Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Director's Report August 2017
This is being written from our motor coach, parked in the Crested Butte RV Park, in Crested Butte Colorado. Everything is calm now, but got pretty stressful back in Nebraska when a large Deer leaped into our left corner windshield pillar, shattering the windshield, removing the drivers side window and destroying the outside mirror. With temporary repairs, we are back on the road, operating normally. I could fill a whole newsletter about this trip, but this is about the FMCA's 96th annual convention in Indianapolis, specifically the Governing Board Meeting.
President Charlie Adcock opened the meeting by having a quorum established and then with the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag, then the singing of the Canadian and US National Anthems. The quorum was established with 277 delegates ( National Directors) present representing 73% of the possible total.
Charlie advised the delegates that there had been a net gain of 2000 members in the last quarter, and June had the best June net membership gain in the history of FMCA, with a net gain of 1150. (This seems to disagree with the Treasurers report further down-don't call me) Charlie said these figures take into account the membership reimbursements due to the collapse of the Verizon program collapse .
The Verizon Benefit was to provide unlimited MIFI data plans to FMCA members at a price of $49.99 per month. The agreement was intensely and thoroughly negotiated by FMCA staff with high level Verizon staff over a period of months, and when it went to Verizon top management for signature, they refused to sign it, citing legal matters. I do not have all the details, but it had to do with Verizon's charter, and doing business with an organization such as FMCA. It was assumed by all parties concerned that the program would go forward, and a pre announcement got out, and there was a rush of new members joining just for that benefit. When the deal fell through, FMCA offered refunds to those who joined just for that benefit, and some did take the reimbursement.
There were 1477 Family coaches attending the convention.
Treasurer Percy Bell stated that the results of operations were very discouraging. The association was $211,000 under budget on membership revenue, but he stated the trend of loosing members seems to have subsided, with a net gain of 991 members in the first 7 months of the year. Expenses are over budget by $20,000 for the year. Magazine revenue continues to slip, being $41,000 under budget. The Treasurer sees further deterioration of the last 6 months of this year.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS REPORT:
Executive Director Terry Smith stated that the 2018 budget is balanced. Not only that, but most items funded from investments (rather than being funded from the budget) including $680,000 of the FMCAssist program are now funded from operating expenses. Only $145,000 of FMCAssist will be funded from investment income.
Several of the new initiatives undertaken are:
Continental tires have been added to the tire savings program.
There is a new windshield replacement program administrated by the Guardian
Cincinnati has a new phone system that has enhanced performance, features and
reliability. FMCA owns the system rather than leasing from Cincinnati Bell, and the
annual savings is $20,000 per year.
There has been a website overhaul, new membership acquisition initiatives, and new
There were 3 bylaws amendments proposed. The first two failed, but the BIGGIE passed by the overwhelming majority of 85%. This amendment would allow RVs other than motor homes to become members along with motor homes. BIG NOTE- this vote by the Governing Board does not change the bylaws, it merely allows the whole FMCA membership to vote on the change. The Executive Board hopes to go through the necessary steps to have a vote by December 2017.
ELECTION OF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS:
Jon Walker and Gaye Young were elected by acclimation to the office of National President and National Secretary respectively.
Rett Porter was elected as National Senior Vice President by a vote of 185 to 87 over a write in candidate.
Our own John Reynolds was narrowly elected as National Treasurer over Frank Tabor by a vote of 139 to 135.
Dogwood Chapter National Director
Rallymaster Report August 2017
Hello all, Donna here. Hope you have been enjoying your summer. The July FMCA International Convention in Indianapolis, IN was a lot of fun.We have five rallies between now and February, 2018: Mount Airy, GEAR, Urbanna, Christmas rally and Florida rally, details as follow.m
Date: September 15-17, 2017
Location: Mayberry Campground in Mount Airy, NC
Hosts: Buck and Linda Buchanan and Ben and Pam Phillips
Mayberry Campground is centrally located to Mayberry RFD (Mt. Airy), Pilot Mountain, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Date: October 4-8, 2017
Location: October 4-8, 2017
Host: Greater Eastern Area Rally (GEAR)
Lewisburg is a fun town and lots to do in the area. There is entertainment each night, Donald Warthans's Heritage Bluegrass band on Saturday night. Also, Paul Cummings and Jim Buelow will be presenting a video of EAMA/GEAR history. Many Dogwood members do attend and some volunteer, we will plan a get together. We will have a Dogwood boothe at the chapter fair this year.
Of note too is there will be two Habitat for Humanity Projects, one the week before GEAR and one the week after the rally to repair houses damaged by the 2016 flood. If you are able to help, please contact FMCAENERGIZED@Gmail.com. (Rob and I will be supporting both weeks.)
Date: November 3-5, 2017
Location: Ed and Anke Fisher’s in Urbanna, VA
Host: Berkley & Karen Alexander
The Oyster Festival in Urbanna is always a great time; bring your appetite.
Date: December 1-3, 2017
Location: Americamp in Ashland, VA
Hosts: Dogwood Executive Board
Plan on this fun event to kick off your holidays.
Date: February 20-22, 2018
Location: The Great Outdoors RV, Nature and Golf Resort in Titusville FL
Hosts: Steve and Sue Sohles
Join us for our first ever Dogwood Florida Rally!
News From the Road
Just to give you a brief update on the Bonewitz's, we're still trying to reach a settlement on our motorhome. The motorhome has been shipped to San Diego where will undergo a procedure called subrogation. Which basically means Tiffin, Cummings and a specialist on fire damage are going to inspect the motorhome to try to determine the cause. I guess what that means is my insurance company thinks someone else should pay the claim. In the meantime we haven't reached a settlement so we can't do anything about a new motor home. Rest assured we will be back in a motorhome sometime in the future it's a lifestyle Ellie and I love and we really miss our friends from dogwood. Will keep you posted and hopefully will hear something in the next few weeks. We will be "on the road again"
August 7, 2017 Caspar, Wy.
|Estes Park Co. Rocky Mt National Park|
Nancy and I are currently on the road in Casper, Wyoming visiting family and sight seeing. We attended FMCA Rally in Indy and were fortunate to have HWH service our coaches leveling system. Funny thing, if the coach is not level, the slides will not extend. We lived twelve (12) days knee to knee and rolling over the bed. Boy! do we love HWH. They drove the new computer from Moscow, Iowa to Indy and installed it while we attended the rally. We also had our refrigerator serviced too. FMCA and all the vendors who provide service to us as a result of our membership is a benefit indeed.
We will upload more photos once we get home. Data rates on the road are one expense we can control, Ha!
Casper is also the site of a total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017, we plan to cover the event for the Dogwood eNews Blog, so watch for that in the Fall edition.
Paul and Nancy Cummings
CARE PERSON UPDATE August 8, 2017
Donald and Carol Warthan: I spoke with Carol today and they are doing
fantastic. Donald is still going to therapy but he continues to improve after surgery.
He gets around well.
Carol is now dressing herself and can walk without her cane, and continues her rehab.
They are getting out and about more and more and settling down into a
more normal routine. Are these two amazing or what?
Remember that Donald will be performing at GEAR in October and Carol
will be cheering him on. Lets make a party of it with lots of Dogwood
Please keep Carol and Donald in your prayers and thoughts, and call to
…do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to
get prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?
…do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a DIET coke?
…do doctors call what they do Practice?
…don’t you ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”?
…is the man who invests your money called a broker?
…don’t they make planes out of the same indestructible stuff that they use
to make black boxes?
…if the opposite of con is pro, isn’t the opposite of Congress called
Safety Report August 2017
Maintaining Your Propane Heating Systems
While many of us are trying to find cooler climates now, it won’t be long
before some will be traveling in cooler temperatures this winter at least
perhaps until we reach our winter destinations. Of course there are also
some that prefer to travel in colder weather. Regardless, at some point you
may want to get a little heat on those chilly mornings. For this reason this
month we will look at furnace maintenance.
There are three basic types of furnace appliances used in motor homes
today. The first is the hydronic heating system such as the Aqua-Hot or
Hydro-hot unit pictured below. Today’s larger rigs can enjoy never-ending
hot water and multiple heating zones provided by hydronic heating units.
Hydronic heating systems provide a continuous supply of hot water for the
fresh water plumbing system plus comfort heat for the interior. Employing a diesel-fired burner or a propane burner, combined with 120-volt AC heating
elements, these types of “on-demand” systems are much appreciated and
handy for those slightly chilly mornings. The diesel or propane burner can
be bypassed using heat supplied by an electric heating element, thereby
conserving on-board fuel.
Next we hat the heat pump. This has gained favor with some
manufacturers and RVers in that it is totally 120 volt and does not use
propane. The downside is that it is only effective down to about 45 o F. So it
is good for times when it is just a bit cool but may not be adequate for really
Over the course of RV history there have been a few different types of
heating systems employed, but most of today’s coaches are equipped
typically with at least one, if not a couple of direct-spark forced air furnaces
or a hydronic heat system for comfort heating.
The first thing to understand is that all recreation vehicle LP-burning
appliances, for optimum performance, require some degree of annual
maintenance. Just read any user’s guide from any RV appliance
manufacturer and it will often state, in so many words, that very sentiment.
And because of its design and operational characteristics, regular
maintenance of the RV heating system is a must.
About the only regular maintenance required by the owner of a hydronic
heating unit is to keep an eye on the level of the 50/50 (water/anti-freeze)
solution in the reservoir tank. Additionally, diesel units require an annual
cleaning of the fuel nozzles and a new fuel filter, while the propane-fired
units require an annual cleaning and servicing and delivery source
pressure testing like any other propane appliance. Aside from checking the
coolant level, most all other maintenance tasks are usually performed by a
trained RV service technician.
But because of their sheer numbers, the main focus here will be the
forced air furnace; by far the most popular choice among coach
manufacturers today. At the root level, a forced air furnace draws in fresh
air from outside the vehicle, mixes it with propane and burns it in a sealed
combustion chamber. A blower then blows interior air over the heated
chamber and into the living portions of the motorhome through a system of
ducts or in the case of some smaller Class C motorhomes and travel
trailers, directly out of the front of the furnace grill (blow-through design).
Most of the supplier manufacturers use this same design strategy. They
may employ slightly