Remembering George Snyder
We personally lost a true and good friend with the passing of George P. Snyder Sr., L1852, September 21, 2010, and so did FMCA. George was always ready to promote FMCA as he traveled around the United States, Canada, and Mexico with his family. He promoted the Lifetime Membership program to raise money to buy the national FMCA office in Cincinnati, Ohio. At that time, $500 was a lot of money for us, but we have said many times afterward, “What a bargain!”
One of George’s mottoes in life was, “A smile will take you much further in life than a frown.” We will all miss you, George.
Glenn & Helen Cope, L14974
Fort Pierce, Florida
Marine VHF Radios Not For Land Use
As a former Coast Guard radio operator and currently licensed ham radio operator, I wish to comment on a letter in the November “Readers’ Forum” column (“Family Radio Communications,” page 10). Using marine VHF radios as described in the letter is in violation of Federal Communications Commission rules and subject to stiff fines and confiscation of radio equipment.
Even when using low power, VHF FM signals can travel many miles, depending on terrain and antenna height. Inappropriate use of the various marine channels often causes interference with legitimate transmissions, sometimes including interference with search and rescue operations. Marine radios may be used on watercraft and authorized land-based stations such as marinas. They may be used on waters such as lakes and rivers, not just bodies of saltwater.
I would encourage all readers to familiarize themselves with and abide by the existing rules of radio use.
Don Glucksman, F313143
Diesel Coach Repaired On Time
On August 5, 2010, just two days prior to our scheduled departure date for FMCA’s 84th International Convention in Redmond, Oregon, we learned that the charge air cooler in our 2005 Monaco Camelot had an air leak. It required rebuilding and was not to be a simple repair job.
Thankfully, Bob Williams of Williams Truck Center in Dickson, Tennessee (907 Pomona Road), and his capable staff found the problem before we left on our 3,000-mile journey. He also found the closest repair center that could help us: C, G & J Inc. in Gadsden, Alabama (2776 Wills Creek Road).
With no time to spare, the charge air cooler was removed from the motorhome, placed in the bed of our pickup truck, and off we sped to Gadsden, a four-hour drive from home. Jerry Guyton, the owner of C, G & J Inc., and his crew, had it rebuilt and ready in a day, and we were on our way back to Dickson.
The happy ending was that we arrived in Redmond in plenty of time to attend the Governing Board meeting on August 11 to represent our chapter, the Tennessee Primetimers.
We highly recommend Williams Truck Center in Dickson for servicing on your motorhome, and C, G & J Inc. in Gadsden should you need service or rebuilding of charge air coolers, radiators, or oil coolers.
Harold & Bobbie Reynolds, F274241
Kingston Springs, Tennessee
Fine Fix In Small-Town Minnesota
On our way to Redmond, Oregon, to attend FMCA’s 84th International Convention this past August, we took Interstate 90 through Minnesota. We were near the town of Blue Earth in the late afternoon when our motorhome quit running. We called the sheriff’s office and received a recommendation for JPR Towing of Winnebago, Minnesota. They said the tow operator also could probably help with repairs.
We were towed to JPR, which was about 25 miles away, and we spent the night there in our coach with an electric hookup. The next day the coach was tested, received a new fuel pump, and by day’s end we were on the road.
The sheriff’s office was right-on in its recommendation. JPR Towing provided professional service and reasonable billing. They can be reached at (866) 930-2973 or (507) 893-3402.
Barbara Covard & Jack Nelson, F78926
Great Service In Colorado
While traveling across the country this past July from our home in Michigan on Interstate 90 near Rapid City, South Dakota, a wind gust caught our 20-foot patio awning, ripping one end off the coach and flipping the awning across the coach and into the fast lane of traffic while still attached to the coach at the other end. Miraculously, it did not hit any other vehicles or cause any injuries.
We contacted our Progressive Insurance agent, who was very understanding. He was prepared to search out service and repair in Rapid City, but since our final destination was just a few days away in Denver, Colorado, where we would be settling down for a week, we asked that an assessment be delayed until we arrived there. When we reached Denver, the local adjuster cancelled another appointment just to be sure that we could get our work done within our time limits. He not only assessed the damage but offered us tips on when and how to inspect our roof to be sure that condition issues in the future could be corrected before we experienced roof leaks.
With check in hand to get repairs, we began the search for a service dealer. The awning brand is carried by a major camping supply chain, and although the awning manufacturer was near the Denver area, the replacement awning would take at least two weeks to arrive and it would be up to another week before the local dealer could schedule installation. This was well beyond our time in Denver. We called three other supply stores and received much the same answer. Frustration was building. At this point, a family member suggested Coach RV and Truck, a local company. I gave them a call but didn’t expect much, since the major dealer was unable to help us. But Bill, one of the owners of this small, family-run business, said he could take the order and have the awning installed in three days from start to finish. And he did.
We drove away a few days later with a beautiful new awning and new respect for the small-business man. If you are ever in need of any type of service while in the Denver area, keep Coach RV and Truck Inc. (303-659-1725) in mind.
Dan Bowles & Patricia Loveday, F412165
Luck In Tennessee
We were having trouble with the Dometic refrigerator as well as the exterior Cool Freeze unit in our motorhome. We had stopped three times for repairs before we arrived in Sevierville, Tennessee. While there, we called Jeff Duerkes, owner of Jeff’s RV Repair (602-708-0720; Jeff has relocated from the Phoenix area, so don’t be confused by the Arizona area code). We came to learn that Jeff’s dad worked on RVs, so Jeff has been in the business since he was a kid. He came out shortly after we arrived at the campground, and he fixed our refrigerator and ordered a new board for the Cool Freeze.
He was persistent. When the new part arrived and it did not correct the problem, Jeff worked with Dometic to get us a new Cool Freeze unit. We highly recommend him.
Another pleasant experience was waiting for us in the area. We have been full-timing for two years, and we love to visit the national parks and play golf and tennis. We had made our plans to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park and play some of the area golf courses. It was an added bonus to find that Gatlinburg’s parks department has wonderful tennis courts.
We found six tennis courts at Mynatt Park and picked up a business card for a local art gallery owner named G. Webb. We called G. (as he likes to be called), and before you know it, we were invited to join a Sunday afternoon round robin, with everyone bringing desserts and appetizers to share afterward. He also signed us up to play a doubles game later that week.
What luck to find a good RV service technician, and warm and welcoming tennis players “” all excellent ambassadors for the state of Tennessee. Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Pigeon Forge have much to offer travelers and are very worthwhile destinations.
Neida “Kate” Perrie, F403762
Green Cove Springs, Florida
If anybody has trouble with a Leece-Neville alternator in their motorhome, we highly recommend Sam at Motor City Reman in Eastpointe, Michigan (586-773-2089; www.motorcityreman.com). We were in northern Michigan when our alternator quit working. The alternators used on some motorhomes have Duvac systems, and the replacement alternators are very expensive, costing $500 to $600. Sam suggested ours be rewired as per instructions on the Prestolite.com Web site. It was very easy to do. Sam also helped us out with a new regulator at no cost due to my error.
Dan & Carole Peterlin, F329727
South Lyon, Michigan
Fresh Air And Shade
We purchased day-night shades from MCD Innovations, located in McKinney, Texas, for the front half of our coach about a year ago and loved them. Our coach is noticeably cooler in hot weather and blissfully private at night.
We returned to the factory this year to have these shades installed in the rest of the coach. We also had some warranty issues that we were dreading to address.
The new shade installations went off without a hitch. To our delight, the warranty work was addressed quickly and without the gnashing of teeth we had anticipated. What a breath of fresh air to deal with a company that delivers a good product and stands behind it.
Thanks to the staff of MCD Innovations (800-804-1757; www.mcdinnovations.com) for fine work, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.
Andy & Bea Hamor, F151749
Help In Montana
We were traveling through the mountains north of Missoula, Montana, and coming down a steep grade when our motorhome’s red “check engine” light came on and we were instructed to shut off the engine. That was scary.
We pulled over and turned off the engine, but I could not find anything wrong. In the past, the yellow “check engine” light had come on while we were in the mountains, but technicians never could find the trouble.
Coach-Net directed us to Cummins Northwest, 7 miles away. They had offered to send a tow truck, but we started up the engine again, and none of the “check” lights came back on. The engine sounded okay. So, we were able to drive there.
Joe, Allen, and Justin at Cummins Northwest had us on our way within an hour and a half. They replaced the crankcase breather filter and found the sensor was bad also.
We recommend Cummins Northwest LLC (6900 Kestrel Drive, Missoula, MT 59808-9657; 406-728-1300). You won’t find better service or a nicer bunch of guys.
Carroll & Margaret Darnall, F335137