Plant Tour Day

Current Location: Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds, Goshen, Indiana

Today is the last full day of the rally. Tomorrow, most people, including ourselves, will be pulling out. Today’s planned activity was a tour of the Heartland RV plants. There were three buses taking people from Goshen up to Elkhart, and lots of pickup trucks. We drove our truck. The first stop was at the main plants for Heartland. We all congregated there and split up among the different plants (depending on what brand of travel trailer people wanted to see) and some folks took a bus over to the design studio to talk with the design staff. Val decided to do the design studio tour.

At the design studio.

At the design studio.

Design studio group.

Design studio group.

Val enjoyed meeting with the design team. The group there talked about all kinds of things that they liked or didn’t like about the design elements of the travel trailers. They also got to take home a free throw pillow.

Malcolm and David toured plant #2, where the Landmark, Bighorn and Big Country (what we have) travel trailers are built. It was an interesting tour. We stuck with our tour guide for a little while, but the group got bogged down with lots of questions from our group, so Malcolm and David wandered around on their own so Malcolm could take pictures. Most of the tour was pretty self-explanatory.

We did find out that once a frame comes in one side of the building and starts to be outfitted with components, it is only a day and a half, on average, before the finished trailer emerges from the other end of the building. Wow.

Tanks, suspension, underbelly in place. Carpet and upper deck flooring.

Tanks, suspension, underbelly in place. Carpet and upper deck flooring.

Bathroom module and some bedroom furniture in place.

Bathroom module and some bedroom furniture in place.

Side walls added.

Side walls added.

Partially complete interior minus the slideouts.

Partially complete interior minus the slideouts.

Complete trailer being weighed and ready to roll.

Complete trailer being weighed and ready to roll.

After all the tours, everyone loaded back up on buses or in trucks and we headed to the RV / Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame Museum across town. There, we were fed lunch and got to involve many of the Heartland brand managers in discussions and a question/answer session. We also had time to tour around the museum, which had a lot of older travel trailers and motor homes. It was really fun to look at the older rigs.

Scale model Airstream Trailer.

Scale model Airstream Trailer.

Scale model of a typical RV manufacturing process.

Scale model of a typical RV manufacturing process.

Cool little Airstream trailer from the 1950's.

Cool little Airstream trailer from the 1950’s.

Random travel trailer interior from the 50's or 60's.

Random travel trailer interior from the 50’s or 60’s.

After leaving the museum, we first headed to a nearby RV dealer to look at hitches, but found that they were already closed for the day. From there, we headed down to Wakarusa Dime Store again to pick up some more candy. We headed from there on back to Goshen and started looking for somewhere to fill up the truck. We tried the Kroger, but they only had one diesel pump and a lot of diesel trucks circling around waiting to get to it.

We found a Speedway right down the road from the fairgrounds with actual big truck pumps. We had to wait in line for those, as well, but at least most everyone in line were other rally folks doing the same thing we were. We filled the tank and headed back to the trailer. We got dressed and headed up to the dinner (catered Italian fare) and stayed for a couple of songs for the night’s entertainment, which was a bluegrass band. We were about all rallyed out and decided to head back to the trailer, change clothes and go out for a bike ride.

We found a few other folks throughout the evening and said our goodbyes, did a few prep chores around the trailer and plopped down for the evening. We’re heading out fairly early in the morning. It should be fairly busy with most of the 250 trailers heading out between morning and noon.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s