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Frequently Asked Questions About FMCA Welcoming All RV Owners

Questions about the recent vote announcement? CLICK HERE.

New Tech Connect+ Benefit!

FMCA Tech Connect+ is a benefit package that brings technology offers to FMCA members. Offers include tech product discounts and mobile data plans.

What do you get? For just $49.99 monthly, you’ll have access to a Sprint mobile hotspot data plan, plus discounts on WiFi extenders and products. With Sprint, you’ll get full, un-throttled and uncapped 3G and 4G LTE speed.

To take advantage of this benefit, your FMCA membership dues must be active for at least one year. And stay tuned – we plan to offer more discounts to this benefit package!

Why not take part in a benefit package that keeps you connected at a lower cost?

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Read Member F470953 GAIL RUSSELL's Review of the Tech Connect+ Sprint MIFI Plan Below:

Signed up for FMCA Tech Connect+ and taking advantage of the Sprint Unlimited Hotspot Plan

I would say I started with Hotspot Authorization at 11:30AM, it is now 8PM and my Hotspot Battery is at 32%.

I am very pleased with both the Franklin R-910 Hotspot and the Sprint unlimited data plan. Everything is working flawlessly. I am in a rural area, 30 miles from the nearest city (Buffalo, NY) and I have had enough signal strength to do everything I wanted to do on my computers & tablets and ereaders, fast & flawlessly.

I found the Hotspot intuitive to use and easy to operate. I even liked the way it felt with its rubber armour coating! After 8-1/2 hours of continuous running, the Hotspot feels cool to the touch all over. If I had to tell one Hotspot fault, it would be the display screen font type is very small, making it hard to read.

Tomorrow I will play around with more of my WiFi capable devices and let you know what I think. The unlimited data plan is just great to have! No more running to public hotspots for me like when my old data plan was getting near its limit. I am in Computer Nerd Heaven!

Gail Russell

New FMCA Verizon Benefit!

FMCA has a new Verizon MIFI Member Benefit! CLICK HERE to learn more.

Perry Registration Is Open!

Finally, registration for FMCA’s 97th International Convention and RV Expo, scheduled for March 15 through 18, 2018, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter is open. Click Here to register.

Keep your coach info up to date!

In order to better serve you, we ask that you please update the Coach Make/Manufacturer field in your Membership Profile at your earliest convenience if you have not already done so.

FMCA Remodel

Big news! It's time to take a step in the right direction, CLICK HERE to learn more about FMCA's plans to remodel.

Latest Videos

Mark Polk, motorhome  and motor coach maintenance expertBy Mark Polk
RV Education 101

When you put your motorhome in storage the battery(s) lose their charge over time, not to mention the parasitic loads that can drain batteries in storage. You should test the state of charge every month and charge any battery that is at or below an 80 percent state of charge. But just how do you accomplish this? Let’s take a look at my top 7 tips for testing your battery state of charge.

Note: An 80 percent state of charge for a 12-volt battery is 12.5 volts. An 80 percent state of charge for a 6-volt battery is 6.25 volts.

1. There are basically three ways to test the condition of your RV batteries.

  • Use the monitor panel in the motorhome.
  • Measure the voltage with a digital voltmeter.
  • Test the specific gravity with a hydrometer.

2. The least accurate of the three methods is using the RV monitor panel. If that is your only means for checking the battery(s), though, it will give you a general idea of the condition. When you check the condition of your battery using the monitor panel, make sure the motorhome is not plugged in to shore power. If it is you will get a false fully charged reading. To get a more accurate reading of the battery’s condition, check the monitor panel when the motorhome is not plugged in and turn on a couple of overhead lights to place a small load on the battery.

3. If you have sealed batteries your only choice is to use a voltmeter. Measuring voltage with a voltmeter has its advantages. It can give you a quick picture of the batteries’ depth of discharge so you know when they need to be recharged. To measure the voltage, you need a good digital voltmeter. Set the meter on DC voltage and connect the red lead to the positive terminal and the black lead to the negative terminal. A 12-volt battery that is charged should read 12.5 to 12.7 volts. Readings less than 12.5 indicate the battery state of charge is less than 80 percent and the battery needs to be charged. A 6-volt battery that is charged should read 6.25 to 6.37 volts. Readings below 6.25 indicate the battery state of charge is less than 80 percent and the battery needs to be charged.

Note: To get an accurate reading, the battery should not be tested if it has been charged or discharged in the last 12 hours and preferably 24 hours.

4. The preferred method for testing the battery’s state of charge is to check the specific gravity reading of each cell. You can purchase a hydrometer at an auto parts store for about $10. The electrolyte is a solution of acid and water, so you need to wear safety glasses and gloves and avoid any contact with your skin. Remove the vent caps and check the electrolyte levels. There has to be enough in the cells for the hydrometer to pick up a sample. If you have to add any water, you’ll have to charge the battery and let it sit for 12 hours before testing. Fill and drain the hydrometer at least twice in each cell before taking a sample. Take the reading and record it, and then drain it back into the cell. Test all of the cells and replace the vent caps. Specific gravity readings for a charged battery should read between 1.235 and 1.277. Specific gravity readings below 1.235 indicate the battery state of charge is less than 80 percent and the battery needs to be charged.  If there is a .050 or more difference in the specific gravity reading between the highest and lowest cell, you have a weak or dead cell in the battery.

Note: If your hydrometer does not compensate for temperature you must correct the readings to 80 degrees F. Add .004 for every 10 degrees above 80 degrees F and subtract .004 for every 10 degrees below 80 degrees F.

5. If you put your RV in long-term storage it’s a good idea to remove the batteries and put them in storage, too. This is quite simple to do. When you remove a battery always remember to remove the negative terminal first and then the positive terminal. Label the battery cables so you remember how to make the connections next spring. Clean the batteries with a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and water if necessary. Check the electrolyte level and add distilled water, if necessary.

6. Regardless of whether the batteries are left in the motorhome or removed, you should test the battery state of charge monthly and charge any batteries that are at or below 80 percent. A discharged or partially charged battery will freeze much faster than a charged battery. Store the batteries in a cool, dry place but not where they could freeze.

7. Completely charge the batteries before using the motorhome next spring. If you did remove the batteries remember to connect the positive cables first and then the negative cables when you reinstall them.

Happy camping.

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