Back Home Again

Current Location: Vanderburgh 4-H Center, Evansville, Indiana

After leaving last week in the new truck without trailer, we drove to Durham, North Carolina for Malcolm’s aunt and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary party. We stayed in the hotel with the rest of the family and had a great time visiting, playing cards, enjoying meals together and celebrating the anniversary at a party on Sunday afternoon.

We left on Monday morning and headed back towards Evansville. We made a stop in Ringgold, Georgia at an RV dealer there to look at a couple potential replacement trailers (under the assumption ours might be totaled). We were looking at smaller fifth wheel trailers but didn’t think we could get along with the smaller showers in the bathrooms. We thanked that dealer for their time (they were really nice and low pressure) and headed up the road a bit to spend the night west of Chattanooga.

While at the hotel in Chattanooga, Malcolm looked up some more trailers in a couple other (larger) floorplans we liked. He found one of the two in Nashville and the other in Clarksville, Indiana. Both were more or less on the way back to Evansville. We looked through the one in Nashville and liked it. The price could stand to come down some (and probably would have). It had the advantage of being in Nashville and right next door to the KOA where we are supposed to be going this Sunday.

While at the dealer in Nashville, State Farm called Malcolm to let him know that they are definitely declaring the truck a total loss. They gave him some information, verified the loss payee and payoff amounts with Ford Credit and got an address to send Malcolm some papers to sign (we had them send them to the Nashville office directly).

We ate lunch in Nashville then headed up the road to Clarksville, Indiana (across the river from Louisville, KY). On the way up I-65, we stopped briefly to visit with a few of the folks that have shown up for the Kentucky Chapter rally of the Heartland Owners Club. We were originally going to be there starting tomorrow, but obviously still have a lot of work to do here.

We stopped in Clarksville and looked all through the trailer there and chatted with the salesman. We really like the low pressure sales at this dealer. The salesman stayed until after closing to make sure we were comfortable with everything we saw, gave us his card and told us to call if we were interested in buying. We called him on the way home and told him we would be putting down a deposit on it tomorrow.

We are under no pressure to buy it right away, but if we can get a solid feel for the disposition of our trailer early enough in the day tomorrow, we can have the new trailer start getting ready for delivery by Saturday. That would generally work well with our schedule. We can bring it over here to Evansville, offload all our stuff from the current trailer to the new one and hopefully be on the road to Nashville as originally planned on Sunday.

On the Road

Current Location: Hotel in Kentucky

Malcolm talked to the claims person for the trailer. He found out they had given him to the wrong office originally (thus the disconnected number). This claims person’s office is about 400 miles away up in Ohio. She doesn’t have any adjusters nearby and no recommended adjusters on her list within a reasonable distance. She asked if we could check around shops in the area to see if any do bodywork on RVs and she will go with their estimator.

Our friend Bette Dick called the RV dealer a couple miles up the road and left a message to call Val back. We ended up just driving up to the dealer on the way to lunch and talked to them personally. The estimator saw the wreck on his way home Monday and knew we had a Big Country. I described the front-end damage and he said it already sounds like he might declare it unrepairable, but he will look at it officially. As a matter of fact, instead of having us get it towed to the shop, he will come out to the campground and give it an initial assessment. We called insurance back and gave them the shop’s information.

After lunch, we packed up and headed out for our North Carolina trip. Our friends Lou and Bette are going to take care of our cat and trailer until we get back. When we get back we will schedule the estimator to come out and look over the rig. We are stopping on the way back from NC to look at one potential replacement candidate. More on that if it looks good.

It’s beginning to look like by the end of next week we’ll be packing up all our belongings into a U-Haul trailer or truck and leaving the trailer behind.

New Truck

We drove from Evansville to Nicholasville, Kentucky this morning in the rental car to buy our new truck. We arrived in town (forgetting that the time zone changed) and ate lunch at Red Robin. We then headed on over to the dealer. The whole process took about three hours and was pretty much a hassle-free experience.

New Truck

New Truck

Instead of Malcolm driving the rental car back to Evansville while Val drove the truck (a three hour drive), we decided to pay a little extra and drop the rental car off at the Lexington airport so we could ride together on the way home. After dropping off the rental car, we stopped to visit Val’s sister Anne to pick up her birthday present for Val. We took her out to Culver’s so she could buy us birthday dinner then dropped her back off at her house before heading on back to Evansville.

Tomorrow morning, Malcolm needs to make a couple calls regarding the trailer adjuster coming out. He called today because he hadn’t heard anything and the number that he called answered as not in service. We suspect he maybe wrote the number down wrong. We’re hoping we can schedule the adjuster to come out next week as we are currently planning on driving on to North Carolina (with just the truck) for the family get-together that we were headed to before our crash.

Temporarily Sidelined

Current Location: Vanderburgh 4-H Center, Evansville, Indiana

Today the thing you hope never happens happened. We were about 30 minutes from our destination in Owensboro, Kentucky and were traveling south on US-41 near Evansville, Indiana when a vehicle crossed our path. We ended up crashing into the van and pushing it off the side of the road. Fortunately, we are both fine, as is our cat Callie. Two of the six passengers in the van were taken to the hospital with (as far as we know) non-life threatening injuries.

The crash scene

Our truck pretty much looks totaled. The mount for our hitch actually ripped out of the bed and the trailer pushed the hitch forward into our gear stowed in the front of the bed. Correspondingly, the front of the trailer crashed into the back of the truck bed, pushing it in.

Trailer damage

We’re not sure on the trailer frame. Everything generally looks OK except for the hitch pin, which is bent at an angle.

Hitch bent

We called some good friends of ours, Lou and Bette DIck, that we’ve met through our RV’ing club and they happened to be in the area in their trailer. The campground, ironically, was just 1/4 mile up the same road where the crash occurred. They came down right away with their truck and their borrowed car to help us out.

Hooking up the rig to Lou’s truck

Once the crash scene was cleared and our truck towed off, Lou hooked up our trailer to his truck and towed it to the campground, dropping it in an empty site. We’ll have to go to the office tomorrow to let them know what is going on. After we got the trailer set up (it is, fortunately, habitable), we went to dinner with Lou and Bette. Afterwards, we came home and Malcolm started the claims process with our truck and trailer insurance companies.

Now only time will tell what comes next. We assume we will be truck shopping (Malcolm has already been looking). The trailer may just be a repair job. Not sure on it yet.

Say Cheese

Current Location: Country Gardens RV Park, Odessa, Missouri

Another day in the life of moving cross-country. We took I-29 all the way south to Kansas City, Missouri then picked up I-70 east to Odessa (about 30 miles east of Kansas City). We pulled in here about 3:00. Malcolm went into the store to check in. The store is really nice. They have a lot of cheese and other food items. We decided after we got set up we would walk back over and check it out.

Our site

Our site

We ended up picking up several items at the store. The cheese was great. They had samples of pretty much everything they make. They also had several other food items primarily from different Amish areas of the country. It was almost like being back in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Cheese selection

Cheese selection

After shopping, we grilled dinner outside. This evening, Malcolm sat outside with his camera and photographed the lunar eclipse. We’ll put some of those pictures up in the future once he gets them loaded on to the computer.