Towing Guide UpdateThe 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Limited was inadvertently left out of Family Motor Coaching’s “Towables for 2016” towing guide (January 2016, page 44). The front-wheel-drive vehicle is equipped with a 2.5-liter engine and an automatic transmission. To prevent the battery from draining while the vehicle is being towed…It may seem a little odd that I would offer a new year greeting to you at this time; however, the oldest Roman calendar listed March as the first month of the year. Just as in modern times, in ancient Rome the arrival of the new year was cause for celebration with wine, food, and music.Hello, My Fellow FMCA Family. Is it just me or is 2016 already slipping away from us too fast? In my February column, I mentioned that Gloria and I were on our way to Indio, California, to attend the Western Area Rally. We have just completed that event. Western Area members should be very proud of themselves.One of the benefits of RVing is the opportunity to sample many local cuisines as you travel. Regional food offerings vary widely from coast to coast, but perhaps the most American of all is barbecue. It is a major fascination for many “foodies” — to the point that a ton of books have been written and many TV shows and even TV series have been created with barbecue as the star.Can two people with decidedly different backgrounds find bliss and harmony in a 36-foot motorhome? Miri and Ryan Rossitto, F434901, are proof positive.Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains area has been a popular vacation destination for decades, hosting millions of visitors every year. Great Smoky Mountains National Park was the most-visited national park and third most-visited park site in the United States in 2014, behind Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Blue Ridge Parkway.In a bid to get in on what surely will be the wave of the future and will hopefully bring employment to an area sorely in need of economic relief, the state of New Mexico has poured $218.5 million into the construction of Spaceport America, the first commercial spaceport in the world. It opened in 2011.Online forums, discussion boards, owners-club websites, and how-to videos often focus on one of the most perplexing of all motorhome problems: water leaking into the RV. It’s perhaps the number-one cause of damage to today’s motorhomes.
Motorhomes are complex. If you own one but don’t understand how to properly operate and maintain it, you may incur some expensive lessons.Complex Electrical TaskWe own a 2002 Beaver Monterey Type A motorhome with 50-amp service. It has two chassis batteries and four coach batteries. It also has a Xantrex PROsine 2.0 2,000-watt inverter/charger and a Progressive Dynamics 5200 series automatic transfer relay switch. We frequently stay at campgrounds that have only 30-amp service but also have a separate 20-amp outlet.Baffling Battery DrainDear RV Doctor:The chassis battery drains on my mom’s 2014 Winnebago Vista. We were told the battery should be replaced because it no longer held a charge, but a new battery yielded the same result.Describe a craft, hobby, activity, or sport you enjoy during a motorhome trip.When I camp at Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World, some of the planet’s best chefs prepare my dinner order. Dine-out options at Fort Wilderness include a Disney character breakfast, a dinner show, and a casual restaurant. Dozens more Disney eateries can be reached via the resort’s free transportation network.
Every year is a learning experience. But for us, the past 12 months were like a graduate course. Looking back at the year, here are five of the most important things we learned from our travels.Jayco Unveils 2016 MelbourneJayco Inc. has introduced its 2016 Melbourne, a Type C motorhome built on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 chassis. It’s powered by a V-6 turbo diesel engine with 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque.Collapsible BottleWe all know the importance of staying hydrated, but carrying a water bottle can be darn inconvenient. Inventor Niki Singlaub’s solution is a collapsible bottle called the Hydaway.Motorhomes have been a part of my family’s life for 45 years. And over that span of time, we often mixed business with pleasure.Motorhome owners who are not members of FMCA sometimes ask me why they should join. Maybe that can be answered by describing a recent rally of the Carolina Ramblers chapter. The location was special, but the rally itself was typical of those we have attended over the years.A new FMCA chapter can get its start in any number of ways. This is the story of a chapter that owes its existence to fun and games. Well, one game in particular.