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Posts posted by docj

  1. 5 hours ago, jleamont said:

    We have to consider the potential for panic stopping. You don't want something unsecured to greet you while you are trying to maintain control of the vehicle. 

    As noted previously, the table is secured to the sidewalls with large screw eyes and heavy-duty zip ties.

  2. 2 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

    I think a 200lb table top is a little excessively heavy for RV use, nice but heavy.

    Now that we have a storage shed on our own property in TX we have taken so much out the of the MH that I'm not the least concerned about our load capability.  200 lbs is the weight of a person; not a big deal IMO.

  3. 4 hours ago, manholt said:


    It works for us...very nice! 😁

    What's not all that visible in the photo is that there are two large shelves under the counter on which we've placed a set of large baskets which provide a huge amount of easily accessible (just slide them out) storage.   The counter itself has a hinged "breakfast bar" which hangs out over the edge of the "platform" which provides us room to eat meals.  The massive weight of the entire piece makes it very stable even with the cantilevered section. 

    The biggest challenge was getting the counter top into the MH.  Thank goodness for a somewhat younger neighbor! 😂

  4. I realize that this probably isn't most people's way to redo the dining area, but it works for us.  The counter-height work surface is a superb addition to the kitchen work area.  The butcher block is solid inch and a half maple.  It stands on 3x3 posts and weighs >200 lbs. I'm not at all worried about it tipping over but it is anchored to the wall to keep it from sliding.

    counter comp.jpg

  5. 21 hours ago, jleamont said:

    Hinkfam, Welcome to the FMCA forums!

    Here are the two that I can say are nice in that area;

    1st choice http://www.merrymeadows.com/

    2nd choice https://ramblinpinescampground.com/

    Call both and see what they can do, I believe MD is opening back up soon. If that doesn't work let me know, I know a few over the PA border that might work. We have a friend that is a full timer at Ramblin Pines now, if need be I can have him ask the office for the particulars. 



    We use Ramblin' Pines when we visit family in the Balto-DC area.   Most sites are heavily wooded and some can be a bit tight (we have a 40' Class A) but we actually like the sites out front that they label as "FR" which are open and have trees only in the back.  

    Unfortunately, I just checked Campground Reviews and it states that this park was closed because of the virus.  But that was 6 weeks ago and things might have changed:  Ramblin' Pines.  It's possible that the "friend" referred to in the previous post is a long-term resident who was permitted to stay in place although the park may be closed to new people.

  6. 19 hours ago, manholt said:

    If I was going to guess, I would say 50+% fall into that group!   Are you full time?

    Yes, we have been full-timers for ~10 years and have travelled >65k miles around North America.  In "normal" years we travel for ~5-6 months and winter in south TX.  We have a site in an "ownership RV park" where we spend the winters (and our COVID-19 isolation).

  7. 2 hours ago, manholt said:

    AIM is growing...each Rally is $650, 4-5 days of having a Blast, with food, music, sightseeing, exclusives, like minded people, all included. 

    I agree that these sorts of events might attract some people who currently aren't interested in "more traditional" RV rallies.  Of course, an organization structured around such events still might not be of interest to those RVers who don't see rallies, of any sort, as being an integral part of RVing.   I have no idea what percentage of RVers fall into this category,  but we exist.  We're not antisocial but we don't necessarily assume that we have common interests with other people just because we both happen to own RVs.  Our MH is a way for us to be able to travel all over North America but it has little or no influence on our personal interests, hobbies, religious or political views, etc.  JMO

  8. 13 hours ago, manholt said:

    Docj. I have no idea of where your getting your figures from!  That's totally false information and if you still feel that it's true, BACK IT UP! 25%-50% of our dues, does not go to the care and feeding of our EB or Committee personnel. 

    I said that this was the percentage of dues revenue that the Beaver Ambassador Club was spending on mileage allowances.  I never said that it was true of FMCA itself. I was taking my information directly off of the published annual budgets.   And BAC justified its payments because the parent organization, FMCA, paid them also.

    And for those who say that being an officer is a huge expense,  my response is that it is ridiculous that an organization would define a role for a "volunteer" officer that requires this much effort and expense.  Essentially,  you've created a construct where mileage allowances seem necessary but nothing says your construct is mandatory.

  9. 2 hours ago, manholt said:

    Yep, we're back to that again.  The first year as ND, I got my travel allowance, the next year it was gone!  I can understand where Area VP's are coming from, some area's are huge, like North West. 

    One of the reasons I dropped out of the Beaver Ambassador Club (an FCMA affiliate) was that I thought the practice of providing officers travel allowances was obscene.  At the time I quit somewhere between 25-50% of dues revenue was being spent on such allowances.  I guess it's a good gig if you can get it.  Get yourself elected as an officer, then do a "woe is me" that the costs of going to all those rallies is a lot of money, so get everyone else to chip in to help pay you for what you signed up for as an officer.  For those of us who have no interest in rallies in the first place it appears to be a scam. JMO

  10. 19 minutes ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

    Lets heare some of your ideas on how to fix the problem.

    Personally, I might consider something like a two-tier organization.  The low-cost-of-entry primary tier would be a broadly based organization focused on providing useful information to the RV community.  Since Good Sam looks like it is finally on its last legs, maybe FMCA could take over the discount function that attracted so many people to GS.  The online-only magazine would contain information covering all aspects of RVing.  I don't think there currently exists any broadly-based entity that serves this role.  I'd be willing to pay $30-40/year for such an organization if it included GS's discounts.  It would have to change its name from FMCA to something that reflected an appeal to a broader base.

    Then, inside this first tier there would exist a smaller organization which is focussed on staging rallies and other activities for members who like to participate in them.  There are some RVers who consider such events central to their concept of RVing and others who aren't the least bit interested.  At present, FMCA's cost structure is built to sustain such an organization but the membership numbers don't support the superstructure.  I suggest that the entire enterprise be rebuilt from the ground up.  In other words, figure out what a stable membership number would be at a dues rate <$100/yr and then create an organization to fit it.

    When thinking about what benefits to price into these two organizations,  one needs to step back and analyze how its members use their RVs and what benefits they would be interested in.  For example, since many (most?) RVs are used by many owners for only a limited number of trips each year and most of those trips aren't all that far from home (RVIA data), maybe TravelAssist isn't all that important to them.  Furthermore, Michelin tire discounts may not be all that important to people buying tires sized for most towables.  Scaling back benefits will permit the organization(s) to better use their dues revenues.

    I'm sure this proposed organizational structure will appeal to some and will be antithetical to others.  But if FMCA is to survive I think that it has to engage in a "bottoms up" rethink of its entire raison d'etre. Several of you challenged me to come up with ideas; here they are.

  11. 1 hour ago, IanBullock said:

    Did everyone see this deal from FMCA posted on Facebook and Twitter this morning? Even though my membership wasn't expiring soon, I added a year to my membership right away. 

    1 week only - April 23 - April 30 - we are offering throwback pricing for new and existing members. Current members click here to RENEW for $50 - https://t.co/tMcZJe9Ley 

    New members click here to JOIN for $60 - https://t.co/LbgBrpo47v #fmcaRV #rvclub #rv #rvlife https://t.co/9rbSxtjOV4

    You must click the links above to take advantage of the deal. It is not offered on the FMCA regular web log in.

    What a deal!

    Of course, this is a classic accounting tactic by which revenues from future years are used to resolve a current cash flow problem.  It doesn't fix any problems; it simply delays them.

  12. 12 hours ago, rossboyer said:

    While the technical wording is as you say, there are way too many cases where FMCAssist had gone the extra mile. 

    You are wrong about if you are out of the country, they will take you home; and if it is your remains, they will be returned to the location of ‘your’ choice. The RV is returned to your home only limited by drivability and $5,000 max. 

    If you choose to believe that insurance companies routinely pay benefits beyond their stated policy documents, I'll never convince you otherwise.  But for those who believe that insurance companies only pay what they're obligated to pay.  I've attached the words from the Travel Assist policy (as written by Lloyds) which describe the medical evacuation benefit.  As I previously stated the requirement is to take the patient to the closest medical facility at which an appropriate level of care can be provided. 

    As for FMCA having "gone the extra mile" for some people, that may possibly be true (although I'd want to see evidence, not anecdotal recollections), but, if it is, it's something that FMCA did outside the coverage provided by its insurance policy and, therefore, can't be assumed to be a benefit available to others in the future.

    I find it interesting that on the FMCA website the full benefits description is only available if you log in, which is a Catch-22 way of saying "you can't see the member benefits unless you're a member!"  Fortunately, the company that actually runs Travel Assist posts the benefits here:  FMCA Travel Assist


  13. 2 hours ago, rossboyer said:

    FMCAssist will repatriate you to the location of your choice. It will transport you to the medical facility that is agreed to be the best to care for you. If you were to buy this coverage, the cost would be &115-$130/year. Or about $40 more than your renewal dues. 

    With all due respect, the fine print says that FMCAssist will take you to the nearest medical facility that can provide you adequate care.  There is no guarantee that you will be taken home.  If you're outside the US there's no obligation to get you back to the US.  Furthermore, having someone return your RV home for you is dependent on you first being approved for transport.  

    Don't get me wrong, these limitations are pretty much the same for SkyMed and MASA.  That's one of the reasons I haven't bothered to subscribe to them either.  MASA appears to build its subscriber base by scaring seniors in group settings at snowbird parks.  Personally, I find that kind of marketing offensive.

    Personally, I'm more likely to purchase health insurance for when we're in Canada.  Our medicare supplement covers us for $50k of coverage outside the US and that's on a reimbursable basis.  If we spend another summer up there I think I'd like to have "real" health insurance that would cover us for accidental injury and other concerns.  Of course, that assumes we're ever going to go away like that again!

  14. 18 minutes ago, smithy said:

    We currently have 35 employees. How many do you feel is fair to service 79,000 members, produce and print 12 magazines per year, and two international conventions per year? 

    Not to be snarky, but since I have no interest in the international conventions or in the print magazine, I would suggest that maybe you have at least 25 too many. 

    I'm with elkhartjim on this issue--what exactly is the "value added" of an organization such as FMCA to it's members?  I used to think of the tire program as one of those, but last year I purchased Hankook tires for less than the FMCA price.  And how often does one really need to buy tires anyway?  The cost of FMCA dues over the ~7 years between tire purchases more than offsets any available discount.

    I usually pay Good Sam Club a membership solely for the purpose of getting 10% off my RV park fees.  That normally pays for itself every year, but I cancelled it this year because we aren't going to travel because of COVID-19.  Similarly, I have paid KOA for its discount card but won't do so this year.  These are entirely "transactional relationships"; I pay because I get something in return.

    One thing that usually gets overlooked in discussions such as this is that many thousands of RV owners use them for something other than recreational camping.  Many Americans use RVs as "alternative housing", a term that includes people who move from one job location to another and those who live in RVs because they find that less expensive and more appealing than apartments and/or other housing they can afford.  Most of these people don't frequent these forums, they hang out in  Facebook groups and similar places.  Many of them lack the basic knowledge of how RVs function and could truly benefit from an honest information source.  However, many (most?) of these folks would rather watch a YouTube video on how to fix something than pay to belong to an organization from which they might be able to get assistance.

  15. 3 hours ago, elkhartjim said:

    Magazine loosing $300,000 per year and membership numbers dropping like a rock certainly doesn't sound promising.

    So why continue to have a printed magazine?  That's such an outdated 20th century concept.  The same information can be conveyed digitally without the hassle of having mail forwarded to readers.  Even though there could be less ad revenue in a digital magazine, the costs to produce it would be far less. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    And while we're on the subject of questioning why certain things are the way they are, has anyone ever considered that there are lots of RVers who aren't interested in rallies and conventions?  In ten years and 65,000 miles of full-timing we've been to exactly one rally and never plan to attend another one.  We use our MH to go somewhere interesting, not to sit around talking to other RVers.  JMO

  16. 51 minutes ago, wayne77590 said:

    What does all the money go to in all the RV Clubs. I mean, according to the article the loss for FMCA would be $700,000 in revenue. If they were to received $700,000 what would it be used for?

    Until ~6 years ago FMCA used to have financial records that were available to the public  The last ones that I ever saw showed a rather substantial headquarters operation and a several million dollar bank balance.   Although I'm sure that some of the HQ staff probably have been trimmed over the years, bureaucracies tend to resist change.  If the organization was unable to refund deposits then it is probably burning cash faster than it is coming in through "normal" channels. Therefore, deposits were probably used as revenue which would not be a good accounting practice to continue.  JMO

  17. We have Progressive for both our MH and our cars.  Even though there is no premium rebate program for the MH, I always put the MH into a winter "layup" mode which reduces my premiums by ~$60-70/mo.  This year I'm simply not taking it out of winter layup until it's safe (and legal) to travel.  In the mode it is currently in, it still has legal minimums on its liability coverages so it would be street-legal if it had to be driven.   I raise the collision deductible and drop uninsured motorist coverage.  Comprehensive coverage remains the same.

  18. 2 hours ago, manholt said:

    Interesting....the ratio of cases vs death's remain the same! 

    The listed deaths to cases ratio remains at 2-3%.  But since we aren't doing large-scale testing of asymptomatic people the number of actual cases is probably much larger. Therefore, the "real" death rate is probably on the order of 1% which is what the Chinese have said from the start.

  19. 6 hours ago, manholt said:

    there are several companies that will cover you on the road, then minimal or no coverage when your home in garage.

    Progressive lets me do that every year. I raise deductibles and/or eliminate most on-road coverages; I drop my liability coverage to State minimums so as not to upset my registration.  I keep my comprehensive at full value to protect against storm damage, vandalism, etc.  Normally, I restore the coverages by ~April 1, this year I won't unless I am forced to do so.   Given the current circumstances I doubt they will ask me to do that.

  20. I assume you know that the Fisher Paykel comes in a single-drawer model which would probably make the most sense in a MH.  

    Although we have done in our 2000 Beaver many of the other remodeling ideas mentioned in your post, including bringing a fridge in through the windshield, we haven't bothered with the dishwasher because we love our walnut cabinetry and hate to part with any of our kitchen "goodies".

    However, one suggestion I can offer is how to provide power to the unit.  A number of years ago I extended the circuit for the washer/dryer to provide an additional outlet in the kitchen.  That gave us an additional "cooking circuit" if, for example we wanted to run the Breville oven while the induction burner and microwave were both in use.  Since washer/dryer use can be planned there's no particular inconvenience by avoiding it during cooking hours.  The same philosophy would hold for a dishwasher I would think.

    Joel (AKA docj)

  21. (I hope the site's administrators will permit this post in this time of national crisis)

    As a result of the current COVID-19 crisis there are lots of school children throughout the country whose schools have been closed but who lack high speed internet at home which they will need for the next several months to access their online lessons. School districts all over the country are scrambling to meet this need.

    To help in this time of crisis WiFiRanger has made it easy for you to share your internet connection with a nearby child, or anyone else you choose. Many WiFiRanger owners are probably unaware that their Ranger routers have the capability to support a "guest wifi" SSID if you wanted to share your internet access with a friend or neighbor. This is all built into the WiFi tab of your Ranger's online control panel.

    What we've done today is make is extremely easy to use this built-in capability without having to program anything into your Ranger.

    -All you need to do to start is click on the blue "Check for Updates" link at the top of every page of your Ranger's on-screen control panel.

    -Once the link stops flashing, go to the bottom of the Setup tab of the control panel to the section labeled Profiles. On the list of profiles there will be one that says COVID-19 RV Response Project. Click on the button to load that profile.

    -Once it is loaded when you check your computer or mobile device's list of available WiFi networks there will now be one with an SSID that reads: C-19.Free WiFi.WiFiRanger

    -Anyone who clicks on that SSID will be presented with a "login screen" with instructions to enter the access code "wfrcovid19". Doing so will provide the user one hour per day of internet access from you internet connection.

    You can terminate this arrangement at end time by going to the WiFi tab of your Ranger's control panel and disabling the section labeled Guest Wireless Network. If, on the other hand, you wanted to provide a longer access period you could change the appropriate entry in the Guest section of the page. If you make any changes on the page directly, don't forget to click on SAVE at the bottom of the page.''

    All WiFiRanger owners should understand that this is a purely voluntary initiative. Furthermore, if you choose to use it, your personal network is kept entirely separate from the guest connection. There is no chance of your data being compromised.

    We hope that you will find this feature a useful way to assist others in this time of need for so many.

    Joel (AKA docj)

  22. This same question was posted on the IRV2 forum and has received several responses.  The OP was advised that a  775 error means that the LNB isn't seeing voltage from the power inserter.  He needs to check to make sure the power inserter is plugged in and has a green light showing.  Then he needs to check each coax connection between the receiver and the Trav'ler.

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