America’s Largest RV Show and Buying an RV Lessons plus Cornwall Iron Furnace Buildings

9/10-14/14 Wed-Sun in Lebanon,PA (Hershey Campground-TT)

I don’t think it was the America’s largest, but it was big. Of the 5 days we only went there on 2 (cost $10/person each day).

No, we didn’t buy an RV. We tried, but the first was too expensive in the end and the other was sold by the time we were dickering. So it goes. We did learn valuable lessons:

*A Manufacturer’s RV show (versus one dealer) has the best, biggest discounts, even for used vehicles, because the manufacturers are adding money to the pot for dealers.

*Also at a Manufacturer’s RV show you have access to the expertise of representatives from the manufacturer. In our case we spent a couple hours questioning the Winnebago Journey/Meridian product manager. He designs the floor plans and knows the chassis very well. SO helpful. He explained that the 34B design was dropped because sales were slipping, then really falling with the entry of the 34T design and went way down in 2014, thus they discontinued it.

We also spent over an hour with the Newmar technician. They put a lot into insulation and comfort heating/cooling and comfort driving.  A lot to make your time in a Newmar a comfortable experience.

*When a dealer gives a very low price for an RV (often for one that has been on the floor for a long time-not wanted by the people in that area) because he needs to move it. Also he’ll give you a rock bottom price for your trade in (like the $36,000 offer for our RV), so he can make his profit there. Conversely, when his selling price is high his trade-in value is high. Although at the manufacturer’s RV show you would see high trade-in values too.

*When working with either of the above 2 scenarios, keep in mind that if your residence (driver’s license) is in a state with sales taxes, you want to negotiate the sale price down, letting your trade in value go lower (it’s the difference the dealer is looking for).

*The vast majority of buyers finance, take out a loan, to buy their RV.

*For a good rate, try a credit union or a HELOC on your home, if you own one. This way you may also be able to claim secondary house tax deductions.

*If your trade-in is over 10 years old the banks may not finance any loan, thus this RV is harder for a dealer (and individual) to sell.

*A La Mesa representative told me that their Internet Sales works like this: When you see the photo/description and call with your interest you are directed to the sales dept. for that RV. They will send you a detailed list describing any defects. If you want to buy it you place a deposit on it, come look at the rig (even 1900 miles away). If you still want it then you complete the sale process. If not, they will return your deposit money.

Sunday after church we explored the buildings surrounding the Cornwall Iron Furnace that we didn’t have time for last week:

The Furnace Building (to the left is the walkway on which they would cart the charcoal which had been stored in a building connected left of the walkway, now the Visitor Center).

iron 1

Blacksmith Shop. Here is where tools for mining and iron making were created. They also made tools/hardware for the community.

iron 2

Abattoir. A Gothic Revival building, featuring quatre-foil windows, was the smokehouse and butcher shop for the Cornwall estate. There was a whole village supported by this iron industry.

iron 3

Manager’s House/Office Building. This great stone building was erected in the 19th century as a residence for the Furnace Manager, who ranked only second to the owner. Today it’s a day care center for children.

iron 4

Stable. This stable quartered the horses and mules used in everyday functions of the furnace. Notice the keystone arches over the lower doors and the vent grills in the upper doors. Today the stable serves as the maintenance shop for Cornwall Manor (Adult living center).

iron 5

Paymaster’s Office. Today Cornall Manor uses this building as an art studio.

iron 9

Ironmaster’s Mansion. The sons of the builder of Cornwall Furnace constructed this mansion around 1773. The Coleman family, whose patriarch acquired the furnace, did extensive remodeling in 1865. Today a few residents of Cornwall Manor have apartments in the old mansion.

iron 6 iron 7

Minersvillage. Company housing was made available to miners and furnace workers, constructed in the 1860’s and have been continuously occupied. Today many have 2 numbers: one for the current house number and the other, for the company number of yesteryear.

iron 8


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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