I started this thread, and just received my last two kits, so I figured I'd post a wrap-up: here's the calendar for all my orders, and a few things I learned.
Kit ordered received months waiting
--- ------- -------- --------------
Tail 7/26/21 7/20/22 11.8
Wings 7/26/21 6/27/22 11.0
Fuse 8/10/21 7/20/22 11.3
Finish 8/20/21 8/4/22 11.5
Avionics 2/18/22 11/23/22 8.1
Powerplant 2/20/22 11/23/22 9.1
I really didn't want to get stuck waiting for the next kit while building; though I staggered my orders a little, I didn't stagger them enough. I'm now just finishing my tail kit, and good news, I've got all the kits on hand. Bad news, though: this means I won't have much warranty left on my avionics when I fly; I would have the same problem for the engine, but I opted for Rotax Care on it. I probably wouldn't have if they didn't have the current free-Bose-headset promotion for it - everyone I spoke with says their 912iS engines have been pretty solid. I think that promotion might go away at the end of the year, so if you're thinking about getting Rotax Care, now's the time. (Also, the Bose A20 you get does have Bluetooth; I wasn't sure.)
I'm happy I live an hour from Van's and could pick up my kits at will-call. However, I had a couple of crating surprises:
- Van's warned me the day before fuse & tail kit pickup that my tail kit would be in a larger box. I thought this wouldn't be a problem since I'd arranged a 20' truck, but that wasn't big enough for a 12' box and an 8.2' box (math!), so the crates had to be stacked... which meant I couldn't slide the crates down the ramp into my garage by myself. Luckily I found four burly construction workers nearby who helped me move the fuse crate off the top, and
helped push the tail down the ramp.
- Though I asked Van's to put the powerplant stuff in a separate box from the Rotax crate, they put everything (Rotax crate, avionics & powerplant parts in a box, prop in a box, all the Garmin boxes, and exhaust system) in the same big crate, which barely fit (1/2" to spare, width-wise) in the rental box truck. Again I found last-minute help to unload.
So, the moral is, pay attention to the crate sizes. Also, some rental box trucks have wheel well bumps inside the box, which might get in the way if you're hoping to slide crates around solo like I did!
Also, for what it's worth, I used several different rental agencies for the trucks, but found for the last run that Home Depot's box trucks can be rented for multiple hours and have unlimited mileage. Budget/Penske/UHaul all have hefty mileage charges.