Yes, we are back at our "brick and mortar home". Several friends have noted that I neglected to close out this trip and finish the story on what happened to our camper at the factory.
Cedar Creek went through the entire camper repairing or replacing anything and everything that they considered to be a problem or a potential problem. I believe I can honestly say our 5 year old camper is better than new.
They did decide to rebuild the area around the pin box (where the 5th wheel connects to the hitch on the truck). This required removing the front fiberglass cap and fiberglass panels underneath. They welded in 10 new gussets along with two steel tie plates and a torsion beam. It is now many times stronger than new and has absolutely no flex or movement.
After examining the trailer they decided to replace both axles and suspension components because one of them looked like it had incorrect camber. We received a new set of entry steps, new aluminum skirting on the right side (they saw a dent), new gaskets and weather seals on the other two slide-out rooms, a new slide out topper on the street side rear slide-out, re-caulked the roof seams and replaced the large fading graphic on the left side wall. The sewer tank valves were replaced as well as the problematic left front landing jack. New awning arms were installed since my original arms did not have a rain dump adjustment.
Now, if all of this terminology means nothing to you let me put it this way. Cedar Creek spent 40 man hours working on our trailer. The parts and materials they provided had a retail cost of $4,500.00. This puts the total service provided at something like $8,500.00. Our trailer is long out of warranty. We did not ask for all they did - it was done because they felt it was needed for safety, appearance and comfort. Our bill for out-of-pocket cost for all of this was NOTHING!! Nada, zilch, zero. We live In an era where the RV industry often refuses to assist camper owners once the unit is out of warranty. This was not the case with Cedar Creek. One thing for sure - if and when we may decide to buy a newer camper it will be a Cedar Creek!
We got our completed camper back late Friday afternoon. Rather than immediately heading out, we decided to stay the night at Shipshewana South RV park. Two of our friends and club members were also staying there so we had some great evening company.
We pulled out around 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning and followed I-80 across the top of Indiana into Ohio then Pennsylvania. We stopped just south of Pittsburgh for the night and once again hit the road the next morning at about the same time as Saturday. All of this route was on toll roads that were in poor condition and had many lane closures. Our tolls were almost as much as the cost of the diesel fuel we used. We crossed into Maryland for a few miles, skirted West Virginia and came out in Virginia on 522 heading to I-81. We got back to the Richmond/Mechanicsville area around 3:30 p.m.
Our total mileage was 5,787 miles. We visited a lot of places we have never been before. There are a lot of beautiful places in the USA and we know that there are many, many more we want to see. Having good health and owning a comfortable/dependable RV makes this possible. Having spent four nights in a nice hotel, we can honestly say it felt great to get back into our own bed in our "second home". We are many times more comfortable in the RV.
Living room area in the RV. Note the fireplace and comfortable Lazy Boy recliner chairs.
Our own bed with a comfortable mattress.
Our next RV trip will be considerably shorter - a couple of weeks at the beach in North Carolina in October and November. Then, right after Christmas we will head for Gulf Shores Alabama to meet a group of our friends and club members. From there we will venture onto Florida in hopes of escaping another nasty winter. We are now part of the boomer generation known as "Snowbirds".
Repair/modification in progress at the Cedar Creek factory plant in Topeka, IN. The blue arrow above points to the "torsion beam" added to counteract flexing of the front cross-member over the pin box.
Our next destination