We left New Orleans, on Thursday(February 24) and headed towards McKinney, Texas, north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We stopped in Nacagodoches, Texas, home of Foretravel Motor Coaches and had hoped to tour their factory, but we found out tours are only given Monday through Thursday. Oh well, Foretravel makes a beautiful, high end coach (way out of my budget) and it is always fun just to look and get ideas. The folks at Foretravel were really laid back and let us look at all of the coaches they had for sale, at our leisure....No pressure. No salesmen. No, Joel is not interested in trading out his Beaver. Just looking!!
We spent the better part of a day poking around and looking at the various coaches. I noted all of the coaches had the new shades installed similar to the ones Joel was interested in having made. Foretravel has overnight parking with electric and water hook ups available for their guests and we ended up taking advantage and stayed two nights, before heading for McKinney.
Joel had seen some custom window shades made by MCD at the Tampa RV show in January. The cockpit shades and curtains have never worked out to his satisfaction and the custom window coverings he saw at the show seemed like they might be the solution. MCD measures and makes the shades at their facility in McKinney, TX. The process usually takes several days. Measuring is done the first day and the shades are put into production and are ready by the third or fourth day and then installed. There is RV parking at the factory with electric and water and dump is available if really needed. Joel had called ahead and made an appointment.
We were assigned a space and arrived on Saturday, to find our reserved space with Joel's name on it. How neat is that? Everything is very organized. There were several other coaches already parked waiting for new window coverings. We got set up and then explored the area a little. Plano, is just down the road , and has a huge mall, and we took in a movie....the Artist, which won an Oscar for best picture. The Artist was OK but I think there were other movies that were better Oscar material.
Monday, the cockpit windows were measured and Joel determined what he needed to do to facilitate the installation of the shades. MCD installs the shades but Joel had to take the old coverings out and determine where he wanted to put the switch for the motor that operates the shade for the windshield. Once the measurements were taken Joel got to work tearing things apart while I nursed a very bad cold. It ended up taking Joel the rest of Monday, part of Tuesday and some of Wednesday to get everything ready for the install.( I had planned to go shopping and work on taxes but that darn cold keep me down most of the time. )
Peggy, MCDs representative arranged a tour of the factory which was very informative. I learned MCD is a family owned company and the current location is their third campus. They have grown quickly and are the only company in the US that makes these type of shades for RVs. ( There is another company located in Canada that makes similar shades). Ninety percent of the materials that go into MCD products are US manufactured and within the next few months 99 percent of the materials that go into their coverings will be manufactured in the US. Most of the shades installed in new coaches today are made by MCD, including Foretravel, Monaco, Winnebago, etc. just to name a few.
Wednesday afternoon the shades were ready and the install began. The large windshield shade install took a little longer to install than anticipated. The A pillars had to be modified and was a little tricky so Joel wanted to do that himself. The installer was great and was willing to work with Joel. Thursday morning the drivers side and passenger side window were finished . I was finally feeling better and we headed off to Dallas for a quick tour.
The Book Depository where the shot that assassinated Kennedy was shot from
Some before and after pictures:
The old shades from the outside. They didn't go down all of the way.
The new night shades cover the whole windshield and are operated by a switch on the driver side.
The old shades from the inside
and the new night shade
The old shade and curtain. on the drivers side. The curtain always bothered Joel while driving. Now it is gone!
The day shade really cuts the glare. I can see out, but you can't see in from the outside.
Our next stop will be near Tierra Amarillo, New Mexico to see my son Craig. Of course, its still winter and he lives at 8,000 feet so things could change if snow decides to fall along the way. The forecast is good.