Directory Printing Error Corrected In This Issue
A printer’s error resulted in the insertion of an incorrect page in the January 2007 issue of Family Motor Coaching. Page 1000 of the issue, a portion of the “Directory of Sanitary Disposals,” was omitted, and page 1100 was put in its place.
As a convenience to readers, we have included the missing page in the February 2007 print edition (pages 192A and B). It’s perforated so that readers can remove it and insert it in the appropriate place in their January 2007 directory issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Big Toy Collection At California Repair Spot
I just read the article called “RV Toys: Not Just Child’s Play” (September 2006, page 92). I wonder if you have seen the collection of more than 450 toys owned by “RV Doctor George” in Sacramento, California? It can be seen in person (the best way for serious collectors) or on his Web site, www.rvdoctorgeorge.com.
George’s company is RV Doctor George RV and Trailer Repair & Parts Center. He has a large stock of new and used (sometimes obsolete) parts, not to mention great service by people who know what they are doing. Nice people work there.
Dale Fleener, F173741
Valley Springs, California
Editor’s note: Many toys can be seen on the Web site, and visitors can get a better view in person at the shop during business hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday. The facility is located at 1142 Dixieanne Ave. in Sacramento; phone (916) 927-7837.
I have just finished reading through your December issue and was most pleased with Kimberly Button’s article about Huntsville, Alabama (“High-Tech And Homespun Holidays In Huntsville,” page 70). As an engineering employee of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, I was transferred to Huntsville as a technical representative to NASA in 1963. At that time, due to the achievements of Wernher von Braun and his German associates, Huntsville was no longer a village but a growing town. As noted in the article, it is now a city of 400,000 citizens.
Being a center of high technology, the schools there were outstanding. One thing I remember well was the transfer of our children, then 8 and 11, from California to Huntsville schools. We found that they were about six months behind in the Alabama system. Four years later we were transferred back to the West Coast, and they were way ahead of the California students.
We joined a church near the edge of town in a building that, a couple of years earlier, was a roadhouse out in the country. Our church sanctuary was in the old dance hall, and the choir and lectern were located on a raised area formerly used by the orchestra. The roadhouse kitchen stove, refrigerator, and other equipment remained, and we claimed we were the only church in Alabama with its own beer cooler.
In addition to the Germans, people from all over the United States had moved to Huntsville to work on the space programs. We loved the people, we loved the area, and, when the time came for us to return to California, we really didn’t want to leave.
Thank you for the article and the happy memories.
Bill Parks, F71403
San Jose, California
Fast Stop, New Alternator
Our motorhome indicated overcharging while we were traveling through North Carolina. We stopped at Lilley International in Williamston, North Carolina, at 11:15 on a Monday morning. The manager told us the workers took a half-hour lunch at 12:30, and after that, they’d work on replacing the alternator in our 1998 Newmar diesel motorhome.
We took our time for lunch and shopping, and then returned to the garage. We were greatly surprised to get back on the road by 3:30 p.m. with a new alternator. The mechanic and order writer at Lilley International were extremely courteous, and we were thankful for excellent service and fair pricing. We recommend them to FMCA.
Ray & Joan Noel, F17579
Waterford, New York
“Endless Breeze” Keeps RVer Cool
Recently we upgraded the Fan-Tastic Vent fans in our 2005 Winnebago Vectra to the rain-sensor variety. This was done by Fan-Tastic Vent at the company factory in Imlay City, Michigan. We were given a 50-amp electrical hookup for an overnight stay.
While there, we were shown the 12-volt “Endless Breeze” compact fan, and since we were on our way to dry camp at a family reunion, we bought two of them. Using both of the new vents, plus the two “Endless Breeze” fans “” one in the front area of the RV, the other in the rear “” made dry camping comfortable.
We recommend the “Endless Breeze” compact fan as an option for all campers.
Ray & Jo Hoffman, F202231
Motor Coaching Memories
My husband, Gil, enjoyed your magazine to the fullest, reading it every month from cover to cover. He also enjoyed the advertisements, as there are always new and better products to work with on RVs. You can be proud of the magazine’s development and growth, and that you keep readers informed with honest opinions of the newest RV models.
We were members of FMCA for many years; our membership number was F109295. We were influenced many times by travel articles. In December of 2000, Gil shocked me by asking how long it would take me to be ready to travel to Key West, Florida. Our trip started the next day. We packed a few clothes and other items, as food can be bought anywhere.
All was great until we reached the Keys and stopped in Marathon and were pleased to find an RV resort. When Gil came back to the motorhome from the camp office, he was taken aback by the cost for one night’s camping. His remark was, “We are turning around. We are leaving the Keys.” That’s when, after much discussion, we decided to call this our “European trip” and not worry about any cost; just eat at the finest restaurants and do whatever piqued our interest. Staying in Key West a week through Christmas was wonderful, as we met so many friendly, enjoyable people. We all had a jolly good time. The trip lasted two months and was one of many great highlights in our 64 years of married life.
Gil believed one should spend one’s years traveling when possible, and your magazine helped make it richer. Thank you. The driver’s seat has been empty for two years now, but I do have a treasure of memories.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
In 2000 I purchased a Roadmaster 5250 tow bar and related accessories from a Camping World in Florida. I have used it to tow two Saturns and now a Jeep Liberty behind my motorhome. We live in Port Orange, Florida, but travel six to seven months a year. We have had our motorhome and towed vehicles all over the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico; driven a bunch of miles; and connected and disconnected the towed vehicle many times.
Recently my Roadmaster tow bar was starting to show signs of wear to the various bushings. I was thinking about buying a new one when I decided to contact Roadmaster to see how long these things should last. To my great delight, the Roadmaster representative was very pleasant and offered to send me parts to completely rebuild my tow bar, all at no cost to me. Within a few days a package arrived with all the parts and detailed instructions on what to do. It took me a couple of hours to complete the process, and now my tow bar is just like new. What a wonderful company and what great service, even seven years after the sale.
Gerald Bourland, F262487
Port Orange, Florida
Great Assistance In Ontario, Canada
We are on a five-month RV trip from our home in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. It has been a great trip, except for two fairly serious problems.
The first occurred in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when I discovered that the towing assembly attached to the car had almost fallen off. The bolts had worked themselves loose. We were near Recreation World RV’s (807-767-3455), so I took the car in to see if they could help. Did they ever. The head technician, Al, looked at it immediately and within four hours had completely re-installed the assembly, and we were on our way. The staff at Recreation World also were very helpful in making sure I got back to the motorhome.
The second event was a huge mistake on my part when I failed to notice a rock hidden in some bushes and took out all the dump pipes. We could not use our dump valves, and it was the Friday just before the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. I stopped at Luxury Motorhomes & RV in Carleton Place, just outside of Ottawa, Ontario (800-866-7677). I thought they would just look at it and ask me to come back the next week so they could fix it. I was met at the door by a Mr. Barry Devereux, who changed into some overalls and started to work on the problem that afternoon. He worked till 9:00 p.m. on that Friday, and then worked 12 hours on the next day to get us on our way. It turns out he is the owner and president of this very successful dealership, and all his staff had the big holiday weekend off. We were able to make a family reunion in Ottawa on time, and use our motorhome.
Readers in need of really great service should keep both of these Ontario, Canada, dealers in mind. I recommend them most highly.
Bruce Wilson, F289342
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
A New “Old” Custom Graphic From Heritage Art Ltd.
I am writing to express the satisfaction and pleasure I recently had reacquainting myself with one of the firms advertised in your magazine. Six years ago I purchased a Heritage Art graphic for the rear of my Newmar Dutch Star diesel coach from a company in Arizona. The graphic was custom made and has been in great shape for years. I used my coach this past May, and when I put it in storage for a month, the graphic literally disintegrated, all in that 30-day period. Needless to say, I was disappointed and felt that was probably the life expectancy of the graphic.
When I received my next issue of Family Motor Coaching and casually paged through, I came across the ad for Heritage Art Ltd. The ad stressed a seven-year warranty. So, not only did I not have a warranty from the dealer, but I had nothing written, other than the printed date on the graphic. I called Heritage Art and spoke to Karen. She immediately put me at ease and assured me that it was an early defective material. She stated that I needed to send photos and that their company and 3M would stand behind it, if it was indeed the defective material.
I sent the photos and she contacted me very quickly, informing me that she had located the original artwork from their files and that a new graphic was being printed and shipped to me. Heritage Art and Karen provided instructions for easy removal of the damaged graphic and the installation instructions for the new one. That was service!
I would encourage anyone who has a coach to express their views or love of a favorite place, activity, or family with a custom graphic from a truly outstanding firm.
It is unusual in this day and age to find people like Karen and Chuck Tracy. They truly warrant the support of the RV public.
Bill L. Leingang, F301712
I want to let everyone know of the outstanding service we received from Dometic for our SeaLand toilet. After nine years of full-timing, our SeaLand model 510 was finally showing its age. We asked a highly recommended RV repairman to completely rebuild the unit. He did so using all new components. However, shortly thereafter, the spring would no longer completely return the lever to the “off” position. Meanwhile, we had moved on and so were unable to ask the original service person to correct the problem. We were really worried about a spill.
At the FMCA convention in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina, last summer, Dometic sent a technician to our unit. He worked on the toilet and left his business card, telling us to call if we experienced further difficulty. Unfortunately, the same old problem reappeared in just a couple days. We called the Dometic factory number on the card, as instructed. In response to our call, Dometic sent a whole new central unit at no charge. Talk about standing behind their product. We have installed it and are thrilled with the results. Thank you, Dometic. Based on this experience, I believe that FMCAers will be well-served to specify Dometic products when purchasing new motorhomes.
Roy & Diane Schoepf, F66941
FMCA Mail Forwarding
Across the country I’ve noticed more and more RVers using multiple lights to flood the area around their campsites in the evening. Sometimes these are high-intensity spotlights; other times, they are a string of 60- to 100-watt lightbulbs. I suspect people are using up to a kilowatt-hour to light their “front yard” for several hours each night. In some cases, people are displaying the flag and have one or more 100- to 200-watt spotlights running all night (and during the day when they forget to shut them off).
My problem with this is twofold. First, I enjoy the dark evening sky, and these lights ruin it for me and others like me.
Secondly, and more importantly, I think the waste of electricity that this represents (especially when no one is outside of the RV to use the lights) is appalling, given that the average American already consumes five times as much energy as the average global citizen. Energy consumption uses valuable non-renewable resources and contributes to global warming. As RVers, let’s do our part to conserve the nature we love to visit and use only enough electricity to serve our basic needs.
James Perdue, F338597
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Ozzie Asks For Help
You will probably think I am mad, but I have a trip in mind that you may be able to assist me with planning.
I want to know if any of your members have taken a type A RV from the United States to Europe. If you have someone who has taken such a holiday, I would like to contact them in order to learn the way to go about it. I am contemplating buying a diesel in the 30-foot range.
There are several issues that I would like to sort out before I come to the United States to buy a unit and take it to Europe. Will I have problems with the size (bearing in mind I have a high level of ability with maneuvering big vehicles)? Will I have problems with complying with vehicle registrations in Europe? Will I have problems with resale, and if so, can I bring it back into the U.S. after using it in Europe for 12 months?
These are the basic issues, but there may be others I have not thought about.
I would love to have some information from people who have actually made this type of trip.
Chris G. Stone
P.O. Box 736
South Australia – 5606
Phone: (08) 86824732
E-mail: [email protected]