Monday, June 06, 2011

Made in Indiana

.I've seen TV specials lately about how so little of the things found in an American home are made in America.  It would be interesting for them to take a look at a typical RV ... not only would they find most of the components made in America .. they're made in Indiana.  Elkhart county is known as the RV capital of the world.

We're here for the Heartland Owners Rally next week.  Heartland is a make of RV that is - you guessed it - made in Elkhart, Indiana.  And, as long as we're here - we're taking advantage of being in the RV heartland.  We stopped by Gulf Stream RV in Nappanee - where our motorhome was made. It's hard to see in this picture, but those are new chassis in the background waiting to have motorhomes constructed on them.  There is no factory tour here like at some other manufacturers, and there is no service center either.  We were disappointed at that, but we learned the reasons. 
 To withstand economic downturns, the company only makes motorhomes to order - so there isn't any inventory on hand to look at.  And, their service center was literally blown away a couple of years ago in a tornado that passed thru town.  We were hoping they had some kind of standard maintenance service procedure we could have done - they said 'good idea, but not here.'  Rather than rebuild their service center, they've identified other places around the country to recommend.  They did recommend a place called RV1 in Elkhart, just a short distance away.  So we called and made an appointment there.
Indiana is also the home of many Amish people.  Such an interesting sight to see horse and buggies in a  modern day parking lot.

The Amish are also known as fine craftspeople and we know many RVers who have had custom furniture made here.  Specifically, our friends Nick and Terry Russell of the Gypsy Journal RV nespaper, have discussed at length the wonderful work of a guy named Carlyle who is in Nappanee and has a business called Focal Wood Products.  Here's Nick's blog post and picture of the furniture Carlyle made for him.  And, here's another picture from the CoolRVers who had some furniture made by Carlyle.  (btw - if you want to read about traveling to Alaska, click the link to CoolRVers - they're doing that trip right now.)
Picture of custom table and computer desks in the CoolRVers motorhome.
So - we have ordered a dining room table and computer workstation as well as a computer workstation for Jim in the living room area.  It should be ready by the end of the month.  Oh Boy!

Right now we're parked in the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Indiana.  We were delighted to find that there are other people we know here as well.  Walter and Amy Cannon of and Howard and Linda Payne of RV-Dreams.  This should be a great month of work, *and* fun.
Walter knows who's really in charge in this motorhome!

We had a fun evening with Howard and Linda who came over to the Geek Mansion :-) to play Wii

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Blueyez said...

Thanks for sharing that story, I would love to visit Indiana and some RV manufacturers some day, LOVE my Jayco 32ft. Nice pictures!

Ade Fr said...

Very interesting if it could go to Indiana and see how the manufacture of furniture made of wood. That is very unique. someday I would get there.