV In Mexico Yet?, published in 1998. The book gives detailed information about preparations, paperwork, border crossing, health precautions, etc. It also includes a detailed mile-by-mile road log for approximately 3,000 miles down the west coast, up to Guadalajara, and back through Colonial Mexico to Texas. We have been very careful to include advice about where to go and where not to go, and what to do and what not to do. We have led RV caravans through Mexico and some 15 other countries for seven years and believe that our experience and advice can be of great value to first-time travelers in Mexico, whether they are alone or in a caravan.
Our book is available for $20, priority mail postage paid, by writing to us at the FMCA mail forwarding address below.
Al & Audrey Inocco, F189989
3590 Roundbottom Road
Cincinnati, OH 45244
A Salute To Police In Bend, Oregon
I am writing to commend the Bend, Oregon, police department for its assistance to our chapter this past August.
I was part of a 72-motorhome caravan of American Coach chapter members who arrived for a four-day rally in Bend prior to the summer international FMCA convention in Redmond, Oregon. All of the motorhomes in our rally group were 40 feet long, and most were towing a vehicle behind them. We had come from all across the United States and arrived the same day, but each at a different time. However, when it was time to leave for Redmond on August 11, we had to leave together. This is where the Bend Police Department assisted us and made our day.
We asked the Bend police about the best route from the Crown Villa RV Park through Bend. Officer Matt Fine volunteered to assist us and arranged to meet us early on our departure date. We had hardly finished our morning coffee when Officer Fine and Officer Beck arrived and told us about the route they had decided upon. We were directed to a staging area, and then as we began to depart, other officers arrived to block traffic so that our “train” of coaches could follow a well-thought-out route through Bend and on toward Redmond. There seemed to be an officer at every possible position where traffic might interfere. It was a beautifully orchestrated plan.
We were all impressed with the professional manner in which the Bend police took charge and made our day.
Bill Powell, F119942
President, American Coach chapter
Lenoir City, Tennessee
This is a follow-up to Ron Szustakowski’s letter in the October issue regarding the abuse of RV parking privileges at Wal-Mart parking lots (“Let’s Keep Our Privileges,” page 174).
On our way to Albuquerque to attend the balloon festival, we observed one Wal-Mart’s response to the abuse. The lot in Show Low, Arizona, had a sign prohibiting RV overnight parking. The management explained that the prohibition resulted from excessive trash left by RVers.
Upon our return we stopped at the Wal-Mart in Payson, Arizona, and asked about parking. We were welcomed and thanked for having inquired. In this instance, Wal-Mart profited from our stay, because we spent more money shopping at their store than we would have spent on campground fees.
In our future RV travels we probably will use the Wal-Mart privilege when it is convenient. To show our appreciation, we will conduct the old Army exercise of “policing” the area to remove any litter. If all of us follow this practice, we might be able to see the privilege continued.
Raymond D. Johnson, F220333
Regarding Ron Szustakowski’s letter, this past May we were staying at the north end of Myrtle Beach and saw a large motorhome camped out for an entire week at the local Wal-Mart. The towed car was gone each day that we passed by.
It is true that if RVers are not careful, this privilege will be cut off, as is the case in Florida, where one is not allowed to use Wal-Mart parking lots for overnight parking anymore. Though some RVers do take a chance, the local authorities have the right to move them off.
Non-FMCA members will not necessarily read about this and perhaps it would be a good idea for others to write a polite note asking them not to abuse the privilege and put it on their windshields.
Ken and Pamela Ward, F242125
Editor’s note: We were concerned about your statement that Florida Wal-Marts do not permit overnight parking, so we did some research. There are more than 140 Wal-Mart stores in Florida. As of December 1, 2001, the Web site www.freecampgrounds.com listed 13 Wal-Marts in Florida that are known to prohibit overnight RV parking. A media spokesman at Wal-Mart said legal restrictions on parking at Wal-Marts throughout the country are enacted by local ordinances. He indicated that to his knowledge, no statewide ban on all Wal-Mart parking in Florida exists.
The December 2001 “Executive Director’s Commentary” column (page 12) discussed the issue of using RV parking privileges responsibly. It included a copy of the “Motorhome Parking Etiquette” letter, which contains guidelines for FMCA members to follow, and can be copied and distributed to other RVers as the need arises. The letter appears on page 16 of the December issue and is also available at FMCA’s Web site, www.fmca.com. This letter was modeled after one used by members of the Escapees RV Club.
A Couple Of Kudos
We just returned from a four-month trip to Alaska, and it was great. We did get a broken windshield, but other than that, it was a fantastic trip. Please don’t believe the horror stores about the roads; just take your time and use common sense.
I would like to thank Monaco for helping us locate a good service center: K&C RV Inc. in Denver, Colorado. They replaced our inverter under warranty. Their service department was superb and friendly. Steve Ninneman and Veronda Waterman were very helpful in getting us back on the road.
We stopped in Billings, Montana, at the Rocky Mountain Cummins dealer, because of oil blowing on our towed car and the back of our coach. This was repaired under warranty. Joe Rapp, the service tech there, told us the compressor had been involved in a safety recall. The spline was bad and could knock off the power steering. Thanks to an alert service technician, we did not have to find this out the hard way.
Harold & Carol Cullingford, F12667
Indian Trail, North Carolina
On September 20, 2001, we walked through the battlefields in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. As we did so, men and women were heading to war in Afghanistan.
I had many thoughts and felt many feelings. I prayed, thanking God for all of the brave men who fought at Gettysburg, as well as the women who were mothers, wives, sisters, aunts, cousins, and beloved friends. I then prayed for the men and women leaving our country that very day, not to obtain freedom but to keep it.
I found a quote at Gettysburg that I think needs to repeated. This was spoken by Lieutenant Colonel Charles R. Mudge, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry, July 1863: “I fully made up my mind to fight, and when I say fight, I mean to win or die.”
We Americans have always chosen to win our freedom or die. Just remember all of the immigrants who left their homelands to come to this country because they would be free. We are the offspring of these fighters for freedom.
God bless America.
Dorothea C. Nickerson, F254440
Floral City, Florida
We recently returned from a 7,000-mile, coast-to-coast motorhome trip. While driving through our home state of California, we noticed that U.S. 99 in the Central Valley was extremely bumpy. Later, we experienced poor roads in other states and decided to rate the highways along our route. The following is our tally of roads in the 11 states we visited. The ratings are 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 5 being average:
Arizona, 8; Mississippi, 8; Texas, 8; Tennessee, 7; South Carolina, 6; New Mexico, 6; North Carolina, 5; Arkansas, 4; California, 4; Louisiana, 3; Oklahoma, 3.
New Mexico and North Carolina have had excellent highways in the past, and we were surprised that the roads in these two states have deteriorated. On previous trips, we have found that Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma had poor roads. However, Arkansas now has major highway construction programs in progress, and if the state’s road improvements continue, these highways may soon be at the top of the list. Texas roadways were excellent overall, but the eastern 25 miles of Interstate 10 were rough, causing us to lower our rating from 9 to 8. Every state we visited had extensive highway construction in progress except for Louisiana and Oklahoma. Unless these two states start some highway improvement programs, they’ll stay at the bottom of our list.
Bill and Betsy Parks, F71403
San Jose, California
Does Wall Ruin Mount Rushmore?
During a six-week trip to Branson, Missouri, and the Soo Locks in Michigan, I conducted a private poll of other RVers. I showed them a photo of the new wall at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and asked them whether they had visited the place since the wall was built, and their opinion of it. More than half had been there both before and after the wall was built. Every one of them said the cement wall had ruined Rushmore. Most agreed that they would not return.
My family visited Mount Rushmore before and after the building of the wall also, and we will not go back.
My poll included 28 RV owners. I doubt that FMCA will dig into this subject, but it would be interesting to find the percentage of visitors who think of the wall as an improvement. In my opinion, a national treasure was ruined by millions of dollars of cement.
Roy Ranum, F215226
Silver Bay, Minnesota
Editor’s note: We spoke with Mount Rushmore National Memorial chief ranger Mike Pflaum, who, it seems, has also seen the photo you attached to your letter. He said it appears to have been taken while construction improvements were still being made at the site (prior to June 1998). The photo was taken from the parking lot, which has since been regraded to a higher elevation and expanded in size. The “wall” in the photo is the pergola, or trellis, which serves as an introductory structure to Mount Rushmore. Mr. Pflaum stressed that the point of view from which the photo was taken, in the parking lot, is not designed to be the primary viewing area for Mount Rushmore