Towed Vehicle Corrections
The “Towables For 2003” article (January 2003, page 66) contained inaccurate information about the Dodge Dakota 4×4. The listing should have indicated that both the manual and automatic transmission versions of this four-wheel-drive vehicle can be flat towed without modification.
In addition, since the article was published, FMC has learned that Mercedes-Benz USA is now advising that none of its automobiles should be flat towed. This is contrary to information we previously received from the company for the “Towables For 2003” article.
FMC regrets these errors.
Minot Is In North Dakota
I just received my February 2003 magazine, and while looking through it, I found an error in the “Association Calendar.” On page 164, under “International Conventions & Area Rallies,” the convention slated for August 16, 17, and 18, 2005, at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds is going to be hard to find in Minot, North Carolina.
I know that the convention is still 2-1/2 years away, but I don’t think it is possible to relocate Minot, North Dakota, to North Carolina, nor will the residents be happy to move.
I hope this puts a smile on your face and that a big map will be available to find the right locations for conventions.
Max McCormick, F254573
On page 52 of the November 2002 issue is a photo of a “mystery coach” — an unidentified older motorhome built long ago. The caption asked whether any readers might know something about its origin. I believe that I and my family know about it.
When I was a junior in high school, in 1938, I remember looking at that coach as it was built. The builder was a man named Manley Crowell who lived in Forestville, New York. He built it in his workshop on the banks of Walnut Creek. The coach was constructed on a REO truck chassis.
Manley and his wife traveled to Sarasota, Florida, each winter where, we children were told, they were employed picking oranges. They made a trip or two using a trailer until he finished the motorhome. I used to walk past his shop on my way home from school. He would let us look at it, but we were strongly cautioned not to touch it. I do not recall the small windows near the top of the vehicle, but they could have been added later. (Couldn’t be that after all these years my memory fails me.)
We are new members of FMCA, and Manley’s coach is a far cry from our Airstream Land Yacht. But to him and those like him, we surely owe a debt of gratitude.
Norb & Helen Ostrye, F315553
The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma, displays a coach just like this one. I have a photo of it. The one in the museum belonged to Mae West and appears to be a 1929 model. I can’t recall any more details, but you can contact the museum.
Ron Collins, F272132
Editor’s note: Wanda Queenan, curator of the National Route 66 Museum, confirmed that the motorhome in their collection is from 1929 and that it has ties to Mae West. It also looks very similar to the coach in our photo, but is lacking the canvas “pop-out” platform. The name “Stewart” is on the radiator of the coach in the museum; Stewart was the name of a truck manufacturer long ago. The grille is not clear in the photo we published. Whether it is the same as the one at the museum is still anyone’s guess.
Invitation To The Northeast Area Rally
FMCA’s Northeast Area is staging its 2003 area rally on beautiful Prince Edward Island, Canada, July 24, 25, 26, and 27. The rally masters extend a special invitation to all. If you enjoyed the Cabot Rally in 2000, which followed the FMCA convention in Brunswick, Maine, you’ll love “Cabot 2003.”
The FMCA international convention in Buffalo, New York, takes place just one week prior to our area rally, so we won’t have the usual vendors and display coaches. However, we do promise plenty of fun and relaxation. The rally will be held at Cabot Beach Provincial Park, along picturesque Malpeque Bay with a beautiful ocean view.
Because there aren’t many buildings on the property, most of the rally activities will take place under a big tent. It is a sight to behold.
The Island Chefs will be back to hold seafood-cooking demonstrations, and you’ll get to sample the results. We’ll also have PEI folklore presentations; a few surprise seminars; and a Mad Hatters Tea for the ladies. Our big flea market and craft sale will take place on Saturday morning — so bring your goodies to sell. Island artists and others will be showing their wares.
“Anne of Green Gables” will be at our RV Alliance America ice cream social, which will include Canada cake. We’ll have the usual coffee and muffins each morning, and we will be serving a seafood chowder lunch and an appetizer of Island mussels. On Sunday morning, the congregations of three local churches will gather with us for an interdenominational service.
Four evenings of entertainment will commence with our pre-rally Kitchen Party on Thursday evening. Several local tours will be available as an option to rally-goers, including two tailored specifically to our rally. Tour information will be included in the rally confirmation package.
The registration form for this rally was published in the February 2003 issue of FMC and will appear again in the April and May issues. You also may register online at FMCA’s Web site, www.fmca.com. Should you require additional information, please contact the rally masters: Don and Shirley Nauss, (506) 386-8032, e-mail: [email protected]; or Ed and Carolyn Beers, (506) 850-5699 (cell) any time, (506) 384-1487 after April 26, e-mail: [email protected]
We invite everyone to “Come play on our island” — the place to be in 2003.
Carolyn Beers, F69979
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Taking On “Myths”
I wholeheartedly agree with most of the points stated in the February 2003 article titled “Dispelling Diesel Myths” (page 65), but coming from a trucking background, I would like to comment on the remarks made concerning the idling of long-haul trucks.
First of all, many long-haul trucks are owned and operated by the drivers, so fuel costs and engine repairs are a big concern to them. Secondly, I don’t know of any owners who gauge a driver’s performance on engine-hour usage. Most drivers are paid either on a mileage basis or a percentage of the revenue each load produces.
Frankly, the statement about sleeping longer and driving faster was puzzling and just does not apply to or account for truck idling activities. The main reason trucks are idling in rest areas and truck stops is the simple fact that the engine is the energy source for the heating or air conditioning in the cab of a sleeping driver. Trucks generally do not have generators or shore power hookups common to motorhomes and campgrounds.
I am responding to technical editor Jim Brightly’s statements about synthetic oil in “Dispelling Diesel Myths.” Many long-haul truckers and RVers, who have logged hundreds of thousands of miles, use synthetic oil and will testify to the fact that they not only save many dollars in the long run, but also greatly improve the performance of the engines, transmissions, and differentials in which they are used. Many farmers, heavy-equipment operators, and people in the various racing fields will also agree that they wouldn’t use anything else. Each year, more production autos are coming out of the factories already equipped with synthetic fluids, because of their superior performance capabilities.
We and many of our friends, who run both diesel- and gas-powered motorhomes, are totally devoted to synthetics (I’m talking 100 percent synthetics, such as Amsoil), and would not use anything else. Their use is safe as long as you use the recommended grade of oil for your engine. Also, filters are available on the market other than the manufacturers’ filters, which can be used, and many of them are better than the manufacturers’ filters. The combination of good synthetics and superior filters allow for a more extended drain period, which saves money and has proven time after time that it can enhance engine and drivetrain performance.
It is important to know that the 100 percent synthetics available today are American-made, environmentally friendly, and help reduce our dependency on foreign oil.
Stanley Davenport, F201393
Moore Haven, Florida
We were traveling in our 2001 Chinook Destiny motorhome from Connecticut to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Shortly after we started our trip, an alarm indicated that the house battery had lost power. The battery connections all were tight. We contacted the customer service department of Trail Wagons Inc., the Chinook manufacturer. After we told Mike about the symptoms, he said the battery separator was probably malfunctioning. He said we should stop at the nearest Chinook dealer, the Super 1 RV Center in Conyers, Georgia.
Although we arrived a couple of hours early for our appointment, the service department looked at our problem immediately. The people at Trail Wagons already had contacted Super 1 and told them about our situation. Mike was right; the coach needed a new battery separator. The only problem was that it had to come from the supplier, Sure Power Industries in Tualatin, Oregon. We paid for overnight shipping.
The service department installed the part and checked it out, and we were on our way west by noon.
The cooperation between Trail Wagons Inc., Super 1 RV Center, and Sure Power Industries was outstanding, and we thank them all.
Charlie Pedler & Meredith Speers, F287940
Help From A Hotel
While on our way from St. George, Utah, to Las Vegas, Nevada, this past November, we pulled into the parking lot of the Eureka Casino and Hotel to have breakfast. When we got out of the motorhome, we found a fire starting under its hood. We used at least five fire extinguishers before the fire fighters arrived to put it out. The motorhome was in very bad shape, with fire damage under the hood and on the dash, and broken windows.
Before the fire was even out, a woman from the hotel named Tysha had people tell us they had a room for us. The Eureka Hotel wound up giving us four free nights, and even let us have our dog in the room, although they are a no-pet hotel. They would not even take any money for the phone calls we had to make to our insurance company, family members, and so on.
Any FMCA members traveling near the Eureka Casino and Hotel, located off Interstate 15 (exit 122) in Mesquite, Nevada (800-345-4611), should give them their business. People like them who step up and help others made us feel like we were not out there alone.
Patricia Bryant, F87268
FMCA Mail Forwarding
We commend Spartan Motors Inc. for the outstanding service they gave us. Engineer Murali Balasundram diagnosed a difficult problem for us, and it was repaired in a timely and efficient manner. He and everyone we dealt with at Spartan went out of their way for us. It was a very positive experience.
John & Doreen Pavey, F86820