First Trip in our new Motohome

We left Josh and Maren’s farm, towing the Mini, a week ago Sunday headed for Gaffney, SC. Why would anyone go to Gaffney?

Well, this is where Freightliner Custom Chassis are made. One big application is for rear-engine diesel Class A motorhomes….those big boxes on wheels like we have. According to Freightliner they have 80% of this market.

Our Fleetwood Excursion

Our Fleetwood Excursion with a Cummins diesel engine in the rear….that’s the radiator in the back

Freightliner offers a 2 day class for RV’ers like us who want to learn more about operating and maintaining a rear- engine diesel on their chassis. They call it ‘Camp Freightliner’. Here’s the classroom and big Mike the instructor in  front with the beard.

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Big Mike with the beard, the instructor for Camp Freightliner

We did learn a lot. Some material we didn’t know that we really needed to know, like how to climb long steep grades using the Allison transmission, how often to have it serviced, how to figure out the correct tire pressure, etc. Plus it was fun.  Lunch provided both days and dinner on the first night. We stayed at the Spartanburg-Gaffney KOA where several other attendees were staying. It was a very nice campground and Big Mike came in a van every day to pick us up.

A nice pull through site at the Gaffney KOA

A nice pull through site at the Gaffney KOA

On Wednesday morning before leaving Gaffney we took the coach to a big truck stop to fill up (40 some gallons of diesel at $1.99….wish there were more of those). The other reason to go to that truck stop was they have a very accessible truck scale so I could get front and rear axle weights. The front axle loading was light enough to let some air out of the front tires and it improved the ride.

We got to try out the manual downshifting technique with the Allison on the steep climb up the Saluda grade on I-26….worked like a charm. Don’t let the RPM’s get below 2000. I was passing some semis in the right hand lane with their emergency flashers on. Not that you fly up the mountain. We arrived at the top in 3rd gear (of 6 gears) going about 38mph.

We arrived at Caesar Creek Soaring Club about 3 PM and set up our coach on a nice open spot in the campground.

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Caesar Creek Soaring Club campground

The club was running our annual Youth Soaring Camp so Friday I got drafted to do some instructing. We had about 15 kids in the camp (including two girls), ranging in age from about 14 to 17. They remain on site, camping  in tents, for the week. They learn a lot more than than just how to fly gliders. They are expected to be on the veranda for the morning meeting at  8 AM sharp.

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Our clubhouse , the old silo, and runway looking east

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Our veranda attached to the clubhouse, lots of seating

The kids learn to run the meetings. They get the weather reports, etc. During the 5 days of the camp they flew a total of 163 flights. Our club has been doing these camps annually for probably 12 years or more. For most of the kids it’s an experience they will treasure and many come back for 2 or 3 years in a row.

Saturday I got drafted to do a little more instruction and Sunday I flew my ASW 27 which I own with another club member and good friend, Jim Marks….this is a very elegant glider and it flies like it looks…beautifully.

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                                                                                               Our ASW 27

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Today we solved a couple more puzzles in the motor home and then went to Walmart in Lebanon, Ohio for supplies. Right now, Ronnie has a big pot of chili cooking in the clubhouse kitchen .

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Ronnie’s Hamburger Chili

We plan to be here for two weeks seeing our kids and friends and doing some flying. We’re leaving for Washington and Oregon on August 1. Hope you will stay tuned.

Ronnie and Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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