Comments About Arizona State Route 89A
I’m not sure that Edward Wiseman, who wrote the letter in the February 2003 issue, was on the same State Route 89A that I have driven (“Mountainous Arizona Roads,” page 174).
We live in the San Diego area and drive to Sedona through Prescott and on to Flagstaff and back. We have done this eight or 10 times over the last 25 or so years.
We drive a 28-foot Roll-A-Long, and our first time over we were pulling a Toyota Land Cruiser. We had no real problems until we left Sedona for Flagstaff. The Land Cruiser was too heavy for the Ford 460 engine in our motorhome, so we unhitched the SUV and my wife drove it on to Flagstaff. On the way back to Sedona, I unhooked it again, because the brakes started to fade. Back then, no one knew about using auxiliary brakes for towed vehicles.
During our next few trips, we had a tow dolly with brakes, and the car was 3,000 pounds lighter than the Land Cruiser. During our last two trips, our towed car was a Saturn equipped with auxiliary brakes.
I agree about one thing: if you are in a hurry, don’t take 89A.
James & Zola Flynn, F139738
Lemon Grove, California
Solving Food Dilemmas
I am writing regarding Peg Kerbaugh’s letter about food issues (“Food Concerns Affect Socializing,” January 2003, page 22). My husband, Jim, has been diabetic for more than 10 years, and we have been full-timers for more than six years. We have several solutions when we go to eating events.
For potlucks, I always bring a dish he can eat. Thus, if nothing else is consistent with his dietary needs, he can at least eat what we brought. We have also found that if we make the dietary restrictions known, someone else is on the same regimen and brings a dish that can be enjoyed as well. Ice cream socials and honey bun breakfasts pose a different problem.
Although we are finding occasional ice cream socials that provide a sugar-free or low-sugar alternative, for the most part he cannot eat those foods. But just because he can’t eat the food doesn’t mean we don’t attend the function. We have found that most food events are low enough in price for us to attend even if the choice of foods that fit our dietary constraints is limited.
It seems the fellowship more than makes up for the limited amount of food we can eat. If we attend an event with very limited offerings, we will enjoy the event and eat a snack at home later. We have never found anyone’s feelings hurt because we do not partake of all food offerings. Most other participants have some dietary restraints and are in the same boat. Yes, you do have to be careful and not throw caution to the wind. It seems it is getting easier as technology creates more foods that can be enjoyed by people with dietary restrictions. We have found there is no need to quit attending food events just because of dietary restrictions.
Good luck and enjoy!
Patti Seim, F174242
I am also affected by food served at rallies. I agree with Peg Kerbaugh that many people could benefit from better food choices. After our last rally, I suggested that the food offered should consider folks who are overweight, have sugar problems, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. I also offered to arrange for a local hospital’s representative to make a presentation at the rally, but I think my idea was not well received.
I think FMCA president Jeff Jeffcoat also wrote about a related subject.
Harry Morgan, F279541
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
Editor’s note: In the October 2002 “President’s Message” column (page 6), Jeff Jefcoat discussed the dietary challenges inherent to the RV lifestyle. He also encouraged FMCAers to improve their diet and to exercise more, for fitness’ sake.
FMCA.com Article Goes To The Dogs
The recent article on the FMCA Web site, FMCA.com, titled “Canine Trio Is Crazy About Motorhoming,” was very interesting. We have a three-year-old female beagle named Maggie, and she is one of the main reasons for our purchase of a motorhome.
However, we find we like the motorhome better than she does. Her biggest complaint occurs as the motorhome is in motion. You can imagine the problem. If any other FMCA members with younger beagles (or other dogs) can share some travel tips with us, we’d appreciate it.
Tom & Pam Grossjung, F314987
Coral Springs, Florida
We felt very honored to be given a lifetime membership in FMCA. It was totally unexpected and we were overwhelmed by it. We gave a gift from our hearts to Habitat for Humanity and certainly never expected anything in return. So it is especially gratifying, and you have our heartfelt thanks.
Don & Wanda Fischer, L110294
Editor’s note: At its annual meeting in September 2002 in Hutchinson, Kansas, FMCA’s Governing Board voted to give an honorary lifetime membership to the Fischers. The Fischers, members of the FMCA Chapter: Habitat for Humanity®, donated the funds necessary to build a Habitat project house in Great Bend, Kansas.
Contacting Other Surf Side Owners
My wife and I purchased a 2000 Surf Side by National RV. We like our unit very much and are convinced it was a great value, even though National RV has stopped making them. We are curious how many FMCA members own a Surf Side, where they live, how they like it, and if they know more about them.
I tried checking for coach ownership info in the FMCA membership directory, but sometimes the entry just reads “National RV” and not “Surf Side.”
Dennis Whitcher, F289261
Editor’s note: FMCA policy prohibits us from giving out the addresses and phone numbers of members. According to our membership database, 16 members have listed themselves as owning Surf Side motorhomes. Many other members are listed under the general category of National RV motorhome ownership.
A good way to exchange information with fellow FMCA members who own your brand of coach is to join a chapter affiliated with that brand. Currently FMCA has several chapters devoted to National RV owners. Information about these chapters, including contact information, appears in the Chapter Directory in the January 2003 issue of the magazine, and also can be found online at www.fmca.com/chapters.
A Nice Upholstery Job
We had our motorhome’s sofa bed recovered in Tampa, Florida, not long ago. The material on our sofa had some age on it, and the sofa was in need of a face-lift. So, we went to Filmo’s Auto and Furniture Upholstery.
Mr. Filmo and his crew removed the sofa from motorhome, and we picked out Ultrasuede for its new covering. Mr. Filmo reworked the bed to add more support and made some refinements. We now have a very nice sleeper sofa that will last for years.
We liked the work so well that we removed the window treatment from the window near the sofa, and Mr. Filmo reworked the trim so that it matches the sofa.
This shop has been in business for about 35 years. Mr. Filmo and his crew can make your upholstery look new again. If you are in the Tampa area sometime and need upholstery work done by a pro, visit Filmo’s Auto & Furniture Upholstery, 7740 Palm River Road; (813) 621-3631.
John Blue, F248693
The letter by Stanley Whitney in the February 2003 issue (“‘Quick Stop’ RV Parks Needed,” page 24) was great. My wife and I agree.
We have been camping and motorhoming for about 40 years and are real sight-seers. Sometimes we cover 300 to 400 miles a day while traveling off the beaten path, and all we want is electricity and water hookups, as we stay only one night. We usually need a dump station every other day or so.
We don’t want to pay for a swimming pool, game rooms, horseback riding, bicycle rentals, etc. As Mr. Whitney states, we just want a simple pull-through with 30 amps to run our air conditioner or furnace.
It would be great to have a guide listing “no frills” campgrounds. Many of us are on fixed incomes and it would help us to “spread the wealth.”
We love your magazine.
Stuart & Phyllis Grossman, F132248
Editor’s note: Several books that include information about free or low-cost campgrounds are available in bookstores and through online booksellers. Among them are Don Wright’s Guide to Free Campgrounds: Eastern Edition and Don Wright’s Guide To Free Campgrounds: Western Edition (Cottage Publications, $18.95 each).
Campground Owner’s Suggestions
As a campground owner, I would like to suggest that every RV owner buy an electrical extension cord, a 50-foot water hose, and two sewer hoses. This will make their hookup jobs easier.
Newer campgrounds are building extra-large sites to accommodate larger motorhomes with slideouts. RVers are finding it difficult to hook into utilities with the small cords, water hoses, and sewer hoses that come with their motorhomes.
We are building some new campsites with two sewer connections. However, each RV manufacturer has its own idea of where to put the bathroom and the kitchen. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a campground owner to keep up with the changes in the industry. Buying these extra RV supplies will make for happier campers.
Black Forest Campground
Cedar Mountain, North Carolina
Monaco’s Service Appreciated
Monaco Coach Corporation recently purchased the assets of the company that built my diesel pusher. My motorhome manufacturer had treated me very well in the past. I was concerned about the service I would get from Monaco, especially since my coach developed a latent defect that would be very expensive to repair, and it was two years out of warranty.
I called Monaco and explained my situation. They asked for additional information and agreed to do the repairs.
We arrived at Monaco’s Oregon facility the evening before our appointment and checked in with the friendly 24-hour guard, who assigned us a campsite. Each site has 50-amp service and water. A dump station is available, as is a free laundry facility.
The guard informed us that the waiting room is open until 9:00 p.m., so we got the coach leveled and hooked up and went to check it out. It has giant leather sofas and chairs, and tables to be used for games or for eating lunch. Three e-mail stations with AC plugs line one wall, and there is a giant television.
A service representative is assigned to each coach, and the work to be done is scheduled and estimated. A technician is assigned to meet you at your coach in the morning to explain the day’s activities and drive the motorhome into the work area.
The coach is driven back to the campsite in the evening, and a discussion of the day’s success or lack thereof takes place. The technician answers questions honestly and outlines the next day’s work, and you never feel as though you’re being rushed.
Visiting a factory for repairs is usually worse than taking your in-laws on an RV trip, but Monaco has figured out how to make the experience tolerable. I, for one, appreciate the effort.
Todd Zeile, F70097
Palm Desert, California
We received our March issue of Family Motor Coaching and when scanning the articles, I found a familiar name in the article titled “The Traveling Coughenour Brothers” (“Family & Friends,” page 38). Aubrey, Charlie, and Clarence are my mother’s cousins. My mother, Virginia Rutz, would take me to visit my Aunt Minnie-May and her sister, Aunt Ethel. I have many memories of the old house at 607 S. Main St., with the magnolia trees in the front and walnut and pomegranate trees in the yard.
RVing must run in the family. My wife of 37 years, Judy, and I have worn out two motorhomes since 1977 and are currently enjoying our 1995 Southwind. Although we are not yet retired and live in cold northwest Indiana, we have traveled most of the East Coast, from Montreal, Canada, to Marathon, Florida. We enjoy the RV lifestyle and hope someday to see more of this great country of ours.
Please pass along this note to the Coughenour brothers along with a big hello from my parents, Alvin and Virginia.
Keep up the great work on the magazine.
Jim Rutz, F218851
St. John, Indiana
Happy With Response From Goodyear
We want to commend and express our sincere appreciation to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
This past fall we had the opportunity to compare Goodyear G159 tires to the new Goodyear G670RV motorhome-specific tire. The new tires are difficult to describe, unless you’ve actually tried them. The ride comfort is immediately noticeable, and the confidence level with handling is increased.
We recently had a minor problem with one of the new tires. The members in our camping club here in Florida found it hard to believe how quickly Goodyear representatives solved our problem. They understood the problem, resolved it promptly, and adjusted fairly.
A tire is not just a tire when it’s on a recreation vehicle. Owners take it for granted that they will get to their destination safely. It’s reassuring to know that when a tire problem arose, Goodyear was there promptly.
D. Paul & Karen Landry, F230354
Port Charlotte, Florida
Ford Service In Ohio
In mid-September 2001, we began having trouble with the brakes on our 1996 Pace Arrow Vision. To our dismay, it started late on a Friday afternoon.
We were towing a car, so my husband went into the nearest town, which was Kent, Ohio, looking for a garage that might help solve the problem.
We were fortunate that he stopped at Klaben Ford (1085-1089 W. Main St.). They are equipped with several bays with a lift that can handle motorhomes and have plans to add to this service. The service manager suggested that we have the motorhome towed to the service facility, where we could park for the night. He said they would look at it first thing in the morning. He was true to his word.
After spending several hours checking out the braking system, including bleeding them, he said they could find nothing wrong. Since it was a Saturday and they could not contact our warranty contract company, they charged us a very nominal fee. We have not had any further brake problems.
We were so impressed with their service that we made an appointment to stop there this year to have them check on a vacuum booster system that was mentioned in a service bulletin. After looking at the unit, they said the service bulletin didn’t pertain to our coach. Because this option was given to us while we were there in 2001, they did not charge us for the work.
If you have any problems with a Ford motorhome chassis while in the Kent, Ohio, area, we highly recommend that that you go to Klaben Ford. We are sure they will treat you with the same courtesy and respect that we saw them extend to all their customers while we were there.
David & Joyce Burgeson, F284945
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
While at the Western Area’s “Salute The Troops” rally in Indio, California, this past January, we visited a coin-operated laundry. Upon exiting the facility, we realized that the tire on the towed car was flat.
Luckily for us, Kennedy’s Tire Center (45-794 Salton St.) was within view, but extremely busy on that Saturday morning. A friend who has diabetes was with us, and it was right at the time when she needed to have an insulin shot and eat some food. I explained the situation to someone at Kennedy’s, and he cheerfully replied, “No problem “” I’ll have it done in 10 minutes.” In fact, in eight minutes the tire was repaired and back on the car.
Kennedy’s also sells and services motorhome tires. I hope this will encourage RVers to patronize this friendly, helpful establishment when in Indio. They saved the day for us.
Linda Downey, F121742
Florida Shell Games
We would like to warn all travelers to beware of a scam going on in Florida near the Georgia border on Interstate 75. A man invites you to see a guy who just won a lot of money in a scratch out. We thought he meant TV interviews or such. We went with the man, just for fun and curiosity. We shook the “winner’s” hand. A group of about five men were standing around, and they began to play a scam of three-card monte. We knew we should run away but felt absolutely hypnotized and “stuck” in place, surrounded by these men. Within minutes, we were robbed. I began yelling but was distracted by one man who said he had what had been taken. I turned toward him and the others simply disappeared among the cars and trucks, and, of course the man had nothing and ran away, too.
If anyone invites you to see anything, study his face and his clothes, and call the police immediately to report his presence.
Joe & Marsha Elowsky, F24378
Plainview, New York
Campground Comes Through
We started our annual winter travels from Washington state in early November and elected to tour the Oregon and northern California coasts as far south as Napa Valley. We decided to leave our coach around the Redding area while traveling home in our towed vehicle for Christmas. We chose the Red Bluff RV Park, C5300, in Red Bluff, California, and contracted for a month at a most reasonable rate.
What a stroke of good fortune! The Red Bluff RV Park is without a doubt one of the nicest and most well-maintained parks we’ve ever visited! The staff is friendly and makes every effort to satisfy its visitors. Upon heading home for Christmas, we failed to leave a key and also did not fully close down the ceiling vent in the bathroom. As luck would have it, severe storms hit northern California, with heavy rains and high winds that forced the ceiling vent fully open. An alert neighbor noticed and reported it to the office. We received a call from Debbie in the office that we could have serious water damage with the heavy rains. We over-nighted a key, and Debbie not only went in and closed the vent, but she picked up soggy bathroom rugs, cleaned up the water, and secured our coach again. She even went back when the weather cleared to open the vents and windows for air circulation. Debbie’s actions were totally above and beyond her normal activities, and they typify the overwhelming spirit and service that Red Bluff RV Park offers.
It’s alarming to be more than 600 miles away and have potential conditions that could damage our much-loved coach. But Debbie came to the rescue and alleviated our fears. We can’t say enough about the Red Bluff RV Park. You won’t find a nicer, quieter park anywhere, and certainly not nicer or more helpful people.
Wade & LeAnn Reece, F250928
Skilled Diesel Engine Repair
We were driving through Shreveport, Louisiana, on our way to a Blue Bird rally in Perry, Georgia, when the Caterpillar engine in our coach malfunctioned. We contacted Joey Garcie, shop foreman at Shreveport Truck Center, and made an appointment for 7:00 a.m. the next day.
The coach needed a remanufactured engine. Since it would take a few days, Joey suggested we stay at a local motel, which we did, at a considerable savings. He then found the proper engine and turned the project over to a mechanic named Dallas Bridges.
During those few days, we were able to observe Joey Garcie’s total devotion to his work and crew. His skill and his ability to work with people are tremendous. When they were unable to locate a rear engine mount, Joey manufactured one.
Dallas was very meticulous and efficient, and answered any questions we had regarding the job. Joey’s leadership ability and Dallas’ attention to detail made them an excellent team.
We thank Joey and Dallas and the entire operation at Shreveport Truck Center. We recommend them to anyone who might need help while traveling in that area.
Bill & Annie Dwyer, F173300
St. Petersburg, Florida
Our motorhome broke down because of a wiring harness meltdown. We were in Macon, Georgia, nearly 500 miles from our home in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
Repairs took 28 days, mostly because the wrong parts were sent to the dealer each time. We’re not sure whether this was caused by errors on the part of the dealer or Workhorse.
Because of the length of time involved, we had to spend money on car rental and other expenses. I provided Workhorse with a detailed description of what happened and furnished copies of all the receipts.
Workhorse contacted me and offered me a partial reimbursement that was more than fair. Actually, it was generous, because the expenses were in no way covered by warranty.
Workhorse has shown to us that it is a very fair company, concerned with its customers, and willing to accept some responsibility. This company will be around for a long time, and I’m sure the chassis they make will continue to return increased sales to them for their efforts.
Larry Yax, F160228
Fort Myers Beach, Florida