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Everything posted by zimmeral

  1. Had my first experience using FMCA Roadside Rescue last month. Was at the end of 150 mile trip home from FMCA planning meeting. Near my house made a turn onto street leading to house from a minor arterial. Lost steering half-way through turn. (Later discovered pinion arm broke into two pieces. Called Roadside Rescue. Was told it would be at least two hours. Dispatch person referred to me as a Good Sam customer at least times. Police were present to direct traffic. Police said move the moho ASAP. Couldn’t wait two hours. Called a major local towing firm on my dime with trucks equipped to handle everything from cars to loaded log trucks. Local company has office locations in 5 towns on coast. They promptly had the right truck with the right personnel and towed me the 4 miles to my local service garage. What I have learned: - Roadside Rescue will send the cheapest company. - Service comes from a remote dispatch center that has no idea of local geography, distance, or travel times. - Saferide dispatch center services many companies including Good Sam and many others. - Company they recommended was unknown and coming from two towns away – about 60 miles. - Failed to utilize a major company that was nearby with a 15 minute response time. Saferide did reimburse me for the cost of the tow. My FMCA Roadside Rescue plan runs out in February of 2023. I am being hit with renewal notices in October - four months ahead of the renewal date. As much as I am disappointed in how this claim was handled, I am not sure I would get better service from another provider. Since FMCA, Good Sam, and others use the same Saferide dispatch center, the results would probably be the same. Local company said it is difficult to deal with one of the dispatch companies because it is difficult for them to be paid for their services. I did have Coach Net for many years and always had good service. Their rate is very high now and I understand Coach Net founders left to form Saferide.
  2. I see a lot of "push" marketing methods, but I see little evidence of a strategic marketing plan. FMCAssist was seen as a membership boosting mechanism and the panacea for all of FMCAs problems. The appeal of FMCAssist is to those over age 65 - the demographic that is ageing out. FMCAssist also appeals to those who travel with their RV. If you are under 65, you think you are invincible and will not need FMCAssist. If you don't travel more than 100 miles from home, you don't think you will need FMCAssist, so what is the benefit. I have yet to see a coordinated, strategic marketing plan from FMCA higherups. Who are the target groups we seek to reach for new members? What are the needs of these prospective members? How can FMCA meet the needs of these prospective members? How is FCA perceived by those target groups? If we had some focus groups of towable owners, younger RV owners, campground owners, dealers - what would they say their needs are? It is not what we think their needs are - it is what they say or perceive their needs to be. FMCA wants to reach out to towable owners, but it is still the Family Motor Coach Association (just going by FMCA). The key to effective marketing is discovering the needs of the target group and finding ways to meet those needs. Effecting marketing is not finding ways to boost our membership to solve our financial problems. You can't keep doing the same things with the same people, and expect to get different results. I am a member of Good Sam because 1) discount at Camping World stores and 2) discount at campgrounds. There is no strong tie to the company, it is strictly a business decision. I am a member of FMCA because it is an association of members who share similar interests. Association vs. feeding a for-profit company/owner. This marketing approach was the key to my professional success and separated me from others.
  3. This topic could create enough responses to fill a book. The manufacturers say they make what the dealers sell. The dealers say they sell what the manufacturers send. The manufacturers say they must produce a motorhome with 2 bathrooms, 4 slides, 4-5 TVs and more bling. And yet, in a recent column in the February issue of Motorhome magazine, readers said overwhelmingly they prefer quality over fancier amenities. We love our Monaco Safari Trek. It is a premium short coach with real hardwood cabinets throughout and all the features and equipment of a large motorhome. And because we maximize space and don't have a bedroom, we can seat 6 plus the 4 chairs of the dinette area. The huge bathroom means a lot to us. We like to camp in state parks and USFS campgrounds, so our Trek is perfect. Maximum space in a small package with all the amenities. Most of the new motorhomes under 36 ft. are made cheap and they look it. Not everyone wants a 45 ft. coach, but there is a while market for those who want quality in a shorter coach. If we could only get the manufacturers to listen to the customers.
  4. You might consider a Monaco Safari Trek. Trek gets the maximum useable space from a short coach because it has no bedroom. The bed is in the ceiling and comes down for use at night. It is a full-size queen bed. Since we are not towing nine feet of bedroom, we get the living space of a 38 ft. coach in a 29 ft. coach. If you can live with the bed, you will love a Trek. Trek is a high-end coach with all the amenities of a big Monaco: real wood cabinets, inverter, generator, solar panels, etc. Early Safari Treks (1991 - 94) were Isuzu diesels, GM 7.4L gas and some 6.5 diesels. 2003 - 2008 were GM 8.1L gas with a few Fords. We love our Trek for its roominess and the ability to dry camp and get into state parks, USFS and COE parks. If you like the Trek concept you may have to travel to get one - they don't stay on the market long. We bought ours in Iowa and drove it back to Oregon. Happy hunting.
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