Share Your “Rear Views”
Have you seen FMC’s newest column? “Rear View” appears each month on the last page of the magazine. Readers share their thoughts on specific topics “” their favorite travel sites, restaurants, activities, etc.
We’d like to hear from you, too. Below are several upcoming topics you’re welcome to comment on. Please limit each response to 150 words. Send e-mail responses to firstname.lastname@example.org; type “Rear View” on the subject line. Or mail to Rear View, Family Motor Coaching, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244. Include photos if available (color prints or high-resolution digital images).
1. Describe your favorite holiday memory involving your motorhome.
2. What’s your favorite dish to bring to a potluck, and why? (Please include the recipe.)
Thanks For The Lift
My wife and I attended FMCA’s 78th International Convention in Redmond, Oregon. I am handicapped and was worried that this, our first rally, would be too much for us to get around. Was I ever wrong! The golf cart transportation for handicapped members and the trams provided an invaluable means for us to fill our rally card, and we saw everything we wanted to see. (Well, we saved some for the upcoming Pomona, California, convention!) We experienced so much help and friendship from staff and fellow members.
Thank you, FMCA, for a great first rally for us. The volunteer drivers deserve special praise. They really came through for all of us who needed an extra hand.
Tony Orlando was excellent and his tribute to veterans was heartfelt.
Bill & Cathi O’Connor, F349876
The Enjoyment Of Youth
Our two girls, Katie, 12, and Kristina, 11, had an outstanding time at the FMCA convention in Redmond, Oregon, this past August. We have been attending conventions for the past four years, and every year the girls look forward to all the activities and field trips you have planned. This year’s favorite was the whitewater rafting trip and the Fun Center.
I personally would like to thank each and every volunteer who made this event possible for all the people who travel with children. It is the same group of volunteers since we started attending our FMCA rallies. The children often think of the volunteers as grandmas and grandpas, because they are so kind and sweet to them. God bless those wonderful youth program volunteers! Many of the same families come back year after year and enjoy the same educational activities. It has been a pleasure for Katie and Kristina to meet so many wonderful kids who travel around the United States like them. I am sure as they grow up, they will always have fond memories of FMCA. They have already said that they will force their future husbands to buy a motorhome to enjoy with their families like we have made so many memories within our family.
I have been trying to pass the word along to other people who have motorhomes to join FMCA because of the children’s activities.
Thank you for providing this program so that my husband and I can attend the seminars, exhibit shop, and look at all the newest technologies in motorhomes. If it weren’t for the youth program at the spring Perry convention, we would not have had enough time to pick out a brand-new 2007 American Tradition motorhome.
Thank you also for the “family with children” parking area, which greatly decreases the amount of time spent taking the kids back and forth to the youth program. It also enables them to meet and spend time with the other children.
We are looking forward to next year’s summer convention in Minnesota.
God bless and thank you again!
Dan & Mary Jo Starr, F332421
Winter Garden, Florida
A Flaming Discussion About Safety
The fire article in the June 2007 issue (“RV Fire Safety,” page 72) was very good. I did see two things that should be added, however. There are five different classes of fire. Class K was not mentioned. Research has revealed that cooking oils do not respond to extinguishment in the same way as petroleum products; therefore, in 1994, a new class of fire was listed “” Class K “Kitchen Fires.” Fire extinguishers used in the kitchen should be listed for Class K.
Also, because tire fires are a major threat, any fire extinguisher that may be used on a tire that is burning should have a flexible hose. The ability to direct a stream of extinguishing agent upward is necessary to reach some areas. A fire extinguisher with the nozzle coming directly out of the unit near the top must be used in the upright position, and directing a stream upward is difficult. Unfortunately, that is the type of fire extinguisher that comes with most RVs. In my opinion, all fire extinguishers should be capable of directing a stream of agent in enclosed, hard-to-reach areas.
William Moran, F293432
Veteran firefighter “Mac” McCoy replies: William is correct in that there is a K fire extinguisher for industrial kitchens. However, remember the article was about the types of fires we face in an RV. K extinguishers are used in restaurants and around commercial cooking only.
The idea of a fire extinguisher with a hose has some merit, if you are using a dry chemical or dry powder extinguisher. Liquid extinguishers do not need a hose as much as a dry powder or dry chemical. I wish more foam or wetting agent extinguishers were available, but as we know they’re not. I agree totally that a hose on all fire extinguishers would be great. But, that said, no matter how great the fire extinguishers are, if you don’t know how to use them, it really doesn’t matter.
This is in reference to Don Eversmann’s “Motorhome Parking Etiquette” commentary column (June 2007, page 12). We have been RVing for a little more than two years. Friends asked us to join them on their trip from Miami to Las Vegas. After visiting points south, we picked up Interstate 40 in Little Rock, Arkansas, and headed west. Our new diesel coach was doing great. We dodged tornadoes in Amarillo, Texas, and drove up to the blue skies of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
It wasn’t until we got outside Albuquerque that we hit hurricane-force winds. Anything and everything that could bump, flap, or squeak did. We stopped to check for damage and secure whatever we thought might be making noise. Nothing helped. We sent our friends on to Williams and we headed for the nearest Wal-Mart. We checked in with the store manager, picked up a few things we thought might help secure the coach, and headed back to the parking lot. To our surprise, there were a dozen more RVs of all types and a few semis, all seeking refuge. We tied down, rearranged and secured the RV, and hit the road again. We knew, if we had to, we could make a U-turn, head back to Wal-Mart, and park safely for the night. After a few miles on the interstate, we realized the winds were letting up and the noises were gone.
Twenty miles outside of Williams my husband asked if I saw what he did “” snow. If we couldn’t make it we’d find another Wal-Mart. Instead, we caught up with our friends and continued on our great trip without any further noises.
Knowing that Wal-Mart offers overnight stops is peace of mind for all RVers. If anything should happen and we cannot make our day’s destination, we are comforted we will be welcome on their lots. As Don Eversmann states in his commentary, we are overnighting, not camping. Let’s make sure that Wal-Mart and businesses like them keep their lots open to those of us who need a place to “get out of the winds” that might blow their way.
We’ll wave when we see you on the road.
Alan & Lorraine Court, F376832
More Boomer Notes
I could relate to Mr. Cianci’s statements (“Boomer/Gen Xer Checks In,” June 2007, page 162), as we likewise started the motorhoming lifestyle when I was just 40, and found I was at least 20 years younger than most RVers we met, including those in the chapters we joined.
As traveling FMCA members for almost 20 years, we have seen many changes in the goals and desires of motorhomers. Where once people joined an FMCA chapter and mostly only attended the rallies (local and regional), and traveled around mainly for sight-seeing, the membership is now much more mobile and adventurous. Instead of sitting around playing cards, they want to be hiking, biking, jeeping, exploring, learning, and growing. They drive larger motorhomes, expect better amenities, and eat out more often. They are hobbyists, big-boy-toy collectors, stock market followers, computer and communication “experts,” and they want the means to express and share all this. In order to appeal to these newbies, the FMCA organization and its chapters need to reflect this change.
Where once our chapter sat around tables playing games, or around campfires having sing-a-longs, now we jump in our towed vehicles and explore out-of-the-way places, visit historical sites, snoop through museums, or hike through forests and down desert washes. Then, we go out to eat on the way back to camp. While there have always been those who pursued this way of life (my family did when I was growing up, for one), I think it is more pronounced with the baby boomers, who are accustomed to being busy all the time, and having more things planned.
Another aspect that impacts baby boomers’ participation in FMCA and in chapters is exactly this “busy”-ness “” they are off visiting friends and relatives around the country, taking exotic vacations overseas, and traveling in connection with work-related activities. So don’t expect them to “only” be involved with FMCA or the local FMCA chapter.
We have found that by changing our local chapter’s choice of locations and activities, we have been able to attract younger members who are not only joiners, but more than willing to be active as rally masters and officers, even if not all the time. Accepting the fact that some members may make it to only one rally a year “” but are willing to be rally masters for it “” is all part of adjusting to the changes that we face as we evolve from generation to generation.
As far as the magazine is concerned, I think it would have greater appeal if there were more articles about exciting places to go, see, and do; i.e., where physical activities were featured. The boomers have been exposed to so many sight-seeing choices through satellite TV these days that it takes something unusual to get their attention.
Rae Phillips, F124999
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Clean, Fair Service
On July 5 my wife and I began our first lengthy post-retirement trip. We chose one of our favorite parks as our first overnight stop “” Twin Oaks RV Park (478-987-9361) in Elko, Georgia (near Perry). As we set up, we noticed our fresh water pressure was low. Turned out a leaking water pump was flooding one of our storage bays. Mary Ann of the park management was very helpful, offering support and advice. We called the FMCA Emergency Road Service (Coach-Net), after 5:00 p.m., and they arranged a place for us to get service the next day.
At 8:30 the next morning they had gotten us an appointment with John Bleakley Motor Homes (877-456-3700; 478-627-3700) in Unadilla, only 5 miles away. Glenn, the service manager, worked us in earlier than scheduled, in spite of being short-handed because of the July Fourth holiday, and replaced the failed pump for a very reasonable price.
They were outstanding! Their service area is the cleanest I have ever seen. Their customer lounge is the largest and nicest I have ever been in. They also recommended the Railway Café in Unadilla for lunch, which has great country cooking. By 1:30 that afternoon we were on our way, only about four hours behind our original plan.
Kudos to all involved for outstanding help!
Steve Marcereau, F342103
Winter Garden, Florida