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Posts posted by pattie1tom

  1. Thank you to the writers of the Family Motor Coaching Magazine. We were frustrated with a lack of family inclusion in the magazine. We spoke to the editors and see a marked effort to include families beyond the one summer edition. I look forward to seeing more ways to bring the travelling/camping families back into our association.

  2. I agree. Share your information anywhere people will read or listen. There are enough people around the country that read reviews prior to visiting a site that it is important that we feel comfortable evaluating the different locations. This is super important when we are far from home and need the advice of others to help guide us. However, if you do choose to review, remember to go back and review in the positive manner for another location so these sites don't become just a location to vent frustrations.

  3. Anyone know of a good online camping journal or ap that can be used for record and memory keeping?

    I have looked at a few but can't decide which to consider. I want easy and user-friendly.

    Thanks for your help!


  4. We just traded a 30 foot class B plus that I would drive often and sometimes by myself with my daughters for a class A and the difference in driving it is significant. I find the wind and big trucks push and pull it around the road a lot, especially when travelling interstates at top speed. Although I don't have advice yet, I will keep watch on the post for advice on maintaining stability through wind and trucks.

    Best Wishes and see you on the road.


  5. Hello All

    We live in Sarasota county Florida and try to get out in the rv at least every other week. Due to work schedules, it is almost always leave Friday after work and return Sunday. We try to stay within a 2-hour drive.

    Some of our favorite places that are family friendly are:

    1) Ft Desoto State Park, St Pete: The campground is on the bay and most sites are on the water. There are several awesome beaches within a mile bike ride and the fishing is great. Plus the campground has several playgrounds for kids.

    2) Riverside RV Resort, Port Charlotte: This park, though booked solid in the winter, has plenty for kids to do. Weekends have candy bar bingo, karaoke, pool games, arts&crafts, they have two fishing piers, plenty of space in the summer for kids to run around and have fun

    3) Oscar Shear State Park, Nokomis: Great state park. One of the few that has swimming. It has fishing, and is located next to the Venice-Sarasota Rails to Trails bike path. It also has great hiking and a perfect place to nature watch with birds, bobcats, etc.

    4) Sun&Fun, Sarasota: Though this tends to still be heavily occupied with retiree's, it does have a very large swimming pool and water slide. It has movies by pool side at night. Fishing in two of the ponds as well as plenty of space for biking. It has mini-golf, game room, etc.

    And of course, Ft Wildreness Campground, Disney. What more can you say, it's Disney and as a Florida resident you can get some good deals.

    Let me know what your favorites are.

    Anyone in the Southwest Florida area with kids want to meet up one weekend?



  6. We travel with a 4 year old and a 9 year old. We put our 4 year old in a car seat seat belted in but in a position where she can still be involved with the trip. As for the 9 year old. we require her to always be seated but not necessarily buckled up. However, it situations of heavy traffic or rainy conditions, anything other then sunshine and open roads, we make her buckle up.



  7. Greeting All

    Thank you to all how have replied. I have spoken personally to Ms. Czarsty, FMCA Acting President, for over an hour. She was in agreement with my forum posting that FMCA has lost its focus. She was very polite and wonderful to speak to. She agrees that FMCA needs to return to its roots when it was first founded and be about families. We discussed several issues and ideas and concepts to attract more families to this organization. The topic of families and the ability to draw in more younger RV owners will be a topic at the executive meeting in the next few weeks. She agrees that Florida's chapters are designed more with the snow bird population in mind, which is evident in that there are no chapter activities or rallies in Florida between May and Sept-Oct. From this conversation, our family will continue to work with Ms. Czarsty and FMCA to try to bring more family friendly activities to the organization.

    She then forwarded our information onto the editors of the magazine. We spoke with the editors for an hour to discuss magazine articles and concepts to make the magazine have some percentage dedicated to family activities.

    With this being said, it is time for all of the younger FMCA members with children to voice their opinions about what we want to see from FMCA. This also goes out to you Grandparents out there who are looking for activities that you can take your grandchildren, too. So, if anyone has ideas, or thoughts or knows of great family campgrounds or activities, the time is now to speak up.

    Also, if there are any folks out there with children who RV in Florida and would like to form a kid-friendly chapter in Florida, let us get together and form one.

    Thanks. And let us speak up and be heard!!!



  8. Ed and Beverly

    Thank you for your reply. However, with the amount of chapters in Florida and I have contacted several, the opinion or feeling of these chapters is that younger people with children are simply not welcome. I live in Sarasota and contacted chapters from Tampa to Naples and received the same info. We just joined. And we do not know how to form a chapter or what a chapter even does, or what it is about. So, if you would like me to form my own chapter so young people with children do not interfere with the older generation, I will. But it would have been nice to at least have the ability to join to a chapter gathering and see what it is about.

    The funny thing is though, that you all were parents once and took your kids camping. It's funny that you are willing to now take your grandchildren camping but yet when some young couple with kids wants to tag along or be parked in the next camping spot to you, you do not invite us over to chat or hear stories of old and adventure or give a newbie motorhome owner, 2011 Hurricane 31 G Class A, some pointers. You do not make us feel welcome.

    Remember, RVing is not about your age, it is about spending time with family and friends and exploring the world we live in and not in front of the tv or computers.



  9. I looked up the definition of family. However, when I discussed this with the booth at the trade show, the definition of family they gave me was in terms of:



    1.a. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.

    b. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family.

    We can discuss this at length about definitions, but the fact remains that this organization is orientated more towards the retired and empty-nesters than young parents with children. Yes they may have activities at National Conventions, but that is once a year, and no offense, I really do not want spend one of my vacation weeks driving all the way to Wisconsin from Florida with gas prices near $4 gallon to do family activities. Also, here in Florida, school is about ready to get back in session and it is already open for teachers, which my wife is.

    I agree that, yes this group might have a wealth of information and knowledge about all aspects of RVs and the RV lifestyle, but, how do you access it if the local chapters are not "interested" in parents with children. Postings to forums and reading things online or in magazines is great, but sometimes you just want to sit down with someone around the campfire at night and listen to stories of travels and adventure that others have experienced which you can not get through the Internet or magazine.

    From The FMCA Chapter Directory: "The Family Motor Coach Association was founded to promote motor coaching as a way of life, a FUN activity for family recreation. FMCA chapters are the FUN groups of the association and provide members with the opportunity to use their coaches on weekends and enjoy the fellowship of friends with a common interest without driving great distances."

    The intent of this discussion is to address that the local chapters here in Florida do not provide activities geared to people with children, which is what I was lead to believe.

    Finally, referencing your definition of family, a group of people united by certain convictions, well I think owning a brand-new 2011 Hurricane might say something to my convictions about being in a motorhome. The problem still remains that this group, based on my observations and other emails and responses I have had, still is geared more toward the older population. Therefore, the question is, how do I get into your "family" when the focus of the "family" is the older generation?

    I thank you for your reply and the information you provide. And yes, I love the area of the country you live in. It is beautiful, spacious, and has terrific weather. But as you know from living in Florida at some point, you can understand the situation I am talking about.



  10. Greetings all,

    I thank you for those who have replied and have verified my thoughts about this organization. It is interesting to note that NOT a single member of the executive board has replied to this discussion or sent me a personal email yet.

    I wonder if they care since the membership of this organization is pretty strong with the older population who continue to send in their dues. By continuing to send their dues, the executive board can stay happy that the majority of the group is happy. A small percentage, like me, who joined on false pretenses, can just be ignored by this board and by what the FMCA is or stands for.

    It stands for FAMILY. It is the first part of the group FAMILY motor coach association. Well, out of over the 200 plus views on this topic, I thank you to the 5 of you who have had the courage to reply to me and not hide in the background.

    If FMCA DOES NOT want families, then make it an age-restricted group and change the name. Otherwise, members out here, remember you were young families, too, with kids and just trying to make your way in the world and spend quality family time with your children.

    It would also help to get some young blood into the executive board.

    And yes, my children do love to run and play and have fun and make noise. That is what being a child is about. But they also respect and listen and we are always in bed and quiet by quiet hours. I cant say the same thing for others out there who are out and about and making noise after quiet hours, and some of those people have FMCA tags on their RVs.



  11. Chris:

    I appreciate your reply. And understand that there may be a wealth of info on the website and the magazine. However, this info can be readily found online as well. Colorado is not the same state as Florida. I love Colorado, mountains, clean air, not highly populated. But Florida is different. I live in south Florida and Georgia is a 6 hour drive. Most campgrounds in southwest Florida are booked solid through April and they tend to start filling up on reservations back in Oct. - Nov. So I do not know about you, but, it is hard making plans for camping even a month out let alone several months out. RV'ing is about getting up and going. Most campgrounds here are filled with snow birds who drive down here and park in one spot the whole winter. That may be great and all, but I tend to like to see other places. So even planning a week out is hard to do at times especially when you are a contractor to the government and your job revolves around spontaneous travel. Also, campgrounds here in Florida tend to "stick it" to you in the winter..rates can be as high as $60-$70 per night in the winter where the same campground drops to $20-$30 in the summer. And if you can get into a campground, you always here comments about "the kids shouldn't do that," "the kids are too loud," "you kids should be with your parents," etc. The same thing happens here at restaurants where the snow birds complain about kids at dinner time. They forget they were kids too. So, yes it is hard to find places to camp in the winter here in Florida when it is the best time to camp as summers are brutally hot sometimes. For $60-$70 a night, I can go to Disney World as Florida resident and stay at a hotel or in the campground. But that gets old, too.

    So this is where I am. I have talked to 4 different chapters and was told the same thing as stated above. This is where the frustration lies as this was not truly communicated to me at the trade show booth.



  12. Hello.

    My wife and I recently joined FMCA after a lengthy discussion with the FMCA booth at the FL RV Show in Tampa, FL. We were told the FMCA is about family and friends and all the stuff that goes with RVing. We were told the the group does support families with children and has activities relating to this fact. However, after reviewing the website, reviewing chapters here in Florida as well as reading the magazine, I feel that I purchased into a membership that is more focused on the retired or close to retirement age people.

    After two years of owning a Class B-Plus and putting over 25,000 miles on it in those two years, my wife and I as well as our two young daughters have recently purchased our second motorhome, yes our second one. We purchased a 2011 Hurricane 31G with bunk beds and we love it.

    We live in Florida and as many know, Florida is a winter snow bird destination. This is great for the economy but presents issues to locals who find campgrounds full all winter long. We simply can not just hop in the RV on Friday and head off to go camping somewhere in the winter as we can do in the summer.

    I have looked through the chapters here in Florida and found that all are focused toward the snow birds. Activities and gatherings are planned from November to April and not during the summer. Most activities start on Thursdays and go to Sundays, which is fine unless you have to work. So how does FMCA work when summertime comes and is really the only time Floridians can get reservations and openings at state parks or campgrounds and the kids are out of school?

    I contacted a local chapter and asked about it. I was not happy when I received the reply. Though the reply was very polite and understanding, it just made me more aware of the group that I belong to. My email to the chapter, and the chapter's reply, are below:


    My family and I recently joined FMCA with the impression that this was a family-orientated group. My family consists of myself, wife and two young children. After joining, I looked at the website and chapters and it appears to us that this group is focused more on the older generation and not the younger generation. I recently bought our second motorhome and am looking forward to enjoying it. We purchased a 2011 Hurricane 31G (bunk beds)! It is hard to enjoy the motorhome in Florida in the winter as we feel that the older generation does not like the younger generation with kids to be around. In buying a motorhome, it is a family experience, despite the age group. So when I looked into the Florida chapters, I could not find one that is family friendly.

    So this is where we stand on this organization. If we are wrong, please let us know.


    Tom Forcier"

    The chapter's reply:

    "Dear Tom,

    As far as our group, my husband & I are the youngest in the group. We joined before we were 55 and the places they were going had an age restriction of 55. Guess we were grandfathered in. We're 58 now and our group ranges to above 80 yrs old.

    I tend to agree about camping in Florida in the winter. The snowbirds are here. You have to make your reservations very early for the state parks and county parks.

    I'm going to send your response on to the Southeast area President as I feel it is very appropriate. This organization needs to make way for the younger generation if it wants to survive.

    Again, thank you for your honest response, and happy motoring!"

    So I ask you, FMCA, is this group really focused on family in the traditional term of parents and children and doing activities with a family, or on the idea of family being a group of people who as a whole act and participate as a family-style unit? Interesting to note that the chapter's response to us indicates that most events are held at age-restricted areas! Does not sound like family to me.

    Rv'ing is not about your age, it is about spending quality time with your family and getting kids out of the house and away from the TV and games and computers.

    I am just really disappointed that I spent money joining an organization that I now feel is not really "family" in the traditional term of family, meaning parents and children.

    So if I am wrong, I would love to know that. But if I am right, the group really needs to think about this.


    Tom Forcier


  13. This past weekend my husband Thomas and I attended the RV trade show in Tampa Florida. While there, we looked at many different RV models and found one that we felt best met the needs of our family. This 2011 Windsport RV was listed with a sticker price of $79,900. The company showing the RV was Dream RV, based out of Bradenton, FL. We spoke at great length with salesperson, Chris Patton about the RV and felt comfortable with purchasing the RV.

    A first step in our process was to check on the trade in value of our current RV, a 2007 Concord Coachman with 17-18000 miles. We confirmed with Chris that we would not be purchasing a new RV is we had of a negative equity value on the current RV. After speaking with Dan, his owner, Chris returned to us with a trade in value of $52,000. We were pleased and continued with the process. Chris wrote up a purchase contract and accepted a $1000 deposit from us. When we went to sign the contract, we noted that all the numbers were different. We were then told that the numbers were massaged or adjusted for insurance reasons, but that our initial components were still soundly built into the contract. We should have seen this as a red flag but really felt that this company was interested in our business and would do us no harm.

    We left with the purchase contract in hand and checked over all the numbers in full detail. At this time, I found a large discrepancy in the numbers on the contract. I contacted Chris Patton first thing the next morning to discuss. Upon contacting him, we felt he clearly did not want to talk with us. We then spoke with Dan, the owner of the company who assured me that upon returning to the office Monday, he would work to clear up any of my confusions.

    Monday morning came and I received a call from Jim, the general manager. Jim explained to me that the contract allowed for a $45,000 trade in value on my current RV and that is where I was confused. I asked how that was possible when we agreed to $52,000. He stated with a very condescending tone that I just didn't understand and that there was no way I was ever offered that much on my trade in, that he has a number of other people interested in the model and we were free to take our business elsewhere.

    We are very interested in this model RV and do plan to purchase a similar model elsewhere, but feel it's important to communicate our frustration with the Dream RV company. We have made contact with a number of review sites including the Better Business Bureau to list our complaint and found that there exist multiple reviews with the same concerns as we have identified and various unresolved issues and contract disputes.

    As a young family who is already working on the purchase of a 2nd RV, looking forward to a lifetime of motorhome travel, it is very disconcerting to find dealerships with such working principals as Dream RV. We will look elsewhere for our business.


    Thomas & Patricia Forcier

    Brand New FMCA members - signed up over the weekend!!

    looking forward to attending events

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