Remembering Peace Officers
Charlie Schrenkel’s May 2013 “President’s Message” column (page 6) identified days of remembrance and celebration in the month of May. I certainly concur on the importance of those listed, but I am compelled to bring another day of remembrance to your attention.
On October 1, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726, designating May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and the week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. In 1994 President Bill Clinton signed Public Law 103-322, which directs that the U.S. flag be flown at half staff on May 15 each year, honoring the men and women who have died in the line of duty defending the laws of this nation.
As a proud police officer with 25 years of service, this touches me deeply, and it is my fervent hope that May 15 be accorded the same high respect and solemn reverence as those other days listed in the column.
In addition, the National Law Enforcement Memorial (www.nleomf.com) in Washington, D.C., on E Street between Fourth & Fifth N.W., honors federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. Its curved marble walls are inscribed with the names of more than 20,900 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty from 1794 to 2012. RVers will want to take mass transit to visit the memorial.
Founded in 1960, the American Police Hall of Fame in Titusville, Florida (www.aphf.org), was the United States’ first national police museum and memorial dedicated to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. RVers can easily park at that facility, which is located at 6350 Horizon Drive.
I truly enjoy the magazine, and my wife and I look forward to many more adventures in our motorhome.
Gary Riccardelli, F425198
Rahway, New Jersey
The May 2013 issue featured an article about diesel emission fluid (“2010 EPA Emissions Standards And Diesel Exhaust Fluid,” page 42). It stated (so true), “The only issue with replenishing the DEF in a motorhome at fuel stops is that the DEF tank is located on the curb side of many Type A motorhome diesel chassis, because of the location of the emissions system and a driver’s-side radiator.”
I needed to fill my DEF tank. It was showing that it was half full. I did not want to take any chances. I refuel my 2013 Tiffin Phaeton at the BP truck stop in Kingsland, Georgia. The business was slow, so I asked the attendant if I could pull into a fueling stall in reverse in order to fill the DEF tank. She said it would be no problem so I did; no muss no fuss. The DEF cost $2.79 a gallon, so I paid much less than if I had purchased it in smaller quantities.
When you go to a fuel station, don’t be afraid to ask about refilling your DEF tank.
Dave Pessoni, F424758
East Hampton, Connecticut
South Dakota Corrections
The “Black Hills And Badlands” article in the May 2013 magazine (page 54) needs corrections. For example, in the section titled Wall Drug, it should say, “Before you head south of Wall off Interstate 90 . . . ” not Interstate 40, as the article states.
In the information about Custer State Park, it should be said that Iron Mountain Road (U.S. 16A) and Needles Highway (State Route 87) are best used by small Type C or B motorhomes. Many larger motorhomes should not be driven on either of these roads, because air conditioners, satellite dishes, and other items on the roof may be damaged. It is not possible to turn around a 40-foot coach on a narrow two-lane highway while stopping traffic in both directions. The tunnels on these two highways are too low; on Iron Mountain Road, two of the tunnels have a bypass, so large motorhomes can use those. However, one tunnel is only 12 feet 4 inches high — too low for most of the large coaches with rooftop appliances. The Needles Highway (State Route 87) has a tunnel that is 9 feet wide and 12 feet 3 inches high, and the other tunnel is even smaller at 8 feet 4 inches wide and only 12 feet high. Most larger motorhomes are more than 9 feet wide with the mirrors included, not to mention the height problem.
Carl Below, F217741
Freightliner Plant Tour
We just took the plant tour at Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation in Gaffney, South Carolina. What an interesting and informative experience. Our guide, Ivan, was great.
We saw the assembly of many different combinations of chassis. The plant was clean and neat, well lighted, and the associates there smiled at us and waved as we passed their workstations. The attention to safety, eco-clean policies, and the use of information technology to manufacture a very complex product were clearly evident. The associates have won many awards for their progressive practices.
I recommend this tour to all FMCA members who travel near Gaffney. A daily tour is offered Monday through Friday (no open-toed shoes allowed). Visit www.freightlinerchassis.com for more information or call (855) 253-0421.
Jim Bothwell, F350730
FMCA Mail Forwarding
Connecticut RV Tax
My husband and I love going to Connecticut for a few weeks every summer. We leave our Florida home in our RV and head up to Strawberry Park Campground in Preston, Connecticut. We stay for weeks and then we are off to Vermont for the FMCA Northeast Area Rally for two weeks. After the rally, we usually go somewhere for a few weeks and then head back to Strawberry Park, where we spend another few weeks.
Last year our motorhome broke down, so we had to wait for the parts to arrive. When they did, we drove to the RV dealer to have it fixed. While we were gone, we found out that the park had gone around to the sites and anyone with space in the park was reported to the town of Preston as being in the campground. Our motorhome was taxed $2,000 by the town of Preston. I called the Connecticut governor’s office and was told that there is a law in place that gives them the right to assess personal property tax on your RV.
I appealed the assessment, and even though the man who heard my case agreed with me that I shouldn’t have to pay the tax to Connecticut, he couldn’t help me. I thought that all camping unit owners should know about this law that Connecticut is now using to raise money and it could happen to them.
David & Kathianne Taylor, F164620
Polk City, Florida
Editor’s note: The state of Connecticut does have a statute that allows local assessors to collect personal property tax from nonresidents whose property has been in the state for a period of three months or more prior to tax assessment day, October 1. The property tax is assessed based on the current value of the unit. Owners are required to fill out and file a declaration with the local assessor. If they do not file by November 1 or receive an extension, the local assessor can value the property and also levy a penalty. The city of Preston requires campgrounds to provide a list of RV owners who have reserved space for three months or more. RVers who stay in Connecticut for a period of three months or more should be aware they may be subject to this tax.