Our Week in Goshen

Wow! What a week. The RV-Dreams Rally was terrific. I had hoped to write daily, but to be honest, we were just too busy! I’ll give you a rundown of the week.

We arrived at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairground Monday afternoon. We set up house and met a few of the folks that were there for the rally. Nobody told us it was yellow jacket season in Goshen. When we got up the first morning we thought we must have parked on top of a yellow jacket nest. They were swarming everywhere and trying to get into the RV. We quickly found out that everyone there was having the same problem. There were just all over. During the week, several of the attendees were stung including one who drank out of his coke can without checking for yellow jackets. Ouch! Right on the lip! He survived, the yellow jacket didn’t.

Another yellow jacket story. One morning, as we were walking back to the RV, we saw what looked like a crack in the windshield. Needless to say, we were quite distressed since replacing a windshield is not an inexpensive event.You might be able to see it just above the right side windshield wiper.

Windshield crack?

As we got closer, we were releived to see that what we thought was a crack was just a smear of yellow jacket guts! Another one bit the dust!



Tuesday was registration day. Being one of the early arrivers, we were volunteered to help with registration. Actually, it was a really good thing because we got to personally meet every one of the people attending the rally. Since there were about 150 of us, it was great to hear all the stories. Many were already full-timing in their RVs, one couple closed on their house the day before and the rally was day one of their full-time life. Many others did not own an RV yet. They were there to learn to see if the life was right for them.


The Rally was conducted by Howard & Linda Payne. They have been living full-time in their RV around the country for 8 years. After becoming experts or at least learning from their mistakes, they began doing these rallies to help others make their decisions. They conduct the sessions in a way that is ‘this is what works for us!’

As I said, there were about 175 people there.

Rally Session

Rally Session

We had sessions on all aspects of RV life. Some of the topics were, buying an RV, understanding RV insurance and extended warranties, RV basics (driving, towing), basic RV maintenance, tires and weights & balance, evaluating the options of full-timing, budget, selecting a home base, working on the road, choosing campgrounds, internet on the road and staying connected, and solar power. With each topic lasting 60-90 minutes, you can see that it completely filled our days and evenings. We didn’t have much of a chance to sightsee, but did manage to go to downtown Goshen and walk around a bit.

There we found Newell’s, a combination butcher shop and sandwich shop.

Newell's in downtown Goshen

Newell’s in downtown Goshen

They also had a selection of vintage bottled sodas including Moxie, Dad’s Cream Soda, Root Beer and Orange Soda.photo 4

photo 3

There were multiple others that I had never heard of including MacFuddy’s



We also went to the Newmar factory and took a tour there. We saw their processes in making their motorhomes including the King Air, their $900,000+ coach. (I’ll take two!)

The best part of the seminar was meeting bunches of people from all over the country (including Hawaii). We all have new friends that we will stay in touch with and meet up with down the road somewhere. We even managed to have a fire one night and sat around telling our stories.

photo 1-2

Before leaving, we had a final breakfast and said goodbye to all. The final step of our Rally was a weighing session. Weights and balance, as we learned, is an integral part of RVing. Safety, mileage and tire life all depend on being within limits, balanced and having tires inflated to the proper pressure. Unlike your passenger cars, the cargo carrying capacity of RVs vary so much that your tires need to be inflated to the proper pressure for your load. We were pleasantly surprised to find we were underweight and perfectly balanced in the rear. The right was a couple of hundred pounds off measured right to left. The driver and passenger make up a part of that weight so the solution is for me to lose a couple of hundred pounds or Jimmie Kay to gain them. I don’t think either will happen!