Editor’s note: Below are just a few of the comments we’ve received thus far regarding FMC’s new look, which debuted with the May 2007 issue. The magazine staff is currently collecting comments from readers regarding the redesign as we assess the new look ourselves. Because of publication deadlines, time has not allowed us to make any subsequent modifications.
Just received my magazine and I LIKE IT! Thanks for making the change.
Martha Barnes, F3291
Merritt Island, Florida
WOW! What a cover on the May 2007 issue. You bet I did a double-take when I got mine out of my mailbox today. Whoever designed this cover, wow, you surely got your money’s worth! (Okay, we got our money’s worth!) It’s an exciting new masthead; so perfect to replace one that had gotten tired over the years.
J. Cecil Smith, F84376
Some things are difficult to improve upon. Just ask the brains who came up with New Coke.
The improvement and changes to the inside of the magazine are wonderful and probably much needed. However, the old outside cover lettering and logo were very unique to our magazine and at a glance made it easy to identify. I especially miss the goose egg that used to appear on the cover. I believe it is a mistake not to have that appear on the cover. Now we look like all the other publications with people rather than coaches on our cover.
Mark Feather, F35515
Received my Family Motor Coaching magazine yesterday. I enjoy the magazine and look forward to reading it when it comes, so I opened it right away. The new font is very difficult to read. Please consider the ages and eyesight of the majority of your readers and change back to the old font. Other than that, the new look is very nice. We can all use a little updating from time to time.
Frank Teale, F366207
Tim Ruddy’s Story
I’ve never read a better summary of the RV lifestyle than that presented by Tim Ruddy in the May issue of FMC (“From Yard Line To Mile Marker,” page 72). I look forward to the next installment and hope to see Tim’s name on the list of candidates for one of the FMCA directorships in the near future. This young family exemplifies the heart and soul of our organization.
Walt Faulkner, F153444
I can’t tell you how much my husband and I enjoyed the article by Tim Ruddy in your May issue. We have been longtime Dolphin fans and season ticket holders ever since the days when Flipper frolicked in the end zone. We are also first-time RVers, having had our Tiffin for just one year now. We travel with our two geriatric pups and can absolutely relate to their experiences and cannot wait for next month’s edition to follow their saga.
Pam & Drew Taylor, F375644
Port St. Lucie, Florida
Towing And Braking
Your “Towing Equipment ” article in the May issue (page 62) completely ignored the most critical aspect of towing with four wheels down: supplemental braking. When towing a vehicle weighing several thousand pounds, a supplemental braking system is essential, especially since we tend to use dinghies as trailers for essentials that can’t fit in our motorhomes.
For our trip to Florida this past winter, my wife, Barbara, and I decided to tow a car for the first time. Like so many other ventures associated with RVing, the plunge into towing became both an enjoyable learning experience and somewhat of an adventure.
Our research started with pumping fellow FMCA members for information and recommendations, supplemented by reading, watching a towing video, and taking a driving safety course. It finally culminated on the Internet, where we found everything we wanted.
After reviewing our finances, needs, likes, and desires, we settled on a previously owned Saturn VUE with a manual transmission. Then came the towing equipment. Finding suitable base plate and tow bar combinations was a snap via the Internet. All you need is the make, model, and year of the car and voila – you’re down to price and quality/manufacturer decisions. The only stumbling block was supplemental braking. I spent more time researching braking requirements and systems than anything else, except the selection of the towed car. Fortunately, my brother-in-law convinced me that the only choice in our price range was a simple mechanical surge system. So I went back to the Internet, and I found what I feel was the perfect solution: a combination tow bar and braking system from Night Shift Auto. Their ReadyBrute is more than just a tow bar; it combines a high-quality aluminum tow bar with a supplemental surge braking system, which is built into the front of the tow bar.
Our 2003 Saturn VUE with the ReadyBrute tow bar and braking system in conjunction with a Demco base plate was less than $1,000 over our budgeted amount – better than I expected for what we feel is a super setup. (Thanks again to my brother-in-law, who I helped install it.)
By the way, the installation instructions for the Demco base plate were superb. Those for the ReadyBrute were adequate, but not as detailed or as well-illustrated. Then again, the tow bar and braking system were generic, but the base plate was model- and year-specific for the Saturn VUE.
Ettore “Ed” Cattaneo, F363818
North Cape May, New Jersey
Editor’s Note: An article about supplemental braking systems will appear in the September 2007 issue.
Older Coaches Are Reminders Of Dreams
I am a widow who now travels in a motorhome. It was the retirement plan that my husband and I had, but it was not to be. I decided that I would pursue our dream all by myself, which I have done in my 2002 Fleetwood Discovery. My point in writing is to say that when I viewed all the wonderful vintage pictures of RVs on FMCA.com (“Old photos pay homage to vintage motorhomes”), it reminded me that I was a “wanna-be” RVer way back when. Little did I know that eventually it was a way of life that would allow me to find adventure and fellowship as I toured the country.
I still am amazed at myself but feel I have been blessed with the greatest of life’s rewards to be on the road full-time. Currently I am residing in the Coronado, California, area while my daughter is deployed to defend the American position on terrorism. My RV is two miles from my granddaughter and son-in-law, and I am able to help fill the void that has resulted from my daughter’s deployment.
I thank the world of RVers, who have been my support system through grieving, and now through raising a 4-year-old. There is no better lifestyle than to be a “Nana on wheels.”
Melanie Herr, F316512
Thanks To RV Innovations
We purchased the RV SureStep at an FMCA Northwest Area Rally a couple of years ago. We loved the steps from their first night on the motorhome. About a year and a half later, the lower step didn’t light up when we approached the vehicle. I called the company and was told that water had been the culprit. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we are accustomed to that scenario.
The person I spoke with at RV Innovations said it should not have been an issue, though, and sent us two new-and-improved units. Now that is customer service and customer satisfaction! They arrived at no charge with prepaid freight.
Thanks, RV Innovations.
Terry & Ginger Evans, F351473
Youth Program Deserves Applause
We have attended two recent FMCA conventions — the one in Pomona, California, and the one in Perry, Georgia. In both locations our children, ages 11 and 14, looked forward to meeting others their own age and going on the planned field trips. The youth program made the difference in our decision as to whether to attend these events. Please know that many of the other parents feel the same way.
The adults who have chosen to volunteer their time, effort, and love should be greatly appreciated by the FMCA organization. We look forward to the continued support, planning, and growth of the FMCA Youth Program.
We sincerely thank you.
David & Diane Salley, F369102
Boomer/Gen Xer Checks In
It was with great interest that I read executive director Don Eversmann’s commentary about recruiting baby boomers into the FMCA family (March 2007, page 12). As a boomer/Generation Xer who has been a full-timing FMCA member for more than two years (I am now 42), I don’t believe that boomers are “not joiners.” I believe boomers will join organizations that are hip, current, and tailored to their generation’s lifestyle. They don’t necessarily do the same things their parents did.
FMCA is not in an enviable position trying to recruit and retain the boomer generation while still appeasing its current membership, but it’s not totally impossible.
I am really excited to hear about the changes to the magazine and welcome any updates to the rally lineup. I am a proud member of FMCA, and although I sometimes feel lost in the organization due to my age, I stand ready to do my part to keep FMCA a vital, relevant organization for future motorhomers.
Mike Cianci, F358180