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Howie Arrives at Henderson’s Line-Up in Grants Pass

Greg Illes is a terrific writer, adventurer and happy customer of Henderson’s Line-Up. In this series of posts, Greg gives a humorous but serious account of his journey to Grants Pass and why he came to Henderson’s. We serve thousands of coaches each year from all over North America and would love to hear your story and hopefully select it for our travel blog. If you have a story to share and some good pictures as well, we’d love to pass them along to our readers. Please send them to [email protected]’sLineup.com and you just might see your story featured here. Now, here’s Greg…

25 November

Unlike most RV-service shops, Henderson’s is so courteously RV-oriented that they provide free overnight facilities for visiting customers.

Howie on the Rack

These facilities consist of a parking spot, and (next to the shop) 30A service. You (we) can literally live in your/our RV while it is being serviced. There is also a nice warm waiting area, a wifi-café, and a lovely showroom where (something) that I don’t yet own is sure to be hanging on the wall.

Parts One of the things I didn’t yet own was a set of quad shocks on the front suspension. Yep, now I own them – that’s the kit and the installation in the photos. Yet another worthwhile improvement.

Handling is definitely more “snug”, and the front end is once again even better behaved.This whole “camping” scenario is VERY nice for drop-by service, those of us on our way from somewhere to somewhere else. However, as previously commented upon, camping at Henderson’s is not necessarily like other forms of camping. Let me elaborate:

There are some caveats — if your RV is being serviced up on a rack, you must use a ladder to enter/exit. Most times, the rack can be lowered during the evening so that you don’t have to perform this death- defying activity in the dark. If your RV requires service that occupies multiple days, you may well find that it will not be able to start or drive during this interval. You’ll need sufficient food and water on-hand to sustain such an interruption. Or a toad. (But watch out, the toad also may require service and be taken out of commission.)

Parts The security night-lights at Henderson’s Lineup are approximately equivalent to the full moon in concert with a 2- megawatt arc-welder; wear a sleeping mask or you will have dreams about lying on your back in the Sahara at noon-time. At exactly 5:35AM, all residents of Grant’s Pass are required by law to drive their cars and trucks on Highway 199 past

Henderson Lane, in second gear at 37 mph. Every 13th vehicle is required to either rev its engine or exercise its diesel exhaust brake. The resultant traffic noise will provide a valuable and insistent warning of the imminent 8:15AM occurrence (previously annotated) of workers coming to dismantle your vehicle.

In short, it’s convenient, cheap, and friendly – - but hardly idyllic. No place for a campfire (but I have previously barbequed, and in the rain to boot!). Last year, there were four of us “camped out”, sharing morning bleary-eyed coffee and tales of various repairs, upgrades, travels, places, and other facets of RV life. In all truth, it’s actually pretty cool.

The actual service performed at Henderson’s is a fascinating combination of planned maintenance, surprise repairs, and unexpected dire need-of-upgrades. That last one, only husbands comprehend, never wives. You must understand – - There are things (maintenance) that just should be done; there are things (surprise repairs) that suddenly need to be done; and there are things (dire upgrades) that, if not done, will subtract from RV welfare, owner manliness, and the overall well-being of all humankind. The sum of labor for all these things will occupy an interval of time that exceeds any planned such interval. Such is the way of all things RV (and manly).

26 November

Service Week Activities

Some folks who come to Henderson’s will be the type to drop their vehicles off and go about their business, coming back to settle up and drive on. Others, such as myself, get deeply involved in the inspection, diagnosis, and repair/upgrade process. Consequently, I spend probably 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 of each day in consultation or observation of what’s going on. This week, both Howie and Ralph are on the operating table, so to speak – - so there’s plenty to think about.

That said, Karin and I still find time to have some meals, do some shopping, and take a lovely walk down along the Rogue River which runs through town.

Lake

The Rogue, at this point, has traded its northern rough-and-tumble character for one of stolid substance. The river is wide, deep, and pretty much rapid-free. But it still retains the wild nature of its beginnings, and it’s easy to get the sense of this river being not fully tamed.

Along the banks, summer’s wild, lush greenery has faded and gone. What remains is a more somber wildness, a harsher presence framed with leafless trees and slate-blue skies. These skies never see the sun rise very high in its daily march, and even mid-day light is at a low, subdued angle.

The air is cool, crisp, and breath-steamy. On the opposite bank are two guys fishing. They are not obviously enthusiastic about it, but what do I know. For me, fishing is slightly less exciting than watching paint dry – - so we move right along. We pass some occasional folks out walking their dogs, but we pretty much have the river to ourselves at 3 in the afternoon.

We walk away from the path and stand at the water’s edge. The surface of the river darkens early as the sun angles down behind high thin clouds. Here and there, the smooth-flowing water occasionally forms V-shaped wavelets and undulations, quiet testimony to secret obstacles projecting off the bottom. There is no wind, and the water runs authoritatively but quietly by. For a time, it’s just us, the woods, and the river.

Life is good.

I have always been (pleasantly) surprised at the detail, rigor, precision, and sheer conscientiousness of every single employee at Henderson’s. This year is no exception, and my vehicles and I are again benefitting from the experience and diligence of this fine crew.

Tomorrow is the last working day before the Thanksgiving shutdown. There is still plenty of work to do on both Ralph and Howie, so we have our fingers crossed that it can all be caught up by end-of-day.