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Author Topic: Visiting Elkhart RV Surplus stores.  (Read 814 times)
JohnVickrey
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« on: September 08, 2013, 06:57:54 AM »

We'll be passing through Elkhart, IN on our way home. 
Someone tell me everything I need to know about visiting the surplus stores.
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John Vickrey   -   Dearing, GA
About 2 hours East of ATL on I-20 and 4 miles south of I-20.
Got Electricity and Water for 4-5 coaches.  Less that a mile to a
dumpstation.  Stop by and sit a spell.
wg4t50
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 07:15:57 AM »

When I visited the place, found they have lots of goodies, so be prepared $$ wise,you most likely will find things you did not know you need, until you see it
Enjoy
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Tikvah
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 07:24:33 AM »

John, when you coming through?  We plan to stop there too, either this coming Friday or the next (always subject to change).

Dave

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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
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Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
edroelle
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 07:38:04 AM »

Most are not IN Elkhart.

Johnsons and Bontragers on HW 12 in MI

Toms on 131 in MI north of 12

Bottom Dollar in Bronson, MI

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 07:59:44 AM »

The number of surplus stores has shrunk a fair bit over the past decade.  Some of the lists on the web are quite old and still have shops listed that are out of business.  In one case I stopped by an RV surplus store that still had the sign out front, but had in fact been converted to a flea market.

Bontragers is a great place to go.  No idea if RV Surplus Salvage is still any good after they auctioned off some of their inventory and moved to a new location in Elkhart.  I thought Tri-State Surplus was decent, but they are like 2 hours from Elkhart almost in Ohio.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
somewhereinusa
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 08:54:01 AM »

Here's a link to a page with a downloadable list of the current stores in northern IN.

http://somewhereinusa.x10.mx/surplus.html

Dick
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Seangie
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 11:12:24 AM »

John -

We just spent a bit of time up there in Michigan and I had the chance to visit Bontragers, Johnsons and RV Surplus new location.
They have tons of parts, pieces, switches, electronics, heaters, furniture....you name it...anything you fins in an RV will be there.  New and old.

This is what I got out of it -

1. Make a list - go through your bus/RV and make a list of all the projects you want to work on.  They have so much stuff that it is very easy (and I fell into this trap) to start picking up stuff and thinking - This would be great for such and such...then you get home and it sits on a shelf for years to come

2. Watch out for electronics.  I saw a huge bin of what looked like brand new panasonic DVD/Stereo/Entertainment players.  They were only 20$ each.  As I looked through the box I saw that the only connections for these was a wiring harness connector that did not have the wiring harness.  They also looked like something propietery for some model RV or manufacturer so the chance of finding the pinout for the wiring harness would be slim.  Alot of work trying to get the wiring harness hooked up and working correctly.  I passed on them (This was very difficult as they were nice looking units)  Also - No indication that they worked or not...I pulled the fuse on two of them and both units had blow fuses.

3. Measure - Measure - Measure - Make sure you measure any space you are looking to fill with used RV stuff - Furniture or otherwise.  Nothing worse then getting there - finding the perfect thing (such as windows in my case) and buying them because they are so cheap and getting back and finding it doesn't fit.

4. Not sure you can make a deal on everything in the store but I did ask a few questions about the roof AC units that I bought and they gave me a deal on them because they were missing some parts.

5. Plan on two trips.  I would plan on at least 2-3 hours at each place one day making a list of what they have and what you'd like to buy and then go back with your list...sleep on it for the night and go back the next day to buy it.  Or if you but it the first day and you get it back and decide it wont work you can bring it back the next day.

6.  There is parking across the street from Bontragers for your bus.  If you can bring your bus all the better.  Not sure if they have power or water but you can call and ask.  RV Surplus is in a giant parking lot.  Not sure about parking the bus at Johnsons.

I think that rounds it out.  Have lots of fun!!!  Leave the wifey home if you can.  My wife would have looked at a few things but about an hour in I think she'd be ready to go.  I could have spent days at Johnsons and Bontragers.  RV surplus had a limited amount of supply as they were just moving into their new building.

-Sean

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'Cause you know we,
we live in a van (Eagle 10 Suburban)
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Scott Bennett
Scott & Heather MCI-9
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 07:39:08 PM »

^ yAh. What he said :-D   Hey Dave I've been unplugged for the weekend and just got your message. Lets chat. If you go to Elkhart I'd love to see you!


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise & conversion in progress.
http://www.scottmichaelbennett.com/p/our-bus.html
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