South by Southeast travel blog


Our motor home was made in Elkhart IN, the RV capital of the world. When we bought it I was happy that we lived nearby, only about a two hour drive away. We did not expect to have many repair issues but if we did, it was nice to be close. With one exception we have never been able to get into Newmar, the manufacturer, for repairs. They are fully booked 4 - 6 months ahead. Things that go wrong cannot be planned and that's a long time to wait. The RV business has really picked up since it bottomed out in 2008 and Newmar is cranking out rigs as fast as possible and I suspect that has lead to some of the overwhelming demand. Luckily, our repair issues are few and far between and there are other RV repair facilities in the area that can help. One of our slides is out of kilter and we have an appointment for first thing Tuesday morning at the RV repair facility that installed a new floor in our previous motor home. This slide problem has happened once before and was easy to fix with the proper tools and know-how. Driving here on Labor Day seemed like a bad idea, so we came a day early and are camped in their parking lot with water and electric hook-ups. The railroad track is across the street; our sleep will probably suffer. The RV industry sprang up here to a large degree, because of all the skilled Amish and Mennonite tradesmen who live in the area. It's Sunday and everyone is at church all day. The drive out of metro Chicago was easy because everyone is busy grilling weenies on the holiday weekend and here in town no one is around; maybe they're all still at church. I don't really like to come to Elkhart, because I associate it with bad news, big bills and lots of waiting. Here's hoping that the Amish market tomorrow in nearby Shipshewanna, will be a good distraction.

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