When I last posted, I mentioned that we were having some issues with Mo’s slides. Michael, the Grand Design service tech assigned to the East Coast came to Savannah to check our slides and unfortunately was unable to repair them. The kitchen slide has a bad hydraulic cylinder and the gears appear to be stripped. The dining room slide (opposite the kitchen slide) is catawampus – that’s a technical term for screwed up. To make matters worse, during the monsoon in Savannah, the bedroom slide started to leak. So, we are 3 for 3 in the slide issue category.
We were scheduled to leave Savannah on June 1st to begin our travels north towards Maine, but those plans came to a screeching halt with the news that Mo was going to have to go to the hospital – in Indiana. Now, I am not complaining – trust me! I would rather our girl Mo go back to the hospital where she was born because those doctors know all about her! With us being full-timers, having to come off the road for repairs was one thing that was bound to happen sooner or later. These RVs bounce all over the road and experience a small earthquake every time they move. Anyway, I digress – we scrapped most of our plans for the month of June as we had an appointment at the hospital – errrr factory – on June 17th.
We decided to stay put at Skidaway Island State Park until around June 12th, leaving us 5 days to get to Middlebury Indiana. Since we didn’t know if we would be able to get the kitchen slide back out if we pulled it in, we decided that once we brought the slide in, it would stay in until we got to the factory. I cancelled all the reservations for June up til the one for June 26th in Boothbay Maine. The factory estimated it will take a week to fix all the slides, so if that is the case and nothing else crops up, we just might be able to make that reservation on the 26th.
So, we started planning for the trip north from Savannah. I made a reservation at a hotel in South Bend Indiana for while are “homeless”. We decided to leave Savannah on June 12th to give us plenty of time to drive the approximately 1000 miles. We arranged with the park ranger at Skidaway to stay on and help around the park. Everything was going as planned…until the rain came. It rained and rained and rained some more. Mind you, it didn’t rain for a month and a half before early June – and then it rained about a year’s worth in a few days. The problem with all the rain was that we had a large field behind Mo that we had to back into and turn around in to get out of our campsite. It was slowly turning into a mud pit.
Steve borrowed the park’s John Deere tractor and filled some of the low spots in with gravel. He fretted over the rain and the mud and the swamp behind us. And it kept raining. He put a blue tarp over the whole front of Mo to keep the rain off the bedroom slide.
Finally, the rain started to let up and we had a day without rain and actually had some sunshine. We decided to reposition Mo out of the campsite and move her to the front of the park onto a paved parking lot. We prepped for the move and on the 11th we backed Mo out – slowly and carefully. We didn’t sink, we didn’t get stuck – everything went according to plan – woohoo! We went over to the kids’ house to see everybody one last time that evening and then came back to Mo. It started to rain again, so we pulled in the bedroom slide since it wasn’t covered by a tarp anymore. We were “dry” camping meaning we had no hookups. It was crazy warm and super humid – neither of us slept that night, but we were on the road the next morning.
We headed northwest and stopped for the first night at Forest Glen Estates which is just south of Atlanta on I-75. We had actually stopped at this campground right after we started full-timing in December 2016. We got up the next morning and timed our “visit” through Atlanta so that we would miss the rush hour traffic. It worked, and we made it through Atlanta with minimal delay. Our stop the second night was in Nashville at the Two Rivers Campground. Our friends Aaron and Debbie were there for a couple nights and we camped next to them. While we were there, we went to dinner with them and some other friends – Jamey and Peggy – joined us for dinner. It was fun catching up with all of them. The next morning, we headed out again and our destination was a Walmart in Columbus Indiana. We “wally-docked” in the parking lot overnight. The next day we headed to Shipshewana Indiana and spent the night at Shipshewana South Park Campground. I took off in BAT to visit a quilt store and we had a nice dinner that night at the Blue Gate Restaurant. The next day (Sunday the 11th) we moved to the small campground outside of the Grand Design factory service center in Middlebury Indiana. Whew – we made it!
Steve unloaded Bill from the garage and we proceeded to move a bunch of stuff from the main living area into the garage along with the bicycles that normally ride on the front of BAT. In case they have to remove all the slides, I wanted as little stuff as possible to be in the main living areas. We knew that work starts early at the service center, so we went to bed with the alarm set for 4:30 am. The fridge needed to be defrosted and the remaining items readied for our move to the hotel.
On Monday morning, I finished tidying up the inside of Mo while Steve went to the office to check in. When he got back, we pulled in the remaining two slides and left Mo. Steve rode Bill and I drove BAT to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast – by that time it was about 7:30. We made it to the hotel in Mishawaka at 9am and I tried to talk them into letting us into our room early (haha – like that was gonna happen). They did let us in at noon, but we sat in the truck for 3 hours waiting. We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies carrying all our stuff to the room. Oh well, at least we had a place to sleep. We also rented a little car for the week so we can do some sightseeing and visiting while we are here.
So here we are in Mishawaka, just outside of South Bend and the weather is borderline crappy. It was cold and windy and rainy on Monday. Tuesday morning it was foggy and cool. We had plans to meet Emily with Grand Design for lunch at a restaurant across the street from where we are staying called the Evil Czech Brewery. We had a great lunch and visit with Emily – she is the social media/marketing manager for Grand Design. After lunch, we drove over to Elkhart and visited the RV Museum – pretty cool little museum – we enjoyed it. Then we took a little detour so I could visit a quilt store and then we hit up a Dairy Queen and came back to the hotel.
There’s more visiting on tap in the next few days and I have plans to attend a quilt show in Shipshewana later this week. Steve will be doing some guy stuff, blah blah blah. More later!