Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
The new FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide is now available to members. I hope you will take advantage of FMCA’s offer to send you a free copy of the revised FMCA atlas when you sign up a new FMCA member. This program is being reintroduced in this issue of Family Motor Coaching on page 37.
The FMCA atlas is not a typical road atlas. It has been designed specifically to meet the needs of motorhome travelers. It contains excellent road maps, but it has several additional features that I think you will find quite informative and valuable in your travels.
Our full-color atlas contains a comprehensive list of campgrounds, similar to those in major campground directories. The map identifies FMCA commercial member campgrounds, including those that offer discounts to FMCA members; other campgrounds that offer discounts; and campgrounds whose owners have indicated that their facilities are big enough to handle larger-sized motorhomes. For lack of a better term, the latter campgrounds are classified as “Big Rig Friendly.” All of these categories are pinpointed on the map with easily identifiable symbols. In many locations a single symbol appears, even though multiple campgrounds are available there. This is done for space reasons, and if you turn to the back of the atlas you will find the locations for each individual campground, categorized by state and then city. Each campground listing in the back of the atlas is accompanied by the symbol that delineates its type, as well as a corresponding phone number so you can obtain further information concerning facilities and availability. You certainly can refer to your favorite campground directory for detailed information about the campground should you desire to know more.
Wal-Mart Supercenters, Wal-Mart Stores, and Sam’s Club Stores
In addition to indicating Wal-Mart locations, we have included separate symbols in this edition to identify Wal-Mart Supercenter, Wal-Mart Store, and Sam’s Club Store locations on the state maps. In cities and towns that have both a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a Wal-Mart Store, a single “Supercenter” symbol is used. Another new highlight with this edition is the inclusion of more specific information on the inside front and inside back covers about the Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs located at interstate highway exits. The chart lists the city and state; the type of store; and the interstate and exit number of stores located in close proximity to the highways. Motorhome travelers have found Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations to be very supportive of their needs, both as a spot to stop and rest and as a consistent and readily available source for groceries and supplies that are essential to our travels. The large, well-lit parking areas at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations provide motorhome owners with ample parking space and shopping opportunities, so they don’t inconvenience other shoppers or need to unhook the towed vehicle.
Flying J Travel Centers
FMCA has long been a partner with Flying J and its Travel Centers. Flying J’s efforts in recent years to meet the needs of the motorhoming public have resulted in very desirable facilities where FMCA members can stop and refuel their coaches, get something to eat, or shop for convenience items. The company’s convenient motorhome islands offer propane, diesel fuel, gasoline, and dump stations “” a one-stop support center for the motorhome owner. Flying J’s discounts on fuel and propane only add to the pleasant experience. We have listed all of the Flying J locations on the maps in our atlas. The locations are some distance apart, so using the atlas will make it easier for you to plan for this type of stop.
Cracker Barrel restaurants
I regularly hear FMCA members talk about stopping at Cracker Barrel restaurants as they travel. I guess, as they say, it’s the kind of place where you and the family can sit down for home-style country cooking and take your time enjoying it. Most Cracker Barrel restaurants are located on major highway systems and are very convenient to interstate exits. They also offer motorhome parking in the rear, but because of the popularity of these restaurants, these spots are frequently filled with trucks or other RVs. We can’t promise you a parking space, but as a convenience to our atlas users, Cracker Barrel locations are highlighted on the maps.
I would like to summarize the changes that have been incorporated in this revised edition of the FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide:
- Plastic spiral binding.
- Front and back covers of heavier, more durable stock.
- Wal-Mart locations are differentiated as Wal-Mart Stores and Wal-Mart Supercenters, with an appropriate symbol for each.
- Sam’s Club locations are indicated by their own distinctive symbol.
- The inside front and inside back covers contain a chart that lists Wal-Mart Supercenters, Wal-Mart Stores, and Sam’s Club locations that are adjacent to interstate highway exits.
- A state locator map is placed in the banner area at the top of each state page. The locator map highlights the state featured on that page, as well as portions of the surrounding states and the associated page numbers where their information can be viewed.
- Unique “page tab buttons” have been added to each adjoining state map. These will help guide readers to the pages displaying a neighboring state.
Earn a free road atlas for recruiting a new member
How can you receive FMCA’s North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide? The best way is to recruit a new member to FMCA. When you recruit a new member after July 1, 2003, we will send you an atlas for free, in lieu of the $5 merchandise coupon you ordinarily would receive as a reward for your recruitment efforts. For any other new members you recruit during 2003 or 2004, you will receive a $5 merchandise coupon good toward FMCA logo products or Camping World merchandise.
You also may purchase the new FMCA atlas through the mail; by phone; or online at FMCA’s Web site, www.fmca.com. In each case, the official FMCA member price is $14.95 plus shipping. We also will be offering FMCA’s North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide at FMCA merchandise booths set up at FMCA international conventions and some area rallies.
Although you can purchase this atlas, we’d rather have you receive it for free. With that in mind, the Membership Services Department has prepared a packet of information we’re calling the “membership tool kit” for you to use in your recruitment efforts. This kit, which will be sent to you upon request, contains several sheets of information about FMCA and its history; details regarding member benefits; and membership applications. It also includes postcards that your prospects can send in to request further information about FMCA and to receive a free copy of Family Motor Coaching magazine “” the best recruitment product we have. Each of these recruitment items has a place for you to write your name and FMCA membership number, so that when the prospective member initiates an inquiry, they become your referral. To receive your membership tool kit, phone the national office at (800) 543-3622 and ask for the Membership Services Department.
Historically, FMCA’s best source for new members has been through recommendations from existing members. Last year 19,540 new members joined the Family Motor Coach Association. Forty-three percent of them “” 8,430 “” were recruited by existing FMCA members.
I once heard a business executive say that he did not want an individual who was not totally familiar with his business to represent it. Who better to represent our association than those who already are members and enjoy the experience and benefits? It was felt that we should do something special for our members to show our appreciation for your efforts and provide a fitting reward for your continual recruitment efforts on behalf of the association. We believe the FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide is a special product that expresses our appreciation. I hope that you receive one soon and that it assists you in your motorhome travels.