An incorrect Web site for accessing RV park reviews was listed in the April 2007 “Full-Timer’s Primer” column on page 110. The correct Web site is www.rvparkreviews.com. FMC regrets this error.
We would like to say what a great time we had at the Perry, Georgia, convention this past March. The FMCA staff was so kind and helpful.
This was our first time, and we thought it was well organized and the seminars were great. We learned about safety and how to drive and maintain our motorhome.
Everything was great and we have no complaints.
Jim & Kathy Quinn, F380170
My wife and I attended our first FMCA convention in Perry, Georgia, and we had a great time. FMCA did a wonderful job in parking, tram service, vendors, and, most of all, the entertainment.
This will not be the last FMCA convention we’ll attend. Please keep up the good work.
Robert Wiggs, F297503
FMCA Mail Forwarding
A Grand Old Railroad Station
I don’t see how Grand Central Station in New York City was left off of the “Bakers’ Dozen” list of old railroad stations (February 2007, page 144). Grand Central is so much more than a train station. I worked in the area for almost 20 years and spent more than my share of time shopping, dining, and just strolling through the terminal.
The station opened in 1871, well north of the populated area of Manhattan, but the city moved up, around, and past it. The station was adapted to the population movement, and was rebuilt several times, and expanded. Tracks (there are 67 of them now) were electrified and put under Park Avenue. Hotels, office buildings, and expensive apartments were built over the tracks. Sixty-five million people passed through its portals in 1947. A recent TV documentary showed me a lot I didn’t know, like the then-secret elevator to take President Franklin Roosevelt, in his limousine, from a train to a hotel room, for meetings crucial to the World War II effort.
Check the Web for plenty of details, and if you’re near the Big Apple it’s an easy hour-plus commute by bus from campgrounds in nearby parts of New Jersey and New York. Some offer guided tours that will pick you up at the campground. Don’t miss it!
Frank S. Winter, F114882
Manalapan, New Jersey
Enjoyable March Issue
I received the March issue of Family Motor Coaching today and the cover told me I’d enjoy this edition. Not only is my coach a Coachmen Leprechaun, but when I grow up I want to be an engineer on a steam locomotive.
Ron Mills, F386325
Steep Grades At Big South Fork
We just received our latest issue of the FMCA magazine and read the article about the Big South Fork (“Wild, Scenic, And Victorian,” April 2007, page 102). Great area! We chose it for a home base in 1999.
We want to warn drivers of motorhomes to enter the recreation area campground at Bandy Creek via U.S. 127. The access from Oneida (via State Route 297) traverses a gorge that has not only steep descents, but hairpin turns with overhanging rock. Once you have started down the road into the gorge, you would be committed and unable to turn around. Units less than 30 feet long might be okay, but nothing longer, and towing is exceptionally tough.
From the east, RVers can travel across State Route 52 through Rugby to the west portions and Jamestown with no trouble. However, if you arrive from Interstate 40 and take U.S. 27 north to get to the area, be aware that it is also full of tight turns.
We drove through the gorge again recently and the grade down is 13 percent from both sides. However, the drive is well worth it to see this area. It is totally awesome!
Tom & Barb Jancek, F346868
Tallulah Gorge Famous In Film
Tallulah Gorge (“Be Inspired: Look Into Tallulah Gorge,” March 2007, page 82) also played a large part in the movie “Deliverance.” That was really Burt Reynolds, not a stuntman, being pitched out of his canoe as it careened out of control down the rapids!
I was an assistant director on the film, and as the article stated, the dam controls the flow of water into the gorge. So, we stopped the water, built a ramp with a catch at a proper distance to halt the attached canoe, and pitched the occupant (Burt) into the lagoon below.
When everything was ready to shoot, Burt got into the canoe. I was on a radio to the man controlling the flow of water, and when the water was high enough to cover the ramp, I told him to keep it at that level. The cameras (two of them) rolled, the canoe bounced down to the catch, and Burt was tossed out “” a “one take” shot.
We filmed all around the canyon for a couple of weeks with Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Burt. For those who don’t know, the author of the book Deliverance, James Dickey, played the sheriff in the film.
Miles S. Middough, F124934
Credit Checks At California RV Parks
I read with interest the letter in the March “Reader’s Forum” called “California Credit Checks For Longer Campground Stays” (page 18). I certainly understand Don and Joyce Lebrun’s concerns about giving Social Security numbers and other credit information to campgrounds.
My wife and I have been RVing for more than seven years, spending several months each year traveling. As do the Lebruns, we often find a place to spend a month and take day trips so we can really get to know the area. It is not unusual for us to contribute upward of $5,000 to the local economy during these stays.
Though we have not yet stayed in a California resort for an extended period, we have never had to provide this type of information to any RV resort in any other state and we never will. As long as we pay in advance, there is no reason for them to need the information. If any RV resort were to require this personal information, they will have to do without our contribution.
Dave & Peggy Nott, F274517
It’s “Snow” Problem At New Mexico Campground
We were headed for Red River, New Mexico, to do some skiing on December 28 of last year. As we drove through Cimarron Pass, at 7,000 feet, snow began to fall and the road started to ice up. All traffic stopped on an icy hill. When we started to move again, the back end of the motorhome in front of us slid off the road. As I started up, my coach’s back end also slid off the road. We disconnected the Jeep, put a little cat litter under the back wheels, and we were off again. Three miles later we reached the town of Eagle Nest. We were one of the last vehicles to make it there before the road was closed behind us.
We parked the coach in front of the first campground we found and asked about a site. There was too much snow in the campground to get in (about two feet). The next campground we came to was Golden Eagle RV Park, owned by Bruce and Bridgette Manakas. Bruce cranked up a snowblower and about three hours later we were in our campsite. During the night two more motorhomes made it in, and Bruce cleared spaces for them also.
Over the next three days the snow continued. The local news channel reported it was the worst snowstorm to hit New Mexico in recorded history. I believe it.
When the roads finally cleared enough for travel, we left the coach where it was and drove the Jeep over the passes to the ski resorts.
Bruce and Bridgette made our stay a happy one. They and their friends from Ohio, coworkers Bob and Bonnie, kept the path from our coach to the office cleared. They hooked up an external propane tank so we didn’t have to try to move the coach. Bruce drove to a hardware store about 10 miles away for parts to do this. Bruce and Bridgette kept the coffeepot full and homemade snacks on the counter.
We never did get our coach to Red River. By the time the roads were clear enough, we had to head back home.
Our thanks to the owners of Golden Eagle RV Park in Eagle Nest for turning our vacation into a most enjoyable experience. The next time we do some skiing in New Mexico, we will park our coach at this FMCA commercial member campground and drive to the ski slopes.
Richard & Cindy Mankus, F258552
Fridge Fix, Free Overnight
It was the fourth day of our planned two-month vacation from Georgia to Wisconsin and Michigan when we found the refrigerator in our motorhome was not working. After checking it and working with the controls, I thought I had it fixed, but the next morning I found it not only wasn’t working, but the controls were locked up.
From a list of Winnebago dealers I had with me, I found the Burlington RV Superstore to be about 60 miles away near Racine, Wisconsin, so we headed in that direction.
Upon arriving, we found a beautiful new facility, and once inside found a more beautiful group of employees. Even though they were extremely busy on that Saturday morning, they took our unit in and began checking it out. They kept us posted on their progress, which was very reassuring. When they were finished, they offered us overnight accommodations in their paved and fenced lot, with water and electrical hookups.
If you’re ever in that area of Wisconsin we recommend Burlington RV Superstore (Sturtevant, Wisconsin; 262-763-9595) and their very caring and accommodating employees.
Dave & Marilyn Lee, F306014
Fast Service For Towed Car
In July 2006 we pulled into our destination campground to find we had no brakes left on our towed vehicle. We were desperate to find a garage that would solve our dilemma as soon as possible. After several calls, we finally found a garage that could possibly take care of our vehicle the next day, but we had to bring it in that day. We had it towed to the garage, and the mechanic was nice enough to get it repaired that afternoon.
We highly recommend that anyone needing auto repair in the Salem, Oregon, area contact Tech Tune Inc. in Keizer and ask to have Terry Johnson work on your car. They have a very small facility, so I don’t recommend RV repairs.
Arlene Wilt, F289036
Giant RV Comes Through
I would like to tell you about a pleasant experience in an unpleasant situation my wife and I had this past February. Our refrigerator-freezer went out the day we arrived at an RV resort in Ehrenberg, Arizona, on Valentine’s Day. I could write a book on the problems we had finding the same model. It is a large four-door, and locating its replacement is not that easy. After numerous phone calls, we found one in Ontario, California, only to be notified several days later (three days prior to scheduled installation) that it had been damaged in shipping.
After another two days on the phone, I happened to call Giant RV in Colton, California. I talked to John Pasillas in the parts department, and was surprised to learn they had a new fridge there, still in the shipping crate. John quoted me a fair price, knowing we were full-timers just passing through.
After the fridge was installed and seemed to be working properly, we left the next morning. That afternoon (Friday) I called service manager Dan Chase and told him it had quit working. He told me to come in Monday morning. We were only 23 miles away, so we arrived early, and soon the troubleshooting began. Dan was not able to find the problem , so he got in touch with Jerry Alexander, Norcold’s area field service trainer. He arrived the next morning, and by that evening we had another new, upgraded fridge installed and working, at no extra cost to us.
Giant RV in Colton is easy to get to; it is on the west side of Interstate 215, approximately two miles south of Interstate 10. Their phone number is (888) 400-7781 or (909) 514-0444.
Charles & Arloa White, F299683
The copilot seat in my coach has been empty for more than 17 months. I would like to thank Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, and the Niagara hospice for all their help and support during my wife’s cancer care, and afterward for their support for me and our families.
I will be stopping full-time travel soon, so I also want to thank all the FMCA members we met over 17 years of full-timing.
Jim Carter, F170035
FMCA Mail Forwarding
Blue Ox Believer
Here is a letter I sent to Blue Ox Products.
“I purchased one of your tow bars when I purchased my Ford F-250 pickup truck to use as a towed vehicle.
On a trip last summer to Alaska, one of the tabs on the right tow plate attached to the pickup broke off. Luckily, I was traveling at a slow speed when it happened. When trying to stop slowly, the truck rolled forward into the back of the coach, causing little damage with only a few scratches.
I called your business from Fairbanks, Alaska, and spoke to Michael. I explained my problem to Michael regarding the tow bar and that I could not find a dealer in Fairbanks to help me out. Michael was pleasant and very helpful. He shipped me a new tow bar and plates the next day to Fairbanks and asked that I ship the old one back when I got back to Idaho. Michael said he would have shipping tags mailed to my home.
Two months later, after returning home and shipping the tow bar back to Blue Ox, I received a message on my phone to call Deanna regarding my tow bar. It took a while to catch up with one another, but she was persistent about getting in touch with me. When we did catch each other, I again was pleasantly surprised at the pleasant person on the other phone. She explained to me that there would be no charge for the new tow bar and plates and asked if there were any other charges or damage. The damage was minor, so there wasn’t any cost for repair. I had a shop in Fairbanks remove the damaged plates and install the new ones. They charged me $133.88. She said she would send me a check for the work done.
In this day and age it is so rewarding to deal with a company such as yours. Deanna and Michael should be complimented for a job well done.
Blue Ox, keep up the good work, and thanks again. You are a winner.”
I highly recommend Blue Ox for a quality product and great employees.
Tracy Baxter, F246576
Avoid Kentucky Crossover Route
“Wild, Scenic, And Victorian” (April 2007, page 102) was a great article, but I am concerned that some folks may look at the accompanying map and follow the Kentucky State Route 92 crossover from Interstate 75 to U.S. 27 in Kentucky only to get quite a surprise. A few weeks ago on our way to a Gulf Stream prerally before FMCA’s Perry convention, we went this way and what a trip it was.
Although the crossover along State Route 92 is only about 21 miles, it took us almost an hour to drive. Most of the road is one lane, has shoulders in very few places, and also has switchbacks. We had many semis passing us. Needless to say, it was our job to get out of their way.
This is a beautiful area and well worth a visit, but I would advise anyone heading south on I-75 to take State Route 80 west out of London, Kentucky, to U.S. 27. Of course, if you like rollercoaster rides, State Route 92 might just be your cup of tea.
Margaret Ditchen, F299861
A Cool Solution In Florida
When we arrived in Arcadia, Florida, it was 84 degrees and very warm. The chassis air conditioner in our motorhome was not working, and the generator had a ruptured muffler. We asked our fellow campers if they could recommend a good garage. They sent us to Phil’s Automotive in Arcadia (863-993-1141), and both problems were repaired at a fair price. If you are in the area and need repairs, the folks at this facility are honest and competent.
Michael Tremblay, F334203