The “Holding Tank Headaches?” article that appeared in the August 2002 issue (page 68) was not properly attributed to Tony Suddon, its primary author. Mr. Suddon’s original article, titled “Holding Tank Headaches And How To Rid Them,” first appeared in the spring 1997 issue of “Main Stream,” the quarterly newsletter of the Gulf Streamers International RV Club. FMC magazine is grateful to Mr. Suddon and the Gulf Streamers International RV Club for correcting this oversight.
Rally Hosts Say “Thanks”
The Happy (OK) Wanderers chapter held a rally in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, May 30 through June 2, 2002. We wish to thank everyone involved for their hospitality, service, friendliness, and all-around graciousness. Frank and Linda at Wanderlust RV Park helped immensely and made the job of hosting this rally almost easy. Myrtie Mae’s catering, from the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Resort and Convention Center, provided an impeccable Saturday night dinner. The Ozark Mountain Hoe-Down Music Theater was unparalleled. Their version of “He Touched Me” was worth the price of admission.
Speaking also for Darrell and Grace Gilliland, F153488; Larry and Lea Schwart, F144451; and Homer Ramsey, F153619, we express our gratitude to everyone.
W.G. and Margie Wolf, F102503
Seeking Mallard Owner’s Manual
I recently purchased a 1991 Sprint by Mallard Motorhome. Apparently, Mallard stopped making motorhomes around 1992 or 1993. I’m trying to locate an owner’s manual for the motorhome. (I have the manual for the operation of the Chevy chassis, so I don’t need that.) If anybody out there has a Sprint owner’s manual they’d like to part with, or that they’d be willing to photocopy, I’d appreciate it. I am willing to pay for copy fees.
504 S. Blake Road
Spokane, WA 99216
E-mail: [email protected]
Roundabouts: The Latest Restriction?
All of us who have RVs have faced myriad regulations and restrictions over the years, imposed by individuals who either don’t understand our lifestyle or seek to restrict it. Now European-style roundabouts are being constructed throughout the United States. Most of them, at this stage, are in residential areas, but they’re spreading out to commuter areas rapidly.
Most roundabouts are too small for an RV — even a small RV — to navigate around counterclockwise. And roundabouts that are 50-feet-plus in diameter, such as one in Frisco, Colorado, still can barely accommodate a legal-length 65-foot vehicle combination. And that’s with no other vehicles in the pattern.
In the northeastern area of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I live, hard-to-maneuver roundabouts already have begun to appear without warning. The lots in my neighborhood are one-acre-plus sites, with horses and RVs allowed. But the addition of five roundabouts have left some of the property owners who have horses or RVs — the reasons many of us bought these large home sites — in a position where we cannot maneuver around these “speed control devices.” In some instances a truck hauling a horse trailer can make an illegal left turn against the roundabout flow, but this is impossible for large motorhomes or truck-and-trailer combinations that need room to swing.
In the Albuquerque area, school buses are running over the curb wall on the edge of the roundabout, which damages the bus’ tires and jeopardizes the safety of the children. We have conducted a mailing concerning roundabouts in our area, and all but five of the 223 respondents said they were against them. However, getting the local county government to remove them is a long process. It’s much easier to prevent a roundabout than to remove one. In many cases, the wall that surrounds the roundabout is several feet high, so running over the perimeter is not an option.
Roundabouts will never be anything but serious, non-negotiable obstacles for larger vehicles, which includes RVs. We need to call our planning departments and city and county officials, and make our concerns known. I believe those who are promoting roundabouts may gradually choke our lifestyle unless we do something now.
James H. Paxton
American RV & Marine
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Editor’s Note: For more information describing what roundabouts are, visit www.roundaboutsusa.com.
A Reliable Washer-Dryer Combo
After reading the “Full-Timer’s Primer” column in the August 2002 issue (page 124), I feel it necessary to comment regarding full-timing with a washer-dryer combo on board. I have had a Splendide 2000 for five years without problems. It requires no oil change; air pressure checks; generator lube, oil, and filter; or waxing. It does have a filter that needs periodic cleaning.
I wash a set of queen-size sheets in one load and divide that load in half to use the dryer. Most times, I conserve energy by drying the clothes in the fresh air and sunshine. Except for occasional times when visiting family members, I have done all our laundry in my Splendide and would not be without it. We have never had a leak, and I feel our clothing is clean. Everything needs some maintenance, but I am really thankful — it has never tried to run away from me.
Polly Jenkins, F219357
A Wal-Mart Refuge
RVers on occasion take refuge in the parking lots of Wal-Mart stores. On July 24, my wife, Pam, and I, along with our dog, Lightning, experienced a new level of protection at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Mitchell, South Dakota.
After shopping, we parked on the edge of the Wal-Mart parking lot at about 6:00 p.m. An hour later, a huge, low, whirling black cloud blew in from the north. Tornado sirens sounded and a Wal-Mart employee came out in a pickup truck, rounding up the occupants of the 10 RVs parked there. He said everyone should come into the store for protection. He even let us bring our dog.
Wal-Mart employees ushered us into the bedding department, where we were told to stay away from skylights, and take bedding, towels, pillows, and so on, off the shelves to cover ourselves. Then the fusillade of hail began. For 15 minutes the hail pelted the store roof with such a clatter we couldn’t hear each other speak. After it ended, the store manager told us the alert was over, and he actually thanked us.
The parking lot was white with hail, from golf ball to tennis ball size. The hail had shattered both of our air conditioner covers and put 126 quarter-inch-sized ents in our towed car. The hail broke the sun roofs and sloped rear windows of every car, dented many metal RV roofs, and did other assorted damage. A local auto dealer was quoted in the Mitchell newspaper the next day as saying, “We are going to have a hail of a sale.”
We want to thank the welcoming and organized staff of the Mitchell Wal-Mart for their help during this ordeal.
Douglas W. Ayres, F309598
Ride On, Partners
The September 2002 article titled “Dodge City: Home Of Western Legends” (page 110) spurred me to write about a trip we took from the East Coast to Montana. We travel with our two young granddaughters, who like horseback riding, especially in the West. However, trying to find a campground that also provides horseback riding is very difficult. The main reason is the high cost of liability insurance.
Motorhomers who are interested in camping/horseback riding combinations will be interested to note that we did locate a couple of places that we recommend. The first is in Garryowen, Montana, in the Custer Battlefield region. It is called 7th Ranch Historical Tours. The owners, Chip and Sandy Watts, weren’t quite ready for campers when we visited, but they were delightful, friendly, and great hosts. They have a Web site at www.historicwest.com.
The second place we visited was the Badlands Interior Campground and Motel, located in the Badlands of South Dakota. This campground charged only $11.50 per night for a site with full hookups. The girls were allowed to bring in the horses for saddling and did other chores, which really was a big hit with them.
We would be interested in hearing from other RVers who know about campgrounds that offer horseback riding “” not necessarily in the West. I can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].
Joe D’Amico, F157440
Trenton, New Jersey
“First Trip” Duly Noted
My husband and I are new members of FMCA, and I have noticed that the magazine contains “Final Trip,” which lists members who have recently passed away. Thankfully, we are both alive and well, and have experienced an exciting event. We’re probably among the younger members of FMCA, and have recently had our second child, who might be the youngest FMCA member yet. Alex Elizabeth Lucas was born July 27, 2002, and she has already made her first camping trip.
Jennifer Lucas, F305621
Wilmington, North Carolina
A Shade Better
We have a table lamp in our motorhome that has two bulbs and an oblong shade. The original shade lining cracked at least two years ago, and we had looked for a new shade without success. We had called the factory, also without success.
While driving south on U.S. 150 in Illinois this summer, we saw a sign that read, “Lampshade Specialists.” We stopped and learned that the owner could make a new shade with the metal frame from the original shade. We picked out the fabric, chose the style, and our new shade was completed in two weeks. It is exactly what we wanted.
Any other RVers who have this problem should contact the Lampshade Specialists at 2569 U.S. 150, Rio, IL 61472; (309) 872-3021.
Darlyne Johnson, F210466
Wallet Safe And Sound
This past winter while vacationing in Florida, my wife, Joyce, and I went for dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse on U.S. Route 50, east of the West Oaks Mall in Orlando. We had such a delicious meal, with excellent and friendly service, that after meeting the manager, Wayne, we vowed that we would be back.
Well, it didn’t take too long. Within a week we were joined by some friends and decided that we would return there for dinner. We had another wonderful meal, very friendly service, and a lot of laughs. Again, the manager, Wayne, came over to talk to us at our table. Wayne happened to ask the name of the RV park where we were staying, which was a half-hour drive away.
The next morning, I started to look for my wallet, and it was nowhere to be found. It was not in the motorhome, on the ground around it, or in our friends’ car. I called the restaurant, and nobody there had seen my wallet or heard of one being found. Wayne was not due to arrive at work until 3:00 that afternoon.
My friend and I decided to go back to the restaurant and wait for Wayne to come in, and when he arrived, he handed me my wallet. The staff cleaning the tables had found it after we left and had given it to him. He took it with him when he left work at approximately 2:00 a.m. and drove all the way to Encore RV Park to see whether he could find me. That was a half-hour out of his way. But by that late hour, we were all sound asleep and the park was in total darkness. So he went home, planning to try to contact us the next day. I was so relieved to receive my wallet back with everything still in it. I can’t thank Wayne enough for what he did. His staff are to be commended for their part in this also. Wayne knows if he is ever in the Canadian Maritimes, all he has to do is contact me and he has a place to stay and somebody to show him around.
If you are looking for a good restaurant when in Orlando, I highly recommend Logan’s Roadhouse, at 7480 W. Colonial Drive.
Jim MacLeod, F134998
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Image Is Everything
Recently I witnessed something in the parking lot of the Camping World store in Valencia, California, that really angered me.
A couple in a type C motorhome came into the parking lot and pulled over to the dump station, which is graciously provided as a free service by Camping World.
After dumping their holding tanks, they pulled to the back corner of the lot and proceeded to take all of the rugs and carpeting out of their coach and sweep all of the trash from their vehicle onto the ground. Then, they left, without picking up the mess or even going into the store to spend any money.
This type of behavior is causing many of the large retailers to prohibit us from using their parking lots overnight.
Also, while I am on my soapbox, the folks who do not pick up after their dogs are probably the first to complain when they are charged extra for having a pet in a campground, or even not allowed to use a campground because they ave a pet with them.
Let’s all try to present a better image to the rest of the world, and perhaps we will be welcome in more places, rather than fewer, in the future.
Jim Harper, F281798
Camping Promotes Family Togetherness
My husband and I have been members of FMCA since 1988 and belong to the Executive East Pioneers chapter. We enjoy camping and look forward to retirement so we can travel more; until then, we make it to as many rallies as possible.
We started camping because of our two sons’ interest in BMX bike racing, and we’ve carried on the camping tradition, although the boys have moved on to life’s demands. Which brings me to the reason for this letter.
Camping together over the years kept us close to our children, which paved the way for building their maturity and family values. They have since married and have families of their own. Our grandchildren, six of them now, really enjoy going camping with Grama and Grampa.
Our sons have grown to be very productive gentlemen, and we would like to share how proud we are of their accomplishments. Our older son, Charles Jr., has a wife and four children, works a full-time job, and just received a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Chuck did this by going to night school, after he erved 5-1/2 years in the military. Chuck is also an ordained minister with his own church, and he married his first couple on May 11. We can’t say enough about how proud we are.
Our younger son, Stephen, our baby of 28 years, is married with two children and works full-time. He just won the Mr. Pittsburgh 2002 Bodybuilding competition “” first place in class and overall best physique. He was going on to compete in the Junior Nationals in Chicago this June.
We also belong to Thousand Trails camping resort in Kenisee, Ohio, and all the members there, some from our local chapter, were really supportive of Stephen.
Chuck & Linda Thomas, F161153
We would like to commend the folks at Ed’s Travel Trailer Parts and Service, located at 1500 Shediac Road, on the outskirts of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, for the good work they did for us. We experienced a problem with our motorhome’s water pump while staying at the Magnetic Hills Campground, also off of Canada Highway 2 (exit 488) in Moncton. We solicited help from an employee there, who quickly obtained an appointment for us with Ed and his crew for the next morning.
Needless to say, these highly professional folks quickly diagnosed the problem, installed a new increased-capacity water pump at a very reasonable price, and sent us on our way with smiles all around. Hats off to our most friendly and helpful neighbors to the north.
We heartily recommend Ed’s Travel Trailer Parts and Service, (506-856-5001) as well as Magnetic Hill Campground for RVers traveling in the Moncton, New Brunswick, area.
Doug & Pauline Cook, F186812
Anyone looking for a home away from home will find it at Cahokia RV Parque in Cahokia, Illinois. They ave never met a stranger and everyone will treat you like family.
We pulled into Cahokia RV Parque late in the afternoon of May 7. The following morning we received a phone call from my sister in Phoenix, Arizona, telling us that my youngest brother had passed away. About an hour later, I went to the campground office to look in the phone book for the location of a local branch of our bank. Dee and Kathy were working there and could tell I was upset. When they learned about my brother’s death, Kathy went on the Internet to get directions to the bank and offered to drive us. When she learned we needed to fly to Phoenix, she went on the Internet again to check flight schedules for us. She olunteered to take us to the rail stop so we could get to the airport and said to call her when we were ready to return, so she could pick us up.
We were told we could leave our motorhome in the park. We did move to another site and hooked up to the electricity, so we could run the refrigerator.
We flew to Phoenix May 9 and lanned to return on the 14th, but my mother passed away on Mother’s Day. I called Dee to tell her we would be in Phoenix for an additional week, but again she said not to worry, that our coach and towed car were being taken care of and just to call when we returned, so she could pick us up.
We flew back to Illinois May 20, spent that night in our coach, and left the next day to travel to Des Moines for our granddaughter’s high school graduation. The whole time our coach was at Cahokia RV Parque, we paid for only one night. The rest of the time it was there thanks to the compassion and generosity of Bud, the owner, as well as Dee, Kathy, and Jim. We will always remember the generosity of these kind, compassionate people.
We will return to Cahokia soon to spend time with our friends.
Ed & Lois Lingelbach, F304350
We took delivery of our new 40-foot diesel pusher motorhome two months ago. It is our third diesel pusher in 12 years, and we purchased all of them new. All have been high-end brands.
I can say that quality, in general, seems to be getting somewhat better. However, I also think the RV industry has a long way to go before the overall quality of construction is up to acceptable standards.
During our first two months of ownership of our current coach, we found several items that were not satisfactory. Since I am somewhat mechanical, I was able to fix many of them myself. The ones that required professional service or replacement have been taken care of by the dealer or manufacturer. It’s the inconvenience and disappointment that soon become annoying.
I feel confident that the industry can and should do a much better job to improve overall quality of manufacturing and customer satisfaction.
Gene Buehler, F175439