Fellow FMCA Members Assist After Accident
While we were on vacation and traveling near Boise, Idaho, our motorhome was involved in an accident. A truck came across the median from the opposite direction and hit our coach almost head-on, causing it to roll over. The motorhome was demolished, as was our towed vehicle.
We were taken to the emergency room at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. I was admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. Then we got a call from Don and Larraine Hague, F157951, of Boise. They had heard about the accident and wanted to help.
We accepted their offer, as we were incapacitated and my son was not due in for a couple of days. We became almost inseparable for the next few days. Their assistance in getting us around the area (taking us to the police, doctors, stores, etc.), plus helping us go through the motorhome in search of salvageable items was invaluable and most welcome.
With their help we were able to complete the salvage of most items, which we shipped back home to Florida. This also allowed us to return home sooner than we anticipated.
Our thanks to the Hagues.
Max Kruichak, F139304
Buzz On Over To The Bee’s RV Resort
Just off the Central Florida Turnpike on U.S. 27, near attractions such as Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios, is an RV park called The Bee’s RV Resort (20260 U.S. 27, Clermont, FL 34711; 352-429-2116).
What a lovely and friendly resort. The new owners are improving the park every day. They have 240 camping sites and plan to add 36 more. They also will name all of the campground streets, to add a more friendly touch. One can enjoy miniature golf, shuffleboard, horseshoes, a pool, and a nature trail.
Scrumptious suppers are served in the Honey Pot restaurant, next to the campground office. Tuesday evening it’s all you can eat chicken, and Friday all you can eat fish. The restaurant is open to the public, and people have been known to drive from Ocala to eat there.
Everyone gathers at the Beehive each night for cards or board games, and special nights of bingo are played. The park hosts rallies in the off-season months and special activity nights are planned. The park’s employees and owners are extremely friendly, and campers and residents are a great bunch. Stop in and say hello to Mike, Rick, and Gloria, and tell them the Fields family sent you.
Lloyd & Shirley Fields, F124131
Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycles Not Welcome At Some Campgrounds
My copilot and I have quietly camped for many years with our children, and have upgraded our RV four times through those years. We now have a large diesel pusher. We are the type of campers anyone would like to be next to, as we are very considerate and appreciate that camping should be relaxing, not full of headaches from noisy people next-door.
I have recently been given a classic motorcycle from my generous father-in-law that I thought was a fine substitute for our towed car. I bought an expensive lift for the rear of our motorhome and hit the road with a renewed interest and thoughts of an improved camping experience.
What I found instead was many campgrounds that do not allow motorcycles. When I explain to the people at the desk that my motorcycle has a state inspection sticker, has not been modified, and is not as noisy as many diesel pickup trucks or, for that matter, our own diesel motorhome, the reply is usually, “The few spoil it for the many. Sorry.” They tell me it would be okay to park my bike next to the recreation hall. I see no reason to place my motorcycle in harm’s way by parking it near a place where it is vulnerable to theft.
As I do with most problems, I try to put myself in their shoes. Perhaps the campground owners had a bad experience with loud exhaust pipes or excessive speed. In that case, the offender should be advised that any illegal action would not be tolerated, and local law enforcement would be called, as with any other problem that may arise.
We are a mature couple who enjoy the great outdoors, camping, and our motorcycle. Why should we be treated differently from those who have fifth-wheels hauled by diesel pickups; motorhomes with big diesel engines; or children simply laughing and screaming with joy? These are all sounds of an active camping area and could easily include the sound of our motorcycle discreetly leaving and returning to our campsite.
Walter Crowther Jr., F303188
North Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Single FMCA Members Enjoy Northeast Area Rally
Having just attended the great Northeast Area Rally at Essex Junction, Vermont, I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed it. Thank you to all. You put a lot into it, and the ice cream social was the best I’ve ever attended.
I arrived in a caravan with more than 20 singles, members of the Singles International chapter. From the first day on we made ourselves visible, and I am happy to report we signed some more members at this rally. It amazes me that so many people have never heard of this great group. We come from all walks of life. Some of us are widows or widowers; some have always been single; some are divorced. If you want to have fun, go places, and laugh until your insides hurt, join us! We meet in locations across the country. You can usually find one of us at a rally or even at a member-generated get-together. E-mail the Singles International chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Again, thanks to all who put on the Northeast Area Rally for providing the best.
Karen Longworth, F260292
In the June 2002 “Tech & Travel Tips” column, Fred Jackson reported that he bought a larger fire extinguisher after a fire damaged his towed vehicle (“Fire Extinguishers: Bigger Is Better,” page 33). I’d like to provide a quick lesson in what to buy and how to use your fire extinguisher.
After 34 years in the fire service, I have seen more vehicle fires than I care to remember. Most of the larger ones got that way because no one bothered to call for help. I have seen four, five, or six empty fire extinguishers in a pile next to a burned-out shell.
Call 911 first; then grab that fire extinguisher and go to work. But how do you use it? Right now, not while the fire is burning, is the time to read the instructions. Every fire extinguisher has instructions printed right on the label.
If you follow the P.A.S.S. acronym you can’t go wrong: “P” — pull the pin; “A” — aim the tube or nozzle at the base of the fire; “S” — squeeze the handle to expel the agent; and “S” — sweep the extinguisher from side to side, driving the fire away from you. After you have knocked down the fire, back away from the scene. Admire your work from a safe distance.
Fires come in four general classes, A, B, C, and D. Class A fires involve common combustibles, such as wood, paper, and fabrics or textiles. Class B fires involve flammable liquids such as cooking oil and gasoline or diesel fuel. Class C fires involve electrical wiring and appliances. Class D fires involve combustible metals, and cannot be handled by the general public. They burn so hot that without proper heat protection, no one can get close enough to use an extinguisher.
To keep it simple, the best general-type device for the RVer is an ABC-rated fire extinguisher. An ABC extinguisher will work on tire fires, engine compartment fires, or kitchen disasters.
Finally, be sure to service your extinguisher to be sure it works when needed. I would recommend replacing or recharging your extinguisher each year.
Ed Linquist, F292455
I have read several times about fires in motorhomes or towed vehicles. I’m going to put out some thoughts, invite others to do the same, and maybe we can all learn something.
The coach is our home, be it year-round or on weekends, and fire safety should be the same as a permanent address. We have the same number of hazards in our coaches as in our stationary homes, if not more: gas/gasoline or diesel, electricity, heat/air conditioning, and the biggest hazard — ourselves. Don’t think you have no worries with diesel; on a warm day, it is just as dangerous as gasoline.
Most RVs have only one door, and it is usually all the way in the front. Have an emergency exit planned in case you can’t get to the door. Know how to open it blind, and practice using it. Since few of us are 21 anymore, can the emergency exit be used easily, or do you need a step stool or a pad over the edge of the window? Think about it, and plan it now. Also, don’t forget to change the battery in the smoke detector. Those of us who do not travel full-time in the coach may not hear the low-battery alarm.
Most of us carry a fire extinguisher, but when was the last time we checked it? Does the pressure gauge still show pressure? Is it more than five years old? In some states, businesses must replace or have extinguishers serviced each year. Check the extinguisher often for pressure, and invert it and shake it hard to prevent the powder inside from caking. I replace my extinguishers at a five-year interval.
Practice with a fire extinguisher. A large number of fire departments will run extinguisher demonstrations for groups where you actually can use your fire extinguisher. Not having had the opportunity to attend FMCA rallies, I don’t know but would be surprised if they didn’t at least show a tape on the use of fire extinguishers.
Although the fire extinguisher in your coach is rated for everything but a metal fire, it does work better in some areas than others. If the extinguisher doesn’t get the fire out completely, a shovel in the hands of a firefighter — using the dirt at the side of the road — can help put out a big fire.
I use no locking device or hydraulic lines on my towed vehicle, so I can quickly pull the pin on the receiver and remove the safety cables, then separate the two vehicles.
This letter is longer than it was meant to be, and I have only scratched the surface. Remember, everything we carry in our rigs and our rigs themselves are only possessions, and it’s not worth risking death or injury to save them. Insurance can replace possessions.
Paul Rummler, F273516
Redondo Beach, California
Editor’s note: FMCA is proud to offer members the Fire and Life Safety seminar, cosponsored by FMCA and RV Alliance America (RVAA), C95. It is presented at all international motorhome extravaganzas and many area rallies. The seminar includes instruction pertaining to fire prevention and fire safety, and teaches participants how to use fire extinguishers during an actual demonstration. Check the seminar schedule at the upcoming motorhome extravaganza in Hutchinson, Kansas, to learn when you can participate in this experience.
Quality Of Preowned Motorhomes
I would like to wade in on the quality issue. We have owned five coaches over the past 10 years. The first three were gas-powered and the last two have been diesel pushers. They have been between 3 and 5 years old. Right up front, I’ve got to say my expectations are lower than if we had purchased new. Being a fix-it kind of person, I go in with the attitude that things will need fixing, or that maybe just the maintenance needs to be brought up-to-date, and I start from scratch.
None of these coaches has ever come with any kind of maintenance record, although when I sell mine, they go with one. So, I start with a clean sheet of paper. I like working on my coaches; it is a labor of love and learning. Considering the environment today’s motorhomes have to operate in, with extremes of temperature, humidity, vibration, etc., as well as the complexity of coach systems, I’m a little surprised that there aren’t more problems.
No doubt my expectations would be higher if these coaches were new, and perhaps the previous owners of my motorhomes had to have a lot of repairs done, but I think the RV people are doing a good job. Like the auto industry, competition improves the breed, and quality sells. Consumers’ demands for higher quality will be heard.
Jim & Kathy Maggi, F271797
Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota