Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Carriage, Inc. Factory Tour - Good Amish Food

(Millersburg, IN) Hi 81 Lo 59 -- It got chilly during the night, but that's ok, it warmed up during the day and it's really nice without the humidity. We were up earlier than usual so we could report to the park office to take the Carriage factory tour. We had a private tour of the factory back before we bought our RV, when we were still deciding what to buy. We were impressed then, enough to convince us that Carriage was the brand for us. We thought it would be interesting to take the tour again, now that we've owned ours for almost two years.

We saw the new 2012's being built on their long assembly line. They've made some changes that we really like, such as a large one piece rear window instead of three individual windows; new "slam latch" latches on all the cargo bins like you see on class A motorhomes; and an option for keyless entry. They've redesigned the front end cap, and some new exterior and interior colors. But overall, the Cameos haven't changed enough to make us want a new one. We're very happy with Tumbleweed!

These are all of the finished units they have on the lot. While we see fields full of RVs all over this area at the different factories, Carriage only builds units that are already sold to dealers. So they don't have a lot of backed up inventory.

Carriage is currently building a total of four units a day, four days a week. They have four model lines: Cabo (an entry level unit), Cameo, Carri-Lite, and Royals International. Most of the ones we saw on the assembly line were Cameos. Sorry we don't have any pictures of the assembly line, but photography during the tour wasn't allowed.

This is the Carriage Courtesy Park, which is behind the factory. Our rig is third from the right in the nearest row.

There's a lot of rigs coming and going all day. It's a nice park to stop at even if you're not getting any service work done. You can stay as long as you like if you own a Carriage product. Other brands are welcome to stay one night if they're taking the factory tour. Something to think about if you're in this area and need a cheap place to stay for one night.

The bathhouse to the right.

Since everyone here has a Carriage product we did some walking around meeting people last night and talking about their reasons for being here. Some are getting accident damage repaired, but most are getting little things fixed like we are. We're also getting ideas on little improvements that some have done. The other night in the chatroom, we were talking about the little sliding panel on the screen door that is so easily left open when you have the main door open. The flies and bugs love that little opening at night. We were discussing how to keep that little panel shut. (No offense, but the men tend to leave it open more than the women.)  One of the couples we met here has a unique solution.

Drill a small hole in the door latch handle and tie on fishing line. Drill a  hole straight down through the crossframe of the door.

Feed the line through from outside the screen to the inside and tie on a fishing bobber or some sort of little item that can hang from the inside. You can now pull the line to operate the door latch without having to slide open the panel. What a great idea!

Here it is from the inside.

Jim got a few ideas from other men about various "guy" things, like batteries and ladders and stuff. We helped one couple move their furniture around to better suit their needs. It's a very friendly group here, and the park is almost full.

We ran a couple of errands today, and called to make a reservation for another factory tour tomorrow. More on that in tomorrow's blog. We're in the land of the Amish, which means very good food and lots of it.  We went to Das Dutchman Essenhaus in nearby Middlebury for a family style dinner.

You get a broasted chicken dinner with all the fixin's, and for a little extra you can add either baked steak or roast beef. The sides are mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, green beans, and wonderful Amish noodles. Also included is bread (with wonderful Amish apple butter and peanut butter spreads), dinner salad, and a choice of about a dozen different pies for dessert. Oh yeah, and it's all you can eat, so if you want more, just ask.

We're both stuffed! When we got back we talked to a few more folks in the park and called it a night.


Jim and Sandie said...

We love Essenhaus. It ranks way up there on our list of favorite places. We've done the same thing to our door except there's a big washer instead of the fishing bobber. It really works great.

Anonymous said...

The food looks good but if you don't quit eating like that, you will need a larger wagon.

Dave and Maxine- Wandering Wingers said...

We were up in that area last week for repairs also. However we had to parking lot camp. We definitely did damage to our diets while there. The Blue Gate in Shipshawana is also very good! Hope your repairs are going smoothly.

Gail and Rick (Gypsy Turtles) said...

We ate at Essenhaus when we were there in June. It was very good.

Jeff & Barbie said...

Ah, don't you just love those Amish eateries.

Gypsy said...

The food sounds wonderful, but I hate it when they serve such large portions. I bought a "senior" meal while on the road, and it would have fed 3 people even though it was supposedly less food than a regular meal.