Learn more about your motorhome and the RVing lifestyle by attending one or more of the enlightening seminars lined up for the Buffalo convention.
By Doug Uhlenbrock
As thousands of motorhomers congregate at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, New York, for FMCA’s 70th International Convention July 18, 19, and 20, they’ll find plenty to see and do. Awaiting them will be hundreds of new motorhomes to inspect and test-drive; buildings filled with exhibitors displaying RV-related products and accessories to peruse and purchase; and many hours of great entertainment to enjoy. Attendees also will find, just as convention-goers did at FMCA’s first national gathering in Ticonderoga, New York, that there is always something new to learn about motorhoming.
Thirty-nine years ago, Charlie Owens, L44, led the first “seminar” at an FMCA convention: a discussion about citizen’s band radio. Later that day, Ray Fritz, L4, moderated another gathering, this one about layouts and fittings for converting coaches. From these first sessions evolved FMCA’s seminar program, which has become a principal element of every convention. These seminars offer motorhomers an opportunity to find answers to their questions, resolutions to their problems, and the latest information about the RVing lifestyle, all in one location.
If the “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” convention is your first, join FMCA executive director Don Eversmann, F240000, and FMCA commercial services supervisor Maureen Mullarkey for an “Orientation For First-Time Attendees.” Here you’ll receive an overview of the many activities offered at the Buffalo convention and find out about opportunities for fun and fellowship.
Mr. Eversmann also will lead two other seminars that pertain to FMCA membership. In a discussion of “FMCA & Member Benefits,” he will describe the many services available to FMCA members, as well as the association’s organizational structure. In “FMCA National Headquarters Support For Chapters And Area Organizations,” he will outline the role of the national office in assisting chapters and area organizations.
One issue that FMCA takes very seriously on behalf of its members is RV safety. That’s why FMCA has teamed with RV Alliance America, C95, to sponsor two seminars that it believes every member should have the opportunity to attend.
The “RV Safe Driving Course” is designed to help motorhomers sharpen their existing driving skills and present them with new defensive driving techniques. Those who attend the two three-hour sessions of this course will discover the importance of adjusting their driving style in darkness, while traversing mountains, and during adverse weather conditions. Both primary and secondary drivers are encouraged to attend this seminar, especially those who may be hesitant to get behind the wheel. Upon completion of the course, attendees receive a certificate that may qualify them for a discount on their insurance premiums; the terms and amount of the discount will depend on the state in which they live and their insurance company. A $10 fee is charged for the course, and registration is required. Those wishing to attend this classroom-only course can register beginning on Thursday, July 17, at 7:00 a.m. in the Information Center in the Lower Clubhouse.
Fire is another major safety concern for RVers. A small fire can engulf an entire motorhome in minutes. During the “Fire & Life Safety In Your RV” seminar, veteran firefighter Mac McCoy will teach fire prevention measures and explain what to do should a fire occur. You will learn how to test and use the dry-powder fire extinguisher in your motorhome and find out about other types of fire extinguishers and their uses. Mr. McCoy also will discuss the importance of having and maintaining detectors for smoke, LP gas, and carbon monoxide; talk about tire safety, engine and transmission overheating dangers; and explain how to escape a burning motorhome.
Safety is also a major consideration for those towing a vehicle behind their motorhome. During the “Towing Roundtable,” experts from towing equipment companies will discuss the types of towing equipment available; answer questions about vehicles that can be towed four wheels down; and provide towing advice. In a separate seminar, “Supplemental Towed Car Braking,” representatives from several supplemental braking companies will explain the importance of these products and how they work.
Whenever towing, it’s important to know whether your motorhome is capable of handling the extra weight of the towed vehicle in addition to its regular cargo. In a discussion of “RV Weight & Tire Safety,” presented by the RV Safety Education Foundation, C5999, you will learn about the different weight carrying capacities and what they mean; the importance of weighing your motorhome and proper loading; and how to buy a motorhome that will meet your needs without exceeding safety limitations.
The myriad mechanical aspects of motorhoming also will be addressed in Buffalo. Representatives from Ford, Freightliner, Spartan, and Workhorse will discuss maintenance and operation procedures for their chassis and answer specific questions. In addition, diesel engine experts from Caterpillar, Cummins, and Detroit Diesel will outline proper maintenance and field questions about these power plants.
While a motorhome’s automotive side requires special attention, so do its residential systems. Once parked, you expect to enjoy the comforts of home, whether you’re in an RV resort or a primitive campground. Seminars such as “Basics of Refrigeration,” “Generator Maintenance Roundtable,” “RV Inverter/Charger Systems,” and “Monitoring & Protecting Your Electrical System” will help you keep the “home” portion of your motorhome running smoothly.
Today, with the right equipment, we can browse the Internet; route a trip on the navigation system; and watch the big game on satellite TV, all at the same time. If you’d like to upgrade your current computer or satellite system or just learn how to make better use of these components, you can choose from several seminars led by experts in these areas.
Many chapter leaders have discovered how useful computers can be for disseminating information to chapter members. If you would like to develop a Web site for your chapter, Michael Canode, F13059S, will explain how to get started in a seminar titled “FMCA Chapter Web Sites.” Also, chapter treasurers and others can learn how to keep track of their group’s finances with the help of their computer in the “Quicken Workshop For Chapter Treasurers.”
Staying healthy is important to everyone, but particularly for motorhomers who may be hundreds of miles away from their primary physician. Travel long enough, however, and you’re bound to be faced by a medical situation that requires more than an aspirin or a bandage. In “Preparing For A Medical Emergency,” you will learn how to stock a first-aid kit; what safety equipment you should carry in your motorhome; how to properly store medication; and what medical documents you should travel with.
Kathy Staunton and Donna Black of the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic in Rochester, New York, will present “Bone & Breast Care For Women.” During this seminar, they will discuss breast cancer and osteoporosis risks; reveal recent advancements in diagnosis and treatment; and present the facts, dispel myths, and teach attendees how to safeguard themselves from these diseases.
Are you seeking relief from back, knee, or shoulder pain? Wayne and Dahelia Hunt, F235156, will present their “TravelFit” seminars to teach simple, effective exercises that can improve stability, strength, and flexibility. Members interested in beginning a physical fitness program can get started during the Hunts’ “Group Fitness” gatherings each morning.
Convention-goers interested in making a keepsake to take home from Buffalo can choose from 10 different craft seminars. Creating a mailbox planter; making a decorative pin out of yo-yos; and painting a faux finish on a picture frame will be three of the crafts offered. Space for craft seminars is limited, so make sure you sign up early for these seminars at the crafts table in the Information Center.
FMCAers looking for new places to explore outside the United States might want to sit in on separate seminars covering RV travel to Canada, to Mexico, and to other destinations around the world. In addition, those planning to attend FMCA’s 71st International Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, next March can obtain useful information in the “Albuquerque: It’s A Trip!” seminar.
As FMCA celebrates its 40th anniversary at the Buffalo convention, it’s likely that you’ve heard or read stories about the association’s founding at the Good Will-Hinckley School in Hinckley, Maine. But you might not know that the Good Will-Hinckley School is a 2,450-acre campus for at-risk boys and girls, ages 11 through 21, who, through no fault of their own, are unable to live at home. Jim Hennigar, Ph.D., F267030, who spent 17 years as the school’s executive director and is now its CEO emeritus, will present “Teaching Resiliency in Youth: Success Stories and Strategies from Good Will-Hinckley” to demonstrate the importance of teaching youth life skills and strategies to overcome negative experiences in their lives.
With more than 100 seminars scheduled, FMCA’s “Shuffle Off To Buffalo” convention will offer attendees an abundance of motorhoming information. Don’t miss these opportunities to broaden your RVing IQ.
Buffalo Convention Seminars
The following seminars were scheduled as of press time. Last-minute changes could alter the list. Please check your convention program for dates, times, locations, and seminar descriptions.
Advanced RV Satellite For Owners
All About Diesel Buses
All Coach Systems Are “Go!” — The ABCs Of How Component Management Systems Work
Aqua-Hot Heating System
Automatic Battery Charge Loads & Gen Set Starting System
Basics Of Refrigeration
Detroit Diesel Engine
Diesel Engine/Allison Transmission Supplemental Braking
Diesel Talk For NEW Diesel Owners
Diesel Talk For NON Diesel Owners
Driving With The Allison World Transmission
Ford Type A & Type C Chassis Maintenance
Freightliner Custom Chassis Preventative Maintenance
Generator Maintenance Roundtable
Hydro-Hot Heating System
Introduction To RV Satellite 101
Mobile Satellite Internet
Radial Tires Roundtable
RV Inverter/Charger Systems
RV Weight & Tire Safety
Spartan Chassis Maintenance
Supplemental Towed Car Braking
Workhorse & Chevrolet Chassis Maintenance 1 & 2
Albuquerque: It’s A Trip!
Alternative Medical & Nutritional Supplements
Before You Buy Your First Motorhome
Beautifying & Protecting Your Coach
Bone & Breast Care For Women
Chapter Secretary’s Roundtable On Leadership Attributes
Cleaning Holding Tanks and Lots More
Coach-Net Emergency Road Service
Computer Map Programs For Your PC
Concepts In RV Ladders
Designing With Appliques
Diesel Air Filter Maintenance
Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Computer
Don’t Go Without Velcro
Driving to Canada’s Northwest Territories
Financing Your Grandchild’s Education: A Primer On Next Generation Estate Planning
Fine Jewelry: An Investment
Fire & Life Safety In Your RV
FMCA & Member Benefits
FMCA Chapter Web Sites
FMCA National Headquarters Support For Chapters And Area Organizations
Get Away, Stay Connected
Habitat For Humanity Build Leadership Workshop
Help Desk For FMCA Computer Users
Hosting A Successful Rally
How To Organize Your Coach
MEDEX & Deductible Co-Insurance Reimbursement Benefit
Medical Emergency Air Transportation
Microwave-Convention Cooking Made Easy
Monitoring & Protecting Your Electrical System
Motor Coach Finance Center
New Electronic Diesel Engines
On Road Quilters
Orientation For First-Time Attendees
Preparing For A Medical Emergency
Quicken Workshop For Chapter Treasurers
RV Electrical Circuits
RV Safe Driving Course, Sessions 1 & 2
RV Travel & Habitat for Humanity — A Perfect Match
RV Traveling Worldwide
RVing In Mexico: Hints & Tips
Solo World Travel
Solutions And Safety
Static Off, Adventure On
Teaching Resiliency In Youth: Success Stories And Strategies From Good Will-Hinckley
The “Heart Of New York”
The Inside Scoop
Touring Mexico By RV
Travel to Canada
TravelFit & Back Pain
TravelFit & Knee Pain
TravelFit & Shoulder Pain
Variety Is The Spice Of Quilt Making
Water Filtration, Purification & Conditioning
What Is Ham Radio? An Introduction To Amateur Radio Operation From The Motorhome
What’s New In Wireless Communication
Where To Go: Buffalo
Whistle While You Work
Women On Wheels
Beaded Purse Necklace
Birds Of A Feather
Fabric Embossed Note Cards
Flower Cutting Board
One-Stroke Photo Album
Promise Quilt Wall Hanging
Fun, Games & Exercise
Fun & Fitness Walk Benefiting Habitat For Humanity
Square Dancing And Line Dancing