Yearning to wash clothes and to take a nice, very long hot shower after a week of “dry camping” at Entegra, on Saturday, June 14th, we made the very long, tiring journey (8 miles) to the Shipshewana South Campground.
With a population of approximately 670 people, an area of one square mile and in the midst of Amish and Mennonite communities, Shipshewana hosts one of the largest flea markets in the country. Although agriculture is the primary industry followed by a light industry of manufactured homes and recreational vehicles, the influx of over half a million visitors a year is due to the Flea Market and Auction, more than 150 retail shops including several stores selling beautiful, hand crafted Amish furniture, Hostetler’s Hudson Museum, the Blue Gate Theater and the Menno-Hof Interpretive Center. Every Tuesday and Wednesday from the first of May through the end of October, you will find hundreds of vendors selling everything from fresh fruit to handcrafted furniture at the Flea Market. For such a small town, there is a lot to see and do here! A word of warning though – if you want to enjoy a more low key Shipshewanna without a lot of hustle and bustle or traffic, then avoid coming here on a Tuesday or a Wednesday!
Nestled in the midst of retail heaven and yet bordered by horse farms, big rig friendly Shipshewanna South Campground has over 150 back in/pull thru full hookup sites, modern laundry facilities, restrooms, indoor and outdoor pavilions and a self service RV wash bay. Nice, well maintained campground with fairly level sites, each with a picnic table. Most of the sites have average spacing for a private campground although there are a few extra wide and some extra narrow. Most (but not all) of the pull thrus are long enough for our 43′ rig with the toad attached. The rate for a full hookup pull thru site was $40; a back in site was $38. At the registration office, we were assigned to pull-thru site #105. As we made our way towards our site, we noticed several other Entegras here – Lisa and Mike in their Cornerstone and another Aspire similar to ours.
Nothing exciting to report about our stay unless you want to know how many loads of laundry we did! Since we were only here for one night, we didn’t have an opportunity to go out exploring. Site #105 was plenty long and the utilities well positioned for us and we would recommend it along with most of the other pull-thrus in this section (probably best to avoid #107 though)
On Sunday morning, there was a knock on our door. When I opened the door, the man standing there said he stopped by to tell us what a beautiful coach we had. Turned out to be the owner, Stew, of the very similar Aspire parked on a site elsewhere in the campground. During our brief conversation, I learned that Stew and his wife Dianne, were also going to the Spartan class so we would see them in Charlotte.
Later as we prepared to leave, everything was going smoothly until Rob tried to put the Equalizer jacks up. The rear jacks didn’t want to retract fully and it took at least four tries before they finally came up all the way (these jacks are hydraulic up and down, there is no spring). Hmmm, what was going on with that? Entegra/Equalizer had made some changes to them the previous week based on our complaint that the coach would lurch when the jacks were put down or brought up. The solution was new software in the controller and on Friday before we left, Rob and Mike had tested them, the lurch was gone and they seemed to be working fine. Well, the fact that they didn’t come up all the way on the first try didn’t seem like a big deal as we’ve seen that happen before. Perhaps they were just being temperamental.
It was noon by the time we were ready to hit the road to make our way to Charlotte, MI (pronounced shar-LOT) where Spartan is located. More on our visit to Spartan in our next post.