Safari International Celebrating 20 Years
In July 2008 the Amana Colonies RV Park will be the hosting site to celebrate the Safari International chapter’s 20th anniversary. This rally will be held in Amana, Iowa, from July 1 through July 4, prior to FMCA’s 80th International Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota (July 14 through 17).
This rally is open to all current and former Safari owners, including those who no longer have a motorhome. Local motels will be available for those who no longer have an RV.
Further information and/or applications can be obtained by contacting Carol and Jim Avallone at [email protected]; (321) 431-1943. Anyone who has ever owned a Safari is encouraged to join us.
Carol Avallone, F143904
Beaudry To The Rescue
On our recent motorhome trip from Tucson, Arizona, to Farmington, New Mexico, to attend the Rocky Mountain Area Rally, my wife, Bette, and I experienced a nerve-wracking event. As I pulled into the rest area at Texas Canyon, 50 miles east of Tucson on Interstate 10, bells and whistles sounded and I discovered that the coach had just lost air pressure. Air pressure is necessary for the brakes and air-bag suspension, so without brakes we would not be able to proceed on our trip. We were very thankful that we were in a rest area and not on the highway.
I called my roadside assist, and after many calls they were unable to locate a suitable tow truck or to find a suitable shop to fix the problem within a reasonable time.
I then called Glen Cannon, service manager at Beaudry RV in Tucson, and he assured me of help within a short time. In one hour and 15 minutes, two of his technicians, Shane Lowery and Jef Thompson, arrived and at this time I was informed my problem was the dryer. In an hour they had bypassed the dryer for a temporary fix.
We decided to drive on to Beaudry RV where Glen Cannon met us, and he drove our coach immediately to a proper lift bay. In two hours our coach was fixed and Bette and I were back on I-10. We were able to get to Lordsburg, New Mexico, just before dark for the evening. (Night driving is not my cup of tea.)
This was the first time in 24 years and four motorhomes that we had had an emergency on the highway of this magnitude. We feel so very lucky and believe this excellent above-and-beyond treatment and reasonable cost deserves recognition.
So, many thanks to cell phones and Beaudry RV (888-895-5854).
Bill & Bette Davern, F49346
Missouri RV Park Recommendation
Last month I stayed at an RV park in Marshfield, Missouri, called RVExpress. I always look for a park close to the highway, and this one is. I was tired from driving all day and they helped me to get hooked up, and that was very much appreciated.
It is so friendly there that I stayed for three days, since I was ahead of schedule. They serve a good continental breakfast and make you feel like family.
RVExpress RV Park is at 1469 Spur Drive in Marshfield; (417) 859-7837, e-mail [email protected]; Web site: www.rvexpressrvpark.com.
Charlotte Wagers, F182168
The Kindness Of RVers
While traveling in the Canadian Maritime Provinces this past August, we had the misfortune of having an accident with our car, which resulted in the car being totaled. We left the car in St. John, New Brunswick, and traveled on to Nova Scotia to visit friends while we waited for the insurance company to evaluate the car. We returned to St. John to retrieve belongings from the car and to return home to Florida. While setting up in the campground in St. John, we met another full-time RV couple from California named Dick and Bev, who noticed we were without a car. When they learned what had happened, they volunteered their time and car so we could get our things without having to take our 40-foot coach into town and a car dealer’s lot, and all of that in a pouring rain. When we thanked them for their extraordinary kindness, they said that “as RVers, that’s what we do.”
Their kindness will long be remembered. We hope they will see this note. We didn’t get their last name.
John & Jan Doner, F334449
Medications And Travel
My husband travels in our RV for work and I want to go with him, but because of spinal problems, I have to have medications refilled. I can’t get them handled elsewhere, because my doctors require me to come in monthly to get these refills “” no exceptions. Now, I know other people travel year-round and have no problems.
Do any FMCA members have suggestions as to how to handle this so I can travel?
We just completed a five-month trip of the Northwest, including Canada and Alaska. An issue we encountered throughout, but that was especially bad in western Canada and Alaska, because the roads are mostly two-lane, was impeding the flow of traffic. Alaska law says if you have five or more vehicles behind you, you must pull over and let them pass. It would not be too bold to say that the drivers of 75 percent of the private RVs and up to 100 percent of the rental RVs we saw were oblivious to traffic behind them.
Our policy is that if we have even one vehicle behind us for more than four or five minutes because of road conditions, we pull over and let them pass. We do not want the person to get antsy and do something dangerous. All throughout Canada and Alaska, we got a lot of appreciation for this “” toots, waves, and blinked lights of thanks for our courtesy. Too many times during this trip and previous ones, we have seen very dangerous passes executed because the RV ahead was not courteous enough to pull over and let traffic pass. We estimate that courtesy costs us about 15 minutes a day. A small price to pay for goodwill.
While we were in Skagway in July, there were articles in the paper for and against a proposed road between Skagway and Juneau. One article against the road said Juneau did not want the problem with RVs that the rest of Alaska had. How much do we contribute to that sentiment? There is not much we can do about drivers of rental RVs, except to set a good example. Food for thought.
Philip & Arlene Cole, F257020
Port Orange, Florida
Coach-Net Is There
On Sunday, August 26, we left our home for a week of camping. On Interstate 64 outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, we had a blowout of our rear inside tire.
I called the FMCA Emergency Roadside Assistance number. The person we spoke with located us in a short time, even though he was in Arizona. Jarrett Auto Towing and Recovery from Grottes, Virginia, was there in 45 minutes. We then received another phone call from Coach-Net to be sure we were getting the help we needed.
We thank Coach-Net for the service. We will not hesitate to get the road service again next time our policy is due.
Gloria Lovell, 375176
King George, Virginia
I want to publicly commend the folks at Wilkins Recreational Vehicles Inc., located at 7520 S.R. 415 in Bath, New York. This sparkling new facility is located one mile from Interstate 86, exit 37, near Bath.
While traveling east on I-86 this past July, our diesel motorhome lost all coach air-conditioning. The microwave oven would not work, either. The generator continued to run, but was not supplying any operating current to anything in the coach. We found a sign for Wilkins. I parked the coach, went to the service department, explained my situation, and asked if there was any chance I could have the problem diagnosed and repaired.
The person at the counter called two techs to follow me to the coach. Within five minutes the problem was found and corrected. The highway was so rough that the main 50-amp circuit breaker had jiggled loose.
Elated, I went in to the service department, expressed my appreciation, and asked for a bill. I was told there was no charge, but I was welcome to tell everyone how nice the folks at Wilkins are. So, let me say they are very nice and extremely modest!
Tim Backus, F140432
We pulled into a campground in northern California on a Saturday afternoon. Upon exiting the coach, we noticed a fresh water leak. We called the manufacturer’s weekend tech support. After their representative told us that factory service was booked for months, we were given the name of an independent service center in Eugene, Oregon. The next day we headed for Eugene. Monday morning this service center stated they were booked until Friday, but they gave us the name of another independent service center down the street, Frontier RV (29365 Airport Road, Unit B, Eugene, OR 97402)
We called the owner, Darrell Ruse, who said to come over and he’d do whatever he could to work us in that day. Darrell and the shop manager, Bruce Keith, worked on the coach that morning. The repair was completed in less than 90 minutes, and at a reasonable price.
We suggest their immaculate shop to RVers in the Eugene area. Contact Frontier RV at (541) 688-1319. If you stop in, give their very friendly shop dog, Timmy, a pat on the head.
Tim & Linda Tyler, F290207
Treasure Island, Florida
Reflecting On Mirror Fix
For months we were having a problem with one of the rearview mirrors on our 2003 Endeavor. The mirror would never stay set in one position. We called the manufacturer, Ramco Engineering Inc., and they told us that if we were going to be in Elkhart, Indiana, they would repair it. Since we were headed for Elkhart anyway for an appointment with Monaco, it was a perfect time to stop at Ramco.
When we arrived for our appointment, a technician removed the mirror, fixed it, and replaced it within one hour. When we asked for the bill, he said that there would be no charge.
These days it is so rare to find a manufacturer such as Ramco Engineering Inc. that stands behind its product. We thank them for their help.
Ralph & Betty Schoeffer, F205001
Cool Fix From Bretz RV
We were traveling to the FMCA convention in Redmond, Oregon, from Livingston, Montana. It was a hot, 97-degree Sunday morning and our refrigerator would not work, period.
Later in the afternoon we pulled into Bretz RV & Marine in Missoula, Montana. By then it was 101 degrees outside. A salesman let us park along a fence and helped us get electricity, but no refrigerator repair. It was summer, we had no appointment, and there was a full service parking lot!
On Monday morning our service writer, Shane Lane, was able to get the fridge serviced. It was a minor short in the electrical system on the kitchen slideout. After two hours in the morning, we were on the road again.
Our many thanks to Shane and to Bretz RV for their service. If you’re in Missoula, give them a call.
Dave & Doris Bauer, F100336
FMCA Mail Forwarding
We bought a new motorhome, a Coachmen Mirada, from a dealer in Indiana. As with all new motorhomes, it had some problems that needed fixing. We were unhappy with the service from the dealer so we contacted Coachmen directly. We spoke with Chad Freisner, Coachmen district manager; Gerald McCarthy, vice president of service operations; Al Nussi, assistant vice president of service operations; and Ron Ross, regional service manager. All these fine gentlemen were a godsend to my wife and me, since I hurt my back and couldn’t do much work on the coach myself.
The people at Coachmen service treated us great! They repaired all our coach’s problems and more. They went above and beyond the nine dots. And if it weren’t for these great people, Betty and I couldn’t have kept our motorhome because of my injuries.
I would recommend anybody looking for a great motorhome to consider a Coachmen RV.
Gordon & Betty Ingbretson, F375641
Thanks, All Seasons
I am writing to commend a company in Bend, Oregon, for their outstanding employees and service. That would be All Seasons RV & Marine, an FMCA commercial member (866-385-2778; www.asrvm.com).
My motorhome had a bad electrical problem, and these people went out of their way to provide wonderful service on short notice. They are a credit to the RV industry, so if anyone has a problem in the Bend area, I highly recommend them.
Bob Quin, 358130
I have never written a letter to the editor before, but I know over the years that I have appreciated people giving the names of those who have helped them on the road.
Recently I was on my first big trip with our motorhome since my husband died. My daughter and I were in Illinois, headed for Knoxville, Iowa, when my motorhome shook so bad that I thought I had a flat tire, or that the air brakes had locked up. We stopped and found the tires to be okay. I got off the interstate and pulled into the parking lot of a motel that was closed.
My road service called Hodge’s Phillips 66 Auto Service in Kewanee, Illinois, 11 miles down the road from where we were. Their serviceman, Pete, came to us, got under the motorhome, and saw the problem immediately. A nut had come off of an air line. He rigged it so I could drive it to the service center, and about a half-hour after we got there, we were back on the road. This was on a Sunday morning. He did not charge us an arm and a leg, for which I was very thankful. He knew what he was doing and also was considerate.
Everyone at Hodge’s was very nice. I would recommend them to anyone who needs work done in that area: (309) 853-5011; www.hodges66.com.
Marilyn Dewease, F215465
Power Back On
While on a trip this past August, we experienced a power failure on the right side of our coach. On Saturday morning the 25th, we took it to North Beach RV Parts & Service, at the junction of State Route 109 and State Route 115 near Hoquiam, Washington (360-289-3593).
Their service was both professional and friendly. Even though they were very busy, they were able to get us back on the road that same day. By the way, their hours are very RV-friendly: Thursday through Monday.
We strongly recommend their service and parts departments if you need help while in this area.
Bruce & Dorothy Lacey, F376797
Alta Loma, California
We want to extend our thanks to Alan and to Cummins Rocky Mountain. We had our first need for service on the road over the Labor Day weekend, the start of a seven-week Southwest trip. We pulled into a Cummins Rocky Mountain location on Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. without an appointment, knowing we would have to get in line.
Our service coordinator, Alan, said it would be 3:30 p.m. before they could get us in and to be prepared to spend the night. Before I could get back to the coach, Alan had found a 1:30 p.m. slot. I left to hook up the coach electricity, as it was 90 degrees outside, but before I flipped the switch for power, Alan was there saying, “I can get you in now.” Fortunately there were no major issues, and by 2:30 p.m. we were on our way.
Equally impressive was a call from Alan the next morning to make sure everything was okay. A day later there was another follow-up call from Cummins Rocky Mountain to make sure we were okay and satisfied with the service we received.
We cannot say enough about the professional service, great facility, and comfort we felt when we left. Alan even took the time to let us know where their other facilities were in case the issue returned.
We would like to again say thanks and recommend Cummins Rocky Mountain locations (www.rockymountain.cummins.com) when you need service.
Larry & Marilyn Gawne, F341639
Last August 28, on my return from Camping World’s store in South Jersey, I was traveling north on Interstate 295. That’s when my 1995 Fleetwood experienced a major mechanical failure that could have resulted in a bad accident. The auto park engaged while traveling 65 mph. It really tore things apart underneath the coach.
I want to recommend two companies from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, that really helped. The first is Cioffi’s Towing Service (309 Chapel Ave. W., 800-624-6295). They have equipment to handle any size motorhome in a very professional and careful manner. The other and more important one is R&S Truck Repair, where my motorhome was taken (518 Beechwood Ave; 856-488-6212). Randy, the owner, and his staff, did a very professional repair to the coach and kept me informed every step of the way. He handles gas and diesel motorhomes and has many years of experience. It was a pleasure to have done business with R&S Truck Repair and with Cioffi’s.
As a diesel engineer in the Navy; a truck mechanic; and then a high-school auto-mechanics teacher for 30 years, I believe I know good work when I see it. These folks do good work.
Stanton R. Price, F239664
Bridgewater, New Jersey