I enjoyed the GMC motorhome article by Jim and Audree Rowe in the October 2008 issue (“The GMC Motorhome: Still Cruising After All These Years,” page 70).
Among the great pictures is one on page 70 showing an entry door on the left side (driver’s side). Was this a production option or a conversion modification?
Jim Brossard, F207061
Audree Rowe writes: Glad to know you enjoyed the article. The coach you are asking about is owned by a couple from Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The coach has been converted to right-hand drive, and solar panels were added to the roof to accommodate long-term roughing-it in the outback.
More EZ-Pass Info
The November 2008 “Readers’ Forum” had a letter from Hank Osborne about toll charges on the Delaware Water Gap bridge (“Bridge Toll Charges,” page 124). Just a reminder that when using EZ Pass in your motorhome while towing a car, it is important to place the EZ Pass that is attached to your towed vehicle in the silver “read prevention” bag provided, so that you will not be charged for the second vehicle and the total number of axles.
Bob Benac, F332806
Waterford, New York
The article in the October “Window On Nature” column about European starlings (page 90) failed to mention that most authorities on birds regard the starling as one of the major predators of purple martins and Eastern bluebirds. One pair of starlings can wipe out an entire martin colony in one season. And starlings are credited as a major reason for the decline of the Eastern bluebird population.
I observe these problems as a martin “landlord” and as the maintainer of a bluebird trail.
Earl Heidt, F162215
The Penny Is Back
If we had not seen the Flying J advertisement in Family Motor Coaching (page 45 of the September issue), we would have missed out on the 1-cent discount being brought back. We love Flying Js, and when they stopped the 1-cent discount on the RV Rewards Card, we were really mad. We wrote Flying J and you folks to let you know how we felt.
Thanks for making sure we knew about the discount’s return.
Ron and Paula Hamilton, F326144
Clean Those Weep Holes
We recently completed a 5,760-mile trip to the Canadian Maritimes from Maryland. We had a lot of rain, but we had good weather when we needed it. About five days out from home, I noted a wet floor on the driver’s side. The rain was literally pouring into our Safari Trek because the weep holes (under those plastic wind deflectors) were clogged. The only solution in the rain was to tilt the coach with the jacks to get the water streaming down the window to fall away from the coach.
When the rain stopped, I got out a garden hose and with me on the outside and my wife on the inside, we confirmed that the front driver’s-side weep holes were blocked. Using a hose and a small-gauge wire, I was able to blow out and unclog the debris. While I was at it, I did the same for all the other weep holes under all of the windows.
It rained many days after that for our 49-day trip, but I never had the problem again. It took 10-plus years to have this maintenance problem. Who would have ever guessed? If other members’ coaches have weep holes, I suggest they use compressed air or a water hose to clean them out.
John McHale, F245128
Silver Spring, Maryland
North Carolina Repair
On a Sunday morning at the Thousand Trails RV park in Advance, North Carolina, the cold water faucet in my shower broke and started spraying water everywhere. I had to shut off all water coming into the coach. I called my emergency road service, but they couldn’t find me any help until Monday. I had to leave on Monday morning to make it to an appointment with Freightliner in Gaffney, South Carolina.
I went to the ranger station and asked if they knew of any 24/7 RV repair. They gave me a card for M&R RV Repair. I called and spoke to Reggie. When he came out to the coach, he discovered that the only way to get at the back of the faucet to disconnect it would be to cut a hole in the bedroom wall.
Because he planned to attend a birthday party for his daughter, he didn’t want to get too involved in the job, and he asked if it would be okay to wait until Monday. Because of my appointment in Gaffney, he said he would be back early.
He arrived at 8:00 in the morning and had the new faucet installed so quickly that I asked if he would replace a leaky toilet valve for which I had the replacement. He did that, too. He even left his shoes at the door so as not to track dirt into the coach. We were on our way to Gaffney before 10:00 a.m.
If you are ever in the Advance, North Carolina, area and need RV repair, call M&R RV Repair at (336) 491-0876. The price is fair and the service is great.
John Elsbree, F285878
Ledyard, New York
Texas Campground Recommendation
Are you hoping to spend time in the Hill Country of Texas? Cottonwood Creek RV Park is for you. It has spacious grounds for hiking, and you may experience deer foraging at your site. It is secure, quiet, and pet-friendly; has a laundry; and the sites have full hookups with fire rings and picnic tables.
The park is in Dripping Springs, near Austin. This is a great location if you are traveling to Austin, or out to Fredericksburg, or the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, or other wonderful sites in the Hill Country. The campground phone number is (512) 858-0321; www.cottonwoodcreekrvpark.com.
Jim Soukup, F345468
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The Green RV Lifestyle
RVing groups such as the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, Escapees, Family Motor Coach Association, and others need to educate the public about just how energy-efficient and natural-resource-efficient RVing and motorhoming really are.
Yes, our motorhome gets only 10 miles per gallon of fuel, but we don’t really drive many miles. Last year, we drove it only 5,000 miles and we were able to travel everywhere we wanted to go. We also drive our motorhome between 55 and 60 miles per hour. It is not as though we were driving a car to work every day, consuming much more fuel to do so. Also, we fill up with B-20 biodiesel every chance we get. And we have been using 10 percent ethanol gasoline in our car for many years now. Our carbon footprint from driving is probably much smaller than much the driving public.
Our consumption of energy in our everyday living is considerably less in our motorhome, as we leave our townhome with its thermostat turned down to 50 degrees, the water turned off, and the water heater turned to vacation hold so it doesn’t come on. The home stays that way for approximately half the year.
Our motorhome, with its much smaller living space, takes less energy to heat and cool than most traditional homes. We have 160 watts of solar power on the roof of our motorhome. We use it because we dry camp (with no hookups) much of the time.
We are very aware of the fact that we have a limited amount of water and other resources. So our use of water, paper, and plastic throwaway products is very conservative. Even when we are dry camping, we wash reusable dishes and utensils. We also produce very little trash.
Many RVers may produce the smallest carbon footprint of all. We may be among the ultimate conservationists.
Kent and Margaret Neveu, F384752
Travel Tips Offered
In May of this year we shipped our motorhome from Baltimore, Maryland, to Antwerp, Belgium. We spent 3 1/2 months on an awesome journey through Western Europe.
Currently the RV is in storage in Amsterdam, awaiting our return next summer for a Scandinavian adventure.
We would be happy to answer questions for anyone contemplating a European adventure of this type. Our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rick and Mary Ann Guggemos
Salamanca, New York
Great Interior Upgrades
Being full-time RVers and members of FMCA for seven years, we find that we like to do business with other FMCA members whenever possible. When in need of services, one of the first places we look is in Family Motor Coaching magazine. We do realize that not all advertisers are FMCA commercial members, but Dave & LJ’s RV Interior Design certainly is.
We wanted to have our carpet and some drawer hardware replaced, so we made sure our travels up north this summer included passing right by Dave & LJ’s in Woodland, Washington, an easy on/off from Interstate 5.
We were greeted promptly, the coach was measured, and we were given an estimate in no time at all. We also were able to see plenty of examples of their work. Feeling totally confident with their ability to do a good job, we ordered the carpet and scheduled the installation. This, by the way, was not the first interior refurbisher we had visited; it was the fourth.
Dave & LJ’s exceeded our expectations! If it is quality that you are after, these folks are the ones to do the job. Their meticulous attention to detail will not go unnoticed. Whether you want wood, tile, carpet, cabinetwork, or just a whole new look, these guys can do it all, and very well indeed. Their number is (360) 225-7700; www.customrvint.com.
F. Mike and Joan Ryan, F321106
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
A Clear View
We have a 2005 coach. The seal broke in some of its windows and they became cloudy. We were referred to Suncoast Designers Inc. (15050 Labor Place, Hudson, FL 34667). We called them and they were very cooperative. They told us to bring the coach there and they would look at the windows. We did so and they started to work on them right away. They took them out, cleaned them, resealed them, and put them back in the coach. They look beautiful.
If you have a window problem, we highly recommend that you call Suncoast Designers at (727) 868-2773. They can take the windows apart and clean the glass if they aren’t too bad, or can replace the glass if necessary.
Dale and Sharon Moore, F268481
Marco Island, Florida