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MICKEY
05-09-2011, 09:21 AM
Guys and Girls;

I just looked and due to some cancellations there are a few slots available for the National Rally in Goshen In, June 15-19, 2011. If you have never been to a National Rally, there are seminars, factory tours, tours of the community, dinners, and about 250 coaches filled with the most interesting people you could ever meet. Heartland goes all out to make you feel like you are coming home for a visit. If at all possible you need to make this rally. The National Rally for 2012 is in Wyoming, a little further I believe:). Bonnie and I are leaving Sunday morning 6-12-2011 bright and early to make the pilgrimage to RV Mecca. Please look at the event site and check it out, and try to make a big event like this.

Nabo
05-09-2011, 09:52 AM
Can't wait!! But also a little worried that the new Big Country comes off the line in time for us to come. Going to look real funny being in a campsite with the outside chairs set-up without a coach. Hope it doesn't rain (haha).

hillsonwheels
05-09-2011, 06:33 PM
With all due respect to my FL Chapter leader...........the Wyoming rally is in 2012.....not 2013. But, if you really liked Wyoming in '12 I guess you could return in '13! :rolleyes:

Dick

MICKEY
05-09-2011, 08:15 PM
To my illustrious colleague from the great state of Florida/West Virginia; date corrected. Thank you for your input sir. I must be planning too far in advance.

Bird if you guys get there without a coach, let me know. I have a spare bedroom down by the fireplace. When did they say your coach would be ready? Mine was built on day they told me and arrived a couple of days early at Jacksonville.

Lastly looks like I'm leaving home a day before everyone else. That's what you get for living on the corner of the US:)

MICKEY
05-30-2011, 06:20 PM
Leaving in two weeks for the Goshen Hearland International Rally. We are hoping to get there in 2 days. We may be able to report on happenings on daily basis. We plan to make lots of pictures and I'll try to post some for those who can't make it. Stay tuned for updates from Goshen.

Nabo
05-30-2011, 07:19 PM
Mickey - sorry I didn't see your question earlier. We were hoping the Grey Ghost (the Big Country) would be coming off the line this past Thursday (26th) but there were a problem with the slide topper for the super slide. The awning company is going to drop ship the new awning so we have our fingers crossed that Tuesday (31st) will be the lucky day. She still has to come back to TN to get the other add-ons. We are optimistic that we can still leave on Friday June 10th arriving on the 11th. Hum - we might take you up on a place to stay and thanks for the offer.

jayc
05-30-2011, 08:47 PM
We're here in Elkhart now at the Elkhart Campground. JD & CJ Wigley are here with us and we are getting ready to PARTY!!

MICKEY
05-31-2011, 09:06 PM
Nathan and Byrd;
You are always wecomed at our place. Looking forward to seeing Gray Ghost. The BC are really pretty. I like the exterior probably the best of all. See you in Goshen.

MICKEY
05-31-2011, 09:13 PM
jayc;
Keep an eye out for us, well be the 3585 Bighorn:) Seriously, we are looking forward to making this big trip. We have a new addition to our family. Max is our 15 week old Mini Schnauzer. First time owner(excuse me, chapperone) of Schnauzer. Have to believe they are really smart! Easier training than any I've ever seen, and such a personality. They just don't realize just how small they are!

hogan
06-02-2011, 07:02 AM
[QUOTE=MICKEY;177394]Guys and Girls;

Heh Mick, What route are you taking up to Goshen. We will likely go up through Tennessee and Kentucky. May try to hit the Bourbon Trail tours on the way. Are you and Bonnie planning to go to dinner at Blue Plate?

Hogan Cooper

MICKEY
06-02-2011, 05:06 PM
HOGAN;
We will leave Sunday morning EARLY and go up I-75 hit I-24 in edge of Tennesee and make Nashville sometime Sunday evening. That is the hard leg. Monday is a lot easier going I-65 to Indy and 31 to Goshen.

MICKEY
06-18-2011, 10:08 PM
Well folks we are on our journey to Goshen for our first Heartland National Rally. We had the coach packed and ready to go Saturday night….I thought. At 4:45 am Sunday morning we started to leave and Bonnie kept pulling things out to take. Ok dear I’ll put that in the coach as well, but let’s get going. At five AM we pulled out the driveway and off on our 1200 mile trek north to Goshen. We wanted to make Nashville the first day. The pup was happily riding on his bed in the floor of the truck. Let’s see how that works. Bonnie is bringing snacks and drinks like they don’t sell them anywhere north of Jacksonville. We had just changed out the rear end ratio on the Totor and had not had a chance to test with coach hooked behind. I changed the rear ratio to get better fuel mileage and reduce rpm’s. So this was its first haul. I mashed the throttle as I pulled out onto the main road and he came to life. WHOO-HAW. He’s got guts. Now let’s roll. The good thing is it’s quieter, and should get better fuel mileage. The bad thing is I had the governor moved way up, and it goes faster….remember that! OK we’re happily trucking , taking in the quiet Sunday morning traffic, enjoying life as it was meant to be. The miles rolled by as we took the short cut over to I-75 and headed north. First stop was Poisonous Snake rest stop (that’s our nickname for it) by PAYNE’S PRAIRIE. After that we were set for a long time. Minutes turned to hours as we kept trucking north. Nashville was the destination for the first night. Bonnie kept quizzing me about my plans for the night. I told her I wanted to try the Cracker Barrel. She looked at me with a look I can’t describe. “No really” I said, “Let’s stop for dinner, AND try the accommodations. So the first night we stayed at Camp Cracker. We asked the manager and he said sure, so we had dinner, a short walk, rocked in the rockers on the porch, then all called it a night in the parking lot. You might try it sometime, I personally would rather just catch a good night’s sleep and get going early in the morning rather than setting up for one night. First day down!

MICKEY
06-18-2011, 10:09 PM
The second day we awoke at 5 am, took our showers and checked over everything. Coach was ready, Totor was ready. Puppy (Max) was fed, so we went in for breakfast. Soon we were on our way North again. The day went well, seeing new scenery. Max got to visit most rest stops between Nashville and Indiana. Some of the roads were in tough shape and shook us a bit. I hit a couple of holes on I-65 that made me cringe. One of which should become a new national Canyon park. We should have listened to our GPS when it told us to go through Ft Wayne. But I had a better plan. Take HWY 31 north out of Indy to make a straight shot. Worked pretty well till Kokomo. Did you know they have a fetish for stop lights there? I think we stopped at them all. Anyway out of Kokomo we started to make good time again when we ran up on an accident that had just happened. We stopped in the road for about an hour while they tried to help the folks riding a motorcycle that had hit a car. I finally shut off the motor. That was a mistake. When things started up again I cranked the Totor and he ran terribly, then stopped. The injectors were full of air. Couldn’t get it to go and had to call a hook to take us to a truck stop up the road 3 miles. After the wrecker driver and I exchanged paper, the truck stop repair shop tried to help me get it started. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get him to run fair again, but it was getting late so we stayed the night there in the parking lot. Again a pretty good night’s sleep.

MICKEY
06-18-2011, 10:10 PM
Tuesday morning we cranked up at 7:30 to finish the 50 mile trip to Goshen 4H fairgrounds. We made this leg without problems, and even saw some great Amish farms along the way. We knew our assigned spot and wheeled right in the first time, a back in spot. I got the coach weighted on the way in, and after unhooking made the last trip across the scales for final weight. We saw some old friends and decided to go grab a bite of lunch. We saw a neat place advertised in a flyer that Bonnie recognized from the food network. It was Southside Diner located in Goshen. It was a 50’s style diner with all the ambiance, and great food. Lunch was great! We went back to coach to grab a nap. Max was happy to be out of the truck for some period of time. I still felt like the Totor wasn’t running just right so I made arrangements to take it in for a check of the fuel system. The International place in Ft Wayne found the problem. It was the pressure relief valve on the fuel rail had a piece of trash in it and caused the fuel pressure tom drop too low. That fixed we brought it back to the fairgrounds. Tuesday night was a dinner for the early arrivals. This was a self pay, country dinner type of place that seated in the bottom part over 250 people. The service was superb and the food came quickly. Unbelievable food! Chicken, meat loaf, roast beef, vegetables, deserts, drinks…Wow we were full. Back at the fairgrounds, we walked off some of the dinner and talked to friends that were just coming in.

MICKEY
06-18-2011, 10:11 PM
Wednesday started a full day of seminars. All kinds of suppliers and safety seminars kept us busy. Time flew by too quickly for sure. Dinner was on us BUT the hall was opened up for a pot luck dessert for about 300. It was unbelievable. More desserts than could be eaten. I believe this was a trial run for things later.

MICKEY
06-18-2011, 10:12 PM
Thursday was more intense on supplier seminars. Almost every system of the coach was represented. Appliances, roofs, software for RVing ECT. Dinner was an experience. The club supplied the chicken and everyone else brought sides, it was nearly flawless. Too much food. Over 450 people attended. Al Hesselbart from RV/MH hall of fame gave a presentation.

MICKEY
06-18-2011, 10:13 PM
Friday more seminars like Dexter Axles, Tredit tire, Suburban, and a full time discussion, to name a few. Dinner was great and it was catered by a vendor hired by the club. Again about 450 people attended. The entertainment was great. Piano Wars; a duo of piano players/entertainers kept us laughing into the late hours.

MICKEY
06-18-2011, 10:15 PM
Saturday early we loaded busses for the factory tour. We departed at eight and drove to factory where we were greeted by several factory reps and managers. After a brief look at what new offerings were out there, we were taken through the plant. We saw from start to finish what it took to build a fifth wheel trailer. We were then taken back to another plant down the street where we had lunch catered and met the President of the company Brian Brady. He first gave a quick speech and the asked for questions. He was a top notch manager and knew that the customer was the important ingredient. I caught ride back to the fairgrounds with friends instead of going through the Hall of Fame. I used my time to fuel up the truck and propane bottles for the trip home. Dinner was again catered and was great as always. Entertainment was by a hypnotist (boring I thought when I read the description), but was I surprised. We laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’m not going to go into the whole thing but we saw the Roadrunner, Wylee Coyote, Tarzan, a host of Super Models, Dancers, Body builders and more. You have to see this someday. Well we finished before dark tonight. The time here is a bit messed up. It stays daylight till almost 10 pm. This give me a chance to get caught up on the log. Tomorrow I have to move the rig to another spot so the next group can come in. We are going to leave Monday afternoon after I get an Axle upgrade done. See ya' tomorrow.

elwaller39
06-19-2011, 12:12 AM
I bet it is a great site to see, a sea of Heartland choaches all over the fair grounds. I sure wish I could have been a part of all the excitement. Good Job Heartland employes and a big thanks to Jim B.!!!

floridarandy
06-19-2011, 08:11 AM
Mickey & Bonnie - thanks for the travelogue. Sounds like a diet, for say a year or so, would be in order prior to such rallys! Safe travels back to the sunshine state!

2psnapod2
06-19-2011, 09:56 AM
Thanks Mickey for the log. I already knew we should have been there but with work, it just is not working out. Not looking to good for next year either. But the next year after that will be GREAT! Retirement! Your log really makes me say we really do have to be at the next Goshen Rally in 2013. I hope Jim is already working on it. Have a safe drive back. Need a place to stay over, There is a great park here in Montgomery. Talk to you later.

SJH
06-19-2011, 11:36 AM
Sounds like you are having a great time! Wish we could be there but living in the "fourth corner" of WA state 2 miles from the Canadian border, we just didn't have time this year. The 2012 Wyoming event looks like the ticket! Are they taking reservations yet? :D

Hogladyrider
06-19-2011, 01:52 PM
Thanks for keeping us all up to date on your travels and the Rally. Congratulations on the new addition to your family!

Wish we could have made the Rally this year but with work commitments it was not to be, hopefully things will turn around in the near future.

Hope your return trip to Florida is uneventful!
Susan

jbeletti
06-19-2011, 01:57 PM
I bet it is a great site to see, a sea of Heartland choaches all over the fair grounds. I sure wish I could have been a part of all the excitement. Good Job Heartland employes and a big thanks to Jim B.!!!

E - we missed you big time. But we know what you are dealing with. Praying for the best with Lana. Keep in touch.

Jim

jbeletti
06-19-2011, 02:00 PM
Sounds like you are having a great time! Wish we could be there but living in the "fourth corner" of WA state 2 miles from the Canadian border, we just didn't have time this year. The 2012 Wyoming event looks like the ticket! Are they taking reservations yet? :D

Hi Steve! We'll likely open up rally registrations for Gillette 2012 in December. Registration will be open to club members first, then to all Heartlanders.

Jim

back2nature
06-19-2011, 02:02 PM
Enjoyed your log since we had to cancel because of scheduling, but today is day one of a five week trip to S.D., WY, Utah, etc. Maybe we'll run into some of you Heartlanders on your way home.

jbeletti
06-19-2011, 02:04 PM
Thanks Michey for the log. I already knew we should have been there but with work, it just is not working out. Not looking to good for next year either. But the next year after that will be GREAT! Retirement! Your log really makes me say we really do have to be at the next Goshen Rally in 2013. I hope Jim is already working on it. Have a safe drive back. Need a place to stay over, There is a great park here in Montgomery. Talk to you later.

Michael - you and Kelly really are missing out on some great rallies but we know "duty calls". I believe you are still active duty? Thank you for your service!

I am not "working" on Goshen 2013, only "thinking" about it. I'll get active on Gillette starting this August.

As a side note, I spent a bit of time in a new Key Largo at the plant the day of the tours. I really think I could get used to it. Though I prefer the split bath, I think we did a decent job on the all-in-one in the KL and I just love the whole downstairs area. Keep enjoying yours :)

Jim

2psnapod2
06-19-2011, 03:54 PM
Yes Jim I am still Active Duty. I am waiting to start seeing the working on the next Goshen Rally. No hurry though, we know you have another in between. Yes the KL is great but yes that split bath does make it really open up top. We have lived full time in ours now for almost 2 months and would not change a thing. Thanks HL for making us wait and finally giving us something that we didn't even know we wanted. If any of you remember our Ontario fiasco that is.

jbeletti
06-19-2011, 10:15 PM
... I am waiting to start seeing the working on the next Goshen Rally...

Michael - you won't see "much" from me on Goshen 2013 planning until August of 2012 or so.

Jim

MICKEY
06-21-2011, 08:16 PM
Hi guys and girls;

Well I need to update this thread. Sunday morning we were treated to a farmers breakfast. Eggs, ham, hasbrowns, fruit, and more. Almost everyone passed through before departing. Saying goodby to friends and wishing everyone a good and safe trip home. I had to move my rig because another rally was coming in Sunday. Bonnie and I relocated our rig and then hit the area for some sightseeing. We ended up at Amish Acres, a restored original Amish farm with many buildings, so us ENGLISH could see how similar they were to our country up-bringings. It wasn't very different from my grandfathers farm. However the orietation film showed the history of the Amish and how they made the pilgrimage to the new world. Also on site were a meat and cheese merchantile, fudgery, ice cream shoppe, and of course a restaurant where we were treated to another fantastic meal. We also took the wagon tour around the site. While there we got word they were having a AFTER THE RALLY POT LUCK DINNER back at the fairgrounds. I stopped in and could not believe how many people were there. Probably 40 - 50 people were there sharing stories and having fun, hating to leave. I had service scheduled for Monday morning so I managed to leave as the last few folks departed.

floridarandy
06-21-2011, 08:20 PM
Hi guys and girls;

Well I need to update this thread. Sunday morning we were treated to a farmers breakfast. Eggs, ham, hasbrowns, fruit, and more. Almost everyone passed through before departing. Saying goodby to friends and wishing everyone a good and safe trip home. I had to move my rig because another rally was coming in Sunday. Bonnie and I relocated our rig and then hit the area for some sightseeing. We ended up at Amish Acres, a restored original Amish farm with many buildings, so us ENGLISH could see how similar they were to our country up-bringings. It wasn't very different from my grandfathers farm. However the orietation film showed the history of the Amish and how they made the pilgrimage to the new world. Also on site were a meat and cheese merchantile, fudgery, ice cream shoppe, and of course a restaurant where we were treated to another fantastic meal. We also took the wagon tour around the site. While there we got word they were having a AFTER THE RALLY POT LUCK DINNER back at the fairgrounds. I stopped in and could not believe how many people were there. Probably 40 - 50 people were there sharing stories and having fun, hating to leave. I had service scheduled for Monday morning so I managed to leave as the last few folks departed.

OMG....more food! Back on the treadmill Randy....

You guys better walk home towing that rig :).

MICKEY
06-21-2011, 08:33 PM
Monday morning 5am I'm up getting things put away and getting the coach ready for departure. Bonnie and I were ready and pulled out about 7am for the short trip to Lippert. Surprizingly there was a pretty good line in the parking lot. Folks getting upgraded axles, trailair pin boxes ect. I dropped off the trailer and headed out to Heartland customer service for an FM antenna whip that dropped off somewhere. The folks were great and I was off to RV surplus to check that famous place out. Believe it or not we didn't buy anything. But should have. Everything from furniture to instrument clusters for class A's. Maybe it's a good thing they are 1200 miles away from home base. Lots of ideas running through this head! Oh well we scurried off to Flair Interiors where they have just introduced a new slider disc that goes under the recliners to help you move them. We bought 2 for our recliners and headed back to Lippert to check on our rig. Just as we got there they were ready to pull it out. We were already fueled and we departed Goshen in the rain just shy of 12 noon. We drove for about 3 hours in the rain before it slacked off. Since the wheels were off the coach I bought a torque wrench and checked the lugs occasionall at stops along the way. The first time one wasn't tight enough, but they stayed tight there after. We made it to Corbin Ky and stayed at our favorite stopping point, Cracker Barrel in Corbin, KY. Ther manager was great. We ate dinner at the restaurant after we fed the dog and got the coach ready. We only had in 7 hours of driving but we had started early getting things ready that morning.

MICKEY
06-21-2011, 08:55 PM
Tuesday started early again at 5am, getting the generator online, heating the water walking the dog ect. After a quick shower leaving Bonnie enough hot water we again got the coach ready and went in to grab breakfast before hitting the road. At 7 am we pulled out of the lot. An uneventful day, thank you, the miles whizzed by. We stopped at a few rest areas, ate lunch in a rest stop in Tennessee, trying to use up some of the food we took with us. We took a different route home to see some mountains of the Blue Ridge. We were tired but kept the miles rolling by. We finished the last 750 of the 1190 in one day so we could be back at the office on Wednesday. No problems just good times, Bonnie and I talked about future rallies and plans for the future, the whole time. She is quite the navigator. We rolled in the house at 8 pm. GPS said we averaged 63 mph rolling time, which is fantastic through the mountains and big hills. We had a great time. Saw old friends, made new ones, saw lots of things we would like to try on our rig, laughed so hard our shorts were damp (credit debbie b) and ate way more than we should have. If you get the chance, next year you should write about your trip to the Nationals. We originally weren't planning on going all the way to Gillette, Wy., but after this trip we may HAVE to put it on the list. Thanks Jim B and all volunteers for all the hard work. It was perfect.
In a day or two I'll get some pictures posted. I thnk Deb B has posted some to the gallery, and I'm sure Jim will have some as well.

back home and planning the next rally

Mickey, Bonnie, and Max

floridarandy
06-22-2011, 09:49 AM
Tuesday started early again at 5am, getting the generator online, heating the water walking the dog ect. After a quick shower leaving Bonnie enough hot water we again got the coach ready and went in to grab breakfast before hitting the road. At 7 am we pulled out of the lot. An uneventful day, thank you, the miles whizzed by. We stopped at a few rest areas, ate lunch in a rest stop in Tennessee, trying to use up some of the food we took with us. We took a different route home to see some mountains of the Blue Ridge. We were tired but kept the miles rolling by. We finished the last 750 of the 1190 in one day so we could be back at the office on Wednesday. No problems just good times, Bonnie and I talked about future rallies and plans for the future, the whole time. She is quite the navigator. We rolled in the house at 8 pm. GPS said we averaged 63 mph rolling time, which is fantastic through the mountains and big hills. We had a great time. Saw old friends, made new ones, saw lots of things we would like to try on our rig, laughed so hard our shorts were damp (credit debbie b) and ate way more than we should have. If you get the chance, next year you should write about your trip to the Nationals. We originally weren't planning on going all the way to Gillette, Wy., but after this trip we may HAVE to put it on the list. Thanks Jim B and all volunteers for all the hard work. It was perfect.
In a day or two I'll get some pictures posted. I thnk Deb B has posted some to the gallery, and I'm sure Jim will have some as well.

back home and planning the next rally

Mickey, Bonnie, and Max

MB&M - thanks again for the travelogue. although i enjoy reading about folks problems with their coaches, and enjoy seeing neat mods, i especially like living vicariously through the travels of others, regardless of how much traveling we do. Although we didn't attend this Rally, between your day by day diary, and Deb B's pictures, we felt we were there. Even the video she posted of the hypnosis routine caused us to laugh, albeit with dryer results.

Thanks again...and hope you're enjoying being back at work :(.

Randy and Karen

TravelTiger
06-22-2011, 10:19 AM
MB&M - thanks again for the travelogue. although i enjoy reading about folks problems with their coaches, and enjoy seeing neat mods, i especially like living vicariously through the travels of others, regardless of how much traveling we do.

I agree, I have enjoyed reading the play-by-play. (Followed JayC and Stella's blog, too!) A fair substitute for not being there. Now we're hoping to go to Gilette!;)

Erika

MICKEY
06-23-2011, 07:29 PM
RANDY AND TRAVEL TIGER;

The REALLY hard part was coming back at all. We could really get used to the "NON-WORK" thingy. :) Note to self....Got to start playing the lottery!

davebennington
06-23-2011, 07:51 PM
Mickey,

How did the truck run going home?

Dave

MICKEY
06-25-2011, 05:30 AM
Dave and Julie;
The truck did great, no problems. I hope the same for you guys on your trip. Keep us posted!