Microwave Manual Sought
I recently purchased a 1991 Barth motorhome containing a Sharp convection-microwave oven, model R-9H81B, manufactured in November 1990. There was no operating manual for the oven in the coach when I took delivery.
We’ve called the Sharp Electronics Corporation and various Sharp dealers throughout the country and their response has been that manuals for this older model are no longer available. If anyone has one and would consider photocopying it, please contact me at (360) 691-2532 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Harold A. Berge, F152392
Searching For Cobra Discoverer Manual
I recently purchased a Cobra Discoverer type B motorhome built on a Ford V-8 Econoline chassis. I’m looking for an owners manual for the coach and copies of any other information that may be available about this model. I was able to purchase an owners manual for the Ford chassis through Faxon Auto Literature. If anyone can help me, please contact me and include your phone number.
Lucille M. Taylor, F89857
More To See In Idaho
I am a new member of FMCA and, much to my surprise, the second copy of FMC magazine I received included a story about an area I’m quite familiar with, since my mother lived in Twin Falls, Idaho, for 40 years. I thought I could pass on some helpful information not mentioned in the article (“Mountain Adventures In The Heart Of Idaho,” September 2003, page 106).
At the Interstate 84 and U.S. 93 interchange is a Flying J center that has better-than-average gasoline and diesel fuel prices. This is important, because Idaho has some of the most expensive fuel in the United States. Also on U.S. 93, 1 mile north of I-84, is the Twin Falls/Jerome KOA. Be sure to call ahead, since this campground is always very busy, and actually closes during some parts of the year. Follow I-84 west of U.S. 93 to exit 168 and you’ll find the only Wal-Mart in the area.
While the Ketchum/Sun Valley area offers those interested in fine dining a plethora of opportunities, Twin Falls has fewer choices, but there are several worth mentioning. There’s the Yo Yo Café (they serve an exceptional breakfast and lunch), and Rock Creek Restaurant. On Blue Lakes Boulevard is a Perkins Restaurant & Bakery that has great service, really good food, and a cheerful atmosphere. There’s plenty of parking, too.
Leaving Twin Falls, going west, avoid the interstate and enjoy the drive along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway (U.S. 30), which stretches between Twin Falls and Hagerman. When you reach Hagerman, stop in at Sligar’s 1000 Springs Resort, which offers an indoor “hot springs” pool and a campground. They do offer senior discounts. The telephone number is (208) 837-4987.
Robert Haydon, F331155
Twin Falls, Idaho
Marvelous Time At The Grand Canyon
We want to express our sincere appreciation to the fine folk at Canyon Gateway RV Park in Williams, Arizona. We called for reservations for a three-night stay, and they asked if we planned to visit the Grand Canyon. Our positive response was met with the suggestion that we consider using Marvelous Marv’s Private Grand Canyon Tours.
We reviewed the Marvelous Marv’s Web site and made reservations for the tour.
Upon our arrival at Canyon Gateway RV Park, we were escorted to a site with a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains. The gentleman who guided us noticed our traveling companion, a 4-year-old shih tzu dog, and recommended a local doggie day care kennel. We drove the towed car into Williams and found the day care facility. It was immaculate. The owner, who is also a groomer, took our request for the day of boarding and also agreed to groom the pup. What a deal. At home we must make grooming reservations three weeks in advance, and next-day service is nonexistent. The best part of the deal was that the owner of the doggie day care facility came to the RV park at 7:30 the next morning to pick up the dog.
The day at the Grand Canyon with Marvelous Marv and his wife, Magnificent Maggie, was unbelievable. Our two hosts answered every question and gave us an amazing amount of information on the history and geology of the canyon. Their 12-passenger van was small enough to allow conversation and questions during the ride up and back. When we arrived at the Grand Canyon, Marvin and Maggie led us to several little-known viewing locations and even took photos of us with a digital camera. The disk full of photos was a free gift at the end of the day.
If you plan to visit the Grand Canyon or are just passing through Williams, Arizona, you won’t find a finer place to stay than Canyon Gateway RV Park (520-635-2718). Words cannot do justice to Marvelous Marv, Magnificent Maggie, and their tour (800-655-4948).
Bob & Laura Snyder, F314238
Bella Vista, Arkansas
Thoughts About Towing
I believe towing four wheels down would be the overwhelming preference of most people who tow a vehicle if it were not for the fact that one must have a great deal of conviction and tenacity to arrange for everything that needs to be done to accomplish this. A few vehicles are towable from the factory, but even these require the owner to determine whether a base plate and tow bar are available, and to find the right towed car braking system. Then, of course, one must find someone qualified to install these parts, do the electrical wiring, and match everything to the motorhome.
The problem becomes more complicated when the so-called towable vehicle does not meet your requirements. Then you must determine whether it can be made towable with aftermarket accessories, such as driveshaft disconnects or lube pumps.
Finally, when it’s time to buy a new towed car, the owner has to deal with the fact that he or she has modified the old one.
I wonder why most, if not all, of these towing accessories cannot be added by the auto manufacturer. The major auto companies currently offer towing packages for trailer towing on certain vehicles; why don’t they offer car packages for motorhomers?
It seems to me we need to let the manufacturers know the type of vehicle we would like to see produced for this purpose. Do we really want or need a 2-1/2-ton vehicle that can climb the rockiest terrain in the outback? Or do we want something that doesn’t require a stepladder to enter, with ample room for generous-sized adults, and some storage capacity?
We look for “creature comforts” when selecting a motorhome, so why must selecting a towed car be such an ordeal, and why must we repeat this ordeal when the car needs to be replaced?
Sam Browne, F319896
Victor, New York
MEDEX Comes Through
The MEDEX Plus emergency medical assistance program for FMCA members is a free benefit we all may have read about, but are not sure what it entails. It also is one benefit that we hope we will never need.
I recently had two heart attacks and had to undergo open heart bypass surgery. My wife and I knew about the program but were not sure how it would work in our situation.
We were told by my doctors that the only way that I could travel the 2,000 miles necessary to get back home was to fly. The only other option was to stay in Arizona for at least 12 to 16 weeks so that I would be able to drive our motorhome with the car back to Iowa. The only problem then was the return of our motorhome and car.
When my wife called the toll-free MEDEX phone number and explained our situation to them, she was well received and was told that there would be no problem. The MEDEX representative said that they would make arrangements to get the vehicles back to Iowa just as soon as they got confirmation from my doctors on my condition. After getting the confirmation that I was unable to travel by ground transportation for any distance, they immediately contacted a transport company to have a driver take our vehicles back to Iowa. The MEDEX representative who handled our case called us almost every day to be sure things were going as they should. MEDEX paid for our airline tickets and even paid for the cab fare to the airport.
The driver who returned our vehicles for us was excellent. He even took care of minor repairs on our tow dolly that were required en route.
If any FMCA members find themselves in a situation similar to the one that we were in, I highly recommend that they contact MEDEX.
Terry Edens, F251133
New Exhaust System Provides More Power
I looked around for an exhaust system for my 1992 Ford 460 engine and found a shop called Scott’s Headers & Mufflers in Beaumont, California (125 E. Sixth St., 909-845-3996, www.hdrinfo.com), which has been in that location since 1977. Scott installs aftermarket headers, mufflers, and yes, even catalytic converters designed to provide increased power and better gas mileage at a reasonable price.
When I went to pick up my motorhome after this work was done, Scott had it on the lift so I could inspect the job. The workmanship and the layout of the components and the welding were great. I took pictures so I could show it off to other motorhome owners.
The power was great when going up the mountains to Big Bear City, California (7,000 feet). I have not driven the motorhome far enough to test the mileage, but Scott does guarantee his work.
John & Jane Grimson, F71593
Big Bear City, California
Finding Wiper Blades
If the wiper blades on your motorhome need to be replaced, here’s some information that you might find useful. My motorhome uses a 32-inch wiper blade. Unfortunately, you cannot go to the local auto parts store to get a refill, because these new blades are not refillable. I called the motorhome manufacturer parts department and was quoted a price of $58 each for the wiper blades.
I called three motorhome dealers, four truck centers, and four auto parts stores, but no one carried this blade or even had a listing in their parts book.
I went on the Internet and found the home page for Trico Products. They list blades to fit nearly every motorhome, but they sell only to distributors.
After some searching, I discovered Truck Part Services Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. They have the Trico 32-inch blades in stock at a price of $32 each plus tax and freight. If you need these wiper blades or any other hard-to-find blades, call Mark Butler at (704) 596-8311 or fax him at (704) 652-0777.
I hope this helps others who own a motorhome that uses the larger, 32-inch wiper blades.
Steve Rice, F277906
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Deductible Reimbursement Benefit Appreciated
This letter is to advise all FMCA members about one of the best benefits that come with our dues.
My wife, Cynthia, and I have been business owners for more than 35 years. We use our coach for some business trips. I belong to several boards and serve on several associations, and we are members of other groups.
I became very ill while we were in New Orleans, Louisiana, this past March; I could not drive or even get up off the floor of the coach. I was rushed to the emergency room, not knowing what was wrong. Of all things, it was an inner ear infection that had caused damage to the bones inside my ear and made me violently ill.
At the time it did not dawn on us to even think of any FMCA benefits that would have helped in the situation, even though our hospital emergency costs were well over $5,000.
During our trip back home I said, “Doesn’t FMCA have something that helps pay for medical expenses when away from home?” As it turned out, FMCA does “” the Deductible and Co-Insurance Insurance Reimbursement Plan.
I would very sincerely like to thank FMCA for the help and the check we just received. Not one of the other many associations we belong to offers this type of service. Many organizations just want your dues and don’t provide much in the way of benefits.
When I get the next renewal notice for my FMCA membership, I am going to re-up for life.
By the way, the KOA in River Ridge, Louisiana, also was extremely helpful to us in our emergency.
Steve Ecton, F287228
Heber Springs, Arkansas
Potential Full-Timers Seek Insurance Tips
We are looking for information from full-time RVers. We are in our early 60s and want to go RVing full-time, but we are concerned about health insurance. Once we leave work, we will no longer have health insurance.
We have talked to many full-timers about this, but they are either old enough to be on Medicare or their health insurance is a retirement benefit. We do not fit in either category. We would like to hear from any full-timers who are in our situation to learn how to obtain health insurance.
Janet Barrett, F222868
39 Tilton Ave.
Lunenburg, MA 01462