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Old 10-03-2002, 10:50 PM   #1
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From a Movie Somewhere

Well, it has been a long 2 months here in Seattle - and now is time to provide an update.

Places I have stayed:

Snoqualmie River Campground in Falls City (previous post outlined adventures here)
Denny Campground in Mt Baker Nat'l Forest
Harbour Point RV Park in Everett
Lake Pleasant in Bothell.


Denny Campground is at Exit 42 off I-90. Really great place to hang out - RV spots were well spaced and easy access. Very clean park. I have heard all kinds of horror stories about State Parks - this was a very pleasant experience. $18 a day for hook-ups - lacking sewer connection. Fellow campers were very friendly - and even got a free truck bed of firewood from a group that camped next to me. Most interesting event happened on the day I picked up and left for Everett on my quest to explore the Northwest while out in Redmond doing my consulting gig.

Mind you - I have been working on a project that I have placed extensive hours into. This day, found me on the road from Redmond to the campground at about 6 in the afternoon - having not slept in two days. As I was cruising southbound, I could see up the road a rainbow. Kind of cool to see. But as I kept going south - I actually came up to the spot where you could see the beginning of the rainbow starting from the road and reaching up into the sky. Then there was another - and another - it seemed at every curve in the highway there was another stretching out from the road into the sky. I actually saw two of them no more than 3 or 4 feet apart. Never in my life have I seen two running parallel into the sky - much less - a dozen or more in a row.

So, arrive at the campground hitch up and make my way to Everett. I had used the Woodall's book to get a spot after visiting one spot and finding it closed for the evening (for new drop-ins). First I could not find the spot - it was located on a major 4 lane highway with tons of businesses all around. And when I pulled in - I was supposed to be in a pull through spot - but that particular spot was occupied by a guests car that parked just enough - that I could not pull in. I circled around and as I came back through the entrance I heard a loud pop - and the sound of compressed air. Hopped out and the center of my front axle's left tire on the AS had been punctured. Within seconds the tire was completely deflated and so I had to drag the trailer along the gravel back around again. The car parked there was leaving as I made my entry in... but lo and behold - I would not be able to simple remain hooked up so had to unhook - and took some 40 minutes trying to navigate the tight corners to pull the 31 ft Airstream behind my extended cab extended bed p/u. But I did it - no incidents other than my brand new tire being punctured.

The management was very helpful however, and although they could not do anything about the tire - in terms of changing it or anything - they did only charge me 1 day out of the four I was there which almost came up to the replacement cost of the tire. I went to Earl Schwabs - and have to say - if you see their advertisements on TV - they bent over backwards getting the tire swapped 10 minutes before closing...

So that evening I am off to Bothell. Lake Pleasant is a really nice park. It has two huge ponds that all the RV sites are rested in between. Beautifully manicured and well taken care of. A good amount of space is afforded each spot. So being a late check in - I picked up spot #23 which was only for the night. Around 11 or so that morning I go in and check in. I ask if I can keep the spot (already hooked up - makes cents to me) but the lady stated she had the spot reserved. So my new spot is #35.

The manager explains the rules of the park and explains via the map where I am in this expansive park. "And here you are number 35, you will most likely WANT to drive back around the park so you can just pull into the spot. All the roads are one way here."

Jody replies with the utmost confidence, " Well I am pretty sure I can back in there - I have gotten pretty good with back in's"

"Well you could do that too if you like."

Off I go - hitch up - do the quick disconnects and onward to my new spot.

So the new spot is just a tad bit down from where I was at. It actually was at a 4 way intersection. 4 way sounds pretty big but when you consider its all of a one lane width - you have to be pretty on the dime maneuvering my kind of set-up. So I make my first attempt - and notice I am hanging just a little too far to the left and bring the outfit back out to the street.

I back in again and have the trailer just about where I want it to be - but have to pull up straight to get a better line. So I rock the truck down and back up - but the line is not quite there. So I move back down in to the grass where lot 120 is - stopping just at its picnic table. I slowly start moving back - everything is lined up just perfectly as I am cutting the wheels... and then......a loud pop......

Not tires... I was frantically trying to get my drivers side window up in a hurry as all the sudden a geyser erupted by my drivers side door...I pull up and note that I had hit lot 120's utility pole with my step guard and busted the plastic coupling on the water connection... 30 second go by and I try to locate a shut off valve - but no avail ... I pick up my cell and call the office...

"Hi this is Jody I was just checked in there..."

"Wait one second Jody"

"Hello..." I hear all kinds of commotion on the phone and I am thinking - they already have the news...

"Yes..."

"Yes, Hello, I just checked in and well... I ran into lot 120's utility and water is everywhere..."

"How can you have hit 120 when your in 35..."

"Trust me I did - and a very good job at it I may embarrassingly add.."

"Sending someone out right away".

Meanwhile in the new water feature I had managed to create. All four of my tires were in the water and the grass certainly was giving away to bog. So I try slowly backing up... spin tires...

4WD high... no amount of rocking the vehicle and the attached 9000lb trailer....

Ah - try 4wd lo - and rock we went and I got up and over... Ironically there are things that happen you never notice when your head is screaming "You idiot - look what you did... your kicked out of this campground and every other in the northwest"... coupled with the adrenalin etc...

The grounds guy comes out - and simply remarks "You did a good job there.... might I recommend you drive around and do the pull through now - will be a little easier for you this time around."...

"Wait.... let me check something real quick" he says, and darts off BEHIND my trailer...

I walk back up to meet him and then we both stopped and stared - there was the spots' picnic table twisted ten ways to Sunday.

Fortunately - the goods news is they are not kicking me to the curb. The manager understood and stated "Accidents happen"... I naturally insisted I would pay for the damages... and as I pulled into my spot - my head held lo and my hand covering my face from the curious looks of the fellow RV'ers... I thanked the lucky stars that well.... they were understanding...and reminded myself how much a rookie I really was

Then looked at the AS, and now I have a nice sized indention where the lower right marker light is - tis a shame - not even a ding on my trailer and now I have the badge of "stupidity" right were people behind me will see....

And that's my story - I wish I didn't have to stick to it...
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Old 10-03-2002, 10:58 PM   #2
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Great story Jody,
And I thought things like that only happened to me! I now know I'm not alone.
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Old 10-04-2002, 07:29 AM   #3
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Expensive trip

Sounds like an expensive trip.

I am a frugal kinda guy and I sometimes have a hard time enjoying myself thinking of the cost' of things but I thoroghly enjoyed your Tales and updates.

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Old 10-04-2002, 09:50 AM   #4
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Re: From a Movie Somewhere

Quote:
Originally posted by JodynJeep
So I make my first attempt - and notice I am hanging just a little to far to the left and bring the outfit back out to the street.

I back in again and have the trailer just about where I want it to be - but have to pull up straight to get a better line...
Jody, one of my faults is trying to get "a better line". I've had three incidents all in the sake of wanting to get that trailer aligned perfectly in the spot.

The first time was in my pop up days up in the Wisconsin Dells. We had just gotten the trailer in the site. I had even hooked up the water line, but had not yet unhitched. Well the line wasn't right so I decided to move the trailer....and you guessed it, I forgot the water line was hooked up and under pressure. Needless to say the hose separated from the screw-in connector on the trailer. I hung my head on that one while the hose did its wild snake dance while the water spewed out of the broken hose.

The next event was up in Niagra Falls at the KOA with my Hi-Lo. I was attempting to make the final perfect lineup so my sewer line was just across from the trailer outlet. I had the door of my van open as I was leaning out and looking back (why I didn't use the mirror is still a question in my mind). As I was pulling forward my door suddenly closes on my head. I just hit the power/water pole which at this campground was towards the front of the site. No damage to the pole...some to the door and my ego.

The final humiliation was this year at a unit rally. Patty and I have a pretty good system when we back up. We use two way radios and she protects my blind side and directly behind me. Well the unit president was also there on the drivers side also "helping". We got in ok and Jack always wanting to get a better line decided to pull forward and pivot the A/S to straighten things out. I cut the wheels sharply while watching the drivers side and also the unit president (Jack wanted to show him he could back up). Unfortunately I was not watching the passenger side like I normally do and forgot about watching the tree to my right which was close.

Patty is on the tree side at the back of the trailer saying to herself (as she told me afterwards), "of course he sees that tree. Its right next to him! and says nothing.". I continue backing and suddenly my two way blares "STOP!". As I hit the brakes I also hear a gentle crunch on my right. I look to my right and see the trunk of a tree at the passenger door. This one only caused a couple of extremely small dimples on the door and no paint loss. The Safari was unscathed.

Now I'll add one other thought. If you have seen the movie "The Long Long Trailer" with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez, you will memeber the scene when Desi (Nicki) was attempting to back the trailer into his wife's relative's drive. If you remember every one was attempting to help him back in which resulted in him wiping out the rose bushes, other greenery, and a trellis over the drive.

Next time you think you are helping, you might want to ask the driver if he needs any help. Its very well possible that the driver and partner have a pretty good system and can handle it without your "help". I'll be real honest next time I go to a rally I'm going to tell the helper folks thanks but no thanks. As a new unit member I didn't want to start off on a negative note but to be honest the two of us have been handling this for 30 years and other than what I wrote about above, we have the process down pretty good.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 10-04-2002, 10:27 AM   #5
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Positioning

Unfortunately, my wife is less than no help (she knows it, so this is no slam). I generally would rather do it all by myself with a very few exceptions among my friends.

I survey the site as I approach, looking for site markers, tables, tre limbs, posts, etc. I then solely use the mirrors and concentrate on positioning the wheel/side I can see. The other side has to follow. I typically stop when about 3/4 into the site and get out to decide my final positioning and to make sure that the stabilizers will be clear of stop blocks. I finally get out once again at the final spot to set levelling blocks if needed.
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Old 10-04-2002, 11:04 AM   #6
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We bought the two way radios mostly from a vanity sense. For most of you who have been doing this for a few years, some of the most fun is watching the antics of your neighbors attempting to get their trailer into their site. Handswaving, shouts back and forth, and tempers flairing. Patty and I soon determined that we weren't going to part of anyone's show other than "that's the way to do it".

Jack
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Old 10-04-2002, 12:18 PM   #7
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Unfortunately - two way radios do me absolutely no good since the only persons docking are Me, Myself, and I.... the best part of the adventure - at least I made sure to knock out the hook-ups that I didn't have to hook into ..... bright side to everything....And at least I guess I know I am not alone - Thanks guys ~
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Old 10-04-2002, 02:34 PM   #8
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Jody,
In your case I would recommend that you back, stop, get out and look. We have a storage facility where we keep the Safari and many times I will bring it back alone. Normally there are RV's on each side and behind my slot. In those cases I back to a certain point, stop get out and check behind, back some more and get out again. I may get out 5 times but then I'm sure where I am relative to the trailer parked behind my slot and the RV on my blind side. It takes a few extra minutes but I'm sure as to where I am. Even if Patty is helping me, I normally pull to a site, get out and walk it myself, just to understand what I am backing into.

One thing I try to do is learn from my mistakes and remember what occured and not get myself into these situations again. I think the hardest challenge for any person towing is backing into a camp site at night. Especially when you own trailer that doesn't have any backup lights.

I did this a lot years ago when leaving for weekend campouts after getting home from work. Now I have enough vacation time that I always take off the day before and get to my destinations during daylight hours.

Jack
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Old 10-04-2002, 08:28 PM   #9
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you would love where i back my trailer into, i live in an older part of town where the street is narrow and very crowned. i share a driveway with my neighbor, that is very narrow.

all of the people on my street say "i can't believe you got that back in there" or "i could never do that"

my wife is a real good sport about this and has covered her eyes many a time! we use her version of hand signals, a whole lot of waving and hold that!

however, nothing will replace experiance. you will learn by trial and error, that is all there is to it!

take your time and check often.

one other tip, when you are backing up to an object (my case, it's my shed) put your wheel chocks down in the path of your tires so you cannot go any farther. that way if your close to something you can concentrate on your mirrors until you hit the wheel chock not your shed! or camp ground hook ups in your case.

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Old 10-05-2002, 01:37 AM   #10
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I think my next project is to put my wireless X10 cameras at the rear and keep my laptop up front so I can just see whats happening. I also have a 7 foot extension on the rear of mine (see profile photo) that is easy to foget that is there simply because its tucked in and can not visually see it from either tow mirrors... To further the story - I had got out several times... checked and rechecked... I would of never of hit the picnic table if I hadn't "forgotten" the utility poles distance from the truck.

Trying to unstuck a vehicle in panic mode - well all lines are off...Some days you have good ones and other days things just explode around you.
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Old 10-05-2002, 02:44 AM   #11
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hey jody,

how 'bout this:

http://www.campingworld.com/browse/p...=SRCH&tcode=37

john
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Old 10-19-2002, 09:45 AM   #12
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My REVERSE....

Hi all...
Well I only got a little car, abt 10 feet long...most likely fit into your gas tank...lol...an yot wanna SEE me try backing it down our drive...Oh dear it's NOT a pleasant sight....so I love reading how you all do it RIGHT...with units over 40 ft long...or do it WRONG with 30 foot units...lmao...Chris.....
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