Friday, August 8, 2014

Last day at the Rally and Hitch-Itch

Location: Elkhart County Fair Campground (FROG Rally); Goshen, Indiana
(Click pics to enlarge)
(be sure to read the captions)

Today is the last day of the Rally. The final number of RV's was over 500. Everything from the largest Motorhomes to very small travel trailers. Just about everyone is having service or repairs done to their RV's. It doesn't matter if your rig is out of warranty or not, all work is free of charge. This is a show of appreciation from Forest River, the parent company of several RV brands. I thought and thought but couldn't think of anything wrong with Liberty except the light in the refrigerator that has rarely ever worked. I started to turn it in, but decided against it because it was so insignificant and I didn't want a service technician messing around and may cause another problem. Apparently, having no work needing to be done is a rarity here at the Rally. Two guys knocked on my door yesterday and wanted to make sure I didn't have anything that needed repaired. I told them I was good and asked them how many RV's didn't have any work scheduled. They said about 50. So Liberty is in the 10% of rigs without any problems. She has done well over the 5,200 miles that she has been towed. We have passed over the Smoky Mountains, the Alleghany's twice and the Adirondacks. I know I made the correct decision as to the RV and Truck. 

I have met some nice people at the Rally. Most are couples, but there have been a few solo travelers like myself. There have not been many full-timers though. Most travel for a couple of months per year with this Rally being the biggest for them. I have learned several things about RV's and their stuff at the daily seminars. Several people have lived in their RV for years and are still learning things about it. 

I'm glad I came to the Rally but started getting the Hitch-Itch around  the 6th day (Wednesday). This is the longest I have been in one place since early April. If I didn't have an appointment to have Freedom and Liberty weighed on Saturday, I would have probably have left by now. This will be the first time they have been weighed as a combination and I need to know if I'm overloaded or not. 

I also toured the Rockwood/Flagstaff factory to see where Liberty was built. The factory is in the middle of farmland and away from any city. They said about 90% of their workforce is Amish. In my previous career, I have seen a lot of work crews, but have never seen one like the Amish. There was no wasted motion and everyone was working constantly and at full speed. I toured the Airstream factory in Ohio a few weeks ago and the Amish workers at the Rockwood plant put the Airstream workers to shame. There are 3 products made at the factory I toured. They are the Rockwood and Flagstaff Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers and the V-Cross. The day of the tour they were building V-Cross Windjammers. I believe they said the production rate is about 17 complete units per day. I was very impressed by the workers, the product and the atmosphere of the factory. I'm glad Liberty was built there.

My plan is to pull out tomorrow (Saturday) around 11:30 after getting weighed. I have reservations at Ionia Recreation Area in Michigan for Saturday and Sunday nights. I stayed there a couple weeks ago when I was headed to Muskegon. I'm stopping there because there is a Walmart and a good Laundromat in town. The next stops are Traverse City, MI; St. Ignace, MI (Mackinac Island area); Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
One of the four dinners. This one was
honoring the CEO of Forest River, Pete Liegl.
He wasn't able to be there.

This is part of the Fairgrounds where the Rally
is being staged. The county has done a great job
with this place. Those are new RV's on display
on the left. I looked, but didn't seriously consider

Here is the bench picture.
Freedom and Liberty in the background.

This is a couple I have seen all week.
Their age and lack of being able to walk
has not slowed them down at all. This is typical
of the RV'ers here.

I figured it was time for a selfie.
I'm wearing my new Rockwood hat. They
were selling them for $5.00. I bought 4.

A cooking device I bought from one
of the vendors

You add a liquid around the ring and
as you cook your steak or burger,
the grease drains to the side. Works good, I'm
satisfied with it.

RV's lined up at the factory, ready
to be shipped out

This is the very beginning. The guy on
the left is stamping the VIN on the

Each RV is at a different work stage.
As a portion is completed, it is pushed
down the line.

Back ends

Front ends

This is a Horse Hitching barn at the
local Walmart. That is one buggy going
in and one already there.
Several businesses around the area
make accommodations for the Amish, but
nothing like this. I was impressed.
Ya'll take care of each other. Cya down the road.

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