Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Our New Reflection Fifth Wheel 367BHS by Grand Design

It feels like forever know way back in February when we did oodles of research to learn about this newer Grand Design company. We went with our gut and bought our Reflection 367BHS Fifth Wheel without ever stepping foot in it! See the back story HERE.

It's here, It's ours! The biggest, best-est birthday present to my husband. Happy birthday baby. May we all have many continued years of happiness together in our new 367BHS!

We did cheat though...yesterday we stopped by to have a look and actually step inside our new home. We just couldn't wait until pick up!
 Ian learning how to hook up the fifth wheel at the dealership before we pull away.
 YaY! It's been a long couple of months waiting to pick this up.
 We reserved side by side campsites at Bronte Creek Provincial Park so we could empty the contents of the trailer into the new fifth wheel  (No review for this park as we were too busy moving everything over to even see the smallest part of this park).

 Lets show you the inside of the trailer before we fill it up. 
Master Bedroom

Dresser area an open closet doors in master bedroom

Shower and bathroom storage

bathroom vanity and storage

Loft above the bunk room

Bunk room sofa which will be removed and a loft bed put in

Bunk room storage

Main living and kitchen area

Dining table and chairs and recliner couches

Pull out couch in back for guests

Kitchen with TV and fireplace

Island with large sink and also the huge pantry

LOVE this big sink

So much pantry storage
Let the sorting begin!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Walmart Overnight in Windsor, Ontario

After our tour at Grand Design we headed for the border, crossed over and stayed at the Windsor Walmart location at 7100 Tecumseh Rd East. We called ahead to make sure it was Ok to park here and were told that it wasn't a problem just please park on the perimeter. So we did.

In the morning we woke up to find that overnight the whole parking lot had been repainted...excepted for the spaces we were covering. If they had told us that we could have parked elsewhere. I felt kind of bad.

We left here and headed to Bronte Creek Provincial Park where we will stay a couple days to transfer over everything from the Surveyor to the new 367BHS! So excited!

Monday, April 18, 2016

How we ended up at a Grand Design Factory Tour, Elkhart, Indiana

We arrived at the Grand Design factory for our tour and were very happy with what we saw there. We were not allowed to take photos inside the factory so I have no pictures to show you but I will tell you the back story as to how we got here.

We loved the layout of our Surveyor but we have had so many issues with it and the company has not stood behind their build. Currently after 5 years of owner ship we have a list of 32 warranty items that were never fixed. Most of that we fault the dealer where we purchased it from, but still???
Soon to say good bye to our Surveyor and Hello to our 367BHS
Do you remember way back when in Feb when we went to the Fulltime Family Rally in Tampa? Well while we were at the Rally they had a tour of homes where everyone can sign up their rigs and do tours for other fulltime families to come and see your homes.

Well we went on this tour and we fell in love with the layout of one of the homes we saw, the Sanibel 38QB.

We decided to go to Lazy Days RV lot (since we were at their campground) and took a look at other RV's. While here I liked the Grand Design 357 BHS but since it was a company we didn't know anything about, we didn't pay much attention to it.

We came back a different day and asked for someone to show us around. This time he showed us quite a few bunk room layouts and we ended up at the 357BHS. We decided based on the quality of this rig that we wanted a bit more information this time, on the company.

We went and sat down with the dealer and he handed us a brochure and on it was listed a 367BHS which was basically the same layout at the 38QB that we loved! As a bonus the quality of the Grand Design was better too, in our opinion.

Since we are from Canada and we can't finance it,  we started calling around Canadian dealers. We were offered a supper deal on a similar layout to the Sanibel. It was a Heartland 39MBHS. We went to a dealer in Florida to have a look at it so we would know if we liked it or not and the quality of the build was more in par with what we have in our Surveyor and it's craftmanship was not the greatest. The deal was so good we really wanted to like it, but we had to walk away from it.

When we told the Ontario dealer that we didn't like the Heartland and we had decided that we wanted a Grand Design, the dealer did some of his own research and hoped to call us back and tell us why we shouldn't buy a Grand Design. Instead he told us he could not find one thing bad to tell us. That he believed we would be very happy with a Grand Design product. 

After hours and hours, and days and days of our own research, that cemented it for us. We found a Grand Design dealer in Ontario and ordered the 367BHS without ever stepping foot in one. We knew we liked the layout from the Sanibel. We knew we liked the quality of the Grand Design from seeing the 357BHS, so we went ahead and orderd a 367BHS sight unseen.

Touring the factory we hoped to see one on the assembly line but that line had just finished last week and we just missed our actual rig on the line by a few days. This morning as we were driving to our tour, our rig arrived at the Ontario dealer and will be ready for pick up on the 20th!!! so excited!!!

Walmart boondocking through Indiana

After leaving Mammoth Caves National Park Campground we headed to Grand Design for a factory tour. The other day our tour got switched to Monday so we had a bit of extra time to get there so we drove extra slow, didn't rush and gradually got there staying at Walmarts a long the way.

We stayed at Walmart in Seymour Indiana at 1600 Tipton St and it had a new ALDI going in across the road. I fell in Love with Aldi when we were in Florida.

 Then we slowly made our way to Kokomo Indiana at 1920 Markland Ave for another night at Walmart.
We had planned on staying in Goshen but when we arrived and asked them where they would like us to park the lady said, "I'm really sorry but recently we changed our policy at this location and I have to tell you, you can't park here" so we continued on into Elkhart. We ended up at the 30830 Old US 20 Walmart for the night. It wasn't the greatest as there were a lot of trucks but it did the job. I guess it was busier then normal since the other locations nearby are banning over night parking.
Now we are up and headed to Grand Design for our tour of the factory where our new 367BHS which just came off the assembly line! We missed seeing ours by a day or so as ours arrived this morning at the dealership in Ontario. We will pick it up on the 20th!!!

Friday, April 15, 2016

REVIEW Dispersed Camping at Mammoth Caves National Park Campground, Kentucky

This was our first time visiting Mammoth Caves National Park and our first time to ever camp at a National Park. I should have done a bit more research apparently to learn that it was dispersed camping here before we arrived. Hopefully this review will help you if it is your first time camping here too.

Site #82

We entered from the South. Take intersection 65 to exit 48 (Park City exit). Turn left on to 255 and follow it until it becomes the Park City Rd into the park. It will join the Mammoth Caves Pkwy; turn left and follow it to the Visitors Centre.

To be honest $20 was a bit expensive to disperse camp here. If There was even water and electric hook ups the rating would be higher. I understand there is garbage pick up, water near by, washrooms to clean and a dump station available so perhaps $10 a night would be fair in my opinion. 

No hook ups available in the campground at all. It is all dispersed camping. That being said we had a level, paved, pull-thru site. There was a cement picnic table and one of the best fire rings we have ever seen that lifted up on a hinge for easy cleaning.

We loved the cave tours available here. There is a large variety of different tours to do so every time you come back you can see a different part of the cave system. There are many nature walks you can go on and different daily events put on by the rangers. There is a lot to keep you busy. The girls would have appreciated a playground at the campground.

The natural feel to the park is wonderful. You are nestled amongst mature trees in a well manicured campground. That being said without electricity,  listening to everyone else run their generators took away from the beauty of the park and I am thankful we spent the money for solar on our rig.

Very clean bathrooms throughout the campground. However paid for showers were located near the camp store and I did not go to look at those. Laundry was also available near the showers.

Every Ranger we spoke to was helpful and pleasant to speak with. If someone didn't have an answer then they made sure to find a Ranger for you that could answer your question. Tour guides were well educated on the tour info.

This is not a campground I would stay at to go and do any other touring. You basically come here for the caves and trails and leave.

We enjoyed our time here but the running of generators was really a damper for us. I expect people to run generators when boondocking in the middle of no where but when we pay for a campground in such a beautiful natural area the generators were a big negative for us. The cave tour was wonderful and we do look forward to returning and doing a different tour next time. The hiking trails are beautiful and plentiful. I felt the price to disperse camp was high. We honestly could have just came here for the day and parked by the visitor centre while we did the tour and walked the trails and moved on to another campground and not felt like we missed anything. The bonus to staying here was you could collect dead fall from the ground for your campfire.

You are allowed to collect and burn dead fall

Another campsite

More campsites

The washrooms behind our campsite

Inside the washoorms

 and read THIS post before hand.

Luckily our site was close to the water tap and we had empty black tanks. Our solar was very helpful here too as there was no electricity. Something I guess we should have researched and known about ahead of time and not just assumed that there would be electricity and water at the site. Generators were permitted but we relyed on our solar and were fine. The solar may be more expensive then a generator but boy oh bot the peace and quiet is nice. Listening to others running their generators for power was kind of a downer as it too away from the peace and tranquillity of the park.It was basically dispersed camping.

Exploring the trails at Mammoth Cave National Park

After our Cave Tour yesterday I headed out on the trails for a bit of a walk. Spring is just starting to wake up and in another couple weeks everything will be coming a live.

 Aayla joined me and we left the campground and headed toward the Visitors centre.

Group campfire area


Train car display near the Visitor center

Aayla loved rolling down the hill here.
 We headed back on the path towards the campsite as Aayla decided she wanted to go back to the camper. I hadn't sunk in all the nature I wanted yet so I continued on to Green River Ferry.
 I love the out cropping of rocks a long the way.

 Some Spring colours were bursting out.

Mr Snail out enjoying a nice spring walk too
 I had no idea what this was so I asked a Ranger and they found a different Ranger who could tell me...and 5 minutes later I promptly forgot what it you have any idea? I think they said it was a type of fungus??? I Love the bright little caterpillar on it too.

A deer ran across the path

Eventually I ended up at a Blue Hole. On a sunny day I bet the colour would be beautiful.


I got to the ferry which was the end of the trail (as far as I could tell without a map) and I turned around to head back to the campsite.

 This time there were three deer resting in the woods.
 I got a bit too close though and they took off.

When I got back the girls finished working on the Jr Ranger booklets and we took them in to get their badges as we were heading out of the park today. This is the first time they have participated in the Jr Ranger program and they loved it. Sierra was so proud as she finished almost the whole book. She omitted the activity near the cemetery as she didn't want to go to a graveyard she said. She is even more proud because I bet her she couldn't finish the whole book in two days...and she proved me wrong!

Now we are off to Indiana.