August 30 – September 23, 2016:
We are on our way to Crawfordsville Indiana 600 miles south west from Buffalo. We usually would make this trip with 2 two night stays every 200 miles. However, this time we are travelling during the Labor Day weekend holiday which makes weekend travel dicey. Our first stay, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, were OK but getting one for Thursday and Friday was not. We could get one for just Thursday night so that is what we did. That wasn’t bad as we just had a little over 100 miles to travel on Friday morning to get to the Crawfordsville KOA. We had a reservation there for a month starting on Saturday but figured they would have room for us on Friday as well and we were right.
|Our first stop for a couple of nights in Ohio after leaving Buffalo NY.|
|The Pier-Lon was a nice place to stay. This is the office next to a small lake.|
|Patty and I managed to get in a little golf in Ohio.|
|Next stay on our way to Crawfordsville Indiana was Grandpa's Farm |
located in New Richman IN just across the border from Ohio.
|Grandpa's Farm office. This place was just OK. We found an Amish market up the road and went crazy buying some cool food!|
We stayed here at the KOA the past 3 years making this our 4th year here. We know the owner, Jamie, pretty well now. So when we arrived she tells us which sites are open and for us to pick one. She had a site reserved for us but she also had others that we could pick from if we liked. None of the sites in this park really have very good access to satellite signals. For us, we just have to study the sites until we find the exact place we need to place our rig to get through the trees. Also, after placement for satellite, we need to have some front yard room. It really is complex RVing!
|Our site at the Crawfordsville KOA.|
We picked our site and were walking back to the office where our truck was parked in front and we heard a sound like metal hitting something coming from the truck. This just can’t be good! We looked all around the truck and didn’t see anything. We summed it up as the sound must have come from somewhere else. Little did we know!
We got our site settled with Jamie and off we went to the truck to move the rig into it. The site was basically straight in front of us at about 30 yards. Started up the truck and rolled forward without any issue. Just before the entrance to the site we needed to pull up a small incline. I pushed down the gas pedal and the engine made this sound like a belt was slipping. I got the rig situated in the site without any problem from the truck except for the noise. The trucks power felt fine, it just was noisy!
Getting the truck worked on or even looked at could be an issue as this is Friday the start of Labor Day weekend. It was just 3pm so on our way to see the grandkids we stopped into the local Ford dealer, Etters, in town to see if we could get them to look at the truck. We were lucky that the service manager decided he would take a quick look at the truck. He determined that the issue was a belt tensioner and it would be ok to drive until Tuesday next week when he could get it in to fix it. He advised not to accelerate very heavily though. Well OK, not great but we can live with that. Again, little did we know!
It’s Labor Day weekend, we have a place to stay and we are with family! Oh, and the weather is perfect too! We got together with my son and his family which includes the grandkids most of the weekend. The big event on Labor Day was the picnic at one of my son's Aunt’s house, Kim Rice. Just to make this an extra special day, my daughter was there from NJ too! So, for the first time in, I think, 5 years my two kids and I are all together in one place. If we include their mother Brenda then it’s been over 25 years since the original family has been in one place together!
|Jennifer, Mark, and Tony|
|We visited my step-father's, Leon Weber, grave site in |
Waynetown Indiana. He is buried next to his parents.
|Leon married my mom after my natural father died in 1964. I was 7 years old when he came into my life and was the only father I really knew.|
Replacing these bolts is a simple job to repair! However, to gain access to these bolts the truck cab has to be removed. And by the way, this local Ford dealer can’t do this work because they don’t have a diesel mechanic. We need to take the truck 30 miles away to Lafayette Indiana to have this done.
Right away I make an appointment for this work with Risner Ford in Lafayette for the next morning. I get the truck to Risner at 7:30 am and at noon I get the prognosis. Yes, I have 2 broken exhaust manifold bolts and yes the cab needs to be removed. Risner can’t get to this repair until first thing next week and it will cost $2,300! Repair for the exhaust manifold is around $400 and the rest is the labor to remove and replace the cab! What can we do, it needs to be done.
|There our truck is with the cab removed.|
Patty calls Enterprise Car for them to deliver a car to me at Ford for the next few days for another $$$. And to really top this off, our extended warranty on the truck only covers the exhaust manifold, not the bolts!
We bought an extended warranty on both the 5th wheel and the truck when we started out full time 4 years ago. The cost was roughly $5k for the both. I believe the truck was a little higher than the 5th wheel but not a lot. Back then we didn’t know anything about the truck or the 5th wheel and what sort of issues we could have. The warranty on the truck runs out in 4k miles so it is just about over now. We did OK with the truck warranty as we broke even with it. We have 3 years left on the RV but we haven’t even broken the surface on recouping anything on that one yet. I think that if we had to do it over again we would still purchase the warranties for the little piece of mind they offered us.
Most of our time here in Crawfordsville is spent around the grandkids. We had 21 good days here with the grandkids before we needed to leave and head back toward New Jersey for a wedding.
|Livy after seeing that I was taking her picture.|
|Savannah watching for flies!|
|Livy riding her scooter around our truck.|
|Meals have everyone involved!|
|I tried a new recipe, grilled peanut chicken. |
It was good, but didn't have enough peanut or spice taste for me.
|Playing a family game with Livy and Savannah clowning around.|
|Savannah cheering a football game.|
|Livy playing a video game while I watched. |
These kids really get involved when they play these things!
|The cats are everywhere at Tony and Tracy's house!|
|The local firemen responding to an electrical fire at our campground. A pole mounted transformer blew up and scared the crap out of everybody!|
|On a rainy cold day we went to Lafayette to play glow in the dark golf with the grandkids. Jennifer and her husband Christian came along too.|
|Weird, Meowee likes to stick his tongue out.|
|We all went to a local Fish Fry. Savannah getting a temporary tattoo.|
|Haven't seen this in a long time. Pay a few dollars for a charity|
and you get to clobber a car with a sledge hammer.
|We had Savannah stay with us one night and we went bowling. This is Patty.|
|Savannah pushing our money around. |
We were trying to get our large amount of change turned into cash.
We were actually there 22 days because Patty got sick on our last day there and I decided to wait one more day to see if she improved enough for us to travel again. We were on our way again on Friday the 23rd of September.