The Web site address listed for Ford accessories in the December 2011 “Tech Talk” column (“Neutral Tow Kits Now Available For Ford Explorer, Ranger Vehicles,” page 20) was incorrect. The correct Web address is www.accessories.ford.com.
FMC regrets this error.
Towing Guide Addition
It has been brought to our attention that the 2012 Fiat 500 (sedan and convertible) equipped with a manual transmission can be towed four wheels down and was not included in the “Towables For 2012″ article that appeared in the January issue. This front-wheel-drive vehicle has a total length of 139.6 inches and a base curb weight of 2,363 pounds. There are no speed or distance limitations when flat-towing the Fiat 500.
Rope Light Dangers
The September 2011 “Tech & Travel Tips” column (page 24) has a short piece titled “Easy Outdoor Lighting” that suggests using rope lighting around a campsite. Many folks use it for accent or safety reasons. However, if the rope lights are plugged into your coach and placed on the ground, you need to be careful. They can actually set up a ground grid for lightning to follow right into your motorhome, bypassing any surge protection you may have on your AC power circuit. This happened to a friend of ours and it caused all kinds of havoc, starting with his inverter. Needless to say, we don’t put rope lights out anymore unless they are connected directly to park power or are unplugged every night.
Dave & Brenda Moore, F374542
North Branch, Minnesota
Look Out For Linseed Oil
Regarding “Another Fire Safety Note” in the December 2011 “Readers’ Forum” column (page 14), this member was very lucky a fire did not start in his motorhome. Evidently he did not use the rag he left on the can top to apply the linseed oil, because if it had been soaked, it would have started a fire. Any material soaked with linseed oil and wrapped up is a very combustible item.
Normally, you use equal parts boiled linseed oil and turpentine on dry wood. This mix penetrates into the wood and helps prevent cracks. Any material, including a brush, should be stowed in a metal container and covered with water, as these items will burn within two to three hours, or they can be left outside on a cement surface. Three coats of this mix makes a good finish on cabinets, not floors. It should be wiped dry 30, 20, and 10 minutes after each application.
Loren Bates, F131535
Fountain Valley, California
Canada Bans Distracted Driving
I noticed in the January 2012 issue on page 87 (“Motorhome Regulations”) that handheld cell phone use is illegal while driving in much of the United States. Why have you not reported about cell phone use in Canadian provinces?
john staniewicz, f417489
victoria, british columbia, canada
Editor’s Note: The Web site we used for that information, www.ghsa.org, addresses the United States and its territories but not Canadian provinces. So, it was an inadvertent oversight on our part not to provide information for Canadian residents and travelers. We have since investigated and found that all provinces in Canada prohibit handheld cell phone use while driving. We appreciate your bringing this to our attention.
In the January 2012 “Readers’ Forum” column (page 16), Sylvia De Turck mentioned the weak Wi-Fi service at many campgrounds and asked how other FMCA members get around this. I have been using the Verizon Wireless card with great success. Not only does Verizon have good coverage across the United States, but the connection is htpps, which ensures security. I also use it when I travel on business instead of relying on the hotel wireless service. The card doesn’t have to be plugged into the computer, so my wife and I both can access the Internet on our laptops. The only drawback is the service fee, around $60 per month, but we find that the coverage and lack of frustration make the fee worthwhile.
Ray Scroggins, F343096
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Minnesota Tire Store Leaves A Good Impression
After waiting three weeks to buy Goodyear tires through a camping supply store in Minnesota and getting nowhere, I called several dealers and found Precision Frame and Alignment in Elk River (11061 173rd Ave. N.W., Elk River, MN 55330-7034; 763-241-9474). Dave gave me a great deal on the tires; weighed and adjusted the air pressure to match them; and checked the alignment. And the service was completed when he said it would be.
I know this company does attend some RV rallies, and I would recommend their service.
Gerald Gitler, F174691
Miller’s RV Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (877-861-2094, 225-275-2940), is a company worth mentioning. We experienced generator problems while traveling from Florida to Texas. We stopped in Baton Rouge at Miller’s and received unbelievable service. The people were friendly and very helpful, and they had us on our way in no time, free of charge.
Bill & Donna Blattner, F355550
We recently had some workmanship issues with our motorhome during our trip south for the winter. So we took the coach to Smooth Finish RV (480-357-5200) in Mesa, Arizona, where the owner, Mr. Rhodes, personally found a solution and fixed the problem. We are so impressed with the service and the integrity of his business that we highly recommend them.
Darwin Flathers, F402245
High River, Alberta, Canada