"Doing things Differently"


Got up this morning to 68 degree temps.  Highs today wound up about 85 degrees.  Nicest weather we've seen since we left the O's.  We left Wal Mart and headed for King of the Road factory for our tour.  Talk about a difference in manufacturing plants.  King of the Road is now using aluminum framing for their walls, and ceiling/roof areas and floors.  The floors are set atop a sturdy steel frame which they weld together in their frame shop.  They would not show us the welding shop without welding goggles and steel toe shoes, so we did not get to see the actual frame shop itself.  We did see however, a completed frame ready to come into the main assembly plant.  The frame had been welded together with gussets and braces in certain critical areas.  The main framing is a pair of steel I beams.   One of the nicest things they've done in the areas of 5th wheel design is to change the flooring in the bath and bed area.  Once you step up into the bathroom, there is no step up in to the bedroom area.  It is all on the same level.  Gives much more headroom in the bedroom area.  The same design is being used in the 5th wheels made by Excel.  Definite improvement.  Anyhow, the atmosphere in the two plants is like night and day.  The tour lasted less than 40 minutes, Excel took about an hour and a half.  Rexhall was a full hour.  The guide seemed like he was in a huge hurry to get through the tour.  Maybe his schedule was tight, or he had his mind on something else, but it just didn't have the same relaxed atmosphere as was at the other two.  I also didn't like the way the aluminum framing was welded together.  I've welded aluminum in the past, and I know it can be difficult at times, but the quality of the welds did not impress me.  Depending on the model being built, the cabinet facing will either be solid oak, or a cheaper version of wood with an oak looking wrap around the cheaper rails and stiles.  Many manufacturers use the same technique for their cabinets, I am not picking on them.  Their cabinet construction is an observation, not a complaint.   The finished product looked nice, but truthfully, I liked the quality of the Excel better than the King of the Road.  Aluminum framing doesn't impress me.  I know all the arguments about aluminum eliminating rot from the walls, and being lighter.  I also know that there is no insulation inside the aluminum tube itself.  Aluminum will transfer head and cold from inside to outside or vise versa much faster than will wooden framing.  If you only use your rig for a couple of weekends a year, it's probably not an issue.  If you plan to live in it, I think it will be in issue in time.   Overall, I'd rather have the Excel.  Anyway, enough of that.  We left the plant and drove south on route 81, then east on 36, then south on 57 into Junction City, Kansas.  We are sitting in another Wal Mart SuperCenter in Junction City, Kansas.  Tomorrow morning we have an appointment to tour the New Horizons plant in this town.  The weather seems fairly nice at the moment.  Feels like it should be a good night for sleeping with the windows open.  Didn't take much in the way of pictures again today.  Think I will upload this and call it quits for this evening.   That's the news from P.U. (paddleupstream).