MH1105 Cover Sub.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 3:40 PM Page 1
MAY 2011
TOUR DE FORCE
WINNEBAGO’S
FLAGSHIP CLASS A
RV SPRING CLEANING
TOOLS AND PRODUCTS
TO MAKE IT EASIER
SANDHILLS JOURNEY
DISCOVERING OLD WEST NEBRASKA
ALONG A SCENIC BYWAY
JAYCO EMBARK
WELL-APPOINTED AND STYLISH
MOTORHOME
FRIENDLY MOAB
RVERS ARE WELCOME IN
UTAH’S RED ROCK COUNTRY
WWW.MOTORHOMEMAGAZINE.COM
MH1105 CV2 FORETRAVEL.qxp 2/16/11 1:47 PM Page CV2
Foretravel, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MH1105 TOC.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:42 PM Page 3
contents may2011
VOLUME 48, NUMBER 5
F E AT U R E S
23 l Whales, Wings and Nature’s Things
Encounter whales, dolphins and seals on whalewatching trips and feast on scallops freshly caught
along the rugged coast of Digby Neck, Nova Scotia,
a region filled with charming fishing villages
28 l Unexplored Frontier
The namesake sand dunes of Nebraska’s Sandhills
Journey Scenic Byway are held in place by the
grasses that grow on them, creating the largest area
of stabilized dunes in the Western Hemisphere
32 l Magnificent Moab
With plenty of campgrounds and two national
parks in southeastern Utah’s red rock country,
it’s plain to see why Moab is a favorite for RVers
and outdoor enthusiasts
40 l Winnebago Tour 42QD
The company’s flagship Class A diesel-pusher
sports a new tag axle floorplan with a bath-anda-half and plenty of upscale amenities
45 l Getting the Dirt Off
Make this year’s spring cleaning task easier with
our detailing tips and recommendations for the
most effective RV washing tools and products
50 l 2011 Jayco Embark QX390
32
D E PA R T M E N T S
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On Ramp
P.O. Box
Contact MotorHome
Escapes
Events
Noteworthy/News Briefs
Wheels & Gear
Crossroads
Quick Tips
Hands-On
Hot Line
Coach & Powertrain
Advertisers Index
Off Ramp
MOTORHOME l May 2011
Can’t decide between a Class A and a Class C?
This motorhome combines the best of both
worlds, with a 20,000-pound tow rating,
high-quality interior appointments and a wellorchestrated cockpit
50
23
45
On The Cover: The Winnebago Tour (see test on
page 40) is situated for a great sunset ocean view at
Emma Wood State Beach, located west of Ventura,
Calif. Emma Wood offers 90 primitive campsites
for self-contained RVs and easy access to the
Pacific Ocean. Photo by Rich Cox Photography.
3
MH1105 On Ramp.qxp_Layout 1 2/17/11 1:18 PM Page 4
onramp
by BOB LIVINGSTON
EDITORIAL
THE RALLY
IN REDMOND
E
very spring, I get into Rally mode.
It’s the time of the year when I plan my
trip to the location that will host our annual get-together of thousands of RVers ,
appropriately named The Rally. This year
the country’s largest RV rally will be held
in Redmond, Ore., an eastern Oregon
community that will host — by popular
demand — The Rally for the third time.
Redmond, a sister city to Bend, is
in one of Oregon’s most exciting and
contemporary regions, and definitely a
favorite location for The Rally. The area
is a recreation buffet for outdoor enthusiasts, making it a great summer vacation destination. There’s plenty of fishing
in beautiful rivers, spectacular mountain
ranges nearby, wonderful sightseeing
and a bunch of very friendly people.
Since The Rally presented by DISH
Network officially starts on July 14,
with early-bird days on July 12 and 13,
we’ll take advantage of the Fourth of
July holiday weekend to begin our trip
through most of California and into
Oregon. We’ll start in Plymouth, Calif.,
where we’ll spend a few days at Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort and visit
with owners Chuck and Karen Hays, who
have been friends of mine for many
years. My memories of this campground
go back to when I interviewed Chuck’s
grandfather in the early ’70s and wrote
an article, which appeared in our sister
publication, Trailer Life, about how he
conceived and built the park.
California’s Gold Country is an allaround destination, and not just because
it’s become a fruitful wine community. We
love the romanticism of California’s gold
rush, and the area is steeped in history.
While we work our way into Oregon
a few days after we leave Plymouth, I
doubt we’ll be able to duplicate the
fateful events that highlighted our trip
to Redmond in 2007 for The Rally. We
were camped in Diamond Lake at Diamond Lake RV Park for a couple of days
before heading to the Rally grounds,
4
which incidentally are some of the nicest
we’ve ever used for our annual event. I
struck up a conversation with a woman
who was camped next to us. She was single and traveling solo full time in a 35foot motorhome — a “certified” RV enthusiast. After a short time, a light bulb
went on in my brain. We were traveling
with a close friend who was also single
and traveling solo. So in my infinite wisdom, I invited this newly made acquaintance to our dinner party that night. Hey,
I figured no one would be foolish enough
to turn down ahi tuna and fine wine under
the awning on a beautiful Oregon evening.
Our new friend now travels full time
with our old friend in a bigger motorhome
— a match-up accomplished the RV way.
This year’s trip to Redmond likely
won’t have me playing matchmaker,
but the fun factor will be equal. Getting
together with thousands of other RVers is
what makes The Rally so special. There
will be hundreds of seminars covering
RV topics such as maintenance, travel and
lifestyle fulfillment; fantastic entertainment is planned, including Bobby Vinton,
who will headline opening night. The last
night we’ll be entertained by The High
Street Band, a group my wife, Lynne, and
I befriended at one of the many jazz
festivals we have attended. The bandleader, Matt Summers, hails from Bend
and promises to have us stomping into
exhaustion as his lively band plays tunes
from the ’40s through the ’70s.
As always, there will be lots of new
motorhomes on display and hundreds of
exhibitors selling everything from RV
parts and accessories to electronics to
clothing to art items. Check out all the
goings-on at www.therally.com.
We can’t wait to visit with our
friends who’ve attended our rallies over
the years and have kept in touch, as well
as meet new friends. ◆
Publisher ■ Bob Livingston
Editor ■ Eileen Hubbard
Senior Managing Editor ■
Patricia Marroquin
Associate Editor ■ Meaghan Alfier
Assistant Online Editor ■
Christina Bullock
Editorial Correspondent ■
Betty Abramson
Midwest Bureau Chief ■
Sherman Goldenberg
Consulting Editors ■ Wes Caughlan;
Ken Freund; Jeff Johnston
Contributors ■ Jeff Crider;
Bert Gildart; Chris Hemer;
Fred Pausch; E. Don Smith
CREATIVE
Art Director ■ Susie Lieu Almazan
PRODUCTION
VP/Production ■ Bob Dawson
Senior Ad Production Manager ■
Brenda Hutchinson
CIRCULATION
Circulation Director ■ Jill Anderson
Consumer Marketing Manager ■
Kathryn Knudson
Fulfillment Manager ■ Melissa Vizzo
WEBSITE:
www.motorhomemagazine.com
Part of the
Family
CUSTOMER SERVICE:
Call 800-678-1201 (U.S.) or e-mail
mhmcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com.
MotorHome (ISSN
0744-074X) is
published monthly
by TL Enterprises,
2575 Vista Del Mar
Drive, Ventura, CA
93001. Periodicals postage is paid at
Ventura, CA 93001 and at additional
mailing offices. Subscription price
for U.S.: $19.97 for 1 year. All other
countries, including Canada and
Mexico: $31.97 for 1 year.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes
to MotorHome, P.O. Box 5860, Harlan,
IA 51593-1360.
Publication Sales Agreement
No. 1488163. Canadian Post Sales
Agreement No. 40012332. Canadian
return address: Affinity Group, Inc.,
4960-2 Walker Road, Windsor,
Ontario N9A 6J3.
Printed in the United States.
MotorHome is a registered
trademark of Affinity Group, Inc.
Copyright 2011 by Affinity Group,
Inc. All rights reserved. AGA is
an authorized subscription agent.
PRIVACY PROMISE: We recognize that your
privacy is important and we’re committed to
helping you protect it. We will never intentionally share your name, address and other personal information with anyone for their use
if you have asked us not to do so. When you
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product and/or service offers that you’ve told
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change your mind, contact us and ask that
we include you in future offerings. You may
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any time and it will be taken care of promptly.
Please contact us at MotorHome Mail
Preference Service, P.O. Box 5860, Harlan,
IA 51593-1360, or call us at 800-678-1201.
This policy does not apply to e-mail marketing; we will not send you commercial e-mails
unless you have authorized us to do so.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 PG 5 WINNEBAGO.qxp 2/16/11 1:47 PM Page 5
Extendable sofa
Extendable sofa
Two bathrooms
Two bathrooms
Spacious wardrobes
Spacious wardrobes
There’s never been a Vista® like the all-new 35F. The
There’s never
beensofa
a provides
Vista® like
the seating
all-newfor35F.
The
extendable
sectional
instant
six (ideal
extendable
sectional
sofa
provides
instant
seating
for
six
(ideal
for that 32" LCD TV with surround sound) while the bath-andfor thatbrings
32" LCD
TV level
with surround
while the bath-anda-half
a new
of comfortsound)
and convenience
to you
a-half
brings
a
new
level
of
comfort
and
convenience
to you with large wardrobe, even a 36" x 36"
and your guests. Add a fully equipped galley, master bedroom
and shower
your guests.
Add asee
fully
equipped
master
bedroom‘em
with
wardrobe, even a 36" x 36"
BIG
and you’ll
why
the newgalley,
Vista 35F
is knocking
outlarge
everywhere.
BIG shower and you’ll see why the new Vista 35F is knocking ‘em out everywhere.
The 35F is just one of five Vista floorplans for 2011. See them — along with all our 2011 models —
The
35Fnearest
is just dealer,
one of or
fiveexplore
Vista flthem
oorplans
forat2011.
See them — along with all our 2011 models —
at
your
online
GoWinnebago.com.
at your nearest dealer, or explore them online at GoWinnebago.com.
Learn more at GoWinnebago.com or call 1.800.643.4892
Learn more at GoWinnebago.com or call 1.800.643.4892
©2010 Winnebago Industries, Inc.
©2010 Winnebago Industries, Inc.
Winnebago Industries, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
The
The lifestyle
lifestyle you
you love.
love. Now
Now with
with more
more style.
style.
MH1105 PO Box.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:42 PM Page 6
p.o.box
from OUR READERS
Chairman
Stephen Adams
President / CEO
Mike Schneider
Senior VP / CFO
Tom Wolfe
“WOULD YOU BUY
A FOREIGN-MADE
MOTORHOME? WHAT
FACTORS WOULD
INFLUENCE YOUR
DECISION?”
Senior VP / Human Resources
Laurie James
Senior VP / Group Publisher
Bob Livingston
Senior VP / Affinity Clubs /
Interactive and Multimedia
Joe Daquino
That’s the question we
asked in our February issue,
and here are some of the
replies we received.
VP / RV Trade Publications
Sherman Goldenberg
VP / Controller
Dale Hendrix
Membership Benefits Director/
Good Sam Club
Susan Bray
Chairman Emeritus
Art Rouse
Publisher Emeritus
Bill Estes
BETTER MADE IN EUROPE
Yes, most certainly. From personal experience European products are far better made and
don’t have the horrendous amount of building faults U.S. motorhomes have. The European
products also are designed for better fuel economy, handling and performance.
ROGER SLATER l MICA, WASH.
PRICE DRIVES THE CONSUMER
The largest factor in buying a motorhome is how much of the materials, appliances and
chassis components are actually made in the unit’s country of origin (United States, Canada
or China). I would not consider an imported motorhome from China, but I would consider
an imported RV from Canada because they build units to keep out the cold, which helps
keep out the heat in our part of the country.
I would rather see our money go to U.S. manufacturers for profits made on the imported materials and equipment and to the labor costs earned by the U.S. workers. But
remember, buyers want convenience and quality at the lowest possible price.
CHARLIE AND JEANNE COLLINS l MARANA, ARIZ.
‘AMERICAN MADE’ IS A MYTH
Yes, I would buy a foreign-made motorhome — as long as the quality was there, the price
was right and it could be serviced locally.
In reference to Darrel Dixon from Albany, Ore. (“Build Motorhomes Here,” February),
the days of “American made” are pretty much over. Take a look at the amenities, appliances
and most of the parts (for example, electrical and plumbing) that make up today’s motorhomes. Made in China, assembled in Mexico, shipped to Elkhart, Ind., and assembled by
the Amish. I would guess 85 percent of today’s motorhomes are already foreign made.
Hey, who knows, maybe there are Chinese Amish building motorhomes over there.
DOUG MOESTA l PENSACOLA, FLA.
DON’T SEND MORE JOBS OVERSEAS
We need to support U.S. motorhome manufacturers, not the foreign ones. The U.S. has
lost enough jobs to overseas companies and our economy needs to be supported. The
RV industry in this country took enough of a hit in the current economic downturn. We
don’t need to put more companies out of business and people out of work by buying
CONTINUED ON PAGE 11
6
EDITORIAL / BUSINESS OFFICE
2575 Vista Del Mar
Ventura, CA 93001
Tel 805-667-4100
Fax 805-667-4484
ADVERTISING
VENTURA, CALIFORNIA
VP National Sales
Terry Thompson
RV Marketplace
Sue Seidlitz
Classifieds
Joyce Reweda
Business Manager
Denielle Sternburg
P.O. Box 8510
Ventura, CA 93002
Tel 805-667-4100
Fax 805-667-4379
ELKHART, INDIANA
Midwest Sales Director
Chuck Lasley
National Advertising Sales
Tacy Hendershot, Lou Cicirelli
RV Dealer Sales (Southeast)
Kathy Dresser
2300 Middlebury Street
Elkhart, IN 46516
Tel 574-295-7820
Fax 574-522-0418
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
National Advertising Sales
Scott Oakes, John Marciano
1818 Westlake Avenue, N. #420
Seattle, WA 98109
Tel 206-283-9545
Fax 206-283-9571
DETROIT, MICHIGAN
Crompton Holdings
Scott Crompton
2031 Kings Highway
Shreveport, LA 71103
Tel 334-546-7243
Fax 334-356-7740
scottcrompton@mac.com
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH05 PG 7 THETFORD.qxp 2/17/11 3:44 PM Page 7
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MH05 PG 8-9 NEXUS.qxp_Layout 1 2/18/11 12:28 PM Page 8
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MH05 PG 8-9 NEXUS.qxp_Layout 1 2/18/11 12:28 PM Page 9
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MH1105 PG 10 ESP.qxp 2/16/11 1:47 PM Page 10
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MH1105 PO Box.qxp_Layout 1 2/23/11 1:00 PM Page 11
FROM PAGE 6
foreign-made RVs.
J.L. WELCH l SEVIERVILLE, TENN.
WAKE UP, COACHBUILDERS
The motorhome industry is on a parallel
course to the automotive industry of the
’70s and ’80s — poorly designed and
built. Most motorhomes built today have
slipshod construction, poor design and basically are not worth the money we pay for
them. If China, or any other country, starts
producing quality products at fair prices,
then we again are deserving of what we get.
Wake up, motorhome manufacturers —
you could soon be crying the blues.
WAYNE DIGGS l LAKEPORT, CALIF.
BUYING FOREIGN IS TREASON
I think any American who buys a foreignmade motorhome or any other foreign product, including foods, should be considered
“traitors” to our country. If everyone would
refuse to buy foreign products our jobs
would come back to America where they
belong. American corporations that are
using foreign products and labor should be
boycotted and put out of business.
ED AND ELAINE LIPSCOMB
EGLON, W.V.
HYBRID VS. COACH: NO COMPARISON
Although I agree with Bob Livingston
(“Motorhomes Are Greener,” On Ramp,
February) that our overall RV lifestyle
is environmentally friendly, in many ways
the motorhome itself is near the bottom of
the list when it comes to preserving our
natural resources and controlling pollution.
I am sorry Livingston selected two extremes of travel for comparison: flying versus
driving a motorhome, staying in a no-hookups RV park versus a plush Vegas hotel with
maximum conveniences. Surely you jest.
Here’s another example: Our daughter
lives 370 miles away. Our motorhome gets
8 MPG. A recent trip to see her required
92.5 gallons of fuel. Fuel was $2.85 per
gallon. Total round trip for the motorhome:
$263.63. The same trip in our hybrid,
which gets 48 MPG: 15.42 gallons of fuel
at $2.85 per gallon. Total round trip for the
car: $43.94.
All other factors balance. We park free
in our daughter’s driveway and use her
water and electricity; LP-gas for the rig is
extra. All meals are together and shared.
MOTORHOME l May 2011
In this example, there’s no question which
trip is greener.
I believe the RV industry will drastically change to become truly green or it will
die, as we know it. When fuel goes to $5
or more per gallon and stays there, most of
us “old folks” will have no choice. We sure
are not going back to tents!
JIM RAWLINS l BIGELOW, ARK.
STRIKING OUT AT ‘BAT’
Just read the caption with the article
“Texas Hill Country Bucket List Achieved”
(February). When and how did bats, which
are mammals, become birds?
STEVE SPEAR l SAN ANTONIO
If it
was any
easier,
it would
hook-up
itself.
Editor’s Note: We must have been a bit
batty when we wrote that caption. The furry,
winged creatures are indeed mammals.
PRAISE FOR DEMCO, UNITED RV
We are full-time RVers and we want to let
other RVers know what a great company
Demco is.
Two days before Thanksgiving we left
the Fort Worth, Texas, area for our winter
stay in Arizona. As I was driving, I felt a
slight jerk and one of the bars on our tow
bar assembly let go. I tried to keep our
dinghy vehicle from hitting anything as I
pulled into a parking lot.
I made a call to Demco (the tow bar
manufacturer) and spoke with Scott in customer service, asking him for a dealer in
Fort Worth. He suggested United RV Center
and told me he would call them to make
sure they had a replacement unit and
arrange for the exchange. After a few minutes I received a call from Jesse at United
RV. He said he would send someone right
over with the new replacement.
It’s refreshing to know that we still
have great American-made products with
good old American values behind them.
CHRISTINA AND DAVID KIDD
POLSON, MONT.
QUESTION:
What’s your favorite restaurant you’ve
discovered on your travels and why?
Send your comments to MotorHome,
2575 Vista Del Mar Drive, Ventura,
CA 93001; or e-mail letters@motor
homemagazine.com. ◆
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Since 1964
Doing Our Best to
Provide You the Best.
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Toll Free:
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Dethmers Manufacturing, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
P.O. BOX
11
MH1105 PO Box.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:42 PM Page 12
Comfort
C
omffor
o tZ
Zone
one #1: E
Even
ven hea
heatt
CONTACT
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Send an
e-mail to letters@motorhomemagazine.com
or write to MotorHome, 2575 Vista Del Mar,
Ventura, CA 93001; include your name, city
and state. Letters may be edited for clarity.
CONTRIBUTE AN ARTICLE: We welcome
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Articles submitted for publication must
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:
:KHUHYHU\RXDUHLQ\RXU59
KHUHYHU\RXDUHLQ\RXU59
WWKHWHPSHUDWXUHLVSHUIHFW
K H W H P S H U D W X U H L V S H U I H F W Enjoy the luxury of even temperatures side-to-side,
floor-to-ceiling in your rig. With an Aqua-Hot Heating
System, you’ll always be “just right,” even when
Mother Nature throws in her mood swings.
IIt’s
t’s a ma
matter
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comffo
ort
(800)
(800) 6
685-4298
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orr ((303)
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ww.aqua-hot.com
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Board these
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coaches:
SUBMIT A QUICK TIP: Quick Tips is our
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Please send submissions to MotorHome
Quick Tips, 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, CA
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or e-mail letters@motorhomemagazine.com.
We’ll pay $50 for each image we publish. See
the Off Ramp page for specific instructions.
ASK A TECHNICAL QUESTION: Questions for
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time does not permit individual replies.
RESOLVE A CONFLICT: Hot Line is our forum
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After exhausting all other resources, send
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phone calls, please) at 2575 Vista Del Mar,
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©2010 A
Aqua-Hot
qua-Hot H
Heating
eating SSystems
ystems In
Inc.
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Aqua-Hot, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
12
CONTACT OUR EDITORIAL OFFICE:
MotorHome, 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, CA
93001. Fax: 805-667-4484; Web: www.motor
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homemagazine.com. ◆
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 PG 13 PROGRESSIVE.qxp 2/16/11 1:47 PM Page 13
is on call 24/7 if they
should ever need help.
will call the road their
home this weekend.
24/7 ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE. Your weekends are spent on the open road. What makes it even easier is
knowing that with Progressive’s 24/7 Roadside Assistance you’ll never be stranded. Progressive’s Roadside
Assistance will cover your RV as well as anything in tow. In fact, the vehicle towing your travel trailer is covered
too, even if it’s not insured by us. Drive comfortably. Call 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, go to progressive.com or call
an independent agent.
PROGRESSIVE.COM
Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. Roadside Assistance is subject to policy terms.
10D00070 (05/10)
Progressive Insurance, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MH05 PG 14 RV DIRECT.qxp 2/22/11 1:42 PM Page 14
MH1105 Escapes.qxp_Layout 1 2/17/11 1:17 PM Page 15
escapes
edited by PATRICIA MARROQUIN
EVENTS l NOTEWORTHY l WHEELS & GEAR l CROSSROADS
For generations, travelers in Owen County, Ind., passed through
GOING
UNDER COVER
Travel back in time
through a quaint
covered bridge
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO/JASON TITZER
140-foot Cataract Covered Bridge — by horse, buggy, wagon and automobile.
These days, only pedestrians are allowed to walk through the quaint covered bridge,
which was erected in 1876 and spans Mill Creek, the site of Cataract Falls.
Upper and Lower Cataract falls, southwest of Indianapolis, have the distinction
of being the largest waterfall by volume in Indiana, creating a cascade plunging
86 feet. The falls are .8 mile apart and connected by a nature trail.
The red structure is a “Type 3” Smith truss bridge (named for its designer,
prolific bridge builder Robert Smith) and is one of the few remaining of
its kind in the nation. In 2005, after a major restoration project,
the bridge was named to the National Register of Historic Places.
Below the Lower Falls, Mill Creek empties into Cagles
Mill Lake, which borders Lieber State Recreation Area
(SRA). There is much to do in Lieber SRA, which
has a visitors center, campground, aquatic center,
marina and other recreational amenities. Also nearby
is the old-fashioned Cataract General Store, a popular
tourist spot in continuous service since 1860. For
more information, call 765-795-4576; or visit
www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2960.htm or www.cataract
falls.com. — Patricia Marroquin
15
MH1105 Escapes.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:42 PM Page 16
escapes
EVENTS
MAY 6-7 l It’s springtime in
the Smokies and what better
way to celebrate than at
Townsend in the Smokies
Spring Festival and Old Timers
Day in Townsend, Tenn. Visitors will experience a handson look at the unique traditions
of Appalachian culture, such
as arts and crafts, bluegrass
music and storytelling. Take
a guided wildflower walk,
indulge in some Southern barbecue, enjoy the Young Pickers
Talent Contest and camp at
one of several Townsend
campgrounds with full
amenities; 800-525-6834,
www.smokymountains.org.
MAY 6-8 l The annual Breaux
Bridge Crawfish Festival
in Breaux Bridge, La., has
become one of the largest
gatherings of Cajun, zydeco
and swamp pop musicians despite the environmental hardships that the area has faced
in recent times. In addition to
the lively music, attendees can
learn about accordion-making
and Cajun dance and cooking.
An étouffée cook-off, parade
and crawfish race (yes, real
crawfish will race on an 8-foot
circular target) are just a few
of the crawfish-themed, familyfriendly activities; 337-3326655, www.bbcrawfest.com.
MAY 12 l Touted as one of the
South’s finest arts and crafts
shows, the biannual Canton
Flea Market Arts & Craft Show
in Canton, Miss., brings more
than 1,100 artisans to the
historic Madison County
Courthouse grounds and the
surrounding area of downtown
Canton to showcase their
pottery, jewelry, quality artwork
and more. Located right in
Canton is Movietown RV Park,
a Good Sam Park, which has
plenty of room for big rigs;
800-844-3369, www.canton
tourism.com/market.html.
by MEAGHAN ALFIER
including concerts and fireworks, an Air Force flyover,
parade featuring the Budweiser
Clydesdales, balloon festival,
MAY 15 l The Marin Sonoma
Concours d’Elegance in
San Rafael, Calif., featuring
some vintage motorhomes,
is certain to stir nostalgic
feelings among RVers. The
last surviving 1929 Raise
the Roof Chevrolet house car
headlines the lineup, which
also includes Rolls-Royce
and Stutz automobiles, a
decade-by-decade display of
Chevrolet motor vehicles and
rare Indianapolis 500 race
cars. Classic wooden runabouts will grace the site’s
lagoon and there will be a
special British car club gathering; 415-479-7727, www
.marinsonomaconcours.org.
MAY 21 l The horse race is
just a part of the excitement
during the Preakness Celebration in Baltimore. The Preakness Stakes is the second
jewel in horse racing’s Triple
Crown and leading up to the
big day are several fun events,
and tours of the barns where
you might just run into the
jockeys and star horses
themselves; 877-206-8042,
ext. 300, www.preakness.com.
MAY 26-28 l The 600 Festival
Association produces the
Food Lion Speed Street event
in Charlotte, N.C., to commemorate the May races at
Charlotte Motor Speedway,
particularly the Coca-Cola 600.
Motorsports-themed and very
family friendly, this three-day
event has concerts with national headlining talent, interviews
with NASCAR drivers and other
celebrities, a kids’ zone, interactive displays of racing cars,
and the NASCAR Hall of Fame
is also in the area; 704-4555555, www.600festival.com.
MAY 7-14
If a motorhoming trip through the Netherlands isn’t in your spring budget, a trip to the Holland Tulip Time Festival in Holland,
Mich., is probably your next best bet. The annual festival began in 1929 as a way of celebrating Dutch culture and heritage
while beautifying the community and has evolved into a popular event that has a little something for everyone. Listen to live
music, watch Dutch dance performances and theater, shop at the Dutch Marktplaats and take advantage of the 6 million
blooming tulips in the area that provide unbeatable photo opportunities; 800-822-2770, www.tuliptime.com.
16
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Escapes.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:42 PM Page 17
NOTEWORTHY l NEWS BRIEFS
EMBRACING THE ROAD
Wondering
where to head
on your next
RVing adventure? National
Geographic
has done the
road research
for you and the
result is a fullcolor, hardcover coffee-table
book, “Drives
of a Lifetime:
500 of the
World’s Most Spectacular Trips.”
“Drives of a Lifetime”
($40, 320 pages) offers inspiration, in-depth information and
practical advice. The book is
divided into eight chapters by
type of trip: from mountains to
the sea; from roads less traveled
to drives rich in history; journeys to delight foodies and
music fans; and more.
Discover Amish culture
and crafts outside Elkhart, Ind.;
follow Philadelphia’s 95-mile
freedom trail; visit Oregon dunes
on the Pacific Coast Scenic
Byway; travel a loop route
through forests
and along rugged shores in
Minnesota and
Canada.
The
drives feature a handy
side rail that
includes
starting and
ending points;
distance and
driving time;
best time to
go; and tips and advice for planning, such as website addresses, recommended restaurants
and weather warnings.
We can’t guarantee all
these drives are accessible by
motorhome. For those that
aren’t, take a seat in your favorite armchair and live vicariously through the book’s pages
and stunning photos. “Drives of
a Lifetime” proves it’s not always
about the destination, but the incredible journey to get there.
For more information, visit www
.nationalgeographic.com/drives.
— Patricia Marroquin
WOODALL’S TOP PARKS
Woodall’s has announced
the top-rated, privately owned RV
parks and campgrounds in North
America. Of the 8,000 privately
owned parks listed in its 2011
North American Campground Directory, 333 parks earned the highest
designation in the rating system.
The rating system allows RVers
to search and find the top-rated
“5W” parks and campgrounds that
meet their travel needs. Campers
can identify parks by their 1 to 5
“W” ratings for both park facilities and recreation. The more W’s
in a rating reflect the presence of more developments and facilities available at the park. The list of 333 parks may be found at
www.woodalls.com/articledetails.aspx?articleID=2683351.
MOTORHOME l May 2011
escapes
News Briefs
Fleetwood RV will be holding its third annual motorhome owner’s event June 25-29 at the Heart of
Oklahoma Expo Center in Shawnee, Okla. “Circle Your
Wagons in Shawnee” will include a lineup of the latest
motorhomes, access to Fleetwood factory service support, RV seminars, kids activities and family-friendly
entertainment. Fleetwood motorhome owners are welcome to invite friends with non-Fleetwood motorhomes
to attend the event. For more information or to register
online, go to www.fleetwoodrv.com/mhevent.
Fresno, Calif., Good Sam Club members Don and
Marilyn Buller, who founded the RVing arm of the
Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), have been named
the club’s 2010 RVers of the Year. The Bullers have
traveled the country with other volunteers to rebuild
homes devastated by fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and
floods. The couple’s commitment to helping others
impressed Good Sam Club members during online
voting late last year. When Hurricane Katrina hit the
Gulf Coast in 2005, the Bullers saw a need for a group
of RV volunteers who could arrive at disaster sites with
their own shelter. Their proposal for such a group was
approved by the MDS leadership, and the MDS RV
Program was born. The Bullers plan to attend The Rally
July 14-17, which will be held in Redmond, Ore.
Forest River Inc. has acquired high-end motorhome
manufacturer Dynamax Corp. Forest River Chairman
Pete Liegl said he anticipates few changes at Dynamax,
which will operate as a stand-alone Forest River division.
President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home
National Historic Site in Hope, Ark., has been officially
announced as the 394th park in the National Park System. Former President Clinton spent the first four years
of his life in the 2½-story frame house on Hervey Street
in Hope. The National Park Service has been working
closely with the Clinton Birthplace Foundation to transition from private to federal ownership. The home is
open to the public for tours.
17
MH1105 Escapes.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:42 PM Page 18
escapes
WHEELS & GEAR
by MEAGHAN ALFIER
CHIC LANTERN
Looking for something to add a touch
of style and sophistication to your
motorhome’s patio this spring? The
new GE LED Carriage Lantern from
Jasco will keep your patio bright into
the night, but might also solicit looks
of envy from other campers.
The lantern requires four D-size
alkaline batteries to power its longlife, energy-efficient LEDs, which
are said to provide more than 100
hours of battery life and a warm
white light reminiscent of a campfire.
Settings range from normal power to
extra bright and the unit is lightweight enough to be carried around if needed.
A loop on the top of the lantern allows you to easily hang this beauty, which
has an oil-rubbed bronze finish, from an awning or patio umbrella.
The GE LED Carriage Lantern is priced at $34.99.
Jasco Products, 800-654-8483, www.jascoproducts.com.
RATTLE-FREE COFFEEMAKER
Contoure has introduced a
new coffeemaker designed
especially for RVs. The
Contoure CMM2000 uses
slide-on mounting brackets
to securely install under a
cabinet or attach to a wall,
so that it won’t slide around
during travel, but will brew
a delicious cup of joe.
The carafe, water reservoir and brewing basket are
all designed to stay in place
while driving on bumpy
roads. The stainless steel
thermal carafe keeps coffee
hot even without a hot plate
and the brewing basket easily slides out for cleaning and filling with
coffee grounds. A detachable water reservoir makes it easy to fill at the
galley sink to the desired level. The coffeemaker is also programmable,
brews 10 cups of coffee at a time and features a digital clock and timer.
The Contoure CMM2000 is 12 inches long, 11 inches wide and
9½ inches deep. It retails for $139.95.
Contoure, 941-355-4488, www.contoure.com.
18
MULTISURFACE
PROTECTOR
This RV-cleaning must-have has
been around since the 1980s,
but that doesn’t mean it should
be overlooked amid the hundreds
of such products that have since
gathered dust on the shelves.
Protect All Polish, Wax & Treatment is a tried-and-true formula
for all types of surfaces found
inside and outside a motorhome,
including fiberglass, stainless
steel, glass, plastic and leather.
With Protect All there’s
no need to crowd your valuable
storage space with a variety
of products for different applications — the non-abrasive
carnauba wax formula works on
all vehicle surfaces and doesn’t
leave behind any residue. The
water-repellent formula produces
a durable shine, and with each
application you’ll notice less
dirt and grime because of the
slick, anti-static surface that
Protect All creates. It also has a
UV-absorber to shield surfaces
from sun damage.
Protect All Polish, Wax &
Treatment retails from $9 to $14.
Protect All, 800-322-4491,
www.protectall.com.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 PG 19 HWH.qxp 2/16/11 1:47 PM Page 19
Why Add an HWH® Leveling
System to Your New
European-Style Motorhome?
Designed to Fit
Specifically
European-Style Vehicles
Single-Step, Auto-Level
Touch Panel
Computerized touch panel for easy operation
• Jacks utilize telescoping design
• Lightweight for lower GVWR vehicles
Easy Leveling
Fast,
• Reliable
• Convenient
Push-Button Operation
Single-Step,
• Easy to use
• Simple manual operation
4,000-lb. Telescoping Jack
Low-profile with long 13-inch stroke
Retract
Spring
• Jacks will retract in the event of an electric
is Top-of-the-Line Leveling
HWH
• Over 40 years of leveling RVs
• Installation and service nationwide
Because You Deserve It!
HWH Leveling Systems have long been recognized for their
uncompromising quality and precision engineering. That’s
because HWH systems are built from only the best materials
and engineered specifically for a wide range of RV models.
HWH systems are lighter and stronger, with designs that are
years ahead of the competition.
800-321-3494 www.HWH.com
2096 Moscow Road, Moscow, Iowa 52760
Made in the USA
HWH Corporation, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
or hydraulic failure
MH1105 Escapes.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:42 PM Page 20
CROSSROADS
PHOTOS: PATRICIA MARROQUIN
escapes
THE ‘GIFT’
OF TAMALES
For “fiercely proud New Mexican” Rocky Durham, a “happy meal” most
FULL STEAM
AHEAD
Although the Amish avoid
technology, their Strasburg, Pa.,
neighbors give trains their due at
the splendid state-run Railroad
Museum of Pennsylvania, where
visitors can view a fascinating,
world-class collection of more
than 100 historic locomotives and
vintage railroad cars. An interactive cab simulator and other hands-on activities
can be found in the Stewart Junction railway education center.
We boarded the steam locomotive for its 11 a.m. run on the Strasburg Rail
Road, across from the Railroad Museum. The conductor ushered us into the wooden
dining car, where we had lunch as the antique coal-burning Baldwin chugged across
more than 1,000 acres of fertile land. We passed a young couple in an Amish buggy
who held back their trotter as he pranced sideways, eager to race the train.
For more information on the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, call 717-687-8628
or visit www.rrmuseumpa.org, and for the Strasburg Rail Road, call 717-687-7522
or visit www.strasburgrailroad.com. — David Hilbert ◆
20
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
PHOTO: STRASBURG RAILROAD COMPANY
likely would be any dish that includes a tamale, or what he calls “the world’s first to-go
meal.” Chef Durham is the culinary director of the Santa Fe School of Cooking
(SFSC), a staple for more than two decades in downtown Santa Fe, N.M.
Tourists worldwide sign up for the three-hour hands-on
Tamales class, which the chef teaches with relish, or
should I say salsa. “They are stuffed, wrapped and tied.
They are like little gifts,” says Durham, who passionately
blends a food history lesson with cooking instruction.
The class concludes with lunch, which consists of
the fruits of your labor — four types of tamales. The session, limited to 16 people, costs $98. The school has a staff
of chef instructors and many other offerings year-round, such
as a salsa-making class, a traditional New Mexican demonstration class and the popular
Santa Fe Restaurant Walking Tour. Nicole Curtis Ammerman, SFSC’s director, says
classes fill up fast and many participants book the classes before their accommodations.
RV parking is available in the Archdiocese Lots off Cathedral Place and the
Montezuma Lodge Lot off Paseo de Peralta next to the Scottish Rite Temple.
For more information, call 800-982-4688 or visit www.santafeschoolofcooking.com.
— Patricia Marroquin
MH05 PG 21 DISH NETWORK.qxp 2/16/11 1:46 PM Page 21
Introducing
Pay-as-you-go TV
for your RV – only from DISH Network
Get 60 top channels
34
99
$
DISH Network is the only provider to
offer Pay-as-you-go TV for your RV.
Pay-as-you-go TV for your RV has arrived!
DISH Network’s exclusive TV service plan gives
you the green light to start and stop monthly
service as often as you want – at no extra
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MH1105 Getaways-Whales, Wings and Nature’s Things.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:43 PM Page 23
getaway
WHALES, WINGS AND
NATURE’S THINGS
by PATRICK BORDERS
EXPLORE TIMELESS FISHING VILLAGES AND
ENJOY ENVIRONMENTAL TREASURES ON 40-MILE-LONG
DIGBY NECK, NOVA SCOTIA
T
PHOTOS: NOVA SCOTIA TOURISM, CULTURE AND HERITAGE
he pilot cut the boat’s engine and our guide hopped
onto the bow and listened. For several minutes, no one spoke
as waves slapped against the hull. Fog had settled over the
water off Digby Neck in southwest Nova Scotia, and it limited
visibility. My family and I stared into the soup and trained
our ears on the distant sounds.
Then we heard it — a distant whooshing like a fire hose
blasting water into the air. A whale was just ahead.
The Pirate’s Cove Whale Cruise boat cranked to life and
off we went. We made a few more stops to listen, and a few
more charges to the sound of the fog-shrouded whale. Then,
like an ancient serpent rising from mysterious waters, a dark
gray finback whale broke the surface. Two more followed closely behind. Their sparkling bodies swam beside the boat as we
raced with cameras to capture images of the world’s
second-longest whales.
The abundance of natural attractions on Digby Neck
includes the region’s whales. Passengers on a whalewatching expedition enjoy the show. Digby Neck is a
bird-watchers’ paradise, thanks to its strategic location
along the Atlantic Flyway. Birds from as far away as
Antarctica flock to the area. Seals are a common sight
along the coast of Brier Island.
MOTORHOME l May 2011
23
PHOTO: PATRICK BORDERS
MH1105 Getaways-Whales, Wings and Nature’s Things.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:43 PM Page 24
FOR MORE INFORMATION
BAY FERRIES LTD.
877-762-7245,
www.acadiaferry.com.
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902-532-2808,
www.dunromincampsite.com.
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800-565-0000,
www.novascotia.com.
PIRATE’S COVE
WHALE & SEABIRD CRUISES
888-480-0004,
www.piratescove.ca.
The Bay of Fundy’s rich ecosystem leaves behind fascinating tidal pools at low
tide, perfect for exploring. An easy, 20-minute hike along a trail on Long Island
leads to Balancing Rock. From the observation deck visitors can see a quirk of
nature — a basalt rock tower that seems barely connected to its base.
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DIGBY NECK
24
Later, after the finbacks departed, we
spotted several pairs of humpback whales.
The gentle giants hung around for a while
— as they broke the water, they flipped
their enormous tails and dove below their
delighted spectators.
During the summer, the rich feeding
grounds off remote Digby Neck play host
to some of North America’s best whale
watching. In addition to finbacks and
humpbacks, sightings of minke and en-
dangered right whales are also common,
as well as Atlantic white-sided dolphins,
harbour porpoises and seals.
Although whale watching attracts visitors to Digby Neck and its two extending
islands — Long Island and Brier Island —
many people are amazed to discover the
abundance of natural attractions on the
land itself.
For motorhome travelers who enjoy
bird-watching, hiking and exploring small,
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Getaways-Whales, Wings and Nature’s Things.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:43 PM Page 25
WHALES, WINGS AND
NATURE’S THINGS
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timeless fishing villages, Digby Neck delivers a captivating blend of old-time Nova
Scotia with environmental treasures.
Digby Neck begins near the gateway
town of Digby and meanders down Highway
217, connecting fishing villages, such as
Sandy Cove, Little River, Tiverton and Westport, as well as the two island ferries. The
finger-like peninsula is roughly 40 miles
long and as narrow as half a mile wide. It
was formed from two lava flows, creating
ridges that slope toward the sea at Brier
Island and leaving basalt formations and
rock ledges along its rugged coast.
While exploring the coast, visitors are
bound to notice the abundance of birds.
Because of the Neck’s strategic location
along the Atlantic Flyway, shorebirds,
waterfowl and seabirds — some from as far
away as Antarctica — flock to the area,
creating a bird-watchers’ paradise.
The tide-chiseled coast also offers
ample opportunities for hiking. Although
rugged, most of the coastline is walkable
— either by trails that skirt the rocks or, as
my children love to do, by hopping along
the rocks themselves.
From the coast, you can observe the
birds soaring over the crashing waves,
MOTORHOME l May 2011
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MH1105 Getaways-Whales, Wings and Nature’s Things.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:43 PM Page 26
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WHALES, WINGS AND
NATURE’S THINGS
discover the lighthouses that have long
stood sentry, and stroll into the fishing
villages to watch fishermen unload their
day’s bounty. You can also swim at a sandy
beach, such as the one at Sandy Cove, or
explore the tidal pools left behind by the
world’s highest tides.
After investigating the natural beauties of the mainland, we took a short ferry
ride across the Petite Passage to Long
Island, traveling from the village of East
Ferry to Tiverton.
As with the rest of Digby Neck, St.
Mary’s Bay borders Long Island on the
southern coast and the Bay of Fundy on
the north. The southern coast offers stunning views from dramatic cliffs, while
smaller cliffs and rock beaches accent the
northern coast.
Halfway along Long Island, we pulled
over at a parking area for a trail leading to
Balancing Rock. After an easy 20-minute,
one-way hike through a forested area, we
exited at the sparkling blue waters of the
bay. Below the observation deck rose an
odd quirk of nature — a basalt rock tower
teetering at the edge of the sea, barely
connected to its base. It appeared as if
it would plunge into the waters at any
moment, but it actually had balanced on
that point for ages.
After exploring the Balancing Rock
area and a few scenic coves that dot the island, we continued our quiet jaunt down
217 and across the second ferry to Brier
Island. The entry village of Westport, home
to a few hundred residents, is the island’s
only town, and beyond it, six square miles
offer a nature lover’s paradise.
Gravel roads led us to the two lighthouses on the island: Brier Island Lighthouse (known locally as Western Light) and
Northern Point Lighthouse. From there, we
hiked along several coves and cliffs, spotting a colony of seals sunning themselves
on the rocks and numerous wildflowers
blanketing the landscape.
Rare wild orchids grow on the island,
and near Northern Point Lighthouse we
came across an enormous field of wild
roses, their pink petals vividly accenting
the black rocks and crashing waves behind
them.
Brier Island offers an abundance of
trails that wander by stunning coastal
views, but also among inland features,
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May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
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MH1105 Getaways-Whales, Wings and Nature’s Things.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:44 PM Page 27
including bogs that contain several rare
wildflowers and plants.
The island is Nova Scotia’s top birding location. In the spring, warblers arrive,
and during the summer, millions of semipalmated sandpipers stop off to munch on
mud shrimp before heading to South
America. Birds such as phalaropes, shearwaters, eiders and puffins congregate in
August and September, and in the fall,
thousands of hawks, including the threatened peregrine falcon, put on quite a show.
After returning across the ferry to Long
Island, we stumbled upon our last great discovery of the day. With the sun setting
below the bay, and our stomachs grumbling, we spotted a sign for Lavena’s Catch
Café as we exited the ferry and entered
Freeport. It was closing time, and we raced
in as a woman turned off the OPEN sign.
“Come on in,” she warmly welcomed,
and there, in the charming restaurant overlooking the remote channel, we feasted on
the freshest and sweetest scallops we’d
ever enjoyed.
The next morning, before leaving the
area, we drove into the quaint town of
Digby at the eastern end of the Neck.
Digby is nestled along the Annapolis Basin
shore and looks over Digby Gut — a
glacially carved cut in the landscape that
opens to the bay. It is also home to the
Princess of Acadia ferry, which connects
travelers to New Brunswick.
The town is best known for its plump
and sweet scallops and possesses one of
North America’s largest scallop fleets. At
high tide, you can watch the fleet return,
see the day’s catches unloaded, and while
walking along the wharf, take some classic
fishing port photographs of the colorful
scallop-dragger boats.
The historic waterfront hosts several
unique shops, as well as restaurants that
serve lobster and, of course, those delicious scallops.
After a final helping of scallops over
lunch, it was time to head on. Within the
hour, we were driving aboard the Princess
of Acadia, beginning a three-hour cruise to
New Brunswick, and then driving back
to the States.
Our memories of whale watching
thrilled us, but we were just as thrilled
by natural wonders we’d enjoyed along
Digby Neck. ◆
MOTORHOME l May 2011
Roadmaster, Inc., go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
WHALES, WINGS AND
NATURE’S THINGS
Born Free Motorcoach, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
27
MH1105 Unexplored Frontier.qxp_Layout 1 2/17/11 1:17 PM Page 28
UNEXPLORED
FRONTIER
DISCOVERING NEBRASKA ON
THE SANDHILLS JOURNEY SCENIC BYWAY
PHOTO: GUY LOUIS SELBERT
by PAMELA SELBERT
PHOTO: STATE OF NEBRASKA
Still iced over in the early spring, these lakes are typical of
the Sandhills. The sandy ground traps rain and snowfall
and the nature of the hills forms “sinks,” or low areas that
have no outflow. The freshwater lakes and ponds yield rich
grasses in the summer, which are cut for hay and rolled
into giant bales. They also provide important habitat for
the many waterfowl that use Nebraska as a flyway.
28
“Tanking” — floating down the rivers in circular metal stock tanks
“outfitted for comfort” — is popular here, even in the winter.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Unexplored Frontier.qxp_Layout 1 2/17/11 1:17 PM Page 29
Byway, a 272-mile route that
arcs across central Nebraska on
Highway 2, begins officially at
Grand Island. But the bustling
town and wide fields of corn
west of it offer scant preview of the
strange landscape that lies ahead, providing the “scenic” for the byway. It’s a
terrain unlike any other: grass-spiked
sand dunes towering up to 400 feet and
spanning nearly 20,000 square miles —
200 miles east to west, 100 miles north
to south, roughly a fourth of the state, the
largest area of grass-stabilized sand
dunes in the Western Hemisphere.
Charles Kuralt, in one of his CBS
“On the Road” segments, called Highway 2 “one of America’s 10 most beautiful highways ... a road that takes you to
one of the last unexplored frontiers where
vast treasures can be discovered.”
It is surprisingly beautiful, the 13
million acres once considered “irreclaimable desert,” where pheasant,
quail, deer and others are plentiful (though
mostly unseen) and cattle graze, spread
out because the dunes are fragile. Ranchers, who have used the area for rangeland
since the 1870s, must take care to keep
it from being overgrazed, which can cause
“blowouts” — grassless pits resembling
huge golf course sand traps that are not
easily repaired. Similarly, the dunes can’t
be cultivated because grass holds them in
place, and without it they blow away in the
wind, which seemingly never stops.
Nearly two dozen small towns lie
MOTORHOME l May 2011
along the scenic drive that ends at
Alliance, many with an Old West ambiance. We suggest taking a leisurely pace,
allowing several days for the trip. For an
introduction to the Nebraska of pioneer
days, begin with a visit to Stuhr Museum
of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island.
Located on Henry Fonda Memorial
Highway (U.S. Highway 34), this living
history museum, which opened in 1967
on 200 acres donated by local farmer Leo
Stuhr, offers glimpses into Nebraska’s
past. Exhibits at the modernistic Stuhr
Building depict various aspects of prairie
pioneer life, and Railroad Town, 60 restored century-old homes, shops and other
buildings, re-creates a prairie community.
An 1890 depot, locomotives and
“rolling stock” help tell the story of
Nebraska’s early railroads. Pioneer
Settlement, a complex of eight mid19th century buildings, interprets “road
ranches” along the pioneer trail that
served early travelers.
A fine collection of Native American
and Old West memorabilia is displayed
at Gus Fonner Memorial Building, another of the museum’s many attractions,
which also include the birthplace of actor
Henry Fonda (1905-1982), who paid to
have his former home moved here from
elsewhere in Grand Island and restored.
Drive north from the museum then
west on Highway 2, into a world of cornfields, “shelter belts” (hedgerows) and
widely spaced clusters of farm buildings.
A dozen miles ahead is Cairo, population
790, which claims an “Egyptian flavor.”
The streets, mostly ending in cornfields,
have such names as Alexandria, Suez
and Nile, and just north of the drive on
State Highway 11, a metal camel and
pyramid welcome visitors to the town,
which locals pronounce “Care-oh.”
West of town you drive through flatland, where wide fields rumple into distant hills, then suddenly you’re ringed
by hills, tiers of dramatic sand shapes
statued with pines and junipers.
Just east of Ravenna a historical
marker notes the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp that from 1934 to
1939 put some 200 men to work planting shelter belts on area farms and building the dam for nearby Buffalo Lake.
Also near here was an outpost of
Fort Kearny, established in 1865. It was
named Post South Loup Fork, but was
so remote soldiers stationed there called
it “Fort Desolation,” even “Fort Banishment,” as duty there may have been
punishment for some infraction.
Despite such street names as Genoa
and Milan, Ravenna, on the South Loup
River, is more Western than Italian. A high
bridge over the rail yard leads into town,
where a large mural depicts Ravenna as it
appeared a century earlier. West of town
the railroad tracks — Burlington Northern
Santa Fe (BNSF) — connecting Grand Island with Alliance closely parallel the highway. Coal trains, at least 130 cars long.
The drive runs through tiny Hazard,
Litchfield, Mason City and Ansley, platted in 1886, two decades after the Union
Pacific tracks were laid through the
The 90,440-acre Nebraska National Forest is the largest hand-planted forest
in the nation. Planting of the forest, which included ponderosa pine, jack pine
and red cedar, began in 1902.
PHOTO: STATE OF NEBRASKA
Stuhr Museum gives visitors an
introduction to Nebraska’s pioneer
days and its grounds include Native
American and Old West displays.
PHOTO: STUHR MUSEUM
PHOTO: GUY LOUIS SELBERT
andhills Journey Scenic
29
PHOTOS: GUY LOUIS SELBERT
MH1105 Unexplored Frontier.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:41 PM Page 30
Left: Bob the Rottweiler, nicknamed the “Ellsworth Ambassador,” greets customers at Old Spade Ranch Store in Ellsworth. Right:
Between Lakeside and Antioch along Highway 2 are acres of concrete structures that are the remains of giant factories built during
World War I. Because German potash was unavailable during the war, workers began distilling potash from local alkaline lakes.
The end of the war brought the end of the boom, with most of the workers moving out.
MAP ILLUSTRATION: SUE CARLSON
state. By the town’s centennial 35 coal
trains a day were coming through.
Ahead is Broken Bow, a lovely town
with an interesting story as to how it got its
name. In 1879 settlers began taking land
on Muddy Creek, near today’s town. Settler
Wilson Hewitt wanted to open a post office
in his dugout home, but the fledgling town
needed a name, and the government rejected the first two he suggested. Then one
day Hewitt’s sons, wandering along the
creek, found pieces of an old Pawnee bow
and a broken arrow — and a third name
was suggested. Late that year a post office
FOR MORE INFORMATION
ALLIANCE CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE
800-738-0648,
www.alliancechamber.com.
GRAND ISLAND/HALL COUNTY
CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
800-658-3178,
www.visitgrandisland.com.
KNIGHT MUSEUM AND
SANDHILLS CENTER
308-762-2384,
www.knightmuseum.com.
SANDHILLS JOURNEY
SCENIC BYWAY
308-546-0636,
www.sandhillsjourney.com.
STUHR MUSEUM OF
THE PRAIRIE PIONEER
308-385-5316,
www.stuhrmuseum.org.
30
opened in Broken Bow, today the county
seat of Custer County. Pieces of the bow
are displayed at Custer County Historical
Museum on the town square.
A lovely century-old bandstand, where
performances are held on summer Thursdays, is at the center of the square. Nearby,
at 8th Avenue and Highway 2, is an excellent chamber of commerce/visitor center.
(Director Denise Russell told us about
Nebraska’s “Junk Jaunt” (www.junkjaunt
.com), a 300-plus-mile yard sale held
the last full weekend in September.
The Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway
Interpretive Center east of town on Highway 2 is open May 1 through Sept. 30. For
RVers seeking a campground we recommend staying at economical Tomahawk
Park with some services and spacious,
level sites.
Continue to Merna, population 391,
with antique false-front buildings and a
fine 1916 Carnegie Library on Center Avenue, the wide main street. Next is Anselmo, a petite burg with just 189 residents.
Nonetheless magnificent St. Anselm
Catholic Church is here; it’s known as the
“Cathedral of the Sandhills.”
Well-marked roads lead north from the
two towns to Victoria Springs State Recreation Area, a 60-acre “oasis in the Sandhills” and the third-oldest in Nebraska’s
park system. Open Memorial Day through
the third weekend in November, it’s a sublime site for picnics and camping.
As you cross the Dismal River into
Dunning, population 109, we suggest
stopping at the Sinclair station even if you
don’t need fuel, as Marlene Van Diest’s
Sandhills Pottery studio is adjacent and
dozens of her lovely creations are available
at the station.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
PHOTOS: GUY LOUIS SELBERT
MH1105 Unexplored Frontier.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:41 PM Page 31
Past Halsey, a town of antique, weathered buildings, is 90,440-acre Nebraska
National Forest, once a grassland and now
the country’s largest hand-planted forest.
The planting — of ponderosa and jack
pines, red cedars and others — began in
1902. Bessey Nursery, where the trees get
their start, is the oldest operating nursery
in the national forest system. The forest
offers a variety of activities to visitors, including miles of hiking and ATV trails, birdwatching and camping (38 sites, 20 with
electricity) for RVs up to 30 feet long.
At Thedford we suggest visiting the
Thedford Art Gallery for fine western art,
paintings, bronzes, carvings and more, and
the Thomas County Historical Museum,
which focuses on the history of the county
and displays donated artifacts.
Mullen, ahead, offers another museum at the Hooker County Historical Society.
Visitors to Mullen can also enjoy a river adventure with Glidden Canoe Rental or another company on the Dismal or Middle
Loup rivers in canoes or kayaks and, surprisingly, in metal stock tanks. “Tanking”
is popular here — floating the rivers in cir-
cular tanks that are “outfitted for comfort.”
At Hyannis, stop at Grant County
Museum (in the courthouse) to see a display of John Wayne memorabilia. Charles
Bert Hayward, a stunt double for Wayne in
many of his films, was from here.
Ahead are railroad towns Ashby, Bingham and Ellsworth, population 25, where
we suggest stopping at Old Spade Ranch
Store, founded in 1898. You’ll be greeted
by “Ellsworth Ambassador” Bob, a charming 155-pound Rottweiler, who “helps” his
owner, raconteur Wade Morgan, run the
old-fashioned store.
Lakeside, which had 1,500 residents
during the “potash boom” of World War I,
and now has just 30, is ahead at Nebraska
Highway 250. When World War I broke out
in 1914, exportation of German potash
(potassium carbonate) used in American
agriculture and industry suddenly ended.
After it was discovered that potash could
be extracted from alkali water in nearby
lakes, Lakeside and Antioch a few miles
west became boomtowns overnight, with
more than half a dozen large “reduction”
plants producing up to 200 tons a day.
But soon after the war ended so did
the need for Sandhills potash — and the
“boom” was over as quickly as it had
begun. Today ruins of the plants, smokestacks and evaporation towers are all that
remain. Antioch, with more than 2,000 residents 90 years ago, today counts just 10.
Halfway between Antioch and Alliance
the hills begin to flatten, and by the time
you reach the end of the drive, you’re again
in wide-open prairie. Railroad town Alliance
is the coal capital of the state and a hub for
the BNSF, where locomotives are maintained. The town also offers numerous attractions including Carnegie Arts Center,
Sallows Conservatory and Arboretum, Sallows Military Museum, and Knight Museum
and Sandhills Center, which provides an excellent finale for the Sandhills Journey.
A walk through the 5,000 square feet
of exhibit space is a walk through time,
starting some 400 million years ago when
the Sandhills began forming. Dozens of exhibits with hundreds of artifacts tell about
the Native Americans who lived here, the
arrival of the railroad, and the birds, animals
and plants that call the Sandhills home. ◆
NATCO, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MOTORHOME l May 2011
31
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PHOTOS: MARY ZALMANEK
MAGNIFICENT M
32
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SOUTHEASTERN UTAH IS
A MECCA FOR RVERS AND
OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS
by MARY ZALMANEK
e all have our own idea of paradise. For
T MOAB
Edward Abbey, the late author and environmentalist,
the canyon country around Moab was “the most beautiful place on Earth.”
Moab, a small town in southeastern Utah, lies near the
Colorado River, surrounded by awe-inspiring red rock terrain.
My husband, Jim, and I first visited here 24 years ago. We became enchanted by the area and have returned at least once
a year ever since.
In our earlier journeys, we’d often leave after work on
Thursday and drive six hours to get there. Once we arrived we’d
set up our tent in darkness so that we were ready to mountain
bike Moab’s famous trails the next morning. On Sunday, we’d
head home, already planning our next long weekend.
Through the years our accommodations included tents,
a yurt, motels, cabins, condos and finally an RV. When we
bought a motorhome in 2002, Moab was our first destination.
We met friends at a primitive Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) campsite on the Colorado River east of Dewey Bridge.
To celebrate the occasion, they surprised us with live Maine
lobsters for dinner. It was a memorable introduction to RVing.
Moab is an RV-friendly town. RVers can choose from 25
BLM campgrounds in the Moab area for boondocking or from
13 RV parks with full hookups. Moab’s peak months are April
through October. During that time, and particularly on weekends when there are special events, RV parks are often filled
to capacity and reservations are advised. While individual
campsites are not reservable at BLM campgrounds, seven
campgrounds have sites that are reservable for groups.
Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and
Dead Horse Point State Park are all located within a short drive
from Moab. Arches, five miles north of Moab, contains the
world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. More
than 2,000 arches are located within the park’s 76,518 acres,
along with other sandstone formations such as balanced rocks,
fins and spires. The easiest way to see the park is to drive the
36-mile round-trip scenic road. For a closer look, explore viewpoints within the park. Better yet, take a hike. Some of the
trails are short and easy; others are longer and more primitive.
A late afternoon or early evening hike to Delicate Arch affords
the best lighting and is a three-mile round-trip hike.
PHOTOS: MARY ZALMANEK
Clockwise from top left: There are tons of options for boating
on the Colorado River, whether you want a leisurely paddle
on calm waters or white-knuckle rafting on Class IV and V
rapids. John Tilson displays his freshly caught rainbow trout
at Warner Lake in the La Sal Mountains. The streams and
lakes in the area offer great trout fishing. Mountain biking in
Moab can be challenging, but most trails lead to outstanding
views. The Windows Section in Arches National Park is especially vibrant at sunrise when it is bathed in golden light.
MOTORHOME l May 2011
33
MH1105 Magnificent Moab.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:45 PM Page 34
Clockwise from above left: Pretty Moab Golf Course is very well-maintained and popular, so make sure to reserve tee times in
advance. You could also try Hideout Golf Club in Monticello, which is 10 to 15 degrees cooler than Moab during the summer.
The shops and restaurants in Moab’s shopping district offer a respite from the heat and plenty of souvenirs, jewelry, clothing and
more available for purchase. Hogan Trading Company is easy to recognize, as it’s surrounded by Lyman Whitaker’s wind sculptures,
which are crafted out of copper, steel and stainless steel. Visitors gather at sunset at Dead Horse Point — 2,000 miles above the
Colorado River — to observe “one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world.” Spanish Trail RV Park, just three miles
south of Moab, has spacious pull-through sites and panoramic views.
Edward Abbey’s experiences as a seasonal park ranger at Arches are described
in his classic book “Desert Solitaire.”
Published in 1968, this book is still relevant
today, stressing the importance of preserving our natural resources. He writes eloquently about the beauty of the desert. It’s
easy to understand why he wrote, “May your
trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”
With more than 300,000 acres, Canyonlands is Utah’s largest national park.
The Colorado and the Green rivers divide
the park into three districts: Island in the
Sky, the Maze and the Needles. Each district has its own entrance. Island in the Sky
is closest to Moab and therefore the most
popular. It has 20 miles of paved roads and
more than 15 miles in hiking trails. If you
hike five miles into Druid Arch, start early
34
for the best lighting.
Canyonlands’ 100-mile White Rim
Trail, with its steep and rugged terrain, provides a challenge for experienced mountain
bikers and four-wheel drivers (ATVs are not
permitted). Most visitors complete the entire
loop in two to four days by four-wheel-drive
or by mountain bike. Campsite reservations
and backcountry permits are required.
Dead Horse Point State Park is 32
miles from Moab. The view from Dead
Horse Point is “one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world,” according to the Moab Area Travel Council.
From the overlook 2,000 feet above the
Colorado River, the effect of 150 million
years of erosion creates a staggering view.
Sunrise and sunset are the best times
to photograph the sandstone formations
around Moab. We stopped by the Moab
Information Center on the corner of Main
and Center streets for some photography
suggestions. They gave us a list of sunrise
and sunset viewing ideas with driving
times from Moab to each location.
Even though I’m not a morning person,
a Moab sunrise is worth getting up early.
When we arrived at the Windows Section in
Arches 30 minutes before sunrise, we were
the first car in the parking lot. We walked
to the east side of the North and South windows and waited for the sun to peek out.
The sandstone formations glowed with intense colors when the first light appeared.
Moab attracts people passionate
about outdoor activities. Whether it’s
mountain biking, golfing, four-wheeling,
ATVing, rafting, technical climbing or hiking, this area provides the perfect weather
and terrain for people serious about sports.
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BLM campgrounds in Moab are primitive and surrounded by nature. This site
is located in Big Bend Campground along the Colorado River and is encircled
by imposing cliffs. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The world-famous Slickrock Bike Trail
was the reason we initially visited Moab.
Motorcyclists developed the trail in 1969,
identifying the 12-mile route with white
dashes and dots painted on rocks. Called
“slickrock” by early settlers whose metalshod horses found the sandstone difficult
to cross, the opposite is true for mountain
bikers. The knobby tires hold tight to the
coarse rock surface, allowing riders to ride
up and down ridiculously steep hills.
Once my favorite Moab ride, the 15.6mile Porcupine Rim starts with a moderately strenuous climb, offers an amazing view
of Castle Valley at the Rim, then tests technical skills and courage on the steep, rocky
downhill. We’ve since discovered we can
have just as much fun and not hurt nearly
as much afterward on rides such as Gemini
Bridges, Klondike Bluffs or Flat Pass.
Moab’s terrain appeals to four-wheelers as well. The Easter Jeep Safari is one of
the biggest events of the year, attracting
four-wheeling enthusiasts from all over the
country. Red Rock 4-Wheelers of Moab organizes the rides for this nine-day happening. Each day they lead about nine trail
rides, with the exception of “Big Saturday,”
when up to 30 groups ride 30 different
trails. Trail difficulties range from easy to
nearly impassible. Seeing is believing. On
YouTube.com, search for “Moab Easter
Jeep Safari” to watch videos of Jeeps climbing what I would have thought was impossible. If you plan to visit during this time
make your camping reservations early.
Even if your dinghy vehicle is better
suited for black top than slickrock, you can
still join in the four-wheeling fun. Several
companies offer Jeep and Hummer tours,
ranging in length from two hours to multiple days. At Moab Adventure Center, professional guides operate Hummers customized with raised seating in the rear for
optimum passenger viewing. You can also
rent Jeeps, ATVs or motorcycles.
Just as our accommodations have
Danko Manufacturing, Inc., go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MOTORHOME l May 2011
35
MH1105 Magnificent Moab.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:45 PM Page 36
NOT
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in action visit:
Triple E, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
www.leisurevans.com
36
We are proud to offer the most
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MAGNIFICENT MOAB
changed over the years, so have our activities. We still mountain bike, but we spend
more than half of our days on the golf
course. Moab Golf Course is one of the
prettiest courses I’ve ever played. The wellmaintained fairways and greens are surrounded by red cliffs and boulders. If you
plan to golf during high season, reserve
your tee times before you arrive.
Hideout Golf Club in Monticello is
about an hour’s drive south of Moab. It’s a
beautiful, uncrowded course with plenty of
hills and trees. Each time we’ve played
there, we’ve seen more deer than golfers.
Since Monticello is several thousand feet
higher than Moab, the temperatures can
be a refreshing 10 to 15 degrees cooler
during the summer months.
If you visit in the summer, you can expect temperatures in the 90s to over 100
degrees. Fortunately, there’s more than
one way to cool off. The La Sal Mountains
rise 20 miles southeast of Moab, with 12
peaks above 12,000 feet. It’s the perfect
spot for hiking or biking on shaded trails
and dirt roads, or for trout fishing in the
mountain streams and lakes.
When the hot sun beats down, the cool
river starts to look mighty inviting. We’ve
joined a rafting trip and paddled a canoe
on the Colorado River. There are plenty of
options, with about 20 river guides and outfitters to put you on the Colorado, Delores
or Green rivers in a raft, kayak, canoe or jet
boat. Rafting trips in calm waters are suitable for everyone from 40-pound youngsters to seniors. If white-knuckle white
water is more your style, there are several
companies that take trips in Cataract
Canyon. Snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains in late spring churns up massive Class
IV and V rapids. Rafting trips range from a
couple of hours to multiday excursions.
Canyonlands by Night and Day, a tour
company in Moab for 47 years, offers tours
by water, land and air. Its signature tour is
the Night Show, which features a cowboystyle Dutch oven dinner and a slow flatbottomed boat ride up the Colorado. The
show starts after dark when stories about
the area’s formation and history are told
using lights, shadows, music and narration.
This unique history lesson about the Native
Americans, Catholic conquistadors and Mormon pioneers unfolds on the canyon walls.
One surefire way to beat the heat
in any charming resort town is to browse in
the air-conditioned stores in the shopping
district. Moab is no exception, with plenty
of shops selling T-shirts, souvenirs, jewelry,
clothing, sporting goods, books and art.
One of our favorites is Hogan Trading Company on Main Street. It’s easy to recognize,
surrounded by Lyman Whitaker’s wind
sculptures. These kinetic works of art —
made of copper, steel and stainless steel
— dance in time to the wind, whether it’s
a gentle breeze or a heavy storm.
In addition to the year-round scenery
and seasonal outdoor activities, there are
numerous special events to entertain visitors. Whenever you go and whatever you do,
you’ll find plenty of activities to entertain
you and keep you coming back for more.
Even after 24 years, we can’t get enough.
Maybe next year we’ll stay longer. ◆
FOR MORE INFORMATION
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
435-719-2299,
www.nps.gov/arch.
CANYONLANDS BY NIGHT AND DAY
800-394-9978,
www.canyonlandsbynight.com.
CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK
435-719-2313,
www.nps.gov/cany.
DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK
435-259-2614,
www.utah.com/stateparks/
dead_horse.htm.
MOAB AREA TRAVEL COUNCIL
800-635-6622,
www.discovermoab.com.
MOAB GOLF COURSE
435-259-6488,
www.moabcountryclub.com.
SPANISH TRAIL RV PARK &
CAMPGROUND
800-787-2751,
www.spanishtrailrvpark.com.
MOAB
May 2011 l
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Guaranty RV, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MBERS SA
ME
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AVE
RS S
BE
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MBERS SA
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MH1105 PG 38-39 CAMPING WORLD.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:48 PM Page 39
Camping World, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MH1105 Winnebago Tour.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 12:05 PM Page 40
WINNEBAGO TOUR 42QD
WINNIE’S FLAGSHIP ADDS
A NEW FLOORPLAN FOR
PENTHOUSE-STYLE LIVING
WHERE YOU SUPPLY THE VIEW
T
his year has brought changes to Forest City, Iowa,
as Winnebago’s 2011 Tour gets a new tag axle floorplan,
a facelift and new power. Thanks to the talents of Winnebago
engineers, a 28-foot full-wall slide has been designed to
create a refreshingly open and uninterrupted floorplan in this
almost 43-foot full-time explorer.
To create such a large opening in the side of this rolling
penthouse, a custom extruded aluminum double-stacked beam
mates with a thick-wall rectangular steel beam to create a strong
hybrid support element. This hybrid beam combination locks
into the roof structure as part of Winnebago’s “SuperStructure”
construction method and bridges the slide opening from the
cockpit’s vertical steel “B” pillar behind the driver, to the framing structure that defines and supports the rear cap. Test track
40
durability results and the factory’s Iowa location have successfully demonstrated the span’s ability to properly handle the vibration and stresses of road travel as well as winter snow loads.
Entering the Tour, the wow factor is immediate. Beautiful
dark cherry cabinets surround the cabin accented by matching
fluted pilasters, ornate bridge casings and crown moldings.
Handsome 18-inch by 18-inch floor tiles with mosaic inserts,
a touch of accent carpeting and dark Corian countertops
against light upholstery complete a very upscale environment.
This luxury touring coach is arranged with a forward living
area anchored by an expanding multi-position 60-inch by 75inch “Rest Easy” sectional sofa sleeper. This piece of furniture
wrings out every usable inch of space and offers versatility and
comfort. The Rest Easy can be used as a regular sofa or with a
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
PHOTOS: RICH COX PHOTOGRAPHY
by FRED PAUSCH
PHOTOS: RICH COX PHOTOGRAPHY
MH1105 Winnebago Tour.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 12:05 PM Page 41
pullout ottoman for perfect feet-up viewing of the 40-inch LCD
TV mated to a very nice HD surround sound system; it’s satellite-ready with optional ($2,114) in-motion King Dome dish.
Maybe you’d rather curl up with a good book in front of
the optional ($490) electric heating fireplace using the travel
position of the sofa as a comfortable chaise lounge? To sleep,
a push of a button electronically drops the sofa back and by
releasing a manual latch on the aisle sofa arm, the sofa end
extends into the cabin, revealing an additional pop-up cushion
completing an L-shaped sofa or the nearly 6-foot by 6-foot bed.
A comfortable free-standing swivel recliner can be used
anywhere but it’s handy at the pullout laptop desk concealed
in the fireplace cabinetry along with the leaf for the free-standing dinette. Both fully adjustable cockpit seats swivel to provide additional cabin seating when needed. We easily entertained 12 adults in comfort when the weather forced all of us
inside for meals and to watch movies until the rain passed.
Entertaining often centers around the galley and this
coach is designed for it. With nearly 13 feet of cabin width,
there’s plenty of room for the chef and helpers. A glasstopped, recessed three-burner Thetford cooktop will keep the
fare coming, served from the space-saver countertop extension structure that slides with its three-drawer lower cabinet
to augment the abbreviated countertop. This galley relies on
the optional ($553) GE Advantium 120 oven that uses conventional microwave or high-intensity halogen light to cook.
The space normally reserved for a gas oven is occupied
by a Fisher & Paykel drawer-style dishwasher that can accommodate dinner plates. A stainless twin-basin sink with pullout
faucet is set in the corner base cabinet and rather than use a
conventional backsplash, Winnebago designers added three
handy storage drawers at the back of the counter topped with
another counter piece to set small items on out of the way.
In addition to whole coach water filtration located in the
exterior utility bay, a countertop filtered cold water faucet
further improves filtration for drinking and for the icemaker
in the optional ($1,372) Maytag residential 20-cubic-foot
(AC only) stainless refrigerator with freezer drawer. This musthave item is the best bang for the buck on the options list as
it also includes a larger 2,800-watt inverter, two additional
Group 31 AGM coach batteries and is aided by the standard
10-watt solar charger, which is only for battery maintenance
when the coach is in storage.
The coach’s appetite for power is pretty big because
of the all-electric refrigerator and the large number of electri-
MOTORHOME l May 2011
Opposite page top left: An optional electric heating fireplace and a
pullout laptop desk raise the Tour’s residential feel. The layout of
the cockpit controls is simple and intuitive, with easy-to-read gauges
and a touch-screen radio. This page clockwise from top left: The fully
carpeted bedroom features a king-size bed that stows for travel. With
the push of a button, the Rest Easy sectional sofa can be configured
to fit your needs. The roomy galley features dark cherry cabinetry and
a space-saving countertop extension. The dining table extends to seat
four, and the cabinets behind provide extra storage and serving space.
2011 WINNEBAGO TOUR 42QD
WHAT’S HOT
WHAT’S NOT
Aqua Hot’s quiet, even hydronic heating
system, 28-foot slide engineering, Rest
Easy multi-position electric sofa bed,
450-HP emission-compliant diesel engine,
new front cap and full-body paint schemes
Lack of roof gutter diverters
protecting full-body paint,
entry switch panel is difficult
to read at night, half bath
gets a little too much heat
41
MH1105 Winnebago Tour.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 12:05 PM Page 42
The high-end trim is carried into the rear
bath, which features an optional stacked
Ariston washer and dryer and a generous
6-foot-2-inch lighted shower stall.
cal goodies. Camping without hookups requires a close eye on battery condition and
the use of the 10 kW diesel-fired generator.
The generator can be set to start automatically when battery power gets to a critical
level and the multistage charging system
does a good job of bringing the batteries
back to life. We found that the battery
bank, tied to the inverter, can easily keep
everything working for about 12 hours without the use of the generator, but the power
requirements will take the batteries down
past optimum levels. During our testing,
we ran the Aqua Hot for interior heat and
hot water, the refrigerator at normal levels,
watched TV through a satellite receiver and
did not scrimp on lighting usage. Don’t expect the batteries to last exceptionally long
if they are allowed to be discharged deeply
on a frequent basis. This will only be an
issue if camping in areas that restrict generator-running hours and/or where hookups
are not available. Nevertheless, it proves
that it’s possible to keep the refrigerator at
acceptable cooling levels without hookups.
The dining area consists of a diminutive free-standing 22-inch-wide dinette for
two that extends to seat four when you use
the two additional dinette chairs stowed in
protective bags in the basement. A large
window provides nearly al fresco dining
along the under-dinette storage cabinet’s
matching Corian countertop that augments
food service space. After-party cleanup is
no problem with the optional ($378) central vacuum system that includes a convenient galley toe-kick broom port and additional hose ports, including one in the basement for compartment cleanup.
As one benefit of tag axle body
lengths, this floorplan offers a useful half
bath next to the galley and eliminates latenight forays through the master bedroom
to visit the rear bath. Wainscoting matching the cabin cabinetry surrounds the room
highlighted by task and accent lighting and
an automatic ceiling fan. A Thetford Tecma
(china bowl) vacuum flush with pushbutton controls for water usage is used in
the half bath and in the rear master bath.
To provide some privacy for the bedroom, a shoji-like sliding door with translucent panels is used — but be forewarned
that dressing too closely to it while backlit
may provide additional entertainment for
those in the cabin. The fully carpeted bedroom suite contains a very comfortable 72inch by 80-inch Ideal Rest king-size bed
with dual numerical controllers (for mattress
comfort) that fills the curbside slide. Bedside dual pane windows used throughout the
Tour provide convenient ventilation and light
aided by the 34-inch ceiling fan. The bed
stows for travel allowing aisle access by raising the head using push buttons on either
nightstand, which are also equipped with
AC outlets. Adjustable overhead reading
lamps and stereo/DVD speakers are mounted under the overhead storage cabinets
while wall sconces provide general lighting.
SPECIFICATIONS
PERFORMANCE
FUEL ECONOMY: 8.1 MPG
ACCELERATION:
0-60: 32 SEC
40-60: 18 SEC
CHASSIS
MODEL: MAXUM BY FREIGHTLINER
ENGINE: 8.9-L CUMMINS ISL TURBO
SAE HP: 450 HP @ 2,100 RPM
TORQUE: 1,250 LB-FT @ 1,200 RPM
TRANSMISSION: 6-SPEED ALLISON 3000MH
AXLE RATIO: 4.63:1
TIRES: 275/80R22.5/H
WHEELBASE: 279" PLUS TAG AXLE
BRAKES: DISC/DRUM AIR ASSIST WITH ABS
SUSPENSION, F/R: NEWAY AIR BAG
FUEL CAP: 150 GAL
WARRANTY: 3 YRS/50,000 MILES
COACH
EXT LENGTH: 42' 10"
EXT WIDTH: 8' 5.5"
EXT HEIGHT WITH A/C: 12' 11"
INT WIDTH: 8' 1⁄2"
INT HEIGHT: 7'
CONSTRUCTION: STEEL REINFORCED
ALUMINUM SUPPORT STRUCTURE WITH
EXTRUDED POLYSTYRENE SHEET (ESP)
INSULATION, FIBERGLASS SKIN AND
CROWNED FIBERGLASS ROOF
FRESHWATER CAP: 90 GAL
BLACK-WATER CAP: 53 GAL
GRAY-WATER CAP: 105 GAL
WATER-HEATER CAP: ON DEMAND
LP-GAS CAP: 30 GAL
AIR CONDITIONER (3): 13,500 BTU
FURNACE: 45,000 BTU
REFRIGERATOR: 20 CU-FT
INVERTER: 2,800 WATT
BATTERY: (2) AGM 12-VOLT CHASSIS,
(4) AGM 12-VOLT COACH
AC GENERATOR: 10 KW
BASE MSRP: $328,598
MSRP AS TESTED: $357,830
WARRANTY: 1 YR/15,000 MILES
WET WEIGHT
(WATER AND HEATER, FUEL, LP-GAS TANKS
FULL; NO SUPPLIES OR PASSENGERS)
FRONT AXLE: 13,540 LBS
REAR AXLE: 22,520 LBS
TOTAL: 36,060 LBS
CHASSIS RATINGS
GAWR, F/R: 14,320/30,000 LBS
GVWR/GCWR: 44,320/59,320 LBS
ROCCC: 8,260 LBS
(DEDUCT WEIGHT OF PASSENGERS FOR NET
CARGO CAPACITY)
GAWR: GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING
GVWR: GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING
GCWR: GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING
ROCCC: REALISTIC OCCUPANT AND CARGO
CARRYING CAPACITY (FULL WATER, NO
PASSENGERS)
WINNEBAGO INDUSTRIES
641-585-3535, WWW.GOWINNEBAGO.COM.
42
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH05 PG 43 PARTNER FINANCE.qxp 2/22/11 1:42 PM Page 43
RV & Boat Loans
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Not quite ready to buy your next RV or boat? Lower the payments on your existing
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1.800.444.1476
(mention priority code 413)
Subject to loan program guidelines and credit approval. Restrictions may apply. Loan programs are subject to change without notice.
Good Sam RV Financing, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MH1105 Winnebago Tour.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 12:05 PM Page 44
WINNEBAGO TOUR 42QD
Nomad Glass, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
That very long curbside slide ends in
the bedroom and holds the Jack and Jill
wardrobes with storage drawers below.
Connecting the wardrobes is a 36-inch by
20-inch dresser hiding a 32-inch LCD TV
that rises through the tabletop. The multiformat stereo is centered below the dresser
top and the pair of lower cabinet doors is
actually a handy tip-out clothes hamper.
The step-up rear bath offers a generous
6-foot-2-inch lighted shower stall with a
Flexsteel RV Furniture
domed skylight and seat. An automatic wallswitched ceiling fan will quickly clear the
fogged mirrors on the large three-door medicine cabinet. Deep twin drawers and storage
below should handle most bath necessities
as well as laundry supplies for the optional
($1,750) separate but stacked Ariston
washer and dryer. A large corner storage
closet is also provided with a hanging rod but
could be used for a variety of cargo. The
handsome cabin tile is continued throughout the bath and includes a recessed locking
floor hatch to access the top of the engine.
The dual-zone, triple-unit roof A/C system worked flawlessly maintaining zone
temp settings and reinforced our love of the
Aqua Hot hydronic heating and hot water
supply system. Having spent decades in RVs
with conventional LP-gas furnaces with
noisy blowers and ever-fluctuating temperatures, we enjoyed the quiet, even heat and
unlimited hot water supply so much it was
hard to give the Tour back. Flip on the system, set the zone temps and forget it. Temperature control inside was as near perfect
as possible, with just a little too much heat
in the half bath. This system was also equipped with the engine block preheat feature,
which allows easier starts in very cold weather and later uses waste engine heat while
traveling to augment coach heating needs.
Excellent exterior pass-through storage
is provided and the optional ($616) compartment pullout storage tray simplifies access to heavy cargo. Standard electric awnings for the coach body and entry provide the
necessary protection to enjoy the optional
($1,890) entertainment center that includes
a 32-inch LCD TV, speakers and DVD player
housed in a weather-tight side wall panel.
The utility bay is designed to handle
MCD American Duo Shades Dishwasher Installations
Dave & LJ RV Interiors, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
44
wet conditions and features clear labeling,
protected fill and dump controls as well as
the water hose power reel, cleanup features
and a remote control to monitor the leveling
jacks. An optional ($735) power cord reel
in the adjacent compartment is also available. We’d like to see rain gutter extensions
added to the standard equipment list to
help protect and maintain the handsome
body finish, especially dark paint schemes.
The cockpit of the Tour is a real treat to
spend time in thanks to easy-to-read gauges,
large mirrors with side camera mounts, tilt
and telescoping steering, and comfortable
heated full adjust electric seats. The optional heated ($406) copilot’s seat also offers a
footrest and reclining seatback, adding a
second recliner to the mix. A 6.5-inch touchscreen radio with steering wheel controls
and copilot remote makes radio, MP3, CD,
auxiliary input, exterior cameras and Bluetooth cell phone functions simple and intuitive. Below the radio, a 6-inch GPS screen
provides navigation information with a USB
port available to plug in storage devices or a
printer. Remaining controls are clearly laid
out along the side dash console, making it
easy to operate a variety of coach, engine
and transmission functions.
The Tour is built on a proprietary
Maxum chassis, a drop-rail model to maximize basement storage and built by Freightliner to Winnebago’s specifications. Our
Tour was equipped with the new but optional ($13,188) EPA emission-compliant
450-HP Cummins 8.9-L turbocharged engine and six-speed Allison transmission.
The big Cummins propelled the coach
effortlessly on the highway and allowed hill
climbing with ease. Steep grades initially
slowed us down, but by the time we crested the hills, we were almost back to normal
highway speeds. Piloting the Tour keeps
the driver much more at ease than the 43foot stature suggests. The sharp turning
cut makes negotiating RV parks stress free.
The air bag suspension takes just about all
the road shock out of the driving experience, but rough highway sections and concrete expansion joints are quite noticeable,
although not objectionable.
Overall, the Tour receives high marks
as a handsome part- or full-time luxury
touring coach with a livable combination of
features and amenities that are sure to
make time on the road carefree and fun. ◆
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Getting the Dirt Off.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:46 PM Page 45
GETTING THE DIRT OFF
HOW RV CLEANING PRODUCTS —
FROM CLEANERS TO BRUSHES TO MOPS — MEASURE UP
by E. DON SMITH
PHOTOS: E. DON SMITH
ashing the exterior of a large motorhome
can be quite a chore, but if you use the right tools,
products and techniques, the task can be a lot
easier. For most RV owners, the best way to clean
is to do the work in the comfort of your own driveway.
This way you can ensure that the job is done correctly
and with no damage to the paint.
Of course, you can use one of the truck wash centers
found along major interstates, but be careful, as these services aren’t accustomed to dealing with the type of full-body
paint jobs commonly found on most coaches. Some RVers we
spoke with reported good results at truck washes, while others
reported multiple scratches and swirls in the paint from the
use of dirty or too-aggressive brushes. Another problem is
their use of high-pressure nozzles, which can loosen decals
or penetrate seals around doors or windows.
SIDESTEPPING THE SWIRLS
One of the most common problems associated with full-body
paint is swirls or circular scratches that can appear after
washing. The swirls are more prominent on darker-color paint
MOTORHOME l May 2011
jobs, but these scratches are visible on some lighter colors
as well. It takes a major buffing by a skilled operator and
many hours to remove the swirls. The trick is to avoid them
in the first place. Most of these swirls are created during
washing from dirt and grit that’s on the surface. Other culprits
include brushes that are too stiff or made from the wrong material, or soaps that don’t provide enough paint lubrication
between the mitt or brush and the paint. If you follow our advice, you’ll end up with a clean, shiny motorhome and no
new swirls on the paint.
Our goal here is to show you how to avoid swirls and other
RV washing pitfalls using water or waterless washing methods.
We contacted several leading RV/automotive detailing and
cleaning suppliers to get some tips and products to evaluate.
There are many suppliers and manufacturers of soaps, brushes, extension poles, etc., and we tried several of the more
common products, as well as a few items that are not so common, to give you an overview of what’s available today.
Each product has its strengths and weaknesses. Two
suppliers we used, Autogeek (www.autogeek.net) and Griot’s
Garage (www.griotsgarage.com), offer auto detailing products
45
MH1105 Getting the Dirt Off.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:46 PM Page 46
We used a wide range of Autogeek
products, including its foam cannon
and boar’s hair brush.
Griot’s Garage is another leading supplier
of automotive products. We sampled its
soap, nozzle and wash pads.
Camping World carries a variety of
cleaning products. We found that the
Swobbit sheepskin pad is very good
at preventing scratches in the paint
though it does require a special handle
that can only be used with that pad.
Protect All Quick & Easy Wash is
formulated to not leave streaks or spots
and requires no rinsing. Just wash
on and wipe dry.
46
that are widely respected in the detailing
product market. We also used waterless
products from Aero Cosmetics (www.wash
wax.com), a big supplier to the aircraft, RV
and marine industries. Then we selected a
range of products from Camping World
(www.campingworld.com), a major supplier to the RV industry with cleaning products such as the Protect All line that are
available online and through its large network of retail stores.
ON THE GO WITH H20
The first challenge of washing a motorhome
with water is finding a suitable location. If
you’re a full-timer parked in a campground,
park rules likely prevent you from washing
with water at your campsite. So unless you
have a long driveway or an area large
enough with access to water, you may have
to search for a different site.
The next challenge is dealing with the
coach’s height. Some motorhomes are more
than 12½ feet high, so you’ll need to be able
to reach well over 11 feet and still effectively
wash at that height. You’ll need an extension
pole for your brush or wash mop.
The purpose of these cleansers is not only
to help remove and dissolve dirt or other
contaminants on the surface, but also to
These are the cleaning products we tested.
We found quite a difference in their use
and effectiveness. The best product at
making suds was the DP Xtreme shampoo.
suspend those dirt particles and lubricate
the surface of the paint to prevent scratching while washing.
We obtained several brands of RVspecific wash, some made for automotive
use. There are several ways to spray the soap
solution onto the motorhome and both
The Griot’s nozzle features adjustable
spray patterns, which are ideal for rinsing,
and you don’t have to remove the soap
dispenser. It also has a flow adjustment
that turns the foam applicator on or off.
Extension poles, from left: Camping
World, Aero Cosmetics, Griot’s and
Autogeek. Our clear favorite was the
Deluxe Mop Pole from Aero Cosmetics;
our second favorite was from Griot’s.
Each of the washing tools we tested
comes with extension poles designed to give
you the reach to wash the entire RV. The extension poles from Griot’s, Camping World
and Aero Cosmetics were all very good and
capable of reaching the full height of a typical coach. Our clear favorite was the model
included with the Aero Cosmetics kit. Not
only was it plenty long enough, but it was
also lightweight and very solidly built. Our
second favorite was the pole from Griot’s.
Next on the list of tools needed to
wash an RV with water is the foaming soap.
Griot’s and Autogeek have their own
sprayers. The unit from Griot’s is fairly small
and has a plastic reservoir to hold the soap
concentrate. It also has several adjustable
spray patterns to aid in spraying and rinsing
the soap. We used it along with the soap
from Griot’s and it produced only a fair rating
for the volume and quality of suds produced.
The foam cannon from Autogeek
($69.99) includes a large 2-quart reservoir.
We filled the tank with water then added a
few ounces of DP Xtreme Foam Formula
Auto Shampoo, which is specially formulated for use in foam cannons. We then used
the adjustable nozzle to literally blanket the
entire area with the thickest foam we’ve
ever seen. The foam also hangs on the surface, allowing you plenty of time to wash it
before the lather disappears.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Getting the Dirt Off.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:46 PM Page 47
Using the removable nozzle from the
foam cannon, we first wet the coach
before applying the foam.
Although the Griot’s nozzle is easy to use
due to its size, it doesn’t produce nearly
the same level of foam as the foam cannon
does. We even tried the DP Xtreme shampoo in it but the result was not the same
as with the foam cannon and DP shampoo.
Of all the soaps we tested, this was by
far the most concentrated and effective.
It’s also the most expensive at $17.99 for
32 ounces or $49.95 for a gallon. The
Griot’s car soap is $39.95 a gallon but didn’t produce nearly the same volume of
foam, even when tested in the Autogeek
After wetting down the coach, we mixed
the DP shampoo in the Autogeek foam
cannon and applied it to the motorhome.
This combination was by far the best
at creating thick foam, which helps to
float away contaminants and protect
the paint from swirls.
MOTORHOME l May 2011
foam cannon. By contrast, the Premium
Gel-Gloss Wash and Wax from Camping
World is $27.77 (regular price) per gallon
as is the Thetford Premium RV Wash &
Wax. Both of them do a good job of cleaning but neither produced the thick foam of
the DP Xtreme shampoo.
Another important part of properly
cleaning a motorhome is the brush, mitt or
mop you use to rub the dirt off the painted
surface. To lubricate the painted area and
help with the cleaning, you need to either
spray the surface of the motorhome with
The Griot’s microfiber wash pad is another
cleaning tool that’s easy on the paint.
When attached to the company’s very good
extension pole it was easy to reach the
entire coach and the microfiber pad won’t
scratch the paint like synthetic brushes
can. Since the pad is not as thick as a
brush, it makes cleaning around slideouts
and awning arms tougher. Overall we still
prefer the boar’s hair brush.
We also tested a variety of mops, mitts
and brushes to see which did the best job
and was least likely to scratch the paint.
We really liked the boar’s hair brush and
the microfiber mop from Aero Cosmetics
(for waterless washing).
foam or dip the brush or wash pad into a
bucket filled with soapy water. By far the
most effective way to do this is by using
the foam cannon.
Just as important as properly lubricating the paint is choosing the right brush
or mop. The most popular are synthetic
brushes as they are widely available. But
our research and interviews with several
detailing experts revealed that most synthetic brushes are simply too stiff and can
contribute to the dreaded paint scratches.
The easiest way to avoid this is to use a
softer brush or a microfiber mop or mitt.
In general, we prefer a brush (with a
suitable extension handle) because it does
a better job of reaching in and around the
various surfaces of a typical motorhome.
Slideouts, awning arms, windows and
many other obstacles prevent a flat tool
from effectively cleaning as well as a brush.
Our favorite brush was from Autogeek
and is made from boar’s hair, which is naturally soft, compliments of Mother Nature.
Then the hairs are split once more during
manufacturing to further soften them. You
could easily bathe yourself using this brush,
it’s that soft. The brush is more expensive
at $99.99, but if using it prevents you
Here’s the boar’s hair brush from Autogeek
and the original handle, which is not
quite long enough to reach the top of a
tall motorcoach, but the brush is great
at cleaning and not scratching the paint.
The boar’s hair wash brush from
Autogeek is used to clean the painted
surface. Notice we have swapped the
handle to the preferred unit from Aero
Cosmetics to allow us to reach the top of
the motorhome. This combination proved
the best of the group for wet-washing.
47
MH1105 Getting the Dirt Off.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:46 PM Page 48
The Aero Cosmetics Waterless Wash
Wax kit comes with this carrying bag
that allows you to store everything
except the handle and mop head.
Spray the Wash Wax All on the wet side
of the mop first.
The Aero Wash Wax All completely
removed all of the black streaks and
left a smooth, shiny surface.
For $219, you get all of the products
shown here plus the bug scrubber. The
Wash Wax All and the degreaser cleaner
were very good and easy to use. We found
this one of the easiest ways to clean a
typical smooth-surface motorhome.
Then simply mop the surface of the
motorhome with the wet side, first doing
one small area at a time. Then flip the
mop over to the dry side and dry the
cleaner off the surface.
The Aero Mop is marked to help you
remember which side to use for spraying
cleaner on and which side to dry the
coach with. It couldn’t be easier.
from having to buff scratches out of your
expensive motorhome paint, then it’s worth
it, in our opinion. Autogeek does need to
improve its handle to better work with RVs
as the pole included is far too thin and short
to be used effectively. In fairness to Autogeek, the brush and handle are designed
and marketed for SUVs and trucks, not RVs.
If we could design the perfect combo for
wet washing, we’d use the foam cannon and
DP shampoo from Autogeek, along with its
boar’s hair brush. Then we’d use the extension pole from Aero Cosmetics.
Autogeek also supplied us with one
more option that still requires water but not
nearly as much as the typical wash
48
The surface left behind is smooth and
static-free, which should help repel dust
and make cleaning easier next time.
described above. The product is made by
Optimum and is called No Rinse Wash &
Shine ($15.99 a quart). When using this
product, you simply mix a few capfuls in a
bucket of clean water and use a mitt or mop
to wipe down the surface. The surfactants
in the product grab the dirt and enable it to
float away in an instant. Then wipe it dry
with a microfiber towel to prevent spotting.
Drying a coach is always a challenge
with any wet washing method. We tried this
product on a motorhome and several cars
and on cars where you can reach the entire
surface to dry them off. We’ve never seen
anything like it. With a bucket of water, a
wash mitt and some drying towels you can
wash a car in 30 minutes in your garage
and only use 1 to 2 gallons of water. But
for motorhomes the required drying procedure makes it a bit tougher. We tried it on
a motorhome, rinsed it with water and allowed it to air-dry, and it worked very well.
Some mild spotting is to be expected as it
air-dries unless you use deionized water.
NO WATER, NO PROBLEM
If washing with water isn’t a good choice
for you, you may want to use the Waterless
Wash Wax system from Aero Cosmetics.
We found it to be an effective and convenient way of cleaning a smooth-surface RV.
These products were originally develMay 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Getting the Dirt Off.qxp_Layout 1 2/23/11 1:03 PM Page 49
oped for use on aircraft because of regulations that prevent typical water wash-downs
at federally owned airports. Since then,
they’ve grown in popularity and are now
used on boats, as well as RVs and automobiles. Not only does waterless washing allow
you to clean your motorhome most anywhere, it also allows you to wash a large vehicle in sections without the fear of streaks
from water or soap drying on the surface.
For our test, we used the Internet special
called the “mop kit,” which includes our favorite extension handle as well as a gallon
of the cleaning solution and many other
tools, towels and products packaged in a
nice carrying bag. At first glance, the $179
basic kit price may scare you, but when you
consider the long-term cost and convenience of this setup, it’s really a great deal.
To get started with waterless washing,
just spray one side of the wet/dry mop with
Wash Wax All and mop it up and down the
surface, one small section at a time. Then
flip the mop over and dry the same area.
The surface left behind is significantly
smoother to the touch compared with the
water-washed areas, and it’s streak-free. It
also works great on windows and removes
black streaks on paint. The only caveat
from the manufacturer is to avoid using the
product if dirt or dried mud are visible on
the surface. The mud should be removed
with water before using the Wash Wax All.
Otherwise it will safely clean a typical
motorhome even after driving in heavy rain.
A big advantage of this system is that
it doesn’t contribute to paint scratches.
After its use, the surface is left treated with
a shiny, antistatic coating that protects it
and helps repel dirt and dust. This benefit
alone helps with future cleanings. In fact,
it’s so smooth and slippery the supplier
suggests you refrain from using it on floors
and stairs. It also leaves glass very slick
and aids in bug removal. Also offered is a
special bug scrubber tool that’s great for
helping to remove dried insects off the
large frontal area of a motorhome.
After cleaning a few sections, the mop
cover will eventually become too wet to be
effective, and then you simply change it
out. Four extra covers and four microfiber
towels are included in the kit, which we
found to be plenty to clean our 36-foot
motorhome. After you wash a typical RV
about eight times, you’ll likely be in need
of a replacement gallon of the spray, which
can be purchased for $27.95. This means
you’re using less than $3.50 (one pint) of
cleaner per wash, and no water. The kit
also includes a waterless degreaser in the
event you have areas like wheels that need
a more aggressive cleaner. We found it
to be very good at cleaning aluminum or
chrome wheels.
Overall, we really liked the entire system, though it will take you a time or two
of washing your RV to become accustomed
to the new procedure. But if you stick with
it, you may join us in adopting this waterless system as your preferred method. Also,
temperature, humidity and sunshine will
affect the washing process, so pay attention
as you learn how much to spray each time.
If you want to keep your motorhome
looking good and maintain its resale value,
one of the best things you can do is keep
it clean. Using these tips and products will
make the process a lot easier. So choose
your method and get to work keeping your
motorhome in tiptop shape. ◆
Replace those worn out or ill handling shocks on your
coach with a set of BILSTEINS and experience...
THE GREATEST RIDE OF YOUR LIFE!
BILSTEIN Monotube Gas Pressure Shocks:
• Virtually eliminate unwanted sway and rocking
• Help stabilize vehicle in cross winds or on uneven roads
• Maintain overall vehicle control and reduce driver fatigue
• Prevent excessive tire and suspension component wear
Plus with Bilstein, you don’t get a generic “heavy duty” shock, but
rather a shock designed for each specific motorhome application
providing you with a precise and compliant ride.
“The Bilsteins felt more like a BMW, smooth and comfortable yet in
control. Because the Bilsteins showed the best performance and the
lowest cost they received the highest score.” MOTORHOME MAGAZINE
Call for the dealer nearest you or visit us on the web for additional product information.
Bilstein Gas Pressure Shock Absorbers
ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America
1-800-433-3306 • bilsteinUS.com
Bilstein, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MOTORHOME l May 2011
49
MH1105 WT-Jayco Embark QX390.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:40 PM Page 50
walk-through
by FRED PAUSCH
2011 JAYCO EMBARK QX390
ound too good to be true?
Jayco’s Embark QX390 combines the best of features
found in Class A and Class C
motorhomes to create a wellappointed and stylish coach
that’s as comfortable when boondocking in a remote location as it is when
docked in a full-service luxury RV resort.
Using Freightliner’s Business Class
M2 106 chassis, the aerodynamic Embark is powered by a 350-HP Cummins
ISC 8.3-L engine that transmits 1,000
LB-FT of torque at 1,400 RPM through the
push-button six-speed automatic Allison 3200 TRV overdrive transmission.
With those numbers, an engine brake
and a 20,000-pound tow rating, bringing a full complement of family toys
along should be no problem.
50
The full-power cockpit is equipped
with Freightliner’s wood grain wraparound “wing” dash, which places all
dash controls within easy reach. Cockpit access is very convenient using
Freightliner’s two-door day cab design
with excellent visibility from the 2,500square-inch windshield and sharply
sloped front-hinged hood giving novice
drivers added confidence that’s further
bolstered by the 55-degree wheel cut.
Visibility is also enhanced by the large
remote-controlled heated side-view mirrors and dash-mounted touch-screen
backup camera and color monitor
that also provides AM/FM/CD/DVD,
Bluetooth and GPS functions.
The cabin employs large dual
slides (11-foot-5-inch curb and 14-foot
street) with facing sofa beds for guests
and an optional streetside facing booth
dinette ($397) for meal service. Residential hardwood plank flooring handles high-traffic areas with no-track
residential padded carpeting laid along
the streetside of the cabin and throughout the bedroom. An optional
free-standing dinette and
chairs or the popular sofa/
dinette ensemble are also
available as well as beautiful full leather furniture
upgrades ($1,786 to
$2,500) that must be seen
to appreciate. A standard 32-inch LCD
HD TV is mounted in the handsome
Washington Glazed Maple cabinetry
with full AV distribution controls and
feeds for the optional ($2,529) inmotion roof satellite dish.
The galley fills out the remainder
of the slides with stainless steel appliances that include a three-burner cooktop set into the Corian countertop with
integrated twin-basin sink and a 1.4cubic-foot convection/microwave oven
in the overhead cabinetry curbside. In
place of a conventional gas oven, Jayco
provides two useful 75-pound-capacity
full-extension pot and pan drawers.
Recessed solid-surface stove and sink
covers augment counterspace. Opposite is the 10-cubic-foot refrigerator
with icemaker and overhead storage
cabinetry that circles the cabin and is
highlighted by the striking wood trim.
The bath offers a streetside fiberglass radius shower with dome skylight
and storage lavatory with matching
solid-surface countertop and integrated
sink with a brushed nickel faucet and
mirrored medicine cabinet. Opposite
is the toilet room with overhead linen
storage cabinetry.
A walk-around platform queen bed
with pillow-top mattress is centered in
the bedroom, with matching wardrobes
and eyeglass nightstands on either side.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
PHOTOS: FRED PAUSCH
Luxurious appointments, a wraparound cockpit, and
a 10-ton tow rating with Cummins power and torque
MH1105 WT-Jayco Embark QX390.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:40 PM Page 51
S P E C I F I C AT I O N S
PHOTOS: FRED PAUSCH
CHASSIS: FREIGHTLINER M2 106
Augmenting the matching wardrobes, a
55-inch mirrored closet occupies the
entire rear curbside slide, providing 4
feet of vertical hanging length. The bedroom’s 22-inch LCD HD TV is recessed
in the dresser cabinetry that occupies
the entire streetside slide.
Two 15,000-BTU low-profile roof
A/C units with heat pumps are mounted
on the one-piece fiberglass roof feeding
dual full-length insulated ceiling ducts
with adjustable vents. Climate control
is enhanced with Jayco’s R-23 rated
roof, R-9 rated floor and walls and tinted thermal pane glass. An 1,800-watt
inverter quietly draws off four coach
batteries mounted on slideout trays, or
users can choose the Onan 8,000-watt
Quiet Diesel generator, both available to
satisfy power needs when away from
shorepower.
Outside, side-hinged baggage doors
provide access to saddlebag-style storage compartments that line both sides
of the coach. One forward compartment
is reserved for the useful but optional
($2,136) slideout portable refrigerator/
freezer unit, shaded by the standard
roof-mounted electric awning. An exterior audiovisual entertainment center in
its own weather-tight compartment next
to the entry door is also available.
The Embark aims to please discriminating tastes, attracting buyers
MOTORHOME l May 2011
ENGINE: CUMMINS 8.3-L ISC
FUEL: 100 GAL
GVWR: 33,000 LBS
LENGTH: 39' 1"
WIDTH: 8' 6"
HEIGHT WITH A/C: 12' 1"
INTERIOR HEIGHT: 6' 8"
WHEELBASE: 275"
FRESHWATER CAP: 105 GAL
GRAY-WATER CAP: 52 GAL
BLACK-WATER CAP: 52 GAL
LP-GAS CAP: 25 GAL
BASE PRICE: $228,000
JAYCO
574-825-5861, WWW.JAYCO.COM.
to its high-end fit and finish, intimate
automotive-style cockpit, enormous
tow capacity and aerodynamically
handsome lines. Buyers moving away
from larger luxury coaches or moving
to a dream coach should consider the
Embark.
Our thanks to Richardson’s RV
Centers in Southern California for providing this Embark for our review. ◆
51
MH1105 Quick Tips.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:56 PM Page 52
from OUR READERS
Because there’s never
enough storage space
in the cockpit, I built a
travel box that I keep between the seats. I made
the two sides, bottom
and dividers out of 3⁄4inch plywood. The rest
is heavy-duty pegboard.
The pre-drilled holes
make assembly and
adjusting the compartments a breeze. Be sure
to install the handles
along the axis of balance
of the loaded box.
ROBERT FALK
LOS ANGELES
▲
WATER ▲
BALANCE
CRATE
STORAGE
I have found one of the easiest ways
to store my freshwater hose is in a
plastic file crate, which I purchased
from a discount department store for a
reasonable cost. These plastic crates
are also handy to store those items
that never seem to have a home in the
storage bay, plus they nest together.
JAMES GODDETTE
VERGENNES, VT.
SUNROOF SHADE
We own a 2003 Fleetwood Jamboree GT Class C motorhome and travel to the
Colorado River near Parker, Ariz., almost exclusively — even during the summer.
It can be difficult to keep the passenger compartment cool when the outside
heat reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the biggest sources of cooling loss
is due to the translucent sunroof over the shower. We can feel the heat radiating
into the motorhome and placing an extra strain on the air conditioner.
Our quick, easy and cheap solution is to use a windshield sunshade, the kind
made for automobiles. We fold it in half and place it over the sunroof on top of the
roof. It stays in place with the use of a tall plastic kitchen trash bag partially filled
with dirt or gravel from the campsite. When it’s time to go, we put the dirt or gravel
back and fold the sunshade away for use on our next visit.
PAT AND LINDA RILEY l MENTONE, CALIF. ◆
52
Here’s my tip to speed up achieving the proper mix of cold and
hot water in my motorhome shower.
Standing outside the shower
stream, I first turned the hot water
faucet on full. Then I set the most
comfortable mix of hot and cold
water by adjusting the cold water
faucet. I then turned off the RV’s
water source and the water pump,
leaving the faucet handles in their
current positions. I dried off the
cold water faucet handle, and then
applied two dots of red waterproof
nail polish right across from each
other — one on the cold water
handle and one on the fixture
itself. After the nail polish dried,
I could turn the hot water
faucet on full, and then turn the
cold water faucet so the red dot is
across from the dot on the fixture.
This quickly gets me close to the
optimum hot-cold water mix.
BRUCE GRONEN
EUREKA SPRINGS, ARK.
WE WANT
TO HEAR
FROM YOU!
Quick Tips, MotorHome’s monthly
column of useful, handy and simple
tips by fellow RVers, is looking for
submissions. Please send your
favorite do-it-yourself ideas to:
MotorHome Quick Tips, 2575 Vista
Del Mar Drive, Ventura, CA 93001, or
e-mail info@motorhomemagazine.com.
Be sure to include any photos, illustrations or drawings, if necessary. If your
tip is selected for publication, you’ll
receive $35.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
ILLUSTRATIONS: BILL TIPTON
TRAVEL TOTE
▲
quicktips
MH1105 Hands-On.qxp_Layout 1 2/17/11 1:30 PM Page 53
techsavvy
HANDS-ON
l
HOT LINE
l
COACH & POWERTRAIN
HANDS-ON
l by DAVE RIGGS
PORTABLE
VACUUM
New Turtle Wax Auto-Vac may
be light and nimble, but it packs
a punch when cleaning vehicles
PHOTOS: DAVE RIGGS
Most motorhome owners carry some kind of vacuum
cleaner, but in many cases, the larger models are difficult to
use in compartments and/or when cleaning the dinghy vehicle.
There are a number of hand-held vacuums on the market,
but for the most part these units are on the anemic side when
it comes to versatility — and suction. Turtle Wax’s Auto-Vac
Bagless Vacuum is a departure from the norm, in both cleaning
power and portability.
The 120-volt AC-powered vacuum cleaner has a number
of unique and convenient features. First off, it’s bagless,
so owners don’t have to worry about finding — and paying
for — replacement bags. It’s very light and has a large
carrying handle that
makes it maneuverable
when working in close
areas without causing
fatigue, and all the cleaning
tools are stored in the body.
Included with the vacuum
are tools that are earmarked for
specific vehicle duty. A dash
and console brush attachment makes cleaning all
the nooks and crannies of
the instrument panel very
efficient. The brush is so soft
that it will not scratch any surfaces.
A crevice brush makes it easy to clean
between seat backs and cushions without
damaging the upholstery — an important
item for leather. A carpet/upholstery tool
works well, but the 48-inch hose means
the vacuum body stays close to you while
MOTORHOME l May 2011
cleaning — which is actually not a big deal since it’s easy to
handle and weighs only a few pounds.
At the end of the hose is a nozzle that the other tools fit
over, which makes detailing a breeze. It doubles as a blower
tool that can be used to remove water from hard-to-reach areas;
to utilize the blower, the hose is simply connected to the other
side. A 360-degree pivoting elbow allows the hose to move
effortlessly on either side.
Everything that’s sucked through the hose ends up in
the collection basket. Once the basket gets filled, the intake
door is released to provide access to the basket for emptying.
After a while the basket can be thoroughly cleaned using warm,
soapy water and air-dried.
The vacuum doesn’t look
high-tech but from a practical
point of view, it’s well-designed.
Airflow in both directions is pretty
impressive, attributed to the 550watt motor. Suction is stronger
than most auto vacuums
we’ve tried and the unit
picked up virtually anything in its path. The 12foot power cord is long enough
to maneuver inside a motorhome
and the unit’s small stature enables
it to get into some of the tight confines
created by motorhome floorplans.
Turtle Wax’s Auto-Vac is available
at Walmart and automotive retailers,
and sells for $49.95.
Carrand Companies Inc.,
310-761-8510, www.carrand.com. ◆
53
MH1105 Hot Line.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:43 PM Page 54
techsavvy
HOT LINE
extended warranty, two readers requested Hot Line’s help. They explained:
Window Woes
THINKING THE PROBLEM HE WAS
EXPERIENCING WITH THE FAILURE
OF HIS COACH’S WINDOWS MAY
HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY A DEFECT
OR INSTALLATION ISSUE, A READER
ASKED HOT LINE FOR ASSISTANCE.
HE WROTE:
I have a 2004 Beaver Monterey motorhome. While I have been extremely
happy with the performance of the
coach, I am concerned and disappointed with the dual pane windows. All of a
sudden I have had seven windows fail,
lose their seals and become cloudy, including the large one next to the driver’s
seat. As a result, it is very difficult to see
out of this window while driving.
I do realize that the coach is no
longer under warranty, but I think it’s
unusual to have so many windows become defective at the same time. Surely
this can’t be normal. The rest of the
motorhome seems to be constructed of
such top-quality components that I find
it difficult to understand why all these
windows would fail at the same time.
I question if the coach was built
with a bad batch of windows, or if there
was an installation problem, or if perhaps there has been some sort of a
recall on them.
I have contacted the motorhome
manufacturer (Monaco) twice and have
not received a reply. I hope that the
company would extend some sort of
warranty to cover these windows or at
least assist in the repair or replacement
of same.
TOM DUNCAN l CHILLIWACK,
BRITISH COLUMBIA
Because of the constant movement and
flexing that motorhomes endure while
on the road, window seal failure is one
54
BECAUSE OF
THE CONSTANT
MOVEMENT AND
FLEXING THAT
MOTORHOMES
ENDURE WHILE
ON THE ROAD,
WINDOW SEAL
FAILURE IS ONE
OF THE MOST
COMMON COMPLAINTS
HOT LINE RECEIVES.
of the most common complaints Hot
Line receives. Unfortunately, it is the
exception, and not the rule, that either
the window manufacturer or the coachbuilder will accommodate a request
for reimbursement or replacement of
windows, so we were not surprised to
receive the following reply from Monaco
RV regarding this case. It read:
Thank you for your letter regarding one
of Monaco Coach Corporation’s customers. As you may be aware, Monaco
Coach Corp. is no longer in business.
Monaco RV LLC is not the manufacturer
or warrantor of Mr. Duncan’s 2004
Monterey. While our company did purchase some facilities and proprietary
information regarding Monaco Coach
products and parts from the bankruptcy
estate, we did not assume any of the
Monaco Coach liabilities.
Although we cannot assist Duncan
monetarily, we are happy to answer
any questions or provide any technical
assistance that may be needed. Our
Monaco RV customer service group can
be reached at 877-466-6226.
TAYLOR SPIKE
CUSTOMER SUPPORT SUPERVISOR
MONACO RV LLC
COBURG, ORE.
REFUND RECOVERY
Experiencing a delay in receiving a
refund on the unused portion of their
When we purchased our 2006 Forest
River Sunseeker motorhome from
McMahons RV in Southern California
we also bought an extended warranty
through United States Warranty. Some
time later, we traded in the Sunseeker
for another motorhome and contacted
McMahons to request the cancellation
of the extended warranty and a refund
of the balance.
After five months of trying to get
through to someone at the dealership,
we contacted United States Warranty
directly. The person we spoke with told
us that we were due a refund of about
90 percent of our original contract and
that a check had already been sent to,
and cashed by, McMahons RV.
We refaxed the necessary paperwork to the dealership and still have
not heard from anyone at McMahons.
We just want the refund that is due to
us. Can Hot Line please help move
things along?
CINDI AND BRYAN HITT
SIMI VALLEY, CALIF.
We contacted McMahons RV on behalf
of the Hitts. Some time later we
received the following from the Hitts,
which provided information on the
conclusion of their case. It read:
First, we have to say that United States
Warranty is a stand-up company. The
owner himself contacted us about this
issue and sent us a check for the amount
that was supposed to be returned to us.
Finally, months later, we received the
check from McMahons, which we sent
back to United States Warranty.
This whole thing wouldn’t have
been a big deal if McMahons had just
contacted us. We feel that we finally
received our money because United
States Warranty and Hot Line got
involved. Thank you both.
C. AND B.H.
HAPPY CAMPER
Not to give the impression that every
consumer-related letter received by
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Hot Line.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:43 PM Page 55
Hot Line is negative, we round out this
month’s column with some good news
from a reader. He wrote:
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Offers ends 07/20/11. Credit card required (except in MA & PA). New approved customers only. Lease agreement required.**Hardware available separately. Lease fee $5.00/mo.
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and the Cyclone Design logo are trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.
Direct Sat TV, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
We continually read of the problems
readers have with receiving payment from
extended warranty claims. We have no
recollection of a story where the claims
administrator actually reconsidered and
adopted the owner’s point of view and sent
payment. We would like to relate such
a story.
On our return home from a trip to
Alaska, we experienced problems with the
leveling jacks on our motorhome. We had
purchased this coach used and had also
bought an extended warranty policy. We
stopped at Triple A RV Center in Medford,
Ore., for repairs. They contacted the warranty administrator who, in turn, denied
coverage. In order to continue our trip
home we paid Triple A for the repairs.
Once we got home we sent a letter to
Assurant Solutions, United Service Protection Corp., the administrator of the warranty policy. We explained our position and
the reasons for asking for a review of the
decision. Three days later, a letter was sent
to us by a claim supervisor that denied
coverage under the warranty provisions,
but essentially agreed with our position. He
sent a check for an amount that covered
the jack repairs.
That truly is excellent customer service. We highly commend and recommend
this warranty company and its representatives for a job well done.
W.L. ROZEBOOM
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. ◆
TO CONTRIBUTE TO HOT LINE, please
refer to Contact MotorHome, on page 12.
SMI Marketing, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MOTORHOME l May 2011
55
MH1105 Coach & Powertrain-Basics-Mktpl.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 2:22 PM Page 56
COACH & POWERTRAIN
Air Ride Height
I have a 2003 Holiday Rambler
Endeavor on a Roadmaster chassis
with eight suspension air bags. The
problem is that the left front corner
of the motorhome does not sit level.
It’s about ¾-inch low compared with
the right front. When I drop the air
to lower the coach the left front will
lower considerably more before the
right front will start to lower. After all
the air is out of the system everything
is level. Recharging the system with
air, the left front will not come level
and stays about ¾ of an inch lower
than the right front. I changed the
air-leveling valve on the front (there’s
only one valve) with no results.
Everything in the rear of the coach is
OK and level. I also checked for air
leakage and there is none. Any ideas?
BEN LINK l VIA E-MAIL
Since it has only one level control in
the front and the coach is probably
heavy on one side, you may have to
add a second front level control, one
for each side. I’ve spoken with shops
that have done this successfully, and
it should solve your problem.
STARTING SURGES
I carry jumper cables in case I can’t start
our towed car. However, I was told by a
car mechanic to not jump a car battery
with another car (or motorhome). He said
that there is a voltage surge that can flow
from one vehicle to the other and can destroy electrical circuitry. Is this correct?
DOUG BRENTON
PLACERVILLE, CALIF.
There is a small surge, because the
voltage of the charging battery is higher
than the voltage of the “dead” battery.
However, it’s not that much, and every
year millions of vehicles get jump-starts
successfully. When connecting cables,
make sure the ignition is off, the cable
polarity is correct (red to +, black to -)
at both ends, and only connect batteries of the same voltage. The generator
power packs used on some tow trucks
produce higher voltages and surges that
56
cause damage, so these should be
avoided. So should large trucks, which
may use 24 volts. Be sure to read the
owner’s manual and follow its recommendations regarding jump-starting.
NITROGEN IN TIRES
I was discussing tire pressure with a
friend recently and he said he uses nitrogen in his tires. I checked with a local RV
dealer and he said they pressurize motorhome tires with nitrogen on a regular
basis. Does nitrogen reduce the heat of
the tires on the road? Are there portable
tanks and pressurizing equipment available that could be carried in a motorhome? If a nitrogen-pressurized tire has
low pressure, is it safe to pressurize with
air until the tire can be evacuated and
pressurized totally with nitrogen again?
EDGAR L. MUNSON
SPRINGFIELD, MO.
The benefits of nitrogen are limited, and
some manufacturers, such as Michelin,
don’t even recommend it. Most of the
heat comes from the rubber flexing as
the tire rolls over the pavement, so nitrogen has little effect on that. You can
THE BENEFITS
OF PRESSURIZING
MOTORHOME TIRES
WITH NITROGEN
ARE LIMITED, AND SOME
MANUFACTURERS, SUCH
AS MICHELIN, DON’T
EVEN RECOMMEND IT.
by KEN FREUND
get portable tanks of nitrogen from
welding supply shops, but the weight,
hassle and danger of carrying a tank
under high pressure exceed the benefits. Atmospheric air already contains
about 79 percent nitrogen, so yes, it’s
certainly safe to use air to top up a tire.
SINK DRAIN ODOR
There is an odor coming out of our sink
drains. I know there is a solution you
can put in them, but I don’t remember
it. Would you please tell me what it is?
DEE AND BILL MILLER
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
The water in the P traps may have evaporated during storage. Add some chemicals to kill odors and add a little
water. Thetford, for example, offers
Grey Water Odor Control, which is formulated to eliminate and prevent offensive odors in the drains, vents and traps
of your coach’s sinks, shower and graywater holding tank. It’s a biodegradable
liquid that comes in a 24-ounce bottle.
ROTOR HEAT CRACKS
What are rotor “heat cracks”? I own a
1999 Newmar Mountain Aire Class A
motorhome. The front brake rotors
have not yet been turned, and I have
been told they have “heat cracks”
and should not be turned.
DAN SMITH l VIA E-MAIL
Brake discs or rotors must absorb and
then dissipate a tremendous amount
of heat acquired during braking. They
are made of cast iron, and when they
get too hot they may warp or crack
(or both). Normally, they can be remachined (turned) on a brake lathe to
remove shallow imperfections including grooves and slight warping. (There
are minimum allowable wear thicknesses cast into the rotors.) However,
if there are visible cracks in the surfaces that contact the brake pads,
they should not be returned to service
and should be replaced. To avoid this
in the future, be especially careful to
control speeds on long descents by
downshifting in addition to braking, as
this will reduce brake temperatures.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
PHOTOS: BRAD CLAYTON
techsavvy
MH1105 Coach & Powertrain-Basics-Mktpl.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 3:17 PM Page 57
BACK TO BASICS HOUSE POWER
by BRAD CLAYTON
UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF YOUR MOTORHOME’S
ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS CAN GO A LONG WAY TOWARD PREVENTION
OF PROBLEMS — OR DIAGNOSIS, IF PROBLEMS OCCUR
Motorhomes have three separate electrical systems, described
in terms of their voltage levels:
1. A 12-volt DC (direct current) system for the motorhome
chassis.
2. A separate 12-volt DC system for the “house” portion of
the motorhome.
3. A 120-volt AC (alternating current) “house” system, commonly described with the outdated term, “110.”
The 12-volt DC systems usually do not have the potential to
cause electrical shock, but it’s possible with 120-volt AC systems.
Both must be handled with care to avoid short-circuits.
At the core of our convenience and comfort are the 12-volt
DC systems that operate our engine and chassis controls as well
as “house” functions: lights, water pump, fans, furnace and the
electronic controls of the refrigerator and water heater. Also, an
inverter may be used to transform 12-volt DC power into limited
amounts of 120-volt AC.
trical functions is an essential RV tool.
With 12-volt DC systems, voltage (with no load) will range
from a low of about 12 (batteries nearly depleted) to a high
range of 14 to 14.5 while batteries are being charged. Fully
charged batteries (at rest, with no load), will show voltage levels
of 12.6 to 12.8. AC voltage will range from 105 to 120 or slightly
higher, depending on load.
Low DC voltage signals the need for battery recharging,
assuming batteries and connections are in good condition.
The primary precaution for AC systems is to check for proper
polarity and ground connection using a circuit tester (available
in RV supply stores) and an appropriate adapter. Do this before
connecting the motorhome power cord to an external 120-volt
AC power source.
PHOTOS: BRAD CLAYTON
Power for the core 12-volt DC coach appliances comes
from auxiliary batteries that are charged by the chassis engine
alternator while driving, by an electrical converter that transforms
120-volt AC power into 12-volt DC power while we are connected
to an external source, or by our on-board 120-volt AC generator
(via the converter) while dry camping.
Measuring voltage is the way we can track how well we’re
doing with our power sources. Meters that measure only DC
voltage are available at RV supply stores. In addition, a multimeter
capable of measuring DC as well as AC voltage and other elec-
MOTORHOME l May 2011
After hooking up, it’s a good practice to use an AC voltmeter to
keep track of AC voltage inside the motorhome, which allows you to
gauge the strength of your power source under varying loads — important because many RV parks have weak circuits. Some seem OK
until you turn on a heavy load such as your air-conditioning system.
If AC voltage drops to 105, you’ll need to curtail your load to
avoid overheating your appliances and circuits. The AC voltage
high point usually will be about 120 or slightly higher.
With a few relatively easy precautions, your motorhome
systems should provide reliable service. ◆
57
MH1105 Coach & Powertrain-Basics-Mktpl.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 2:22 PM Page 58
COACH & POWERTRAIN
INTERMITTENT REAR MONITOR
My rear-view monitoring system keeps getting interrupted. The picture disappears and
I see nothing but lines. A friend told me this
is being caused by CB radios in use. If this
is true, is there a filter available that might
work to keep this from happening? If it
isn’t true, what can I do to stop this? Any
help would be greatly appreciated.
MARIO PUJOL l SAN RAFAEL, CALIF.
That radio theory should be easy to test.
When the interference occurs, listen to
every CB channel and see if one or more
channels are “pegging” the signal-strength
meter. This would indicate a transmitter is
very near and the signal strong. There isn’t
a filter for this, but you could install shielded coaxial cable to keep the signal from
getting into your system. If it’s not interference, you may have a faulty component.
Protect All Inc., go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
CUMMINS SERVICE CENTERS
I just bought a 2006 Monaco Camelot and
58
FIGHT MOISTURE AND MILDEW
Dank, damp air causes damaging mold,
mildew and corrosion in motorhomes.
Instead of unsightly dehumidifying
bags and fan units requiring drainage,
Air-Dryr uses heat and natural convection to warm and dry the air, preventing
mold and corrosion. Designed for constant use, the compact Air-Dryr fits out
of the way in an enclosed space and
plugs into 120-volt AC power. With no
switch, fan or thermostat, the silent AirDryr draws no more energy than a light
bulb. A thermal cutoff shuts down the
unit if airflow is impeded. The Air-Dryr
500 ($60) handles up to 500 cubic
feet and draws 70 watts; and Air-Dryr
1000 ($70) handles 1,000 cubic feet
and draws 130 watts. For more information, call Davis Instruments at 510732-9229 or go to www.davisnet.com.
I am trying to find a listing for service centers for the Cummins engine in it.
RONALD ELLIS l TILLAMOOK, ORE.
Cummins can be reached by calling 800343-7357 and there’s a service locator
online at www.cummins.com.
DUAL ROOF AIR CONDITIONERS
I own a 1994 Rockwood Regent Class A
motorhome on a Chevrolet 31-foot chassis.
It has two Duo-Therm roof air conditioners.
There’s a problem with the one that is over
the rear bedroom; it will not run unless the
generator is on. The one in the front will
run off either the generator or plug-in. I
hope you can help me with this.
BYRON PENROD l ABILENE, TEXAS
This is very common with coaches that have
dual air conditioners, but only have 30-amp
external power cords. They are wired so
that only one unit can run off shorepower.
Otherwise the two units, combined with
other loads, would overload the circuits.
The solution, if you are determined to run
them both simultaneously off of shorepower, is to have an electrician update
the coach to a 50-amp system and power
cord, which would be very expensive.
DISCHARGED DINGHY II
In the February letter “Discharged Dinghy,”
James Williams had a problem with a discharged battery. I use a 2008 Chevy HHR
as my dinghy. The first day I towed it for
eight hours without a problem. The next two
times, I experienced a low battery after a
couple of hours. After considering installing
a charging line I decided to try towing again
after making certain that all accessories
were turned off, including the radio, A/C and
heater fan and automatic lights. Since ensuring that all of those are off before locking
the door I’ve never experienced a low battery
again. Perhaps that will solve Williams’
problem without adding a charging line.
WALTER C. GRIFFITH l ORLANDO, FLA.
It can be tricky to be sure everything is off,
but the automatic battery disconnect from
Roadmaster can handle that job for you,
automatically. If you use an auxiliary braking device that draws current, you may still
need a way to power it for long periods.
Please read the next letter.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Coach & Powertrain-Basics-Mktpl.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 2:22 PM Page 59
Best in
the West
Motor Homes
NEWELL COACH
COACH & POWERTRAIN
DISCHARGED DINGHY III
Just a comment regarding the letter from
James Williams in the February issue. I installed a brake device that works off the
coach air to my Jeep Liberty, and then put
in separate taillights, which the Jeep has
punch-outs for. The installer decided that
since I wasn’t touching the Jeep lighting
system, I didn’t need a relay to turn off the
brakelights when the power was off. What
he didn’t take into account was that every
time the auxiliary braking system pushed
the brake pedal, the brakelights would go
on, and run my battery down. Once the
relay was installed the problem went away.
BILL MORRISON l YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO
This is something most people don’t
think about that also results in run-down
batteries.
FLEETWOOD DISCOVERY - CLASS A DIESEL
FLEETWOOD CLASS “A” & CLASS “C” GAS
This is one of several solutions, depending
on how the water is getting in.
ROADTREK - America’s #1 Selling Class B Motorhome
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GAS & DIESEL
Visit our online showroom:
www.hollandmotorhomes.com
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MOTORHOME l May 2011
DAMP BASEMENT TIP TWO
The letter from Gerald Eskow in the November 2010 issue reminded me of a problem
I had with my 1996 Itasca Sunrise. It had
condensation in the outside compartments
because they were not vented properly. I
would open the compartment door to find
about half an inch of water in the bottom
and the sides would be covered with drops
of condensation. It got so bad that the bottoms rusted through, leaving only the carpeting to contain the contents.
I have an 80-watt solar panel on the
roof of my coach that supplies a charge
controller that has a float terminal on it.
www.fusionrd.com
925.217.1233
Fusion Research, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
Holland Motor Homes, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
LEISURE TRAVEL - FREE SPIRIT/LIBERO/SERENITY
DAMP BASEMENT TIP
In reply to the “Damp Basement” letter
(November 2010) from Gerald Eskow: I
had the same problem with one of the compartments on my motorhome. After changing door gaskets twice and adjusting the
door and door hinges, I still had a wet compartment. I removed the carpeting and
found the compartment was made of three
pieces of sheet metal spot-welded in three
places along each seam. This was where
the water was entering the compartment. I
bought 3M Fast ’n Firm Seam Sealer in a
tube and caulked all the seams from the
inside. I hope this will work for Eskow.
JERRY BYERLY l BEAVERCREEK, OHIO
59
MH1105 Coach & Powertrain-Basics-Mktpl.qxp_Layout 1 2/17/11 1:26 PM Page 60
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May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Coach & Powertrain-Basics-Mktpl.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 2:22 PM Page 61
COACH & POWERTRAIN
After replacing the bottoms of the compartments, my solution to the condensation problem was to connect all the compartments with 1½-inch PVC tubing and
mount a 12-volt computer fan, which was
supplied with power from the charge controller float terminal, to the first compartment in the front. I installed a PVC elbow
in the last compartment for a vent. I put a
piece of screen over it to keep insects and
debris out. Since I’ve installed this system
I’ve had no problems with condensation
and the system takes care of itself. The
charge controller is a Model NC25 made
by Flexcharge USA of Charlevoix, Mich.
DAN KANARR l ALPENA, MICH.
This is what they do on a larger scale to
ventilate the holds of cargo ships. Those
who live or camp in damp locales will find
this very helpful. Thanks for sharing your
experience.
VOLTAGE SPIKES?
I purchased a 2007 Fleetwood Discovery
motorhome in August 2007. Since that time
I have had four jack breakdowns. I’ve also
had to replace the refrigerator, the inverter,
converter, satellite controller and carbon
monoxide alarm. It has also needed some
computer reprogramming and now they tell
me the computer for the jacks needs to be
replaced. Is this kind of activity standard for
motorhomes? It seems excessive to me.
H. LOUISE RICKEY l TURLOCK, CALIF.
The Ultimate
RV Information
Center.
Serving Enthusiasts of the Open Road
rv.net provides you with the
latest news on clubs, products,
publications, resources, services
and more . . . at home or on
the road, visit today.
Be sure to visit
MOTORHOME’S website:
www.motorhomemagazine.com
MOTORHOME l May 2011
It seems like you’ve had an ownership experience considerably worse than average.
You didn’t provide specific details of what
was wrong with each item, which would be
helpful. However, you’ll notice that almost
all the problems seem to be related to
electronic components that utilize microprocessors with circuit boards. These can
be very sensitive to voltage spikes and
surges, which are common in some campgrounds, particularly in hot weather. It’s
likely that your coach’s electrical components have been getting “bombed” by
these surges and spikes. Therefore, I recommend adding a quality surge protector
and voltage stabilizer unit, along with a
voltage monitoring gauge. Also make sure
that the batteries and power cord, etc., are
making solid (not intermittent) connections; loose connections also cause spikes.
VACUUM PUMP AND LOW POWER
I own a 2001 Holiday Rambler Ambassador
with two issues. One is that the vacuum
pump that provides vacuum for the heater
and A/C has an air leak and won’t develop
any vacuum. I can’t find a replacement.
There are no markings on the part. It’s a
small black box mounted on the firewall
with an air line going in the bottom and the
vacuum line out the side. This is the second
one that has failed. My second question is
about lack of power. I have a Cummins ISB
300-HP engine. I first noticed a lack of
power. I then observed I wasn’t getting full
turbo boost. It only went to 15 to 20 pounds
boost. The engine ran fine, no misses/smoke
or warning lights. I took it to a local shop
and they found no codes, air leaks or problems. The only symptoms are lower power
and low boost pressure. Can you help?
RALPH OLSEN l BREWSTER, MASS.
You can get universal vacuum pumps
through automotive air-conditioning specialist shops, on eBay, and by just looking
up “12-volt vacuum pump” in a search
engine such as Google. How long has it
been since you replaced the fuel and air
filters? These are the first things you
should check when a diesel seems to be
down on power. If it’s not getting enough
fuel, it won’t build much boost, either.
INTERMITTENT ELECTRICAL
PROBLEM SOLVED?
Regarding “Intermittent Electrical Problem”
in the February issue from Diana Lester, the
problem in Ford F53 coach chassis is a
multiwire snap-lock connector just over the
speedometer. If the connector is unlatched
(bad latch or bumped open during coach
build) the gauges go crazy and all sorts of
lights including the CHECK ENGINE light may
turn on and off intermittently. There are no
trouble codes in the computer, just all the
trouble lights that turn on and off and bad
gauge readings. This problem drove me
crazy until I found that unlocked connector.
WILLIAM HUCKALBY l SURPRISE, ARIZ.
It’s hard to beat direct experience with the
problem. This is sure to help. ◆
TO CONTRIBUTE TO COACH & POWERTRAIN, refer to Contact MotorHome, on
page 12.
61
MH1105 Dealers-AdIndex.qxp_Layout 1 2/22/11 2:14 PM Page 62
dealers&destinationsmay2011
ARIZONA
NEW MEXICO
advertisersindex
FOR FREE ADDITIONAL
INFORMATION ON PRODUCTS
AND SERVICES OFFERED
IN THIS ISSUE, VISIT WWW
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ADVERTISERS
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62
GoodSamClub.com
PAGE #
Aqua-Hot ......................................12
Bilstein Corp. ................................49
Born Free Motorcoach ....................27
Camping World ..............................38
Classifieds ................................63-65
DISH Network ..........................20-21
Danko Manufacturing, Inc...............35
Dave & LJ RV Interiors ..................44
Dealers & Destinations ..................62
Dethmers Manufacturing ................11
Dicor Corporation ..........................25
Direct Sat TV ................................55
Fleetwood RV ..............................CV3
Foretravel ....................................CV2
Fusion Research ............................59
Geico ............................................22
Go RVing ......................................67
Good Sam Extended
Service Plan ..............................10
Good Sam RV Financing ................43
Guaranty RV...................................37
HWH Corporation ..........................19
Holland Motor Homes ....................26
Holland Motor Homes ....................59
Miller Insurance ............................25
Newell Coach Corporation ............CV4
Nexus RV ....................................8-9
Nomad Glass ................................44
Progressive Insurance ....................13
Protect All Inc. ..............................58
RV Direct ......................................14
RV Marketplace ........................60-61
RV Roofing Solutions......................26
RVT.com........................................31
Roadmaster, Inc.............................27
SMI Marketing ..............................55
The Gorilla Glue Company ..............25
Thetford Corporation ........................7
Triple E ........................................36
Winnebago Industries ......................5
While every effort is made to maintain
accuracy and completeness, last-minute
changes may occasionally result in
omissions or errors.
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Classifieds.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:48 PM Page 63
classifiedsmay2011
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Lot resales, golf, boating, health club and
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• Porte & Manufactured Homes • Stand Alone
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Be sure to visit:
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MOTORHOME l May 2011
2007 WINNEBAGO TOUR 40' TD BY OWNER
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SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 59.
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63
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classifiedsmay2011
RECREATIONAL VEHICLES
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MOTORHOME CLASSIFIED AD
The August 2011 issue will close on April 22 (at subscribers on June 28);
the September 2011 issue will close on May 26 (at subscribers on August 2).
Mail to: MotorHome Classifieds • P.O. Box 8510 • Ventura, CA 93002-9912
Credit card orders may be faxed to (805) 667-4379 or emailed to jreweda@goodsamfamily.com
Name: ..................................................................................................................................................................
Address: ...............................................................................................................................................................
Email: ....................................................................................Phone: ..................................................................
Check
Total $.........................................................................................Run for.................................issues
Credit card Number:....................................................................................Expiration:........................................
Signature:.............................................................................................................................................................
Specify Category: .................................................................................................................................................
Use this form (or your own stationery) to submit your ad copy. Four-line minimum, 40 characters per line counting each
letter, number, punctuation, and space. Please refer to CLASSIFIED RATES in this section for payment information.
64
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
MH1105 Classifieds.qxp_Layout 1 2/16/11 1:48 PM Page 65
PAY NO SALES TAX ON VEHICLES
Let us explain how we can legally help you
We’ve helped thousands in the last 11 years
Call one of our three Montana Attorneys
Bennett Law Office, P.C., Missoula, MT
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SHOP THE
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MARKETPLACE
You’ll find lots
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Turn to page 60
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shopping begin!
classified rates
SAMPLE PHOTO AD
2006 MONACO DYNASTY 42' QUAD SLIDE.
400HP dsl, 10KW generator, 2800W inverter,
A/C, TV, micro/conv, sleeper sofa, and much
more. No smoke, no pets. Excellent condition.
(805) 555-1234.
If you’re selling your own
personal RV or home, you can
take advantage of MotorHome’s
low Private Party photo classified
rate! For only $150 per issue
(no charge for telephone number),
you can create an eye-catching
classified ad with a black-andwhite photo (one photo, please)
and four lines of copy, 40
characters/spaces per line ...
just like the sample ad shown
above. For $15 more your photo
can appear in color.
COMMERCIAL
Open to firms or individuals advertising
the sale or resale of a commercially
produced item or service. $50 per line,
four-line minimum, 40 characters per
line. For photo ad, limited to RVs and
real estate, add $65 (B/W), $85 (color).
For logo add $95 (B/W), $115 (color).
No category limitations for logos.
PRIVATE PARTY
For individuals selling personally-owned
item, such as an RV, truck, auto, campground membership resale. $25 per line,
four-line minimum, 40 characters per line.
No charge for phone number. For ad with
picture, add $45 (black-and-white or color
print acceptable, no Polaroids, negatives
or slides). Limit one photo per ad.
We offer a 5% discount for 6 issues
and a 10% discount for 12 issues
to our commercial advertisers.
OPTIONAL RED TYPE
For your ad to appear in red type:
Add $50 for Commercial ad.
Add $25 for Private Party ad.
Fill out ad coupon, enclose a
black-and-white or color print
(not a negative or slide) and
indicate method of payment.
HOW TO PLACE AN AD
Use our form or your own stationery.
Please include your name, address
and phone number.
Please mail to:
RV CLUBS
For national or local RV owners and
enthusiast clubs or chapters soliciting
members. $35 per line, four-line
minimum, 40 characters per line.
EVENTS
For national or regional RV rallies,
trade shows, expositions and other
events. $35 per line, four-line
minimum, 40 characters per line.
BOLDFACE TYPE
Please note first line is boldface at no
charge. Add $5 per line for additional
boldface type.
MOTORHOME l May 2011
Send with payment (check; money order;
VISA, MC, or Discover #, signature and
expiration date) to:
MotorHome Classifieds
P.O. Box 8510
Ventura, CA 93002-9912
Credit card orders: Fax to (805) 667-4379,
Email: jreweda@goodsamfamily.com.
Any questions, call Joyce Reweda at
(805) 667-4392.
MotorHome CLASSIFIEDS
P.O. Box 8510
Ventura, CA 93002-9912
Email:
jreweda@goodsamfamily.com
COMMERCIAL ADVERTISERS:
Please refer to CLASSIFIED
RATES for photo ad requirements.
65
MH1105 Off Ramp.qxp_Layout 1 2/17/11 1:17 PM Page 66
offramp
POSTCARDS FROM THE ROAD
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: We accept transparencies, prints and digital images saved as TIFF, JPEG or EPS files. We prefer uncorrected photos at the highest available resolution. All images must be unaltered and at least 300 dpi. For prints, we accept 4×5 or 5×7.
Transparencies should be original 35mm or larger. MotorHome pays $50 for each published photograph. Images, which preferably show
a motorhome or motorhomes in the setting, must be your own work. Submissions cannot be returned. Send your image, name, address
and phone number, as well as the story behind your image in 60 words or less (location, special trip or significance, etc.), to: MotorHome
“Postcards From the Road,” 2575 Vista Del Mar Drive, Ventura, CA 93001; or via e-mail to letters@motorhomemagazine.com.
66
May 2011 l
MOTORHOME
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MH1105 PG 37E GO RVING.qxp 2/16/11 1:47 PM Page E37
Go RVing, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
MH05 PG CV3 FLEETWOOD.qxp 2/18/11 2:45 PM Page CV3
Join us at the
third annual
Fleetwood RV
National Rally.
June 25-29
Shawnee, OK
www.fleetwoodrv.com/mhevent
Whatever your motivation to own a motor home, you want a vehicle you can
trust on the road ahead. That’s why Fleetwood RV offers a full line of motor
homes engineered to support your lifestyle and provide much-needed reliability.
And we proudly stand behind our products with one of the industry’s best
warranties and a 24/7-365 roadside assistance program through Coach-Net.*
Find out what keeps our customers coming back at fleetwoodrv.com, or call
800-444-4905 and get to know us even better.
*All 2011 Fleetwood RV motor homes include a 1-year membership to Coach-Net.
Fleetwood RV, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
For Family. For Fun. Forever.
MH1105 CV4 NEWELL.qxp 2/21/11 1:12 PM Page CV4
The 2012 Newell:
Live the life
extraordinary.
State-of-the-art design and engineering. The finest fabrics and finishes. Details you
select from a rich palette of choices. Quality with no compromises.
Not one.
Take the good life with you.
To start your journey, visit www.newellcoach.com, or call 1-888-3NEWELL.
Newell Coach Corporation, go to www.motorhomemagazine.com/info
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