And we’re off (ready or not) – May 2018

Last winter was our longest trip yet at over four months from start to end. A little over a month later, and we’re off again. It’s been a whirlwind, but it always feels good to finally transition from getting ready to leave to actually being on the road. Whether we’re ready or not, the preparations are done.

The perils of staying off the interstates. About once an hour, we found ourselves stuck behind farm equipment for a few minutes until we had an opportunity to pass.

Our first day was long. We got up early, but it always takes us several hours to get the animals set, get the last stuff packed, do some final cleaning and close up the house. Then we hit the road for a 6.5 hour drive to Iowa and the Winnebago dealer, plus an additional half hour side trip to our daughter’s to drop off something we didn’t intend to bring. Add in a quick lunch stop and a couple of fuel stops, mix with being worn out from all the activity of the last week or so getting ready, and both we and the animals were pretty beat when we finally arrived.

Our service appointment was at Lichtsinn RV, which is the largest (by volume) Winnebago dealer. It’s only a mile from the Winnebago factory and gets good reviews for both sales and service. We needed some warranty work done as well as a couple of enhancements (such as an additional solar panel installed).

Our experience with the location and staff were all very good, and we got to listen to people going through the sales process as we waited for our service to be completed. Lichtsinn has parking and electrical hookups for sales and service customers available (so free overnight parking in their lot with electric). The lounge area was nice, and all the staff were friendly and courteous to us, the animals (definitely pet friendly) and everyone else we observed.

The majority of the service activities themselves were fine. However, another of the upgrades was installation of a battery monitor as I wanted the wiring hidden in the wall, something I didn’t feel comfortable doing. Unfortunately, they used very undersized wiring in connecting it to the battery, which could have melted the wire or even caused a fire. I was definitely not happy about that. We also had our replacement shade (a warranty item) fail after less than an hour of use. This was a Winnebago part problem rather than a Lichtsinn problem, but was still frustrating.

After I brought the wiring issue to their attention, they scheduled us back in the next morning. We had a different service advisor this time who seemed to understand the issue better than yesterday’s service advisor. An hour after they opened, they had the two issues resolved and we were off.

Day 1

Miles: 325*
Driving time: 7 hrs
Roads: Mostly US and state highways
Overnight: Lichtsinn RV
Weather: 50s and cloudy a.m., becoming warm and mostly sunny p.m.
Total miles: 325*

Day 2

Miles: 0
Overnight: Lichtsinn RV
Weather: Sunny, warm and muggy (65°/85°)
Total miles: 325*
* Since our motorhome is our only vehicle, mileage includes side trips.

 

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