Updated information regarding the many benefits and services available to members of the Family Motor Coach Association.
Membership in the Family Motor Coach Association brings with it a wealth of benefits that are of value to the motorhome traveler. Some of these benefits are obvious “” the subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine, for example “” and some are not so obvious. In fact, it’s likely that there are some benefits with which you as a member are not familiar. For that reason, all FMCA members should take the time to read through this guide to ensure that they are taking advantage of everything their association has to offer.
In addition to being a fun-filled organization, FMCA gives its members the added benefit of access to valuable technical and general information and to advice related to motorhoming. Much of this information can be gleaned via Family Motor Coaching magazine. Other sources of information include chapter affiliation, seminars held at FMCA conventions, the association’s Web site (www.fmca.com), and fellow members met along the road or in campgrounds.
Family Motor Coaching Magazine
A subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine is perhaps the most tangible benefit of membership in FMCA. The association’s monthly magazine provides FMCA members with timely news concerning motorhome technology, the RV industry, and the association. Each issue contains colorful travel features that describe areas of the United States, Canada, and beyond that are of interest to motorhomers, as well as reviews of new motorhomes, technical and how-to articles, and special features that focus on various aspects of the RV lifestyle. Abundant classified and display advertisements keep readers up-to-date on the latest products available in the RV marketplace.
As a service to the family and commercial members of FMCA, FMC magazine offers a reader service program. A reader service card, which contains numbers that correspond to the various companies whose advertisements appear in the magazine, is included in each issue of the magazine.
FMC readers now have two ways of requesting information about a product or service they have seen advertised in a particular issue of FMC magazine. One is to fill out and mail the traditional reader service card that is included in the magazine. The second is to take advantage of the new online version of the program that is available at FMCA.com. To use the reader service card that is inserted in a particular issue, simply circle the number on the card that corresponds to the number that appears in fine print at the bottom or side of the ad in question. Be sure to fill in all of the requested information, especially your complete name and address, so that your card can be processed. Then, drop the postage-paid card into the mail. Once your card reaches FMCA’s national office, reader service personnel will enter your requests into a computer. This information is then directed to the advertiser in question via a report that lists your address and the advertisement in which you expressed interest. Once the advertiser receives this report, the company will then forward the appropriate information directly to you.
Please note that if you desire specific information regarding the product, e.g. prices, specifications, etc., you should wait until you have received information from the advertiser and then direct any unanswered questions to the advertiser’s office; these types of specific requests cannot be passed on to the advertiser by FMCA’s reader service personnel.
To submit your request for advertiser information online at FMCA.com, visit the Free Product Information page and search for an advertiser by company name, reader service number, product category, magazine page number, or keyword. Provide your contact information and submit your request. You can ask advertisers to contact you with more information, and you also can connect directly to their Web sites in most cases.
Also included with your subscription to Family Motor Coaching is the annual membership directory, which is published in the January issue. The directory issue contains a complete guide to the association, including a roster of members by name and by membership number. FMCAers will want to keep this directory handy as they travel, as it includes a variety of useful information to which they can refer throughout the year.
FMCA enables members to participate in important RV-related education programs. The association is contributing toward the expense of these learning opportunities to reduce out-of-pocket costs to members.
In 2006 the FMCA Education Curriculum will include the following RV-related courses: the RV Safe Driving Course, the Coach Weight and Tire Safety program, the Fire and Life Safety program, and the Personal Safety program. These programs will be available at both of the association’s international conventions in 2006 “” in Pomona, California, in March, and in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August. The courses will be offered at many FMCA area rallies in 2006 as well. In addition, instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) use will be available at some area rallies. The courses are not offered through the mail; members must be present and sign up at the convention or rally to participate.
The RV Safe Driving Course is offered in conjunction with Aon Recreation Insurance to refresh motorhome drivers’ existing skills and to introduce new safe driving techniques. Topics include basic maneuvering, driving in adverse weather conditions, nighttime driving, skid prevention and correction, mountain driving, and towing and weight issues. The course takes six hours to complete and is divided into two three-hour classroom sessions. It is not a hands-on driving course. Pilots and copilots both are encouraged to attend. Successfully completing this course may qualify participants for a reduced rate on their RV insurance premium.
The Coach Weight and Tire Safety course is offered in cooperation with the Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation Inc. This course helps FMCA members to be sure that their motorhomes are being operated within the weight and tire capacities for which the vehicles were designed. Personnel from the Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation provide their expertise for this seminar, wherein participants receive two hours of classroom instruction. Students also can have their coaches weighed and receive a load capacity analysis from foundation personnel.
The Fire and Life Safety Program, also offered in cooperation with Aon Recreation Insurance, helps RVers prevent fires from occurring in their motorhomes and teaches them what to do if a fire does break out. It involves a classroom presentation as well as a live fire demonstration. Participants learn about different types of fires, fire extinguishers, and how different fire-extinguishing products work.
The Personal Safety program is taught by full-timers Dave and Sandy Baleria of Personal Safety First, C9296. The foundational course, “Personal Safety For RVers,” teaches motorhomers how to avoid being selected as a victim by criminals. Attendees learn how to escape a threatening situation and what to do if assaulted. The Balerias also teach two other personal safety courses: “Personal Defense: Pepper Spray,” which focuses on the proper use of pepper spray, and “Guns & RVs,” a seminar that looks at the laws and practicalities of carrying a firearm in the motorhome for protection.
The CPR and AED courses are offered in small groups and fully instruct participants in proper procedures. This instruction could help you save the life of your traveling companion or friend. FMCA is helping to offset the cost of these classes for FMCA members who complete them during an area rally.
FMCA members should be sure to avail themselves of the vital information presented in these programs.
The association’s official Web site “” www.fmca.com “” is a useful source of online information about FMCA member benefits, conventions, Family Motor Coaching magazine, FMCA chapters, and more. At FMCA.com you can:
- Read the current issue and back issues of FMC magazine.
- Go on a virtual image tour of motorhomes reviewed in FMC.
- Register for FMCA area rallies and international conventions.
- Meet fellow members in the monthly Member Spotlights.
- Look up the names and membership numbers of fellow members in the online directory.
- Access members-only forms and documents such as FMCA Bylaws and the Parking Rights Manual & Guide.
- Find, pay for, and receive confirmation of campground services, all in a single visit to FMCA.com.
- Peruse and buy FMCA-logo merchandise at the FMCA Store.
FMCA.com also has a Motorhome Rights channel that assists members who face local parking rights problems and other restrictions concerning the use of their motorhome. The Legislative Updates link alerts members to the status of RV-related issues.
And FMCA.com’s Motorhome Guide contains resources for members and non-members who want to learn more about motorhoming. Topics include towing, full-timing, motorhome weight, and motorhome insurance.
FMCA.com updates frequently with interesting features about motorhomers and motorhoming. So, visit often.
Motorhome Owners’ Rights
FMCA members who face a challenge to their ability to park or store their motorhomes on private residential property can turn to FMCA for guidance. The FMCA Parking Rights Manual & Guide is a primer to understanding your legal rights as well as the rights of a municipality or landowner association to restrict motorhome parking.
The FMCA Parking Rights Manual & Guide is available at www.fmca.com/governance. Log in using your FMCA membership number and expiration date; click on “documents” and then “Parking Rights Manual & Guide.”
In addition to parking, taxes and other restrictions can affect motorhome owners. FMCA offers helpful information about these issues online at www.fmca.com/motorhomerights/information.
FMCA TRAVEL SERVICES
Mail Forwarding Service
FMCA members who are on the road for an extended period of time need not worry about missing their important mail, thanks to the association’s mail forwarding service. FMCAers who take advantage of this useful member benefit receive their mail on a weekly basis while they are on the road.
Further information about this service and instructions as to its use appear on page 202 of this magazine.
In an effort to assure its members pleasant, hassle-free travel, FMCA offers routing assistance to destinations throughout the country. Any FMCA member who would like to use this service for his or her next trip must make a request in writing to Spatial Data Sciences Inc. (SDSI) at this address:
8200 Greensboro Drive
McLean, VA 22102
Fax: (703) 790-8148
The above address, fax number, Web address, and a form with which members may request such information generally appear in each issue of Family Motor Coaching and are available at FMCA.com. Neither FMCA national office staff nor travel service personnel can take requests over the phone; all requests for travel information must be made in writing and must be directed via postal mail, fax, or FMCA’s Web site using the information above.
When making a request for travel information, a member should include his or her name, FMCA membership number, and complete address. He or she also should specify where the trip will begin and its final destination, as well as whether the “most direct” or “most scenic” route is preferred. These instructions should be included for the return trip as well.
Members who request trip routing services will receive a suggested route in approximately one week.
Other trip routing options are now available online at FMCA.com for FMCA members to plan and route their future trips.
Emergency Road Service And Technical Referral Program
FMCA has teamed up with Coach-Net, the largest, most experienced RV road service company in North America, to offer association members a comprehensive, 24-hour-a-day nationwide roadside assistance program. This program is supported by master certified RVDA technicians and ASE certified technicians. The FMCA Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program includes a network of more than 40,000 contracted service providers throughout the United States and Canada.
The FMCA Emergency Road Service and Technical Referral Program provides a toll-free phone number that members can call if their coach breaks down. The program offers mobile mechanical service; unlimited towing to the nearest qualified service location; tire change; fuel, coolant, and oil delivery; lock-out service; battery jump-start; and service appointment assistance. Other services include reimbursement for emergency trip interruption (hotel, rental car, and meal expenses); toll-free claims service throughout Mexico; and vehicle theft and hit-and-run reward benefits.
The plan works anywhere within the United States and Canada. The labor charges for mechanical repairs and the cost of parts, fuel, oil, and coolant are the member’s responsibility.
If you need a tow, it will be handled by a professional heavy-duty service provider who knows how to take care of your situation. Simple things such as removal of the driveline, watching out for air dams and cowlings on the front of the coach, tire size, and gross vehicle weight ratings are important. Having an RV technician on the phone makes a world of difference when your investment is being towed.
The plan covers all family cars at no extra charge. The Coach-Net network of courteous service providers will take care of your family car in your driveway or on the highway with the same efficiency it provides motor coach service.
The program also offers roadside assistance throughout Canada, including the Yukon Territory, as well as throughout the state of Alaska. If you need road service in Mexico, you are reimbursed for up to $1,000 per incident.
As part of the technical referral service, you can call the FMCA Emergency Road Service toll-free number from anywhere in North America to obtain a service appointment at a qualified chassis service location or RV component service location. A customer service representative will make an appointment for you and provide you with the appointment time, the contact person’s name, and directions to the repair facility. The customer service representative also can make an appointment for you in a town you’ll be traveling to in the future. Even something as simple as regular diesel maintenance can be scheduled in this manner.
Other features of the program include:
- No-fee travelers checks.
- Emergency trip interruption benefits. You’ll be reimbursed up to $2,000 for expenses such as meals, car rental, and lodging made necessary as a result of a collision that disables your RV more than 100 miles from home.
- A $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who steals your vehicles or is responsible for a hit-and-run accident.
Coach-Net has been providing RV-based roadside assistance service for more than 15 years. A number of major RV manufacturers and chassis makers use Coach-Net as their front line of warranty service support. Coach-Net mobile mechanics are familiar with RV component systems made by such companies as Workhorse, Ford, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Allison, Spartan, Caterpillar, and Freightliner.
You may join over the phone, using a credit card, by dialing (877) 801-0333; or over the Internet, at www.coach-net.com. The plan is available at an introductory rate of $79.50 per year, or $238.50 for three years. The plan may be renewed for $99.50 per year or $273.50 for three years. If you have a plan that still has time remaining on it, you can have your new FMCA plan begin on the day your current one expires. That way, you’ll have no lapse in coverage.
Emergency Medical Evacuation Program
The MEDEX PLUS emergency medical assistance program, first purchased for FMCA family members in January 2001, helps traveling members to effectively manage the complexities and expenses of out-of-area medical and travel emergencies. Members receive this coverage with no signup required.
Travel can be for business or pleasure at a distance of 100 or more miles from your primary residence. Coverage is provided while traveling within the United States, Canada, or Mexico, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. MEDEX provides members with toll-free access to travel assistance services and also coordinates and pays the approved costs associated with those services. MEDEX must approve and coordinate all services.
The program includes emergency medical air and ground evacuation; repatriation of remains; return home of unattended grandchildren and dependent children; RV/automobile return home; transportation to visit a hospitalized member (for member traveling alone); and transportation home after initial evacuation.
FMCA members can call toll-free (800-527-0218) or collect (410-453-6330) for emergency medical, travel, and personal assistance services. When calling, please refer to MEDEX group number 7030.
For more information about this program, turn to page 199 of this issue, or phone FMCA (800-543-3622) and ask for a brochure.
Long-Distance Calling Card
In an effort to assist FMCA members in keeping in touch with family and friends while they travel, FMCA has arranged to provide a long-distance calling card that offers a rate of 10.9 cents per minute. Members may apply for the card by calling American Telecom Network (ATN) toll-free at (888) 443-FMCA (3622) between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. The service is provided under the name of PowerNet Global (PNG). The vendor “” American Telecom Network (ATN) from Phoenix, Arizona “” has been offering phone card services to FMCA members since June 1997.
In addition to the calling card, the company offers FMCA members the opportunity to order up to three toll-free numbers that can be used for calling home or other frequently called numbers. The rate is 4.9 cents per minute for state-to-state calls, and there is a $1-per-month fee for each residential toll-free number. Members with an existing toll-free line from a different carrier who want to take advantage of this rate must call ATN at (888) 443-FMCA (3622) weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time to request the appropriate form, known as a “responsible organization,” or resp-org, form.
For outgoing calls from home, a rate of 4.9 cents per minute is offered to those who wish to sign up for that service.
All billing is in 6-second increments. However, an additional charge applies to calls made from pay phones.
For more information, members should call toll-free (888) 443-FMCA (3622). You will be asked to provide your Social Security number for credit-checking purposes. For more information, see the advertisement that appears on page 141 of this issue.
Internet access is offered to FMCA members at a special rate from American Telecom Network (ATN) and PowerNet Global (PNG).
FMCA members receive Unlimited Internet Access Service for $9.95 per month. This rate applies to PC and Mac users alike. For more information about the Unlimited Internet Access Service, call (888) 443-FMCA (3622).
Stoppin’ Spot Fellowship, Local Service Information
This important travel service is made possible only through the generous-spirited fellowship of FMCA members. Each year, the January directory issue of Family Motor Coaching contains a listing of FMCA members who offer assistance and hospitality to fellow members who are on the road in their areas. The list also is available on FMCA’s Web site, FMCA.com.
These members are listed in the Stoppin’ Spots directory under four categories. Stop Over Spot indicates that fellow members are welcome to stop over at the volunteering member’s home for a 24-hour emergency stay. Come Visit indicates that FMCA members are welcome to visit the volunteering member’s home for a 24-hour friendship stay, unless invited by the host member to stay longer. Mechanic’s Helper indicates that if an FMCA member’s coach breaks down along the road in a volunteering member’s area, the volunteering member is available to assist him or her in locating quality local service. Pinch Hit Driver indicates that any FMCA member who encounters an emergency that in any way prevents him or her from driving his or her coach while on the road may request the assistance of a driver to transport that member’s coach to a chosen destination at the owner’s expense. The Pinch Hit Drivers are FMCA members who have volunteered to perform this emergency service for fellow members who are in need.
Any FMCA member who would like to be included in the 2007 Stoppin’ Spots directory under one or more of the above-listed categories should contact the membership department at the FMCA national office. Likewise, FMCA members who are interested in volunteering to act as Pinch Hit Drivers, or who are in need of the service of such a driver, should contact the membership department at the FMCA national office. The deadline for signing up to be included in the 2007 directory is November 1, 2006. (A Pinch Hit Driver form appears on page 191.)
Further instructions concerning the use of the Stoppin’ Spots directory can be found on page 307 of this magazine; the directory itself begins on page 1050.
Many of the campgrounds that are commercial members of FMCA offer discounts to fellow FMCA members. A listing of these commercial member campgrounds appears in the “Business Directory,” published in the January and June issues of FMC magazine and available online at FMCA.com. FMCA members should mention their FMCA affiliation when making reservations and present their FMCA membership card upon check-in when requesting this discount.
FMCA members have the opportunity to take advantage of discounted daily rental rates at Outdoor Resorts of America (ORA) locations. Outdoor Resorts operates a number of RV resort facilities at various desirable locations across the country, among them Palm Springs, California, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. By presenting their FMCA membership card, FMCAers will receive a 15 percent discount on daily rental rates at ORA locations. Some restrictions may apply. For instance, because of zoning regulations, the company’s Indio/La Quinta, California, facility can accommodate only type A and type C motorhomes with a length of 22 feet or more. For more information about vehicle restrictions at ORA facilities, call (800) 541-2582.
Passport America Discount
FMCA has entered into a partnership with Passport America, a 50 percent discount camping club. As a Passport America cardholder, you can stay at more than 1,300 campgrounds across the United States, Canada, and Mexico at 50 percent off the regular rate.
Passport America members receive an International Camping Directory in a printed version or on a CD; a personalized travel card; and a one-year subscription to RV America magazine. Present your Passport America card to receive half off the regular rate on campsites in participating campgrounds; these facilities are listed in the International Camping Directory.
Passport America prints a new directory each January. Updates or changes to the campground list are provided throughout the year in RV America magazine. Twenty-four-hour access to all campground information and updates is also available online at www.passportamerica.com.
The directory also indicates each campground’s individual guidelines. These vary, because Passport America member RV parks are individually owned and operated. For example, the majority don’t require reservations, but some suggest them, and others require them. The number of nights certain RV parks extend the discount also varies “” one night, two nights, a week, a month, etc. Access to Passport America campgrounds is on a space-available basis.
You may use your Passport America card as often as you like, for the term of your membership.
The Passport America discount RV travel card costs FMCA members only $39 (regular price, $44) for 12 months. The two-year program costs $69, and the three-year program is $99.
Look for the Passport America order form on page 149 in the January 2006 issue of FMC magazine. Or, visit www.passportamerica.com.
Car Rental Discounts
Avis Car Rental offers a special discount to members of FMCA. To receive this discount, members should present the FMCA group number, A674300, and a major credit card when requesting a rental car from Avis. For information, contact Avis at (800) 331-1212.
Members should mention the association’s discount number, 343549, when making reservations with Hertz and present their FMCA membership card for identification at the Hertz counter to take advantage of the year-round discount program offered to FMCA. For information, contact Hertz at (800) 654-2210.
In addition, members receive special savings at National Car Rental by using FMCA’s Discount I.D. Recap Number 5815733. Discounts apply to National’s daily, weekend, weekly, monthly, and holiday rates. Members receive National’s business rate discount of 20 percent or the company’s promotional and holiday rates discount of 5 percent. For vehicles rented in the United States, the rates include 100 free miles per day with a charge for excess miles traveled. For information, contact National Car Rental at (800) CAR-RENT (227-7368).
Flying J offers FMCA members its Real Value Card program. This is not a credit card; it simply gives the holder a discount of 1 cent per gallon of gas or diesel fuel and/or 5 cents per gallon of propane at any Flying J Travel Plaza or Fuel Stop location when the card is presented at the time of sale. It also guarantees the cash price in the truck diesel lanes. Real Value Cards have been issued to all FMCA members; cards will be sent to new FMCA members on a periodic basis. For information, contact Flying J at (888) 438-3537.
Camping World and FMCA have joined forces to bring a valuable member benefit. New FMCA members receive via the mail the opportunity to order a free six-month membership in the Camping World President’s Club. This entitles members to a 10 percent discount on their Camping World purchases “” which is also valid for use on sale items and for installation charges “” plus additional money-off coupons when they renew their President’s Club membership. New FMCA members who are already members of the President’s Club receive a $10 coupon good toward Camping World merchandise. FMCA members who renew and stay active in FMCA will receive an annual “special offer” at the time of renewal.
Many of FMCA’s commercial members offer discounts on their products and services to family members who present their FMCA membership cards. The FMCA Business Directory, which is published in the January and June issues of FMC magazine and online at FMCA.com, lists FMCA commercial members and their locations. To receive the FMCA discounts offered by commercial members in their “Business Directory” listings, family members must present their FMCA membership card at the time of service or purchase. The “Business Directory” begins on page 1073 of this issue.
Two times this year, FMCA members will gather for a four-day extravaganza of fellowship, fine entertainment, informative seminars, and browsing through the exhibits of the many coach and coach component manufacturers that participate in each convention. FMCA’s international conventions offer FMCAers a chance to participate in these activities as a group, and they provide members the opportunity to renew old friendships that have been formed at previous FMCA gatherings and to form new friendships. Attending an FMCA convention is an experience that should be enjoyed by every member.
The locations and dates for the 2006 international conventions are as follows:
March 20, 21, 22, and 23, 2006
“Fast Track To Fun”
August 14, 15, 16, and 17, 2006
Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Charlotte, North Carolina
Membership in a chapter can greatly enhance an FMCAer’s enjoyment of the association. Although the international conventions enable FMCAers to share good times together, the size and scope of these gatherings prevent them from taking place as often as FMCAers might like. Also, FMCA members often must travel a considerable distance to attend an international convention.
FMCA chapters were created to enable members of FMCA to come together to exchange ideas about their motorhoming lifestyle and to enjoy one another’s company on a smaller scale. Chapter gatherings are frequently held on weekends, and they are often organized locally, so long trips aren’t necessary to reach them. These chapter rallies take place throughout the year, and, as such, FMCAers have a wide choice of rallies to attend.
Sometimes chapter rallies center around an event that is of interest to the members of that chapter. Such rallies afford FMCAers the opportunity to come together with other members who share their interests, and often to forge long-lasting friendships based on those mutual interests.
One of the greatest benefits of chapter affiliation is the exchange of information that such involvement provides. Those chapters that are based upon a mutual interest or a shared model of coach provide pools of information via the experiences and knowledge of chapter members. Also, chapter members can take advantage of the various seminars that often are held at their rallies.
The Family Motor Coach Association recognizes more than 480 chapters across the United States and in Canada. Many of these chapters encompass specific or general geographic regions. Others consist of FMCA members who own a particular brand or model of coach. And still other chapters are based upon some common interest, such as music, amateur radio communication, sports, or coach conversions.
Seventeen new chapters were chartered in late 2004 and throughout 2005: British Columbia Coaches for Christ, Eastern Gourmands, First State Travelers, Friendship, Frustrated Maestros INTO Interludes, Midwest Area Roamin’ Catholics, Moose, Near N Far, NW Trek Fun Club, Oregon Coaches for Christ, Over Fifty & Fabulous, PacNats, Red Rock Rovers, Sooner Coaches, Southern Colorado Majestics, Southeast Area Roamin’ Catholics, Washington Coaches for Christ.
The complete FMCA Chapter Directory begins on page 271 of this magazine. A copy of the complete directory also is published each year in the August issue of FMC, and updates to it appear in the magazine on a periodic basis. Chapter information also is available online at FMCA.com via the “Chapters” channel.
Any member of FMCA who is not affiliated with a chapter is encouraged to become involved with one or more chapters, as chapter membership is a sure way to enhance one’s enjoyment of all that FMCA has to offer. Although the various existing chapters cover a wide range of geographic areas and topics of interest, new chapters are always welcome. If you can’t seem to find a chapter that suits your particular interests or that is in your geographic locale, you may wish to charter such a chapter. The FMCA Chapter Services Department at the national office can provide you with a chapter formation kit that includes guidelines for starting a new chapter.
A minimum of 20 members is necessary in order to charter an FMCA chapter. Anyone who would like to start a new chapter but is having problems rounding up enough FMCAers who share his or her particular area of interest is invited to call on the national office for assistance. The national office will send out a mailing to FMCA members in that member’s target area (be it members with a particular zip code, members who own a certain type of motorhome, etc.) to assist in recruiting new members.
FMCA members who currently are affiliated with one or more chapters can help to promote the chapter concept by inviting other members who are not involved with a chapter to join their group. A recent survey conducted by FMCA indicated that many FMCAers who are not members of chapters are unaffiliated either because they don’t know anyone who is a chapter member or they have never been invited to join a chapter. Those who are affiliated with a chapter of FMCA should be sure to spread the word about the pleasure that they have derived from chapter membership. The joys of chapter membership shouldn’t be kept a secret.
FMCAers who are interested in joining an existing chapter might wish to attend one of that chapter’s functions to get a feel for what the chapter is all about. Several interested but uninitiated FMCAers may want to attend the rally together, so that they will know someone else at the get-together. Often, it’s easier to meet new friends with another person along. However, individuals who attend rallies for the first time by themselves can be assured that there will be many friendly people there who will be eager to meet them and to welcome them into the chapter.
Dates and locations for chapter rallies are published in the Association Calendar that appears in each issue of Family Motor Coaching. Included in the listing is a contact person for general or preregistration information. FMCA members are welcome to attend any of the rallies listed within the Association Calendar.
Chapters are reminded to send their rally information to the FMCA national office (use the form that is published each month in conjunction with the Association Calendar; additional forms are available from the Chapter Services Department at the national office), so that all FMCA members might be made aware of chapter activities.
To further provide information to FMCA members about scheduled activities, the Association Calendar, which appears on page 176 of this issue of the magazine, contains a calendar of events that lists dates and locations for FMCA international conventions, and provides dates, locations, and contact people for the various area rallies that will be occurring in 2006. FMCA members are invited to look to this listing for information about these upcoming events. A listing of chapter rallies also is available online at FMCA.com via the “Event Calendar” channel.
Family Motor Coaching publishes a column titled “Would You Like To Join An FMCA Chapter?” in each January, March, June, August, and November issue. Turn to page 296 in this issue of the magazine. This column is intended to help FMCA members who have yet to discover the joys of chapter membership in locating a chapter that might interest them. It also serves as a forum for groups that wish to form a new FMCA chapter but first wish to gauge the interest in such a chapter. New and existing chapters are encouraged to use the handy mail-in form that accompanies this column and submit information about their chapter for publication in the magazine. Each chapter is entitled to one free ad per year; additional ads may be placed at a cost of 50 cents per word.
The youthful arm of FMCA is composed of four age groups of children: Teen-Age Travelers, or TATS (ages 13 to 18), PRE-TEENS (ages 10 to 12), TWEENS (ages 6 to 9), and TOTS (ages 2 to 5).
The FMCA Youth Activities Committee plans and schedules age-specific activities for each group of children at FMCA’s international conventions. The children pack hours of fun into their four-day reunions. Bowling, miniature golf, roller skating, and pizza and ice cream parties are the mainstays of the program, while the committee seeks out additional activities that are interesting, fun, affordable, and challenging. Youth centers also are set up for each age group at the conventions.
Over the years the youth program has offered hiking, swimming, white-water rafting, and horseback riding for the older age groups. On the educational side, the children have toured museums and science centers, as well as businesses that manufacture everything from school buses to toothbrushes. The TATS enjoy karaoke and dancing to all types of popular music that is in the TATS Center on the convention grounds.
The TOTS enjoy an expanded program off the convention grounds with lunch outings at local restaurants with play areas, visits to city parks, and other activities geared to their age group.
The Youth Activities Program is open to all children in the above age groups who attend FMCA conventions with their parents, grandparents, or guardians.
Accidental Death And Dismemberment Insurance
Every member of FMCA is automatically covered under the association’s accidental death and dismemberment policy as a member benefit.
FMCA members should clip the copy of the certificate that appears on page 193 of this magazine and file it with their other insurance papers. For more information about FMCA’s AD&D benefit, please call (800) 241-8363.
AFLAC Insurance Programs
FMCA has partnered with American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) to offer insurance programs at an association-discounted rate. This insurance pays you directly when you become sick “” cash when you need it most. Your regular health insurance should pay most of the doctor and hospital bills. You may use this cash to cover expenses such as deductibles and copayments, including those for prescription drugs.
Getting sick or injured has financial consequences beyond the medical bills, including such out-of-pocket costs as:
- Travel expenses to and from special treatment centers.
- Food and lodging while you’re away from home.
- Extra household help.
- Home care.
- Plus, everyday living expenses still have to be met, such as:
- Mortgage or rent payments.
- Motor vehicle loan payments.
- Grocery and utility bills.
Meeting everyday financial obligations while incurring treatment-related bills is difficult, particularly when you are not able to earn a paycheck. In dual-income households, the financial consequences can be doubly stressful if the healthy spouse is forced to leave work to care for the recuperating partner.
FMCA is happy to provide this benefit to our members, and we encourage you to follow up and find out more about the programs and how they might provide you with peace of mind in future medical situations. Please note that this plan is not a Medicare supplement.
AFLAC eligibility and rates vary from state to state. Most policies are available to those under age 65. The policies are written based upon the state where you are standing when you apply for coverage. Members are encouraged to contact AFLAC district sales coordinator Ruth Wolfangel at (800) 581-9048, extension 18, or via e-mail at [email protected].
Long-Term Care Insurance
A new group rate discount on long-term care insurance is offered to FMCA members by Long Term Care Insurance Planners. An article that describes this Long-Term Care Insurance Group Discount appeared on page 64 of the August 2005 issue of Family Motor Coaching. For more information, contact FMCA’s Member Services Department at (800) 543-3622.
FMCA members can participate in motorhome insurance programs offered by various RV insurance specialists. These national programs offer broad coverages, competitive premiums, and RV-specialized claims handling. See the Business Directory’s “Insurance” section on page 1138 for a list of these companies. Or, find FMCA commercial member insurance companies online by searching in the Business Directory section of FMCA.com. (Programs available in United States only.)
FMCA Credit Card
In 2006 FMCA will add a new credit card program that provides rebates or rewards to members as they make their purchases.
Motorhome Finance Program
Available since 1988, this finance program is tailored especially to the needs of FMCA members and is made available by General Electric Money Bank (GEMB) Lending Inc. (formerly E*TRADE Consumer Finance Corporation). The program features first-class service, low rates, and extended terms for purchasing or refinancing a new or used motor coach. The finance program allows FMCA members to borrow anywhere from $15,000 to $1,000,000 or more for terms up to 20 years and at competitively low interest rates. Loan approval is usually provided within 24 hours of a member’s application; a four-hour turnaround time is provided for purchases that require immediate attention. FMCAers may call GEMB Lending Inc. directly or may ask their professional RV dealer to call the company for them. GEMB Lending Inc. will then arrange to have loan documents expressed directly to the FMCA member or to his or her dealer for prompt loan closing. The program is available to FMCA members in all of the 48 contiguous United States. Information about the program is available by calling GEMB Lending Inc. at (800) 234-6550 or by visiting the company’s link at FMCA.com/membership/benefits.
GEMB Lending Inc. can also assist with private party purchases. Whether you are buying a motorhome from your neighbor or you are scanning the classifieds, GEMB Lending Inc. can finance your purchase. Private party sellers can receive a free seller’s kit that contains tools to help you sell your motorhome: “For Sale” signs, a pamphlet describing GEMB Lending Inc.’s custom-designed finance program, and information about the many benefits of FMCA. Simply call (800) 234-6550 to start your buying or selling process.
Refinance rates are still very low, so FMCAers can refinance existing motorhome loans and save money. Free custom refinance quotes are available by calling the number above.
FMCA members who take advantage of this finance program will receive a year’s membership renewal in FMCA compliments of GEMB Lending Inc.
As a proud FMCA partner, GEMB Lending Inc. has recognized FMCA’s charitable Round Up Program and has contributed over $508,900.
Identity Theft Protection
Identity theft occurs when someone possesses or uses your name, address, Social Security number, bank or credit card account number, or other identifying information without your knowledge with the intent to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. Identity theft topped the U.S. government’s list of consumer fraud for the fifth consecutive year. We frequently read newspaper headlines related to the subject and hear about it on the radio and television. Unfortunately, the modern technology that has given us quick and easy methods of communication also has opened many doors to our identity.
The financial services industry has addressed the problem in several ways, one of which is through the development of identity theft protection products and services. These services typically cost $8 to $15 per month. However, because FMCA is able to keep its costs very low, members can purchase Privacy Matters, one of the most comprehensive plans available, at a significant savings.
For a low monthly fee, it includes the following:
Identity Theft Prevention
- Free computer software, including Panda firewall, antivirus, and antispyware.
Identity Theft Detection
- Daily credit monitoring and weekly fraud alerts “” online and offline.
- Unlimited three-in-one credit reports from all three major reporting bureaus “” instant online delivery and offline.
- Social Security reports.
Identity Theft Restoration
- Credit card registration “” which reduces time and effort involved in notifying multiple card carriers by making it possible to do so with just one phone call.
- Credit card replacement “” when a member’s credit card has been lost or stolen and the account is thus frozen, the service has a new card issued to the member for their use.
- Counseling or full restoration services “” an experienced, licensed investigator assigned to restore the member’s identity and credit record; comprehensive service from Kroll to help identity theft victims recover from identity theft fraud. The customer can choose either turnkey service or a counseling-only option.
Identity Theft Insurance Coverage
- Up to $25,000 ($100 deductible) identity theft expense reimbursement insurance provided as a bonus at no extra cost to the member. Insurance coverage is underwritten by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America and its property casualty affiliates, Hartford, Connecticut.
The regular retail price for this service is $9.95 per month, with an additional $5 monthly fee to cover the individual’s spouse. For FMCA members, the cost is $4.95 per month, with an additional $2 monthly fee for the spouse. A onetime fulfillment fee of $4.95 (which covers both member and spouse) applies.
The Privacy Matters identity theft program is a perfect way for you to protect your credit rating and your good name. Should you fall prey to an identity thief, the program will provide you with expert assistance to help you recover.
For further information, see the ad on page 81 of this magazine; call FMCA’s Member Services department at (800) 543-3622; or e-mail [email protected] and ask for an Identity Theft Protection Plan brochure and application.
Membership Identification Emblems
Every FMCA member receives a set of oval identification emblems, known as “goose eggs,” which should be attached to the exterior of his or her motor coach. The goose eggs enable FMCA members to identify one another as they travel simply by reading the number on the front or back of another motorhomer’s vehicle.
When you notice a motorhome in a campground or on the highway that sports goose eggs, take down the number and look it up in your directory (or on FMCA.com) to determine who the occupants of the coach are. If the opportunity presents itself, introduce yourself as a fellow FMCA member “” and perhaps find yourself a new friend.
FMCAers are encouraged to display their membership identification emblems in a prominent place on their motorhomes to increase public awareness of FMCA and to spark conversation about the association with coach owners who are not members. An RVer whose motorhome bears the FMCA goose egg is announcing that he or she has agreed to abide by the FMCA Code Of Ethics, which can be found on page 262 of this magazine.
Free Road Atlas Or Merchandise For Signing Up New Members
A free copy of the current FMCA North American Road Atlas & Travel Guide is yours for the first new member you successfully recruit to FMCA (either in 2005 or 2006; one atlas per family). The atlas contains listings of campgrounds, including those with “big rig friendly” designations; Wal-Mart locations; Flying J Travel Centers; Cracker Barrel restaurants, and much more. The updated version features plastic spiral binding. FMCA members may also purchase the atlases at a cost of $14.95 each, plus $5.95 shipping; total $20.90 each.
After you have been awarded a road atlas for your recruitment efforts, you will receive a $10 coupon for each additional member you recruit. These coupons may be redeemed for free FMCA logo merchandise. In addition, the coupons may be used toward the purchase of any Camping World merchandise.
FMCA logo merchandise is available at the association’s international conventions and at some area rallies, online at www.fmcastore.com, and in FMC magazine.
Camping World will accept the $10 FMCA merchandise coupons that have been awarded to members who recommend new members to join the association.
Details about this merchandise coupon program appear in each issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine. Look to the Advertising Index under the heading “FMCA Member Recruitment Program” to locate this information. Coupons that are earned as a reward for signing up new members are good for two years after they have been awarded.
New FMCA members are issued antitheft decals, which they are instructed to attach to their motorhomes. These decals serve as a deterrent to anyone who is considering stealing or vandalizing the motorhome of an FMCA member, by stating that a reward will be awarded to “any individual who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of a thief burglarizing a member’s motorhome.”
The antitheft decal program is co-sponsored by FMCA and Aon Recreation Insurance in an effort to insure the security of members’ coaches. Additional decals are available from the FMCA national office.
Free Classified Advertising
Family and life members of FMCA are entitled to 20 free words per calendar year in one issue in Classifieds, the classified advertising section of FMC magazine. This convenient member benefit is worth $10 to family members, as classified ads with standard run-on copy normally cost 50 cents per word for non-commercial advertisers (minimum of 10 words). Ads for motorhomes for sale should include information such as year, make/model, length, description, and phone number and/or address of seller. To aid persons wishing to call you, we suggest that your ad include your state abbreviation and the asking price.
All motorhomes for sale ads “” whether commercial or non-commercial “” must include the last five digits of the coach chassis serial number at the end of the ad.
Family members also may design an “enhanced text” classified advertisement for inclusion in the Classifieds section. This type of ad includes bold type, centered lines, and uppercase or lowercase letters (no photos or logos). The cost is $8 per line of type (maximum 30 spaces per line) for non-commercial advertisers. Enhanced text ads are not subject to the member discount.
The rate for commercial advertisers is $1.05 per word for standard run-on copy and $16.50 per line for enhanced text classified copy. Commercial advertisers must include the company name in their ad.
The Classifieds section of the magazine is an excellent source for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade a motorhome or coach accessories and components. Members who wish to place an ad in the Classifieds section may use the form that appears in that section of each issue of the magazine, or they may send the ad copy to the national office on regular stationery or letterhead. Ads also may be e-mailed to [email protected]. Please read all instructions included in “FMC Classifieds Ad Rates And Procedures,” appearing on the page preceding the ad form in each month’s Classifieds section, before preparing your ad. Important: All classified ads must be received in writing; ads WILL NOT be accepted over the telephone.
FMCA members who are actively seeking a preowned motorhome and don’t want to wait for the magazine to arrive may obtain an Early Bird Edition of the Classifieds section of the magazine. The Early Bird Edition will be mailed approximately two to three weeks prior to the cover date of the magazine. For example, someone requesting an Early Bird Edition of the September Classifieds would receive it in August. Advance copies of this section may be ordered for $20 per copy; all orders must be prepaid and requested in writing, or telephone orders can be accepted from those paying with an American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or VISA card. A form for ordering the Early Bird Edition appears in most issues of the magazine. Check the Advertising Index under “FMCA Early Bird Classifieds” to locate this form.
A new feature has been added to the Classifieds: the Online Bonus Ad. Those who place their ad in the magazine may also choose to have the ad appear online at www.fmca.com/classifieds. This Online Bonus Ad option is listed on the Classifieds advertising form. Check the option on the form to indicate that you would like your ad to appear online at no additional charge. Advertisers must select this option for their ad to appear on FMCA.com.
Advertisers may also place online-only ads on FMCA.com; see the Web site for details.
FMCA Member Business Cards
FMCAers have the opportunity to order specially designed “business cards” that they can share with people they meet as they travel. These cards identify the holder as a member of the Family Motor Coach Association. The cards are available in a standard black and red design. They may be ordered in the following quantities: 200 for $20, 500 for $25, and 1,000 for $30. These cards are not to be used for commercial purposes. Information about ordering these cards appears regularly in FMC magazine. In this issue, turn to the ad that appears on page 97.
Key Return Program
FMCA members have the opportunity to purchase key rings with the official FMCA logo and a key return provision on the reverse. The key rings are available from Kiley Mold Company, supplier of the official numbered FMCA membership plates, commonly known as goose eggs. These key rings may be purchased directly from Kiley Mold Company at a cost of $2.50 each, plus shipping. Members who purchase four key rings will receive a fifth one free of charge. An ad with a form for ordering the key rings appears on page 201 of this issue.
If a set of keys on one of these rings is lost and then found by someone and dropped into a mailbox, the keys will be returned to the FMCA national office. Anyone who loses a set of keys on one of these rings should report this to the FMCA national office at (800) 543-3622 and describe the keys so they can be identified if and when they are returned. If found, FMCA will mail the keys back to the owner at no charge. While it might not be a bad idea to place some identifying mark on the key ring, we would suggest that members NOT put their membership number on the tag, in case they are lost in proximity of one’s goose-egg-bearing coach.
Of course, one of the most valuable benefits of membership in FMCA is the long-lasting friendships that start, develop, and last and last. How else could you meet so many diverse people, all of whom share your interest in the exciting and rewarding motorhoming lifestyle?
Member benefit disclosure: FMCA member benefits are subject to change, including the discontinuation of any particular benefit, at any time and without prior notice.