January Cover History No Longer A Mystery
In the March “Readers’ Forum” column, we asked readers to help us identify the photo on the January 2010 cover of Family Motor Coaching. According to Al Conrads, L1236D, the photo was taken the weekend of June 20, 1975, during a 20th Century Wagontrainers chapter rally. The location was Watchung Reservation, a park in Union County, New Jersey. In the photo, members were gathered for a chapter business meeting. President Bob Sterling is seated at the picnic table, wearing the derby hat, a rally mainstay, according to Al. Sally Noble is seated to his left, and Martha Dodd is standing, apparently delivering a report.
Thanks, Al, for taking us on a trip down memory lane.
“Endless Honeymoon” Photo Credit
In the story “Endless Honeymoon Continues” on page 30 of the February 2010 issue, the photo on the right was taken by Denise Jane of Denise Jane Portrait Design, Front Royal, Virginia. Credit for this photo was inadvertently omitted from the story.
FMC regrets the error.
Banning Older RVs
I would like to comment on the November 2009 “Readers’ Forum” letter titled “Entry Denied” (page 17). I am an owner/operator of the Red Trail Campground in Medora, North Dakota. I have heard of campgrounds that deny entry for many different reasons. I do not understand most of their reasons.
In the past, we have had campers come into our office and ask if they are allowed to be there, because they see many new vehicles in the campground. At first we were surprised they would ask, but since then we have heard that some campgrounds deny older or smaller vehicles. I also have had RVers with newer vehicles who do not want to stay at our campground because we allow older campers.
We can vote with our feet and not recommend any campground that discriminates. I have come to learn everyone may not like our campground, but if everyone did, we would not have room for them all. Campgrounds that do not allow older vehicles should say so in their advertising.
It’s unfortunate that campgrounds should be this way, but as Mr. McKee states in his letter, “owners have the right to run their business any way they choose.”
Mary Schneider, C4936
Red Trail Campground
Medora, North Dakota
Body Repair In Arkansas
While we were traveling south on U.S. 23 from Ozark, Arkansas, a pickup truck hit our Type C motorhome on the front passenger side. No one was hurt, but we needed to return home to Arizona. Gary’s Body Shop in Ozark was recommended to us, and what a great job they did, and in a timely manner as well.
If you ever need body repair work done while in the vicinity, it’s right off Interstate 40 south at Ozark, at 1603 Airport Road; phone (479) 667-1143.
Don Gheens, F184835,
Camp Verde, Arizona
Wildlife And Airboats
The December 2009 issue contained an article titled “The Lure Of Lake Kissimmee.” The photo on page 68 showed an airboat, and the caption stated they are a popular way to view wildlife. Airboats are so fast and noisy that I am sure all wild creatures try to get out of their way and hide or are injured or killed. At the very least, the animal survival activities are interrupted. Also, water plants are ripped up and nonnative plants are given places to develop. One can hear the airboats at least a mile away, so imagine what the sensitive ears of animals experience. Any “wildlife” that a tourist sees from an airboat has probably been trained by feeding. Did you know that airboats were developed after World War II using the same technology as airplane engines?
Airboats can be thought of as an amusement ride or are sometimes used for rescues, but not as a means to view wildlife. While I was a volunteer at Big Cypress National Preserve, interpreting wildlife on a boardwalk with multiple alligators and birds in view, I was told by several visitors that they only saw one alligator on their airboat rides.
Viewing is best done by quietly and patiently observing from a boardwalk; trail; canoe; kayak; or a slow, quiet, small-engine motorboat with frequent stops. Visitors often unknowingly miss many interesting details and wildlife observations when they speed through an area. Speed and noise disrupts animal activities and causes them to use more energy than they need if left undisturbed. Airboat use is one of the ways that tourists are loving some natural areas to death.
Marjory Pitcher, F373706
Nashua, New Hampshire
Super Service In Tucson
We were on our way home to Hereford, Arizona, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, when our motorhome lost engine power while in low gear. We managed to limp home.
I called W.W. Williams, an authorized Allison transmission service center in Tucson. A test of the transmission by shop manager John Kean revealed that it was low engine power that caused the problem, not the transmission. They continued to search and found a broken turbo wastegate line and leaking exhaust manifold gaskets. They ordered the parts and completed the repairs in a short time.
The facility was very clean, and the employees helped us to find our way around Tucson while the repairs were being completed. If you ever need transmission or engine work done, let me recommend W.W. Williams, 1375 W. Glenn St., Tucson; (800) 624-8331, (520) 624-8377; www.wwwilliams.com.
Joseph Menafro, F197234
FMCA president Charlie Schrenkel’s “President’s Message” columns about his early motorhoming days are particularly interesting. I want to share how my husband, Elgin, and I were introduced to FMCA.
When we met, Elgin owned a Type C Itasca. He had been RVing for more than 10 years, but this was my first introduction to the lifestyle.
We traveled for several months in the Itasca. On the road that first summer, we traded the motorhome for a Type A Sportscoach Cross Country. When we took delivery of the coach in September, we were given a one-year membership in FMCA by the selling dealer. Even though he had owned a motorhome for so long, my husband had never heard of FMCA. When we received our membership packet, we found there were many benefits that would be an asset to our travels.
For the first 20-plus years we traveled, we were “half-timers.” Our first FMCA convention was in 1984 in Fort Myers, Florida. The first time we volunteered with security was at a convention in 1992 in Tampa, Florida. We have volunteered with security ever since, both at FMCA international conventions and area rallies.
We have enjoyed our membership in FMCA all these years and will continue to do so as long as we are able to travel. We just renewed our membership for five years “” pretty optimistic for someone who will be 91 in May.
My main point is that we might never have had all the experiences, friendships, and fun we have enjoyed over the past 27 years had that dealer not given us our first membership and introduction to FMCA.
Shirley J. Black, F55049
Winter Park, Florida
We stayed a week at Brantley Lake State Park near Carlsbad, New Mexico, and when we started the coach to leave, we discovered, to our surprise, that we had no brakes. Turns out desert rats have a deserved reputation!
Freightliner’s tech suggested that it could be just a quick disconnect, because we had no air when we applied the brakes. After checking several suggested areas to see where the line may have been disconnected, with no success, it was decided that we should get a mechanic from Carlsbad to locate and repair the problem. To the rescue came Charlie of Charlie’s Diesel & Automotive Repair. Charlie found that both air lines going from front to back were chewed completely in half, which meant they both would have to be replaced. Another phone call to Freightliner gave us insight on how to proceed in replacing the full brake lines on the road, without towing the coach to the repair shop.
The brake lines run within the rail of the coach, and the only access was in the pass-through bin in the basement. Following Freightliner’s instructions, and with Charlie’s expertise, the job was completed on the road in a few hours, much to our satisfaction.
Freightliner’s help desk must be commended for their assistance, and, of course, if you ever need help while in the Carlsbad area, put an asterisk on Charlie’s Diesel & Automotive Repair (575-887-0069). We have.
Joe & Ursula Bolden, F377978
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Help From Freightliner
And Fellow Members
On September 15, 2009, we were on our way home to California when our motorhome broke down on the interstate in Minnesota. After two hours of waiting for a tow truck with no sign of one, we were approached by a very nice gentleman who drove up. He had noted the Family Motor Coach Association plaque on the back of our RV.
He took us to Westman Freightliner, which was the nearest place for repairs. A local tow company came to get our motorhome within 25 minutes, and the young man from this company was so nice and efficient. We did not know there was so much involved in towing a 36-foot motorhome.
The gentleman who picked us up and took us to Westman Freightliner gave us his card, and to our surprise we noted that his picture was in the October FMC magazine (page 44), as he is FMCA’s Midwest Area vice president. Many thanks to Al and Dory Talbott for going out of their way to help us.
We also wish to thank Westman Freightliner of Mankato, Minnesota, for fixing our RV problem. The price for repairs was excellent, and we would tell anyone to use them.
Al & June Underwood, F395354
Kings Beach, California
Engine Water Intake
Since it was new in 2001, the engine in my Ford V-10 Type A motorhome has stumbled when running in heavy rain, and rain is a common occurrence in Florida. I recently found a solution to this problem in Ford Technical Service Bulletin 04-24-22. It describes a highly modified air filter inlet tube that replaces the inlet tube and water shield that were placed on these engines to solve the water ingestion problem but did not work. These replacement parts are available from Ford for a cost of approximately $105.
James Willick, F302286
I own a in the motorhome stopped working. I called IOTA Engineering in Tucson, Arizona, the manufacturer of the unit, for repair assistance. To my surprise, John Kehn said a new converter would be shipped out that day. Seven days later I received the new converter at no cost to me, not even return shipping for the old unit.
What a great company. They go out of their way to make the customer happy. I also would like to thank Jay (last name unknown) for all his help. I highly recommend IOTA Engineering. For a list of their products, go to www.iotaengineering.com.
Walter Brzoska, F113054