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Crawfordsville Indiana (Family Visit 1st half) and 5th Wheel Suspension Replacement

June 15 - 27, 2017: 

We left Buffalo and headed to our first of 2 stops on our 550 mile trip to Crawfordsville IN.  Our first stop was in the town of Homerville Ohio.  We had never heard of Homerville but they had a nice KOA with a site for us.  

Again we had a problem getting our first choice of sites.  We were originally going to stay at a Passport America Park for just $15 a night but they were full.  So of course at $42 a night the Homerville KOA had a nice back-in site for us.  It would have been another $5 for a pull through!  








For the most part KOAs are destination parks with loads of amenities like swimming pools and activities for kids.  We are transients that just want the basics, electricity, water, and relatively easy to get to and out of.  Seems these basic sites are getting harder to find availability forcing us into higher priced places that we don’t fully use.


We went out for a little adventurous dinner in the near by town of Wellington Ohio.  Yes, the Red Iron Bar and Grille to have a fish fry.

The fish was not very good and the beer was warm.  The worst was that the 3 different beers we had between us all tasted the same and the same temperature, warm.  We started to wonder about how the draft beer delivery system was cleaned and maintained!  Just a little thought and we left.  Sometimes you win and sometimes, like this time, you lose.

The town hall of Wellington.  It was very ornate as a town hall.

The very small post office of Homerville Ohio

After spending a full day and 2 nights in Homerville we moved on to our last stop before arriving in Crawfordsville IN.


The Homerville area has a large population of Amish.  I have never seen so many Amish buggies as here and we have been to many Amish places.

We landed in New Lisbon Indiana at a Passport America Park called the New Lisbon Campground!  Yee Haw, this is our type of place at just $17 a night.  This park is right off of I70 but far enough back you couldn’t hear too much highway noise.  The park is mostly a seasonal park catering to people who leave their RVs there permanently and visit for vacations and weekends.  Basically it is a local party park.  They have about 10-15 sites open for people like us who are just passing through.  Absolutely perfect for us!



Entrance to the New Lisbon Campground.

On Sunday the 19th of June we arrive at our usual place in Crawfordsville Indiana, the KOA on US-231 just off of I-74.  We have been staying here the past 4 years while we are in the area.  It’s not cheap but not too bad either and we have gotten to know the owner which helps.  Our cost here is $500 for a month plus electric.  However, we are not staying a month, just 22 days and, we are off of the site 6 of those days.  It is still cheaper to buy the month than to pay by the day or week here.  The nice part is that they have a pool and they let our grandkids use it.  Lastly, this KOA is one of only 2 campgrounds in this area and the other one is not a very large place however it is cheaper.

We were in Crawfordsville just a week and then we left the site to go to Elkhart Indiana for 2 nights.  We just left everything we had out at the site and left.  We moved the 150 miles up the Mor/Ryde facility and stayed the first night (Sunday night) in their parking lot.  We are here to get our 5th wheel suspension upgraded to a heavier Independent suspension.  We are having the regular leaf spring and axle type suspension taken off and replaced with the new suspension.

We have been having suspension problems for some time, mostly associated with our weight that have been getting worse with age and from us adding weight.  The latest problem has been the misalignment of the leading driver side wheel.  As I was washing the rig in New Jersey I noticed the driver’s side leading tire was worn to where the tread was just about missing.  The tire was not like this when we left Texas 2000 miles ago.  These tires have a lot of tread so this much missing is a lot for that many miles.  The good thing is that these G114 tires have a lot of tread and just as much rubber under that so I didn’t believe we were in any danger just yet.


A non-worn tire.  This one has about 25,000 miles on it.

This is the balding tire with the same mileage.  By the time we got to Elkhart I couldn't even see the right 2 tread lines.

The ride was getting very bad too in the RV.  We had our wall clock fall off during travel and jammed the kitchen slide. We had had one of our kitchen pendant lights break off too.  We were also seeing more cabinet door opening and many more things move around more than normal too.  We really needed to get this taken care off soon or we were going to shake the RV to pieces!

After mulling it over a bit we decided to bite the bullet and move up in weight handling with a better suspension.  We were going to Indiana where Mor/Ryde is located so it just seemed the right thing to do before going on the next 4,000 miles of our summer travel plans.  I felt that the tires would make it the 1,000 miles we needed to go before getting it in to Mor/Ryde in Elkhart.  Mor/Ryde is the top of the suspension line for towables.

I really wanted to get the RV in on our way from Buffalo to Indiana as it would be the best use of time.  Second best would have been to have the work done as we left Indiana. Unfortunately Mor/Ryde couldn’t get us in at those times but could get us in during our stay in Crawfordsville.  That was just about the least favorite of the times but better than not getting it done at all. So we had to break camp for 2 days and go to Elkhart for 2 nights and then return.  It really wasn’t too bad after we were back and it was over.

The experience at Mor/Ryde has been one of the best we have had at an RV repair type facility.  We had 50amp service at their facility both out in the waiting area and inside the shop.  They provided us with lunch as well as breakfast items, coffee, soda/water, and snacks while we waited.  The service adviser kept us informed every few hours and we could come and go as we wanted to the work area.  They really know how to make you feel good about their company and their work.


We didn't think we would need to get to the MOr/Ryde facility early on Sunday evening so we arrived around 6 pm.  There were 3 of us there getting work done on Monday but just 2 spaces available close to the 50 amp power box. Mor/Ryde had placed a bunch of custom RVs close to the power boxes so we had to use our 50 amp extension as well as our 20 amp extension cord to reach our RV.  Good thing it was cool so we didn't need AC.

Us on the right.

First time we had seen unpainted RVs like this.

Nice set up.  He has ramps for the car and a wench to pull it back on the truck.

They start work at 6am and finish for the day at 2:30pm.  On Monday morning, the first day, a little after 6am I moved our 5th wheel to a level spot in front of their work bays so they could get some measurements.  Then I let them move our rig into the bay for the work.  By 10am the old axles and wheel were all removed.  By noon the new suspension was all welded on.  Then at 2:30 we were told we could return to our rig, plug in, open the slides and make yourself at home in their shop.  It was a little strange being in our rig inside a working shop (the parts production works all 3 shifts).  It was pretty noisy but using ear plugs it was OK.


When you spend this much money they put your name on a board!!

Our rig in the shop.

Our old axles on the left.  The leftmost axle is the one with the worn tire and it is bent!

New IS suspension installed.


No more axles!




The second day, Tuesday, we were out of the rig by 6am so they could continue the work.  It was looking like we could be ready to leave early, before noon.  Then they had a glitch, the new tire they ordered was delivered in the wrong size, a 16in instead of the 17in we needed.  Anyway that took a couple of hours to get the new tire.  So by around noon the tire was there and they did the alignment and we were ready to go by 1:30, not bad at all!  We were back at the Crawfordville KOA by 4pm!


To close this post we have where is the hummingbird picture.  The hummingbird is in the middle of the left side of the picture.  This is the first time we have seen a hummingbird feed from Scarlet.

Our next post will be after we finish our stay in Crawfordsville.  We are planning to take the Granddaughters clothes shopping and do some canoeing.

Stay Tuned!

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