As planned, we rolled into Chanute on Saturday, Nov 24th around lunch time and the weather is perfect, warm and sunny. The golf course adjacent to the city campground is very busy. The campground was virtually empty so we had our choice of sites and took the one we use and like the most – very satellite dish friendly. All level and stable now to the TV dish…. we use BellTV and have had no problems over the last 12 years anywhere in the lower 48. But, we’re having trouble today, after a couple of frustrating hours of trying to find the satellite signal, I’m starting to believe the rumors that BellTV has redirected their signal and are no longer CANADIAN SNOWBIRD FRIENDLY!!!!! We jump on the internet and the satellite forums are all talking about how most Canadian Snowbirds are switching from BellTV to ShawDirect satellite service since they have not yet moved to the newer satellite technology and their support services will actually help a Canadian Snowbird set up in the USA! BellTV never did condone receiving their satellite signals in the USA and would suspend your service if they got whiff of you doing so. What now? We don’t want to move to Shaw even though we like watching our Canadian content, news and weather. It is nice to see what is going on back home and we will miss that. Our options are limited to Direct TV, Dish or free OTA. Since we do not have the usual bat wing type of RV antenna, OTA may not be an option. This gives us something to do while we’re waiting for the repairs on the rig. After lunch, we wash all the road grim off the rig, clean the windows and enjoy the warm temps.
Last time we were here, we discovered some good places to eat and since the rig is going to be laid up for a few days, it didn’t make sense to stock up on groceries so we can try some of these few spots. The Mexican restaurant has good food, quick service and priced great. We also like the sports bar – Bench Warmers and we had heard that the Italian restaurant was also good so we’ll try that too. Opps, it was closed, I guess the economy is hitting Chanute too. On Sunday, a few more Hitch Hikers 5ers pulled in and we assumed they were here for service too. I asked the neighbor about their service issue and the time they were to be there and he said 8AM. When we checked the NuWa web site, we noticed the service hours were 8-5 Mon – Friday and since they were closing down the assembly line, we assumed the service department had changed too. So we didn’t need to have a real early morning to be there by 7AM. We set about removing the drapery and valances around the windows of the dining slide – it was being removed to replace the slide floor.
Monday AM, we rolled into the service area a little after 8 and the foreman was wondering where we were. We should have been there at 7! Oppsss, a little embarrassed and not getting off to a good start, putting the guys an hour behind already. So, we’re all checked in and we all understand what is to be done. Barb & I are off to have a hearty breakfast at the Grain Bin, a great place for morning eats. After breakfast, we wander back to see the progress and they have the rig in a bay and have the front fiberglass cut and the rotten beam exposed and the slide is almost ready to remove. Wow, that is quick work but I guess when you come in a little late, they played catch up and put 3 techs on the job! We stayed to watch the slide removal and were amazed at the rot and mold in the floor. OSB just doesn’t hold up when it gets wet! We knew that we would have to make a decision on the floor covering of the slide since the carpet was a mess with mold. We decided that we would carpet the main area of the rig as well. We weren’t to keen on the carpet samples that NuWa had on hand so we were going shopping and Daryl suggested we have the carpet to them by late PM today as they would be ready to install it in the slide! Wow.
Well, it’s almost lunch time and we go check into the Super8 – really the only motel in town where you can be somewhat comfortable when cooped up for a few days. We unload all the ‘stuff’ we need for our stay – pillows, laptops, e-readers, clothes and of course, Barb’s sewing machine and supplies. It didn’t take us long to get ourselves situated and comfortable (as comfortable as we could anyway) and Barb’s sewing centre established. Off to see what carpet we can find in Chanute! There are not any of the large outlets here like Carpet1 so instead we tried Caldwell Floor Coverings that Daryl suggested. We arrive there and the owner greeted us as if we were old friends. After some browsing and a few questions, we select an ‘earthy’ berber loop. The owner said he would have it cut after lunch if we could come back then – hummmm we’re pretty busy but I guess we could! Heading out to lunch, we pass a satellite TV shop and stop off to do some research. Apparently, if we own our equipment with Dish, we can have a monthly plan which suits us best. That way, when we head north, we can cancel service until we come back in November again without paying for something we will not be using. With Direct, you have to have a 24 month contract to even open an account. They will suspend service for 6 months and charge us $5.00/month for the privilege and the 6 month suspension is added to the length of the contract. So a 24 month contract now becomes a 48 month contract – not ideal! If we do a US satellite, we will do Dish.
After lunch, we pick up our new carpet and deliver it to NuWa to install – the carpet place would do it but we thought it better to let the NuWa techs do it as it isn’t their first rodeo. Also, we would have to take the rig to the carpet place for them to do it. We drop the carpet off and head back to the motel for the rest of the day. The room has a small fridge so we stock it with water, beer and other food essentials. Our choice for dinner is the Mexican restaurant and had a good meal with lots of food and reasonable prices. Great spot.
Tuesday brought us cool mornings with lots of frost but the days warmed up considerably. Our Winegard satellite pole needed some repairs so I went over to NuWa to fix it – not sure why since we do not have a satellite dish to put on it any time soon. Wow, the new floor was in the slide and both the main area and the slide floor were carpeted already. The new beam was installed and the glass would be going on soon. Barb completed a new project – a friendship bag like she made the grand daughters for Christmas.
Wednesday, we were hopeful that NuWa would be able to let us know when we can continue our journey. We went around to view the progress and also stopped off at the parts store to buy new lights for the bedroom. We are going to update the look in there this year but you’ll have to wait to see what we’re doing. NuWa is finished with the slide and the body guy is nearing the end of his task with the glass. The front has been painted and a new decal will be going on so he can feather out the buffing to blend the work with the upper part of the rig. Daryl was confident that we will be leaving tomorrow afternoon. Yea!
Wednesday afternoon, we had a late lunch at Bench Warmers then down the street to the show to see the final (maybe) episode of the Breaking Dawn part 2! Not my cup of tea but Lydia went with Barb to see part 1 last year and they can’t do it this year so I got volunteered. After, we toured the town’s Christmas light display in the downtown park. The downtown businesses all contributed to the excellent displays – good job Chanute.
On Thursday morning, I went over to NuWa to see what the final decision is for our departure time. All is looking good, just a little tweak here and there and we should be released by 2ish! That’s good and bad news for us – good that we’re able to carry on but bad because the bill will be due! I asked the motel for a late check out as a convenience for us but they wanted more $$ for that convenience! Now that is customer service for ya…. To use up the time until 2PM, we packed all our stuff in the truck and decided to tour the Safari Museum in Chanute. It was pretty amazing and interesting. We can’t imagine how they embarked on their adventures without an RV! I suggest it is worth your time to click on the link and read about Osa and Martin Johnson.
At 2PM, we arrived at NuWa to hook up our home. All was done and the bill paid (ouch by the way) but when we brought the slides in, the new slide floor was scraping across the kitchen floor and leaving a black mark! Oppss… Daryl had a quick look, thinking that the protective tape that they installed had too many wraps on to cause this but didn’t. To fix it, they added a layer of tinfoil tape so it wouldn’t leave a mark but it still touched the floor – not the kind of response we expected from the manufacturer, both guys say they have never seen this before after replacing a slide floor. It would seem to me that a slight adjustment was required but they disagreed and said it was the lighter carpet we put in and that if we had put the same pile depth carpet in we wouldn’t be experiencing this! Their explanation suggested that with the deeper pile, the slide would ride up on the carpet and keep it away from the kitchen floor. Ok, call me a doubting Thomas but I don’t believe that but they are the professionals! So with the band aid on, we get back to the city campground and set up to leave Friday morning – we decided that if we get released after lunch, we would wait until Friday to get outta Dodge! After dinner, we visited the Chanute Art Gallery. There was an art show and sale on with a small quilt show. Did I say quilts – not many but the state champion was there with her prize winning quilts. After, we crossed the street to experience Cardinal Drugs soda fountain. We both had an ice cream sundae, the old fashioned way – it was a neat treat.
That’s enough for now, stay tuned for our trip to the Plantation. We hope all is good where you are….