Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Stuck in Lodi again

Saturday September 24, 2001
Winnebago Visitors Center
Forest City, Iowa

Our night in free parking was not so hot.
It seems we are on the corner of a 4 way stop
and there are apparently no auto inspections in Iowa,
or muffler laws or noise ordinances.


So at 4am the boys started coming to
work and stopping here and then taking
off again with mufflers blaring.
Must be some sort of competition.
We thought we’d only have this one night
and be on our way this afternoon
so oh well………..
Unfortunately, not so.
The minor troubles turned into major troubles
when we took the RV in at 7:15 AM on Friday morning
and handed it over to Mitch who was
to put on the hood latch which fell off
and replace and install the second one
that bounced across the highway. 
And also check the slide leak which we thought was
a hose, and a couple other minor things.


He took her into the shop.


Like in any good hospital,
the family went to the waiting room.
While there I struck up a conversation with
some very interesting full timers
Holly Ann and Dennis Rogers.
They have quite a story of 3 rigs and
being on the road, coming back for a great job offer
and then going back out.  Selling 2 different houses
to do that and all in the last 4 years.
Actually Holly Ann and I wore Dennis out and
he went back to his book.

Mitch came back about 6 hours later with one
latch installed, a lube job done,
2 minor things accomplished
and the news that the hydraulic slide cylinder
will have to be replaced for much more money
than I had even thought of
that the part won’t even be in for a week.
To drown our sorrows,
We took ourselves out to lunch at
Sally’s where I had a BLT on whole wheat for $3.25
and David had a breaded pork sandwich for $3.75
We then had two pieces of the pie for which Sally
is famous.  There were 6 kinds.
We chose Rhubarb and Peanut butter $2.50 each.  
Pies change daily so in all our free time,
we’ll have to come back.
But she’s only open Monday-Friday 6 to 2pm
and Saturday 6 to 11.
Closed on Sundays
Cute little home town restaurant.

 Forest City 007

We also went to Bill’s Family Foods
for some groceries.  I think there is
another grocery in town but I haven’t seen it. 
But there must be, there are 4000 people in
Forest City.

Mitch kindly filled our water tank and dumped the black and gray.
Once Winnona was returned, we took her across the street and she
is now hooked up to an electric outlet in the parking lot of the Winnebago Visitors Center and is
Waiting for Monday.

Forest City 009

Here we are like Duck’s in a row waiting for our hospital appointments.

Forest City 012

And speaking of Ducks,
here’s Duckie’s scenic view

Forest City 001
On Monday we get to arise again, at VERY DARK O’CLOCK
in the morning, unhook, unlevel etc, and
have her over there for the 2nd hood latch install at 7am.  
Then we’ll bring her back and re level and re -  etc
and wait until Thursday while we
hope the part only takes a week to get here.

Today, Saturday, we got up after a
very nice night’s sleep beside US 69
which was more like a regular road
than a drag strip.

Had a pancake breakfast

We had good intentions but some how
the day got away from us and we basically did
nothing but look into all the required fluid changes
and their intervals and other regular maintenance
to see if there is anything else that should be done here
since we have to be here so long.
Although at $100 an hour
(which is actually, from my reading, on the low side)
David will probably do most of this himself.

It is a riot to read what the Winnebago manual says,
and something different in the workhorse manual
and a 3rd set of intervals in the Allison manual.
Who’s right?
I wrote to the  RV Dreams forum and asked what they do.
Would love to hear from any and all of you.

How often do you change your rig’s oil?
Do you use synthetic oil?
How often the transmission fluid?
Do you change the brake fluid?
How often do you have it lubed???
I also worked some on “and then where do we go?”
Any suggestions for where to go in Iowa or Illinois?

It was a cloudy day and would have been a
good one to take Winnona into the car wash
(no water here) and then do some waxing.
But neither of us could get ourselves motivated
to do much of anything.

About 5:00 David took the boats and bikes
off of Ruby and took her into the car wash.
Less take down for Ruby.  :-)
So she looks very nice and I’m sure she feels better too.

That’s about it from here in exciting Forest City Iowa.
Guess I should have titled this
Stuck in Forest City again but that doesn’t
have a nice tune you can get stuck in your head.


  1. When I owned my gas powered Adventurer, I changed the oil every 5K miles and greased (lubed) the chassis at the same time.

    The Allison transmission required just the external filter (spin on) to be changed after the first 5K miles (be sure to take the washer shaped magnet from the old filter and put it in the new filter before installation) and then had the trans fluid changed at the three year mark, using Transynd synthetic transmission fluid. I also used synthetic motor oil (Mobil 1).

    Everything except maybe the trans fluid change can be done easily by David. The trans fluid can but you need a pretty big drain pan.

    Also at the 48 month mark, the radiator coolant should be drained and replaced.

    Hope that helps. If not, just have a piece of cherry pie and all will be well. :c)

  2. Yup, you sure are doing the Winnebago version of Red Bay.
    When they are finally done with you, run, don't walk, as far away as you can. The longer you stay, the more that will break. You just get caught up in a black hole designed to separate you from your wallet :)!!!

    Seriously, sorry you're stuck there. I have no recommendations for IA or IL and our rig is diesel so what we do is not what you should do. Guess I'm just no help!

  3. Don't know much about maintenance, but sure know how confusing those manuals are! Half of ours don't correspond to the make and model referred to in the books! When you get out of Dodge, we stayed at Rend Lake in Illinois last year and really liked it. We'll get back to you if Eldy has more places that he knows about. (He's asleep!) And I should be--nighty nite!

  4. Wow!! That couple sold two houses in four years?? Can you spell STRESS??!!

    Sorry the repairs are taking more time and $$$ than you planned. Hopefully Winnona will soon be dismissed from the hospital with a clean bill of health.

  5. Well in Davenport, Iowa, Interstate RV West of town, or just before u get into town, was a great place to stay. NO CABLE THO...there is a river trail along the Mississippi further east and a neat mill to see south of town.

  6. How cool is that to be friends with Paul, your own Winnebago Tech ;o))

    Sorry to hear Winnona needs joint replacement instead of stitches. Hope the surgery goes smoothly and you get taken on time.

    Never heard of Rubarb-Peanut Butter Pie ??? Sounds like an unusual combination to me ;o((

  7. Hmmm, down time. Sometimes that can be good, but in a hospital parking lot? :) Good thing there is a good hometown restaurant to enjoy good stuff!

  8. I am glad you asked and I am glad Paul answered. I was wondering the same myself since no one seems to go with 3000 miles anymore. I had settled on 5000 for oil changes. So, I am glad to hear Paul confirm. We also get it lubed at that time. I had the transmission flushed at 30,000 miles.

  9. Seems like they could have arranged it so you could have the second hood latch put on the same day they fix the slide cylinder... but then I guess you don't have much else to do, anyway!

  10. any parts from HWH are taking awhile to arrive. I think they are still having performance issues.

    The conflicting manuals are annoying. I picked up a new Allison manual at a seminar and the intervals have been changed slightly from the ones when I bought the Meridian in 2006. I just had the fluids changed in the transmission last year based on time.

    In our diesel, the oil is changed at 11500 miles or every year. I have my dealer do all the work and we often do extra items based on what when on during the year.

  11. It's a small world. Dennis Rogers lived near Raleigh and wrote a column in the News and Observer (local paper) for decades before rving. If y'all had talked about NC bbq, he would have made your mouth water.
    Good luck with the repairs. We usually have the oil change/lube done once a year since we don't put many miles on Wanda.

  12. Too bad auto/RV maintenance is such a drag - would be nice to have them run smoothly without issues forever. Yeah...right...


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