Everyone’s A Volunteer
Members of the FMCA Palm Beach Gold Coasters chapter are privileged to manage and maintain the entertainment tent for the Southeast Area Rally. Our duties require us to arrive at the rally site in Brooksville, Florida, at least three days in advance, and many of us arrive as much as two to four weeks early to assist with anything that is needed.
One of the major rally responsibilities includes unpacking and setting up the seats in the entertainment tent, maintaining seat areas for volunteers and special groups, and folding and recrating the seats, all according to fire and safety specifications. We use approximately 4,000 chairs for the event. These are very time-consuming, thankless activities that are essential for a successful rally.
This year I want to specially thank everyone who helped set up, particularly the tram drivers who could not complete their projects in the rain and came to the tent to help us set up chairs, as well as all others who cheerfully joined in.
Now for the biggest thanks of all. For the past two years, the Southeast Area president has asked those attending the final evening of entertainment to help us by folding and crating the chairs as they leave the tent. What an awesome sight. Not only did everyone help willingly this year, but they started during intermission and finished following the program.
Thank you all for your unhesitating response to a request for assistance. Your actions increased our pride in being members of FMCA.
Jacqueline Carter, F184858
Boynton Beach, Florida
Secretary, Palm Beach Gold Coasters
Amera Coach Owners Manual Needed
We recently purchased a 1989 Amera Coach 2 made by Amera Cruiser Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana. I cannot find an owners manual for it. I am hoping someone out there has one, or knows someone who does and would be willing to make a copy of it. I would be most happy to pay for it.
Robert K. Taylor, F339894
P.O. Box 82
Stormville, NY 12582
Appreciation And Memories
I received your magazine yesterday and was so excited to find the article about my husband, Bill Purser. You did a superior job and covered so much of the excitement that Bill felt about FMCA right from the beginning. As soon as one convention was over, he would be planning for the next one. The meetings were small, and most of the conventioneers knew each other.
What an exciting life we had with Bill. He loved building and displaying motorhomes. The children were able to visit almost every state in the United States.
Thank you, thank you for such a superior article.
Ruth Purser, F180
Jamestown, North Carolina
New Jewish Chapter Being Formed
At the recent FMCA convention in Albuquerque, several motorhome owners met to form a new chapter for Jewish FMCA members. The goal is to provide an opportunity for members to get together at FMCA events and celebrate the Sabbath, festivals, and other holidays and family events that occur during FMCA gatherings. The chapter members hope to establish a Jewish presence within the FMCA family.
FMCA members who are interested in joining this chapter should contact Lenore Smith, F291489, secretary, 4419 Centennial Blvd. #224, Colorado Springs, CO 80907; (719) 272-6444, (214) 668-8750; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Members who write should include their FMCA membership number and indicate they are giving permission for their name and “F” number to be used to enroll them as members of the Chai Chapter of FMCA.
Gary & Barb Resnick, F146323
Check Your Coach Before You Leave The Lot
Well, you have done it! You did your research, found the perfect motorhome, negotiated the price, and worked out the financing. Now it is time to take delivery.
Just a year ago, we did the same thing. We found our dream coach and were looking forward to many happy miles in it. However, our first six months in the motorhome would have been much more pleasant had we done some specific things when taking delivery.
Any new RV will have some “bugs,” and, like the problems found in our coach, they usually are minor. Yet they are still inconvenient, time-consuming, and annoying.
Before the purchase, a good walk-through is essential. However, we have seen the statistics indicating how little is retained after a two-hour inspection. Were we to do this again, we would tape the walk-through with a video camera.
After we bought the coach, we spent three nights and two days in the dealer’s lot, transferring our belongings from our old coach to the new one. During that time, we thought we would catch anything that needed attention. Boy, were we wrong!
Several of the minor inconveniences we experienced would have been caught had we tried out every appliance and gadget. For example, our DVD player was not hooked up properly. Had we tried to play a DVD, that would have been evident. We assumed the dinette was installed correctly to make into a bed, but one of the bench seats was incorrectly positioned by a half-inch. We discovered this when the grandchildren came to sleep over.
During our first year of motorhome ownership, we have discussed our experiences with other RVers and have come up with these suggestions:
- Try every appliance. This includes all TVs, VCRs, DVDs, the oven, the ice maker, the washer-dryer, the built-in vacuum system, and the water heater (on all power sources).
- Even if it is 110 degrees outside, test the dash heater and the coach heater. The same goes for both air-conditioning systems.
- Be sure you have all of the remote controls needed to operate various systems. In addition to one for the TV, you may need a remote to operate a spotlight or another device.
- Put water in the fresh, gray, and black water tanks to be sure they don’t leak.
- Check the windshield wipers, washers, headlights, taillights, etc.
- If you have a satellite system, make sure that it works.
Of course, many items are caught at the factory or by the dealer, but often they are not. Judging from our discussions with other RVers, this is not a manufacturer-specific issue. It seems that quality control slips up with all or most all manufacturers at one time or another.
Bill & Sharon Whitaker, F338479
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Prevent Accidents While Parking
This morning I observed another couple daring fate, as the husband stood between the motorhome and the towed vehicle while his wife maneuvered the latter into place. This scene is repeated daily at our resort, and I am reminded of an accident that occurred when the driver’s foot accidentally slipped from the brake to the accelerator, crushing her spouse’s legs between the two vehicles and changing their lives forever.
This type of accident is 100 percent preventable. Never stand between the vehicles while one is in motion and until the towed vehicle is stopped and the engine has been shut off.
Bill Marti, F204932
Campground Hosts “Give Back”
We are new members of FMCA and we need to reply to Mr. Lower’s letter, in which he stated that campground hosting was a way to save on campground costs (January 2004, page 22).
We believe that campground hosting is a way of giving back to the systems that give us so much “” national parks, state parks, etc. My wife and I are campground hosts right now in Death Valley National Park, and we are working hard. When on duty, we are available to the campers 24 hours a day. And that includes a knock on the door at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. for a medical emergency or a disturbance in the campground.
We have had the privilege of campground hosting for the better part of the 10 years we have been full-timers. We volunteer for about three months out of the year.
Bill Clair, F340195
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tips For Full-Timers Who Use General Delivery
A recent “Full-Timer’s Primer” column mentioned using Flat Rate Priority Mail envelopes (March 2004, page 142). I would like to add that if you are listing your address as General Delivery in care of (your name), you must address the Priority Mail envelope to the main post office of the town where you wish to pick up your mail. Branch offices or substations do not handle General Delivery mail. And it is difficult to tell a post office from a branch or substation office without asking, since they are all called post offices.
More advice: Pay the extra 45 cents to have a tracking number put on the envelope. This makes finding the whereabouts of your mail much easier.
Pat Hamlet, F250265
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Well Done, Four Winds
While in Texas in January, we discovered that the parking brake on our three-month-old Infinity motorhome, built on a Ford chassis, was not working, despite a previous repair that had been done in Maryland. The Four Winds technical assistance folks put us in touch with Paul Schurig at Stahmann Sales Co. in New Braunfels, about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio.
We were sent to the right place. Paul had seen a number of these brake issues before and knew exactly what was needed to finally cure our problem. Although this brake problem was known to Ford, not every shop knew the right fix, but Paul did. In two days he had our parts. We returned for installation, and were safely back on the road.
If you have a Ford chassis problem, contact Stahmann Sales in New Braunfels, Texas, located off Interstate 35 via exit 182; phone (800) 282-0882. They also sell a full range of RVs, including a very large selection of type B coaches.
The next day our windshield wipers failed in a rainstorm on a San Antonio freeway. We again contacted Four Winds, who put us in touch with ExploreUSA. Despite their busy schedule, they took us in the next morning, found the problem quickly, and set things right. We also were able to correct some other minor warranty issues on the spot and had some aftermarket work done as well, all in just half a day. Chadwick, Craig, and John were all great. If you need coach work, contact ExploreUSA, 2424 S.W. Loop 410 in San Antonio; phone (210) 674-9304; www.exploreusarv.com.
Finally, we say “well done” to the Four Winds road service team. They were prompt, thorough, and truly professional.
Henry Whitney, F155625
Superb Roof Repair
This letter is long overdue, but I’m a skeptic and I like to make sure things work right before I tell anyone else to try them. Back in 2002 our Safari motorhome, which we purchased used, was plagued with roof leaks. The coach had leaks when we bought it, and the dealer had resealed the roof. In time, of course, the roof needed more attention, but nothing we did after that seemed to stop the leakage.
We finally made a trip back to Oregon. The folks at Safari told us we would probably need a new roof, and it would cost around $15,000. Noticing how we choked at that figure, they suggested we check with a company in Eugene that might offer an alternative: Speedy Collision Care. We are so glad we went there.
Speedy is owned by Garrick and Ember Fulbright, a young couple building a business with fair prices and good service. Since we are full-timers, they were happy to let us stay in their service bay, where tech Al Kramer went to work on our coach.
Speedy specializes in the use of truck bedliner material, which is tough, light, and durable. Al removed all the covers and air-conditioning units and removed water-damaged materials from the roof. After making some repairs, he sprayed the bedliner material on the roof. This is self-sealing and somewhat flexible after it dries. It added approximately 20 pounds of weight to the coach. He then reinstalled the fixtures. The bed liner material can be tinted to match any paint colors. We also had it sprayed onto a chipped front bumper.
As of this date, both the front bumper and roof look as good as new. We highly recommend the procedure and Speedy Collision Care to anyone looking for high-quality, excellent service.
I am sure you’re also wondering what this cost. Our total bill was approximately $2,600. We were happy to pay it.
Don & Laurie Longanecker, F221200
Electrical System Spared
I would like to express my thanks to Tom Fanelli of Progressive Industries, located in Cary, North Carolina. Tom helped me resolve a problem with the Electrical Management System (EMS) that is in my motorhome.
At a rally in 2000, Progressive installed the EMS system in my motorhome. Recently, I went into my motorhome to find that I had no shore power. After checking things out, I discovered that the EMS system was shut down. I called Progressive and spoke with Tom, who attempted to analyze the problem over the telephone. He explained to me that it sounded like my system may have been hit by extremely high voltage.
The only thing not working was the EMS system. He said he would ship replacement parts for the ones he believed to be defective. After they were installed, the system still did not work. A second call was made, and Tom shipped me another part. This did the trick, and now everything is working properly.
I believe that without the EMS equipment, I would have had to make extensive repairs to my motorhome’s electrical system.
It is nice to know that Progressive stands behind its product. I strongly recommend this equipment as a must in anyone’s recreational vehicle.
Jim Reid, F121367
Port Jefferson Station, New York