Tag Archives: projects

The Visone RV Boneyard

View of the Visone RV Boneyard from the road
Driving into the Visone RV Boneyard, you can see all the RVs parked on the rolling hills.
My mind has been totally blown by a visit to the Visone RV Boneyard. I guess I should explain. In London, Kentucky, lies one of the largest RV boneyards, if not THE largest east of the Mississippi. Not only can you go there and find spare parts in their warehouse, but you can also give them a list of needed parts and they will run out to the lots and try and find them for you.

Image of RVs lined up on the Visone Lot
Some of the RVs lined up on the Visone Lot.
When we first drove in, we were shocked by the amount of RVs, specifically motorhomes, they had on their property. And then there was the damage. I’ve never seen so much shear damage around me. It was just completely mind-boggling, to see the condition some of the RVs here are in after experiencing fire or an accident.

Image of the burnt side of Monaco
A fire in a Monaco completely destroyed the entire driver’s side.
The fire damaged ones, to my mind, were both the most impressive, and the most frightening. Fire is something that lays heavy on my mind sometimes. If a fire starts by the furnace or refrigerator, there isn’t much that can be done. You can do the safety-training stuff and aim the fire extinguisher, but there is a good chance that you will lose your RV. On the left is a Monaco coach after a fire in, I believe, the refrigerator area. The damage is extensive, and (as we discovered from talking to the guys here about the fire-damaged HR Scepter we were hoping to pull some cabinet doors from for a future project) the interior is nearly completely a loss. The featured image for this post is a close-up of some of the fiberglass damaged by the fire.

We were a little disappointed that we were not allowed to roam over the yards to seek out parts, but we understood why. A close friend had an accident out there, and their insurance company won’t allow them to let people roam at will anymore. But we were allowed to walk around some of the coaches in the yard, which was still exciting.

Image from inside the Visone Warehouse
Down one of the aisle inside the Visone Warehouse.
The warehouse is large and extensive. It contains nearly anything you could want for your coach, from cabinet fixtures to power inverters, to exterior covers. Some of the inventory is new, but mostly it is used parts pulled from the various coaches in the yard.

A visit to an RV boneyard has been something we’ve wanted to do since we started RVing, and Visone paid off in spades. Even though it’s a bit scary to see all the different ways our RV could, well, die, it’s still an amazing site to see all these RVs in one place.

We brought our purchases home and made our replacements. In addition to the door, we also bought several covers for our overhead florescent lights which had cracked, and therefore fell down at the slightest bump in the road. The new covers fit snug and don’t look to be going anywhere.

Image of the broken hinge
The hinge that broke on our OE door. Note the duct tape fix.
Replacing the door was not an easy task. First we removed the old door (with the fridge off so it would not beep at us). With the door off, we removed the old, broken hinge. Then we striped the black trim off one side of the old door, and knocked the wooden panel out.

Image of the new door
The new door on our kitchen table. Yes, we got thickburgers for lunch that day. 😉
The panel is held in on the edges by runnels, but it is also glued on. At Visone they’d advised us that we could possibly encounter this, and they said to run a file underneath the panel to break the hold. We didn’t have a file, so we used brute, but gentle, force. We had the cuts of wood we’d used in the great cabinet lift of 2015 that we used to protect the wood as Richard hammered the panel out.

Together we slid the old panel onto the new door. That took some coordinated effort to jimmy properly in place.

Image of Richard preparing to replace the door
Richard sitting before the door, preparing to do the replacement.
Now we were ready to mount the new door. First we slid the new door into the upper hinge. Then I got down onto my back on the floor while Richard held the (now very heavy with the wooden panel) door in place. Seating the screws properly to attach the new door’s hinge to the bottom mount was difficult, but once they were properly in place with their washer, I was able to screw the new hinge bracket in place.

What an amazing day! We got a project accomplished and had our minds totally blown by the mass of all the RVs at Visone. Definitely a place worth seeing, but it is also a great online resource.

Back on the Road (Again)

Today we left Big Rock Campground for parts South. We worked as campground attendants all summer and had a wonderful experience. We let the Senior Ranger for Kane County, IL — our boss — know that we would love to return next year.

Big Rock Campground is located in Big Rock, Illinois, west of Chicago. It is the closest campground to Chicago (besides Hideaway Lakes, which, frankly, the less said about the better). It is a young campground, open for just a partial season in 2013, but it is beautiful.

I highly recommend it, if you are ever in the area. The campground is part of the Big Rock Forest Preserve, and backs up to the forest. The pads are level and the sites are quite spacious. Each site has 20-30-50 amp service and water, as well as a fire-ring and a picnic table. There are two clean dump stations.

As for things to do, there is fairly good hiking and fishing opportunities. The Senior Ranger says he will be making even more trails for next season. In the small pond in the campground, there is catch and release fishing in a small pond at the campground, and a large quarry lake on the other side of the Preserve. The bathrooms are well kept and always clean (I know, because every morning shift we clean the bathrooms).

Our departure was not without problems. The day before we’d taken the coach up to the dump station to complete the sanitization of our fresh water tank and give the grey and black water tanks a good flushing out at the same time.

Since I am learning to drive the coach, Richard had me drive up to the dump station. Holy cow is this thing huge! I’d only ever driven our old coach (a 34 footer) before. Those extra six feet make a huge difference. I can’t see the end of the coach from the drivers seat. Well, I’ll learn, but right now I have to admit that it is intimidating.

We pulled in our two slides and went up to spend several hours at the dump station. Ah, the joys of travel! Everything went according to plan until we got back to the site and went to put out our living room slide.

Some horrible noises later and a lot of four letter words, we discovered that the little arm that provides protection from billowing ended up beneath the slide topper awning, and as a result the right side arm of our Carefree Omega slide topper hung up and then bent. We managed to get the slide in all the way, but it wouldn’t go out again.

This morning we tried to figure out what our next move should be. Should we go on to visit our friend in Bowling Green, Ohio, as planned? Or should we go to Elkhart, Indiana, to see if we could get in to see a technician at the Monaco factory or one of the other RV shops in the area?

It was in the midst of this decision that Richard had a great idea. He posted on iRV2 about our dilemma. Shortly someone posted that they had some of the very arms that we bent. They say said we could have them if we could pick them up. Richard said we’d be happy to take them off his hands. We asked where he was.

What luck! He told us he’d be in Indianapolis! So we traveled down to Indy today and we’ll meet him for the arms tomorrow. We’re staying tonight at Lake Haven Retreat. Then it’s on to Bowling Green, where our friend will (hopefully) be able to help us change out the arm and fix the slide topper.