Towing Guide Addition
After publication of FMCA’s “Towables For 2014” towing guide (January 2014, page 42), it was brought to our attention that, despite what the owners manuals indicate, Kia vehicles with front-wheel drive and a manual transaxle can be flat-towed behind a motorhome. This is according to Kia Technical Service Bulletin 018 (Rev 2, 01/10/2014).
Kia vehicles with front-wheel drive and a manual transaxle that can be towed four wheels down are the Forte LX, Forte5 SX, Forte Koup EX and SX, Rio LX, Rio 5-door LX, and Soul Base. No speed and/or distance limitations have been set for any of these vehicles.
If you decide to purchase one of these vehicles to tow behind your motorhome, ask the dealer to provide you with a copy of the technical service bulletin, which includes the towing requirements and procedures. All-wheel-drive Kia vehicles or those equipped with an automatic transmission are NOT approved to be towed four wheels down.
Michigan License Requirements
The “Motorhome Regulations” table in the January 2014 issue indicates that Michigan (page 195) requires a Class A or B commercial license to operate a motorhome. Michigan has never required more than a standard operator’s license, and the Michigan Secretary of State Web site confirms that motorhome operators are exempt from commercial requirements.
FMC regrets this error.
Fuel Pump Fix
On September 16 we were headed from our home in Crooked River Ranch, Oregon, to Wenatchee, Washington, for a week. As we were driving through Yakima, our motorhome quit running. We called our road service, asking for a tow and the name of a repair shop. After a couple of phone calls, we connected with John Olson at Auto Care Experts. John said that we could bring the motorhome in and they would work on getting it fixed as soon as possible.
By the time we got there it was 4:45 p.m., just 15 minutes before they closed, but John stayed and did a quick once-over on the RV. Anticipating that the problem was the fuel pump (it was), John was proactive and ordered a new one right then. Knowing that we were on the road, he squeezed us in and had the job completed the next afternoon. We were certainly expecting to be stuck there for a couple of days, so it was a surprise that the repair was completed so quickly.
Kudos to John and the crew at Auto Care Experts LLC in Yakima (509-457-1033).
Sam Rodwell, F418368
Crooked River Ranch, Oregon
Last spring my wife and I were on a trip along the Georgia-Carolina coast when we stopped to visit the Brunswick, Georgia, area for a few days. We picked Coastal Georgia RV Resort for our stay. Upon arrival, we were informed that they were not only full, they were over-full because they were hosting a large Tiffin Allegro rally. I exclaimed, “Oh, no! I’ve got to have a spot!” The lady at the desk promptly got on her phone and called her boss, the owner, and asked him if he could prepare another spot for a 40-foot motorhome. Much to my amazement, he said, “Yes,” and he did.
He had already moved his personal motorhome three times that day to accommodate guests. I went out and watched as he moved it for the fourth time, and prepared me a special site with full hookups. He had to replumb a water hookup inside of a building and run a long hose, and rework an electrical outlet inside and run an electrical cord to the outside for me. He did this work with so much ease and cheerfulness that he seemed to enjoy it.
We have traveled this great country from north to south and east to west and have visited many RV parks and resorts, and I have never had the type or level of service we experienced at Coastal Georgia RV Resort (912-264-3869; www.coastalgarvresort.com). This is a beautiful place with unparalleled service. I can’t wait to return there, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
These folks are highly deserving of all the business in their area, and I wish to thank them again for a very pleasant stay.
William McCutchen Jr., F377974
Quality Work In North Carolina
I live in North Carolina but have driven to Florida to have the floors replaced in my motorhome, at great expense, and I was looking for someone local to do the same type work. As luck would have it, I had a refrigerator problem and contacted the only local dealer I did business with. They replaced the circuit board and sent me on my way. But the fridge’s problem of high temps still was not resolved, so I asked a friend for a reference and learned about Cape Fear Custom RV in Wilmington, North Carolina. I went there and was completely amazed by what I encountered.
I arrived the day before my appointment to leave my RV and was greeted by Sal, who happened to be the fridge specialist. He replaced the thermistor and noticed that I did not have the proper vent system for heat to escape through the coils. He fabricated one, and now the temps are in a safe mode for food storage, all done while I waited. I was informed that the first slideouts with refrigerators did not have such venting.
I have since returned and have had interior work done, such as having the TV cabinet cut down to accommodate my flat-screen TV.
If you are on the East Coast and looking for quality, honest work done at a reasonable price, please consider Cape Fear Custom RV, C9394, an FMCA commercial member (3302 Kitty Hawk Road, Wilmington, NC 28405; 910-762-8880). Ask for Dennis Harp. Your RV lifestyle will be made easier.
Don Langdon, F423410
Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina
Milestones In Motorhoming
FMCA’s 50th anniversary was a milestone to be proud of. We enjoyed reading and looking at all the pictures from the history of FMCA in Family Motor Coaching magazine throughout 2013. They brought back memories for both of us, as we grew up in camping families.
I have fond memories of camping with my parents, and my wife, Janice, traveled with her family in a homemade pop-up camper. We are retired now and continue to travel and enjoy the sights. Our FMCA membership has enhanced our RV travels and gives us peace of mind, as we know that FMCA is always there to help.
Roger and Janice Brooks, F336916
New Windshield In Walden
While we were in New York during a recent cross-country trip, some debris cracked our motorhome’s windshield. We contacted our insurance company and then called our friends John and Sharon Traphagen, F20711D, to ask if they could recommend a glass shop in the Pine Bush, New York, area. They told us to call Newburgh Auto Glass in Walden, New York (155 Orange Ave.; 845-778-7117).
John Yannone handled our insurance claim and ordered a new windshield, which came from Indiana. It arrived in four days. John installed it the next morning and had us on the road again by midafternoon.
The company has been a family-owned business since 1947. John’s quality of workmanship was great. We thank him for keeping our trip on schedule and highly recommend Newburgh Auto Glass to anyone in need of a new windshield.
Ed and Eileen Little, F67559d
“Check Engine” Mystery
During a recent extended RV trip, the check engine light came on while I was driving our towed vehicle, a Jeep Wrangler, shortly after I disconnected it from our motorhome. That warning light on the dash of any vehicle always seems to appear when one least expects it, and then the usual thought is, “What now?”
We had a Banks PowerPack installed on our 2007 Monaco with a Ford V-10 when we bought it last year, and that included the Banks OttoMind Programmer. The OttoMind is designed to reprogram the tuning on the V-10 to improve performance and fuel economy. Since the OttoMind Programmer connects to the OBD II connection port on our motorhome, I connected it to the OBD II connection port on the Jeep to determine why the “check engine” light came on. In short order it told me low voltage was the problem. Our Jeep needed to be driven more to offset the drain on the battery from the Even Brake we use while towing.
Having an OBD II reader is a nice addition to anyone’s motorhome toolbox.
Tom F. Dugan, F428083
Direction, Temperature Gauges
We are longtime RVers and have had a lot of enjoyment while traveling the United States and Canada. We have a question that so far no one has been able to give us an acceptable answer to — not dealers or service people, etc. Why do none of the RVs we have ever seen include a compass and an outside thermometer?
When traveling we certainly would like to know what direction we are heading. And since we are not at home, we’d like to know the local temperature.
Yes, we know there are other gauges and instruments, not to mention GPS. But even the least expensive vehicles have temperature/compasses installed. Why not on a motorhome?
We would much appreciate it if someone could come up with a reasonable answer.
Alex and Janet Bartha
Hobe Sound, Florida
This past September, my husband and I were going through Kentucky on our way to St. Joseph, Missouri. During a driving rainstorm, the gasket that secures the windshield of our 2010 Winnebago Sightseer came out and was flapping very loudly in the wind.
When we arrived in St. Joseph, we called around and could not find help to get it fixed. We even tried a large RV service center. They would not even look at it. Finally we found a small glass repair place in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, that would repair it: Davis Glass Company on Bessie Street (573-334-7454). When we got there, the man looked at it right away. Within 30 minutes, he had the gasket resealed in place and charged us less than $40. He could have really taken us to the cleaners but did not. We highly recommend this place if any of the readers ever find themselves with a glass problem in that area. We have never been treated so nicely.
Mary S. Morris, F420100
Quick, Kind Service
We recently returned from a 10,000-mile RV trip and want to note the great service we received from Motley RV Repair (8300 W. Reno Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73127; 405-789-4848). While we were in Russellville, Oklahoma, a circuit breaker popped, but I could not pinpoint it. The next morning, en route to Oklahoma City, I found Motley RV Repair.
We made an appointment for later that afternoon. Owner Gary Motley and I discussed the problem while Kim Lawler, the office manager, noticed my wife, Sue, walking our dog. Kim, professing her love for animals, gave our Dalmatian a stuffed toy to play with.
Within 5 minutes, Gary had diagnosed the problem: a tripped inverter circuit breaker. When I went into the office to pay what I expected would be an hour of labor, Gary feigned being too busy to complete an invoice and told me I could instead contribute $40 or $50 to a local charity.
We were very much impressed with the attitudes and service of the entire crew and wholeheartedly recommend Motley for your RV service needs.
Byron Jerry Ellison, F422230
Garden Grove, California