View Full Version : This Morning in Elkhart, Indiana

05-13-2008, 10:55 AM
Note: This was well received on "that other forum" so I thought I'd post it here for ya'll in case you missed it...


This morning was about like any other in Elkhart. A guy kisses his wife and hugs the kids and takes half a cup of coffee with him out to the truck. Turning the key and giving the wipers a few passes to remove the morning dew, he heads in from the suburbs.

A.M. talk radio takes the lonely out of the brief ride and reminds him in many ways his life is much better than many. The sunrise causes the damp fields to glisten in golden light.

He hangs his jacket in his office. Moving down the hall he greets his fellow workers. Gets a fresh cup of coffee. The printer in his office buzzes away and makes a neat stack of the build orders that came in yesterday.

He is joined by the line formen. One has a habit of telling a corny joke. The others groan and shake their heads. The build orders are passed out to the foremen and the workday begins.

But this day is just a little different. Just a bit, and none of the guys really notice. Because there, on top of the stack, is the build order for the 5th wheel we orderd yesterday.

This day has been a decade in the making. Through really good times and layoffs, the passing of family and friends, the kids growing up and moving out.

We've always had a bit of wanderlust, fondness of the outdoors and the desire to settle down for a few days each month in a comfy state park. Good jobs return and the old family farm is sold. Finances turn around. For 10 years dream of owning an RV has been just out of reach. Until now.

Pretty special day in Elkhart. But every day is that way, I suppose. Because that's where peoples dreams are built.

And now they're going to build mine.

05-13-2008, 11:39 AM
We too had given up our dream of full timing.
WE have had many rigs and modes of travel/camping over the years but the costs in retirement seemed out of reach.
My wife's persistence over the years convinced me that our plans should continue.
You only live once. :D
Only the kids are sad that we won't be as close. :(

05-24-2008, 02:52 PM
Went to the hitch shop today and did pretty well I think on a Reese 16K hitch and an 18K round tube slider. That should keep an 8K trailer firmly attached to the truck.

The handle is inverted and the hitch is in the "manuver" (as opposed to "tow") position so the bed cover will close. And like Minnie Pearl's hat, it still has the tag on it.

Timbrens were installed last week. There's a growing pile of camper stuff in the basement. Cleaned up some old storage totes and a couple of folding chairs that had been collecting dust in the garage.

Now this whole camper thing is getting to be quite real...assuming a 60 day delivery clock, then we have 44 days to go.

05-25-2008, 12:26 PM
If you make the 44 day promise, I salute you. But, I'm not holding my breath!

Some friends of ours, last December, were promised delivery of a custom Class "C" which finally arrived in January.

I truly hope for better luck in your case.

73, Mac AE5FH

05-25-2008, 01:34 PM
And time moves on sooooo slowwwly!
Or at least it will seem that way before it's over.
I admire you. There is no way I would have the patience to wait.
I want my toys right now!

05-25-2008, 04:59 PM
There is no way I would have the patience to wait.

Well, when you consider I really don't have much choice...and like I said..."Assume a 60 day delivery clock"...in the mean time were kinda :jitter:

The sales guy said non motorized RV's from Forest River were running about 54 - 60 days out the door from day off order. But the official RVW line is allow 10 weeks so no one gets their feelings hurt. Generally they beat that.

05-26-2008, 08:13 AM
Let us hope as the season ticks by that they get your unit out on time so that you can enjoy the season.
I looked into ordering an Auto Mate 5th wheel many years ago. They were all custom order and built pretty much the way you wanted it. Very nice but they told me some 90-120 days and I balked.
We had just bought a new diesel truck and were ready for a newer and bigger unit. And, after all is was late Spring and time to camp!
We found a new Collins the following week and bought it. Might not have been quite as nice as the Auto Mate but it was very nice. One of the best of 5 5th wheels we owned.
We started with tents like many, went to a small Class B (at the time) MH. Then 1 travel trailer, 5 5th wheels and two tent trailers over the years to fit our varying needs at the time.
Now we have the bigger MH for our upcoming travels. A little easier to set up for us now.

05-26-2008, 04:45 PM

Got an email from RVW today stating the tenative roll-out date for our Rockwood 8280SS will be June 18. They expect delivery in 7 to 10 days there after. Odds are we will have the trailer home by 4th of July.

Just another reason to celibrate. :banana2:

For those keeping score we ordered on May 9.

We have the hitch installed (clunk, clunk, clunk...dang it...put a bungee on that thing!!) and all the stuff we have rounded up to load up the trailer is carefully checklisted, stacked in the basement. All there is to do now is wait!


05-26-2008, 06:06 PM
Congrats!! You must know someone up there.

73, Mac AE5FH

05-26-2008, 06:47 PM
I think that sales are down this year and this has resulted in a shortened manufacturing schedule for them.
I know that car and RV dealers out West are hurting all over.
I know many parks in the West are not full this weekend as a result of ever increasing costs.
Anyway, the news is good for you regardless of the reason.
Now get your gear staged and save up some money for that fuel for the first trip! :jitter:

05-28-2008, 08:50 PM
We pick up the trailer from RVW on July the 5th. :jitter: We'll drive up on the 4th, stay at a local KOA sat-mon nights, at Lake Cumberland State Park, KY tues - wed night, and then Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA for thur - fri nights and drive home on saturday.

If you can find us, join us!!


06-17-2008, 08:10 AM
17 days and counting!


06-17-2008, 08:56 AM
That's a long time when you are anxious
Just like being a kid and waiting for Xmas to get here isn't it???:D

06-17-2008, 09:42 AM
Regretfully, we will pull out of the Kentucky Horse Park on July 2. You will go by it on I75 just north of Lexington. Had thought someone might give us a call on 146.52. We'll be there from June 23 till July 2.

Best of luck on your new 5th wheel.

We'll be on several of the repeaters around Lexington.

73, Mac McGraw AE5FH

06-17-2008, 10:33 AM
We'll be on several of the repeaters around Lexington.

73, Mac McGraw AE5FH

Which ones are the better ones? On my things to do to keep me busy list is programming the V-700 with a bunch of repeaters for the trip


06-17-2008, 10:48 AM
Will research and reply!

73, Mac AE5FH

06-17-2008, 05:26 PM
Radio, I contacted, Pat Hayden, trustee of the repeater at 146.9400, pl 88.5 and he assured me that the repeater is open for business to all licensed amateurs. I thought that this might be a good one as Pat is a DX operator with experience.

Lexington seems to have no shortage of listed sites but my limited experience says they may not all be active.

Hope this helps. 73, Mac McGraw AE5FH

06-18-2008, 07:53 PM

I was informed today


that the new trailer rolled off line (ie: out the door)


right on schedule and


the driver will pick it up next week and


we are ON for 5 July delivery!!


*pant* *pant* *THUD!!*

06-22-2008, 06:37 PM
Radio, I contacted, Pat Hayden, trustee of the repeater at 146.9400, pl 88.5 and he assured me that the repeater is open for business to all licensed amateurs.

I enterd that in a memory in the radio but I don't see it listed in the repeater diractory for Lexington. Is it in another town near Lexington and listed under that name??

06-25-2008, 07:36 PM
RVWholesalers have it on the lot and I can't pick it up for 9 days 13 hours and 28 minutes!!

I did ask for some pictures...we'll see if Dave the Sales Guy has time to send some. :jitter:

06-26-2008, 02:40 PM
Dave the sales guy came through with some pictures! The slide is in and they're not slick photo's like in the brochures...but she's ours!:jitter:

A guy at work said "I don't see any antennas" and I told him they didn't have any of the really big ones that I like....:radio:...so I'll add those on later.

06-27-2008, 09:57 PM
Very nice and I am proud for you and the family.