Thanks For The Advice And Services
After 44 years of some kind of recreational vehicle — Class C, pop-up, slide-in truck, Class A, and Class C again — we have sold our beloved camper. We lived in it for 90 days last summer while securing a new home on a foundation. Thank you for a great organization and all that you do for part-time and full-time RVers. Please use the last two years of my membership (and subscription to Family RVing) for the good of the order. Bless your future!
Scott Buck, F471092
Depoe Bay, Oregon
Dark Sky Suggestion
In agreement with Mabelle Lernoud’s observation of excessive lighting around motorhomes (“Dark Sky Delights,” “Readers Write,” August 2021, page 14), I propose the following, with some background information.
My wife and I have been involved in astronomy for many years. And for over a decade, our astronomy club has been one of the top science education and outreach clubs in the country. In addition, my wife and I have been frequent volunteers out at the George Observatory as main telescope operators and assists.
All the astronomy clubs and observatories that we are familiar with and have visited require the use of red lights to protect night viewing. In addition, several of our astronomy friends at their homes have changed all their outside lights to red. Several of our RV friends have done the same with their outside lights and string lights on their motorhomes and travel trailers.
With red outside lights, and red-light flashlights, your eyes adjust, and your night vision is pretty good, allowing you to do most anything. It also allows you to enjoy the night sky. FMCA members might look into changing their outside lights to red. Newer LED bulbs, strip lights, and rope lights can change colors, so opting for red is very easy.
Tony Wiese, F178480
Fort Bend Astronomy Club
The Devil Is In The Details
Reading the August 2021 issue of Family RVing, there were two articles — “Billboards Dot The American Landscape‚” (page 64) and “Look To The Sky” (page 56) — that brought the following to mind. A number of years ago, I was a corporate pilot and had occasion to take a load of passengers into Vernal, Utah. Taxiing in I saw, written in 10-foot letters on the side of a hangar, “Welcome Blue Angles.” I asked the fellow behind the counter at the FBO [fixed-base operator] if that was about the Navy exhibition team. He became embarrassed and replied, “Oh, I know that we misspelled Blue Angels, but we had an air show last weekend, and they were here.”
William Cooper, F422533
I can sympathize with Donna Vestal (“GPS Recommendation?‚” “Readers Write‚” September 2021, page 12), because I likewise have had challenges with my GPS devices. I’ve been RVing since 1995 and started out with the old TomTom, which was really a pretty good device for the infancy of the industry.
I was among the very first to buy the RV 760 by Garmin when it was introduced and thought it would be my dream GPS, given the ads. I was also among the very first to be taken down a road that became dirt and gravel for 12 miles in a 40-foot Prevost pulling a Jeep Grand Cherokee. In addition, there were two very low-limit wooden bridges that I had to chance.
I have also had it try to direct me onto a route that I had experience to know was not the best route, either through small towns with tight turns or down a mountain road (Route 7 from Blue Ridge Parkway to Highway 70 in North Carolina), where many places had I met a similar vehicle, one of us would have had to disconnect and back up.
Another issue with the 760 is that the suction cup is not strong enough to support the weight when mounted on a vertical glass. It will fall off within an hour or two just when you need it most. It also fails to hold a charge, and it has been that way since new. If you keep it plugged in and need to go to battery, the charge will last about 20 minutes.
My old faithful is an older Garmin. They are putting in all the new features to sell, but they simply are not building in the quality that they once did. Garmin should start selling with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, and they would get good feedback on their quality. If I were buying today, I’d be looking for something other than Garmin.
Good luck, Donna. It’s a wild shot.
Mickey Medley, F319392
Gaffney, South Carolina
I’ve tried many GPS, mostly expensive ones. My favorite and what I use now is a $75 trucker’s GPS from Amazon. Maps are reasonably up to date, and it gives me about 10 routing options minimum to get me where I want to go. It is easy to use and has great features. I’m driving a Class A with a towed vehicle, totaling 64 feet long.
Peter D. Hipson, F503389
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
In June 2021 we traveled to Pendleton, Oregon, and made a side trip to the shirt factory. This was using my Consumer Cellular phone by Motorola and Google Maps. We ended up at a dead end, looking across an empty field at the factory. We went around to the side and re-entered, which took us to the parking lot. Then at Bremerton, Washington, I entered “Bremerton KOA‚ instead of “KOA Bremerton,” and it took us to downtown Bremerton. Otherwise, it got us where we wanted to go.
Dan Fregin, F389328
We want to hear from you! Family RVing welcomes comments about articles published in the magazine or topics of interest to RV owners. And with bad news permeating our world of late, we’d also love to hear your good news. Gestures of kindness you’ve experienced or witnessed. An opportunity you had to do something for someone else that you’d like to share, in hopes of inspiring others to do something similar. Or just observations you have made during this unusual time. We’d love to hear your stories.
Email all letters for this column to [email protected] or mail to Readers Write, FMCA, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244. Please include your name, city, and state/province. Letters may be edited for space or clarity.