Thanks To Some “Beautiful” FMCA Members
After attending FMCA’s convention in Hutchinson, Kansas, we were on our way to a Tucson Drifters chapter rally in Branson, Missouri, where we were to co-host the event.
We entered the small town of Parsons, Kansas, approximately 80 miles from Hutchinson, and came to a stop at a light on Main Street. We then experienced an RVer’s worst nightmare. Our coach would not move forward or backward and we were creating a major traffic problem when the police arrived.
It was Saturday afternoon. We called for roadside assistance and were informed that it would be hours before they could arrive, and that we would have to be towed approximately 100 miles to the nearest repair facility.
As we stood at the corner of Main Street, a woman approached us and asked what was going on. Needless to say, we were very upset and willing to share all our problems. Within minutes, she called her husband and asked him to come and help move our coach.
I admit I did not believe he could tow our RV, because of its size, but Bill Wass, F317010, was full of surprises. Not only did he get us to safety, but he diagnosed the problem as a broken axle. We had nearly lost all of our rear wheels. Not only could we not travel, but we could have had a very bad accident.
While we waited for roadside assistance, Bill and his wife, La Veta, told us to cancel the towing, and that they would help us with the repairs. We were surprised, yet put our faith in these two wonderful people.
Early Sunday morning, Bill and a few friends removed the wheels, broken axle, and the bearings. The question was, where to go for replacement parts? Monday morning, Bill, La Veta, Tom, and I drove to Carthage, Missouri, for the axle and to Joplin, Missouri, for the other needed parts. By Monday afternoon, Bill and his friends were repairing our motor coach. By approximately 8:30 p.m., after a lot of hard work, they had us ready to roll.
My life will never be the same because of these beautiful people such as Bill and La Veta Wass, C.J. Wass, and their many friends. We were truly blessed to have met them.
Thank you, Bill and La Veta, for giving us so much of yourselves. If your travels take you to Parsons, Kansas, look up these fellow FMCA members.
Tom & Ruth Roubal, F261185
A Heartwarming Story
Please tell Jim Phillips, the Northwest Area national vice president, “thanks” for the very heartwarming story about Ioanna, the young lady who had cancer, and her faith in dealing with it (“Executive Notes,” October 2002, page 14).
I was asked to speak at my church on October 29, 2002. After reading the story, I had to share it with my congregation. It would not have done justice to tell it myself, so I read every word to give the full scope of the story. It touched all of our hearts to see the faith of this brave young woman. I know God will bless Jim and his wife for their contribution in Ioanna’s life.
James Smith, F158682
Food Concerns Affect Socializing
Our overall experience with campground activities has been good, with one exception. We would like to hear about how other diabetic or nutritionally concerned people handle all of the gala food events. Most of us now are in an age bracket where, unlike some younger people, we need to be mature enough to stifle that inner voice that wants us to throw caution to the wind. Ice cream socials, spaghetti suppers, honey bun breakfasts, potluck dinners, and one-price meals that include items we cannot eat impacted our choices for socializing. We wonder how many other RVers are affected?
Peg Kerbaugh, F273963
Keene, New Hampshire
The Hi Plains chapter of FMCA recently held a rally at the Hot Springs KOA in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and we would like to recommend this area and RV park to others in FMCA.
The park’s facilities are able to handle large groups, and the staff prepares tasty meals at a very reasonable cost. They even provided a clubhouse for our use and shuttled our group to all kinds of local attractions. They were very accommodating to all our needs.
We highly recommend Hot Springs KOA (800-562-5903).
Monte & Andra Thomason, F275404
In this publication, as well as others, I frequently see questions regarding which cars can be flat towed, whether braking devices are needed, and how to wire the lights of the towed vehicle. I think I have solved these problems with the most cost-effective and convenient method.
I was able to purchase a one-year-old car dolly equipped with electric brakes for about half the price of a new dolly. Thus, the braking problem is resolved with no modification needed for the motorhome (except the addition of a trailer brake controller), and nothing installed on the towed vehicle.
The taillight situation was easily resolved with a set of diodes available at any RV supply outlet and a set of wires run under the towed vehicle to a connector that plugs into the dolly’s lighting circuit.
It takes me less than 10 minutes to hitch up and connect and likewise to disconnect. When not in use, the tongue end of the dolly rolls under the back of the motorhome, so only a few extra feet of space is needed.
The cost for this was less than a tow bar, lighting setup, and brake controller. Plus, the only necessary modification to the towed vehicle is the taillight wiring, and even that could be avoided with the use of magnetic-based towing lights (except that so many newer cars have plastic rear bumpers). Any front-wheel-drive vehicle weighing 3,500 pounds or less can be towed this way easily with no need for transmission precautions.
I’ve towed two different vehicles more than 15,000 miles with no problems. I don’t think I’d want to do it any other way.
Don Glucksman, F313143
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
Thoughts About Motorcycles And Campgrounds
I read with interest Walter Crowther Jr.’s letter concerning anti-motorcycle campgrounds (“Motorcycles Not Welcome At Some Campgrounds,” October 2002, page 20). Being an avid motorcyclist for more than 30 years, I have experienced discrimination, too, and would like to share my thoughts.
Motorcycles are a recreation vehicle in the truest sense. Although there isn’t too much one person can do about unfair treatment, there is something he or she can do as part of a group. Just as motorhomers have FMCA, motorcyclists have the American Motorcycle Association. I encourage all motorcyclists to join. The AMA has been in the forefront of ensuring that motorcyclists’ rights are kept intact. AMA members can report discrimination and, because they are part of a team of more than 250,000 members, they can, and do, make a difference.
Contact the AMA at (800) 262-5646 or visit www.ama-cycle.org.
Joe Osga, F267651
Freelton, Ontario, Canada
I’ve owned or operated RV parks in Florida for more than 22 years. For the past nine years, I have been president of the Florida Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.
I can understand that there are some quiet motorcycles and owners who cause no problems. I had 5,800 bikers in my RV park near Daytona during Bike Week and certainly know the difference. But rules are rules, and if a park does not allow motorcycles, they have to enforce the rule equally for everyone.
While some RV parks have problems with motorcycles, the truth of the matter is in the law. If a park does not allow motorcycles, they cannot make an exception for a quiet bike owned by one park guest.
Joe Striska, President/CEO
Florida Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds
We read with interest and would like to respond to the letter from the writer opposed to traffic roundabouts (“Roundabouts: The Latest Restriction?”, November 2002, page 24).
We’ve just returned from vacationing and visiting with family and friends in Germany and Holland. During our three weeks there, we drove both the autobahns and the local roads, encountering many roundabouts.
In our experience and observations, roundabouts effectively slowed traffic, yet the traffic was always moving — thus avoiding lines of traffic waiting for the light to change. Roundabouts eliminate the need for traffic lights at intersections and the problems of accidents caused as a result of running the red lights. We observed large commercial trucks easily driving through.
We might add that several blocks from our house here in Florida is a roundabout that effectively handles heavy traffic — including 18-wheelers — on a busy six-lane street. It even has a large office building in the middle.
Perhaps the roundabouts being built out West need to be modified to handle larger vehicles. However, if they are properly designed, roundabouts do work great and handle traffic more safely.
Klaas & Frances Vietje, F90394
Road Repair Needed In Many Locations
Previous issues of FMC have contained letters from FMCA members complaining about Interstate 10 in Louisiana. (“Road Ratings,” January 2002, page 226, and “The Best ‘Worst’ Interstate,” April 2001, page 195).
Being a lifelong resident of Louisiana Cajun country, this bothered me, and I thought about it while on a recent trip. While traveling we made notes about the more memorable parts of our route. The writers may be from some of these areas or have been on some of the same roads. Here are our impressions:
- Interstate 35 south of Oklahoma City: “rock and roll”
- Interstate 90 from Billings, Montana, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota: “I don’t think so”
- Interstate 29 south of Sioux Falls: “bad news”
- Interstate 70 from Kansas to St. Louis, Missouri: “not made for human use”
- Interstate 55 from St. Louis south: “home of the thrown hubcaps”
- I-55 south through Mississippi: “The South will rise again and fall and rise and . . . ”
Now, not every mile is bad, but people in Louisiana and the other states are working all the time to correct road problems. Unfortunately, many of Louisiana’s roads are in low areas where it’s impossible to stabilize the soil upon which they are built. Eventually they sink and break; in addition, the influx of heavy trucks, such as those using I-10, is causing major problems.
I hope RVers who travel through our state will not wear blinders — like those my daddy put on his mules so they couldn’t look right or left — and miss the beauty, culture, and very friendly folks who live along some of the alternate routes that travel through some charming small towns.
Try us again, and stay awhile.
Jerry Begue, F250482
Owners Manual Needed For Citation Motorhome
I have recently purchased a 1987 Citation Excella 34-foot type A motorhome. I was unable to get any owners manuals with this unit. I understand Citations were manufactured in Ontario, Canada.
I would really appreciate it if anyone could provide me with information about these units. I can be e-mailed at the address below.
Vaughn C. Ramsay, F287056
Waskada, Manitoba, Canada