View Full Version : Maiden Trip To Indiana For Our Cyclone!! A Love Story!

03-03-2011, 03:07 PM
I will try and give everyone a play by play for our trip to Elkhart, IN to pick up our Cyclone 3010 that came off the assembly line two weeks ago! If anyone gets offended by my observations, I apologize in advance, these are just our adventures and thoughts.

The trip started on Sunday Feb 27. I got off work at 0700 and had only got about 3.5 hrs of sleep thanks to people using the 911 option on their phone.

Sunday 0830

On the road, two days prior I had rented a u-haul car hauler to take with us for the rhino that will be going in the garage of our 3010. Everything was full of fuel so off we go.

We drive straight thru the night and arrive at Blythville, IL to get fuel. We had just driven thru one of the worst rain and wind storms. It was about 28 degrees with 40 mph winds. Started the pump to fill up the aux fuel tank and after about 15 mins we were up to 5 gallons. That wouldnt work so I went to inquire what was going on. They informed me that it was probably vapor locked and said to go to the truck lane. I prepaid $200 and started to fill. The nozzle was a little to big to go in the hole and leave enough space for escaping air. (at this point, I was wearing crocs, shorts and a long sleve t-shirt....very cold) made a heck of a mess with diesel going everywhere. Truck bed has a great rust protector currently until I can get wild with the degreaser. Finally got everything filled and got back on the road. Wanted brakes checked for adjustment. Told I need to pull it 250 miles first. Dont like that either.

Mon 0630/0730 Eastern Time

Arrived at RV wholesalers/Great Lakes RV service center where the trailer is. Got 5 mins of sleep in additon to the 1.5 I got on the drive up here while the wife was driving.

Mon 0815 ET

Got to go in and see the trailer for the first time. Immediately noticed the rhino would not fit as it was. The braces for the beds in the garage were to wide. I had already removed the roof to help with height. Width was the problem. Unloaded rhino and pulled around to the garage to measure. We were all ready to start cutting the bracket when my wife said we should just try it first. Well of course she was right for once! I was able to back in and we just had to grind about 1.5"s off the front pieces. Took this time to go get coffee while they were finishing up. Also ate at cockadoodles...very very good.

Mon 1000 ET

Disclaimer--I am very happy with JD and Don at RV Wholesalers overall in the end...

Started our walk thru. I was prepared with my binder that had a 15 page PDI. I was told that he was just going to show me how to use everything. He had already completed a PDI prior to our arrival. I did not like this. We started on the outside and went thru everything. He didnt think I needed to see the roof, I did anyways. Moved inside, nothing real big. We were going to stay in the trailer that night at their lot to check it out before leaving for St. Louis on Tues.

We wanted to fill all the tanks with water and check for leaks and proper operation. Was told that it was already winterized (got the feeling that he didnt want to mess with it) I Didnt care that it was winterized. Told tech "we need to see this stuff work for ourselves. Nothing against you but were leaving for a 1600 miles drive home and want confirmation everything is ok" Also let him know that we were staying in it and would need water to shower with etc.

Checked fuel tank levels. 1/3 full. Remember prior to buying that supposedly it was supposed to come with full tanks of propane and thought gas. Apparently not. I had to stop and add 40 gallons of gas. (Added 18 gal aux tank too)

Mon 1300 ET

Went to Great Lakes to check on paper work. Got directions to a mexican food place. Schedules a plant tour at 1500 ET. Found restaurant called Hacienda. It was ok. Dont get the quesadillas. Leaves alot to desire. DW got the chimichangas. Very good. Waiter named Thomas recognized we were not from around there. (still in crocs and shorts--20's still) Thomas was funny. He could have been Lafayette's twin from "True Blood" on HBO.

Mad dash to service center for directions to plant.

1445 ET

Leave for plant. Have map. Looks professional but not the traditional style I am used to. Very confused. Very lost. Last resort, use Iphone--Stupid Iphone. Enter Heartland address.

1510 ET

Arrive at HL main office. Sit and chat with Ray and Deb. Very nice, shouldve called but were completely wiped out. Told to go to another office. Thats where Mike Aplin would be.

1515 ET

Arrived at new place. Still wrong place. Given correct place. Looked at hand written map from earlier. Now makes since.

1525 ET

Arrive at plant. Guard was zero help. Didnt know anything about Mr. Aplin. Called boss. Sent to office 300 yards away. Right place. Mike was ready to go.

1530 ET

Start tour. Everyone was gone for the day. Nice and quiet. Say the process. Very informative. Good stop

1615 ET

Left to go back to Great Lakes to sign papers.

1700 ET

Go to trailer. Take much needed shower and make bed.

1900 ET

Grab a quick bit. Fizolis Italian. Shouldve gone somewhere better. Stopped at grocery store to get food for the drive.

2200 ET

Sleep overcomes us

Tuesday 0730 ET

Wake wife up. Shes crabby. Its early and no coffee. Let dog out. He wipes out on ice. I laugh. He is confused. Good start to day

Tues 0830 ET

Find Don. Have him fix a couple small items.

1000 ET

Hook up and pull to the gate. One tire looks low. Get JD to fill it up. Was at 50 psi. Should be at 110. They check the rest. At 80, fill to the right pressure. First time to see the exterior and notice several scratches in the front cap. JD calls the body shop guy. Unhook.

1230 ET

Trailer is done. We hook and leave.

1300 ET

Southbend IN. Truck goes crazy. Lose trailer brakes, ABS and traction control. Exit and look for a Chevy dealer. Find one. Completely opposite from where we were. They are swamped. Check fuses. No go. Get Colt out to pee. Service manager likes him. Gets a tech. Find problem. Wire shorted out when it got to close to exhaust. (gooseneck installer mistake) Andy at Gates Chevrolet took care of it. Ate lunch. On the road again.

1500 CT

I hate Indiana's Roads. 80/90 Toll road runied my day. We got turned around. Signs are not helpful or are missing. Giant pot holes. Felt the trailer was getting destroyed. I hate Indiana's Roads. We will probably never come back until they are fixed.

1630 CT traveled 10 miles towards goal in an hour. Irrate. Get fuel

2130 CT

Arrive at destination in St. Louis. Eat and visit until 0400.

Wed 0730 CT

Wake up, let dog out. Wake wife up, not happy again. Still no coffee.

Do the visiting thing, eat breakfast, get on the road. Still felt cheated on the nearly empty fuel tank. Fill up gas tank for genny and fuel station $130. Next destination is Fairfield Bay, AR. 7 hr drive :)

2100 CT

Arrive at destination. While driving, stopped for 50 gallons of fuel and 4 tubs of Braums Ice cream. Worth the stop.

Observations from drive. I-44 is a pretty drive. Huge Hills. Worked truck hard. Turned off for Branson. Still big Hills. Followed iphone. Big mistake. Took 110 to hwy 16. 20 degree grades.

Buying banks speed brake.

Knuckles white. Im tired. Brakes are hot. DW nervous. Very bad route. Shouldve planned better. lesson learned.

Thats where were at so far. Parked at Golden Pond RV. Very pretty area and nearly empty. Quiet. Visiting with Dad and family. Planning on taking the rhino out riding. Airbags on their way.

More to come. Love the trailer. Getting everything figured out. Were going to love this.

Leaving service center.



03-03-2011, 03:46 PM
I think I am very tired after reading about your experience so far. I have to smile because we have had our share of troubles too. Keep smiling... Good luck and enjoy your Heartland!!! Barb

03-03-2011, 04:55 PM
What an ordeal. Keep us informed with the adventures.

03-03-2011, 05:01 PM
Great story - I'm tired now too.

Waiting on the sequel....


03-03-2011, 06:19 PM
That was a great description of your first trip. Too bad that you had all the troubles, but we really did have a good time reading it. I hope your next leg of your trip goes better.

03-03-2011, 06:31 PM
Great job on the report! Nice meeting you too as well. I feel kind of guilty that we've just been laying around the motel reading and napping.. :)
I love I-44 it was so pretty on the way up, but I agree with you about Indiana's roads. Lost both air bags on the truck due to I-70. Having a Trail Air hitch added before we go home. Looks like we're still headed south to go home, unless the weather cooperates on I-80.
Have a safe trip and enjoy that new trailer!

03-03-2011, 09:38 PM
Were having a blast so far! only bad thing was Indiana's roads. We are enjoying all the little hiccups thus far. I cant believe we didnt buy a toy hauler sooner! This is the only way to travel.

once we get home I try and write out part two to the adventure. fear not, im sure hilarity will ensue with us!


03-03-2011, 10:24 PM
Well Brent, sounds like fun to me. Half way thru your story I had to go take a nap....it wore me out just reading it. Just wondering mind you........you didnt bring a coffee pot for DW....shame on you.

03-03-2011, 10:35 PM
Glad you finally got the new rig. I had to laugh about the trip so far because it reminds me of some of our trips. Bring it over when you get in.

03-03-2011, 11:05 PM
Hey Brett looks great - congrats!

Be sure to check the doors where you have the handles folded over. I noticed rub marks on mine so I just fold the handles to the rear now.

03-04-2011, 06:15 AM
Whew!!! While I sip my coffee let me welcome you to the Cyclone Family!! Sounds like the sleep deprivation and the excitement of your new toys really conspired against you!! Have fun; maybe we'll meet you down the road.

03-04-2011, 04:38 PM
Hey Brett looks great - congrats!

Be sure to check the doors where you have the handles folded over. I noticed rub marks on mine so I just fold the handles to the rear now.

I checked the rear door earlier and just like you said there was rub marks! They are folded back now! thanks for the tip


03-05-2011, 08:50 PM
I forgot to mention, I also use the deadbolt since I am no longer using the handle.

03-05-2011, 11:57 PM
I forgot to mention, I also use the deadbolt since I am no longer using the handle.

we just got home about an hour ago after logging 3k miles. our deadbolt will not work currently now, so i guess I will need to adjust the door. it was great until this morning and now it will not engage. atleast were home and can now start working on the small stuff


03-06-2011, 01:02 AM
It is really nice that you let us know you made it home. I was thinking about your trip today and wondering if you had any more surprises????? Our Big Country is still in storage but that does not make you stop wondering what surprises we might have when we take it out.... Have fun with all you new adventures to come.

03-07-2011, 01:16 PM
So glad you are home safe. I loved reading your post and my word of advice would have been to stop at at big store and picked up a coffee maker for your lovely wife. The joy of the Cyclone is that (as all Heartlands) it is your home away from home.
I really chuckled over your shorts and crocs! additionally your dogs' first time at ice skating.
I don't dare look at the new models but can say that we love our Cyclone.
Welcome to the family.

03-09-2011, 01:35 AM
Great story, Brett. Glad to hear you got home safely and still sane. we are also talking with RV Wholesalers for our first purchase. Sounds like they did right by you. We will be driving from northern Calif in approx 2-3 months. Not looking forward to those darn Ind hwys. I'll have to do some pre-planning as far as roads. Probably will take the US 40 to 44 to (gulp) 50 & 69.
Happy trails to you and your sweet (and tolerant) DW as well as your ice-skating pooch :-)