National RV President Comments On Dolphin Coach Review
All of us at National RV were pleased to receive our June 2002 issue of Family Motor Coaching, in which technical editor Jim Brightly wrote a review of our Dolphin 5355 gas motorhome. We enjoyed his comments about so many of the coach’s features, which he tested as he drove and camped his way from California to Colorado. In fact, Mr. Brightly enjoyed the entirety of the coach except for one concern: weight.
On page 78, just below the list of coach specifications, Mr. Brightly takes issue with the rear axle weight. His weighing of the rear axle resulted in a weight of 14,220 pounds, just 280 pounds less than the GAWR for that axle, leaving little room for heavy storage in the rear of the coach. We at National RV were very surprised to read this and immediately reweighed the Dolphin 5355 on certified scales near our factory in Perris, California. When weighed at the certified Ramona-Warren Scale in San Jacinto and the certified House Grain Scale in Colton, the rear axle of the 5355 came in at 13,600 pounds with a full 830 pounds of water and fuel on board. This leaves a full 900 pounds of weight capacity on the rear axle for whatever you care to load.
I was relieved to hear this result to our weigh test. Thanks to FMCA for publishing this letter in the next available issue. Dolphin owners have much to be proud of, and carrying capacity is certainly a point of pride here at National RV headquarters. Based on our two separate tests, we invite interested shoppers to route your next Dolphin test drive through a certified scale, and weigh that rear axle for yourself. We’re confident that you’ll be satisfied.
President, National RV Inc.
Racetrack Visit Requires Research
As new members of FMCA, we are interested in new ideas from all angles. We look forward to articles that give information about where to go and tell us what’s so special about the place.
We have spent the past three winters in the Daytona, Florida, area and must comment on Andrew Laird’s letter to the editor regarding your February 2002 article titled “The Birthplace Of NASCAR” (“Wrong Emphasis In NASCAR Coverage,” April 2002, page 18).
My husband has worked at the Daytona International Speedway in customer service/ticket sales and has handled many requests for information about the races, camping availability, and so on. Like any large and popular sporting event, parking at the Speedway — whether it’s a car or an RV — is a challenge. To learn more, you can do your own research through campground books, by contacting city information offices, and by visiting Web sites. Or, as in this case, simply contact the Speedway.
Remember, big events are best planned ahead — up to a year or more. Happy racing!
Wayne & Carol McMullen, F300527
Port Orange, Florida
Parking Brake Needed For Towing Four-Wheel-Drive Vehicle
In his article titled “Hooking Up The Towed Vehicle” (March 2002, page 74), Bill Hendrix stated that he never uses the parking brake on the vehicle during the hookup procedure because he once forgot to release it.
Those of us who tow four-wheel-drive vehicles need to remember that not using the parking brake could result in a serious accident. The 4×4 vehicles that I am familiar with are flat-towed with the transfer case in “neutral” and the transmission shift lever in “park.” If the parking brake is not applied, the vehicle is free to roll. I once forgot to engage the brake, and I now make it a first-on, last-off event. Imagine the panic you’d feel if you uncoupled the towed vehicle and watched it roll toward someone else’s coach.
Michael Cowan, F297392
Emery, South Dakota
No Cardboard Aboard
We would like to take issue with Lowell and Kaye Christie’s suggestion to use empty wine boxes for under-sink storage in a motorhome (“Baker’s Dozen,” May 2002, page 158). Cardboard cartons used anywhere inside, much less under a sink, make you a player in the roach-infestation lottery, and once the little critters are in, they are miserably hard to get rid of.
Our rule of many years’ standing (including several years full-timing on a boat in the tropics) has been to allow cartons inside for only as long as it takes to empty them. Instead, we use plastic containers for permanent storage. They are available in a variety of sizes, come with tight-fitting covers, and are sold at all types of stores. Why take a chance on bringing in unwanted guests?
Marshall & Christine Becker, F260908
Editor’s note: The Christies responded as follows: “The Beckers are correct in saying that cardboard boxes and paper bags are a common way cockroaches enter stationary homes, motor coaches, etc. When they full-timed in the tropics, they were especially vulnerable. Cockroaches (and many other insects) can survive only when temperature and humidity levels are suitable, such as inside a boat, a stationary home, or a motor coach. This is not a motor coach issue, however, but a regional one. We may live in an area where roaches aren’t rampant, but since our motor coaches do get around, we thank the Beckers for reminding us of the potential for problems.”
Card Of Thanks
I had my gallbladder removed on May 13 and returned to my doctor on May 21 to have the stitches taken out. At that time I was given the okay to drive, and had only restrictions on lifting. We had not missed the G.L.A.S.S. Rally (the Great Lakes Area Rally) in Berrien Springs, Michigan, for four or five years, so we were on our way.
Upon our arrival the parking personnel did their job, and we got set up. Within the next half-hour, however, I was so sick I asked that the emergency squad be called. My wife, Connie, talked to the first parking person she could find, and parking personnel went into action. They spotted where our coach was located, checked on me, called the emergency squad, got the host chapter first-aid team to me, and directed the life squad to our coach. They assured my wife that our motorhome would be okay and took her to the parking area to get our car so that she could follow the squad to the hospital in Niles. I was very sick and remained in the hospital in Niles for four days. I was sent to another hospital in St. Joseph, where another procedure was performed. I was then sent home to recover, and am now on the mend.
I want to thank all of the wonderful people who helped Connie and me during our time of need: the Michigan Knights of the Highway chapter and their parking team and first-aid personnel; Duane Miller, manager of the fairgrounds, who let Connie move our motorhome to a more secure spot and told her we could stay as long as necessary; Gerald and Jean Wessel, F179742, who came to the hospital to check on me and offered a prayer. And last but not least, to FMCA, an organization that makes it possible for a group of people of this caliber to come together.
We missed this year’s rally but are looking forward to 2003.
Art & Connie Jones, F215512
We read with interest the May issue’s “Baker’s Dozen” column (“Tips Worth Passing Along,” page 158), which included a suggestion on how to remove fleas from your RV. We have found the perfect way to do this, without using any chemical sprays. Before you go to bed, place a shallow bowl of water, to which you have added a few drops of dishwashing liquid, on the floor underneath a small lamp. Turn off all other lights in the RV. The next morning, all your fleas will be floating dead in the water. We have used this in our home, and it always works like a charm.
J.W. & Hesta Atkins, F260142
My wife and I feel that writing to Family Motor Coaching is the least we can do, first to thank Rory at A&E/Dometic, and second, to alert readers to the fact that A&E/Dometic products are the ones to have on their motorhomes for after-purchase satisfaction.
We recently experienced a minor cosmetic problem with one of our A&E window awnings. We talked to people at the place of purchase, but they explained in detail why they could do nothing to assist us. When Rory learned about our cosmetic dilemma, he contacted us and treated it as seriously as if the problem were functional.
In our 25-plus years of camping and the past five as full-timers, we can’t remember being treated in such a professional, generous, and prompt manner.
Daniel & Karen Landry, F230354
Port Charlotte, Florida
Mallard Specs Requested
I have a 1990 24-foot Mallard Sport type A motorhome. Mallard is no longer in business.
We have covered North America from Quebec to Vancouver Island and from Maine to California, yet in those travels I have never seen another Mallard Sport. Therefore, I have never been able to ask anyone about my Mallard.
Specifically, I’d like to know the capacity of the gas tank, the fresh water tank, and the gray water and black water holding tanks. If anyone can help, please contact me.
John Charters, F279774
P.O. Box 427
Rockport, ME 04856