Indiana, Where We've Been

RV Hall of Fame Museum and Grand Design Factory Tour

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RV Hall of Fame Museum

It wasn’t in the original plan to visit Northern Indiana, but Ben had the good idea to take detour here to visit the birthplace of our Grand Design RV and do a tour to see how it was built. We also decided to check out the rest of the area since we were there for a few days and get a few parts that we needed for the rig.

Since we were in town on an unplanned detour, we stayed in the RV Hall of Fame Museum parking lot for a few nights with about 15-20 others who also spent the night in their rigs and toured the museum the next day.

The first mobile home on their tour is the covered wagon. Now, I’m not sure it could be classified as an RV, since that would be a vehicle for recreation, but home on wheels, sure, I’ll accept that.

That was the original concept for RVs and motor homes in the first place, to take your home with you on the road as you travel.

Soon after the car was developed for your average person, the average person started developing trailers to tow their homes behind it.

It wasn’t long before a man named Schult became the first official RV business man in the 1930’s. He built the first trailer for himself and later many more as he built a business around the idea… and they sold.  

Over the years, the trailers were developed with more modern accommodations. They also made them into motor homes like buses. With each passing year, they grew larger until reaching the big rig lengths and heights that we have on the road today.


Grand Design Factory Tour

Our fifth wheel was made by the RV company Grand Design, as a 2020 Grand Design Solitude S-Class 3550BH. We chose the brand because we had heard about the reputation of their customer service and how they stand behind their product. We wanted to see for ourselves what went into making an RV and how ours was made by doing a factory tour. 

While I can’t divulge any trade secrets or show you any pictures of the factory itself, it was very reassuring to know that what we had bought was a quality product. They adhere to a tight tolerance on their frames. They go over and above any set value for delamination. They take the extra steps to ensure a quality product goes out the door. 

The covid years were tough years for the RVing industry, seeing many of these models across all the RVing companies having problems as the demand rose like never before. The rep who gave us the tour mentioned the scarcity of supplies due to the breaking down of the supply chain and how they had to find vendors to supply them with the materials needed to keep the RVs moving out the door. Unfortunately in some of these cases, the new vendor’s products did not meet Grand Design’s rigid specifications and had some Q.A. issues which have now been resolved.

I also had to pick up a few parts for our rig while in town to avoid shipping costs. I made my way to their warehouse where I was able to pick up several window latches. This is their massive new warehouse where they keep parts for virtually every RV they make. If they don’t have a part in stock, they can usually order it.

Everyone was incredibly nice and helpful. No complaints here. 




RV Hall of Fame Museum

The RV Hall of Fame Museum allows overnight parking in their parking lot. There were probably 15 others in the lot who were also staying overnight. There are a few long RV parking spots, but also regular spots that everyone parked across. We had no issues with unhooking and leaving the trailer in the lot.

On the other side of the museum is another large lot. That side had hookups for electrical, interspersed spigots for water (although they were labeled non-potable) and a dump station (free). To use the electric hookup, there was a sign that stated there would be a fee of $40/night.

We came in with 20 gallons in our tank and used the free dump station when we left.

Starlink gave us 80 down and 25 up. Verizon was 4 bars on the cell antenna (4 down/0.5 up) and AT&T was at 5 bars (45 down/15 up).