Happy To Be Horse Volunteers
We are from Ontario, Canada, and drove out to Oregon last summer to be volunteer hosts for the Adaptive Riding Institute’s program at Silver Falls State Park. We are horse nuts and enjoy working with people.
We parked our motorhome in the horse park free of charge. Nearby Silverton, Oregon, has excellent shopping, restaurants, and a laundry facility. We worked four days a week, and spent the other three days sight-seeing in Oregon and adjacent Washington.
We hosted at the park, wrangled horses, and took as many trail rides as possible. We worked very hard, met the most wonderful people, and had the summer of our lives. The Adaptive Riding Institute provides guided trail rides at the park in a program that is called the “World’s First Wheelchair Accessible Public Horse Rental Facilities.” We enjoyed it so much that we are heading back there again this summer.
The fun-loving, lovely people involved with the Adaptive Riding Institute need volunteers. We urge you to contact them and join us at the park this coming summer. For more information, contact the institute at P.O. Box 280, Scotts Mills, OR 97375; (503) 873-3890; or, visit their Web site at www.open.org/~horses88/
Brian & Jennie Williams, F124494
Westport, Ontario, Canada
Just Our Type
After we considered several type A and type C motorhomes, we started looking at new and used units. Well, we got sidetracked and found a type B that was perfect for us.
Compared with type A and C coaches, it does not have a lot of space inside, we admit, and storage is limited. But we really cannot complain. This coach is driven daily. We do not have to tow a car and are 100-percent self-contained. Because of its small size, we can make fuel stops anywhere, unlike our “big brothers.” We can park in regular parking spaces.
Coach House did a great job in the fit and finish department. The unit is well-balanced, weight to power, and handles almost like a car. My wife looks for any excuse to drive this coach.
For some of us, smaller works.
George & Helen Rodriguez, F291042
San Antonio, Texas
Thoughts About Motorhome Quality
After reading Ron Ward’s letter in the December 2001 issue (“Motorhome Quality Should Come Out-Of-The-Box,” page 179), I decided to respond to the quality control issue of today’s RV manufacturers and to thank Ron for coming forward with his comments.
I have been in the automobile business for many years. In the 1970s it was hard to sell some American-made automobiles because of the lack of quality production. The products built by Japanese manufacturers sold very well, because the talk on the street was that the quality was very good. Today the talk on the street about the integrity and quality of workmanship in the motorhome industry is that it is lacking.
Products are no better than the way they are put together. I have owned four diesel-pusher motor coaches — two new and two used. The last new one is a 2001 model that retailed for $233,000. You would think that amount of money would buy great quality and workmanship, but I still carry all the tools I need to repair or rebuild things when they come apart.
The very best motor coach I’ve had was a 1993 diesel pusher that I bought when it was seven years old. The people who had it before us were very good at rebuilding things, and had spent seven years getting it to where it was in good shape. When I asked the former owner how he liked his new coach, he said the factory had agreed to fix a list of things for them, but that I owned a better one than he now did.
I read about all the new models that the manufacturers are building to have a coach in every price category. I see so many people who want to sell their almost-new, low-mileage coaches because of the problems they found with workmanship and construction. My heart goes out to the people who lack the skills to make most of their own repairs. In today’s motorhome market, you almost need to be a handyman to cope with the problems.
I don’t have to carry tools to repair my car anymore, and I hope someday to have a coach that is every bit as dependable.
My wife and I use our motor coach frequently and enjoy the whole concept of motor coaching. I won’t quit the lifestyle because of poor workmanship and quality control. I am waiting, however, and I know that someone will eventually start producing quality along with quantity. When they do, they will have plenty of customers, including my family and me.
Bruce W. Nerison, F252926
Rapid City, South Dakota
Beefing Up A Jamboree
I have a 1998 31-foot Jamboree type C motorhome on a Ford E Super Duty chassis with a V-10 engine. I am generally pleased with the steering, handling, and ride, but would like to hear from other FMCA members who own similar units and can recommend changes to the shocks, springs, sway bars, steering dampers, etc., that would improve overall ride and handling. In particular, I would like to hear from anyone with experience using the Steer Safe steering stabilizer.
Please reply via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary L. Trapp, F298494
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Alaskan Superior Lives Up To Its Name
I admit that the “Readers’ Forum” letters that praise RV repair facilities have been of little interest to me, until now. I didn’t properly appreciate how strongly folks felt about being rescued by a caring mechanic or a truly honest repair shop. Now it’s time for me to eat some crow.
Alaskan Superior RV Services in Anchorage, Alaska, an authorized service center for Country Coach, deserves recognition for its outstanding facility, the can-do attitude, and a total commitment to make good on their work estimate. Ty Hess and his team managed to work us into an already hectic schedule, spending two evenings until after 9:00 p.m. to get us on the road. The repair was more complicated than expected, despite an early estimate that the work could be completed in “a couple of hours.” Not once did I hear anyone complain about working late.
When it came time to settle up, I was prepared to mortgage the farm, but Ty said with a determined smile, “I said it would take a couple of hours and that’s what I’m charging you.” When was the last time anyone said that to any of us?
Because of Alaskan Superior RV’s commitment, we were able to keep our commitment to participate in the FMCA Chapter; Habitat for Humanity project in Kenai, Alaska.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every repair experience produced similar results?
Steve Housley, F238804
A Happy Ending
We purchased our first motorhome in January 2001. It was custom-made for us, because my wife is disabled by muscular dystrophy. Travel was an impossible dream, and now the vistas were opening for us once again.
We purchased a highly customized 30-foot Winnebago Brave built on a Workhorse chassis. Our relationship with Winnebago throughout the customizing process was great. But problems began to appear after we took delivery, and warranty repairs were necessary on the chassis and on the coach for more than 40 of the first 180 days we owned it.
Under ordinary circumstances, I might have considered legal action. But circumstances were not ordinary, and we have witnessed the finest customer service that I have ever seen. Although the major problems were related to the chassis, I will forever go out of my way to be sure that every coach we own in the future is on a Workhorse. Everyone in that organization is dedicated to giving the customer the finest service and personal attention that I have ever seen. It is a joy to see that there are companies like this out there. Winnebago also has come through with appropriate service, and it is more than likely I would choose them again.
I wish we would not have had all of these problems, but given that we did, it is heartening to know that we’re not left out in the cold with only legal remedies to look forward to. In particular, these individuals from Workhorse Custom Chassis are to be complimented: Tom Frey, president; Tony Monda, director of marketing; Ed Janowicz, customer service; Terry, roadside assistance. Big thanks also to Roger Lunning at Winnebago Industries, who has handled my issues, and also to Sonya Kobriger, with whom we worked in designing the motorhome. She even made a special place for our kitty.
My wife and I have been motorhoming for more than 15 years, and in that time we have had our coach break down a number of times. However, our last breakdown turned into an outstandingly good one, considering.
We spent the week of July 24 to 31 with our Beaver Contessa under repair at Mike Raisor’s Ford-Sterling Dealership in Lafayette, Indiana. Finding Mike Raisor’s facility was probably the greatest stroke of luck we have had in any road breakdown.
Mr. Raisor has facilities that can handle different makes of motorhomes, and has technicians trained to work on Caterpillar diesel engines. Each bay has 50-amp service, as well as water and sewer facilities. Customers can use a lounge with a television and a phone, and an excellent handicapped-accessible bathroom facility (with a shower). Service manager Mike Heide’s technicians are polite and kept the inside of our motorhome clean.
In addition to an engine problem, the chassis air conditioner was not working. Both were made serviceable before we were back on the road in the middle of a heat wave.
We met Dean and Shirley Chatham, F190365, the morning after our arrival. Dean had seen us being towed in the preceding afternoon and came by the next morning to greet us and see if we needed anything, and invited us to lunch and a tour of Lafayette. Dean and Shirley took us to a most enjoyable lunch and showed us points of interest in Lafayette, including the campus of Purdue University.
We have experienced other mechanical breakdowns and had good service, but more often than not, the shop that repaired our coach’s Caterpillar engine would not work on the rest of the motorhome. Mike Raisor’s prides itself on taking care of the whole motorhome, regardless of whether it’s gas or diesel.
We suggest that FMCA members keep information about Mike Raisor’s handy. The dealership is located in Lafayette, Indiana; phone (765) 447-9444; fax (765) 449-8798.
Mac & Nan McComber, F149095
Falls Church, Virginia
Search Reveals Caring New Yorkers
While we were vacationing at The Villages at Turning Stone RV park in August 2001, our precious 1-12-year-old Tibetan terrier, Nova, was lost. The staff at the campground and nearby casino were alerted, and employees put posters up in the campground. After we searched for six long hours, our dog was found safe and sound. We are so lucky he was not injured, and wish to thank everyone involved in his rescue.
The cooperation and concern from campground employees, local officials, and residents was unbelievable. The 911 operator actually went out to look on his own time after his shift. The neighbors we met near the RV park were concerned and helpful. The employees at The Villages even used their own vehicles to assist in the search. Special thanks goes out to Indian Nation police officer Jeff Jost, who located our dog.
We highly recommend The Villages at Turning Stone, C6738, located in Verona, New York (315-361-7275). We will never forget everyone’s help. New York people sure made us believers in what can only be called true cooperation and caring.
Bob & Penny Patterson, F244485
A Fine Georgia RV Dealer
I was in north Georgia when the shear pin in the motorhome’s large slideout broke. I called Fleetwood’s help line and was told to contact Camping Time RV (770-972-2737) in Snellville, Georgia. They readily agreed to look at the problem and gave me good directions to their facility. They diagnosed the problem when I arrived and fixed it within two hours. They also arranged for my reimbursement under the warranty.
We are full-timers and it was a real pleasure to do business with this outstanding RV dealer. Their service facility is top-notch, and all technicians are trained and certified. Kevin Johns, service adviser, is a real professional. The facility is spotless, with a first-rate waiting room. I highly recommend Camping Time RV.
Bill Tarbell, F261483
A Campground Owner Who Really Cares
After traveling most of the day in high winds, we stopped in Rawlins, Wyoming. As we returned to the interstate, a gust of wind caught our 20-foot awning and flipped it over the coach roof, breaking both roof air-conditioner covers and sending parts and pieces from there to Kansas.
We were at a loss as to what to do. I spotted a listing for a campground called RV Roundup Park and called them. The owner did not hesitate; he was at our side with a ladder and gumption and helped us secure the awning. (I have had both hips replaced, and my wife was not letting me get on any ladder.)
We followed him to his RV park, where, although the wind-chill temperature was 19 degrees and the gusts were up to 60 miles per hour, he was able to cut the awning from the coach. We decided to just stay there for the night, and when we went in to pay, he said we’d been through enough already that day, and he wouldn’t accept the fee.
The next morning we went in to say thanks and good-bye, and I noticed another motorhome stalled on the freeway exit. You guessed it. Bill had already gone to their rescue and had them in the park office where they could warm up and wait for a tow truck.
Bill is one great guy. The surprise to us was that he has the same last name as ours. (No relation, of course.) If you’re ever in Rawlins and need a place to stay, we highly recommend that you visit Bill Hess and the RV Roundup Park.
Duane F. Hess, F112092