Photo Credit Correction
The September 2005 article “Greenville, Ohio: Small Town, Big History” (page 102) contained an incorrect photo credit. The photo of the Lowell Thomas birthplace on page 104 should have been credited to the Darke County Historical Society Inc.
FMC regrets this error
Thanks To An Honest “Family” Member
FMCA’s 74th International Convention in Minot, North Dakota, was, for lack of a better word, awesome!
On Tuesday at the fairgrounds, my new and expensive Sony digital camera and case parted company from my belt. I was mortified at having lost such a valuable and uninsured item among such a throng.
I returned to the Information Center and was directed to Lost and Found. A pleasant young man handed me my camera, still in its case and no worse for wear. I was stunned at the simplicity of the transaction. It was over so quickly. But I had no one to properly thank.
Honesty runs as rampant through some arenas as dishonesty runs through others. I am thankful this happened at the FMCA convention rather than at almost any other. The “F” in FMCA says it all “” FAMILY. I really was among family.
To the anonymous finder, I extend my biggest “thank you.” I wish you had left your name and a contact number that would allow me to thank you properly. I even looked in the memory of the camera to see if you had taken your own picture for me. I shall not forget your act of kindness and honesty.
Charles Henry, F361559
Minot Body Shop Gets Kudos
On the way to the “Dakota Expedition” convention I had the misfortune of damaging my motorhome, which can be stressful at best.
The problem was minimized by a family business in Minot: Wade’s Auto Body, and Wade Gilstad in particular. He became our one point of contact, working with our insurance company, the RV dealer, and other vendors for parts and miscellaneous labor. Wade’s knowledge, professionalism, and personal attention made it possible for us to attend the “Dakota Expedition” with a completely repaired motorhome.
Our personal thanks and appreciation go to Wade and his family. Anyone requiring coach repair can find excellent and friendly service from Wade’s Auto Body in Minot.
Steve & Marie Higgins, F301303
Several past “Readers’ Forum” letters regarding female drivers have ‘driven’ me to tell this story.
My wife, Pam, dislikes coping with maps, campground directories, and tourist guides. The routes we take and what we see when we get to our destination have become my male domain. Since we live many miles from RV service facilities, work on our coach must be scheduled while on the road; that also involves more directories, which she eschews. So, that duty is mine, too. I also am the family “designated reader,” summarizing the news and destinations for her after I’ve gathered information from USA Today, local newspapers, and tourist brochures and guides.
The result is that she drives while I read and tell her where to go. How many husbands can say that they tell their wives where to go? And she obeys.
This formula has worked for us and our 2002 40-foot diesel pusher for three years and 43,000 miles. I have driven 750 “familiarization” miles and feel competent to fill in for her if necessary. I am content to hear her receive compliments for competently and effortlessly sliding into campground spaces deemed “tight” by others. I also enjoy the stares of fellow RVers as she negotiates tight urban corners easily without dragging the towed car across the curb.
The only problem we have encountered in this arrangement is that several ladies have approached my wife with identical statements: “Honey, you shouldn’t be driving. You’re going to mess it up for us all.”
Douglas W. Ayres, F309598
RVers Can Volunteer Through Various Organizations
After reading the August 2005 “Executive Notes” column by Max Durbin (page 12), I was surprised that FMCA staff did not know about two organizations within the RV community that assist disaster victims. They are the DOVES (Disaster Operations Volunteers), made up of members of the Escapees RV Club, and the Airstream Angels, who belong to the Wally Byam Caravan Club International.
We use our recreation vehicles to respond to disasters, where we volunteer for the American Red Cross. Our RVs provide living space while we are at the site of the disaster. We also carry a fresh water supply, sanitary system, and cooking facilities. Thus, we can respond to a disaster with minimum impact upon the affected community and at a minimum cost to the Red Cross. Since we are mostly retired, we can spend whatever time is required by the disaster.
Ginny and I responded to the call for the disaster relief of Hurricane Charlie last August and stayed on through the next three hurricanes, finally leaving Florida on October 31 so we could get back to Texas to vote in the upcoming election. Many other RVers of these two organizations also responded.
Any FMCA members who would like more information may contact me by phone or e-mail.
Bob Cooke, F236663
Iowa Dealer Lauded
We bought our current motorhome from Schaap’s Traveland Inc., C1437, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They have a very friendly dealership and a service department that we think is the very best. We highly recommend them to anyone in the area.
Dick & Donna Boutch, F328878
Sioux City, Iowa
We had a seal go out on our motorhome while traveling on Interstate 95 in Georgia just south of Richmond Hill. We got off at that exit. We searched for help and were directed to Automotive Services of Savannah. We contacted them and learned that Tim’s Towing & Recovery was next door. Tim can tow anything on the road.
Steve at Automotive Services completed the repairs and got us back on the road. Contact Automotive Services of Savannah at (912) 447-0503 and Tim’s Towing & Recovery at (912) 964-6773 (24-hour service).
Gene & Delores Librock, F254295
FMCA Mail Forwarding
Life After The Storm
I would like to express my appreciation to the many friends who have called and e-mailed me in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I am deeply touched by your concern. FMCA has and always will be a special part of my life.
Like many others along the Gulf Coast, my three children and I lost our family archives, baby pictures, wedding pictures, personal library, and much, much more to the wind and water of Katrina. The photos and journal of our many FMCA rallies and conventions are gone. Everything is gone but the memories of a lifetime that are in our hearts, where we shall keep them and cherish them.
Our houses are standing, but the interiors will have to be redone and furniture and appliances will have to be replaced. Thank God, we’re all safe. I don’t take that for granted!
My children and I represent but four families of thousands “” of friends and fellow citizens “” who are experiencing the same heartache and hard work ahead. Through the devastation, frustration, and uncertainty, we look forward, not back. With God’s help, we will restore our homes. To paraphrase the poet, “our heads are bloody, but unbowed.” Life must go on!
FMCA has listed on its Web site ways for members to help Katrina victims. All of them are good. I encourage you to support them.
Sara Rush, L1253
Reservation Line For Canadian National Parks
RVers planning to visit Canada should know that there is a central reservation system for the campgrounds in Canadian national parks. The toll-free number is (877) RESERVE (737-3783). It works from either the United States or Canada.
As of August 2005 it was in effect for many but not all national parks. For example, reservations were being accepted for the more popular campgrounds in Jasper National Park, but the campgrounds at Lake Louise, Banff, and several other parks still were on a first-come, first-served basis. We suggest that RVers planning to visit any of Canada’s national parks call the phone number or visit the Web site at www.pccamping.ca and inquire about the campgrounds at the parks you will visit.
Fred & Joan Frech, F173992
Texas Park Recommendation
Salmon Lake Park in Grapeland, Texas, between Houston and Dallas, lets you visit the past. It has a complete antique village, including lots of vehicles, houses, a “Texan Hotel,” a schoolhouse, a saloon, a gas station, and much more. Many of these buildings can be rented for vacations, class reunions, family reunions, and more. Some of them have overnight accommodations.
The park also has 300 campsites with full hookups at most sites. A beautiful small swimming lake has numerous piers for diving or just relaxing. A gospel fest is held every Memorial Day weekend at the park, and a bluegrass festival that draws thousands is held every Labor Day weekend.
Floyd and Fannie Salmon own and operate the park. They make everyone welcome, and you can’t wait to go back again. For more information, call (936) 687-2594 or visit www.salmonlakepark.com.
Jim & Helen Willis, F306486
FMCA Mail Forwarding
Helpful Shop In Idaho
While we traveled on Interstate 90 in Idaho this past August, a tall, thin traffic cone in a construction zone came in contact with our motorhome’s tailpipe. The tailpipe bracket broke, and the tailpipe went under the rear wheels, jerking the assemblage downward, twisting the muffler, and flattening the tailpipe.
We were just outside of Coeur d’Alene. I drove to a muffler chain shop and was told our coach was too big for that place. We were referred to Lake City Transmission and Muffler Center.
Owner Steve Croyle at Lake City took us right in and replaced the muffler and tailpipe. To give them time while they worked, we drove on downtown and admired beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. When we returned to the shop, Steve was testing the motorhome, because I had complained about a vibration I felt after hitting the cone. When he returned he said there was still a vibration and suggested the driveshaft was out of balance, or might be bent.
He contacted another shop and arranged for them to look at the shaft after he took it out to them. The shaft indeed was bent, and the shop could not re-tube a shaft of that size. It had to be sent to Spokane, Washington, to be re-tubed and balanced.
By then it was after 4:30 in the afternoon. Since we couldn’t move the motorhome, we were told we could stay right where we were. Steve offered us electricity and water, but we decided we could make it on our own supply and generator. We stayed there two nights. The shaft was returned and installed early the third morning we were there.
The total cost of this mishap, including replacing the muffler, tailpipe, and hangers; removing and reinstalling the driveshaft; and retubing and balancing the shaft, including freight to and from Spokane, was a little more than $400.
It is refreshing to find tradespeople who are conscientious about their work and reputation. If you ever have a transmission or muffler problem while traveling near Coeur d’Alene, we recommend Steve and Marj Croyle at Lake City Transmission (3645 N. Government Way; 800-972-6698, 208-765-3431).
C.D. & Barbara Jones, F295930
Nashville, North Carolina
A Cook Needs A Kitchen
Gerald and Bridget Post’s letter in your September 2005 issue (“Kitchen Space,” page 179) caught our attention. We have a 2000 38-foot motorhome with the largest kitchen the manufacturer ever installed. Over the years, we have thought of buying a newer unit but could never find one with what we consider to be an adequate kitchen.
I enjoy cooking and my husband enjoys eating. As full-timers, we don’t have the option of doing our cooking somewhere else. Our coach has a three-burner stove, a propane oven, a microwave-convection oven, and more than 100 inches of cabinets and counters “” and it still is crowded.
It amazes us that trailers have wonderful kitchens, but motorhomes do not. In motorhomes, it seems that the toilet always has to have a room of its own. In all the houses we’ve owned, the toilet managed to share a room with other fixtures. We spend more time in the kitchen each day and would prefer to have extra room there.
The manufacturers seem to expend more energy designing color selections than floor plans. We asked the senior management at a motorhome manufacturer why motorhomes don’t have reasonable kitchens and were told that “motorhomers don’t cook.” As long as the manufacturers continue to ignore what we consumers want and fail to provide an option for an adequate kitchen, we’ll stick with our current unit.
Gary & Carol Bradley, F312564
If any FMCA members need assistance while touring in the Hayward, Wisconsin, area, they should call Naylor’s Auto Repair in Hayward (715-934-3015). Our alternator quit on the day we were to return home. Naylor’s understood our problem, took us in within an hour, tested the charging system, and ordered all parts and belts, enabling us to leave the next morning. Naylor’s employees are experienced mechanics who are courteous, accommodating, and so nice.
Jack & Lyn Starks, F263990
Praise For Workhorse
In response to a Workhorse Custom Chassis safety recall campaign relating to the Bosch brake calipers, my 2002 Pace Arrow motorhome was inspected and one caliper was replaced on November 19, 2004, by Ancira Motorhomes in Boerne, Texas, an authorized Workhorse service center. Mileage on the unit at that time was 26,815. The motorhome was purchased from Ancira on April 27, 2002.
Midafternoon on May 16, 2005, while traveling through Tyler, Texas, the coach experienced a major brake malfunction. Mileage at this time was 30,625. I was able to maneuver into a large parking lot behind a service station. Although I knew the Workhorse three-year warranty had just expired, I called their customer service center to obtain the location of the nearest authorized repair center. It was Peques-Hurst Motor Company in Longview, some 25 to 30 miles away.
I called Peques-Hurst, and then called my emergency roadside service company for towing, and by 6:30 p.m. we were parked at Peques-Hurst.
By noontime the next day, the problem had been diagnosed and I was assured (much to my surprise) that the necessary parts were in stock. By 2:00 p.m. the following day the service tech (Jeff Vines) had completed the major task of replacing three wheel rotors, three caliper replacement kits, brake pads, seals, etc.
Thanks to Peques-Hurst service manager Guy Brady and Jeff Vines, the parts department at Peques-Hurst, and the company’s obvious interest in customer service, we were able to reach Georgia in time to celebrate my granddaughter’s high school graduation. Last, but certainly not least, thanks for Mr. Brady’s assistance in contacting Workhorse and obtaining their agreement to cover the significant cost for the repairs. Because of Workhorse, our graduation gift to my granddaughter was certainly more significant than it might have been.
I must add that the Pace Arrow is the fourth type A motorhome that I have owned (two gasoline- and two diesel-powered). I have been most impressed with the Workhorse chassis and firmly believe that it is unsurpassed in design and quality construction. The customer service I have received from this company during the past three-plus years has been superb.
Kenneth Mueller, F130062
San Antonio, Texas
Great Support From Flexsteel
I want to share with your readers my positive experience with Flexsteel, the well-known manufacturer of RV furniture.
In the leather seat cover of the sofa bed in my diesel motorhome, a small split appeared. I contacted Flexsteel customer service and described the problem, and e-mailed digital photos to them. Flexsteel considered the pertinent facts about the situation and made a cooperative effort to resolve my problem, even though their warranty period had been expired for a substantial length of time.
Flexsteel agreed to make a replacement seat cover, and promptly did so, and shipped it to me. This was without any cost to me. I will have it installed to replace the old cover.
Flexsteel really provided great customer support.
Don Carroll, F278398
As we traveled through Colorado, I discovered that a bolt and retaining plate on my Stowmaster 5000 tow bar (made by Roadmaster of Portland, Oregon) was missing, making the tow bar unusable for towing. My wife had to drive the towed vehicle independently for several days until we reached our destination park in Colorado Springs. I then contacted Roadmaster late that afternoon and they shipped the parts that same day. I requested overnight air freight, which I paid for, but there was no charge for the parts themselves. This was amazing considering that the tow bar assembly, as validated by the serial number, is more than 8 years old. The parts were delivered by 10:00 the next morning and the tow bar assembly was fully operable within 30 minutes. Our thanks to a company that stands behind its products.
Rich & Alta Schell, F141708