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Posts posted by Bluebirds

  1. As others here, we are disappointed  a) that so FEW members took time to VOTE , we voted NO;   and b ) that the reason FMCA was distinct / unique (only motorized owners could join) is lost forever :(

    Our preferred outlook is two part:

    1.  our membership is paid through Nov 2018... we will stay with a wait and see approach (for now....) and

    2.  Can we make lemonade?  Some recent posts mentioned old days the Motor Coach Mag size (#pages, articles, info) was thicker more pages, but recent year/s shrinking content pages.  Given the concerns that the MH focus may be diluted with the addition of towables...our suggestion?  Increase the content and grow the #pages in magazine issues by ADDING content for BOTH motorized and towable focused articles.  (Please, don't just reduce MH focus articles by diluting an already skinny page count to have towable focus space in mag.)

    YMMV ... just my 2 cents.


  2. We joined FMCA in 2012.  We are members of the RV Diesel Club chapter of FMCA.  We were able to make our first FMCA Int'l Rally at Madison, WI in 2015... we enjoyed the seminars, the vendor booths, and yes ...loved the Frustrated Maestros evening entertainment.  Never met Charlie Adcock in person, but his personality was "contagious enthusiasm" at that Rally.. what a great representation for FMCA!!   We had fifty amp electrical and parking on a hard surface...both important to us.

    As others have said, we too joined Escapees, Passport America, KOA, and Good Sam.  Campsite discounts, and yes we like the Pilot Flying J fuel discounts.  

    But we feel most benefit personally from FMCA membership.  Why?  Because THIS best represents our interest as Motorhome owners.   We both read each Motorcoach Magazine issue cover to cover and look forward to the travel and maintenance topics.  When we shopped for MH insurance, we called several ins co. but felt the best price, policy, and wonderful staff support using FMCA RV Ins. Agency earned our business.  We decided not to renew our GS Travel Assist when FMCA added that as a membership benefit.  Because we have upgraded size of our MH, we haven't yet needed to use the FMCA member benefit for Michelin Tire Discount..but we surely will use that benefit in the next year.   We purchased FMCA hat, Jacket, drink coasters, and FMCA Travel Atlas.   We haven't used the FMCA Trip Planner but think that is another benefit we will use in the future.  

    While we don't often post to these forum topics, we read and follow many threads and feel as relative newbies ..five years in RVing...we have learned so much from many of you, and found help when we posted a request on the forum.  Just as we benefit from other forum discussions and replies when we asked for help here on FMCA, we feel this discussion on whether to admit towables is worthwhile.  Exactly BECAUSE this forum is motorhome centric.

    This year, our schedule didn't work to attend Indy FMCA Rally for the entire time, nor did we have enough time to warrant paying the FMCA Passport Reg fee, and lo and behold!  An unexpected FMCA email arrived that allowed us a free DAY PASS which allowed us the wiggle room to visit the Rally for the part of day we had available and we were nearby that week.  Thank You FMCA...we were able to visit vendor booths and show coaches...it also allowed us to see where parking sites are located ..most or all were hard surface.  

    We share these details because most of what we write are examples of WHY we are FMCA members, and WHAT we feel are some of the many member benefits we have experienced.

    We have given thought and discussed this towables change over the several months since learning a change was being considered.

    We joined and look forward to, hoping for, FMCA to remain a motorhome only member group.  It is after all the ONE thing that distinguishes this membership from all the others...let us keep it that way.

    And, yes!  The GB and EB of FMCA, FMC need to get their priority in line with the founders....  Please do the type of out reach ideas suggested in this thread...offer a one year free membership via manufacturers to all MH buyers ..and make sure dealers are aware of the same offer for those purchasing a second or third or?? owner motorhome.  Wouldn't it be great to TRY that before giving away the one thing we have that other clubs do not....motorhome only membership?

    Thank you to all who are taking the time and interest to post, discuss, and share views whether pro or con on such a major change to FMCA stated purpose.

    We are mailing our NO vote.  

  3. We would like to hear (PM is fine, too ) from anyone who attended FMCA 2011 reunion at Madison.

    Specific questions for those attending in 2011 are:

    - where was your assigned parking? Pro & cons if parked at Alliant center parking?
    - if Alliant, did you dry camp w MH gen only power source?
    - if electrical 50 amp, were you parked at Lake Farm Park?
    - if Lake Farm, were you in campground spaces (entrance on Lake Farm Rd), or on grassy near shelters/group camping (enter from Libby Rd)?
    - if Lake Farm, did you feel isolated from events/seminars/ & "the rally atmosphere"?
    - if Lake Farm, how frequent did shuttle buses run between Lake Farm and Alliant Rally site?
    - if Lake Farm, what security if any did FMCA provide, asking bec "non-campers" coming onto Lake Farm cg mentioned on RV Park Reviews
    - if Lake Farm w your pet, does parked off site from Alliant Center hamper your ability to check pet & still participate in FMCA activities held at Alliant?

    Last, would you/ are you going to Madison FMCA 2015 again? Why / why not?

    Thanks for sharing firsthand Madison experiences with first-time Rally hopefuls!

  4. Hi, we love the flexibility and capacity of a 3-door residential refrigerator in our MH too. X2 that rods from former RV type frig in Class C are too short for res. Fridge. But, we had two ways to keep things from falling out.

    First, we put a plastic storage box from Menards, maybe 10"x14"? On one side, then we could use one of our RV type fridge length rods to brace tightly between the plastic box (say box on left half bottom shelf above crisper drawer and rod fit tight between box and opposite (R half) bottom shelf. as so: L wall fridge/ [box..........] ===double frig rod=== /R wall fridge. (we travel with upper two shelves empty, so only have to secure items, milk such, on bottom tallest shelf height).

    Second, we also keep an empty milk or juice gallon containers as "space holders" so we have a full shelf 1-row items across, & items tight against one another. Then, we fold a cotton blanket (full or Qn size) to about a 16" wide by 48" long shape. We place the blanket across the front of bottom shelf, in front of the full row of shelf items (milk, juice gallons ). Blanket sort of wedges in place, close fridge doors, secure with "RV travel latch installed by MH mfr" which holds doors during travel. Blanket is our preferred method. Bottles ride fine, and no noise or rattles from inside fridge items we drive along. It is a quick "padding" and can be folded to use excess space on either side if one side shelf items less than a full row. Always have a blanket on hand, so no extra cost for us.
    ? Not sure if I am explaining this blanket process very well, but it works for us.

    I also like Brett's curtain rod idea! We hadn't thought of that :-))

    Happy and safe travels to all!

  5. We traveled I-77 from Cleveland, S only as far as I-70 a couple yrs ago.

    This year looking for info on route I-77 south of I-70 through Marietta, OH & continuing I-77 Sbnd into West Virginia to take I-64 west to Lexington, KY.

    Would like to hear route help :
    - Any road conditions we need to know about on either section of I-77 or I-64 mentioned? (fwiw, 2nd summer traveling in DP)?

    - suggestions for campgrounds along the way (37' MH, DP, 1 pet, & towing)?

    - we plan a week or so specifically stay in Marietta, OH (DW genealogy, and visit historical sites), and would like to hear what you have enjoyed "to do, museums, historical, other" on this route? What should we not miss seeing? (2 adults, no children this trip). Or, what should we avoid (roads, places, cgs, fuel stops?)?

    - our time table is flexible, thinking 3-4 weeks should be adequate?

    Thanks for any and all help to us as pretty much still newbies to DP MH.

  6. We had an interim time we wanted to take MH trip, but new dinghy was not set up yet with baseplate etc. We chose to go on the trip but without towing, and used rental car (Enterprise came to pick us up at cg, then when turning in rental, they returned us to cg ). Only downside we had was it meant not having rental car till second day (we arrived late pm at cg first day), and we had to return rental car on the day before we wanted to leave cg (in case returning rental might delay meeting 'checkout' time req'd at cg).

    The city we traveled to had multiple locations for enterprise, and each 'served' delivery/ return services to a specific area of that city, suburb. So, if the location is not "staffed" sufficient levels the day, time of day you want rental delivered, or to have you returned to cg after turn in car.... They may not have extra person/s available that can leave rental office to pick up/ return you to cg. Be sure to ask so your preferred schedule will work with staff levels ; -)

    Happy travels!

  7. Have also considered if 'merge' traffic situation would benefit from 'car in tow' sign on each side (1 right & 1 left) door of toad? (as in, some highways could be right hand merge, some left hand merge. And people rushing to merge in our lane need to be aware MH and toad are connected, and not try to 'merge' between the two ; -)

    We are located in IN, and will see if a local 'sign' company that makes magnetic signs for business use that stick to vehicle door for example, on pickup or car, might be a possible source. Tho, could be expensive as a 'one off' order, too?

    We agree, a rally vendor could make it more widely used and less expensive, too. Brett, where did you buy yours (rally, or?).

    Good discussion, thanks and any other tips welcome!

  8. When we had Blue Ox fabricate a baseplate for prior toad, they included a nice window sign "car in tow.". We always made sure to put that sign in the rear window of our toad (which was not a tinted window). FYI - our sign is held in place by wedging it top & bottom on inside of rear window moldings.

    But new toad (Jeep GC) first trip towing back from install Air Force One system on MH & toad, DW following in our second vehicle found the tinted windows on the Jeep make it impossible for a vehicle behind you to 'see' or 'be able to read' the"car in tow" sign until they are less than 1 car length behind the toad. We would like it visible at a greater distance for safety. ( Otherwise, just looks to another driver following rig on hwy that a Jeep is tail gating the MH ?)

    So, questions we have:
    1 ). Do you use a "car in tow" sign in you'd toads? Is it required by law?
    2 ). Open to ideas how to make "car in tow" sign more visible when toad window is tinted?

    Thanks again for your help!

  9. We are pretty new to RVg, have a 50amp MH power cord. Luckily, so far we have not been in a situation needing the full length (50'?) deployed when we set up, or at home when connected to shore power.

    That said, DH has our power cable "coiled" on the floor of bay and only pulls out length needed at the campsite. When it is time to leave, he only has to pull back the amount of cable used that site back inside bay and recoil - sort of one coil at a time. DH says he never had to pick up the entire length/weight of cable. DH says longest length at one site we deployed was about 40', but he used the same 'coil length at a time' method to store it when we were ready to leave.

    Our first Rv was a Class C with shore power cord 'opening' circular shape in floor of bay (2001 Winnebago- C, 27' "new to us" in 2012; fyi - WBG Cs that year had basement w/ metal bay doors similar to Class A DP we have now.) Our 2013 Class A DP has a sort of 'trap door' that opens to the edge of bay floor (& latch to keep closed and slot opening used when cable deployed) giving a larger opening to use and easier to pull power cord length in / out. Both C and current DP power compartment bay door opens upward. DH says with both RVs he pretty much remains in standing position to remove / recoil and store power cord.

    Not sure if "one coil at a time" method DH uses would work for others. But when I suggested buying some type of auto-reel DH says he feels having the coil on floor of bay takes less space than if we added a reel of some type (portable or attached to bay). We do carry dog bone to convert plug-in 50 to 30 amp. But we have not invested in (not needed yet) longer extension power cable so far, which might mean we would need to alter our power cord store/deploy method in future, too.

  10. Hi Tom,

    We flat towed a 2013 C-Max SEL hybrid for about 3500 miles last year. Push button start-stop. Steering wheel does not "lock.". ( it is my understanding this is true for most cars made after 2007? Or so.). Our C had a ground clearance on specs about 8" (as I recall). Blue ox has baseplate for C-Max, and there is room in 2013 SEL we had for separate tail light bulb kit (BX8869?)

    We had continuing parasitic battery drain (not when towing ... Just a problem chased but never resolved but common for many C-Max 2013 models). After several new 12v battery replaced, and numerous "dead on road , towed to dealership for dead battery" we lost patience and replaced it with a different mfr. If you are looking at 2014 C, Ford may have solved battery problems?

    Best bet is to go to the C-Max owners forum: http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com/. There you can check for others who currently / still tow C's for updates on toad use :-).

  11. I'm looking for info and advice from ladies who drive Class A motorhomes.

    1) How soon after buying your first Class A, did the female start driving it on trips?
    2) Ladies: Who taught you how to drive the Class A - DH, or driving school at a rally or other driving school?
    3) How much driving do ladies do, and do you have any "conditions" (no nights, other) in which the ladies are restricted from driving the motorhome?

    DW wants to learn how to drive our 36-foot diesel pusher. (We first became diesel owners in 2013.)

    The Escapee rally in May will offer a driving class, I think. Is it better for a marriage to have a non-relative as the Class A driving instructor? And, is anyone here familiar with the Escapee driving class? Would you recommend it?

    Thanks, in advance, for all tips and advice :-)

  12. Trying to plan where to go, and what goals to include in 2014 travel plans. We are 1 yr owners of a 36' DP, Freightliner chassis. Prior RV was a C, gasser.

    Freightliner has a "camp" program at their HQ. Since we are new to Class A, and new to DP, would like to hear from others on this forum:

    - have you attended Freightliner's "camp" program?
    - where did you park MH while at "camp"?
    - is this something worthwhile for both spouses to enroll?
    - route suggestions departing Indpls to Freightliner's HQ?

    THanks so much for all advice, tips, & info for us newbies!

  13. When we purchased 1st and 2nd RVs, MH dealers offered 1 yr "free" Travel Assist insurance plan, by the associated provider to that franchise dealers, with each purchase. ( FYI- 2013 was only our 2nd year in a RV, but looking forward to many more.)

    It is time to decide IF we need / want this, and WHICH provider plan to choose if we purchase again.

    We are interested in hearing from those who have more years RVing, and or full-timing experience:
    - Do you have travel assist insurance,
    - What experience have you had if a "claim" situation arose for you, and
    - Does which provider make a difference - or are all basically offering the same services?

    Thanks for any advice and info as we consider merits.

  14. Hi R

    Our first MH was a used 2001 27' WBG Minnie Winnie - loved it, handled just fine and DH made a fairly easy adjustment to driving a big box (his term), wanted more space before we tackled longer time / distance trips.

    We visited several MH dealer, different brands, sizes up to 40', and test drove Class A in gas and diesel engines. We located a 2012 WBG 35F Vista, loved the floor plan, and took it for a test drive. DH drove, DW co-pilot seating -- DW thought it was the most sway and leaning RV of any we drove. Vista was a Ford F53 chassis, I think, 22" tires, and it set higher off the ground than the Minnie Winnie which was only 16" tires I think?

    The salesman along on the Vista test drive kept saying, this lean and swaying motion side to side was 'normal' for any Class A, and that we only notice it because we were used to driving a C.

    We did not buy the Vista, and thought perhaps our inexperience was the cause for not feeling comfortable with how the Vista handled. Thanks for sharing your story .. We feel a teeny bit vindicated in our assessment of Vista sway at highway speeds.

    BTW- we thought the Tiffin 36L, also on the F53 ford chassis, similar plan, length, and also gas engine handled much more like the heavier diesel models we drove. Ultimately, we did choose a WBG Journey 36M, and it handles well at highway speeds -- ymmv.

  15. Hi again, I believe PopNDelly's MH and our MH are both kitchen/galley DRAIN PVC pipe joints. However, with the Adventure 37F MH it sounds like you are describing similar location (galley), but 37F problem with flexible water supply line "kinking" you describe is a different issue. Interesting also that both 37F and ours were winter delivery, winterized.

    This is our first Class A. So we are newbie on several levels in our case. We felt there is a "buying tip" here somewhere in it for us as a newbie, that says warm weather delivery date would have been a better choice, and pre-delivery check by selling dealer would have most likely found the issue for our MH (and your 37F?) before it reached the buyer if water system was dewinterized, and water tank filled, etc. Prior to taking delivery, IMHO.

    We had a nice summer traveling in our MH and still happy with WBG choice. We like that WBG parts catalog for all model years, and in addition that system diagrams/schematic CAD files for recent model years are available on-line. So, for example, we were able to go to WBG web site and "see" our galley sink drain line connections (and part numbers if needed were easy to find,) and makes it easy to understand where everything fits, even parts that are "out of sight."

    Happy trails in your WBG, too!

  16. Hello PopNDelly, first want to say enjoyed your blogs, too!

    Also, to say we had the same issue on our 2013 WBG Journey 36M... Our kitchen slide plumbing has to "rotate/move" as slide extends or retracts. We took delivery in Feb '13 (winterized on delivery). But in May when we de-winterized, and opened slides first time after delivery, with water system in use... We too had a flood! We were leaving the next morning for a first trip out of state, so we chose to make a temporary repair until we could get appt for mfr repair parts. Here is what we did:

    DH went to local Home Depot and bought a "rubber plumbing part - called 'Fernco Coupling' (I hope I spelled it right?). This acts like a "boot", slips over each end of two PVC pipes that came apart, and it has metal hose clamps on each end that you tighten to hold it in place (just needs screw driver to do
    so). This was our temporary repair until we could get appt at a camping world for "warranty repair.".

    FYI, warranty repair was done, and CW repair guy said it that drain line has two different types of PVC pipe that connect together (on our Jouney, one was black, one white, DH thinks both were 1 1/4" pipes?). anyway, CW repairman said it takes special pipe adhesive when one type of PVC is not the same it is connecting to?-- I am not a plumber, just trying to remember how CW explained what caused the problem on our MH.

    FYI, DH told CW to return our "Fernco coupling" and we keep it in the MH 'just in case' we would need it again. also FYI - at first CW suggested that if the pipes had not been winterized properly, or froze, that could also cause the pipe joint to come apart. Repair was covered by WBG warranty and since dealer winterized it, and delivery was "still winterized status" we did not have a problem getting warranty.

    We know from your blog you are in MD, with all the snow there, you may not be able to take the MH in to dealer for permanent warranty fix, but thought you might be able to drive for Fernco coupling for temporary fix.

    Best wishes!

  17. Okay, we have a 2013 WBG Journey, and 2014 Jeep GC. Looking at SMI air force one supplemental Brake system. A service advisor at local Camping World said good system, but ' may ' void MH and / or toad mfr. Warranty. ????

    SO, my question is: those who have installed these air vacuum brake systems on your MH and Toads:
    a) did you worry about warranty void if you installed in brand new MH &/or new toad?
    b ) or, do you know first hand if it voided your warranty on either MH, or Toad vehicle?
    c) or, did you just 'wing it' and assume repair cost of what would otherwise be "mfr warranty part" if later discovered it did void warranty?

    Thanks for any perspectives from those using one :-)

  18. Thanks to all who replied to our Q's.

    Kingfr thanks for sharing that that your GC has separate wires/ bulbs for tail lights on toad. It has been a while, but we finally! can share an update fwiw to others what we did.

    We have a Ford dealer in the area that is listed on the Blue Ox website for baseplate and tail light wiring install. We told them NO diodes, and asked them to order BX8869 (separate bulb & wire, no diodes), and BX1128 baseplate (for 2014 Jeep GC). However, service guy said he would recommend LED wiring kit because bulb would last longer, be brighter (and still be separate bulbs& wiring).

    When they rec'd parts, they scheduled our Jeep. We took the jeep in on a Monday, but Ford dealer

    called next day ... The light kit they rec'd was diodes, the service guy told mechanics to hold off. He

    called BO, who told Ford guy BO was having some type of problems with LEDs,, so BO had substituted

    a diode kit instead. (It could be someone at Ford dealer ordered wrong, or it could be BO did substitute

    as Ford guy said? Anyone else hearing of the LED issue? We hadn't.).

    Okay, Ford kept baseplate, returned diode kit, and ordered what we originally asked for, BX8869 wiring

    kit. (this whole ordering, reordering process took about 3 weeks or so).

    Last week, we took the Jeep back to Ford dealer on Mon, then on Friday a.m., Ford dealer called, said

    they needed to know how to wire the tail light connector on the front of the jeep so that brake lights et al

    were wired to correct pins -- that would need to match wiring on MH trailer connector. We went to our

    operator's manual for our WBG, Journey, and emailed a pdf page to the Ford dealer. They finished

    everything up that same day, and we picked it up with baseplate and separate bulbs/wiring done on

    Friday. whew!

    Now, ael3133 asked what to tell mechanic for "wiring Jeep"? Don't know if you already have what

    mechanic needed to know, but if your op manual doesn't tell you what order the MH pins are arranged,

    our Ford guy said they have two other options: bring MH and they test each pin and wire toad to

    match, or to call manufacturer of MH and have MH trailer connector pin diagram FAXd to dealer and

    wire toad to match. We love the GC, but have had the snowiest, coldest (subzero) winter in many

    years...we haven't had a chance to tow the GC yet, but looking forward to happy MH trips in a month or so :-).

    Thanks again for everyone's help ... We are still newbies with much to learn .

  19. Reading forum discussion on brands of GPS portable NAV, and would like to hear from others whether you use:

    A) Only use built-in GPS NAV that was mfr installed on your MH;
    B). Don't use/don't like mfr built-in NAV;
    C). Only use portable GPS NAV , if so, which brand and model do you like best;
    D). Use co-pilot spouse for all NAV , if so, with or without other GPS NAV to compliment info available;
    E). Other?

    Also, does anyone know which mfr NAV system "built in" is used by Winnebago MH (2012-2014)?

    We have a 2013 MH with built-in NAV, co-pilot spouse and Internet map quest or other also used to compare route planning.

    Thinking we may want to ADD portable gps NAV - interested to know what others here chose to use for best option to NAV ?

  20. FWIW - 2013 was our first year towing behind 36 ft. Class A MH (toad was 2013 Ford C-Max) - so replies based upon "newbie".

    1. 3,000 towing toad - 1st yr.

    2. purchased new, so 3,000 tow miles that vehicle.

    3. We hope to put 20,000 tow miles before changing dinghy vehicles; however, just traded C-Max for 2014 Jeep GC due to unreliability issues with C-Max ( owned C-Max 14 months sadly, Ford never able to resolve parasitic battery drains, wrecker tows multiple 12 v battery replacements, etc.)

    4. We stop every 2 hr or so, stretch, restroom, gas.

    5. Stops 10 min or more -- same as above, every 2 hr max, typical "total " miles/ day of 200-225 max, and 2-3 stops of 10 min in that day of driving. With C-Max, we would take time to 'run' the engine/recharge battery after 150 miles towing, it seemed to help avoid dead toad while towing.

    6. DH very consistent cruise control on MH, set for 55 mph. C-Max had Owner Manual limit 65 mph, but we were 1st yr in Class A, and stayed 55 mph for 'newbie, and for 'best mpg' on MH.

    7. Purchased BO KarShield (not sure exact name?) new, but did not use it this 1st yr. because so heavy to mount, and just one more thing to figure out as a newbie ;-) Definitely Planning to use rock shield in on the new Jeep GC though

    8. BO KarShield mounts on tow bar.

    As an aside, chose a 2014 Jeep GC as it is must also serve as our primary vehicle, and as posted above - we saw lots of other people chose a Jeep for flat towing. We wanted the comfort of full- size, without having the overhead of two vehicles and be able to flat tow. Also like that Jeep does not have limits on time (C-Max owner manual "says" run every 6 hrs, but experience and parasitic battery issues on C-Max meant 2-3 hr max between running engine while towing.). As a newbie, we need easy to understand, and simple steps to set car for flat towing ....less stressful with all the other things to remember getting on the way, and stopping at the end of the day. Biggest suggestion ... Make sure the owner manual is correct for "recreational towing 4- wheel down" steps.

  21. Hi and thanks to all! We will make sure tires are straight, and try pulling very slowly when we first pull toad after hooking up the BO tow bar, getting transmission in N etc.

    First trip towing the Jeep GC will not be for a couple months, but we will post an update later on and let you know how we fare :-). We had just gotten comfortable with the set-up process of the first toad, now a little anxious about the first trip with a new toad and getting things set up.

    We can't thank you enough for taking time to help!

  22. Hi--typical of other manuals, Ford C-Max manual is not correct. We towed a 2013 C-Max SEL hybrid 14 months. Repeated dead battery problems unrelated to towing .. Evidently parasitic drains that Ford as of a 3 weeks ago at least, has not resolved. We had multiple wrecker tows, replaced 12v batteries multiple times. We gave up due to unreliability. Traded the car and replaced with Jeep.

    We found the correct steps to set for " recreational towing behind a MH" at www.fordcmaxhybridforum.com -- you should find what you need there and any updates that may be posted after we traded out of our C-Max.

    Nice mileage BTW, just got tired of being left stranded ! (4 times towed for dead battery that was NOT while rv'g--so trickle charge line would not fix inherent parasitic drain... Sadly.)

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