Norcold Recall Clarification
The “Recall Corner” column in the July 2009 issue (page 20) included information regarding two Norcold refrigerator recalls. Both involve the cooling units. To see whether your unit is affected, check the cooling unit serial number (not the refrigerator’s serial number), which is found on the solution chamber. It can be viewed through the refrigerator vent door outside the motorhome. For more information, call (800) 767-9101 or visit www.norcold.com (select Customer Support, then Recall Info).
Flying J Merges With Pilot
For more than 20 years, Flying J has designed and built its travel facilities to accommodate recreational vehicles. The vast majority of our sites have islands dedicated to RVs, including propane service, fresh water, and dump stations. In 1996 Flying J also created the RV Real Value Club program, which provides discounts, coupons, and other great values to its members. In fact, some of the enhancements to the program were suggested by FMCA members.
Late last year Flying J Inc. filed bankruptcy, citing “the precipitous drop in the price of oil and a lack of available financing.” Since that time, senior leaders at Flying J have focused on how the company can emerge from bankruptcy. Many options have been reviewed and many factors considered.
In recent weeks, one option emerged that, according to the company, would “represent the best possible outcome for Flying J, our creditors, our customers, and our employees.” That outcome resulted in the announcement of a proposal to merge Flying J with Pilot Travel Centers of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Over the next few months, we will negotiate definitive agreements to merge our companies. Initial discussions include maintaining the Flying J Travel Plaza brand, which would include our current loyalty card offerings and our commitment to the valued RV community. It is too early to know how Pilot stations will be involved, if at all, in the RV Real Value Club.
We value our relationship with FMCA, and with the merger we hope to bring a stronger company to the market that can better serve each segment of the traveling community. We look forward to serving you for years to come.
Director of Training
Flying J Inc.
Texas Noncommercial License
Does Not Require In-Person Renewal
In the June 2009 “Readers’ Forum” column (page 18), Gary Kuba, F83678D, wrote that he spent $500 on a flight back to Texas to apply in person for renewal of his Class B noncommercial drivers license. Please let our Texas members needing to renew their noncommercial Class A and B licenses know they do not have to apply in person at a Texas drivers license office in order to renew a noncommercial Class A or B license.
Texas does allow mail-in renewal of Class A and B noncommercial licenses. It does not permit mail-in renewal for commercial driver licenses. The following is a quote from the Web site of the Texas Department of Public Safety (www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/nonmilitaryrenewal.htm):
“The Commercial Driver License Law mandates that a commercial driver license must include the applicant’s color photograph; therefore, drivers who need a class a, b, or c commercial driver license must apply in person at a Texas driver license office. If you are not domiciled in Texas you must obtain a license from the state where you currently reside.
“Operators of Class A or B vehicles who are exempt from the Commercial Driver License Act may renew by mail. If you qualify for a Class A or B non-CDL, please complete the CDL-2 (Exemption Certification) form.”
Bob Tilley, F406556
More Diesel Radiator
Breather Tube Comments
In the July 2009 issue (“More Radiator Cleaning,” page 18), Horace Searcie wrote that he solved the slobber tube problem by adding a 15-inch piece of heater hose to the end of the slobber tube. This may prove to be an expensive repair down the road. It is not a slobber tube, but rather a crankcase vent tube or breather tube. When the engine runs, pressure builds in the crankcase and must be vented. Heater hose is not compatible with oil, and over time it will swell and become very soft and mushy, for lack of a better description. While the vehicle is being driven, the airflow can cause the hose to bend and crimp. This causes an increase in crankcase pressure, and common complaints include the turbo passing oil past the seals, black smoke, low power, and poor fuel mileage.
I was employed by a diesel engine manufacturer/distributor for 40 years and saw many customers replace turbos, only to have the new turbo do the same thing. I recommend they contact the engine manufacturer for a solution. If they want to use a breather hose, be sure it is compatible with oil.
Clyde Marquard, F333377
On Bike Helmets
Regarding the letter titled “Don’t Forget The Helmet” (“Readers’ Forum,” July 2009, page 18), I find Mr. Kiefer’s comments very interesting. He was referring to the April 2009 “Rear View” column (page 128) that showed a photo of people on bicycles without helmets.
I personally feel that an adult individual is capable of making his or her own decision to wear or not wear a helmet, whether it be for motorcycle or bicycle riding. We have far too much government interference in our personal lives, and to require helmet use is just another example of that interference.
Gary Piellusch, F344786
Lake City, Michigan
I’d like to relay some information that may be useful to you, as a member of FMCA, in your endeavor to solicit individuals to become members. I share these thoughts because they work.
First, there is no single answer or area of concentration that will solve membership concerns. Instead, we need to focus on the three most important factors of membership: recruiting, retention, and renewal.
You may think retention and renewal are one in the same. After all, if a member renews, the member is retained. But it has been proved that renewal is only the last step in the long process of retention. Members will pay their dues again and again if they are satisfied and feel they have received value throughout the year. You may think you need to start the retention process after the individual is recruited so he or she will renew. But you are wrong! Retention is tied in part to how a member was recruited. It starts with the first contact, prior to joining. How we recruit someone affects retention.
That first interaction is most critical. We only have one chance to make a good first impression. Recruiting a new member is challenging enough, so any time and effort spent must be made worthwhile. When asking someone if they would like to become a member, please avoid focusing on getting the application and the check; rather, focus on gaining a member who is interested in their commitment to what we do and why we are successful at it, and that member will stick around more than a year.
Lastly, when we lose a member, we must gain two if we want to grow: one to replace the member lost and another to show a gain. When we retain a member, growth occurs with every new member recruited. We must strike a balance between recruiting new members and retaining the ones we have. A solid recruiting program will include retention efforts in the very early stages. By taking good care of all members, you have made retention that much easier and will make the renewal process a painless paperwork action.
So, please, regardless of our position in FMCA, let’s all treat each other in a friendly and equal manner. Let us always remember how important our fellow members are.
Wayne Montgomery, F241026
Moreno Valley, California