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    Atlanta, but doing a slow-motion move to LaGrange, GA
  • Interests
    Besides traveling in our new motorhome: boating; sailing; Ham Radio (as K4EAK); hunting; fishing; and studying history, philosophy, and theology. We have SIX (soon to be EIGHT) wonderful grandchildren.

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  1. Well, as it turns out, there's a Q&A section on the main FMCA page, and the opening Q is the one I asked here. The principal driver for the expanded authority is the possibility of starting a sister organization for towables so as to make FMCA more attractive to Millennials. It would be a new corporation with a purpose unrelated to motorhomes. See here: http://www.fmca.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3950. Skip
  2. Ken -- thanks for the response, but it's still not clear to me. Think of it this way. FMCA basically had two options: (1) Expand the articles to allow it to do anything whatsoever (2) Expand the articles to allow it to do anything related to RV'ing. It selected option (1), which suggests it has business concepts in mind that are unrelated to RV'ing. Whether that's a good idea or not depends on the kinds of business activities it has in mind. All I need is an example of the kind of things the board has in mind that are permitted by option (1) and not permitted by option (2). And yes, I am a lawyer and yes, I have drafted gazillions of articles, which is why the phrasing proposed seems odd. Thanks very much, Skip
  3. All -- I missed the convention in Massachusetts, so I suspect I just missed the explanation, but I received the FMCA magazine yesterday and it contains a ballot to vote on a proposed change to the FMCA Articles of Incorporation. I know that such things are normally perfunctory, but this one is odd: it proposes to add authority for the organization to engage in any activity whatsoever, including those completely unrelated to anything having to do with motor homes! A general catch-all grant of authority is common, but it's usually related to the organization's purpose (like "...to possess all other rights, powers and privileges of a not-for-profit corporation reasonably related to the interests and activities of Family Motor Coach owners..."). I assume there's a reason why FMCA wants authority to branch out into non-motor-home-related activities, but there's nothing in the magazine that explains it. Could someone please clue me in? What are the activities unrelated to motor homes that FMCA is interested in? Or, phrasing this another way, what are the activities that FMCA wants to do that are not authorized under the current Articles? I have a second question about the proposed change, but let me get an answer to this question first and then I'll follow up. Thanks very much, Skip
  4. You might try calling Walter Cannon at the RV Safety Education Foundation in Merritt Island. I thought he used to provide an on-the-road training course, but I don't see it listed on the website. Even if not, though, I'm 100% sure he could point you in the right direction. Check out the website here: http://www.rvsafety.com/. Skip
  5. I realize this is an OLD post, but I was plinking around and, as the newly elected Treasurer of the Military Veterans Chapter, I thought I'd give it a bump. The chapter now has about 100 members and its own website here: http://www.mvcfmca.blogspot.com/. Many of us got together at the Perry convention (jointly with the Elks Chapter) for a great evening of drinks and dinner. FMCA President Charlie Adcock and INTO AVP David Kessler (both MVC members) were present and spoke at the meeting. We also get together at most other FMCA gatherings. In fact, the President of the chapter will be at the INTO rally in Florida in a couple weeks. There will also be an MVC gathering at the FMCA summer convention in West Springfield, MA. As you would expect, Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans are well represented, but all veterans are welcome. Joining is easy. The membership form is on the chapter website and the cost is nominal ($15 for the first year, then $10 annually thereafter.) Something less than eight percent of the population has ever served in the military. But for reasons that I'm not sure I can put my finger on, the fraction of FMCA members is way higher. Before one of the concerts at the convention in Perry in 2014, President Adcock asked veterans to stand, and I'd bet about half of the men present rose to their feet. If you're proud of your service, if you did your duty while many of those around you did not, the Military Veterans Chapter is a way for you to stand up and be counted. I recommend you check out the website and, if the spirit moves you, sign up! Skip
  6. I remember you. Nice hat (sort of). I said it above, but just to be clear, I have NO COMPLAINTS whatsoever about the arrival/parking situation! In fact, as near as I can tell, no one in the line had any complaints. One of the things I like about RVers in general (and FMCAcians in particular) is that people are pretty much easy going and roll with the punches. When I got to the electric site, I had quite a nice chat with the guy sharing the power pedestal. He said something like, "I always volunteer at these things, but this year I didn't, and seeing everyone scrambling to get people parked makes me feel terrible I'm not helping..." What a great way to go through life... Being a volunteer is on my list of things to do at the next rally. Until then, thanks thanks to you and everyone else who made this a great event. Skip
  7. So, what did folks think of the convention this year? I was there and thought it was pretty darn good, and the seminars were some of the best I've attended. I couldn't tell how attendance ranked versus other conventions. The weather turned out to be great (contrary to forecasts) and the only difficulty I encountered was that getting in on Wednesday was a bit more than I expected (it took an hour and a half from arrival to getting to an electric spot). (I also know everything is run by volunteers, and since I wasn't one ( ) I don't get to complain.) I missed the forum meet-and-greet, but did attend the Military Veterans Chapter meeting (dinner was great) and had a great time chatting with other RV'ing hams. Other thoughts? Skip
  8. Could someone remind me, how far in advance does registration typically open? Thanks. Skip
  9. The RVTravel newsletter mentioned above referenced an RV-Arizona newsletter article "Arizona Fuel Tax Rumor Goes Viral," which can be found here: http://rvarizona.blogspot.com/2014/10/arizona-fuel-tax-rumor-goes-viral-heres.html The operative text reads as follows: For motorhomes, Arizona DOT's Kent pointed us to a 2004 agency policy memo, number 13.2.3. Boiled down, the policy says as long as a motorhome has at least four of the following items, it is exempt from "use class" (and higher fuel taxes). Those items include: "A cooking facility with an on-board fuel source, "A gas or electric refrigerator "A toilet with exterior evacuation "A heating or air-conditioning system with an on-board power or fuel source separate from the vehicle engine "A portable water supply system that includes at least a sink, a faucet and a water tank with an exterior service supply connection "A 110-125 volt electric power supply" If you've got at least four of those things, even if your motorhome has a weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds and/or more than three axles, your rig is NOT a "use class" motor vehicle, and thus does NOT have to pay the higher fuel tax rate. One last detail: For your motorhome to meet the 'lower fuel tax use OK' test, it must be used for recreational purposes. If used for commercial purposes, once you hit over 26,000 pounds and/or more than two axles, you are stuck paying the higher tax rate. Sounds definitive to me. Skip
  10. For a while I was toying with the idea of contacting NHTSA and asking them to conduct an investigation to determine if the issue warrants a recall. As I mentioned in my post above, back in 2012 when my door handle failed, I contacted Trimark and asked, "I’m wondering what to do? If this was just a random problem in manufacturing or installation, then I should be able to install the identical model and not worry about it. On the other hand, if this kind of thing is happening regularly, then I’ve got to figure out a solution involving something other than the same unit." In response, the customer service agent said, "I believe it was just a random incident." I'm not sure exactly what model lock I had, but in plinking around on the Trimark website, I see that, assuming I'm looking at the right item, Trimark has come out with a new version, recommending against the use of the old version: http://www.trimarkcorp.com/en/zPlatform.aspx?platformid=25&categoryid=-1. (A similar-looking unit has an identical warning.) So, maybe with the issues continuing to pop up, and with Trimark replacing at least some units, a notice to NHTSA might in fact be in order? What do you think? Skip
  11. This was just our third rally, but I think it was the best so far. All of the seminars we attended were outstanding (although a couple could have used bigger rooms). There were more display coaches than we had time to look at. (We did come perilously close to buying one--the show price was excellent and then there were manufacturer incentives on top of that.) And I agree the entertainment was as good as I could hope for. My favorite was the Texas Tenors, but all of the acts were memorable. We had a full hook-up site, although the sewer connection went through a weird, four-hole manifold. The design was so dubious that I was too chicken to dump the black tank. Not a bit deal since the black tank didn't get close to full in the 5 days we were there. Being able to dump the grey tank several times, though, was nice. We also got the Blue Ox service, which was convenient and I didn't mind the small charge for an inspection and rebuild. We also tried to get a couple other items taken care of, but alas things were too booked by the time we tried to sign up. Next time I'll be sure to sign up early, before the early signer-uppers get in front of me. We arrived Sunday in the midst of a downpour of Biblical proportions. What impressed me was the dedication of volunteers who handled entry, queuing, and parking--all of those guys working like crazy, soaking wet, and who payed the same registration fee that I did, making life easier for us just because they're the kind of people who like to be helpful. Wow. Looking forward to the next one, Skip
  12. Ugh. Sounds like a couple bad starts. But I will say that we arrived on Sunday in a downpour of Biblical proportions, and I was amazed at the number of volunteers out working in that downfall, doing their best to get everyone situated. I've since learned that those guys pay full freight for the rally, and volunteer their time just because they want to be helpful. Wow. They are amateurs, which maybe explains why they don't always get it exactly right, but they sure have my appreciation for what they do. Incidentally, we got parked in Lot MM, right at ground zero of all of the exhibits and seminars, so I'm darn happy about the experience. Only downside is it's about a 50' run to the hookups and the sewer connection is the weirdest 4-port manifold thingie I've ever seen. Oh well ... Hope your next experience is better. Skip
  13. I guess that was obvious, but wanted to be sure. Thanks for the reply. See you in a couple weeks.
  14. This may sound a lot like "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?" but we have a reservation for "general parking with 30-amp electric full hookups." I was going through the online "Passport" book and I can't find what "full" means. Does it actually mean "full" like "water-electric-sewer"? (Which means I don't have to arrive with water full and holding tanks empty) Thanks, Skip
  15. Simplisafe looks great! I gather from the web page that one can buy the system, use it to transmit alerts to the cell phone (or sound the alarm), but not subscribe to the monitoring system (at $15/month). Is that right? Thanks, Skip
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