After the “Towables For 2008” article (January 2008, page 60) went to press, we learned that the Chrysler Aspen can be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome. Like its cousin, the Dodge Durango, the Aspen is a four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle with an automatic transmission. However, only models equipped with the optional low-speed transfer case that has a neutral position are towable four wheels down. The Aspen has a base curb weight of 5,131 pounds and measures 200.8 inches in length. There are no speed or distance limitations during towing.
Pilot Writes Regarding Submarines
I enjoyed reading “Unforgettable Floating Museums” in the December 2007 issue (page 82), and have a couple of comments about the article.
In the section about the Star of India, a portion of the ship’s log was quoted. After the word “labouring,” a “(sic)” was added. If the ship’s officer who wrote that was anything but American (British, perhaps?), the spelling is correct. There are many words in the English language (labour, colour, neighbour, etc.) that are spelled differently outside of the USA, but are, nevertheless, proper.
About the Russian submarine, the comment is made that, “The generally poor level of workmanship surprises visitors familiar with U.S. sub construction and maintenance.” The design and construction of Soviet submarines (as well as their tanks and aircraft) during the Cold War was deliberate so as to be mass-produced and maintained by medium-skilled workers. For many years (in the late 1960s and early 1970s) I piloted aircraft engaged in antisubmarine tactics in the North Atlantic. Submarines from the USSR (including the Foxtrot class) were no easier to locate and track than their American counterparts.
C.V. Macintyre, F285809
Richard Landing, Ontario, Canada
FMCA Is Great
We have been FMCA members off and on for several years and active members since 2002, when we formed the NW Trek Fun Club chapter for owners of the Safari Trek motorhome. We travel extensively in our 2004 Trek. We led a seven-coach rally to Alaska this year. At present, my wife, Peggy, is alternate national director for the chapter, and I am a vice president in the Northwest Motor Home Association. I am also excited and honored to have recently assumed the position of national director for the Safari International chapter.
FMCA has introduced us to a very exciting, informative, and active way of life. The hundreds of friendships we have developed are awesome. The excitement of being thoroughly involved keeps us off the couch in front of the television.
FMCA is in a very strong position with its successful history, financial position, reputation in the RV industry, quality leaders, 120,000 member families, and good organization. The many benefits that FMCA provides give us a $99 return on our $35 annual membership fee. Where can you beat that?
There is one challenge that each of us can help to overcome. The average age of an FMCA member is about 65 for a man and 62 for a woman. It would be nice to bring the averages down. We can do this by reaching out to invite baby boomers into the fold. The motorhome family you meet at the next campground or Wal-Mart that does not belong to FMCA might like our quality road service program, where one tow will pay for a year’s worth of dues. The MEDEX program provides members emergency medical evaluation assistance in case of illness or accident while they are on the road. There are many other benefits (including Family Motor Coaching magazine) for only $35 annually. On top of that, the younger folks might even learn something from all our experience.
FMCA is a great organization, and with each of us helping just a little bit, it will become a super great organization that we all will continue to benefit from and enjoy.
Bob & Peggy Beers, F341770
FMCA has chapters for religious believers such as Coaches for Christ and Roamin’ Catholics. The Escapees RV Club also has groups (“Birds of a Feather” in Escapees parlance): Christian Fellowship, Jews on Wheels, SOWERs (Servants On Wheels Ever Ready), and TLC Sharing (Travel-Loving Catholics). But Escapees also has Freethinkers “for secular humanists, rationalists, atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and all those who reject supernatural belief.”
I doubt that I’m the only FMCA member who disavows belief in the supernatural. All members who think it’s time for an FMCA Freethinkers chapter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenneth G. Crosby, F167401
Regarding “Medications and Travel” (“Readers’ Forum,” December 2007, page 20), traveling and chronic medication should not be a problem. Since no mention was made of the condition or the medication, I will keep this reply general in nature. Prescriptions are honored across state lines as a matter of practice. A pharmacist may wish to verify a prescription, and as part of professional responsibility may refuse a prescription that appears to be unsafe for a patient. Your physician or medical group should be able to arrange supervised treatment wherever you travel in the United States. It is not uncommon for dialysis and chemotherapy to be scheduled at way points along a trip so the patient can continue traveling with a chronic condition.
This said, it appears that your physician is unwilling to permit therapy outside of his/her practice. Since the law, other professionals, and common practice permit treatment during travel, your only choice might be to change physicians. You might ask your insurance carrier to suggest a group with a countrywide network. If you want to maintain the RV lifestyle, it becomes your responsibility to find a medical professional who will support your RV lifestyle.
Gary Kalyn, F174633
My spouse also had back problems and requires medication. She is required to pick up the scripts monthly at her doctor’s office, likely the same as Ms. Clements.
In our case, the reason for this procedure is federal Drug Enforcement Agency regulations regarding controlled narcotics. DEA rules allow only a 30-day supply, and the script must be picked up and taken to the pharmacy by the patient. No postdated, no mailed, no called-in/faxed, or transferred prescriptions are allowed.
Although this seems like a burden, it is the only way that the doctor can legally provide the prescription. To do otherwise could expose the doctor to potential loss of his or her drug license (DEA number required to prescribe these medications), and/or legal (criminal) action.
Paul H. Espersen, F367093
Wake Forest, North Carolina