In the November 2005 issue, page 28, a “Tech & Travel Tip” proposes an idea for tethering a dog to a motorhome by installing a special eyebolt for this purpose. I was taught as a child 60 years ago to never tether an animal to a movable vehicle. The likelihood of accidental movement of the vehicle with the animal tethered is low; however, the outcome is horrible. I have read of several incidences of it happening. My parents in the 1940s told me just don’t do it. Consider the situation where someone steals the vehicle and drives it off with the dog tied to it. Or consider one of the family members driving off without thinking. The animal would be dragged to its death. Please publish a note for readers.
Fred R. Hogeman, F364061
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Editor’s note: Thanks to Mr. Hogeman and to Richard Minetti, F201158, who sent us a similar note.
Lifetime-Brand Motorhome Manual Available
If someone has an interest in an older model motorhome, I have the brochure available for the Lifetime type A motorhome, from the late 1960s or early 1970s. If anyone in FMCA owns or is rebuilding one of these units, they’d probably like to have the paperwork.
Norman Hartley, F155073
Invitation To Join Coaches For Christ “” South Central
Coaches for Christ “” South Central is open to all FMCA members of any faith living within the South Central Six State area. The chapter was formed last year during the South Central Area Rally in Hutchinson, Kansas. We are one of nine Coaches for Christ chapters in FMCA. Our purpose is to provide fellowship among believers of all faiths as we join together for devotions and prayer at the South Central Area Rally and at FMCA international conventions. In addition, we support one another throughout the year as we travel and have opportunities to share our faith.
We hope you will join us at this year’s South Central Area Rally, which will be held September 26 through 29 in Beaumont, Texas. We invite you to attend devotionals at 7:30 a.m. each day at the rally and join us for our chapter meeting on Wednesday, September 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Harden room on the mezzanine level. If you are unable to attend the entire rally, you still can get a day pass for Wednesday, enjoy the vendors, attend a seminar or two, and attend our chapter meeting.
For more information, contact me by e-mail at email@example.com or by postal mail at 239 Rainbow Drive, #13912, Livingston, TX 77399; phone (832) 443-6991.
George Archer, F288074
President, Coaches for Christ “” South Central
Code Of Conduct Violations
My wife and I have been RVing now for 31 years and full-timing for nine years. We have enjoyed the lifestyle very much and hope to continue enjoying it for a long, long time. I wonder, though, if we will get the opportunity to do so the way we have in the past.
Recently, on the morning after an overnight stay at the Cracker Barrel in Flagstaff, Arizona, we saw something that upset me to no end. It was about 6:30 a.m. when our neighbor in a motorhome started his generator. My wife and I were already up so it was not a big deal, and, true, we were not at a campground, but there were other rigs in the parking lot. I’m sure some of their occupants were still sleeping. About a half-hour later I saw the gentleman from the motorhome walk to the garbage can and deposit a pair of latex gloves he had just removed from his hands. I wondered what he had been doing. A few minutes later as we were preparing to leave, we saw him and his female companion going into the restaurant, her hair still damp from her shower. Before pulling out I took a walk around our rig. At that point it was clear what he had needed the latex gloves for. He had dumped his gray water right there on the parking lot.
This is not the first time we have seen the remains of an overnight stay from an RVer like this. We have actually seen worse and unfortunately it is becoming much too frequent. FMCA needs to print something to inform those that are just starting out that there is a proper way they should behave while enjoying this wonderful country we live in. There are proper places to dump. That is why our rigs have holding tanks.
“Reggie” Encarnacion Jr., F237815
Editor’s note: “RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy: Overnight Parking Etiquette” letter is available online at FMCA.com/motorhomerights/parking. A printable PDF version of this page is accessible to members and non-members.
Tech Tip Works
The idea in “Tech & Travel Tips” (April 2005, page 28) of using an adjustable shower curtain rod to hang damp clothes works wonderfully. I just put the shower curtain rod across the shower. When it’s not in use, I simply put the rod away.
Sharon Witt, F256620
North Carolina History
I was very pleased to see two articles about North Carolina in the June 2006 issue. Even though I now live in California, the articles were of special interest to me, as I was raised in the “Old North State.”
The story about New Bern and its history brought back memories. I was once stationed at nearby Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. I often visited New Bern when on liberty and enjoyed exploring its history and such places as Tryon Palace, the home of the British governor who ruled the area prior to the Revolutionary War.
The eastern coast of the state has much interesting history. Probably most publicized is the first aircraft flight at Kitty Hawk and the Lost Colony, both on the Outer Banks. Also, the famous pirate Blackbeard operated from Ocracoke Island. He must have paid off the British governor in the area, as he operated for years with immunity. However, he was not appreciated by the Virginia governor, who arranged for Blackbeard’s demise.
The article that received most of my attention was the one about Charlotte, as it is close to my hometown of Lenoir. As mentioned in the article, Charlotte was named for the German-born British Queen, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and the county was named Mecklenburg. Even today, the city of Charlotte is referred to as the Queen City.
A few miles north of the city on Beatties Ford Road is the still-active Hopewell Presbyterian Church, which was established in 1762. It has a large cemetery and several Revolutionary War soldiers are buried there. It contains the gravesites of dozens of my ancestors, including my parents.
Prior to the Revolutionary War, British soldiers occupied Charlotte with a ruling hand. To feed themselves, they went into the nearby farm country with their wagons and horse-mounted soldiers and helped themselves to farm produce and animals. This often left farmers destitute, as their crops, cows, and pigs were gone.
As one might expect, citizens were angry and decided to strike back. As the British traveled the trails to visit the farms, citizens would hide behind trees near the road and fire at the soldiers and then quickly disappear into the dense forests. A group of leading citizens, sick of British occupation, prepared a document declaring the area independent of all further British rule. Called the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, it was written two months before the famous Philadelphia-prepared Declaration of Independence.
Shortly after it was written, the Mecklenburg document was destroyed when the home where it was stored burned to the ground. Some assume that the fire was set by the British in retaliation, but this is not a known fact.
For those who are interested, information about the Mecklenburg document may be found on the Web.
Bill Parks, F71403
San Jose, California
Pennsylvania Tow And Repair
While we were returning from a West Coast trip, the transmission filter in our 1980 converted coach began to leak. We pulled off Interstate 80 in Lamar, Pennsylvania, at a Flying J and called Coach-Net. After we talked to representatives Mike and David about our problem, they sent Valley Truck & Trailer Towing and Recovery. The driver, Jim, had a truck that let him under-lift our coach for towing. Since it was after midnight on Friday, my wife and I thought it might be a lost weekend, but Jim worked on the problem and fixed it. He finished at about 3:00 a.m. It was just great, and we would recommend him and Valley Truck & Trailer Towing and Recovery to anyone with mechanical needs in that area.
Thanks to Jim, Valley Truck & Trailer, and, of course, Coach-Net.
Al & Shirley Mandel, F318363
Toms River, New Jersey
Happy With Mandalay
Happy With Mandalay
Over the years I have purchased many new recreational vehicles, ranging from trailers and pickup campers to three motorhomes. Two years ago I purchased a new Mandalay motorhome. Like any new RV, it has had the typical warranty-period repairs.
This happens to be my second Thor and first Mandalay purchase, but I will have to say that the service provided by the people at Mandalay has to be the ultimate in consideration, product knowledge, and follow-through. Every time I have needed replacement parts, advice, or assistance, they have always been there for me. I would like to especially thank Mark Stanley, service representative for Mandalay, for all his assistance, because this letter is really about him.
Without a doubt, if I were to purchase a new motorhome today, I would most likely purchase a Mandalay product again, knowing “it is not the problem, but how the problem is solved” that would give me the comfort in making the purchase.
Thank you, Mark Stanley and Mandalay.
Robert C. Lintner, F205487
Amazing Service From Georgia Dealer
We were on our way home from wintering in Florida and noticed we needed to replace the wiper blades on our Winnebago Journey. We were at our daughter’s home in Georgia and were heading home to New York in two days. We tried to find some blades at a car parts store, but they did not quite fit. We then called John Bleakley RV Center in Douglasville, Georgia, and talked to their parts man, Don Williams. He said they did have the wipers.
Since we do not enjoy the traffic around Atlanta and we did not know exactly where the dealership was, we asked them to overnight the blades to our daughter’s home so we could have them for the trip north. Imagine our surprise when she called our campground later that same evening to say that a man from the dealership had brought them personally to her house.
When we called Don the next day to thank him, he said that he had delivered the wipers because he had missed the UPS delivery man and knew we needed them. He said that he looked up directions to our daughter’s house on his computer, and he and his wife took a “nice ride after dinner” to deliver them. According to him, it was “only about 15 miles” from his home to our daughter’s house. We found that service to be amazing.
If you are in the Atlanta area and in need of help from a dealership, we recommend John Bleakley RV Center, 6200 Fairburn Road, Douglasville, GA 30134; (770) 949-4500; www.bleakleyrv.com. They surely do believe in customer service.
Jerry & Esther Rogers, F98387
Phoenix, New York
A Ten-Minute Diagnosis After A Long Delay
We just returned to Florida from a 6,700-mile trip to California over 62 days. In the month prior to leaving I experienced two events where the house batteries in my 2005 Bounder died, but my local service center failed to find any problem.
As long as I was driving every other day, I didn’t experience the problem on my trip. But in Napa Valley , California , we were parked for a week, and the problem reappeared. Fleetwood referred us to Hansel RV Service Center in Petaluma , California (about 50 miles north of San Francisco on U.S. 101). Service writer Kenny was good enough to get us scheduled in very reasonably, and their service tech, Jeff, diagnosed the problem in about 10 minutes. Seems the charger/convertor gets its ground through a grounding terminal on the 50-amp shore plug, and the ground terminal was loose in the molded plug. The fix was to replace the male plug.
I recommend Hansel to any RVer out there with a mechanical problem.
James Free Jr., F314286
Sarasota , Florida
Winners All Around
While at the Florida RV SuperShow, my wife and I had the good fortune to win a drawing that awarded us some halogen lighting for our coach, to be installed by Classic Coach Works, C8792, of Lakeland , Florida . We were given a tour of Classic Coach Works (CCWorks Inc.), C10397, by Ron McElvoy and were impressed with the coaches we saw undergoing everything from minor to major renovations. We observed that the Classic technicians were skilled in major woodwork, upholstering, electrical work, interior reconstruction, and everything in between.
On the appointed morning, Classic technician Brian Overcash examined our Trek and advised us that he could install the halogen lighting we selected and also would install a rooftop CB antenna we had wanted. He promised all of this could be finished by 5:00 p.m. the same day. We were quite surprised when he called at noon and said it was done.
We are extremely happy with the results. The lights and light fixtures are beautiful and hand-finished to match our decor. The CB antenna looks like it was factory installed and was sealed against any leakage, and it was completed at a very reasonable cost.
Classic Coach Works owner Dennis Stewart checked to make sure we were pleased with the workmanship and assured us they would stand behind their installations. We were very impressed with the professionalism, concern, and timely installation of our beautiful lights. We are confident that Classic Coach Works (800-971-0017; www.classiccoachworks.com is reputable and capable of making any renovation to RVs at a reasonable price.
David & Martha Kirchgessner, F333306
Largo , Florida