Rolling East – Part 2

Location: Rock Island/Quad Cities KOA, Rock Island, Illinois

Dates: Sept. 13 to 14, 2017

We stopped for the night on the way east in the Rock Island, Illinois KOA. Malcolm forgot to get a picture of the site, but it was a nice long pull-through site with fresh gravel. Easy in and easy out. He did get a picture of a fall leaf on the rear of the truck the next morning.

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After getting set up, Malcolm ran over to a nearby Camping World to buy a new LP gas detector. Our other one started going off the other night and we couldn’t get it to turn off. Though it was not out of date, we decided it may be bad (we now think it was going off due to the proximity to the cat’s litter box).

Malcolm tried hooking up the new detector in the same location and it was immediately flashing a red gas detected light (note that we shut off both propane tanks after removing the old detector). We decided that due to our suspicion that the cat box was setting it off that we would install the new one in a different location (actually closer to the gas stove/oven).

Location: Shipshewana Campground South Park, Shipshewana, Indiana

Dates: Sept. 14 to 15, 2017

We headed on our final leg east on the 14th. We had ordered some new underbelly material (coroplast) for the trailer from the trailer manufacturer (Heartland RVs). We paid for it ahead of time and had them hold it for pickup. We stopped in Elkhart, Indiana and picked it up on the way through, tossing it into the trailer for the time being.

The reason we are picking this up is that Malcolm will be replacing the underbelly material under the rear part of the trailer. When we had our hydraulic leak that we fixed last year, the fluid (essentially automatic transmission fluid) was spread all down the underside of the trailer, causing the plastic material to soften and start drooping in places. We thought we would replace the material before the current material possibly gives way and goes flapping down the road behind us.

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We drove on over to Shipshewana to stay at the campground there overnight. Since we arrived around 5:00, most all the Amish-run stores were closing for the day. We did drive down to the 5/20 Restaurant and had dinner.

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The next morning, on the 15th, we decided to take advantage of the noon check-out time and get our Amish shopping fix in during the morning hours. We first drove over to Rise ‘N’ Roll bakery for some of their tasty donuts as well as a few goodies to take along with us.

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The Rise ‘N’ Roll cinnamon-caramel donut (on the right in the picture, below) is probably what they are most famous for. They are indeed very tasty.

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After our sugary breakfast, we stopped at the E&S Bulk store and stocked up on a few grocery items. We also dropped by Yoder’s hardware and department stores.

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Buggies outside Yoder’s Department Store

After our shopping extravaganza, we hitched up the trailer and headed south around 11:00. The southbound stops will be detailed in upcoming installments.

 

 

 

 

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Heading South

Previous Location: White River Campground, Cicero, Indiana

Current Location: Bowling Green KOA, Bowling Green, Kentucky

We said some of our goodbyes Sunday morning before we left the fairgrounds in Goshen and we hit the road about 8:30 AM. We drove down to Cicero, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. We wanted to stop overnight in that area to visit Malcolm’s Uncle David and Aunt Judy as well as assorted cousins.

We arrived at the campground (after having made a previous reservation) a couple hours before check-in time. Fortunately, whoever had our spot before us had already left, so we were free to get set up on our site.

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Our Site at White River Campground

Once we were set up, we headed out to Forest Park in Noblesville, Indiana to meet Uncle David at the Fathers’ Day car show going on there. We viewed a few cars, then had hot dogs and sides for lunch. After lunch, we walked around a bit more then decided to head over to Uncle David and Aunt Judy’s home to visit.

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At the Car Show

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Neat display complete with carhop

Malcolm and Uncle David took a tour of the various hobby displays around the house, including the outdoor garden train layout and the basement slot car track.

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The Garden Train

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Cousin Luke and Uncle David in the heat of the race

After visiting for a while, we headed out to have dinner at the local BBQ place and dessert at the ice cream spot next door. We said our goodbyes after dessert and we headed back to the campground by way of a fuel stop.

This morning we headed out fairly early and started down the road. We weren’t sure exactly where we were going to stop, but we were making good time. Instead of driving really far, we actually stopped a bit short and landed in Bowling Green, Kentucky at the KOA here.

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Our beautiful patio site at the KOA

Once set up, we headed across the interstate to shop at the Camping World here. While hooking up the water, Malcolm kept running into water leaks and issues, so he decided to just replace both the water hoses, all the quick-couplers and replace the water pressure regulator he left at the previous campground (it’s been a while since we’ve left behind a pressure regulator).

For dinner, we headed across the interstate again and ate at Cracker Barrel. On the way back to the campground, we stopped by a park near the campground that had several aircraft sitting around on display. It was a really nice and interesting park to visit and a nice surprise.

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Aviation Heritage Park

It turns out that all the aircraft were flown by local aviators over the years. Each plane had a nice plaque in front of it that told all about the plane and the celebrated aviator associated with it.

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Aircraft with Informative Plaque

There was also an FM transmitter that had a narrative being broadcast. If it were raining, you could back into a parking spot (where you could see all the aircraft on display) and listen to the narrator describe each plane and the aviator associated with it.

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Navy Plane on Display

We finished visiting the park and headed back to the RV for the night. Tomorrow we head out and will be traveling back to Wetumpka, Alabama for a couple nights. Malcolm has a dentist appointment Wednesday morning and we’ll be clearing out our storage unit there and packing it all into the truck, car and trailer to take down to Florida.

Rally Fun

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

We’ve had a fun time at the 2017 North American Heartland Owners Club rally. This evening, after the group meal, we walked around and said our goodbyes to our neighbors.

Over the past week and a half, we’ve gone shopping in Shipshewana (more than once), wandered around downtown Goshen, had dinner out a few times with friends and, of course, enjoyed the various rally activities.

Val taught her crochet course again this year (she taught one back in 2015 when we were here last). Malcolm attended a couple of the seminars on various RV components and systems. One of the seminars was on a nice waterless cleaning system for the RV and truck. Malcolm bought one of the kits and has shined up both the trailer and truck this week. It will be great for those times when the rig is dirty and we can’t clean it in the campground.

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Cleaning and Waxing the Trailer

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Shiny

Speaking of cleaning – one service we did sign up for was having the trailer’s carpets cleaned. Since our trailer was a demo unit at the dealer for several months before we purchased it, the carpet in the living room has always had a few spots in it from people walking through the rig. We were very pleased that the carpet cleaner got all the spots out. Our carpet looks almost new.

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Relaxing in the screen room while the carpet is cleaned

One day we went to Goodwill and Val found a sewing cabinet like the one Malcolm’s mother had for years. We had given that cabinet to our daughter years ago and Val has always wanted another ever since. The cabinet also had an older Singer sewing machine in it of unknown quality. However, we’re good on sewing machines, so we took it out and took it back to the Goodwill to donate it again along with one of our two desks from the rig. The sewing cabinet now sits where Val’s desk was in the back of the trailer.

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Time to Sew

The sewing cabinet closes up small enough to fit in the back corner of the trailer so that the slides can come in. We put new caster wheels on it and have some rubber cups to put under the wheels to keep it from rolling around while in transit.

Since we had all the furniture off the carpet for the carpet cleaning, we decided to try a slightly different layout. The dining table was moved to where Malcolm’s desk was in the back corner and his desk moved to where the dining table was. Malcolm likes the new desk position so far. We’ll see how it works out long term.

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Malcolm’s New Office

Another nice benefit when you attend the national rally is that the manufacturer – Heartland – offers to fix two non-major items on your trailer, regardless of warranty coverage. We had our slideout adjusted to sit more flush when retracted. We also had the screw trim cover vinyl strip on the same slideout replaced since the original has had a hole in it for quite some time.

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Getting our free repairs done

Today (Saturday) was the last official day of the rally (most everyone will be leaving tomorrow morning). It started off with tours of the manufacturing plant where our trailer was made. Malcolm has done the plant tours twice before, but it was the first time that Val got to do the tour (previously, she had gone on a design center tour).

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Everyone gathering for the plant tour (in their blue rally shirts)

We got to see rigs in various stages of construction. None of them were our particular model this time (Malcolm got to see some of our previous trailer’s model being built back in 2015).

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A Trailer in Progress

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Finished Trailers Outside the Plant

After the plant tour, everyone went over to the RV and Motorhome Museum and the Furrion Design Center. We just did the latter, since we’ve been through the museum twice before. Furrion builds various RV components, including a really nice gas range and oven.

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At the Furrion Design Center

Skipping the museum gave us an early start back towards Goshen. We made a final stop in Shipshewana to pick up a couple items at Yoder’s Department Store, then had lunch at the 5 & 20 Restaurant. Back at the campground, Malcolm “washed” the truck with his new kit and we started packing up and breaking down everything in preparation for leaving tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we’re going as far as Cicero, Indiana. We’ll be visiting Malcolm’s Uncle David and family for a Father’s Day car show and dinner.

Time For a Rally

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

While in Wetumpka, Alabama the past couple weeks, we took care of various doctor appointments and Malcolm worked from the trailer. We enjoyed a quiet Memorial Day weekend. Our plan was to leave Alabama on Tuesday, June 6th and arrive in Goshen, Indiana for the Heartland Owners Club North American Rally on Thursday, June 8th.

Many of our friends arrived late in May or early in June. We kept seeing everyone posting pictures of all the fun they were already having in the area. We started to regret leaving later. On Saturday, June 3rd, Malcolm called the head of the owners’ club to see if we could come up earlier and he said it would not be a problem. So, we packed up the trailer Saturday night and headed out Sunday morning.

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Callie displaying her enthusiasm about leaving early

On Sunday, we dumped the tanks and headed up the road about 8:30 AM. The halfway point is the Cave City, Kentucky area, so we stopped there for the night at Cave Country RV Campground. We’ve stayed there a couple times before. We just left the trailer hitched to the truck overnight.

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Cave Country RV Campground

Leaving the truck hooked up was nice since it decided to rain overnight and into the morning. It wasn’t a hard rain, fortunately. We pulled up stakes and hit the road early on Monday, continuing up I-65 into Indiana, then I-69 from Indianapolis up to Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were making good time and decided to stop for lunch south of Fort Wayne at a rest area. When we pulled into the rest area, we recognized a couple other RVs as other club members, so we chatted with them as we all ate sandwiches.

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Lunch with friends

Neither of the other two couples had traveled to Goshen on this route, but we had, so they decided to caravan with us and we led the way. We all arrived at the fairgrounds around 4:00 PM, got checked in and set up.

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All set up

We visited with others that had already arrived before heading to bed for the evening. On Tuesday we drove up to Shipshewana and stopped by a few favorites in the area such as E&S Sales and Yoder’s Hardware and Department Store. We ate lunch at the 5 & 20 Country Kitchen.

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Buggy Parking at E&S Sales

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Outdoor Furniture at Eash Sales (next to E&S)

On Wednesday, Malcolm did some work in the morning and took his weekly Wednesday conference call in the trailer. We headed out to Menards to find some trash bags and also purchased an outdoor screen room. We set that up when we got back to the trailer.

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Screen Room set up outside

On Wednesday evening, we went out to eat dinner with Andy and Joanna Grimes at South Side Soda Shop in Goshen. The food was pretty good.

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On Thursday morning, Malcolm worked for a couple hours, then we wandered around downtown Goshen. We shopped around for a bit and Malcolm took his weekly Thursday conference call outside on a sidewalk bench and on the way to lunch. We ate lunch at Culver’s restaurant.

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Downtown Goshen

For dinner, we went with out with several friends to eat dinner at Goshen Brewing Company. The food and the beer were all very good.

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Goshen Brewing Company

Today, we went on a bus tour of Amish country. Malcolm didn’t take many pictures, but we stopped at Rise ‘n Roll Bakery, toured a camel milk farm (we did that two years ago), had lunch at an Amish home, stopped by Guggisberg Cheese, Yoder Popcorn Shop, E&S Sales and Teaberry Wood Products (the only stop we haven’t been to before).

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Teaberry Wood Products

The family that runs Teaberry are Mennonite-Amish, or as the husband put it – “Amish on Wheels” (they own a car). They had many fascinating products and it was neat to see how they put them together. Their baskets are made by cutting several concentric pieces out of a flat piece of wood, separating them and stacking them alternately. Then, small strips of wood are slid into the resulting gaps giving it a basketweave effect. (Check the website and you’ll see what we are trying to describe).

After getting back from the tour, we dropped off our purchases in the trailer and headed to dinner out with several friends. Once back from dinner, we walked around a bit before retiring a bit early in the trailer.

The official rally starts next Tuesday, so we’ve still got three more days (Saturday through Monday) of pre-rally days to visit the area and visit our friends.

 

 

On The Road Again

Current Location: Nashville KOA, Nashville, Tennessee

Today was a hectic, tiring but satisfying day. We got up early and hit the breakfast buffet at the hotel we were staying in. After breakfast, we grabbed a few items from the hotel room and walked across the street to the RV dealer. We got there right at opening time at 9:00 AM.

We were lead to their service area to do a pre-delivery inspection of our new trailer. It went well. We only found one loose screw that was promptly fixed. We asked if they would remove the standard king mattress before bringing the trailer outside so we could load it up and they did. We kept our queen mattress from our last rig rather than buying another one again.

Rig ready for inspection

Rig ready for inspection

We walked back to the hotel, grabbed the truck and the U-Haul and headed back over to find our trailer outside waiting for us to load it up. We carried everything into the trailer from the U-Haul and emptied it out in about an hour and a half. We closed up everything and took the U-Haul back to turn it in.

Ready to load

Ready to load

Done loading it up

Done loading it up

After returning the U-Haul, we headed back over to the hotel to load up everything from our room (including the cat) into the pickup truck. We went back over to the RV dealer (just across the street) and put a few things in the trailer then hitched up and pulled away. We ate lunch in the truck on the way out of Louisville heading south on I-65.

We arrived here in Nashville at the KOA just before 4:00 central time. We are here just in time for a Heartland Owners Club Tennessee Chapter Rally that was on our schedule. Plus, we’ll be staying through the next week so Malcolm can work in the downtown office here.

Parked at the KOA

Parked at the KOA

Everyone at the rally was pleased to see us get here after all we’ve been through the last three weeks. We’re glad to be here and back on the road again. Now the big effort begins – unloading all the boxes in the trailer and putting stuff away. We got pretty much all our clothes put away this evening and will work on kitchen and living room stuff over the next few days.