Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Western RV Trip Day 29-30 – Thor Diesel Club International Rally

We wrapped up our five week trip by attending the International Rally for the TDC at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, IN.  Why would they pick here for a rally you asked – the Thor Diesel Factory is here as are 15 other RV mfgs. – something like 80% of America’s RV’s are made in the area and the local economy shows it.

The fairgrounds are big and very well maintained – a pretty first class place – with lots of buildings for events and many, many RV spots in several locations so they could likely hold multiple RV events at the same time.  A couple of shots from the web - we were next to the trees at the bottom of the second shot, which is the upper right corner of the first shot.

Here are some shots of our site and up a couple of roads.

Since this was the Thor Diesel Club, all of the attendees were in good sized Class A coaches.  Day one at the rally was pretty low key for us as we were resting from our four day drive so we didn’t attend any seminars but did go to breakfast, supper, and happy hour so we could socialize a little.  Neither of the meals was very good (grilling tough steaks for 260 then using plastic dinnerware and paper plates is usually not a great idea – but the pups loved them.

We did accomplish going to the Walmart, washing the filthy car, and eating lunch at a local place called the Lux Café where we had very good, and large meals.  Bev’s  Beef Philly ($8.49)

Pat’s Malibu Chicken Croissant ($6.95) 

My Greek Salad, which was huge and loaded with anchovies ($7.99) - I only ate half of it.

On Tuesday, we toured the Thor diesel factory and it was very interesting, but after seeing it, I’m thinking they should not be nearly so expensive – I believe the profit margin is well up there.  No pics allowed but here are a couple from the web.

They make the sides, ends, floor, and ceiling each as one big piece then join them together on an assembly line.

After the tour we drove out through the country to see a mixture of Amish, Mennonite, and other farms – horse drawn buggies and bicycles were everywhere on the roads.  We ended up in Shipshewana for a stop at Yoder’s Meat & Cheese Store.  The big case is filled with frozen beef, pork, chicken, and sausages (brats, etc) - they also have a fresh meat case.

They raise and process their meats but not the cheese - most seemed to come from the Holmes County, OH Amish community.  In addition to meat and cheese they had the full array of items one normally finds in these stores - smoked sausages, jams, candy, bakery goods, etc.  We picked up some great looking bacon, German brats, beef tri-tip, and smoked sausage.

Then we went to E&S Sales for a quick look at their offerings and I got this shot of part of the parking lot.

We drove back through more countryside to the fairgrounds for happy half-hour followed by a pretty decent evening meal.  Our rally fee covered breakfast, happy hour, and supper each day.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


10/2-10/3/17 Event Date


  1. Enjoy the area there so much to see and do as well as the rally, we enjoyed our time in that area a few years ago.

  2. You see the most interesting things on these adventures! Thanks for sharing with us. All that cheese and meat looks wonderful!

  3. Larry, Interesting facts about the local economy around Elkhart! It could turn into a wasteland fast if the economy were to crash...much like the boat building business around here but more extreme. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. Looks like a good time at the rally - it's too bad the food wasn't that great. Love the shot of the horse drawn buggies.

  5. Interesting post about Elkhart! Been there and to Yoder's for their good cheese and sausage. That is one big rally and sounds like you had a good time!

  6. Your still havin too fun...............HRB..

  7. Can't remember if I've ever told you that I grew up in Amish Country in Kansas. I always enjoy seeing those buggies. And every time we go back I have to make a trip to Yoder's Meats. It's in the little town of Yoder, Kansas, so I'm sure not connected, but a very similar store. Love that place. I bet it was interesting to see them building those rigs.

  8. There's a huge profit margin in manufacturing, seemingly; but a lot goes to salaries, benefits, etc. Still, it's always been the best way to bring original money into an area, rather than passing around retail dollars. It looks like this was a great stopover on your trip. My grandparents had a Class A RV after they retired, and it's a great way to go if you spend lots of time traveling. They surely do look more streamlined these days than the ones of 30 to 40 years ago.


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