We’re in Elkhart County – specifically Nappanee, Indiana – home of Newmar and birthplace of this magnificent mechanical mobile mansion!
We’re coming up to the end of our 1st year (June 28th) and we’re here for some warranty repair work. I suspect this will be a regular stop each year as we head north to our spring and summer home in Ontario.
Elkhart County is considered the RV capital of the world – and 80% of USA’s RV’s are manufactured here. If you’re in the market for an RV, more manufacturers are located here than anywhere else in the country.
Elkhart County is also Amish Country and is ever so evident in the number of horse drawn carts and carriages, the well manicured and impeccable farms, the clothing, food (“mush” for breakfast – think Polenta…), baked goods, (yummy pies), unique shops and scenic drives. It is very early spring here yet it is beautiful! I can only imagine how bountiful and beautiful it would be in the summer!
I just can’t get enough of the Amish horses and carriages in town. There are hitching posts at most stores and even some “Do Not Tie Horses Here” signs. Scooping poop is also a retail job requirement!
We called Newmar a month ago requesting service to start on Monday, April 6th and gave them our punch list of about 5 items – primarily, the “crippled” full wall slide AND the darn steps which had stopped working again! The past month Chuck has been manually ratcheting the steps or we use the milk crate…
Newmar confirmed the appointment and said it would take 5 days to complete the work. Also, their service centre has parking for about 24 coaches – with full hook-ups – and is — free! We’ve heard that before.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon and set up in the lot with 8 other coaches. By Sunday night we were 15 coaches all scheduled to start work on Monday morning. There were 4 coaches from Ontario and 2 from Quebec – all enroute back to Canada – and counting down the 182 maximum days in the US.
Newmar is an Amish company so they start work at 6 a.m. and finish at 2:30 p.m. so they can go home and tend to their farms and spend evenings with their families. Sure enough, the service tech was at our coach at 6:15.
We went through the original list with him and then started talking about the other 10-12 minor items/adjustments that we had thought about over the month. Well, they can’t promise the other items – since the original 5 day service schedule was set to take care of our initial punch list. They did claim to try! They are also willing to show Chuck how to make some of the adjustments we are asking for, since some of them have been recurring.
When you all have your own coaches – make sure you include everything on your warranty repair lists when scheduling your appointments!
We spent our 1st “service” day [6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.] with water bowls, kitty carrier and leashes in hand for both Gracie (the dog) and Fred (the cat) – since Rule #1 is No Pets on Board during this service… While Gracie always comes with us we have previously shut Fred in the back bathroom with food, litter, bed, etc.
But, not this time…
AIMLESSLY DRIVING AROUND AT 7 am –
C: Did Fred go to the bathroom this morning?
J: I don’t know!
C: What’s that smell?
J: I don’t smell anything!
C: Really? [cough cough]
J: Pull over – we have to check/clean Fred and the kitty carrier
C: O.K. – I’m looking – I don’t want to stop on the shoulder with all these big trucks barreling down the highway at 7 a.m.
J: Ahead! There’s a gas station and restaurant parking lot!
STOPPED AND PARKED
J: You check on Fred…
C: Whew – It’s clean – he just farted!
J: Let’s put him on his leash and maybe he’ll go outside
[Very wishful thinking – he’s never pooped outside in his 12 years!]
C: We have a bag of litter in the truck
J: …but no litter box
C: I’ll check in the restaurant and gas station to see if they have a box
C: No luck – let’s go back to town
J: It’s only 7:30 – nothing will be open yet
C: There’s a dumpster – I’ll check for a box. I see one!
[Chuck retrieves the box! Conveniently we have a box cutter and a roll of tape in the truck to make a perfect kitty size litter box…]
C: Here you go Fred – a litter box!
C: Let’s go for breakfast – I think Fred needs some privacy.
AFTER BREAKFAST – BACK AT THE TRUCK
J: Did he go?
C: Not yet
7 HOURS LATER – BACK AT THE COACH
J: Fred, we’re home!
First stop – his litter box – in the coach.
Hmmm, I wonder what Day 2 will bring…