Updated information regarding the many benefits and services available to members of the Family Motor Coach Association.
Membership in the Family Motor Coach Association brings with it a wealth of benefits that are of value to the motorhome traveler. Some of these benefits are obvious — the subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine, for example — and some are not so obvious. In fact, it’s likely that there are some benefits with which you as a member are not familiar. For that reason, all FMCA members should take the time to read through this guide to ensure that they are taking advantage of everything their association has to offer.
In addition to being a fun-filled organization, FMCA gives its members the added benefit of access to valuable technical and general information and to advice related to motorhoming. Much of this information can be gleaned via Family Motor Coaching magazine. Other sources of information include chapter affiliation, valuable seminars held at FMCA conventions, the association’s Web site (www.fmca.com), and fellow members met along the road or in campgrounds.
Family Motor Coaching magazine
A subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine is perhaps the most tangible benefit of membership in FMCA. The association’s monthly magazine provides FMCA members with timely news concerning motorhome technology, the RV industry, and their association. Each issue contains colorful travel features that describe areas of the United States, Canada, and beyond that are of interest to motorhomers, as well as reviews of new motorhomes, technical and how-to articles, and special features that focus on various aspects of the RV lifestyle. Abundant classified and display advertisements keep readers up-to-date on the latest products available in the RV marketplace.
In an effort to better serve the family and commercial members of FMCA, an additional benefit was instituted a number of years ago in the form of FMC magazine’s reader service program. A reader service card, which contains numbers that correspond to the various companies whose advertisements appear in the magazine, is included in each issue of the magazine.
If you would like to receive additional information about a product or service that you have seen advertised in a particular issue of FMC magazine, turn to the reader service card that is inserted in that issue. Simply circle the number on the reader service card that corresponds to the number that appears in fine print at the bottom or side of the ad in question. Be sure to fill in all of the requested information, especially your complete name and address, so that your card can be processed. Then, drop the postage-paid card into the mail. Once your card reaches FMCA’s national office, reader service personnel will enter your requests into a computer. This information is then directed to the advertiser in question via a computer printout that lists your address and the advertisement in which you expressed interest. Once the advertiser receives this printout, the company will then forward the appropriate information directly to you.
Please note that if you desire specific information regarding the product, e.g. prices, specifications, etc., you should wait until you have received information from the advertiser and then direct any unanswered questions to the advertiser’s office; these types of specific requests cannot be passed on to the advertiser by FMCA’s reader service personnel.
Also included with your subscription to Family Motor Coaching is the annual membership directory, which is published in the January issue. The directory issue contains a complete guide to the association, including a roster of members by name and by membership number. FMCAers will want to keep this directory handy as they travel, as it includes a variety of useful information to which they can refer throughout the year.
One of FMCA’s newest benefits enables members to participate in important RV-related education programs. The association is contributing toward the expense of these learning opportunities to reduce out-of-pocket costs to members.
In 2003 the FMCA Education Curriculum will provide three RV-related courses: the RV Safe Driving Course, the Coach Weight and Tire Safety program, and the Fire and Life Safety program. These programs will be available at both of the association’s international conventions in 2003 — in Pomona, California, in March, and in Buffalo, New York, in July. The courses will be offered at many FMCA area rallies in 2003 as well. The courses are not offered through the mail; members must be present and sign up at the convention or rally to participate.
The RV Safe Driving Course is offered in conjunction with RV Alliance America to refresh motorhome drivers’ existing skills and to introduce new safe driving techniques. Topics include basic maneuvering, driving in adverse weather conditions, nighttime driving, skid prevention and correction, mountain driving, and towing and weight issues. The course takes six hours to complete and is divided into two three-hour classroom sessions. It is not a hands-on driving course. Pilots and copilots both are encouraged to attend. Successfully completing this course may qualify participants for a reduced rate on their RV insurance premium.
The Coach Weight and Tire Safety course is offered in cooperation with the Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation Inc. This course helps FMCA members to be sure that their motorhomes are being operated within the weight and tire capacities for which the vehicles were designed. Personnel from the Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation provide their expertise for this seminar, wherein participants receive two hours of classroom instruction. Students also can have their coaches weighed and receive a load capacity analysis from foundation personnel.
The Fire and Life Safety Program, also offered in cooperation with RV Alliance America, helps RVers prevent fires from occurring in their motorhomes and teaches them what to do if a fire does break out. It involves a classroom presentation as well as a live fire demonstration. Participants learn about different types of fires, fire extinguishers, and how different fire extinguishing products work.
FMCA members should be sure to avail themselves of the vital information presented in these three programs.
The association’s official Web site — www.fmca.com — is a useful source of online information about FMCA member benefits, upcoming conventions and rallies, Family Motor Coaching magazine, FMCA chapters, and FMCA commercial members.
FMCA.com is frequently updated with useful, interesting, and informative articles about motorhomers and motorhoming. The Web site provides a good introduction to FMCA for non-members who want to learn more about motorhoming and the association’s many benefits, and gives members an insider’s view of the association by way of the For Members Only section.
Access articles. On FMCA.com, you can read articles from the current issue of FMC magazine and browse through articles that appeared in previous issues. (Note: most articles require an FMCA member log-in.)
Preview FMCA conventions. FMCA.com contains updates about upcoming FMCA conventions — including scheduled activities and information about attractions in the host city. Register online and plan to be part of the main event.
Experience the fun of chapters. FMCA.com can help you to keep up-to-date on chapter activities, too. To find a chapter that might interest you, scan the chapter listings, and read “Chapter Spotlight” articles to learn more about a particular group. Check the FMCA.com Event Calendar for chapter rally schedules. Using our Links page, chapter Web sites are just a click away.
Follow the area rally circuit. Each of FMCA’s 10 areas typically offers an area rally every year, and these dates are found in the Event Calendar. Separate registration areas are available now on the site for nearly all of these events. Save yourself a stamp and register for these rallies online at FMCA.com.
Click to buy. Show your motorhoming spirit by shopping for FMCA logo clothing and accessories at FMCAStore.com. A link to the store is provided at FMCA.com.
Steer this way. The Motorhoming Guide is a helpful information source for new, current, and future motorhomers. It contains articles about vehicle towing, motorhome safety, and motorhome financing and insurance, among other topics. The Travel Spots pages reveal interesting attractions and destinations for motorhomers each month. And the FMCA Business Directory enables you to locate FMCA commercial members and learn about their products and services.
Review the benefits. FMCA.com summarizes the benefits of FMCA membership and keeps visitors up-to-date on association news. Plus, an FMCA member is profiled each month in the “Meet a Member” section.
Contact info. FMCA.com also lists a variety of ways to contact the national office. You’ll find addresses; phone and fax numbers; and a lengthy list of e-mail addresses that you can use to reach FMCA officers, employees, and departments online.
For Members Only. FMCA members receive exclusive access to valuable information not available to the general public. These exclusive pages are sprinkled throughout the site and are indicated by a special “For Members Only” banner. To view these pages, FMCA members must log in using their membership number and current membership expiration date.
These exclusive pages offer FMCA members the chance to interact with the national office and get insider information. For example, you can renew your membership; read the FMCA Bylaws; read the FMCA president’s newsletters; and download forms you need to begin using FMCA’s Mail Forwarding and Trip Routing services, as well as others.
Members can gain access to a variety of FMC magazine articles not available to the general public. You also can check the status of your voice message box in the Traveler’s Message Service.
For Members Only contains the FMCA membership directory. You can use it to find the names of fellow FMCA members whose membership emblems you spot along the road, and find helpful members who have volunteered to be included in the “Stop Over,” “Come Visit,” “Mechanics Helper,” and “Pinch Hit Driver” listings.
Should you experience difficulty logging in to FMCA.com’s exclusive For Members Only pages, please contact the Membership Services Department at (800) 543-3622 to verify your membership number and membership expiration date.
For all other communication regarding FMCA.com, please send e-mail directly to [email protected].
FMCA TRAVEL SERVICES
Traveler’s Message Service
FMCA’s Traveler’s Message Service is an automated voice mail system that is accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week. For a low monthly fee, traveling members may establish voice message boxes in order to pick up important messages from their families and friends.
The service is easy to establish and is available immediately when needed; therefore, there is no need for a member to set up a message box until he or she is ready to travel. There are limitations in terms of the number of messages that may be left per month and the number of times per month a member may call to check for messages.
Details and directions for using the service appear on page 198 of this issue.
Mail Forwarding Service
FMCA members who are on the road for an extended period of time need not worry about missing their important mail, thanks to the association’s mail forwarding service. FMCAers who take advantage of this useful member benefit receive their mail on a weekly basis while they are on the road.
Further information about this service and instructions as to its use appear on page 201 of this magazine.
In an effort to assure its members pleasant, hassle-free travel, FMCA offers routing assistance to destinations throughout the country. Any FMCA member who would like to use this service for his or her next trip must make a request in writing to this address:
Rand McNally & Company
Attn: FMCA Trip Routing Service
Richmond, KY 40475
Fax: (859) 626-5876
The above address and fax number, and a form with which members may request such information, generally appear in each issue of Family Motor Coaching and are available on FMCA’s Web site, www.fmca.com. Neither FMCA national office staff nor travel service personnel can take requests over the phone; all requests for travel information must be made in writing and must be directed to the address listed above or faxed to the number listed.
When making a request for travel information, a member should include his or her name, FMCA membership number, and complete address. He or she also should specify where the trip will begin and its final destination, as well as whether the “most direct” or “most scenic” route is preferred. These instructions should be included for the return trip as well.
Members who request trip routing services will receive a suggested route in approximately two weeks.
Trip routing options are now available online at www.fmca.com for FMCA members to plan and route their future trips.
Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program
FMCA has teamed up with Coach-Net, an emergency road service provider, to offer association members a comprehensive, 24-hour-a-day nationwide roadside assistance program. This program is supported by master certified ASE technicians and RVDA-certified RV technicians. The FMCA Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program includes a network of more than 40,000 contracted service providers throughout the United States and Canada and is offered by the largest, most experienced RV road service company in North America.
The FMCA Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program provides a toll-free phone number that members can call if their coach breaks down. The program offers mobile mechanical service; unlimited towing to the nearest qualified service location; tire change; fuel, coolant, and oil delivery; lock-out service; electrical system starting; and chassis and RV appliance service appointment assistance. Other services include reimbursement for emergency trip interruption (hotel, rental car, and meal expenses); toll-free claims service throughout Mexico; and vehicle theft and hit-and-run reward benefits. If you need to use these services, simply show your card; cash is not needed.
The plan works anywhere within the United States and Canada. The labor charges for mechanical repairs and the cost of parts, fuel, oil, and coolant are the member’s responsibility.
The FMCA Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program is staffed by chassis and RV technical personnel to make sure that the technicians who assist you are qualified to do so. Among the 40,000 contracted service providers in the Coach-Net network are mobile mechanics who know how to perform repairs and chassis service for diesel pusher and gasoline models.
If you do need a tow, however, it will be handled by a professional heavy-duty service provider who knows how to take care of your situation. Simple things such as removal of the driveline, watching out for air dams and cowlings on the front of the coach, tire size, and gross vehicle weight ratings are important. Having a motorhome technician on the phone makes a world of difference when your investment is being towed.
The plan covers all family cars at no extra charge. The Coach-Net network of courteous service providers will take care of your family car in your driveway or on the highway with the same efficiency it provides motor coach service.
The program also offers roadside assistance throughout Canada, including the Yukon Territory, as well as throughout the state of Alaska. If you need road service in Mexico, you are reimbursed for up to $1,000 per incident. A member need only call for instructions about how to complete a claim for towing, lock-out, tire change, jump start, or fuel delivery, and the rest is taken care of. The program covers 100 percent of the cost for these services.
As part of the technical referral service, you can call the FMCA Emergency Road Service toll-free number from anywhere in North America to obtain a service appointment at a qualified chassis service location or RV component service location. A customer service representative will make an appointment for you and provide you with the appointment time, the contact person’s name, and directions to the repair facility. The customer service representative also can make an appointment for you in a town you’ll be traveling to in the future. Even something as simple as regular diesel maintenance can be scheduled in this manner.
Other features of the program include:
- No-fee travelers checks.
- Emergency trip interruption benefits. You’ll be reimbursed up to $2,000 for expenses such as meals, car rental, and lodging made necessary as a result of a collision that disables your RV more than 100 miles from home.
- A $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who steals your vehicles or is responsible for a hit-and-run accident.
Coach-Net has been providing RV-based roadside assistance service for more than 15 years. A number of major RV manufacturers and chassis makers use Coach-Net as their front line of warranty service support. Coach-Net mobile mechanics are familiar with RV component systems made by such companies as Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Allison, Gillig, Spartan, Caterpillar, Freightliner, and GM.
To sign up, simply fill out the form that appears on page 131 in this magazine and mail in the application. You also may join over the phone, using a credit card, by dialing (877) 801-0333; or over the Internet, at www.coach-net.com. The plan is available at an introductory rate of $79.50 per year, or $238.50 for three years. The plan may be renewed for $99.50 per year or $273 for three years. If you have a plan that still has time remaining on it, you can have your new FMCA plan begin on the day your current one expires. That way, you’ll have no lapse in coverage.
Emergency Medical Evacuation Program
FMCA has signed an agreement with MEDEX Assistance Corporation to provide active family and life members with coverage under the MEDEX Plus program. Members receive this coverage automatically, and no signup is required.
Travel can be for business or pleasure at a distance of 100 or more miles from your primary residence. Coverage is provided while traveling within the continental United States, Canada, or Mexico, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. MEDEX provides members with toll-free access to travel assistance services and also coordinates and pays the approved costs associated with the following services. MEDEX must approve and coordinate all services.
The program includes:
1. Emergency medical air and ground evacuation: Medically supervised evacuation to the nearest appropriate facility if an FMCA member is involved in an accident or suffers a sudden, unforeseen illness and adequate medical facilities are not available.
2. Repatriation of remains: The return of an FMCA member’s mortal remains in the event of death.
3. Return home of unattended dependent children and grandchildren: Transportation home for an FMCA member’s children and/or grandchildren left unattended as the result of a member’s accident, illness, or death.
4. RV/automobile return home: Return of an FMCA member’s drivable vehicle to residence (or return of rental vehicle) if the member is unable to operate the vehicle due to accident, illness, or death.
5. Transportation to visit a hospitalized member (for member traveling alone): The transportation of a family member or friend to visit an FMCA member who is hospitalized for seven days or more.
6. Transportation home after initial evacuation: The transportation of an FMCA member to the point of origin, or permanent residence, following an emergency evacuation.
This brief description of benefits summarizes the principal features of the MEDEX Plus program and is not intended to be a contract. The contractual provisions for the MEDEX Plus Program are stated in the MEDEX Plus service agreement, Group 7030, issued by MEDEX Assistance Corporation to the Family Motor Coach Association Inc. The final answer to any questions will be subject to the MEDEX Plus service agreement.
FMCA members can call toll-free (800-527-0218) or collect (410-453-6330) for emergency medical, travel, and personal assistance services. When calling, please refer to MEDEX group number 7030.
For more information about this program, turn to page 195 of this issue, or phone FMCA (800-543-3622) and ask for a brochure.
Long-Distance Calling Card
In an effort to assist FMCA members in keeping in touch with family and friends while they travel, FMCA has arranged to provide a long-distance calling card that offers a rate of 13.9 cents per minute. Members may apply for the card by calling American Telecom Network (ATN) toll-free at (888) 443-FMCA (3622) between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. The service is provided under the name of PowerNet Global (PNG). The vendor — American Telecom Network (ATN) from Phoenix, Arizona — has been offering phone card services to FMCA members since June 1997.
In addition to the calling card, the company offers FMCA members the opportunity to order up to three toll-free numbers that can be used for calling home or other frequently called numbers. The rate is 5.4 cents per minute for state-to-state calls. Members with an existing toll-free line from a different carrier who want to take advantage of this rate must call ATN at (888) 443-FMCA (3622) weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time to request the appropriate form, known as a “responsible organization,” or resp-org, form.
For outgoing calls from home, a rate of 5.4 cents per minute is offered to those who wish to sign up for that service.
All billing is in 6-second increments, and no monthly fees or minimums are involved. However, an additional charge applies to calls made from pay phones.
For more information, members should call toll-free (888) 443-FMCA (3622). You will be asked to provide your Social Security number for credit-checking purposes. For more information, see the advertisement that appears on page 97 of this issue.
Internet access is offered to FMCA members at a special rate from American Telecom Network (ATN) and PowerNet Global (PNG).
FMCA members receive Internet access for $14.95 per month. PNG has agreed to offer the Internet service for $9.95 per month for a limited time. For more information about Internet access, call (888) 443-FMCA (3622).
Stoppin’ Spot Fellowship, Local Service Information
This important travel service is made possible only through the generous-spirited fellowship of FMCA members. Each year, the January directory issue of Family Motor Coaching contains a listing of FMCA members who offer assistance and hospitality to fellow members who are on the road in their areas. The list also is available in the “For Members Only” portion of FMCA’s Web site.
These members are listed in the Stoppin’ Spots directory under four categories. Stop Over Spot indicates that fellow members are welcome to stop over at the volunteering member’s home for a 24-hour emergency stay. Come Visit indicates that FMCA members are welcome to visit the volunteering member’s home for a 24-hour friendship stay, unless invited by the host member to stay longer. Mechanic’s Helper indicates that if an FMCA member’s coach breaks down along the road in a volunteering member’s area, the volunteering member is available to assist him or her in locating quality local service. Pinch Hit Driver indicates that any FMCA member who encounters an emergency that in any way prevents him or her from driving his or her coach while on the road may request the assistance of a driver to transport that member’s coach to a chosen destination at the owner’s expense. The Pinch Hit Drivers are FMCA members who have volunteered to perform this emergency service for fellow members who are in need.
Any FMCA member who would like to be included in the 2004 Stoppin’ Spots directory under one or more of the above-listed categories should contact the membership department at the FMCA national office. Likewise, FMCA members who are interested in volunteering to act as Pinch Hit Drivers, or who are in need of the service of such a driver, should contact the membership department at the FMCA national office. The deadline for signing up to be included in the 2004 directory is November 1, 2003.
Further instructions concerning the use of the Stoppin’ Spots directory can be found on page 317 of this magazine; the directory itself begins on page 1034.
Many of the campgrounds that are commercial members of FMCA offer discounts to fellow FMCA members. A listing of these commercial member campgrounds appears in the “Business Directory,” which will be published this year in the January and June issues of FMC magazine. FMCA members should mention their FMCA affiliation when making reservations and present their FMCA membership card upon check-in when requesting this discount.
FMCA members have the opportunity to take advantage of discounted daily rental rates at Outdoor Resorts of America (ORA) locations. Outdoor Resorts operates a number of RV resort facilities at various desirable locations across the country, among them Palm Springs, California, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. By presenting their FMCA membership card, FMCAers will receive a 15 percent discount on daily rental rates at ORA locations. Some restrictions may apply. For instance, because of zoning regulations, the company’s Indio/La Quinta, California, facility can accommodate only type A and type C motorhomes with a length of 22 feet or more. For more information about vehicle restrictions at ORA facilities, call (800) 541-2582.
FMCA also has entered into a partnership with Passport America, a 50 percent discount camping club. As a Passport America cardholder, you can stay at nearly 1,000 campgrounds across the United States, Canada, and Mexico at 50 percent off the regular rate.
Passport America members receive an International Camping Directory in a printed version or on a CD; a personalized travel card; and a one-year subscription to the new RV America magazine. Present your Passport America card to receive half off the regular rate on campsites in participating campgrounds; these facilities are listed in the International Camping Directory.
Passport America prints a new directory each January. Updates or changes to the campground list are provided throughout the year in RV America magazine. Twenty-four-hour access to all campground information and updates is also available online at www.passportamerica.com.
The directory also indicates each campground’s individual guidelines. These vary, because Passport America member RV parks are individually owned and operated. For example, the majority don’t require reservations, but some suggest them, and others require them. The number of nights certain RV parks extend the discount also varies — one night, two nights, a week, a month, etc. Access to Passport America campgrounds is on a space-available basis.
You may use your Passport America card as often as you like, for the term of your membership.
The Passport America discount RV travel card costs only $44 for 12 months. Passport America gives FMCA members an additional three months (an $11 value) when they purchase the one-year program, or an additional six months (a $22 value) if they join for two or three years. The two-year program costs $79, and the three-year program is $109. Look for the Passport America order form on page 155 of this magazine.
Car Rental Discounts
Avis Car Rental offers a special discount to members of FMCA. To receive this discount, members should present the FMCA group number, A674300, and a major credit card when requesting a rental car from Avis. For information, contact Avis at (800) 331-1212.
Members should mention the association’s discount number, 343549, when making reservations with Hertz and present their FMCA membership card for identification at the Hertz counter to take advantage of the year-round discount program offered to FMCA. For information, contact Hertz at (800) 654-2210.
In addition, members receive special savings at National Car Rental by using FMCA’s Discount I.D. Recap Number 5815733. Discounts apply to National’s daily, weekend, weekly, monthly, and holiday rates. Members receive National’s business rate discount of 20 percent or the company’s promotional and holiday rates discount of 5 percent. For vehicles rented in the United States, the rates include 100 free miles per day with a charge for excess miles traveled. For information, contact National Car Rental at (800) CAR-RENT (227-7368).
Flying J offers FMCA members its Real Value Card program. This is not a credit card; it simply gives the holder a discount of 1 cent per gallon of gas or diesel fuel and/or 5 cents per gallon of propane at any Flying J Travel Plaza or Fuel Stop location when the card is presented at the time of sale. Real Value Cards have been issued to all FMCA members; cards will be sent to new FMCA members on a periodic basis. For information, contact Flying J at (888) 438-3537.
Irving Oil offers FMCA members a fuel discount program for its refueling locations in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. The Irving Oil Fleet card entitles FMCA members to special savings on gasoline and diesel purchases at Irving Oil locations when using the Irving Oil credit card. The credit card also can be used for purchasing convenience store items and to pay for automotive items and service at Irving Oil facilities. In the United States, call (800) 544-1120 for more information. Canadian members may call toll-free (888) 310-1924.
Vision Care Discounts
FMCA members have the opportunity to participate in the Lens Express Discount Vision Care Program as group 452. Benefits and special offers include an eye exam for $35 (average cost in the United States is $62.50) and savings of up to 50 percent or more on prescription eyeglasses, fashion frames, designer sunglasses, ophthalmic-quality reading glasses, and contact lenses. A free Swiss Army knife, one per family, comes with a purchased membership.
The Lens Express membership has three parts — savings on products, savings on professional services, and member rewards.
Product discounts include guaranteed lowest prices on contact lenses and savings of up to 50 percent off vision care products. Members also receive convenient delivery, at home or on the road. Order contacts and vision care products directly from Lens Express by calling (800) USA-LENS or over the Internet at www.lensexpress.com, and mention group number 452.
Members can select from more than 1,500 designer frames for single-vision prescription glasses on the Lens Express Web site, www.lensexpress.com. These are offered at significant discounts. Send your prescription, and you can buy glasses from the comfort of your home or motorhome.
The Lens Express Doctor Network includes more than 3,000 independent optometrists and ophthalmologists located throughout the United States. They have agreed to provide their services to Lens Express members on a reduced, fixed-rate schedule. Fees for services are explained in the Lens Express Member Guide. There are no forms to fill out and no claims to file, and you can choose from several network professionals in your area when you join Lens Express. If you are away from home, call Lens Express toll-free and ask for the name and location of an eye care professional near you.
All Lens Express members are eligible for member rewards. Five percent of every dollar spent with Lens Express is returned to the member in the form of Frequent Buyer Rewards. When members accumulate $20 in their kitty, they can make a purchase with their $20 credit. In addition, a Refer-a-Friend bonus of $15 is also given each time someone you refer (a non-FMCA member) starts buying from Lens Express.
FMCA members who need contacts or any other vision care products can order directly from Lens Express and receive a free one-year membership. This will allow them to collect Frequent Buyer Rewards and Refer-a-Friend Rewards and receive price protection on contact lenses for the duration of their membership.
FMCA members may join Lens Express at a group rate of $15 per person and $7.50 per dependent for a three-year membership. This represents a $10 savings over non-FMCA rates. Members receive a membership card, membership catalog, and a free Swiss Army knife. For additional information about the program or to become a member, call (800) USA-LENS (872-5367) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to midnight and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Be sure to mention FMCA group number 452 when you call.
Camping World and FMCA have joined forces to bring a valuable member benefit. New FMCA members receive via the mail the opportunity to order a free six-month membership in the Camping World President’s Club. This entitles members to a 10 percent discount on their Camping World purchases — which is also valid for use on sale items and for installation charges — plus additional money-off coupons when they renew their President’s Club membership. New FMCA members who are already members of the President’s Club receive a $10 coupon good toward Camping World merchandise. FMCA members who renew and stay active in FMCA will receive an annual “special offer” at the time of renewal.
Many of FMCA’s commercial members offer discounts on their products and services to family members who present their FMCA membership cards. The FMCA Business Directory, which is published in the January and June issues of FMC magazine, lists FMCA commercial members and their locations. To receive the FMCA discounts offered by commercial members in their “Business Directory” listings, family members must present their FMCA membership card at the time of service or purchase. The “Business Directory” begins on page 1057 of this issue.
Two times this year, FMCA members will gather for a three-day extravaganza of fellowship, fine entertainment, informative seminars, and browsing through the exhibits of the many coach and coach component manufacturers that participate in each convention. FMCA’s international conventions offer FMCAers a chance to participate in these activities as a group, and they provide members the opportunity to renew old friendships that have been formed at previous FMCA gatherings and to form new friendships. Attending an FMCA convention is an experience that should be enjoyed by every member.
The locations and dates for the 2003 international conventions are as follows:
FMCA’s 69th International Convention
March 21, 22, and 23, 2003
“Shuffle Off To Buffalo”
FMCA’s 70th International Convention
July 18, 19, and 20, 2003
Erie County Fairgrounds
Buffalo, New York
Membership in a chapter can greatly enhance an FMCAer’s enjoyment of the association. Although the international conventions enable FMCAers to share good times together, the size and scope of these gatherings prevent them from taking place as often as FMCAers might like. Also, FMCA members often must travel a considerable distance to attend an international convention.
FMCA chapters were created to enable members of FMCA to come together to exchange ideas about their motorhoming lifestyle and to enjoy one another’s company on a smaller scale. Chapter gatherings are frequently held on weekends, and they are often organized locally, so long trips aren’t necessary to reach them. These chapter rallies take place throughout the year, and, as such, FMCAers have a wide choice of rallies to attend.
Sometimes chapter rallies center around an event that is of interest to the members of that chapter. Such rallies afford FMCAers the opportunity to come together with other members who share their interests, and often to forge long-lasting friendships based on those mutual interests.
One of the greatest benefits of chapter affiliation is the exchange of information that such involvement provides. Those chapters that are based upon a mutual interest or a shared model of coach provide pools of information via the experiences and knowledge of chapter members. Also, chapter members can take advantage of the various seminars that often are held at their rallies.
The Family Motor Coach Association recognizes more than 430 chapters across the United States and in Canada. Many of these chapters encompass specific or general geographic regions. Others consist of FMCA members who own a particular brand or model of coach. And still other chapters are based upon some common interest, such as music, amateur radio communication, sports, or coach conversions.
Twenty-one new chapters were chartered in late 2001 and throughout 2002: Apollo Nor’Westers, Bay Area Travelers, Blue Water RV’ers, California Coaches for Christ, Circle of Friends, Country Coach Texans, GeMs, Getaways, Great Lakes Converted Coaches, Koala Knockabouts, Let’s Roll IND-TUCKY, Middle Tennessee Travelers, Monaco America, Ozark Ridge Runners, Pacific Northwest Coaches for Christ, Panhandle Gems, Parliament Travel Club, Ramblin’ Renegades, Rocky Mountain Coaches for Christ, Southern Alberta Drifters, and Vancouver Islanders. The complete FMCA Chapter Directory begins on page 286 of this magazine. A copy of the complete directory also is published each year in the August issue of FMC, and updates to it appear in the magazine on a periodic basis.
Any member of FMCA who is not affiliated with a chapter is encouraged to become involved with one or more chapters, as chapter membership is a sure way to enhance one’s enjoyment of all that FMCA has to offer. Although the various existing chapters cover a wide range of geographic areas and topics of interest, new chapters are always welcome. If you can’t seem to find a chapter that suits your particular interests or that is in your geographic locale, you may wish to charter such a chapter. The FMCA Chapter Services Department at the national office can provide you with a chapter formation kit that includes guidelines for starting a new chapter.
A minimum of 20 members is necessary in order to charter an FMCA chapter. Anyone who would like to start a new chapter but is having problems rounding up enough FMCAers who share his or her particular area of interest is invited to call on the national office for assistance. The national office will send out a mailing to FMCA members in that member’s target area (be it members with a particular zip code, members who own a certain type of motorhome, etc.) in order to help him or her to recruit new members.
FMCA members who currently are affiliated with one or more chapters can help to promote the chapter concept by inviting other members who are not involved with a chapter to join their group. A recent survey conducted by FMCA indicated that many FMCAers who are not members of chapters are unaffiliated either because they don’t know anyone who is a chapter member or they have never been invited to join a chapter. Those who are affiliated with a chapter of FMCA should be sure to spread the word about the pleasure that they have derived from chapter membership. The joys of chapter membership shouldn’t be kept a secret.
FMCAers who are interested in joining an existing chapter might wish to attend one of that chapter’s functions to get a feel for what the chapter is all about. Several interested but uninitiated FMCAers may want to attend the rally together, so that they will know someone else at the get-together. Often, it’s easier to meet new friends with another person along. However, individuals who attend rallies for the first time by themselves can be assured that there will be many friendly people there who will be eager to meet them and to welcome them into the chapter.
Dates and locations for chapter rallies are published in the Association Calendar that appears in each issue of Family Motor Coaching. Included in the listing is a contact person for general or preregistration information. FMCA members are welcome to attend any of the rallies listed within the Association Calendar.
Chapters are reminded to send their rally information to the FMCA national office (use the form that is published each month in conjunction with the Association Calendar; additional forms are available from the Chapter Services Department at the national office), so that all FMCA members might be made aware of chapter activities.
To further provide information to FMCA members about scheduled activities, the Association Calendar, which appears on page 160 of this issue of the magazine, contains a calendar of events that lists dates and locations for FMCA international conventions, and provides dates, locations, and contact people for the various area rallies that will be occurring throughout the country in 2003. FMCA members are invited to look to this listing for information about these upcoming events.
Family Motor Coaching publishes a column titled “Would You Like To Join An FMCA Chapter?” in each January, March, June, August, and November issue. Turn to page 306 in this issue of the magazine. This column is intended to help FMCA members who have yet to discover the joys of chapter membership in locating a chapter that might interest them. It also serves as a forum for groups that wish to form a new FMCA chapter but first wish to gauge the interest in such a chapter. New and existing chapters are encouraged to use the handy mail-in form that accompanies this column and submit information about their chapter for publication in the magazine. Each chapter is entitled to one free ad per year; additional ads may be placed at a cost of 50 cents per word.
The youthful arm of FMCA is composed of four age groups of children: Teen-Age Travelers, or TATS (ages 13 to 18), PRE-TEENS (ages 10 to 12), TWEENS (ages 6 to 9), and TOTS (ages 2 to 5).
The FMCA Youth Activities Committee plans and schedules age-specific activities for each group of children at FMCA’s international conventions. The children pack hours of fun into their three-day reunions. Bowling, miniature golf, roller skating, and pizza and ice cream parties are the mainstays of the program, while the committee seeks out additional activities that are interesting, fun, affordable, and challenging. Youth centers also are set up for each age group at the conventions.
Over the years the youth program has offered hiking, swimming, white-water rafting, and horseback riding for the older age groups. On the educational side, the children have toured museums and science centers, as well as businesses that manufacture everything from school buses to toothbrushes. The TATS enjoy karaoke and dancing to all types of popular music that is in the TATS Center on the convention grounds.
The TOTS enjoy an expanded program off the convention grounds with lunch outings at local restaurants with play areas, visits to city parks, and other activities geared to their age group.
The Youth Activities Program is open to all children in the above age groups who attend FMCA conventions with their parents, grandparents, or guardians.
Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan
The Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan is designed to cover the deductible and co-insurance costs you are required to pay out of your pocket when such expenses are incurred at least 100 miles from your home base, subject to a $100 deductible per occurrence for a sudden and unforeseen illness. There is no deductible for covered accidents. Travel can be while you are in or out of your motor coach, for business or pleasure, but not solely for the procurement of medical treatment or advice. This coverage is for members who are involved in an accident or suffer a sudden, unforeseen illness requiring timely medical care that cannot wait until you return home.
In order to be eligible for consideration, all fully completed claims must be submitted and received within six months of the date of occurrence.
Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan coverage is automatically extended to all active FMCA members worldwide who have primary individual or group hospitalization and major-medical insurance, such as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Medicare, or any HMO or PPO.
The plan provides a $1,000 annual accident and sickness medical expense reimbursement benefit for all FMCA members and their spouses (but not including children) who are at least 100 miles from their home base, subject to a $100 deductible per occurrence for a sudden and unforeseen illness, as noted above. Benefits will be paid for members involved in an accident or who suffer a sudden and unforeseen illness requiring immediate medical treatment.
All claims must first be eligible for consideration by your primary medical insurance, up to the usual and customary charge for such expenses, and may include the following: treatment by a physician; medical services in a hospital; care by a licensed nurse who is not a member of the insured’s immediate family; use of a ground ambulance within 48 hours of the covered accident or sickness; X-ray and laboratory tests or oxygen; casts, splints, crutches, and braces (other than dental braces); blood or blood plasma; drugs and medicines; and rental of durable medical equipment.
In addition, the Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan provides an annual $250 dental reimbursement benefit for both you and your spouse. Eligible dental treatment benefits shall not exceed the reasonable expenses incurred for the accidental injury or the sudden and unforeseen repair or replacement of a tooth (including dental X-rays) that was sound and natural at the time of repair. As with the $1,000 accident or sickness medical reimbursement benefit, in order to be eligible for the dental treatment reimbursement benefit, you must be at least 100 miles from your home base when such dental expenses are incurred. All fully completed dental claims must be submitted and received within six months from the date of occurrence in order to be eligible for consideration. There is a $100 deductible per occurrence for dental reimbursement benefit claims submitted due to sudden and unforeseen illness. There is no deductible for dental reimbursement claims submitted as a result of an accident.
For more information about the Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan, please call FMCA at (800) 543-3622 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In addition, an article about the plan appears on page 208 of this magazine. A claim form appears on page 211.
Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance
Every member of FMCA is automatically covered under the association’s accidental death and dismemberment policy as a member benefit. FMCA members should clip the copy of the certificate that appears on page 207 of this magazine and file it with their other insurance papers. For more information about FMCA’s AD&D benefit, please refer to the article that begins on page 204, or call (800) 241-8363.
FMCA members can participate in motorhome insurance programs offered by various RV insurance specialists. These national programs offer broad coverages, competitive premiums, and RV-specialized claims handling. (Programs available in United States only.)
FMCA credit card
The credit card program designed exclusively for FMCA members by First USA Bank features high lines of credit, an array of special services, and no annual fee. Call (800) FIRSTUSA (347-7887) to apply for an FMCA Visa card.
Motorhome Finance Program
A finance program tailored especially to the needs of FMCA members is made available by Ganis Credit Corporation, a leading RV lender. The program features first-class service, low rates, and extended terms for purchasing or refinancing a new or used motor coach. The finance program allows FMCA members to borrow anywhere from $15,000 to $750,000 or more for terms up to 20 years and at competitively low interest rates. Loan approval is usually provided within 48 hours of a member’s application; a four-hour turnaround time is provided for purchases that require immediate attention. FMCAers may call Ganis directly or may ask their professional RV dealer to call the company for them. Ganis will then arrange to have loan documents expressed directly to the FMCA member or to his or her dealer for prompt loan closing. The program is available to FMCA members in all of the 48 contiguous United States. Information about the program is available by calling Ganis Credit Corporation at (800) 234-6550 or by visiting the company’s Web site: www.ganiscredit.com.
FMCA members who take advantage of this finance program will receive a year’s membership renewal in FMCA compliments of Ganis Credit Corporation.
Ganis’ refinance rates are still very low, so FMCAers can refinance existing motorhome loans and save money. Free custom refinance quotes are available by calling the number above. Each FMCA member who takes advantage of Ganis’ annual direct-mail offer and refinances his or her motorhome in 2003 will receive a free $100 U.S. Savings Bond. As an added bonus, the company will donate $50 to FMCA’s charitable campaigns for each member who takes advantage of their offer. Since 1992, a total of more than $392,650 has been donated to these campaigns in FMCA’s name as a result of this refinance program.
Membership Identification Emblems
Every FMCA member receives a set of oval identification emblems, known as “goose eggs,” which should be attached to the exterior of his or her motor coach. The goose eggs enable FMCA members to identify one another as they travel, simply by reading the number on the front or back of another motorhomer’s vehicle.
When you notice a motorhome in a campground or on the highway that sports goose eggs, take down the number and look it up in your directory (or “For Members Only” section of FMCA’s Web site, www.fmca.com) to determine who the occupants of the coach are. If the opportunity presents itself, introduce yourself as a fellow FMCA member — and perhaps find yourself with a new friend.
FMCAers are encouraged to display their membership identification emblems in a prominent place on their motorhomes, to increase public awareness of FMCA and to spark conversation about the association with coach owners who are not members. An RVer whose motorhome bears the FMCA goose egg is announcing that he or she has agreed to abide by the FMCA Code Of Ethics, which can be found on page 278 of the January 2003 issue of FMC magazine.
Free FMCA Or Camping World Merchandise For Signing Up New Members
FMCA members will receive a $5 coupon for each member they successfully recruit to join the association. These coupons may be redeemed for free FMCA logo merchandise. In addition, the coupons may be exchanged for any Camping World merchandise.
FMCA logo merchandise is available at the association’s international conventions and at some area rallies, online atwww.fmcastore.com, and in FMC magazine.
Camping World will accept the $5 FMCA merchandise coupons that have been awarded to members who recommend new members to join the association.
Details about this merchandise coupon program appear in each issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine. Look to the Advertising Index under the heading “FMCA Coupon Program” to locate this information. Coupons that are earned as a reward for signing up new members are good for two years after they have been awarded.
New FMCA members are issued antitheft decals, which they are instructed to attach to their motorhomes. These decals serve as a deterrent to anyone who is considering stealing or vandalizing the motorhome of an FMCA member, by stating that a reward will be awarded to “any individual who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a thief burglarizing a member’s motorhome.”
The antitheft decal program is co-sponsored by FMCA and RV Alliance America (RVAA) in an effort to insure the security of members’ coaches. Additional decals are available from the FMCA national office.
Free Classified Advertising
Family and life members of FMCA are entitled to 20 free words per calendar year in one issue in Motor Coach Mart, the classified advertising section of FMC magazine. This convenient member benefit is worth $10 to family members, as classified ads with standard run-on copy normally cost 50 cents per word for non-commercial advertisers (minimum of 10 words). Ads for motorhomes for sale should include information such as year, make/model, length, description, and phone number and/or address of seller. To aid persons wishing to call you, we suggest that your ad include your state abbreviation and the asking price.
All motorhomes for sale ads — whether commercial or non-commercial — must include the last five digits of the coach chassis serial number at the end of the ad.
Family members also may design an “enhanced text” classified advertisement for inclusion in the Motor Coach Mart section. This type of ad can include bold type and centered lines (no photos or logos). The cost is $8 per line of type (maximum 30 spaces per line) for non-commercial advertisers. Display ads are not subject to the member discount.
The rate for commercial advertisers is 80 cents per word for standard run-on copy and $12 per line for enhanced text classified copy. Commercial advertisers must include the company name in their ad.
The Motor Coach Mart section of the magazine is an excellent source for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade a motorhome or coach accessories and components. Members who wish to place an ad in the Motor Coach Mart may use the form that appears in the classified section of each issue of the magazine, or they may send the ad copy to the national office on regular stationery or letterhead. Please read all instructions included on the first page of the Motor Coach Mart section before preparing your ad. Important: All classified ads must be received in writing; ads WILL NOT be accepted over the telephone.
FMCA members who are actively seeking a preowned motorhome and don’t want to wait for the magazine to arrive may obtain an Early Bird Edition of the Motor Coach Mart section of the magazine. The Early Bird Edition will be mailed approximately two to three weeks prior to the cover date of the magazine. For example, someone requesting an Early Bird Edition of the September Motor Coach Mart would receive it in August. Advance copies of this section may be ordered for $20 per copy; all orders must be prepaid and requested in writing, or telephone orders can be accepted from those paying with an American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa card. A form for ordering the Early Bird Edition appears in most issues of the magazine. Check the Advertising Index under “FMCA Early Bird Motor Coach Mart” to locate this form.
FMCA Member Business Cards
FMCAers have the opportunity to order specially designed “business cards” that they can share with people they meet as they travel. These cards identify the holder as a member of the Family Motor Coach Association. The cards are available in a standard black and red design. They may be ordered in the following quantities: 200 for $20, 500 for $25, and 1,000 for $30. These cards are not to be used for commercial purposes. Information about ordering these cards appears regularly in FMC magazine. In this issue, turn to the ad that appears on page 185.
Key Return Program
FMCA members have the opportunity to purchase key rings with the official FMCA logo and a key return provision on the reverse. The key rings are available from Kiley Mold Company, supplier of the official numbered FMCA membership plates, commonly known as goose eggs. These key rings may be purchased directly from Kiley Mold Company at a cost of $2.50 each, plus shipping. Members who purchase four key rings will receive a fifth one free of charge. An ad with a form for ordering the key rings appears on page 201 of this issue.
If a set of keys on one of these rings is lost and then found by someone and dropped into a mailbox, the keys will be returned to the FMCA national office. Anyone who loses a set of keys on one of these rings should report this to the FMCA national office at (800) 543-3622 and describe the keys so they can be identified if and when they are returned. If found, FMCA will mail the keys back to the owner at no charge. While it might not be a bad idea to place some identifying mark on the key ring, we would suggest that members NOT put their membership number on the tag, in case they are lost in proximity of one’s goose-egg-bearing coach.
Of course, one of the most valuable benefits of membership in FMCA is the long-lasting friendships that start, develop, and last and last. How else could you meet so many diverse people, all of whom share your interest in the exciting and rewarding motorhoming lifestyle?