October 4 to 27, 2006 - Maintenance on the way to Texas

We left Rapid City on October 4th and headed east.  We stopped at Wall Drug on the way, took us about ten minutes of walking around to realize we didn't have a good reason to stay longer.  It was lunch time so we checked what was available and it was just burgers and such, so we ate in the motorhome.  

We decided that we needed to drive further per day so our plan is two 250-300 mile days followed by a two night stay.  This seemed to work well for us.

We ended up in Mitchell, SD after 282 miles, here is our campsite at Famil-E-Fun Campground.  You can see another internet dish peaking out behind us.

We quickly drove into town to see the Corn Palace before it got dark.  Here are pictures.

An example of how the corn palace is decorated:

Someday we will probably come back and spend more time here.

On the 5th we drove 262 miles to Arrowhead County Park in Neola, IA stopping at Flying J in Sioux Falls, SD for diesel.   They just opened up this section for non-horse trailers, so we had 50AMP electric.  Neola is close to Council Bluffs, IA and Omaha, NB.  We stayed two nights.  Here is our campsite.

We did shop in Council Bluffs and did some touring of it and Omaha.  The Casino in Council Bluffs that we stayed at in April 2004 no longer has a campground, but still has dry camping in their lot.  It changed its name to the Horseshoe Casino instead of Bluffs Run.

On October 7th we drove 297 miles to Indian Trails Resort in Corona, IL in the Quad Cities area.  This campground is on Coast to Coast so it cost us $8/night.  It was a family campground but worked for one night.  We did not have internet since the sites that would have worked with the dish were closed for the season and there were only a few of those anyway.  We got the impression many of the campers lived in the area.

On October 8th we drove 246 miles to WHR White Oaks on the Lake campground in Monticello, IN again stopping on the way for diesel at Flying J.  We stayed three nights and since we are WHR members it cost us $6 total for our 50AMP site.  We really liked White Oaks.  Here is our campsite:

A view from our campsite to the clubhouse with Diane, this was the last night they were serving food.  Our dinner cost about $9. 

The lake is on the Tippecanoe River and here is the beach:


A killdeer:

The first night we were at the campground they had a s'mores campfire and we had a good time.  We really enjoyed the managers and the workers here, they were very friendly. 

One day we drove into Lafayette, IN for some shopping and to have lunch.  It was about half an hour away.  We could see coming back sometime to this campground and area.

On October 11th we drove north to Charlotte, MI for our Spartan Chassis appointment.  It was a cold day.  Here we are camped at Spartan's customer campground after 220 miles. 

Overnight it snowed a little and we had to move the motorhome at 7AM in the dark and on a slightly snowy street to the service center.  A first time driving a motorhome on snow and the first time we had ever driven the Dutch Star in the dark.  We left the motorhome and started keeping ourselves busy with Evita in the car.  We went by the Eaton County Fairgrounds where we attended the Spartan Chassis Rally in September 2005.  That pop-up trailer is parked where we were then.

We talked to the camp host, who had a 2005 Newmar Kountry Star, he was very happy with his motorhome and had no reason to drive down to Newmar to get anything fixed.  We remembered this as we talked to unhappy Kountry Star owners at Newmar the next week.

Evita got a walk on the snow:

The snow came and went all day, at one time about 2" was on the roads.  That was also when they tried to test drive our motorhome after fixing our problems and could not really tell if they were fixed.  

Here is our campsite at the end of the day, lots more snow:

The fall colors were nice:

On October 13th it was a windy 137 mile drive to Newmar in Nappanee, IN.  Here we are parked in electric, the water was turned off because it was so cold. 

Here is our campsite which is close to where we were in October 2005.

Rich and Diane Emond were a few spaces away, we hadn't seen them since Anchorage, AK in July.  In full-hookups were Norm and Linda Payne, who we last saw here in October 2005.   The Emonds and Paynes are very good friends and we all went out to dinner at Flick's in Wakarusa, which has a buffet on Friday night.  It was great catching up and we had a good time. 

Saturday morning a spot opened in full hookups so we moved.  We were in spot #1, in 2005 we were in #2.

The Emonds and Paynes headed south and we said our goodbyes.

For four mornings starting Monday we had to have the motorhome ready at 6AM which meant we got up about 4:15-4:30.  Our list got fixed and we checked things as well as we could.  On Thursday the windshield guy came and replaced our windshield while it was in Newmar's shop and came by the restaurant we were in to get the deductible check.  Harmon Glass/Glass Doctor out of Goshen, IN is great.  It was cold in Nappanee much of our stay.

We knew our way around this area quite well and we made sure to have dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury again.  It is so good.  We also stopped by Miller's Orchards in Nappanee and bought more of Mrs Miller's vegetarian mince meat, it wonderful.  Mr and Mrs Miller are such wonderful people so it is always a pleasure to see them again.  We stopped by an RV furniture place in Elkhart and ran into the Smith family again, we all had a laugh over how we keep meeting each other all over the country.  We had a good visit.  Our last meeting was in February in Livingston, TX.

We did find that the speedometer still could error and the Spartan tech at Newmar determined our #4 cylinder was now not firing well when warm, in Anchorage it was not firing only when cold.  That explained some other problems.  We arranged to get the cylinder fixed at Cummins in Indianapolis on Monday and hoped they could narrow down the speedometer issue.

Sunday the 22nd we headed for Indianapolis and found we had no dash heat.  Our dash air conditioning was one of the items Newmar was supposed to fix and somehow our dash heat was now broken.  It was cold and wet going south, it was freezong having to run the defrost on high fan to keep the windshield clear blowing frigid air. 

Since Cummins was on the SW part of the city and both Trader Joes and Costco were in the NE part of the city we stopped at them both on the way and stocked up.  We also filled up on propane and diesel at Flying J.  Here is where we parked outside Cummins the first night:

At 7AM Monday the 23rd we put Evita in the car and moved the motorhome inside the gate, which was now opened.  They hoped to get to it in the next couple of hours.  It was cold here, the high was 39.  The problem with the #4 cylinder was the injector and they did not have one in stock.  The part should arrive the next morning by 10:30AM.  They could not narrow down the speedometer issue unless it happened to them and it didn't, intermittent problems are like that.  They had us park on the other side of the building for the night.  Here is our spot.

This spot was much better lit at night, which made us feel better since someone did try to disconnect the bikes from the car in the night. 

Here is Evita inside looking out of our new windshield:

We took our computers to Panera Bread and checked email and such with their free Wi-Fi.  It was another cold night and we backed the car up to the motorhome so the bikes would be very difficult to mess with in the night and they stayed safe.  The part came in the morning but it took a while to change it out, we were released about 2:30PM. 

Normally at 2:30PM we would have just stayed another night but we had places to go and we were tired of the cold.  We drove 223 miles to Benton Best Holiday Trav-L-Park in Whittington, IL and came in about 6:30PM.  We had called ahead and they were ready for us.  It was dark and we had to drive the motorhome on narrow dirt roads between trees in the campground to get to our spot facing the proper direction.  Here is how we looked that night:

Now in the morning:

Our neighbor leaving after driving the roads in the daylight:

It was a little warmer here in Southern Illinois, but not warm enough.  We decided to drive as far as we could the next day.  Our plan was to see how we were doing about 4PM and stop by 5PM.  Diane was driving and by 3PM we decided we could make Little Rock, AR area.  Bill offered to take over the driving, but Diane was feeling fine.  About 4PM it started to rain and it started really coming down.  By now we were committed to Little Rock so on we went.  About 5:55PM we pulled into I-30 Travel Park in Benton, AR, just south of Little Rock after 384 miles and Diane drove it all.  It was raining when we setup but Bill put up the internet dish so we could get the weather and got soaked.  Luckily no severe weather was expected.  Here is our campsite in the morning still drying out from the rains the evening before:


We stayed two nights.  We did not do much in Little Rock area except have a nice lunch at Macaroni Grill.  We were tired but it was much warmer here with a high of 65. 

October 27th we drove on, our destination was Texas.  After 224 miles we landed at Carthage RV Park in Carthage, TX, where we stayed in February 2006.  We were back in Texas.

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