Yea!! All our work is done (well, at least all that we can get done this trip, we’ll be back in the spring for another fix that I’ll talk about in a minute). All of the issues that we had on our list when we arrived last Sunday have been taken care of so we’re headed out tomorrow morning…we’ll overnight in Osceola MO and then get to Branson MO Saturday afternoon for a 4 day stop. We’ve gotten tickets to a couple of the shows in town (Branson is sort of like the Las Vegas of the midwest). We’re heading back over to the Elks Lodge for beer and dinner this evening after Connie finishes her presentation with her students.
When I was reloading the basement after they finished working on our tank sensors Tuesday evening I noticed a slight cracking in the outside fiberglass under our bedroom slide. So far it’s only about an inch long and isn’t all the way through the fiberglass. I got Ken to take a look at it and there’s good news and bad news. The bad (well, not so good I guess is more precise) news is that New Horizons has been seeing this on a lot of rigs; particularly those that were stretched a bit over one of their standard designs. What happens is that the frame underneath the basement door on the driver side flexes a little more than the wall does; this puts extra stress on the fiberglass and you get stress cracking.
The fix is to pull the underbelly down, weld in some square steel tubing along with the existing angle iron portion of the frame to stiffen it up, then patch the fiberglass. Unfortunately, this is about a 3-4 day process since they need to disassemble some stuff, weld, paint the frame, wait on it to dry, fix the fiberglass, and put everything back together and Ken didn’t have time to get to it this week. We talked to him about possibly staying another week…but unfortunately the Heavy Duty Truck Rally is a couple hundred miles from here this week and he’s got more repairs scheduled for next week than he did for this one…lots of people coming by because they’re in the neighborhood. He could have fit us in the week after but that would impact getting to our scheduled stop in Cedar Key on Oct 25. So we’re just going to come back in the spring for that repair.
Our plans for March are to go to a concert in Charleston, up to VA to see the human kids, then back down to Knoxville TN for a rally in early May. Our original idea was to make a counter clockwise sweep through OH, IN, MI, the upper peninsula of MI, MN, and WY before heading back down to western Indiana for the New Horizons rally in September. We’ll just reverse that circle starting from Knoxville and come out to Kansas then north through MN/WY, east through the upper peninsula, back down through OH/IL and then slightly west to the rally site at the Amana Colonies.
Our current plans after the rally which ends Sep 19 next year are to hit the Mississippi River just south of St. Louis and bumble down the back roads to just north of New Orleans, then head east back to Fort Myers for Winter 2015. If you ever watched Alton Brown’s Feasting on Asphalt series on the Food Network…think of it as a recreation of his journey in the opposite direction. That’s all still tentative though; at this point the only things we’re sure we’ll be doing in the spring are the Rally in Knoxville in May, repairs at Camp Horizons in late May, and the rally at the Amana Colonies in September…the jello for the rest of the trip hasn’t even been mixed yet so we don’t need to shake it up.