Ready For Towing
Thank you very much for the “Beating The Breakdown Blues” article (June 2011, page 60) with its Roadside Emergency Chart. We used that chart as a template and then customized it to meet our needs. We added the coach’s VIN number; insurance information; tire size/make and pressure; height and each axle weight; tank and fuel capacities; air bag configuration/location; tag axle information; make and model of engine/transmission; and information regarding our roadside assistance plan. The information is on two sheets laminated back-to-back and in a larger font (no need to hunt for those glasses). We keep this chart readily available in case of emergency or breakdown “” which we hope we never have!
Mario & Terre Gagnon, F392812
Hayden Lake, Idaho
Robert B. Martin’s comments in the July 2011 issue of Family Motor Coaching about TV placement in RVs really hit home (“Readers’ Forum,” page 16). For some time I have related to something Cosmo Kramer once said on “Seinfeld”: “I’m not like the humans.” How else can you explain why no RV layout I have ever seen puts the TV where I think it should be? Our Type C came with the TV on a pull-out swiveling stand in an overhead storage cabinet just forward of the face-to-face-style dinette. We have a couch opposite the dinette. The TV could be seen from the couch, but at an uncomfortably high angle. If we pulled out the drawer-type support and turned it the full 90 degrees, one person at the dinette could see it (at a high angle), but the other person at the dinette had their back to it.
When we replaced the original TV with a flat-panel LCD unit with a digital tuner, I also replaced the original short coaxial cable with a much longer one, and added an extension cord of the same length. I removed the pull-out swiveling stand and now just store the TV in the cabinet when it is not in use. I put cable clips in the ceiling from the street side to the curb side. I can put the TV on the dinette table to watch it from the couch, with the TV now at eye level. I can also run the A/V and power cables through the cable clips at the ceiling and put the TV on the couch, so both my wife and I can watch it from the dinette “” also with the TV at eye level.
I know my solution is not for everyone, but it works for us. After all, I am not like the humans.
Howard Girer, F408173
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Another Favorite From “RV Products”
It was great to read Gerald Collier’s letter (August 2011, page 18) about the Smart Shopper he saw in the May 2011 “RV Products” column. Here’s another item we think is clever and useful.
We have been enjoying short trips in our RV for many years and three years ago became full-timers. Over the years we have made up several methods for visitors to leave a message while we were out. They worked (in a fashion), but now we have one that really does the job.
It is The Classic Design While Away Memo Pad, which was in the April 2011 “RV Products” column (page 38). I am delighted about the protective pad with pencil that attaches to our motorhome with suction cups. Great looking and very efficient. Plus, it is so nice to have a message when you return home. (Be sure to remove the memo pad before you return to the road!)
The pad is available at http://www.theclassicscent.com/; (800) 424-9604.
Eve Burton, F407079
Fire Safety Notes
In the “Fire Safety” article in the August issue (page 49), author Jim Brightly advises the reader that “In many Type A motorhomes, getting a direct shot from your extinguisher to the top of the engine is all but impossible.” This is a very true statement. Getting to the top of a tire that is on fire is also impossible with the fire extinguishers supplied with most new motorhomes.
Multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguishers shipped with new motorhomes are designed to be operated in an almost vertical position with the nozzle end UP. In order to direct a stream of extinguishing agent upward, as with a tire or engine top fire, the extinguisher must be inverted with the nozzle end down.
RV makers should provide a fire extinguisher with a flexible hose that will allow the extinguishing agent to be directed upward from the extinguisher. Every motorhome owner should have at least one A B C fire extinguisher with a flexible discharge hose. I think this should be added to the otherwise very informative article.
Bill Moran, F293432
I wanted to thank Jim Brightly for the excellent article on fire safety in the August issue. I also wanted to add a personal story that can be a warning to others. We were in a campground in Fort Davis, Texas, and taking our two dogs for their morning walk. It was a beautiful, clear, spring day.
When we arrived back at the motorhome, I tied up the dogs and my wife went inside. The next thing I heard was her saying, “I smell smoke.” I ran inside and discovered not only smoke but a small flame. A map and paper bag with postcards were on fire. We got them outside quickly and put out the flames.
Now to the cause of this fire. My navigator wife uses a magnifying glass to help read maps and campground directories. The magnifying glass was sitting in a rack next to the navigator’s chair, and the morning sun came in the windshield through the glass and onto the map and brown bag. The focal length was just perfect for ignition to take place. We were lucky the morning dog walk was not any longer than it was.
If any of you RVers use a magnifying glass, and I know a lot of us older ones do, please secure that glass safely. We now keep ours in a basket by my wife’s feet.
Mike & Karen Wraight, F394530
A Caring Manufacturer
My wife, Mary, decided that to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we would purchase a new Phoenix Cruiser motorhome in hopes of traveling the United States for another 50 years or so. We chose our motorhome with the help of Stuart Bailey at the Phoenix USA factory in Elkhart, Indiana. We put a down payment on it, and planned to pick it up August 5. We were so excited!
On July 19 we received a phone call that completely flipped our lives upside down. Our daughter’s 52-year-old husband tragically and suddenly died of a heart attack in Mobile, Alabama. They have five children (four of which are college-age and younger), and two beautiful granddaughters. To say this was and is devastating is the grandest of understatements. Our hearts are simply broken. We are still not certain of all the ramifications, but one thing we determined quickly: To purchase a luxury motorhome after such a tragedy, with our daughter facing an incredible mountain of life-altering decisions fused with financial hardship, would be an incredibly selfish act. However, we had made a substantial down payment and were legally obligated to follow through on our purchase.
Nevertheless, for the sake of our family, I called Phoenix USA, expecting the worst. Instead, Mr. Bailey of Phoenix USA proved to our family that customer service still exists and is what makes America truly great. His kindness, sympathy, and empathy for our family’s situation were unmerited and overwhelming. He refunded our down payment. We are still so humbled by his act of kindness. How do you respond to such an unselfish act?
Mr. Bailey, you will never completely understand what your servant’s heart has meant to our family. Thank you is not enough. I can assure anyone considering purchasing a motorhome that Stuart Bailey of Phoenix USA in Elkhart, Indiana, is the kind of person you want to do business with.
The very least we can do is share this experience with others. And we remind you to hug your spouse and kids a little tighter tonight.
Cecil & Mary Rambo, F280096
Replace Aging Tires
Our Damon Challenger was built in 2002, and we bought it out of the showroom in 2003. It is run on 245/70R19.5 Goodyear RV tires that up until recently had 40,000 miles on them. We replaced the front steering tires in 2009, but the rear drive axle tires had no weathering or evident damage. We kept them covered when not traveling and checked the inflation regularly.
We drove about 30 miles at 55 miles per hour and stopped at a paved parking lot. After being parked for about 30 minutes, an awful explosion rocked the motorhome. I immediately thought of the tire concern and checked the tires. I detected no heat or debris, and a fellow FMCA member thumped them with his “tire billy.” Eventually, the tire pressure gauge revealed that we had a problem. We removed an inside rear dual and found a 3-inch hole in the sidewall. Luckily, we experienced no damage to the motorhome.
We hope this adventure will be an example for other RV owners who may have maturing tires and are wondering whether they should be replaced.
Bill & Donna Cain, F220745
Victoria Harbour, Ontario, Canada
Thanks, La Mesa
We enjoy FMCA and Family Motor Coaching magazine. It gives us a lot of good tips and ideas about places to see.
We bought a 2008 36D Bounder motorhome from La Mesa RV in Sanford, Florida, in September 2010. The next week we traveled to the Six-State Rally in Shreveport, Louisiana; we put 3,000 miles on the coach during that first trip.
La Mesa said they had gone over the coach completely before we took it out, and they did. We had no trouble.
When we got back home, we had to move the motorhome, but the levelers would not go down. They did come down after I put the coach in gear. I called Chuck, La Mesa’s service manager, and he worked us in on a Monday before we were leaving again. His service technician, Tim, found the trouble: a loose wire. It was fixed in 1 1/2 hours, and we were ready to go.
We tell everyone that La Mesa (888-509-4199) is a good place to buy a motorhome and get good service.
Al & Sue Sharp, F396143
St. Cloud, Florida
We recently had the “opportunity” to have the generator fixed on our motorhome while in the Reno, Nevada, area. We were referred to Industrial Equipment Repair Inc. in Sparks and met Don Dolliver, the owner. Our Onan generator was running for 10 minutes or so and shutting down with an over-temperature fault.
The moment we arrived, Don went right to work and soon discovered that because of a previous coolant tank replacement, there was insufficient coolant in the system. Within a short time he remedied the problem and had us on our way.
His company’s expertise with Onan products and almost 30 years of experience servicing similar products in the Sparks and Reno area, in our opinion, was superb. He and his staff treated us fairly, competently, and with a genuine concern for our needs. A big thanks to Don at Industrial Equipment for helping us.
If you’re ever in the Sparks/Reno area and have a need for Onan service on your motorhome, you should go to Industrial Equipment Repair (310 Kresge Lane, Sparks, NV 89431; 775-331-1032; www. ier-nv.com).
Rick & Jan Nullmeyer, F330947