The “Great Architects, Great Houses” article in the November 2003 issue included two maps of Virginia “” one on page 117 and another on page 127. In both cases, that state’s Eastern Shore area was inadvertently omitted.
FMC regrets this error.
Organ Recipients Say Thank You, Too
I am writing to thank you so very much for printing the article that I submitted to the “Family & Friends” column. It was printed in the June 2003 edition of FMC magazine (page 50). The story was a “thank you” to the people who helped us during a terribly difficult time when our grandson Gabe was killed in an ultralight airplane accident.
I wanted to tell you that our daughter, Marci Sherwood, has heard from all of the recipients of Gabe’s organs. The folks who have written to Marci have shared their stories, not only about how the quality of their lives has changed dramatically, but also in two cases how their lives were extended. It has been very gratifying to know that Gabe’s death has given life to others.
Thank you again for helping us to publicly thank some very special people.
Marlene Curtis, F151002
Another Way To Save On Camping Fees
The November 2003 article titled “The Ins And Outs Of Campground Programs And Fees” (page 100) failed to mention a very good way to save on campground costs: become a campground host. Federal- and state-run parks usually provide free sites with hookups to campground hosts. More information can be obtained from www.nps.gov/volunteer or www.fs.fed.us/people/programs/volunteer.htm. These are only two sources.
Dennis Lower, F300976
Law Enforcement Volunteers Needed
I’m sure you are aware that the National Park Service (NPS) would shut down without its volunteer staff. At times the NPS has a need for volunteers with special skills, and this is one of those times. In 1995, after budget cuts in the NPS, we started a new position called “park desk officer.” The position began at Yosemite National Park and has now expanded to Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, with more to come.
The park desk officer takes reports about incidences such as auto accidents where there are no injuries; petty thefts; minor burglaries; auto burglaries; bear damage “” anything where there are no suspects or physical evidence and there would not normally be any follow-up by investigators. Because of the nature of the reports and initial investigation made by the desk officer, the NPS is asking for only volunteers who have a law enforcement background.
These volunteers can be couples, as long as one person has a background as a sworn police officer with at least 15 years of experience. We have openings for the park desk officer for the 2004 season and beyond. This person works a few days a week taking non-emergency police reports, along with other duties as assigned. The spouse may have other duties. The program frees the protection division ranger to handle the emergent calls for service.
The park service will provide an RV site up to 40 feet long with full hookups and will also pay propane costs. No housing is available. Required stay is 10 to 12 weeks at Yosemite, Yellowstone, or Grand Canyon national parks.
For a volunteer application or more information, contact me via e-mail at Glen_Stanley@nps.gov, or write to P.O. Box 577, Yosemite, CA 95389. Or, call the Traffic Management Office at Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-0600, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
National Desk Office Coordinator
Cummins Help In Kearney
While in Kearney, Nebraska, on our way to Cincinnati, Ohio, I fired up my coach’s diesel engine on a cold, crisp morning. The alarm sounded, and I realized the “Low Coolant” light was on.
Sure enough, the coolant reservoir, which is mounted next to the engine, was down to the empty mark. I had checked it two days before and it was okay. I concluded that I had a recently started leak. This is not a good situation for any engine, but doubly so for a diesel.
I checked to see if there was a Cummins shop in Kearney, found one in the phone book, and called and asked if they could help me locate the cause of the low coolant level. The service writer told me that they were loaded with work, but if I could get there shortly, they would do their best to help me.
Ten minutes later, after adding enough coolant to refill the reservoir to the proper level, I set out for their shop. When I got there, Tom confirmed that they were quite busy, but that Rollie would look at my coach as soon as he finished the job he was on. Fifteen minutes later, Rollie came to my coach, searched the engine compartment for leaks, and located one at the bottom of the radiator. A hose clamp was slightly loose. Although it normally would take a contortionist with slender hands to be able to reach the hose clamp, Rollie brought out the right-sized wrench, wiggled his hand around in there, and tightened the loose clamp. He assured me that was the only leak, so my confidence reached the necessary level, and away we drove.
The interesting thing is that Rollie was the service manager. He took time away from his managerial duties, not only to work on the truck that he fixed just prior to working on my coach, but he waved away the thought of billing me for what he said wasn’t enough to charge anyone.
Kudos to Cummins, special kudos to Cummins in Kearney, and extra-special kudos to Roland “Rollie” Foster, a genuine human being who takes pride in seeing to it that no Cummins customer goes without assistance when needed.
If you are in the Kearney area and need service or emergency help with your Cummins engine, I heartily recommend that you contact Cummins’ Kearney location at 515 Central Ave., Kearney, NE 68847; phone (308) 234-1994. It is off Interstate 80 at exit 272.
Jim Phillips, F158824
Florida Campground Recommendation
Jetty Park in Port Canaveral is practically in my backyard in central Florida, and I want to let everyone know about this jewel on the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you’re camping, fishing, watching a space launch, or just want to spend a day at the beach, Jetty Park is the place for you.
As you enter Jetty Park you pass through beautifully landscaped hammocks. To the left is the campground and RV park. As you continue into the park, you will notice a picturesque boardwalk leading to one of the finest white sand beaches in Florida. You then arrive at the shipping channel to Port Canaveral and a 1,500-foot-long fishing pier extending into the Atlantic Ocean.
The RV park at Jetty Park is more suggestive of an old-time state park, with more than 200 spacious sites, many of which are wooded. Sites are available with sewer hookups and 30- or 50-amp electrical service. Reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance of arrival, with a maximum stay of 21 days during the winter season. Small pets are permitted in RVs for a nightly fee.
Jetty Park’s pristine white sand beach runs nearly 1/2-mile along the Atlantic Ocean. The park is one of the best viewing sites for any space launch, including the Space Shuttle. It’s approximately 30 minutes away from the Kennedy Space Center.
The Malcolm E. McLouth fishing pier is one of the most popular spots on Florida’s east coast. It is fully lighted for nighttime use. A bait shop is located on the premises. If fishing from the shore is not your style, Port Canaveral’s thriving fishing industry offers visitors charter and scheduled fishing excursions into the Atlantic Ocean.
Several fine restaurants are located within the Port and in nearby Cocoa Beach. The Port has an extensive system of bike paths that meander throughout the area.
In addition to everything in the vicinity of Jetty Park, major Orlando area attractions are only an hour away.
Helpful and friendly staff are available to answer questions and make reservations. Contact Jetty Park at (321) 783-7111 or visit www.jettypark.com to see a campground site map.
Charles V. Eaton, F52000
Cape Canaveral, Florida
Winnebago Stands Behind Its Repair Work
In September 2002 I was caught in a violent windstorm, which peeled off part of the roof on my 1992 Winnebago Adventurer. I called Winnebago Industries and made arrangements to meet with their service manager and my insurance adjuster. I was provided with overnight camping on their premises in Forest City, Iowa, at no charge and scheduled the replacement of the roof a couple of months later, in November.
The replacement procedure was thoroughly explained to me before and after the work was completed. The work was completed in five days, as promised.
In August 2003 one of the pocket doors in the hallway came loose from the ceiling. I again called Winnebago Industries, and the customer service rep, Gary Meyer, informed me that their warranty period for this replacement had expired. I then took my motorhome to Northern Hills Homes & RV in Whitewood, South Dakota, to have the door repaired.
Northern Hills Homes & RV said the door had come loose because of faulty installation when the roof was repaired. I paid the repair bill for the door, but I again called Gary Meyer and explained the problem to him. He asked for a copy of my bill. Immediately after receiving the bill, Mr. Meyer called and said Winnebago Industries would reimburse me the full cost of the door repair: $406.12.
It is great to know that Winnebago Industries stands behind their service and products. I was treated promptly and courteously by Mr. Meyer. You can be certain my next motorhome will be a Winnebago product.
Orland D. Paulsen, F209313
Rapid City, South Dakota
I must report our recent most pleasant experience with Toyo Tire Company.
In early July we experienced a blowout on an inside driver’s side dual tire made by Toyo on our 2000 Country Coach Intrigue. I contacted FMCA’s emergency road service, and after awhile the A to Z Tire Company out of Wichita Falls, Texas, delivered and installed a new tire on our coach. (I paid for the tire, of course.)
The blowout tore up the wheel well and some superstructure, and after a few days we took the coach to the Buddy Gregg Motor Homes facility in Lewisville, Texas, for the necessary repairs. While we were there, out of a bit of paranoia I had all the tires replaced with larger, premium ones of a different brand.
Now for the good part. I had been told by someone that Toyo might be of some assistance, so I called their customer service number and was advised that indeed they were concerned but they would need to examine the bad tire and attempt to determine the cause of the failure. They paid the A to Z Tire Company to ship the tire to their California facility. Within a short time I was contacted by their insurance carrier concerning the structural repairs.
Later the insurance company followed up and said my claim had been accepted. I advised them that my insurance had paid for the repairs less the deductible, but that any help on the tires would be nice, whereupon the agent told me who to contact at Toyo about the tires.
Toyo not only paid me for the Toyo tire put on by the road service, but also paid for the six replacement “Brand X” tires, including mounting and tax. I told the Toyo rep that the new tires were another premium brand, but he said all Toyo wanted was for the customer to be satisfied.
I am still having trouble believing that customer service on this level even exists. You can bet I’ll be a Toyo booster from now on.
Dick Lindsay, F84605
Coach-Net Finds Great Repair Facility
While south of Middlebury, Vermont, we stopped to get fuel. When we restarted the motorhome and put it in gear, it would not move. We called Coach-Net emergency road service, and they said we’d have to be towed 100 miles to the nearest Workhorse service facility.
Coach-Net had arranged for us to go to Fogg’s Automotive in Scotia, New York. We arrived near lunchtime, and by 1:30 p.m. the mechanics were working on the problem. At about 4:00 p.m. we were informed that parts would have to be shipped from Workhorse; they arrived about noon the following day. By the end of that second day the motorhome was ready.
What impressed us was that on our first night there, they set us up with water and electrical hookups, gave us a courtesy car, and kept us apprised of the situation by cell phone. It was late in the day when we got the motorhome back, so they set us up to stay another night.
Both Coach-Net and Fogg’s Automotive deserve credit for their special service.
John Denholm, F304128
Great Texas Service
We would like to commend R&D Repair in Willis, Texas, for the great service they have provided us on both our towed car and our RV.
They have a specialist for each problem your car, truck, or RV may have. They are on State Route 75 North in Willis, only minutes from a Thousand Trails campground (Lake Conroe) and many other RV parks in the Lake Conroe Area.
James and Helen Willis, F306486
FMCA Mail Forwarding
Alaska Travel Information Wanted
I am planning to drive to Alaska this summer. I would like to hear about road conditions from RVers who have driven there in the past year. Are all the major highways paved and in good condition? Was gasoline expensive, and was it easily available?
Colette Daughtrey, F180228
Editor’s note: We encourage members to provide their personal observations, but we also would like to mention a popular authority on travel in Alaska and the Canadian Northwest: The Milepost. This guidebook contains information provided by experienced field editors who travel every mile in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and major routes in Alberta and British Columbia. The guide is updated annually with information about roads, food and fuel availability, sight-seeing stops, and much more. The 2004 edition of The Milepost will be shipped March 1. It can be purchased now for $25.95 plus shipping from the publisher at (800) 726-4707 (for Canadian orders, call 800-663-5714), or online at www.themilepost.com.
Service With A Smile (And A Southern Drawl)
We discovered an RV service center with a staff of talented and cordial individuals in Leesburg, Florida.
Covenant Coach Inc. is owned and operated by Terry, Sharon, and Todd Garrison. The shop is located at 3701 W. Main St. in Leesburg; phone (352) 314-2511. It occupies the former location of the Monaco Coach Corporation RV repair shop and has 10 service bays.
The shop had been in business for four months, but was fully functioning and accommodating to us. We had experienced a crack in the driver’s side windshield as we started to Naples, Florida, for the winter. When we called our usual service shop in the area, we were told that we could have an appointment in two months. They recommended Covenant Coach Inc., a new shop on our travel path.
The Garrisons gave us an immediate appointment, assisted us in our quest for a new windshield, and helped us locate the trim needed for that windshield. That service meant that three people stayed three hours after closing time to get us on the road again.
With full-hookup camping sites on the premises, the stay for repairs gives customers little hassle. The waiting room was delightful and cheery, with things to occupy folks as they waited for the repairs. A computer connection allowed us to receive e-mail messages from home.
Please consider this family-owned RV repair facility as you travel through the area. They are recommended for warranty work by Monaco Coach Corporation.
Lou and Pat Olson, F31142
If you are traveling in central Florida, one of the best service centers you can find is in Leesburg. It’s called Covenant Coach.
I have owned five motorhomes and have had service work done all over the United States. As a retired mechanic, I believe that Covenant Coach is the best facility I have visited for service. The mechanics who worked on my coach did an excellent job.
This upscale center services all makes and sizes of RVs. Don’t miss this one.
Frank and Anne Keating, F186238
Friendly Ford Folks In Indiana
Yesterday we were traveling in Indiana and heard a terrible noise coming from somewhere outside our motorhome. We decided to stop at the next rest area to check it out. I left the driver’s seat, and as I opened the door, I noticed the coach was still moving even though I had put it in park. I jumped back and hit the brake pedal, but it still wouldn’t stop moving. I checked everything I could think of. My wife and I changed places so I could go outside to see what the problem was. I found that we had a blown-out tire, but that didn’t explain the fact that the coach still would roll backward when the brake pedal was released, even though we had it in park.
My wife recalled that we had kept the FMC Business Directory from June 2002, which had a listing of all FMCA commercial member service facilities. We decided to call Mike Raisor Ford, C9309, in Lafayette , Indiana . I spoke to Tim Porter, the service manager, and he gave us directions to the Ford dealership. We explained that our motorhome had a Chevy chassis and what our problem was. He said he could help us, and we limped to the dealership.
As soon as we got there, they were very accommodating. They put on our spare, which solved the immediate problem with the tire. The brake problem was more serious. The brake drum was burned out. They had to check with the Chevy dealership down the street to see about getting new parts. They said they would connect us to electric and that we could stay in their parking lot for the night. A short time later, Tim came to tell us that they were able to obtain the parts that were needed and that they would install them in the morning.
By 7:30 a.m. the next day, they were working on our coach and soon had us on our way, or so we thought. We had hooked up our towed car and my wife discovered that we had no brake lights on either the motorhome or the car. I went back into the service area and explained our problem. Mac Ritchie, heavy truck advisor, and his associate, Dave Anderson, came out and worked another hour trying to find the problem. They assumed it was a blown fuse but had a terrible time finding the fuse box, and then had to determine which fuse needed to be replaced. Eventually they found the bad fuse, replaced it, and then had to modify the cover to replace it.
All the employees at Mike Raisor Ford worked tirelessly to see to it that all of our problems were solved in a timely manner. Their concern for our welfare was evident by their attitude. We wanted to let everyone know that if they find themselves with a mechanical problem and are near Lafayette , Indiana , they can depend on this dealership to do whatever is possible.
Ellwood M. Nelson, F293563
Vineland , New Jersey
An Open-And-Shut Case
If you are traveling near Yuma , Arizona , and have a problem with any window blinds, day-night shades, etc., contact Arizona Window Coverings and ask for Jim. Although the manufacturer will repair most problems at no cost, we must pay shipping (one way). The last time we needed a blind repaired, we waited six weeks for its return. This time we took it to Jim and had it back the next day, at a reasonable cost.
Jim also gave us helpful hints on tensioning and maintenance. All in all, it was a pleasant experience.
Lee & Barb Burnham, F207680
Courtenay, British Columbia , Canada