Flxible Buses Used In “RV” Movie
A pair of Flxible Clipper buses “” the same type of vehicle that is depicted on the FMCA logo “” were brought out of retirement to be used in the Sony Pictures movie RV, starring Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels. These buses were once used to transport members of the Elizabeth City, North Carolina, high school band.
According to a story in The Daily Advance, the buses used in the movie were two of four Flxible Clippers that were bought for the band by millionaire Miles Clark in the early 1950s. When Elizabeth City High School was closed in 1970, the buses were transferred to Northeastern High School, where the student band used them until they were taken out of service in 1995. Three of the buses were sold to James Caldwell, owner of Tennessee-based Cumberland Tours. Mr. Caldwell sold one of the buses to a Canadian tourism company, but held onto the other two “” Bus 1 and Bus 3. Last summer he sold his two Flxibles to Rick Rasmussen, Sony Pictures’ picture-car coordinator for RV.
Mr. Rasmussen had the buses remodeled with retro interiors and painted red and white. In the movie, one bus was used for interior and exterior shots featuring Williams, Daniels, and other actors, while the other bus was used for the rolling shots.
The fourth bus, which is still owned by the Northeastern school district, currently is being restored through the efforts of Elizabeth City and Northeastern band alumni.
Caterpillar Adds Motorcoach Centers; Call Center Employee Honored
Caterpillar Inc., C4743, announced that it now has more than 70 Cat Motorcoach Centers across North America, with additional centers planned. The facilities deliver enhanced service to owners of Caterpillar-powered motorhomes, with everything from 24-hour, seven-day-a-week emergency service assistance to chassis repair. Cat Motorcoach Centers are part of the Cat dealer network, which is made up of more than 2,500 authorized Caterpillar service locations.
Cat Motorcoach Center technicians are trained to provide service for engines and the vehicle chassis. Full-service centers provide dedicated service bays, a dump station, and even the ability to perform or subcontract interior/exterior repairs. A 24-hour Engine Call Center hotline (877-777-3126) and Web site (http://rv.cat.com) are available to help coach operators find the nearest Cat Motorcoach Center when they’re on the road.
The company also announced that call center employee Tad Petrie has been selected as the first recipient of the Cat RV Club Award due to his willingness to help RVers who own motorhomes powered by Caterpillar engines.
Brett Wolfe, F252125, president of the FMCA Cat RV Club chapter, said that for the past two years Mr. Petrie has monitored a Yahoo! Groups Cat RV engine discussion Web site even though it is not part of his job description. “Tad has been a real watchdog for the site “” with more than 850 members, the group shares information about their Cat engines on a daily basis,” Mr. Wolfe said. “Tad checks to make sure everything is accurate and dispenses good advice to members.”
Information about the Cat RV Club can be found at www.catrvclub.org. The discussion site, which is not officially affiliated with Caterpillar or the Cat RV Club, is http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/catrvclub.
FMCA Member Provides Laughs In New Book
RV Chuckles and Chuckholes bookDarlene Miller, F368364, has written a new book filled with humorous observations and stories that motorhomers will enjoy called RV Chuckles and Chuckholes: the Confessions of Happy Campers ($9.95, Roving Pen Publishing).
Darlene and her husband, Terry, had been full-timers for eight years when the book was published, and during that time, she collected a bounty of insights, anecdotes, and experiences while living on the road.
The 98-page book is a quick, enjoyable read that covers a little bit of everything in a full-timer’s life, from folks who don’t understand the lifestyle to husbands “” and how to get rid of them for a little while. There are chapters devoted to children, grandchildren, and other relatives; pets; mechanical challenges; snowbirds; moving into a motorhome; and more.
To order, visit www.rovingpen.com or mail an order and payment in the amount of $12.45 ($9.95 plus $2.50 shipping and handling within the United States or Canada) to Roving Pen Publishing, Darlene Miller, 230 Rainbow Drive #13012, Livingston, TX 77399-2030.
National RV Lends A Hand At Local Special Olympics
Employees of National RV, C3451, based in Riverside, California, took part in the Special Olympics Track and Field Tournament for 180 special-needs athletes at Riverside Community College on April 8, 2006. In addition to employees working with the athletes during the tournament, the company provided a Tropi-Cal diesel motorhome to be used during the event and made a financial donation to the cause.
Besides the athletic events, which included the standing long jump, a softball throw, wheelchair races, sprints, relays, and more, an “Olympic Village” was set up with approximately 100 carnival-type booths and food concessions for the participants. The day’s activities also included live entertainment, sports clinics, and a dance following the event.
“To be involved with an event such as this is something that we couldn’t pass up,” said Len Southwick, president of National RV. “Being based in Riverside County, we welcomed the opportunity of being part of events that are community-related and service-oriented. At this Special Olympics we enjoyed assisting these great athletes who are wonderful people. It was extremely rewarding for our National RV employees who took part in the event.”