Friday, September 28, 2012

Old/New friends

We have been posting Living the RV Dream for almost four years and one of our earliest listeners and email corespondents was Bob Jae. As with so many of our listeners, we had never met Bob and his wife Bonnie. When they made a facebook post about being near Weekie-Watchie Springs, I contacted him and we were able to get together last night at the Cracker Barrell off I-75. We had a great dinner and we talked for hours 'till after 10PM. Both Bob and I and Kathy and Bonnie had quite a lot in common. I hope to meet more of our listeners as the Winter goes by here in Florida.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back in Florida

It has taken us two years and almost 8,000 miles, but we are back in the state where we started this full-time journey back in 2005. We are in the 3 Flags Mid-Atlantic park in Wildwood, FL. This is a very nice and well kept park with a front section with many 30A pull thru's and a rear section with 50A sites, most back-in. We're in the back with our rig backed up to a tree line. We get pretty good shade in the morning and we have a clear satellite shot for TV and a fast 3G phone signal. What more can you ask for.

The park isn't very full yet, but the manager assures me it will fill up fast in Dec/Jan. We'll be here a week and then move south to the Sarasota area for doctor's appointments to get us ready for the next year's travels. We'll be staying in two Equity Lifestyles (Encore) parks, one in Nokomis near Venice and the other in Bradenton just off I75 for the next month.

We are finally able to slow down and rest after 8 months of writing our book and then a whirlwind tour through western Virginia and Pennsylvania and then on to northern Indiana, the RV capital of the world. We both have writing projects in the works and that will be our priority after the new year. For now, we are just kicking back and resting and we are loving it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Two days to go

We are at the Raccoon Valley Escapee park in Heiskell, TN. We will do 2 nights here so we could do our podcast this morning and leave tomorrow morning. We will do about 300 miles tomorrow to get to Macon, GA. Sunday we will do another 300 miles or so to reach the Mid-Atlantic Three Flags park near Ocala, FL. Being back in FL is almost like home as we lived here for 9 years before we started RVing. We are here both for the mild winter months, and to get our annual medical appointments taken care of.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We visit the Creation Museum

We came to this part of Indiana specifically to go to the Creation Museum we have heard so much about. Wow!! It was awesome. There were numerous exhibits as we walked along a timeline to prove the Biblical creation story as opposed to evolution. There was much scientific evidence to prove the flood as source of much of our geology. The shows in the planetarium totally blew us away! We will return to see even more of this place.

Newmar and Thor Motor Coach Plant Tours

We have left Elkhart and are in Sunman, IN at the Indian Lake Thousand Trails Park. Before we left, we did plant tours at Newmar and Thor Motor Coach. The Newmar plant is in Nappanee and Thor is in Elkhart. I can see why Newmar rigs command more money after seeing them being built. The walls and roofs are stick built on 16 inch centers like a house except the studs are aluminum I beams. Wiring is installed and inside walls are glued and screwed in place. Then lots and lots of batt insulation is put in place before the Fiberglas goes on the outside. Similar process in the roof structure. The chassis are placed on rolling air jacks and moved sideways through the plant. Three or four men move the rigs effortlessly across the plant from station to station. There was lots of attention paid to quality control as well. I believe they are as well built as any we have seen so far. There was an underfloor moving belt on which trash was swept constantly. Very impressive!

I wish I felt so strongly positive about the Thor plant. It was the dirtiest and most cluttered of the six plants we have toured. I saw cabinet frames installed in a rig with cracked wood frames where the screws were driven without drilling holes. I saw holding tanks with the old style thru wall sensors. That's all they use. Much of their work is sourced out to other shops including painting. That's a recipe for poor quality. I like their floor plans, but I will never have a Thor product.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

We visit the RV Hall of Fame

Yesterday we visited the RV/MH Museum and Hall of Fame. The grounds are filled with new RV's of every type to be displayed at the Elkhart Open House for RV Dealers. Dealers from every state will come here Monday and Tuesday to look over the newest rigs the industry has built. Unfortunately, a dealer's pass is required and we do not have one. The museum was open.however and we had a great time looking at all the vintage rigs displayed inside. The lighting was not too good for photography but we did the best we could. Enjoy the pics!




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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Elkhart, day 2

We arrived in Elkhart yesterday after 2 nights at the Fleetwood Repair Center in Decatur, IN. They fixed our door and it finally closes correctly for the first time in 5 years. They also fixed an electrical short and did an oil change on the coach. Wallet is lighter, but we're happy.

Today we toured 5 RV surplus stores in the area. No body had our missing wheel hub cover. We also went to a wonderful store called Focal Wood in Nappanee where they manufacture custom RV furniture. We saw the solution to replacing our dinette, but we will need to reload the money supply and come back in the spring to get it.

Tomorrow we're off to the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum a few miles from our campground.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Rally is over

We are still in Celina, OH where we just finished attending the Gypsy Gathering Rally put on by Nick and Terry Russell. We had a great time and learned a lot at the seminars we attended. We also put on 3 seminars, one on workamping and 2 on Podcasting. Probably one of the most exciting things to happen was getting the first print copy of our book "So, You Want To Be A Full-Time RVer?" It is almost like birthing a child! Sales are moving along nicely and we're thinking about the next book.
We'll be leaving here Sunday to drive 32 miles northwest to Decatur, IN to the Fleetwood RV factory to get some service on our rig before we head on up to Elkhart, IN for a week or so touring RV manufacturing facilities before we head south to Florida for the first part of the winter.