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What's New from October 2001
October 1, 2001
  • Here are the recent files I have updated: 
  • We are still enjoying the Lexington, Kentucky, area. Our friends Judy and Cec were here at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground when we arrived so we did some touring with them. They left yesterday but we will stay until Thursday morning so we will do more on our own. 

    Here are a few highlights: 

    We learned a ton about horses at the Horse Park. 
    The museum inside was exceptionally educational.

    Statue of Man O' War, the greatest race horse of all time

    In the little town of Midway we enjoyed a most delicious lunch at The Depot. 

    At the Labrot and Graham distillery we learned all about Kentucky bourbon 
    and on our drives we saw many beautiful horse farms.

     In nearby Frankfort we attended a folk festival 
    and enjoyed this view of the capitol.

    Another mystery picture. Where were we?  This was a difficult mystery picture. No one even attempted to guess. If you want to play the game please go to our Guess page and see how much you know.

    October 2, 
    I have changed the questions on the quizlet (go to our main menu). Here are the results of last month's survey in which 859 responded:

    What will/do you live in as a full-timer? 

    • Motorhome up to 35 feet.      27%
    • Motorhome 36-40 feet          36%
    • Motorhome 41 feet or more  1%
    • 33-35 feet 5th wheel             20%
    • 36 foot or larger 5th wheel   6%
    • Travel trailer of any size      10%
    From our survey it looks like the motorhome is the most popular. 

    October 5
    We are not happy campers.
    We were all ready to leave Lexington for the Cumberland Gap national park in south eastern Kentucky yesterday (Thursday). We were unhooked and I had started the engine so it could warm up. Then I turned on the inverter (as suggested by the factory so I could keep the ice maker going while traveling) and it didn't go on. I called the factory and read them the code that the inverter's panel was displaying. That code indicated a wiring problem. While on the phone with the factory, he had me start the generator to see if we had power; we did. Then I tried the inverter again and sparks flew and the microwave started smoking. I smelled the odor of a burnt motor. Instead of heading south on I-75 we went north and arrived back in Decatur, Indiana, about 3:30 in the afternoon. We are number 20 on a list of drop in customers (who do not have appointments) and they won't get to us until Monday or probably not until Tuesday. So here we sit in a cold rain (the high today will be in the mid 50s). 

    This is the third time in one year that our inverter has blown and taken other appliances with it. You can be sure that we aren't leaving until we are sure that they have totally solved the problem. We may be shoveling snow this winter. 

    I will keep you posted. At least we have electricity here and I know where the laundry and weight watcher's meeting is. 

    October 6
    The sun came out today so we went for a drive. The trees are turning and I couldn't resist taking a bunch of pictures. Notice the upper right hand photo which is of an old gas station. If you look closely the tall pole has an arm coming out of the pole on the upper left side. That is what used to hold the sign advertising the make of fuel. Beyond the station is a corn field ready for harvesting. The field in the center photo is dried beans again ready for harvesting.

    October 10
    We are still in Decatur. They worked on us Monday afternoon and again Tuesday morning. They replaced the burned out inverter and some other parts and proclaimed us fixed. We decided to stay here the night to keep checking the inverter. We unplugged the coach three or four times and turned on the inverter. All did seem to be working. We slept in a bit this morning instead of getting up at 5:30 like all who are here for service have to do. At 10 a.m. we were ready to leave and unplugged the coach. The inverter wouldn't go on. The same old problem again. I walked in and told the guys who had worked on it what had happened. Scratching their head, they immediately brought the motorhome inside the building and after a while found another loose wire. They have again told us that it is fixed, but we will stay the night once more. We may or may not get out of here tomorrow. I suddenly have very little faith.

    October 11
    We left Decatur this morning and everything seems to be working. The culprit yesterday was a loose wire. In order to get back to where we started from we are heading to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington for just one night then we will resume a modified trip south and east.

    I wanted to share what it is like to be at the American Coach Factory service facility. The large lot holds 40 motorhomes and we are all plugged in to shore power. There is a convenient dump station with water so we have everything we need. There is a nice lounge with coffee ready early in the morning and all who are getting service sit and read or talk away the day. It is really fun to chat with everyone and topics range from motorhome problems to family. After a day or two we all feel like long time friends. 

    We have to be out of our coaches and have them ready to move by 6 a.m. eastern time (they don't do daylight time in Indiana). At only a few minutes past 6 one person from each crew goes out in the lot and starts the engine of the coach they will work on that day. Imagine the roar of 40 diesel engines that early in the morning. We who are suddenly homeless sit in the lounge and have coffee and chat until we decide to go out and find breakfast somewhere. During the day we are all free to visit our home and see what they are working on and how things are coming. It is nice that they allow us to do that. Then at 2:30 our homes are put back where they came from and we all do our own thing for the evening. 

    The techs and the those in the office are extra friendly. They really try hard. Although being in Decatur is okay, we don't want to go back for a long time. 

    On another note. I just wrote that article about how things work differently in RVs and mentioned that we have to defrost our refrigerators. Guess what? I just learned that there is now an upgrade for Dometic refrigerators that heats the fins once a month just enough so that the ice melts and drips into the tray. 

    October 21
    We only stayed one night at the Horse Park and since it was cold and raining when we left we continued on I-75 ( something we had avoided like a plague since we started full-timing) and scraped our plan to travel red roads and visit the Cumberland Gap area of Kentucky.  Knoxville was our planned stop but there was no room at the Escapees park. We are always off the road early so going on down the road a little farther was not a problem. We left I-75 and turned east on I-40 and only had to go a little ways to get to a very nice KOA campground in Newport, Tennessee. 

    The following morning as we headed east again on I-40 we enjoyed the most beautiful drive we had ever experienced. The mountains of western North Carolina are beautiful on any day, but in the fall when they take on the look of an artist's palette, the view is more spectacular than words can describe. We stayed at Bear Creek Campground in Asheville and leaned that our friends, Judy and Cec, were just across town in another campground. We enjoyed some meals together but did our touring separately. 

    Visiting the Biltmore Estate was the top item on our list. The tour is a bit pricey ($33 with no senior discount) but we enjoyed the day. We were only able to visit a small percentage of the over 200 rooms and enjoyed the furnishings although I wouldn't want them in my house. They are mostly gaudy which was typical of the era of the house (late 1800's).

    One day we spent the whole day driving east on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Again the scenery was fantastic. My pictures do not begin to do justice to the bright colors which completely covered the hills. 

    It was in Asheville that we learned that North Carolina's roads are difficult at best to travel on. Oh the surface is fine, but the roads change names often and there are not enough route signs. We got lost several times on our way home from the parkway. 

    We traveled from Asheville with Judy and Cec and followed them to a Thousand Trails park near Winston Salem. It was our first experience in a TT park and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The park is huge and we were especially thrilled to see one camper really go all out for my favorite holiday---Halloween. 

    Our first venture while in the area was to visit Old Salem and we learned a lot about the Moravians, their religion and their first village in North Carolina. Although we were seeing things that we had seen in other such villages, it was fun to walk around and talk with the folks who were dressed in period costumes. It was billed as living history and it was, but we were expecting first person living history like in Williamsburg.
    Leaving Old Salem we tried to find one of the Krispy Kreme places (they originated in Winston Salem) and were given a map with explicit instructions, but we kept getting lost. We had to stop more than once and still to this day cannot figure how we ended up going the wrong way. We were heading west on Silas Creek Parkway and turned right on Stratfford (which showed we would be heading north on the map). Actually the compass in the car showed that we were going south and in fact we were going the wrong way. We all scratched our heads long and hard over that one. That night at the Pier 601 seafood restaurant (which was excellent) the owner came over to talk with the four of us and we mentioned the roads and how in all our years on the road we have never been so confused. He agreed and warned us that Charlotte was worse. Great! That's where we were heading and in fact that is where we are now. And in one day we have already been misled three times and we were actually lost once. 

    We left our friends and drove south on I-85 to the Fleetwood RV Resort at Lowes raceway in Concord. We are just a little north of Charlotte and will be doing some good touring here. But the real treat for us is the huge Concord Mills Mall just up the road a little over a mile. They have a 24 theater AMC movie house and we have already been to one. There are a dozen movies we are anxious to see so we could do two a day except we have other things to do. Tomorrow it is Canon Village and we will also tour the huge race track here. 

    October 24
    We like Concord, North Carolina, so much that we have decided to stay until November 4 and we will do a seminar here at Tom Johnson's Camping Center here at the Fleetwood RV Resort and Raceway on Saturday, November 3 at 10 a.m. Tell your friends (if you are in or near Charlotte, NC) and come on out that Saturday. We'd love to see you.

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