Saturday, September 27, 2014

Camp Master Tech, Elkhart, IN - September 27, 2014

Yep, we are still here. This is our 6th day in their parking lot. Still waiting for word that the parts ordered for our AC/Steps/Awning have come in and when we can be worked on. Still, this is not a bad place. 50 Amp and water, a dump station we just used this morning.

Some RV Dreams friends, Mark & Patty (Mark & Patty RV Adventures), that we met at the Oregon rally in 2012, were in the Elkhart area getting work done on their Sanibel. They stopped here at Camp Master Tech and visited. They brought a delicious chicked salad and we had a great time catching up.

And we have met some fellow RVers here.

Jim & Dee (Tumbleweed-Rolling Down the Highway) Pat & Sharon, and friends from the RV Dreams rally, Kurt & Joanne, and Drue & Kena. We have met more, but forgot their names. We got together around the twin campfires ( two citronella candles) and chatted till late. We are planning for a BBQ /potluck maybe Sunday. We are all here waiting for service. Jim & Dee are finally done and are leaving this morning.

We are passing the free camping time by doing some work on the basement. I have re-organized it twice and weeded out some unused items, Donna has gone through her 7 plastic tubs of material, thread, yarn, and patterns. She has got rid of quite a bit.

We are just waiting for our work to be completed and we are then heading south to Huntsville, AL to visit a couple of my old Army buddies.

Free parking is good.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Extended Warranty Work, Elkhart, IN - September 22-23, 2014

We stayed one extra day at the Goshen fairgrounds and watched almost everyone pack up and move out. Then first thing Monday morning, we packed up and headed to Elkhart, IN to Master Tech RV
 Service. We had made arrangements just before the rally started to get some work done on our RV.

Master Tech was just 14 miles away. A nice easy drive.

They have parking spots for customers. Some have electric and water. They were all taken, so we parked in a row and boondocked it.

That evening, I turned on the inverter and we watched some of the new shows that are just starting this season. Big Bang Theory and Scorpion. We shut the tv off at 10PM. Batteries showed 75 percent. All is good.

That night it got down to 50 degrees in our house. Where did the summer go? I checked with the office, and a space opened up that has power. We jumped into it.

Now at least we will be able to use our fireplace and our portable space heater.

That morning, the techs came over to diagnose our issues. We have a bedroom air conditioner that will not come on... when in auto.

And our awning opens, but struggles to roll back up.

And then our steps into our rig. There has been several rivets that had broken, and almost caused a fall. Also a broken weld that I tried to jerry-rig to hold things together.

After the tech checked it all out, he determined the thermostat and/or circuit board in the AC was bad, the awning had a bad tension spring inside, and yep, we need new stairs. They will submit everything to Xtraride, our extended warranty company that we got when we bought the Bighorn 2 years age.

And now we were just notified that our warranty will cover all of the repairs. Cool! We do have to pay some diagnostic time and some shipping costs, but the bill will be over 1700 bucks and our share is only $214.00. Life is good!

We don't know how long we will be here, but we are in no hurry. We have hookups and there is another 2 couples here from the rally too. And staying here is free!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Last Days of the RV Dreams Fall 2014 Rally - September 20-21, 2014

We headed over to the Ag Hall, where all the seminars are held, and attended the last 3 seminars of the rally.

They were:

Choosing Campgrounds/RV Parks.
Boondocking and Solar.
Internet On The Road.

Some of the best ones.

After the seminars, we hurried back to our RV and quickly got it in order for the 'Walk-throughs' From 1 to 3 PM. We volunteered to show ours. Lots of folks enjoy seeing how others set up their rigs. 18 in the first showing, 16 shown from 3 to 5 PM. There were all kinds of rigs to go through. Pretty cool!

Then back to the Ag Hall for a nice final catered dinner.

After the dinner, the DJ fired up his tunes, and everyone danced the night away. Howard and Linda got it all started.

The theme was 'Glow Party' Fun, Fun!

There were all kinds of glowing hats, hair, necklaces, bracelets, even teeth. Here is one of the 'trains' that rolled through the place.

Face painting too. Linda getting hers done.

Sunday, it was our Full Farewell Catered Breakfast. Yum. It was good.

Then Howard and Linda thanked us all and sang their farewell song. Then the hugs and handshakes followed.

Our table.

Many people packed up and headed out afterward. Howard and Linda conducted some 'wheel by wheel' weighing of RVs as they left.

We leave tomorrow and will have ours weighed also.

We will be going over to Master Tech RV Service in Elkhart to get a few things taken care of on the RV. We have some issues with our bedroom Air conditioner, awning, and steps.

Then southward.....

Friday, September 19, 2014

The RV Dreams Fall 2014 Rally - September 16 - 19, 2014

Our rally started Tuesday. Donna and I helped during registration. The people would move down the registration line getting their rally t-shirts, welcome packets, and goodie bags. I was in the line, asking if anyone wanted to buy a RV-Dreams logo hat or visor.

Donna and Linda taught t-shirt braiding.

During the next days, we all were kept pretty busy. Seminars started at 8 AM. In the evening, we have now had 2 catered meals and one potluck so far.

The seminars have been:

Buying An RV - Pros, Cons & Must Haves
Vehicle Safety Evaluation - RV Driving School
Understanding RV Insurance & Extended Warranties
RV Weight & Tire Safety
Driving Your RV Safely - RV Driving School
RV Accessories Show & Tell
For The Ladies - You CAN and Should Drive Your RV
RVing Basics - RV Systems Overview, Hooking Up Utilities, Dumping Tanks, Safety, & Checklists
No Right Way To Full-time - Evaluating The Options
Emotional Aspects of the Full-timing Decision
What Does It Cost To Full-time?
Working On The Road
Selecting A Home Base & Insurance Considerations
Basic RV Maintenance I - Engine/Chassis, Tires & Wheels, Axles, Brakes, & Exterior
Basic RV Maintenance II - Batteries, Appliances, & Generators
Basic RV Maintenance III - Plumbing System, Propane System, & Safety Considerations

Place is pretty filled up.

Classes outside on Onan generators.

One of Linda's seminars.

We have all ate way too much.

But it sure was good!

Howard and Linda even demo'd their Sea Eagle inflatable Sport Kayaks.

The place was packed all the days.

There are 160 people in attendance here, and 30 or so are in local motels because they haven't purchased an RV yet.

This rally is great for new RVers or those who are thinking about going full time. We attended an RV Dreams in 2012, before I retired, and now I can hone all the skills I picked up in the last year, and help answer some questions for some of the folks here too.

At the end of today, a bunch of us toured the Heartland factory in Elkhart. We saw how the Big Country, Big Horn (our RV), and the Landmark are built.

In the beginning....

Slides going in.

Many people in the group were clicking pictures right and left.

It is quite the assembly line.

Here is a front cap... like ours.

And almost finished.

Very interesting!

More tomorrow....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Killing Time Before The RV Dreams Rally - September 14 - 15, 2014

The Elkhart/Goshen area is the RV Capital of the World. Yep! Really!

There are many RV manufacturing plants around here, and also lots of supporting businesses that provide services and parts to the RV factories. Everywhere you look, there are RV sales/service lots and parts places. If a person was in the market for a new RV, this would be the place.

This area is also the home of the Amish people. We have seen a variety of places that sells their crafts.

And we see them driving their little buggies everywhere.

We drove up the road to Nappanee, dodging the buggies. LOL We stopped at Amish Acres. This place is an 80 acre farm that really shows the lifestyle of the Amish folk. There are guided tours, buggy and wagon rides, barnyard animals, restaurants, craft demonstrations, and shops.

We then drove through Elkhart to the RV Hall of Fame. This is an incredible museum. The RVs have quite a history. And it is all here!

Elkhart Elk.....get it?  They are all over here.

A RV manufacturing plant. We will see the real thing later this week.

So many old classic RVs. Really cool!

Yep, a photo op presented itself!

A state of the art toilet..... back in the day!

Can you believe it? A bathtub!

An original drivers seat. And a cool sink pump handle.

This is the area we walked through.

What a collection!

A nice day.

In the evenings, all the early rally attendees gather around Howard & Linda's RV and we all sit around the campfire. It is really fun getting to know new friends.

Fourty one of us are here two days early for the rally.  There will be a big influx tomorrow.