We’re too big for your park…

It’s always a good idea to know your own limits!  We had a visitor on Sunday that really illustrated the reality of that statement — now that I think back on the situation.

A lovely couple from Nevada arrived in the campground Sunday afternoon.  We were ready for new arrivals by then and happily went out to greet them.  They had no reservation and wanted to stay a few nights.  They arrived in a tandem axle Class A — very much like the one accompanying this post.

I explained our system, suggested that they take a drive through the park to find a site that they liked and didn’t think much more about them for a while.  We’ve had larger rigs than theirs before and some of our larger sites are available for the few nights they wanted and it was a done deal in my head.

But not in theirs.  They came back a little while later and said, “We think we’re too big for your park.”  It’s not often we get turned away from, and I was thinking about this as they left because they really weren’t too big for the sites.  With sites, some of which are 80-120 feet long, and all trimmed to be cleared wider and higher than the legal highway limits they could have fit into probably 10-15 of our sites.

But, we don’t have satellite access.  We don’t have water at the site.  And you have to be reasonably capable with your rig to get into most of our sites.  There is more than enough room, but if one doesn’t know how to pre-position for a backing maneuver they can be challenging.

Which comes back to my usual reminder that there isn’t only one right way to go RV’ing.  And knowing what you are capable of, and where you are going, and whether your wants, and skills match with the availabe amenities and location is something only you can determine.

Our friends who just put in the residential refrigerator spent over 2 days searching for an RV outlet that wanted to tackle their swap-out requirement.  Most of the dealers they talked with didn’t want to mess with it; some didn’t have time in their schedule even if they were willing to take on the job.  As RV’ers it’s common to complain about how hard it is to find reliable service.  But it’s not just on the vendors end that variables need to be considered.  As customers we can be just as hard to deal with as we so often percieve dealers to be difficult to deal with.

You may remember last winter when we needed to get our door lock adjusted.  I had tried three different repair outlets all of whom turned me down.  And I was really annoyed.  I had the directions from the Holiday Rambler service manual about how to do the adjustment.  I lacked the tools so I wanted someone else to do the job.  When I found a dealer they scheduled me in and we had the job done in …. less than two hours.

But as we hung out there I heard story after story from other RV’ers about how long they had been waiting to get their coach into the shop.  And other stories about how long it took to get parts shipped in (which really isn’t the fault of the dealer — blame the manufacturer or the shipper).  Then again there are other customers whom you can tell are never, and will never be happy no matter what you do to please them.

I guess that was the reason I was so tickled the other day when our friends showed us the results of the refrigerator replacement that our son-in-law did for them.  Their approach to Michael was that the old fridge would leave by the door and the new fridge would enter by the door.  When they showed up to do the work both new and old fridges were larger than the opening on the door.  Michael did the smartest thing in the world and he told them straight out that he was not prepared to do what they were just then informing him of.  He doesn’t do windows! As it worked out the RV’er took care of the window.  And the rest of the job went as planned. But my reason for mentioning it is that misunderstandings happen when you don’t let the service facility know precisely what you want.  Sometimes they can, or are willing to accommodate you.  Other times for reasons of safety, insurance, or simply policy they are unable to accommodate you.  But holding back the details until you arrive on the site is a surefire way of causing yourself troubles — and then trying to blame it on the service outlet.


I shared this image before, but here is the old fridge coming out through the window.

I promised a few days ago to share pictures of the finished Norcold Replacement when I received them.  It took a couple days because the couple with the fridge had errands to run keeping them out of the campground.

I was happy to hear how happy they were with the finished project.  They selected a different manufacturer and a different model than we did.  The difference being that they ended up with an exterior handle that stands proud of the refrigerator door — which I specifically did not want (being clumsy enough as is).  Also their unit is a sort of pebble surface which my dear wife told me after living with the refrigerator in our last home for 10+ years she never wanted again — she found that surface too hard to keep clean.  They also opted for a model slightly larger than ours (in capacity and dimensions).


The new Frigidaire!


Storage Cubby

Mike did a great job of matching the finish, the installation is pretty seamless from OEM design to custom retrofit.  Also they had about 4 1/2″ of space unused by the new refrigerator.  The wife decided that after seeing our side-by shelving unit that she wanted something similar even though there wasn’t much room.  She thought it’s a good size for cereal boxes so Mike made them a narrower storage cubby to fill that space for them.


Ours — a little different, but basically the same.  We do like the smooth exterior surface though and the lack of handles to get caught on things.  

The two installations are similar but different.  2015120917472910Here’s another look at ours.  The proof will be in how long they last.  But then 10 years on a Norcold is a pretty iffy bet.  So I’m hoping we do better than that, and no matter how you cut it, replacing one of these will always be cheaper than replacing another Norcold.

Knowing your limits, knowing your abilities, knowing your talents — so much of life goes much easier if you live accordingly.  People can talk about doing anything or trying everything but there are some things we aren’t good at — knowin which those are can make a lot of difference on how many bumps we feel through life.  And making sure we’re open with the people we deal with helps insulate us from ugly surprises.

Thanks for stopping and I’ll be here again tomorrow to chat.



4 thoughts on “We’re too big for your park…

    1. Norm, If you have a Camping World catalog you’ll see there a TV clip that was designed to hold old analog TV’s in place on a shelf while the RV is going down the road. It’s a pair of clips that attache (as designed), one to the shelf, the other to the TV — they grip using some of that 3M adhesive that you simply pull the protective coating off and hold in place like a Command Strip. Then there’s a little plastic tab that travels between the two clips held in place by friction clamps. It’s quite simple; holds extremely tightly, and stays attached!!!!!!
      TV Grips


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