Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Back On the Road

We spent the next few nights in a hotel where the room probably had more square footage than our home. Our days were filled with touristy things, we dropped by Lambert RV Furniture and looked at new theater seating...I can see some in our future. Picking up stuff at the local Amish markets...too early for the Shipshewana market. We took a tour of the Newmar factory...don't think they're in our future. On the grounds of the RV\MH Hall of Fame there was RV dealer show where we spent a few hours going in and out of lots of 5th wheels and motorhomes. Lots of meals ready to be back in our own home to eat Dave's home cooking.

On Friday this was a site to behold

After a quick test of the bedroom slide we were on our way to Ravenna OH and West Branch State Park...for our third time there. We finally got ahead of spring.

 A great park convenient to Ravenna where one my most favorite Italian restaurants is...a great place to celebrate a birthday. 

Our final stop northward was an overnight once again in Verona NY at one of the few places open at the end of April. Our slide didn't work so guess Dave will be looking at that this summer. This year though it was also the meet up with a high school friend I hadn't seen since graduation. Three hours of reminiscing and catching up went by in a flash.

We pulled into Maplewoods Campground  on April 28th as planned, leaving spring a week or so behind. Dave started back to work on 5/1, I helped get the campground ready for opening. The campground opened on 5/9 the same day the owners sister quit...since then I've been working quite a bit. I'm working the store and also getting Campground Master installed and ready to use by the end of May.We did get the slide out but looks like it'll be a project or a stop in IN again on the way west this fall.

Now to catch up with everyone's blog.
Until next time...

A Grand Day

6:30am found us pulling into the service center to drop off our home. After talking with Tim Reaves the head of the service department about our three issues: our water leak that we had a pretty good idea of where the problem was; our bedroom slide not coming in completely; the crack in the gel coat we had made the first time hitching up.

We had a tour of the facilities scheduled for 2pm so had some time to while away. A great breakfast at Gramma's House of Pancakes where we took our time and Dave regaled her with stories of our adventures.

About 9:30 we received a call from Tim: our leak issue had been diagnosed; the slide was being taken out...seems there had been a leak and the floor needed to be replaced; they were starting to repair the cracked gelcoat. We are two months out of warranty but do have an extended warranty, Dave asked Tim what the cost was going to be. Tim's reply was "Spending a few days in Elkart" after repeating it a a second time Dave realized they were going to take care of everything with no cost to us. We just had to find a place to stay for a few days. No problem we can do that, but first we headed to the service center to get some clothes and essentials for a few days. Let me tell you it's very disconcerting to see your slide out of your bedroom..wish I had taken a picture.

While visiting the service center we got to meet JD from customer service. JD has been our go to guy when we have any questions or issues, according to Facebook he's also a lot of other folks go to guy.

 Before too long it was time for our tour, Tyler met us and we chatted for a bit. He said if one of the owners of Grand Design is on site during the tours they try and meet the folks taking the tour. Don Clark came down, met us and then asked if we would come up to his office for a chat.

We were also joined by Bill Clark the new Director of Marketing. Seems when Dave set up the tour he mentioned I was the admin on the Grand Design Owners Facebook page. We spent an hour talking: of our reason to by a Grand Design; our happiness in our home; the Grand Design Owners Facebook page. A great conversation, some pictures then Don gave Dave and I a few gifts. Bill Clark has since become a voice for Grand Design on our Facebook page.

Eventually we headed out for our tour, what a great tour guide Tyler was. From chassis to finished roof and everything in between. Dave now has a better understanding of what\where things are and where they are run. Meanwhile Tyler is making notes of things we comment on and asking us questions as well. After a 2 hour in depth tour we called it a day...and oh what a grand day it had been.

This was Dave's Facebook post that evening.

"Today was the most amazing day Faye and I have had in a long time. We are in Bristol Indiana to get some work done on our RV and to tour the Grand Design factory. This morning we dropped off the RV at the repair center at 6:30am and was met by the service manager Tim, super nice guy. I explained what was wrong and went to breakfast with my queen. At 9:30am the service manager called me back and asked if we can leave the rig with them until Friday. He said they found the leak in the gray tank output, fixed it and were putting new insulation and bottom cover on, they also found a leak in the bedroom slide that warped the floor causing the slide not to go in all the way and were replacing the floor and seal. They said they were also going to fix the cracked gel coat on the front nose of the RV, that's why they needed to keep it to Friday. I asked what it was going to cost me and he said nothing, that's right people nothing. We went back to get some clothes out of the rig to find several guys working on it. The slide was out of the rig, a guy was working on the leaky pipe to the tank and had already started working on the cracked gel coat. Then they really started to overwhelm us on the tour. We met the CEO of the company, sat down in his office with his marketing director and a couple of other I think important people, talked about the company and gave us company jackets and hats. They took pictures of us with the CEO and us with him in his office. Then our private tour started which was amazing, now I know the ins and outs of my whole rig. Along the way Faye saw some upgrades to the 2015 rig in the same floor plan she liked and our tour guide took notes and I think he's going to get them added to the RV while it's being repaired, talk about customer service." 

Until next time...

RV\MH Hall of Fame

The next stop on our northward migration was Bristol IN just outside of Elkhart IN, we were there to get some work done and the Grand Design factory and tour the facilities.

We arrived a day early and found Eby's Pines Campground more than adequate for what we needed. A large pull through and only 2 miles from the service center.

With our free day we headed to where most RV'ers would go if they hadn't been already.

Since neither one of us or our families had ever owned an RV before we bought ours in '12 the tour was so fun seeing the evolution of the recreational vehicle. 

It was an early night since we wanted to be at the Grand Design service center as early as possible and they opened at 5:30.


Friends & Family

Our next few stops were filled with time spent with friends and family. Our stop in Springfield IL brought us to the park Carla and Jerry of CozybeGone are workamping at this summer. While we had only spent an afternoon with them once before we became good friends during the ensuing months. A mutual support network over the last year has turned into a valued friendship. A few days of hanging out together cemented the friendship...can't wait to see Carla and Jerry again down the road.

An afternoon of visiting,  talking and laughter was a great start to our few days together.

A stop at the Apple Barn for some local treats followed by a walk through the botanical garden then a driving tour of historic Springfield made for a busy day.

Too soon it was time to say goodbye, can't wait till our trails cross again. Thanks Carla and Jerry we had a great time.

 Our next stop was a short 1.5 hours away, we arrived at Bo Woods COE in Sullivan IL on opening day. We were in the area to visit my folks and it just happens our friends Curt and Glenda of Camp Lowry just happened to be coming into Bo Woods at the same time.  We got there early enough to score a decent site, only part of the campground was open so couldn't get our favorite spot. Things are changing at Bo Woods, more sites are being converted to FHU's. 

We've met Curt and Glenda twice before and each time we have more and more fun with them. I've also never had someone telling me they want to be like me, guess I'm a fountain of information sometimes and don't realize it.Can't wait to spend more time this winter in AZ with them.

 Our visit was short but filled with lots of socializing, between my folks and family along with our friends each of the days was packed full of fun.

Good food, family and is good. 

Off to the factory next to take care of few issues so,
Until next time...

MS to IL

Our next stop was in Enid MS at Wallace Creek COE where we had scored an awesome site. Site 28 was right on the water, we took a ride through the other local campgrounds and found we had made the best choice. While there I took a fall, with immediate elevation and ice my ankle didn't get too swollen, thankfully able to drive a few days later.

There is a visitor center and fish hatchery nearby, wrong season so no fish in the hatchery.

We did enjoy the trees blooming,Dave got his last fix of crawfish eaten and a beautiful sunset right out our window. A nice way to spend the weeekend.

We then pushed on into southern IL by way of 4 other states, not many days you get 5 states in one day. We got an early start since we had dinner plans with friends if ours from our TX winter place. For our overnight visit we chose Gun Creek COE at Rend Lake since it was just a few minutes off of the interstate.

Another great COE park as usual just wish we had more time to enjoy it.

Our friends Mike & Renee picked us up an we headed to a local winery just down the road. Had a great time getting to know them better and after a few bottles of wines we headed a few towns over and had a wonderful Italian dinner.

Until next time...