Elkhart, IN –  New Rig!

After having the Itasca Sunstar for one year and traveling over 12,000 miles all over this awesome country, we learned what we really did and didn’t like about our motorhome.  When you are living in it for weeks or months at a time, some things can really drive you nuts!  Imagine a family of four living for a few months in an apartment for that is only 300 to 400 square feet. Some things that may not seem too bad on a weekend trip can really aggravate you after a while, such as an uncomfortable couch and driver’s seat, no washer or dryer, no dishwasher, a small refrigerator, not enough power, small bed, not enough space overall, etc.

Given that we want to spend a lot more time on the road, we decided to trade it in on a new diesel pusher that addressed all of the shortcomings of our Itasca and we couldn’t be happier with our decision!

We listed the reasons we chose this make/model, as well as the things we’re not crazy about, in this blog post

We drove our Itasca and tow car over 700 miles through snowy weather and extremely cold temperatures up to Total Value RV located in Elkhart, Indiana, where many RV manufacturers are located.  In Elkhart, RV dealers and shops are like Starbucks…there’s one on every corner!  It was a fun adventure and the dealer went above and beyond to treat us well, including a private tour of the factory where they are made – so cool!  I highly recommend buying an RV from them if you are in the market for one. Not only do they treat you really well, it’s nice seeing only 70 miles on the odometer instead of 600 miles, since they don’t have to drive the very far from the factory to the dealership.  Chad Rothrock was the excellent salesman we worked with from the beginning. He was extremely responsive to our questions and was in constant contact with us the whole time, which made the whole process a lot less stressful than it could have been.  He would even text and email us after normal business hours to check on us and respond to any of our questions.  It was the complete opposite experience of any vehicle or house purchase we have ever made.  Previous to buying this RV, we had visited MHSRV in Texas to look at a couple of motorhomes, and let me tell you – they certainly don’t treat their prospective customers the way they should.  They need to take a lesson from Total Value RV.

Here are some photos from our trip:

The windshield kept icing up really quickly since the temperatures were in the 10 to 20° range initially.

We had a challenge with frost building up on the inside of the passenger and driver side windows, making it almost impossible to see out of this side mirrors. The defroster was not helping, so we were using our fingernails to scratch off the frost and using the palm of our hand to melt it.  Not what you want to be doing while driving in snow we conditions. At the next Walmart stop, we bought an ice scraper, which was much more effective than fingernails! 🙂  It was a strange feeling to be scraping ice off of the inside of your windows!

Here is what the radar looked like and where we were at the time (blue dot):

There was a point where we thought we should probably turn around and go home because we didn’t know what was ahead the further we would go north, as a big snow storm had just passed throuh Chicago.  But the crazies prevailed!!!

We stayed at the campground called Glen Oaks RV park located in Waynesville, Missouri. The owners are very nice and the price for 1 night was only $25.

This is the protective coating the RV put on the car on our way up! 🙂

When we got to Elkhart, the temperatures had dipped to -8°. The forecast for that night was -14°, so we decided to get a hotel in Elkhart instead of worrying about whether or not our RV would be warm enough. Although, it kept us warm when it got down to 0° the night before.

When we got to Elkhart, the kids had fun playing in the snow at the RV dealer for a few minutes.

The RV dealer arrange for us to have a private tour of the factory where our new RV had been manufacture only two weeks before!  Really neat!

We were so happy to take delivery of the new rig!

Moving day!

Our first night was spent in a glorious Walmart parking lot!  If you look closely, you can see the kids in their bunkbeds

It is so nice to be able to use the big rig diesel fuel lanes!

And we are thankful for the big rig parking spots!

Dumping the tanks for the first time! Such a special moment…

7 thoughts on “Elkhart, IN –  New Rig!

  1. We bought a new Berkshire 38A in Oct and love it EXCEPT for the on demand water heater. 6000 miles later we still love it EXCEPT for the on demand water heater (the response is always too low water volume) We are ready to replace it with a tank type. Going to the factory in March for one last attempt to get it to work correctly.

    1. Hey, literally minutes ago I just solved that exact problem! I posted the information on the Forest River Forums in the Berkshire section. It’s a very fresh post so check it out

  2. Was looking for the blog on the water heater, didn’t find it..We have a new 2016Berkshire 2016, last one on the lot, we love it. We have some issues that are being addressed. What is the problem with the Water Heater. Could you let me know as if it is a problem in our perhaps we can get it fixed or changed out when other work is being done. Thanks, Sandi and Freh Hardin

    1. Hello! So the issue is within the recent Port Aransas blog entry. Our RV is in the shop now and we hope the recall applies to ours. The problem is that the OnDemand water requires too much flow to stay turned on while taking a shower.

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