Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Arrival in Forest City, IA

We got an early start today from Davenport, IA and headed to Forest City to the Winnebago dealer. Another cold morning with wind, so we were glad to be in the coach.

Shortly after leaving Davenport, we passed the World's Largest Truckstop. Naturally, we had to check it out. Wow -- this place is HUGE! Sort of like a large mall with hundreds of trucks parked around. Very clean, new and nice. A fun stop, but I will take the RV parks.

We finally arrived at Forest City, the home of Winnebago! We went to the Dealer, Lichtsinn Motors to meet the service rep and our salesman. Since we bought the coach on the Internet and phone, I had never met these folks. They were just as nice in person as they were online which again confirms our decision to do business here. Tomorrow, they will work on the few items on my list.

Cody and I took a short walk in the cold wind and had a "reunion" with our old Meridian which we traded on the new Tour. It looked like it was ready to hit the road again and we are sure the next owners will enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On the road to Iowa!

The Cummins folks finished the coach yesterday at about 6:00pm (they are open until midnight!) and I gratefully "camped" again in their parking lot. Works well with the 30 amp electric service. On the night I arrived, at about 1:00 am, all of a sudden there was all kinds of noise and lights next to my coach. I looked out the window to see another coach getting towed into the lot! Turns out he lost the cooling fan on the engine on the road (it literally came off), -- that must have been exciting.

Anyway, I realized that I would have the day to wait for the coach to get fixed and decided to go up to the Air Force Museum in Dayton (about 30 miles). I found a kennel to board Cody very close to the Cummins place and that worked out very well!

There are thousands of aircraft and artifacts to see and there is no charge for admission. This is easily one of the best museums I have ever been at. I have included some pictures of historical bombers -- an Italian Caproni from WWI, a B29 from WWII and a B36 from the Cold War. Amazing progress in only 30 years!

Today, Cody and I got up early in a cold rain (40 degrees) in north Cincinnati and headed toward Forest City, IA to have more work done on the coach (inside stuff this time). We drove about 450 miles and are now in Davenport, IA at a vice rv park. Full hooks even!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

To Cummins in West Chester, Ohio

We left the Raccoon Valley RV park after a very nice night. On the way out, we happened to meet Tom and Paula Nankivell, fellow Fulltime 2007 class members. What a wonderful surprise! They have spent the winter out west and had a great time at the Escapee's CARE center where they worked as volunteers.

Our destination today is the Cummins dealer in West Chester, OH (just north of Cincinnati) to have them look at an injector issue on the engine. They have RV parking on site, so we plan to arrive there tonight. On the way, we passed the Kentucky Artisan Center, an interesting site where arts and crafts of the local area are displayed and offered for sale. Nice parking and a fun place to visit. Here are a couple of pictures of the inside and outside of the facility. Well worth a stop.

After a nice lunch in the coach, we headed north. We arrived at the Cummins dealer (I was VERY pleased to have the GPS navigation system!). This is a nice facility and easy parking. Here, you can see the wonder dog checking out the office hours at Cummins.

We will see how things progress in the morning. If they seem to need the coach for much of the day, I hope to go to the AF Museum which is not far from here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

At Racoon Valley -- Tennessee

We finished up yesterday at the Freightliner service facility and are very pleased with their work. I will certainly go back there the next time our chassis needs service.

Today, Cody and I made it to the Escapees RV Park Racoon Valley in Tennessee. This park is just north of Knoxville and close to I-75. A nice place for an overnight or much longer stay with friendly folks and nice surroundings.

There is a small creek that runs through the park and a dog play yard where Cody could run and retrieve. He loved that!

The rv sites were full hookup and nicely maintained. This gives us a chance to catch up on laundry. Tomorrow, we will head toward Cincinnati where we need to have some service done on the Cummins on Monday morning. By the time we get back to SD, our coach should be about perfect!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another day at Gaffney

Cody and I got up and at them early today thinking that our coach would have to go in for service right at 8:00. However, after all the coaches around us were moved into service and we were still in the overnight lot, we checked with the office. Turns out they are really booked today, so we will be on the back burner. No problem as we have plenty of time.

While in the waiting area, I talked with Frank, an RVer I met yesterday who had to stay overnight due to an unexpected problem. He did not bring a car, so is stuck in the waiting area. I invited him to breakfast (he even bought) and we had a very nice time talking about electronics -- he was a former faculty member at the AF Academy.

This afternoon, Cody and I went to the nearby Cowpens Revolutionary War battlefield. This was very interesting and I really enjoyed the walking tour. This was a very major victory for the early US and led to the victory at Yorktown later on.

Here is the Wonder Dog ready to hit the trail! We had a very nice visit and learned quite a bit about this battle. TO learn more, see the Battle of Cowpens

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Servicing the Coach at Freightliner

Today, we became acquainted with the Freightliner facility and Gaffney, SC. Since we are being worked into the work schedule here at Freightliner, we knew we needed to be flexible regarding time -- which is fine with us since the campground is nice and the people are friendly. We did take the opportunity to visit the nearby Freightliner manufacturing facility to take the excellent plant tour. This was well worth the 60 minutes invested as I got to see how a chassis starts with raw metal and components and ends up ready to carry a new RV. I even saw a chassis exactly like mine which was very interesting.

Since we are in Gaffney, the peach capitol of SC, we had to stop and see the "peachoid" -- a water tower in the form of a peach. Interesting to say the least.

Our coach entered the service facility today at 1:00 which was great news. Cody and I spent the afternoon in the waiting room and met several other RVers. A nice day all around.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Freightliner Facility in Gaffney, SC

After a nice time at Orinda's mother's, I drove up to Gaffney, SC to the Freightliner Service facility. While not a huge operation (they do not build chassis here), it is still quite impressive. Apparently, all they do here is to provide RV service. There is a very nice waiting area and yes, they are pet friendly -- when I walked in, there were several dogs, a cage with birds, and a cat accompanying their owners.

We will be "worked in" for our maintenance and they expect to get us taken care of in a couple days -- good deal!

In the meantime, we are camped behind the Frieghtliner building where they have a nice parking area with 50 amp service, as well as a water/dump facility available. There are about 20 spaces available and perhaps 50% were used.

Finally, we spied a Frieghtliner chassis behind the shop that is displayed at RV shows. It is interesting to see the chassis without the RV on top and lets you appreciate the engineering that goes on.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hilton Head Harbor Rv Park & Yacht Club

We had a great couple of days at the Hilton Head RV and Yacht Club. We sprang for a waterfront site and as you can see, were literally at the marina. We really enjoyed watching the boats cruise up and down the Intercoastal Waterway. We started the day with a great breakfast at the Original Pancake House which was great. Then, we took a relaxed tour of the island.

Hilton Head was very nice, although it is hard to find things given the sign ordinance. Overall, this was a very nice stop.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum 4-16-08

We left Hanna Park in Jacksonville, FL and traveled about 4 hours up toward Savannah, GA to stop at the "Mighty Eighth" Air Force Museum. There was plenty of construction on I95, but we made it with no problems and the coach performed very well in spite of the heavy cross winds. The museum is certainly worth a stop and is very well done. I learned that the 8th Air Force was originally created in Savannah (hence the location of the museum) and then transfered to England. This was the air force that did much of the heavy bombing of Germany with B-17s and B-24s. There were also many fighter aircraft assigned to the force. At the peak of the war, over 3,000 aircraft a day attacked Germany.

These pictures show just a small part of the many interesting exhibits at the museum. The $10 cost (each) was well worth it and if you are traveling near Savannah, be sure to stop and take it in.

On the Road Again - to Jacksonville

We have hit the road once again after spending the winter in Sebring, FL. HAd a very nice time, but it is nice to be on the move again. We now really feel like fulltimer RVers since we had spent the winter in FL for the last couple years -- now we can travel as desired.

We drove up to Jacksonville, FL today and spent the night in Hanna Park. This is owned by the city and is a very nice park for RVs. Full hookups are available and we were able to park our 40' Tour in the second site we tried. The first was way to tight due to many trees. We had a great evening and went out to dinner with a friend from our old college days that we had not seen in almost 30 years. You can see Orinda with the wonder dog at our site.