Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Repairs, Touring and Shopping

Sunday night we made it to LaGrange Indiana. We are having some repairs made to our rig while it is under warranty.

When we were ready to leave Huntington it was raining, and of course the landing legs decided not to stay up. So after an hour in the rain trying different things they finally stayed up to make the short 60 mile drive. Needless to say our moods were not the best.

We left the motorcycle in Huntington and Maxine got to enjoy a nice ride in the truck for a change. We arrived in LaGrange around 6:00pm and just relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Monday morning

I went over the list of repairs that needed to be made with the service center. During the walk through it was determined that we needed to have our linoleum replaced. This would also require us to have to find a hotel for the night.

We had scheduled a factory tour where our RV was made for Tuesday morning. We decided to get a hotel room for that night across the street from the factory so we would be close for Tuesday’s tour. We decided to spend the rest of Monday driving around “Amish Country”. The center of which is Shipshewana Indiana.

Shipshewana has many restaurants, shops, and plenty of atmosphere. You will see horse drawn buggy’s going down the road everywhere. There is also a huge flea market that has over 900 venders. Many furniture, quilt and craft shops as well.

At the visitor center we picked up a free CD audio tour that takes you 90 miles through the Indiana country side and many small Amish communities and farms.

Along the way it narrates the history of the Amish and some of the small towns you will pass through. As we started our tour, it did not take us long to make a stop at the Yoder Popcorn store.


In 1936, Rufus Yoder started growing popcorn on his family farm. In the Amish custom, he shared his excess crop with his neighbors and friends. They told their friends and neighbors about the excellent quality of Yoder Popcorn, and soon a business was born. In 1999, Yoder Popcorn  was purchased by Rufus' great niece, Sharon, along with her husband Richard and their youngest son, Russell. Besides operating the Popcorn Shoppe, they farm 1,000 acres which includes the acreage around the Shoppe and also raise hogs. 005

As we drove around the country side we passed very many Amish farms and passed many buggy’s.





Since living in Indiana we have been around the Amish people quite often. It is amazing on how well they blend their culture with the rest of modern America. Most Amish are tri-lingual. They speak Pennsylvania Dutch at home, German during their worship service and English.

Most home construction in northern Indiana utilizes Amish carpenters for framing work and roofing. When we built our sticks and bricks house many years ago we had a great crew.

Along our tour we stopped in the small town of Wakarusa. At the towns only stop light there is a Dime Store that is basically a candy shop. They sell Jumbo Jelly beans. Of course we had to stop.


Inside you will find every kind of jelly bean you could imagine. It was jelly bean heaven.


They also had jars of free sample so you can taste the different flavors. They also had the “Mother of all Jawbreakers”.


The Jumbo Beans.


Needless to say we spent some time and money in here….

We continued on our tour through the farmlands 024

Eventually we ended up back in Shipshewana and made a stop at the Guggisberg Cheese Factory.


We had just missed them making the cheese and they were cleaning out their vats.


They also had samples of all the cheeses they make. Yummy!


We both picked out some cheese we liked and bought some to take back to the hotel for later that night.

Back in Shipshewana we decided to eat at the Blue Gate Restaurant.


Our motorcycle club back in Huntington would often ride up here for a dinner ride. I think we missed those trips somehow. Now we know what were were missing. They serve Amish cooking family style and you will not go away hungry.


Salad, bread, chicken, roast beef, dressing, mashed potatoes, noodles, green beans and pie. Plus it was all you can eat. Needles to say we did not have any cheese and crackers later that night.

We ended the day watching TV and saying why did we eat so much!


We checked out of our hotel and went across the road for our 8:30 tour time at the DRV factory in Howe Indiana. This is where our rig was built.


We wanted to take another tour just to kill some time and to look at how they are made again.

We were joined by two other couples, also DRV owners. Our tour guide took us back through the process and we were able to check out anything we wanted. Coming from an automotive assembly background, Max and I are always interested in how things are assembled.

Finished units


Max checking out the frames


Sub Flooring ready to be installed to the frame


Metal for framing walls


Walls are up and interior installation begins


Wiring and insulation is installed


DRV uses wool insulation and has one of the highest R-factors in the industry


Side walls are installed and holes are cut out for windows, doors, vents ect..


Interior cabinets and trim are installed through out the process and the slides are installed


Exterior trim is installed along with windows, then the unit gets furniture installed. After the furniture is installed the unit is moved next door for paint.059

It is an interesting process and if in the area call them the week before and arrange a tour .

Tuesday afternoon after the tour, we went to the Shipshewana Flea Market. The market is only open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We have been here before and had never walked up and down each aisle. Today we were going to try to get through the whole thing. We did not make it! This place is huge!



We started out just looking at this and that. Shopping is not really our thing but we had time to kill. You can not help but finding something you need just by browsing. They have mostly new stuff but do have a lot of used items as well.

We found various straps we needed for organizing the basement. Max found some kitchen utensils she has been looking for and we just people watched. Luckily it is not the season yet so the crowd was small.

We bought a couple of T shirts and had a sign made to display in front of our rig. We did not make it all the way through again. Maybe next time.

We got a phone call from the service center that we would be able to stay in the rig on Tuesday night but it would be late before they could get it put back outside for us.

We eventually made it back to the rig around 8:00 pm exhausted, and ready to get these repairs done.

We still have to go to Lippert Manufacturing to get the hydraulics fixed and a wheel bearing that was leaking replaced. Right now that looks like we won’t make it there until maybe late Thursday or early Friday. Since we are in the area we have to bite the bullet and get it all done. It is a pain but it would be a bigger pain if it was not all covered by warranty.

The service center we chose is a small shop and had good ratings from people on the owners group forums and other sites. They have done other work for us before and we were satisfied with the previous work. I am a little concerned now because of the work that is required now will be a little bit more intensive. I think since this is our home we are a little bit nervous about letting anyone operate on her.

If it takes too much more time we will both gain a bunch of weight this week. The Amish cooking is awesome and they do not scrimp on the butter!

Enjoy Your Day!


Mike and Terri said...

We used to have a dime store in our home town (unfortunately gone now) that sold every kind of penny candy you could imagine. Talk about a kid in a candy store. . . literally! Those were the days.

Hope your remaining repairs will be done quickly and painlessly.

Anonymous said...

We posted your pic on our facebook page, if you ever get a pic of you in your shirts please emmail it to us so we can post it.

face book page: custom t's n more on the road

FD5, Retired said...

We were just at the factory in March having warranty work done on our 2011 MS. In 2010 we had work done on our 2005 MS at Indiana Interstate, LLC. Paul Cross worked for Doubletree prior to opening his place. We will be using them after our warranty expires. We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast one night for the 05 repairs. If you haven't tried the Dutchmaid Diner buffet it is better then the Blue Gate, our opinion of course, it is south of the flea market. Have fun while you are there and hopefully they will have you ready to roll before to long.

Stay Safe

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave and Maxie!
You guys sure stay busy. Would love to see Amish country. Maybe we'll be on the road soon. Still planning trip to Ozarks. Will let you know our plans once they are made.
Take care!
Steve and Joan