Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Officially Over but not quite yet.

Elkhart County 4H Fairground
Goshen, IN

There were some Montana's pulling out this morning.  A lot of hugs and "see 'ya's" were being given.  The weather was bright and sunny but a little brisk this morning.  
It seemed like some were reluctant to leave.  I knew we needed to move tomorrow to another site here at the fairgrounds as the diesel Thor rally will be starting.  
Cool enough for short sleeves but I did see long pants this morning.
I finally managed to get all three wagon masters together at once.  Unfortunately, the wives weren't in this photo of
Steve Bishchoff, Royce Baden and Rick Say.
What a beautiful morning for driving.
Sharon Maison is celebrating her 29th birthday.  She ages fast as by dinnertime she was 39.  
Martha and Jim Abernathy were so busy at the Mid Atlantic Rally in Tennessee, I don't think I took a photo of them, but I finally got one today.

The fairgrounds is where the Goshen police have an honor guard school and teach volunteers from other law enforcement agencies and fire departments from all across the United States.  

Mark Allen, Bill and I were outside and Mark removed his hat and we stood with our hands over our hearts as they practiced and paraded down the road.  
Jeff Schrock, of the Goshen Police Department, came over and thanked us.  He explained the whole program to us and told me I could take all the photos I wanted.  They are using a casket and local church to make the service as realistic as possible.  Jeff told us they even had someone pretending to be the widow.  He invited us to attend the service on Friday. 
 Bill and I recognized the West Virginia flag in one group.
One of the RV service techs came by to install a new motor in our exhaust fan.  It seems so strange that our 2012 has been out of warranty and we don't have to pay a penny for any of this service.  

Mark and Bill have been trying to solve all the political problems, but I think they might need a couple more hours to completely fix everything.

Ron and Terrie Ames invited us to join a few people for dinner at Dandino's.  
There were a few here, but they kept coming in.

I believe we counted 27 that attended.  I know I said the diet started the last day of the rally but.......

Turtle Safely.......

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Party Is Over

Elkhart County 4H Fairground
Goshen, IN

I can't believe how busy we have been from early morning until late at night.  When I was filling out the feedback form, I realized there were 26 seminars or events that we didn't have time to do.  

Lippert had a seminar about the 6 point level up system and the hydraulic slides.  Keystone followed with an interior design presentation.  I think the one comment we keep hearing is people saying they do not like the dark woods.  

Keystone then provided a great Italian luncheon for everyone.  It was a great meal.  They provided everything including the desserts and drinks.  

Oh yes, did I mention that when we went back to our coach our step handle assist had been replaced?  Our outside speakers and microwave vent cover had turned yellow due to the sun.  These were all replaced too.    

We then heard a presentation from Keystone and what new and innovative things they are coming out with.  All their hall bathrooms now have a pivot door.  The always give the audience a chance to tell them what they like and dislike. 

Bill and I were coordinators for the White Elephant which followed the Keystone Presentation.  We did it a little different this year.  When the gifts were brought in, we put them in black bags.  There was a lot of laughter and I hope everyone had a great time.

The Wagonmasters provided our last food event.  They had a great assortment of ice cream and toppings.  And if we hadn't gained enough, they also had cookies and cupcakes to go with it.  

The last of the door prizes were given out.  It took awhile as there were lots to win.  We won some Rachel Ray suction covers, coffee cup, and even some toilet paper.  The best prize, was the fifty/fifty which I won.  Yep, I won $311.00.  They had some nice prizes such as a 48 inch TV.

It's official the 12th Montana Owners Club Fall Rally is now officially history.  I must say it was a well organized fun event.  The Wagon Masters did a wonderful job and as much work as they did, they were always smiling and enjoying themselves.  I wish I would have taken a photo of those three couples.  

Of course, a lot of us are having  such a great time we're not ready to go down the road. 

Turtle Safely........

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 6--Montana Owners Club Fall Rally

Elkhart County 4H Fairground
Goshen, IN

Last night was the blood moon and one of the MOC members, Dave Burtrum set up his telescope.  Unfortunately, we came in for a little while and forgot about walking over to see it.  

This morning we were up early as our customer service tour was scheduled for 9 am.  It could have been worst, some people had to be there by 8 am.  Keystone added this tour for those that wanted it.  

There were so many facts and figures I must say they all are jumbled in my head right now.  I wish I could remember exactly because I was so impressed with how much bigger they are.  I do remember them saying they opened their 38th plant recently.  

Customer Service Tour to me, meant we'd see where they answered the phones when customers needed something.  Boy was I wrong!  

They keep all kinds of records on how quickly a phone call is answered and their goal is to get the calls answered in 20 seconds without the usual push one etc. that most companies use.    

We were told they didn't want photos taken in the customer service plant I believe because the Amish workers do not like photos taken of them.  Once we walked through the area where they took the calls we walked into a huge part of the plant.  We were shown where all the parts are stored and how they shipped the parts.  It was amazing how Keystone packaged them.  There was a packing material that heated up and conformed to the contours of the part.  They have 18 wheeler trailers that are backed up to the doors which are loaded with parts and then taken to UPS.

I received a call from Carmen before we left for the tour this morning saying who would be calling me regarding my few items that we gave the service adviser.  Most of these items are not defects from Montana but just our lack of routine maintenance.  When I was having to use the scooter and walker I damaged the rubber on the assist handle.  I also said my flame doesn't flicker on the fireplace all the time.  I didn't realize you need to clean the backside of the fireplace.  Our exhaust fan did quit.  I caught the gasket on the shower door.  One window is difficult to open.  

When you hear some of the horror stories of some brands, I'm glad we own a Montana.  I've heard of people who have had their coaches in the shop for a month or two.  

I was so happy that Keystone added this tour of their factory.  I really was impressed with the way they take care of the customer.

Our factory tour was scheduled for 11:30.  We arrived a little early but I'm glad we did.  Last year they served doughnuts but this year they supplied lunch for everyone.  Bill and I have been to three MOC Fall Rally's but I must say Keystone keeps adding more and more for MOC owners.

 We were told that Lippert makes the frames and they supply so many frames that they built their plant nearby to accommodate Montana.  5,000 units in a year are a lot.

Chase, our tour guide, showed us how Montana puts all the water lines down the center of the coach.  Other manufacturers run them along the frame, where they can freeze.  

We were also shown how the black and gray tanks are turned so that when you empty them, if you raise the coach a little, every last drop should run out.  

Everyone was told how Keystone equips the coach with the MORyde hitch which is more expensive, rather than another brand.  
After we were finished with the tour we were asked to view the new models.  Can you imagine they asked for our opinions of things we like and or disliked?  They listened.  Let me say that again, they listened.  

I wasn't surprised when they said they couldn't make the rear den model fast enough.  This floor plan has the normal large basement area, but also additional basements under the den.  They had a model with a rear living room, kitchen dining, and then a separate room with a couch, TV and big work area.  Over this room, they had a bunkhouse room.  One new feature they have is a pivoting bathroom door for those bathrooms that have a big tub/shower area but not a lot of room near the stool or sink for the door to swing in.  While all the new models were very nice, Bill and I both agree, we like our floor plan better.  Bill would have trouble with some of those closed in bathrooms.  We still have more counter space than most of the new models.

While we didn't take many pictures, we really enjoyed the plant tour.  This is our third and we still enjoy it.  

Montana is a very big supporter of the Montana Owners Club.  Owners now receive a flyer about joining the free club when they purchase a Montana.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea of how happy we are to own our Montana.  

We hurried back to the fairgrounds because the techs wanted to take some measurements and make sure they have all the parts to do our repairs tomorrow. 

We missed the seminar on the new command system that Montana is using.  It will bluetooth your cell phone and you can put your awning in or out from your phone.    They were trying to explain it to us when we were touring the new models but I must say it was over my head.  They basically have an entirely different way of wiring the coach which is more like a car.  

Tonight was the Amish dinner in Shipshewana.  Miller's Country Kitchen had a wonderful meal.  I have no idea how many different kinds of pie they had.  When we returned, we just went inside and unzipped our pants.  

Tomorrow is the last day of the rally.  This week has flown by.  
I can't believe how the leaves on the trees here at the fairground have changed in a week.  

Turtle Safely.........

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Day 5--Montana Owners Club Fall Rally

Elkhart County 4H Fairground
Goshen, IN

I think everyone slept in today after last nights wine, cheese and music party.  Everyone was still talking about how much fun they had today.

We decided it was a good day to do laundry and a little of over an hour, we were finished.  

It meant we missed Jim Fischer's hand signal class, but we attended last year and Jim was such a good teacher we didn't think we'd need a refresher course.  

I put one item out for the garage sale and when I came back found out I sold it.  I walked around the other sites but didn't see anything I couldn't live without.

There was a craft class, work camping/fulltiming roundtable, water softener and Alaska seminars but we didn't attend any.  

The Montana owners have what is called show-N-tell.  You just tie a supplied ribbon on your hitch.  This tells fellow owners that you are invited to see any modifications they have made to their Montana's.  It's amazing some of the ideas that people have come up with.  I had walked over in the next row to give Diesel a dog treat.  Pat and Lynn started talking and they showed my the pull out container they made to hold 40 pounds of dog food.  Everyone has different ideas of where to store things.  It's not all mechanical things.

Before I knew it, I needed to cook my dish for the potluck.  There was plenty to eat and some even had second helpings.  

This is only one section of the pot luck tables.
All these women standing graduated from the Montana driving school.  Keystone supplied brand new coaches and gave the driving lessons to women only.  No men allowed.  There were a lot of proud women receiving their certificates.
Donna Ziegler coordinated the ladies driving school.

Every night tickets are sold with chances to win some great prizes.  Ron Lichtenberg decided to wear a skunk hat.  I guess he thought people would buy more tickets from him.

Personally, I bought my tickets from Charlie Benton because I thought his hat didn't look as stinky.  

Mark and Vicki invited us over for root beer floats--the 5.9 alcohol ones.  Bill and I both decided it has been a very busy day and just wanted to kick back for awhile so I told them we were going home.  

We have a 9 am tour of the customer service department at Keystone and 11:30 is the Keystone plant tour.  After that we leave for the Amish dinner at 4:30. 

I guess I also should say that there is a campfire every night but we don't do that because the smoke bothers Bill.  

Travel Safely........

Saturday, September 26, 2015

MOC Rally--Day 4

Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds
Goshen, IN

Last night we couldn't make up our minds whether to do the potluck breakfast or the haystack breakfast.  By the time we got up and about, it was too late for either.  No problem, all we've done is eat and socialize.  

This morning Bill noticed that we had a very small leak in the water heater.  It was an added part that let you turn some thingamajig to drain your water tank.  Bill had purchased a new anode while we were in White Pigeon, so decided to change it while he removed the other part.  

Everything went perfectly except the new anode leaked a tiny bit.  Bill decided to take it out and put more white tape on it.  I was standing there talking with him.  He put a wrench on the anode and next thing we knew water exploded out and drenched both of us.  We were laughing so hard.  Bill was wet all the way to his underwear.  Thank goodness it wasn't hot water yet.  

Marc Allen said we shouldn't use the bargain white tape.  Lesson learned.

We walked over to the Mennonite garage sale, but nearly everything was gone.  It's amazing how many people attend and 24 hours later, there isn't much left.  

One of the seminar's today was on solar energy systems.  It was interesting, but based on our style, it didn't make sense to pay $1000 for a system.

Every year the group photo is taken in front of the old barn.  The weather was perfect again and it didn't take long for Vicki to get the perfect shot.

Jim Fischer was the moderator for the "tips 'n tricks".  I noticed a lot of women were in attendance.  This is one of my favorite seminars.  Jim did a great job keeping everyone in the 5 allotted minutes per subject.

I realized I had signed up for the pumpkin craft.  We all know crafts isn't something I'm good at.  I paid my $3.00 and picked up my supplies and hopefully, I'll finish it before the season is over.  I realized I needed some time to get my dish ready for the wine and cheese night.  I told Susie I would help since she was unable to come.  

I went up to the big tent at 4 to help set up the serving tables.  
I bought this shirt at the Rogers, OH flea market.  I thought the saying was great--wine and friends, the older the better.  Perfect for a wine and cheese party.

Do you think we had enough bottles?  This is besides what people had on their tables.  I took a bucket of margarita's for something different.

Keystone hired a band to perform for our wine and cheese function.  The music provided by Mr. Z was perfect.  People were dancing at both ends of the tent.  The MOC members were singing along.    

Bill and I presented Vicki with a token of appreciation for taking all of the rally photos.
Vicki and Mark's Montana is done in everything cowboy.   Well almost everything, because she didn't have one of these.  We also wanted her to be "safe" as she travels the highways.  In case you can't read it, it is a cowboy condom.  

Ron was wearing his testicle festival shirt from earlier this summer in Nebraska.  
Door prizes were awarded again tonight.

No one left early and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Miss Vicki is showing us how to pole dance. 

I was afraid to dance the way my foot has been acting lately.  I told Bill to go dance with Pat and Vicki. 

Dennis and Linda Ward are enjoying their first margarita.  

Another busy, fun filled day. 

Turtle Safely........

Friday, September 25, 2015

Day 3--Montana Owners Club Rally

Elkhart County 4H Fairgrounds
Goshen, IN 

If there is one thing that you can say about a MOC Rally, you'll never be hungry.  

The days at a rally are crammed full of things to do.  Even though we didn't get to bed at our usual time last night, we were up by 7 am.  I thought we had all the time in the world as we weren't leaving until 9:45.  It was all we could do to get ready and be out the door on time.

I was amazed at the number of people who went to the MORyde tour.  The ladies had a luncheon planned in Shipshewana at the same time.  

Gary Wheeler announced he didn't think they ever had this large a group before.  

They divided the groups up in about 15 per group.  Patty was our tour guide and she did a great job.  

Bill and I had our disc brakes installed here when we attended the Escapade held in Goshen.  At that time the "Camp MORyde" didn't have the nice concrete that we noticed today.  It also didn't have the parking lot and I think they weren't into the new building.

They preferred we didn't take photos inside but that was fine with us, as we were so busy looking at all the products and how they were made.

One machine that they didn't have on our previous tour was the cardboard shipping box machine.  Basically, you tell the machine what you are shipping, and it makes a box to fit that particular item.

Gary Wheeler gave us a private tour the last time we were there and we were amazed at the products they have designed for RV's.  I didn't think you could beat that private tour but Patty did just as well as Gary.  It's a shame more companies aren't like MORyde.  You could tell all the employees liked their jobs and the company.  

When the tour was over, Patty took us upstairs and had a great lunch.  Gary must have forgotten I told him I liked my steak rare, but I'll forgive him.  Truthfully, they had a very nice luncheon.

MORyde had t-shirts for everyone.  They just didn't hand out a t-shirt.  You were able to pick out the color and size you wanted.  They always go one step beyond.

Naturally, we have a couple of things we want.  The 50 amp hose reel is one of them and the pull out shelf is also on our list.  You can't beat the fact that they'll come out to the rally and install it for free as a rally special.  

It was a great tour, and if you are ever in the area, stop by and see if they will give you a tour.  Thank you again, MORyde.  It's a company that stands behind their products and respects their customers.  

As Mark was pulling out of the parking lot, a car came screaming by us followed by a police cruiser in hot pursuit.  We followed and a couple of blocks away, the car was in the middle of the road with the door open and police cars from everywhere started arriving.  We'll check the news tonight and see if we find out any other details.  Hope they found the driver. News at 11.

The Mennonite Relief Sale was packed when we returned to the fairgrounds.  

We checked out the online auction and I can't believe all the things they were auctioning.  Anything from New York City tours to Kroger gift certificates.  There were some beautiful pieces of furniture.

For those of you who have attended an Escapade Rally here the Quilt Auction is held in the same building.  
You can't describe how beautiful these quilts are.
Row after row of them.
The tents were packed, but I knew where I wanted to eat.
I was still stuffed from lunch, but the haystacks are only available on Friday. I've been thinking about them for a long time so I knew I had to have one.  It's like that one piece of candy left in the pantry--you have to have it.  I was trying to remember all the things that were in mine and I think I counted 13 different things.  We could have fed 4 or 5 people with all that we had.  It was $9.00 which included your drink.  Lucky for us when we went through the line, we didn't think there was any seats left, so we had it put in a to go box.  Then we found some seats so just ate out of our to go box for a while and brought the rest back home.  

Dennis and Linda Ward came over right about the time I heard screeching brakes and then a big bang.  Pretty soon there were sirens and lots of emergency vehicles.  We looked over the fence and there were three cars involved in an accident.  I guess the police department here is kept pretty busy.  I'm amazed they had time to personally escort a lost Montana owner to the fairgrounds. 

Tomorrow promises to be another busy day.  

Turtle Safely..........