Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-23-2009, 03:10 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Mesquite , Texas
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 115
Worst camping weekend (for me at least)

Warning - Long post ahead.

I have always been of the opinion that the worst day of camping was better than the best day of work. I think I put that to the test over the weekend....

It started off badly. I was trying to leave work early on Friday for a short weekend trip to the closest state park. Work conspired against me though and instead of leaving early, I actually left late.

Grabbed stuff in a hurry at home and headed off to pick up the trailer. Got stuck in a monster traffic jam. A trip that should have taken 45 minutes ended up taking a little under 2 hours.

Hooked up in the dark and the rain and pulled out to head to the state park. Very NEARLY hit the gate post on the way out of the drive. Stopped just in the nick of time. Backed up and tried again. Got out onto the road without any more issues (at least that I knew of).

Arrived at the park. Found a site, set up camp in the sprinkling rain and had dinner. After dinner, I noticed that the water heater had failed to light. It hasn't ever done that. I cycled the switch. Still nothing. I could hear it click a few times outside but nothing. I turned it off and left it for about 30 minutes. Turned the switch back on and it lit fine. No clue what kept it from working earlier.

About 2:30 AM, I woke up and heard water dripping somewhere. I listened for a minute then got up to investigate. We had been running the heat pump as the temps were in the low 50's. I had the fan on low instead of auto. It wasn't raining any more, so it wasn't a roof leak. I guess the high humidity caused the heat pump to have some condensation that didn't make it to the drain outside. Not sure exactly what the deal was. I just shut the heat pump off, switched to furnace and went back to bed.

Saturday morning, we ate breakfast and planned out the errands we needed to run. After that, we took a short walk around the campground. As we came back to the trailer, I saw something just below the glass in the rear window. It kind of looked like bird poop but I couldn't figure out how it had gotten there. I walked up to it and brushed it off with my hand. It was kind of powdery like mold or something. Because I was so focused on that, I didn't even notice the DENTS just below that.

There are now two dents on the curbside lower corner of my trailer. They are about 8" - 10" in diameter. Roughly circular and about 3/4" - 1" deep. There is mild scratching in the clear coat.

I honestly don't know if someone hit the trailer with something while we weren't in it or if I backed into something and never knew it.

My mental state went quickly from confused to angry and then to just feeling like I took a punch in the gut.

After looking at it a bit and realizing there really wasn't anything I could do, we went ahead and started running our errands.

First stop - fuel. My Truck is Diesel. I have heard many stories of people accidently putting gasoline in their diesel and I never could see how that could happen. Now I know. Distracted / angry driver pulls up to a pump. Sees a green handle and starts fueling. I was very lucky to have caught my mistake quickly. I had pumped less than a gallon in when I saw what I was doing. I moved to the actual diesel pump and started fueling again. After about 5 gallons, I saw that it was low sulfur diesel, not the ultra low sulfur that I needed. I don't really know how much of a problem that would be, but I just about lost my temper at that point. I pulled the door handle so hard getting into the truck that it stuck in the unlatched position and I couldn't close the door. I fixed that - no permanent damage - and we went to another station to finish filling up with the correct fuel.

We finished our errands with no further issues.

Sunday morning though didn't go as smooth. I lit the pilot light on the oven. It is making a fairly loud noise when lit. In August, we were on a trip and the pilot light quit working. No amount of effort would make it light. I had that repaired and they reported "adjusting" it. It worked fine for a couple of uses at least. Now it sounds like a distant jet taking off. It looks like the flame is higher than normal. We used the oven then turned it off. The water heater Friday night and then the oven pilot light make me think there is something going on with the LP system, but I don't know what. The other LP appliances seem to be working fine.

We hitched up and headed back to park the trailer where we keep it stored. When I went to un-hitch, the power jack refused to work. 30 minutes earlier, it worked fine. Now, it makes noise but doesn't move. A little bit of troubleshooting revealed a reduction gear that was stripped. How that happened is beyond me. The limit switchs are working. Nothing unusual happened during the hitching up process. With the troubleshooting on the jack and having to figure out how to use the manual crank, it took nearly an hour to get away and head home.

A day later and I still feel sick about the whole thing. A few little things. A couple of big things. All added together though........

I got the ball rolling this morning for the insurance claim. I plan on taking it back to A/S for the repair. I don't know of anyone in the DFW area that I would want doing that kind of metal work. I called H&H about the jack. They are sending parts under warranty so I can get it going hopefully. The LP problems remain a mystery. I need to spend some time on that and work through the issue. The truck seems none the worse for wear for the fueling mishaps at this point but I'm keeping my fingers crossed anyway.

I am sure I banked enough problems on this trip to keep the next few worry free


wayner61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Wayne&Sam's Avatar
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Cuddebackville , New York
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,575
Images: 21
Hey, it could have been worse.

Wait, no it couldn't.


Wayne&Sam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 03:44 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
Alwhisman's Avatar
1978 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Dayton , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 313
Images: 94
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to Alwhisman
Ok, that pretty much sucked! Glad it's over! You shoulda used your quota for about three years the way I see it!

Hope your next trip is better. I've had similar trips, just not as loaded up as yours........

......all in all, I think you did good, most assuredly better than me!

Alwhisman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 03:51 PM   #4
1953 Flying Cloud
1953 Flying's Avatar
1953 21' Flying Cloud
West Sacramento , California
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,033
Images: 8
wow tough weekend, glad you made it home safely.
Custom driver license Pet ID's.
1953 Flying is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 03:55 PM   #5
Rivet Master
ASwifey's Avatar
2010 30' Flying Cloud
Bakersfield , California
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 662
Images: 6
Sorry to hear about your weekend Wayne.

Hopefully the good weekends of camping will make up for a few stinkers now and again. ( ;
ASwifey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 04:05 PM   #6
Vintage Kin
slowmover's Avatar
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,001
Images: 1
Having just moved away from Dallas a couple of years ago, well, I sorta got the "picture" right away: No way to get in the groove.

Some places to live are just ratcheted too tight.

I may have to move back to a big city, but I hope I have now done my share of those ills -- plus the pollution and heat -- that only Big D offers.

I, too, have had similar weekends. There seems no real explanation for it (well, without whisky anyways).
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
slowmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
Kevin245's Avatar

Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 10,160
Images: 9
Man that's a tough weekend. Here's hoping for better outings in your future.


"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 05:00 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
bredlo's Avatar
1954 22' Safari
Deerfield , Illinois
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,419
Images: 23
Send a message via AIM to bredlo
Boy, sometimes you wonder how Airstreams end up sitting in a farm field for 30 years?
It's weekends like Wayne had.
bredlo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 05:03 PM   #9
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Originally Posted by wayner61 View Post
...I got the ball rolling this morning for the insurance claim. I plan on taking it back to A/S for the repair. I don't know of anyone in the DFW area that I would want doing that kind of metal work...
there are 2 shops in the dfw zone that could do this skin replacment/repair nicely...

the dealer/service center in arkansas is ALSO capable of doing the work.

i've seen the results of nearly new unit/skin replacement at it's TOP NOTCH.

is a gallon of gasoline really OK to run through a modern diesel, even diluted?

is this issue covered in the tv owners manual, and if so what's written there?

did you add any extra diesel lubricants to the fuel mix?

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 05:18 PM   #10
Rivet Master
danalee's Avatar
1978 29' Ambassador
Walnut Cove , North Carolina
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 519
Images: 30
We are gettting ready for our first long trip starting Jan.1 You just made me aware that I don't know how to use the manual crank if the electric one dies. Thanks-I will be sure to put that on my list of things to do. Sorry you had a rough weekend but hopefully you will have all the kinks worked out for your next one.
The Silver Queen
danalee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 05:22 PM   #11
Rivet Master
mandolindave's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,187
Images: 4
Hopefully your bad luck has run out.

Dents are no fun. But the intermitant problems can drive you crazy.

so sorry for all of that happening at once.
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 05:46 PM   #12
Master of Universe
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11,398
Wayne, you seem to have survived pretty well, though what a bummer.

The big plastic gear in the jack throws off the grease as it spins and needs to be regreased periodically. I just reused the grease by reapplying it to the gear. Considering what the jack does I'm surprised the plastic gears last more than a few minutes. Dannie, there should be jack instructions in that package you get when you buy the trailer along with the crank and an allen wrench to remove the cover. Not too hard to crank it, resetting it is a pain. It's a good idea to have spare fuses for the jack—we could only find them in an RV store and I am able to blow a lot of them very quickly. When you have to raise the jack all the way up with the truck attached, this exceeds the jack's capacity and the best thing that can happen is to blow the fuse. These jacks aren't made for the weight of today's trucks when leveling the trailer at some campsites.

The Magic Chef pilot light was designed by sadists. It takes us a flashlight to see it, a match to light it (those butane lighters haven't worked for us) and a 2nd person holding the control pushed in. I did it once by myself but with the pilot light all the way at the back of the oven, it takes a contortionist to do it easily. Before perfecting this process, it took many matches to get it lit. It was a nearly 2 year training period. Some people don't seem to ever figure it out; I don't blame them.

As for the dents, sounds like a hit and run as someone may have backed into you with two tail lights making the dents. Are they in the same vertical line?

I hope you've used up bad weekends for a while.

Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 06:14 PM   #13
Rivet Master
LJH's Avatar
1985 27' Sovereign
Defiance , Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,254
Wayne, look on the bright side, nothing exploded and no one died. LJH
LJH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2009, 08:36 PM   #14
3 Rivet Member
2008 27' Safari FB SE
Mesquite , Texas
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 115
All - Thanks for the kind words.

As for the dents - They are kind of in line, but it's really hard to see if they are truly in line or not. I didn't have a camera with me but I will post a photo or two when I get back down to the trailer.

The jack was pretty frustrating, but I think if it wouldn't have come after all the other stuff, I would have been less stressed about it.

I just read through the thread on the roll-over and in comparison, I had no problems at all. I should be thanking the stars that things weren't worse instead of griping about what happened.

As for the fuel -- I really don't know. I should have taken the time to read the manual but to be honest, it didn't cross my mind. I kept a close watch on the temperature and kept my fingers crossed. I was (and still am) a little more worried about the effects of low sulfur diesel rather then the required ultra low sulfur fuel. My current plan is to keep diluting it by filling up frequently. Maybe I should give the dealer a ring.

wayner61 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Camping last weekend Nightwind15 2005 and newer - Bambi all models 2 10-27-2009 02:01 PM
Suggestions for Memorial Weekend camping in FL? kstampa On The Road... 3 05-22-2008 02:46 PM
Nice weekend camping trip then......DISASTER!! chuman70 Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 4 04-27-2008 10:42 PM
Need Some help here.....Camping Next weekend? Bryan Rose On The Road... 11 06-11-2007 08:18 AM
Anybody go camping this weekend Mom2abidrew Off Topic Forum 10 06-10-2004 02:05 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:14 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.