Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We mentioned in our last post that it would be the last for the trip unless something noteworthy happened. As an avid RV-er we think something noteworthy has happened. Also one of our followers, George F., sent us an email stating he was saddened to hear we had made our last post for the trip. George this post is for you.

We have an aftermarket device installed on our motorhome called a Blue Ox TruCenter. It is a large hydraulic cylinder with an adjustable center location. If there is a strong side wind or excessive crown on the highway a switch can be depressed by the driver to relocate the center position of that cylinder. That helps reduce the effort required to hold the steering correction necessary to compensate for the wind or crown. The TruCenter is also a safety device in the event of a front tire blowout because it resists violent steering wheel movement. At the beginning of our trip we noticed that we could no longer adjust the center position of the TruCenter. The Blue Ox factory that manufactures and sells the TruCenter is located in Pender, NE. It was convenient for us to stop at the factory on our way home so we called an made an appointment.

Blue Ox has a customer service campground located at the factory for folks who come in for repairs or installation of their products. This is where we think the noteworthy thing happened. We were not prepared for how nice the campground was and what a pleasant experience our stay would be. When we made our reservation we were scheduled to arrive on Sunday on site #9 and stay until Tuesday morning. The camping is free to Blue Ox customers but at a commercial campground you would pay $50 or higher per night for a sight with these amenities. The site was first class with a large concrete pad and full hookups surrounded by concrete. In fact we have never seen the hookups surrounded by concrete before.

Now the icing on the cake came when we went to pay our bill. A very nice and competent technician came by our site on Monday morning and removed the TruCenter and then sped off to the shop to test and repair it. He came back in less than an hour and re-installed the TruCenter and checked our electrical installation. We had wired it to "ignition hot" power and he suggested that we connect it directly to the chassis 12 volt system with a fuse. We had the parts with us to do that and quickly made the change. The problem with our TruCenter was a bad solenoid and we can now hear if the solenoid is working by pressing the switch without the engine running. The total bill was $30 labor plus $1.95 tax. The solenoid was free. I don't know of anywhere we can camp for two nights in such a nice site for a total cost of $31.95. An on top of that we had a great time Sunday evening visiting with the other customers and telling RV stories at one of the sites.

Our campsite at Blue Ox

Notice the nice concrete pad

Hookups surrounded by concrete

There was one site complete with two tables, a fireplace, a refrigerator, and a gas grill. No one camped in that site during our stay and maybe it is used to calm irate customers.

Upscale camp site

When arriving at Pender, NE the sign reads population 1002. We have more people than that in our church back home. There is no reason to come to Pender unless you need to visit Blue Ox. The only place to buy groceries was in a convince mart. They did have a Subway, Ace Hardware, NAPA Auto Parts, and a large John Deer dealer. Don't look for a Walmart or any other big box store. Everyone we met was friendly and immediately knew you were visiting the Blue Ox plant. Blue Ox is a major employer in the area and originally started as a farm implement company in 1925. During the early eighties the company was experiencing economic problems and entered the RV towing and accessory market. That turned out to be a good move and today they are a major supplier of towbars and accessories.

Blue Ox

The country side in the vicinity of Pender is true Nebraska with corn and soybeans dominating the vistas for miles.

Lots and lots of corn

Soybeans to replace the nitrogen the corn robbed from the soil

It is Tuesday morning and almost time to start the journey home. It has been a once in a lifetime experience traveling to Alaska and back in an RV and now life must revert back to a more normal routine.

No comments:

Post a Comment