for we live about 70 miles north of there. We sent in our registration and found the fees to be very reasonable for all that was offered.
It was enjoyable to see the fairgrounds so open without the 100,000-plus crowds that typically attend the state fair each day. Getting around was a real breeze for us, as we were so familiar with the streets and buildings used. We brought our bikes along, which was a great and relaxing way to get from site to site, although we appreciated the availability of trams.
For my husband, the convention highlight was attending seminars related to the many different aspects of owning and maintaining a motorhome. Although already knowledgeable, he came away learning so much more about the hydraulic air brakes; Allison transmission; CAT engine; tires; electrical, inverter, and battery systems … the list goes on. One day he attended five different seminars! I enjoyed the Sharp convection-microwave seminar; the RV caravan trip presentations; the RV vendors’ displays, including the new 2008-2009 coaches; and the entertainment, especially the Frustrated Maestros’ patriotic presentation.
Much to our surprise, we even ran into a California couple we had met while traveling in Australia and New Zealand with Adventure Caravans four years ago.
Thank you all for your excellent planning to make these conventions such a huge success. We look forward to attending convention number two in the future, wherever that may be.
Ernie and Marian Rud, F325351
Everything Takes Energy
We take exception to the comments by Joel Chinitz in the August 2008 “Readers’ Forum” (“Waste Not …” page 20) criticizing Ronald Jones’ excellent and comprehensive article regarding the issues of boondocking in the June issue (“Disconnected RVing,” page 58). Specifically, we believe the statements Mr. Chinitz makes about paper plates and plastic utensils are taken out of context.
Mr. Jones does, in fact, mention washing and the conservation of water several times. And that also includes the soap and sewage facilities to accommodate same, along with the energy used in those mechanized facilities. Mr. Jones states, “Use paper plates, disposable cups, and plastic utensils to eliminate some dishwashing.” He certainly does not advocate cutting down the forests to eliminate the use of water “” the energy requirements of which to pump, filter, recycle, and distribute outweigh those of a landfill several thousand times during the course of a year.
The article was the best short dissertation on boondocking we have ever read. It is a documented fact that full-timing and boondocking use less energy and natural resources than the average stick-and-staple household.
Chuck and Elva Newman, F162285
The TV show “Good Morning America” has a segment called “Just One Thing,” which deals with how each of us can help the environment by doing just one thing. In that vein, I would like to suggest that if each member of FMCA would recruit just one new member, it would help our organization to remain financially sound and rejuvenated.
We are a social club for motorhomers, but we also are a business. The more members we have, the easier it is to keep the association going. Maintaining our many benefits, such as the magazine, as well as our 500-plus chapters and our conventions is not a simple or inexpensive task. In these tough economic times the more members we have, the easier it will be to manage the budget while providing services at a reasonable cost.
Fellow FMCA family members, we need to pitch in and help to keep our family solid, viable, and happy. I challenge you to get just one new member into FMCA. Don’t assume someone else will do it. Every time you go out to do laundry, stop at a rest area, roam through a dealership, or stay in a campground, leave a copy of the magazine behind. Talk to someone you meet in a campground who doesn’t display a “goose egg” on their coach. FMCA is what YOU make of it. Remember to refer to the member benefits described in every issue of the magazine, such as MEDEX, mail forwarding “” and the magazine, of course! At the very least, be sure that those you meet have FMCA’s toll-free number to call at a future date.
Let’s keep FMCA going strong and enlarge our family, one coach at a time.
Barbara Higgins, F203761
Senior Vice President, International Area Organization
Laconia, New Hampshire
Tiffin Makes The Grade
My wife and I recently traded in a coach on a 2005 Tiffin Allegro Bay, which we bought from Mountain Family RV in Reno, Nevada. I wanted you to know that the Mountain Family RV people were courteous, no-pressure, and very professional. They represent the Tiffin line very well.
I also wanted you to know how impressed we are with the quality and comfort of the Tiffin brand motorhome. It is very well built, and drives and handles extremely well. We took the motorhome (towing a 2006 Subaru Legacy) to Angels Camp, California, this past July Fourth weekend via California State Route 4 (Ebbetts Pass). This road is very steep (in some spots 24 percent grade) and curvy. While I will never do the same trip again in a motorhome, the Allegro Bay pulled the towed car up the grades without sweat, and its turning radius was amazing.
We had a great weekend visiting the local wineries and returned safe and sound Sunday, July 6. Thank you, Marc, and all at Mountain Family RV, and thank you, Mr. Tiffin, for building a quality product. I have owned motorhomes for the past 16 years and would definitely consider purchasing another Tiffin.
Dennis and Barbara Taylor, F380718
Carson City, Nevada
Excellent Indiana Stops
We recently had a tough vehicle week. First, the harness on our towed car had a short. Luckily we found a really reputable place to discover what and where our problem was “” Dan’s Hitch on Alt Drive in Elkhart, Indiana (800-354-4824). Their work is excellent and reasonable.
The very next day as we headed west, a “stop engine” command appeared in the coach’s information center. That signal was accompanied by a very ominous beeping sound. After waiting nine hours for a wrecker strong enough to haul our 38,000-pound motorhome away, we were fortunate to be taken to Central Illinois Trucks Inc. in Peru, Illinois (866-431-3810). Not only were those folks super nice, but they also found out exactly what was wrong: a bad sensor.
They also discovered the cause of another issue that my husband had paid another place in Florida to diagnose and fix, but they didn’t. Central Illinois Trucks has a very clean customer lounge as well as two showers and free laundry facilities for their customers. So, if you happen to need the services of Dan’s Hitch in Elkhart or Central Illinois Trucks in Peru, go right on in. They’ll take good care of you.
Steve and Marcy Krauss, F370002
West Palm Beach, Florida
More Travel Supreme Service
I am the owner of Certified RV Service in Elkhart, Indiana (58356 County Road 3, Elkhart, IN 46517) and I noticed your article regarding Travel Supreme service in the June 2008 “RV News & Notes” column (“New Service Center For Travel Supreme RVs,” June 2008, page 55). I thought perhaps you would like to let your readers know that we also have many years of experience with Travel Supreme, and that we have been and will continue to offer parts and service for Travel Supreme owners. I am a past service manager and parts manager with Travel Supreme, and I have several technicians who are experienced with this product.
Please check out our Web site (www.certifiedrvservice.com) and banner listing on the Travel Supreme Motorhome Owners MSN home page, and feel free to give me a call (574-294-2363; cell: 574-849-1468). I am making every attempt to let Travel Supreme owners know about our dedicated years of experience with their product and customers, as well as our commitment to quality-service experiences in a family-friendly setting.
Why the name “Fan-Tastic Vent Fan”? Very simply, it’s a fantastic company that emphasizes customer satisfaction and support.
My 1994 Beaver Grand Patriot (the only one made) has two Fan-Tastic roof fans. A couple of years ago, both “up-down” motor gears finally wore out. I called the company, spoke with Bob Baretta in customer service, and he said I needed a couple of new motors. I was ready to give him my credit card info, but he said there was no charge. Included with the motors were new drive gear arms for the lid and other associated hardware.
Two days ago, one fan decided to start running slower than normal. I made another call, talked to Jeff this time, and explained my problem. I ordered a new fan drive motor and when I inquired about charges, he said it was free.
That, my friends, is why they are called Fan-Tastic. They still provide support to customers whose fans are more than 15 years old. No questions asked.
Wouldn’t it be nice if more manufacturers could support their aftermarket customers in the same way?
Allen Spousta, F119971