We were delighted to see and read the article about Chautauqua Institution in the August 2013 issue (“Chautauqua Institution: A Tradition Of Learning,” page 66).
We are repeat visitors to the Chautauqua/Bemus Point, New York, area. We recommend this beautiful part of the state to anyone.
We were there a few weeks ago and stayed at Camp Chautauqua. What a lovely lakefront campground! The staff was great, too − very friendly, cheery, and helpful.
The article mentioned eating locally. We had some delicious meals while there: a breakfast at the Bemus Point Inn; afternoon snacks at Webb’s Captain’s Table; and a dinner at Guppy’s.
Chuck and Molly Fox, F413519
Fmca Mail Forwarding
The text of the “Solar Power” article (August 2013, page 56) is very well written, and the technical information also very good. However, a mathematical error affects both charts on page 58.
On page 57 the writer mentions that an inverter will have an efficiency of about 90 percent, which is correct, but in the calculation on page 58, he incorrectly subtracted 10 percent of the power instead of adding it. If an inverter is not 100 percent efficient, the battery will consume more than the estimated calculation, not less.
For example, in the charts on page 58, it should say that the 40-inch LCD TV running 3 hours will require 6.87 battery amps, not 5.63 battery amps. To arrive at this figure: 75 watts divided by 12 volts = 6.25 amps. Ten percent of 6.25 amps should be added (6.25 plus .625) to reach 6.87 battery amps. The writer took 6.25 and subtracted .625 to arrive at 5.63.
This same error was made on the other figures in the chart as well.
Gilles Audet, F235716
State, Not Interstate
In the September 2013 “Readers’ Forum,” the “Excellent Battery Replacement” letter (page 14) mentioned an interstate number 91. I just want to note that it is not an interstate. Although it is a part of the Greater Los Angeles and Orange County freeway system and looks, feels, and smells as though it is an interstate highway, it is really State Route 91. This could be confusing to non-Southern-California motorhome drivers if they look for an interstate and come up empty.
Lee Irwin, F398706
Royal City, Washington
“Pre-Viewing” RV Stops On Google Earth
In the October 2013 “Readers’ Forum” (“RV Friendly?”, page 16), Ruth Meittunen, F400866, commented about how difficult it can be to find fuel stops and restaurants that can handle large motorhomes. We have found some tools that help.
We use two GPS units in the motorhome, but they are somewhat lacking in planning trips, so we use campground directory Web sites to locate potential overnight stops, and we frequently can find fuel stops along the way (Pilot Flying J, TA TravelCenters of America, Love’s, etc.) by using their Web sites. I also have the fuel stop apps on my Android devices.
I use Delorme’s Topo USA and/or Street Atlas to plan my route and stops. Both have extensive databases of points of interest. I usually look for campgrounds and fuel/food stops along the way.
I also use Google Earth to find each stop and print a picture of the location, whether it be a truck/RV stop, campground, or Cracker Barrel restaurant. After that, either I or my wife, our navigator, plugs everything into the two GPS devices, so that after each stop we can call up the next one. With the stops all planned, and pictures of each one, we know in advance what is there and how to approach it.
Being able to see on Google Earth exactly what we will see when we get there is the best part of all.
John Barton and Mary Pitre, F419974
Check The Spare
Nearly everyone at one time has been in a vehicle that had a flat tire. It’s a real setback in an otherwise happy trip. What is even worse than the flat on the vehicle is to have a flat spare tire. That spare is usually hidden in the trunk, out of sight, out of mind. To avoid two unpleasant experiences at one time, check the tire pressure in that spare tire now, while it’s fresh in your mind — for some peace of mind later.
Joe D’Amico, F157440
Trenton, New Jersey
Cummins Service In Gillette
During our trip to the FMCA Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Gillette, Wyoming, our diesel motorhome lost power just outside of town. We were able to continue traveling at a very slow pace to the Cummins Rocky Mountain Service Center in Gillette (800-773-9611). We highly recommend this service center. Not only are they knowledgeable and professional, but the entire staff is very friendly and helpful.
The technicians had to troubleshoot the problem by themselves, since no codes showed up in the motorhome’s computer. They determined that the high-pressure fuel pump had to be replaced. As we waited, they updated us every day concerning their progress and went out of their way to make sure we could stay in our motorhome at night. This saved us from having to pay for a hotel. They were also very fair about the hours they charged trying to determine the problem.
Larry & Linda Steckley, F364354
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Simply Shocked …
We just finished a 6,200-mile trip. While driving in heavy rain through Illinois, we hit a pothole the size of the Grand Canyon, or so it felt like. It blew the motorhome’s right steer shock. We stopped several places in Iowa, trying to get it replaced. We were given replies like “We don’t have your type of shock,” or “We won’t be able to fix it for three or four days.” We kept traveling and wound up at a small repair shop called Wings Repair & Towing in Avoca, Iowa (712-307-6300). We got there right before they closed for the night and were told they’d try to help the next morning. By the time we returned in the morning, a delivery truck was pulling in with our shocks. Forty minutes later, at a cost half of what we had been quoted, we were back on the road.
We cannot thank Craig at Wings Repair & Towing enough. This is our first letter to FMCA about service after 19 years of RVing. We want others who travel Interstate 80 to know there are still a few good, honest people out there.
Carl and Becky Nielsen, F219313