A Great Reunion
FMCA’s 50th anniversary Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase in Gillette, Wyoming, was a great rally. I would like to thank everyone who worked on it. Also, I send a big thanks to the person who found my diamond earring and turned it in.
Betty Jo Sagdalen, F349954
Rapid City, South Dakota
Define “Pets,” Please
The “Get To Gillette!” article in the March 2013 Family Motor Coaching (page 54) described Devils Tower and included the following caution: “Pets are not permitted to be left unattended, even in a vehicle, and they are not permitted on trails.”
This reaffirmed in my mind that, for most travel-related issues, “pets” refers to dogs. We have been to Devils Tower and left our cat unattended in our RV. Our cat is never allowed outside, does not like a leash, is not of a vicious breed, and pretty much sleeps and ignores the world while we are away.
I once took issue with an attendant at a large, highly rated campground who asked if we had a pet. Upon hearing we had a cat, she sent us to their pets area where, to our dismay, we endured a week of noisy barking, unleashed dogs, and untrained owners constantly yelling at their dogs to shut up (to no avail). When I protested and asked to be moved to the non-pet area, the attendant offered the lame excuse that someone who was allergic to cats might walk by our coach and be affected.
I am respectful of the rules and others’ property and policies, but when asked if we have any pets, I say “no” when the situation makes it apparent that “pets” means dogs. Our neighbor actually takes his fish in a portable aquarium in his RV and also does not declare his “pet,” and I’d bet most RVing bird owners don’t, either. However, when considering situations outside the RV, we always respect the property’s policies, such as declaring our cat at hotels where pets are allowed.
Bob Mahood, F407819
An Awarded Medal
It was reported in the article about Cody, Wyoming (June 2013, page 72) that William F. Cody was a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I’d like to point out that individuals who receive the medal are not called winners. Our nation’s highest military honor is not awarded in a contest that involves winners and losers. It would be more appropriate to use forms of words such as “recipient,” “received,” “bestowed,” or even “presented” or “awarded.”
You may wish to do more research at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Web site, www.cmohs.org.
Earl Schroeder, F320597
Towed Car Detachments
We use a tow bar and love its ease of hooking and unhooking. We regularly had the tow bar checked and replaced any questionable parts. We recently were returning home from a long weekend, driving our motorhome and towing our PT Cruiser. As we were traveling, we heard a scraping noise, and then a police siren. We moved over as far as we could, and the police officer pulled up to inform us that we had lost our PT Cruiser.
We discovered that it wasn’t the tow bar that had broken, but the weld on the frame of the car. All that remained attached to the back of the motorhome was the tow bar and the front of the PT Cruiser.
The car was totaled. We were extremely lucky that no one was hurt. I am not sure who checks these welds, but we plan to have it checked frequently by the person who installs it.
Clifford and Leokadya Wolf, F171756
We own a 2004 Coachmen Aurora motorhome. Recently when applying the brakes at an intersection, we heard a noise much louder than something falling within the coach. We drove through the intersection, leaving the receiver hitch, the towed car, and towing equipment behind on the highway.
RV repair technicians found that the welding on each side of the receiver hitch had been cracking for some time and was being held together by about an inch of metal on each side. They believe this was caused by improper installation of the receiver hitch.
Obviously, everyone who tows a car should regularly inspect receiver hitches for safety.
Lawrence Troutman, F204685
Editor’s Note: These readers’ experiences illustrate the importance of checking welding spots. Safety chains also should be in place and inspected regularly. The chains connect the chassis of the towed vehicle with the motorhome chassis and usually can prevent complete detachment if a weld fails.
I bought a supplemental braking system from RVibrake for my Honda CR-V. I was very happy until I was driving one day and had to hit my brakes hard, which resulted in locking the front wheels of my towed vehicle. This ruined two brand-new tires. I replaced the tires and made a complaint with RVibrake. A few weeks later, I hooked up to travel and had driven about 3 miles when something didn’t feel right. I stopped to find the CR-V’s front brakes smoking. They were burned to toast.
I was fit to be tied and called RVibrake demanding to talk to someone who would take care of my problem immediately. Dan Decker, the head of RVibrake, came on the phone and patiently listened to me. He assured me we would be friends by the time we hung up and that they are a family company that cares about their customers and stands behind their product. He got me calmed down and just talked a moment. He patiently walked me through the process of installing and setting up the brake. As it turned out, I had failed to follow the process correctly (which is not complicated), and this resulted in both of the problems that occurred. I was very embarrassed and yet Dan was nice to me.
Dan insisted on upgrading me to the RVibrake second-generation unit with wireless tire-pressure monitors, at no cost to me, just as a goodwill gesture for my trouble, even though it was my fault. I can’t express my gratitude and appreciation adequately, but I hope you can spread the word that among the quality products offered to motorhomers, there is a champion, RVibrake.
Jack Hollingsworth, F314662
Panama City Beach, Florida
I recently needed to replace a broken discharge hose from the macerator in my 2008 Roadtrek 190 Versatile. Fortunately, I was directed to Stahmann Sales Co., a Roadtrek dealer in New Braunfels, Texas. Eric and Brian did a fast and thorough job and I was back on the road quickly. If you need Roadtrek service, contact this central-Texas company at (800) 282-0882; www.stahmannrv.com.
Dick Enos, F406713