I have no reason to complain — so I’m not complaining! But by way of observation it’s been so wet and humid here ( compared to normal ) that the glue on the self-pay envelopes is sealing the envelopes shut before anyone puts money inside!
This has been a lovely summer. The two inches of additional rainfall over our annual monthly average has actually been nice to keep the forest green, and the risk of fire down. It has not helped those poor souls who have been in the path of some of our worst storms, but otherwise than that we’re having a grand time.
Surprisingly, it’s early in the week and the campground is over 2/3 full. The typical Sunday night quiet never came. We had a number of holdovers after the weekend and we had another 8 arrivals on top.
I tried to help a couple walk-ins find sites that were suitable to their unusual needs and had a hard time doing to. People are extending their stays and showing up in record numbers. Good for campground income, not so good for walk-ins! And we’ve been having more and more as the summer progresses. Or at least those who think to be walk-ins. We’ve also turned away our share of campers because we don’t have what they want.
By percentage we’re seeing more full timers now. I expect that will hold for the next month or so and then the seasonal itinerants will turn their noses South and make for their winter stomping grounds. I expect the first week or two after Labor Day will continue strong — it’s one of our favorite times of year and other full timers seem to echo the feeling: still warm and kids are back in school so the campgrounds are more easily accessible again!
We had an interesting conversation with a young (early 40’s) couple who are full timing and working on the road from their rig. Their jobs are portable and even with one member of the couple with a degenerative disease they are some of the most adventurous RV’ers that we’ve met in our 5 years. We had to move them to an alternate site when they arrived — there was no physical way they could maneuver into the site they’d registered for — and I can’t blame them for the mistake. But what struck me as we talked was how well they understood their rig.
It seems as if this is a recurring topic with me lately. I can’t emphasize strongly enough how many RV’s we see that are completely beyond the skills of their drivers/owners. It’s sad; but it’s also dangerous.
This couple was telling me about an RV’er who refused to listen to advice about getting their rig into a site at a private campground they visited recently. Not only did the obstinate RV’er cause almost $5000.00 damage to the campground, they also had to be to towed out at the cost of an additional $2000.00 as the nearest wrecker large enough to handle their rig was 100 miles away.
Our campground here is not flat and level. Aside from some of the pads at some of the campsites there are no flat and level surfaces in the park. Your either going up or down and often you’re also going to one side or another. For the owner who has only ever parked in a flat site the fact that backing a 5th wheel into a downhill site can catch the side of the pickup truck box, or damage the kingpin attachment points can come as a rude awakening. Only experience will teach an RV’er what predicaments he/she has to avoid with their own rig. And most of us make enough (fortunately) little mistakes that we can usually avoid the big costly ones — if we learned our lessons and if we aren’t too proud to listen to experience.
There is a huge difference between knowing and understanding. I don’t know why people so often think that they are the same. You can know what your clearances are, but not understand what will happen to them in certain instances.
Years ago when I first started driving semi I worked for North American Van Lines — New Products Division. We hauled everything from new appliances to blanket wrapped restaurants. Four of our trucks from different parts of the country would meet at a McDonalds construction site and we had everything on board those four semis that went INSIDE the store — from kitchen, to booths, to wastepaper baskets.
One particular load was a load of metal Map Cases similar to this wooden example. I hauled that load from a manufacturer in Manitowoc Wisconsin to the National Archives in Washington D.C.. The loading dock for the archives is located in the basement of the archives building — you gain access by backing down a blind driveway to a subterranean loading dock. We were all prepared for the delivery and the people there knew what would happen when we unloaded. There were overhead fire sprinkler lines in the old archives receiving area and from past expereince they knew that once the weight was taken off the trailer as my truck started up the steep ramp I would no longer be able to exit the building without rupturing a sprinkler pipe. So, the archives acted in advance of my arrival and had a service truck with an air compressor on board to re-inflate the trailer tires that they knew we’d have to deflate in order to get out of the building. This is an example of understanding the situation.
Angles and inclines make a difference. Weight makes a difference. Speed makes a difference. These are all things we should be aware of when we get behind the wheel of our RV — whether it’s a class C, Class B, Class A or a trailer (travel trailer or 5th wheel). Each sort of unit handles differently and the driver of each should know the unique characteristics of their own RV.
When we head on down the road we take not only our own livesin hand, we risk the lives of those around us; of innocents; of families; of children. None of us wants to be responsible for injury or death to someone else — but these things happen and it’s up to us as RV’ers to prepare ourselves.
This whole situation was really pointed out to me this morning when a couple came through the campground looking for a walk-in site. They were driving a typical Minivan — not even a particularly difficult vehicle to control Behind them they had a typical Uhaul rental trailer — not a very big trailer. On the back window of their minivan they had painted with sign paint something on the order of the old California or Bust sign, saying Traveling around the U.S.
The reason I bring them up is because they were on a round-the-US trip and they wanted a pull through site because they “weren’t very good back up the trailer.” I know there are thousands of others just like them, but why undertake a trip of several thousand miles during which you will face circumstances beyond your control and not take the effort to at least get comfortable with the rig — of whatever kind — before you head out and risk your life and others on the highway. That just doesn’t make sense to me.
Thanks for stopping by, I’ll be here again tomorrow if you wish to chat.