Last few days we have been taking a sleight detour on our way back west. Went to a small town a little east of Iowa City. Home of HWH Corporation. They make leveling jack systems for motor homes. Also actuators for slide outs and other things. About ten weeks ago one of our leveling jacks broke a retraction spring. Replacing it on the road at a RV repair shop or even at home would be a challenge. HWH makes many systems using several different springs. Choosing the correct spring and then having it shipped to somewhere and then installing if in fact correct spring was chosen would be a large investment in time and possible $$$. I figured that we would be in the same half of the country and when traveling from Florida, Iowa is not much out of the way, so why not go to the source to get the job done. Exchanged a couple of emails and when we left Florida called to set up an appointment. Very nice lady set up a time that we could make by traveling a little harder for a couple of days and would get us in before the weekend (and a two day layover in nowhere). Got there a little before noon Friday. Basically drove right in to repair bay. Two hours later, including their lunch break, the springs on all four jacks were brand new (turned out two different springs were required) and the system was checked out as fully functional. They only charged for a half hour of labor although he was working on coach over an hour. Fast, friendly people, and the job done right with the right parts. Good experience from start to finish.
35 miles west of HWH is the Amana Colonies. Group of small villages established by a religious group long ago. Not Amish, Quaker, Mennonite, or other ‘name’ religious group. One of the colonies is where the Amana appliances were developed and made. Still are made there but are now part of Whirlpool company. Although tourism is certainly a goal, the feel is more historical, educational, and hand made talent. The colonies are home to a number of fine crafts. Rug weaving, wood working, furniture making and repair, clock making, fine arts, quilting, wine making, craft brewing, year round live theater (non profit !!!) doing Broadway level productions, several very good restaurants (good hearty food served in a simple setting) at reasonable prices, museums, and more. There is also a very large, very nice RV campground also very reasonably priced. We stayed there and spent today touring much of the colonies. Many of the establishments have craftsmen working in them during the week. It was a weekend so we only saw a couple of spots with activity going on. Visiting during the week would be a lot of fun. Standing only a few feet from a loom weaving a rug for example or watching fine furniture being crafted from the shop floor. We had a good day and saw lots of interesting things.