The story about the death of Mat Perlot in the December 2012 “RV News & Notes” column noted that he founded Safari Motor Coaches in 1998. That date should have been 1986.
FMC regrets this error.
The View From A Bicycle
I applaud the “Sharing the Road” article in the October 2012 Family Motor Coaching (page 54). My first RV had two wheels — a bicycle. I toured with a tent, sleeping bag, and clothes. Among my travels was a trek 4,200 miles from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. Most nights were spent in campgrounds.
From my experience (and that of other bicycle tourists I have spoken with), I learned to worry more about motorhomes than semi trucks, anticipating that RVers may have less-than-professional driving skills. I was occasionally crowded along the road, and as I arrived in Glacier National Park, I was greeted by a woman in her motorhome yelling at me to get off the road. In all fairness, once set up in the campgrounds, I was treated cordially and with some curiosity. I was once asked how I got there if I couldn’t travel on the Interstate highways.
Here are some suggestions for when we RV pilots encounter a bicyclist on the road.
- Wait to pass until the approaching lanes are clear.
- Leave at least 6 feet of clearance between your motorhome and the cyclist, and account for the side mirrors.
- Slow down to pass. The wind from large vehicles is pushed away in the front, pushing a cyclist toward the edge of the road. There is a vacuum behind that can pull the cyclist away from the side.
- If there is a crosswind, be aware that temporarily blocking the wind can affect the cyclist’s balance.
- Be sure you are well past the cyclist before moving back to the right. This is especially important if you are towing a car or trailer.
- You don’t have to blow your horn, as a cyclist will be watching you in his or her mirror, and RVs make enough noise without the horn.
- Finally, respect the cyclist. They have the same rights to the road as our RVs and are out to enjoy their travel adventure, same as us.
Don Burrell, F408677
Lost And Found
While attending FMCA’s Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Indianapolis, Indiana, this past August, my wife lost a small pin she had affixed to her name-badge holder. The pin was a small American flag made with colored rhinestones, and it had been a gift to her several years ago. Like so many small and personal items, its sentimental value far exceeded its actual worth.
We searched the car, the space around the car and the motorhome, and inside the coach. Neither of us thought to check the Lost and Found area at the convention.
When we received our November 2012 issue of Family Motor Coaching with the excellent article starting on page 64 about the Family Reunion — “‘Formula For Fun’ Delivers Excitement In Indy” — we saw the sidebar listing Lost and Found items. There was the simple entry: Flag Pin. We called the folks in Cincinnati and the pin is now back home.
We are hoping the person who found the pin and turned it in will read this. From both of us, our sincere “Thank you.”
Bob & Sue Haught, F82522
Etowah, North Carolina
Regarding the letter titled “Towable Brakes” from Gary McManus, F124382, in the December 2012 “Tech Talk” column (page 18), there is a third option. Go to any Cummins dealer and they can turn off the brake light/Jake brake activation with a computer flash. I had ours done at Cummins Northwest in Spokane, Washington. They are a great Cummins dealer. It took only about 15 minutes and there was no charge.
In addition to the tow brake problem Gary is experiencing, this is a safety concern. In my opinion, this is one “safety” feature that should be illegal. Twice I was going down a mountain pass here in Montana using my Jake brake with an 18-wheeler following me for considerable distance when I needed to brake for impeding traffic in front of me. The truck did not realize I had slowed down before the gap between us was narrowed, forcing him to brake hard to avoid a rear-end collision. He was used to my brake light being on, and therefore did not get a warning light like you would when my brakes were applied.
If it is such a great safety item, why don’t you see it on other vehicles like the trucks?
Dave Waatti, F385361
Correction Regarding Combination CO/Propane Alarm
After reading your article “Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Killer” in the December 2012 issue of Family Motor Coaching, we were surprised and concerned that your readers had been given some seriously incorrect information. The most egregious example reads as follows:
“If your motorhome is protected by a combination CO/LPG alarm, replace it immediately. Years ago, RV manufacturers, in order to save some money, installed these combination devices. Then it was discovered that these types of detectors did not do either job well. You see, LPG is heavier than air and will collect and remain along the floor. CO is lighter than air and will rise and collect along the ceiling. Separate alarms are needed with the carbon monoxide alarm located at or higher than waist-high and the LPG alarm located near the floor.”
Your readers need to know that there is absolutely no need to “immediately replace” their Safe-T-Alert combination CO/LP gas detectors, and any claim that these detectors did not do either job well is simply incorrect. These detectors have never been recalled, and they continue to be fully compliant with all nationally recognized standards, including ANSI/RVIA 1192, which is the Standard for Building Recreational Vehicles.
Your readers should also know that these detectors are not the least expensive options builders have, as they are our patented/higher-end units that are not typically found in entry-level RVs. Perhaps the author was referring to the savings that comes with only having one unit to inventory and/or install. But the cheapest way to go for an RV manufacturer is buying two different imported alarms, with one being for CO and another for LP.
With regard to the opining about mounting height for CO alarms, the fact is that CO is only slightly lighter than air. There are no laws or standards that require CO alarms to be installed at waist high or higher. In fact, NFPA-720 Section A.188.8.131.52 states: “The location for effective performance is not generally dependent on mounting height. The density of carbon monoxide is similar to that of air at room temperature, and carbon monoxide generally mixes readily with air.”
The bottom line is our dual CO/LP alarms perform as well as separate CO and LP gas detectors. We do, however, recommend owners check the date codes on all gas alarms and replace any that are over 5 years old as part of normal maintenance. CO and LP detectors must now have an “End of Life” signal that will sound when the unit reaches the end of its useful life or, in our case, after 5 years of use.
We appreciate that Family Motor Coaching magazine promptly removed the paragraph from the online version of the article when we brought this information to their attention.
Jeff Wisniewski, President
Mti Industries Inc., C7737
What Is That Carousel Critter?
I have been a member and reader for many years. Maybe I have been retired too long, because this is really nit-picking. In your December 2012 issue, page 74, “The John And Mable Ringling Museum Of Art” article, a carousel wood carving is identified as a horse. Instead, it has to be a moose, camel, or other cloven-hoofed animal. A horse does not have a split hoof. All that aside, I did enjoy Anna Lee Braunstein’s article.
Don Hubner, F243708
Oak Harbor. Washington