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Smoky

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We are in our sixth week of fulltiming, and our journey has really begun this week.? We just finished 4 wonderful nights of camping with our two sons and their families in Gettysburg.? I will not see them again for ten months, and Sharon will be back in late October to help with a new arrival.? She plans to stay two weeks and then fly back to wherever we happen to be parked.

Our grand trek westward has finally begun.? We left Gettysburg on Friday and overnighted at Wal-Mart near St. Clairsburg Ohio.? Was a pretty nifty place surrounded by Outback Steakhouse, Arby's, Lowes, several department stores and more.? We had lots to do there and met folks from 6 other coaches.? One couple shared with us a great place in Mesa AZ for wintering over at $500 a month.? We are definitely going to look into that one.

Last night we arrived in a rainstorm and 60 mph winds at Nappanee IN and tied up at the Newmar factory.? They thoughtfully provide 30 amp circuits for anyone visiting in a Newmar coach.? The power was out during the storm so we ran off the genset.? By this morning the power was back on and I switched us over to shore power.? ?Our converted Taurus toad, towed without a hitch and went back into tramsmission mode as smooth as silk.

Today (Sunday) we will just goof around and get some supplies and groceries.? Tomorrow morning I will get some parts from Newmar and also see if they will take a look at our washer dryer.? The washer works wonderfully but the dryer has never dried.? Our dealer thinks the heating element is bad and we would have to find a Splendide dealer to get the warranty work done.? But I am hopeful the factory here will do something about it.? Or at least direct us to a nearby Splendide dealer.

Tonight we are eating out at an Amish restaurant.? This is Amish country and it is really odd to see horse and buggies going down the main streets.

Tomorrow afternoon we do the factory tour again, but this time our coach will not be on the assembly line.? This will be the Admiral's first factory tour.

I can no longer get the Oriole games on Direct TV (am out of range for my local stations and local sports), but the Raven Falcon game was nationally telecast so I got to watch my beloved Ravens on satellite.? ? Once I get to Montana I plan to subscribe to the NFL package so I can catch the Raven games this fall.? I have to be hooked up to a phone line to do that, so I have to wait till we get to Kalispell.

Can't wait to get the Internet dish installed, but we are still a couple weeks away from that.? Mt Rushmore will be our next destination and we plan to stay there a week if the campgrounds are nice.
.
 
Hi Smoky,

If you get a chance get down to Shipshewanna and check out the Amish Culture Center there. Cost for the tour is just $5 I believe and is well worth it. Tour takes about an hour and they explain the history and all aspects of Amish culture.
The small Amish Country Store there is great for stocking up on bulk spices, teas, and candy.

Woody
 
Smoky,

Good hearing you and Sharon on on your way.  Lot of interesting places in RV country Indiana.  A good RV salvage place in Elkhart and Shipshiwana.  Interesting to walk through.  Hope the factory takes care of your W/D.  I would expect the would just change it out if the can't fix it on the spot.  Keep us posted on your travels.  Enjoy the trip. 

FYI we pay 1250.00 a year for our site in Yuma.
 
Smoky,

If you get a chance take a trip to Shipshewanna. Lots of Amish and a large flea market every Tuesday I think. We try not to go on that day. ;D They have a nice Amish-Menonite-Heutarite(sp?) museum.

 
OK gang, we have shipshewanna on our list.? Definitely if we stick around some extra days for Splendide work and routine Spartan maintenance.

Ron please tell me more about the yuma deal. 1250 a year?? Does that mean you can come and go as you please and always have a full hookup waiting?? That would be a better deal than the 1650 I would end up paying for just 3 months at Mesa.

Today we ate at Amish Acres and I hated it.? The Admiral loved it, but the food is too heavy and bland for my taste.? I guess I just do not like Amish cooking.? The service was grand though and enormous portions of food were served.?

Staying here at the Newmar factory is fascinating.? People coming and going at all hours of the day and from all directions of the USA.? We have yet to see another Kountry Star.? Tons of Dutch Starts of course and lots of Mountain Aires and Essexes.? Now that the Kountry Star has been upgraded from entry level to mid range, I am surprised they are not more popular.? They are identical to Dutch Stars except slightly less power and no tag axle versions.? Maybe they just never have to come back to the factory???? :D

Not sure when we are pulling out.? Tomorrow or Tuesday we will move to a conventional camp ground if we stay.?

 
Smoky said:
Ron please tell me more about the yuma deal. 1250 a year?? Does that mean you can come and go as you please and always have a full hookup waiting?? That would be a better deal than the 1650 I would end up paying for just 3 months at Mesa.

Yes when you rent by the year you can come and go as you please and always have the same site to return to. You do pay electric separately on most these deals.  But then many cases when you rent by the mounth electric is extra.

 
Ron:

What would be a range of dollar figures to budget for my electric bill?

Also can you give me the name of this campground and do they have a web site?

Smoky
 
Robert,

Thanks for that info.  Hydraulic rams would make sense, but they can creep, as Jim says, and if they do so unevenly, then the slideout will twist.
 
If you stick around, the James Dean Gallley,
425 N Main St
Fairmount, IN  46928
(765) 948-3326
is a must see.

We like the Shipshewanna North CG. Nicepark. Downside, truck and buggy noise. The new sites in the south campground are very very tight. But hey..too much to do to worry about the cg. Flea market is on tuesday. And having dinner in Middlebury is a must.

Barb
 
Hi Barb,

Are you talking about the private James Dean museum? If so we found the one run by the historical society  to be far better and it's almost free!!! I think they ask for a small donation. They also have the Jim Davis museum, creator of Garfield which is included!



 
If you're looking for a campground near Mt Rushmore, we were very happy with Big Pine Campoground just west of Custer.  A young couple just bought it a few months ago.  They are very accomodating and freindly and the campground is very nice under - well, what else? - big pine trees.  Have fun!
 
Barb,

I'm sure you'll enjoy the historical society museum. They even have one of Dean's motorcycles there. I think they have a lot more of his personal items than the other museum. The high school  he attended was still there but they don't use it anymore.



 
Smoky said:
Ron:

What would be a range of dollar figures to budget for my electric bill?

Also can you give me the name of this campground and do they have a web site?

Smoky

Electric bills high = 65.15 low 33.68.  We had the hot water on Electric on turned the HW gas on when Sam was doing the wash.

Park we stay at is Coyote Ranch.  No web site that I am aware of Phn 928-345-3573
 
Ron,

Our electricity has been ~$90 each of the past two months here in Milwaukee.  Of course, temps have been in the 80s-90s with high humidity so lots of A/C needed.  Cost is about $.09/kwh.
 
Ron:

Thanks for that info.  What kind of ameneities?  Pool, rec room, laundry, adult activites etc?

Tonight we are parked in Wal-Mart at Lake Delton WI.  Should be at Mt Rushmore in 2 days.  We will stay there a week at Happy Holiday Resort near Rapid City.  Then on to Sam's camp for installation and fishing. <g>

Smoky
 
Ned said:
Ron,

Our electricity has been ~$90 each of the past two months here in Milwaukee.? Of course, temps have been in the 80s-90s with high humidity so lots of A/C needed.? Cost is about $.09/kwh.

Electric here at Sam's Camp last month was $42 and we did use Ac quite a bit.
 
Coyote sounds great.  We can discuss this more in about 9 or 10 days.  ;D

BTW I got all the info to your dealer last night for the installation.  Finally.  Pretty soon I won't be fighting these time zone differences.
 
An update since we left Newmar.

First they fixed all our problems even though we did not have an appointment.? They have a lovely lounge and we met a lot of other Newmar owners.? When we checked in they first took everyone with appointments.? Then, after about an hour wait, the shop scheduler Daryl had me sent to his office where he interviewed me.? Our most important problem was a Splendide that washed great but would not dry.? He arranged to have the local Splendide distributor come out with their mobile unit and visit us at our hookup.? The Splendide guy quickly determined we had a faulty fan.? If the fan does not work, the heating element is shut down.? He then realized that he could not fix it without removing the entire unit from its cabinet.? This required us to drive over to the Newmar service center.? They quickly sent a couple guys on to the coach and removed the unit and place it on the bed.? Within an hour it was up and running.? Josh the foreman assured us if the fan replacement did not solve the problem, they would swap out the entire unit.? That turned out not to be necessary.

That afternoon we were happily washing and drying at the nearby Playmor campground.

BTW the only thing Playmor has going for it is the fact that it is ten minutes away from Newmar and has lovely hookups.? But the laundry room and pool are filthy.? Yes we used the laundry room in addition to the Splendide as we had a LOT of laundry backed up.? ?;D

This morning we left Playmor and arrived at the Wal-Mart in Lake Delton WI.? Passing through Chicago was scary as I thought the GPS was wrong when it directed me off I90 and on to I80.? As a result, I not only missed the cheap fuel in Gary IN, but had to drive right through downtown Chicago on the Skyway.? That was quite an experience.? I wanted the Admiral to take pictures of the tall skyscrapers through the coach front window, but she hid in the back until we cleared Chicago lol!? I am learning to trust this Garmin 2620.

After the city tour was over she gave me a rare compliment saying I drove through the city like a pro.? Indeed I feel much more comfortable with the coach than I did a few weeks ago.? When we get to Montana, the Admiral has promised to work on learning how to drive the coach.

This Wal-mart has a sign saying no overnight parking.? As soon as we parked, I went inside and spoke with the manager.? He laughed and said the owner of the nearby Jellystone was responsible for the village ordinance.? He said usually the ordinance is not enforced except on weekends, and when it is, most long haulers are left alone.? He also advised an excuse that always works is to tell the cops we drove all day (which we did) and that we pulled in when the engine began losing power. (Which it did not).? We really do not anticipate any problem and will be gone before sunrise.

Once we left Chicago, the scenery turned gorgeous as we drove through the lower Wisconsin Dells.

Looking forward to making Sioux Falls [edited] tomorrow and Mt Rushmore the day after and a week of bona fide camping the second day.

 

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