Happy Fourth of July!!!


Hello again from Amana, IA Friday Evening; July 4, 2008 (Second travelogue of this trip) We are still at the Amana Colonies RV Park (here). We will be here until Monday. We scheduled this week to be here in order to meet with the owner of SilverLeaf Electronics (http://www.silverleafelectronics.com/). I have become a dealer for them. I have followed their company since its start over 10 years ago and have used their VMSpc engine monitor system since we have had the bus on the road. One of the main reasons I wanted to go with their products was that they are developing a tire pressure monitor system that will replace the product I have carried in the past. There is some information on my website (http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/Silverleaf.htm). This product will compliment my system and could possibly lead to additional business relationships. I also wanted to be here for continued a dialogue with Swaims. They have helped me make some major business decisions. We knew that we had to change the way we did business, because we were not close to making a profit and had considered the possibility that we would have to shut down the business. There are lots of major changes we plan to make. One of them is that I will become an installer. That is where the money is. I had avoided that option, but it has become clear that it must be part of the business. We have worked out the details so that I feel comfortable expanding into this end of the business. We will charge a fixed rate and I will be able to do the install at a more leisurely pace than those I have been involved in so far. It will require a large adjustment in our scheduling, but that is a positive, since it will give us more time in an area to explore. Suffice it to say that my head is swimming. BTW, Pat has had a lot of great input into these major decisions and I really appreciate that! There are lots of other business details, but I will keep the blog more travelogue oriented {grin}. This campground is a huge facility that was created in 1988 for the World Ag Expo. It is also used for the Farm Progress Show. There are nearly 500 camp spots. We were lucky, that we have not had next door neighbors. We have 50 amp service, so we have been able to do several loads of wash. The campground office sustained some pretty significant damage during the recent severe floods. Many of the surrounding fields are totally destroyed by the flooding. There are several RV rallies going on here. The Safari brand motorhome had their rally most of the week, and now the Beaver brand rally has started. Some of you may recall seeing Safari motorhomes, since many have distinct animal murals on them. We had always admired the murals, and assumed they were decals of some sort. It turns out that they are all air brushed by hand by the same family members that have been doing it for years. Apparently it was a factory option for about $2500. The artist is here doing a few motorhomes. He does about one a day. The murals have unbelievable detail. The photo below is an example. We watched him do this one. Not only is the mural extremely detailed, but he hides small animals in the mural. This one has 13 hidden animals. I talked to the owner and he has found all but one. In the next travelogue I will discuss the Amana Colonies in a bit of detail. That’s all folk!

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