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john hd 02-15-2003 03:59 PM

darwins theory of camping!
lets hear some stories about the dumbest things you have seen people do with rv's.

i'm sure there are gome good stories out there!

the names can be changed to protect the innocent if it was you or your spouse!


Pahaska 02-15-2003 05:31 PM

Crazy Things
I'll start with a family, parents and 2 smallish kids, that pulled into a nearby, sloping campsite with what looked like a brand new popup and proceed to set it up without chocks. It stayed put until several of them got inside and apparently went to the rear of the trailer so that the jack lifted. Then it started downhill and ran smack into their car. Apparently, no one was hurt other than their pride.

They hooked up and left. In walking around the large park later, I didn't see their rig, so I think they just went home.

overlander64 02-15-2003 07:30 PM

Darwins theory of camping!
I will tell one on myself. Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) is my constant traveling companion so anyone familar with me will not be surprised.

I was on my way home from the WBCCI International Rally in Dayton, Ohio (1999) when I had brake trouble near my hometown in Union County, IL. Called upon a Brand X dealer in Carterville, IL who has always been very helpful anytime I have had trouble with my Airstream or Argosy. After he rebuilt the brakes I knew that I would need to go West on the highway that his business faces before I could get turned around and headed East. That is where the story begins.

There is a wildlife preserve with a circular drive for tourists that I thought would be a perfect method of turning around - - just follow to the opposite end and make a right turn to go back to the East. The short answer was WRONG - - the road was closed for repairs and I was forced to pull in to a boat launching area - - a small boat launching area at that. In trying to get turned around, at one point I was backed down the boat launching ramp with the rear bumper of my Overlander in the water trying to get headed out of the facility. I don't know if anyone saw the sight, but I am sure that they nearly died laughing at the sight - - and no, I didn't have my digital camera with me to take a photo.:D


John 02-15-2003 09:27 PM

Last summer while in BC, this big beautiful $500,000 Class A pulling a large cargo carrier comes pulling in. There weren't any pull-throughs available, so the owner of the campground allowed him to pull through one camp site, into another; so he would have enough room to accommodate both rigs.

Now this campground is lined with red cider trees and has picnic tables at each site. So he's making his turn into the 1st site and there's a slight drop-off down into the next. Because the sites weren't straight inline with each other, he had to make a slight adjustment to the right going into the 2nd site.

He just missed the picnic table in the 1st site with the Class A, but when he made the adjustment to the right going into the 2nd site, the carrier's front right corner hit the picnic table in the 1st site. He stopped when he heard/felt this.

I was watching this, but since he stopped, I thought he was going to get out and move the table. Instead he backed up. Upon hearding the table rubbing against the carrier, he stopped again.

Now I was sure he was going to get out and move this table, as it was really starting to damage the carrier. But no! He just pulled straight forward(gunning it), rubbing and tearing up the complete side of the carrier. The table was twisting and breaking apart and making a hell of a noise.

He finally stopped once he was in the 2nd site, got out and shook his head saying out loud, " that's a hell of a place to put a picnic table!" He looked over the damaged, walked away and started setting up the Class A for the night.

It must be nice to have that kind of money where you can tear up your rig and not give 2 *@$%.


john hd 02-16-2003 08:17 AM

about five years ago while attending the bike rally in sturgis s.d.
i witnessed the classic out of control harley vs. tent(s) it went like this.

we were camped in the back of the overflow area at the spearfish koa. it is basicly a large grass covered bowl shaped horse pasture that is used only once a year.

we had learned that parking near the entrance is not good! so we always set up way in the back.

on this trip it rained almost 4 inches one early afternoon! complete downpour!

then the skies cleared and looked like any other day, except for the mud everywhere.

we had just returned from an overnighter to yellowstone and had ridden through this storm out and back (you can see a pic of my brother and i enjoying a post ride cigar in my pics area).

soon every one who had spent the day in town started to return to camp. needless to say that not everyone who goes to sturgis has a lot of riding experiance. in fact, few do now a days.

i was getting a cold one out of the cooler when my brother said "check this out" pointing to the entrance, i ran around the air stream to see a group of three full dress harleys come down the drive going full lock to lock with their front ends! they looked like out of control whales with the headlights waving left and right!

then we heard "look out!!!" and watched two of the three bikes plunge right into some hapless campers tents! while the third bike spun in circles spraying all of the stunned bystanders with a giant rooster tail of mud!

no one was hurt! just tough guy pseudo biker ego's!

the worst part about dumping a running 700 pound bike into a nylon tent is the fact the tent and sleeping bags instantly melt to the pipes! not that it would matter since the tents were ripped to shreds!

certainly one of the most entertaining days i've spent camping.


Inland RV Center, In 02-16-2003 03:03 PM

Darwins theory or way too much money
Many years ago, Airstream published the following statement.

"You can take your Airstream any place your tow vehicle will go."

During the time I worked for Caravanner Insurance, the following claim came in.

While towing my Airstream trailer, I came upon a low clearance railroad bridge, and wanted to go underneath it. It seemed that it was a very low clearance, but I remembered what Airstream said in their advertising, and not wanting to question their infinite wisdom, I pulled forward underneath this bridge.

Upon reaching the other side of the bridge I decided to stop and look at my Airstream, since I heard some unfamiliar noises as I went under the bridge.

To my amazement, the entire top half, from the bottom of the windows up, of my new 31 foot trailer, was gone. I looked back and saw what remained of the top half of my trailer, underneath the bridge.

I could not understand why this happened, since Airstream said my trailer will go anyplace my tow vehicle would go.

I was given the claim to handle, since I was visiting the Airstream dealer, in Canal Fulton, Ohio, and the insured was not far away.
Sure enough, when he showed up, the entire top half of his new Airstream was gone.

Caravanner Insurance, paid to have his Airstream repaired at the old Avalon Travel Center, under my supervision.

Needless to say, Caravanner cancelled his policy, AND, Airstream immediately deleted all references to "your trailer will go anyplace your tow vehicle will go."

This is a "TRUE" story, and happened in the latter part of 1970.

So much for taking "anything" someone may say or print, as "gospel."


John 02-16-2003 09:04 PM

This isn't a oops story, but a cool history one.

The PO's were out in Yosemite and a black bear came into camp. He came over to their trailer, stood up and leaned against the trailer sniffing the air.

So my trailer now has 2 bear paws indentations on the CS. Makes for some interesting conversations.


p.s. I thought this thread would be chalk full of stories from our veteran members.

bhsl8 02-17-2003 12:56 PM

Tales of woe
This is one on myself. Several years ago before we purchased our airstream we were a tent camping family. My wife does not enjoy camping very much and hence we could never get her to go along with this. One year I decided to rent a pop-up camper(with which I had no experience) and talked her into going with us. We had a wonderful weekend overlooking the St. Croix River here in Wisconsin and prepared to leave on Sunday afternoon. My son, the practical one with common sense and nuts and bolts knowledge had gone home earlier leaving me to break camp and make the pop-up road worthy again. After I backed our tow vehicle up to the camper I found I was unable to lift the tongue up to my hitch ball. I enlisted the aid of my two daughters and we were still unable to get it on the ball. I solicited the aid of some other campers nearby and it took several of us, but we work finally able to get it in place. Everything else was loaded into the tow vehicle including passengers and we took off without a care in the world. It seemed as if the pop-up was a lot heavier than when we brought it and when we finally hit pavement there was a terrible screeching noise and sparks flying everywhere from the rear of the camper. Yes, I had neglected to put the jacks up. I have continued to do business with the people that rented me that camper and they are very quick to remind me of this faux pas every chance they get it.

femuse 02-17-2003 04:09 PM

In the fall of 1996, we were looking to move to North Carolina. We decided to go from State Park to State Park, camping a few days here and there while looking for real estate.
The end of our working season found us in northern North Carolina, a few days after a hurricane, and the 1st SP we hit was closed. Like usual, there was no warning on the "main" road, but just a sign and a locked gate a few hundred feet away, a dead end.
In the middle of a heavy rain storm, at night, we had to back to the road. Tried a 2nd SP. Same story.
At the time we had a 1 ton Chevy Van, long wheel base. I have seen tractor trailers make turns that we could not make with the van alone. And we were towing a 29' Airstream.
Reaching the 3rd SP :"close due to weather", I snapped and opened the so called closed gate. Deciding we were not going to back to the road and make again a dangerous turn to exit the park.
We found out why it was closed: down trees all over the place. This was my idea, so I walked on foot ahead of the rig, in the dark, pouring rain, looking for a loop we could travel on.
It took us I guess a few hours of moving branches and whole trees, but we made it.
We spent the night a the dump site, the only place with no tree overhad.
The storm chased us North because we could not camp in NC, and we ended up buying a farm in Southern VA. We like it here, so I guess our camping experience from hell turned out OK in the end.


John 02-17-2003 04:34 PM


Are you guys around Floyd?


ViewRVs 02-17-2003 05:02 PM

I met a guy at St. George Island (FL) with a new $200,000+ class A SOB that asked where the camp hosts were. He needed a phone to call the dealer. He traded in his Dodge Viper for this new 1.5 bath rig. It seems that he forgot to unlock his slide outs before pushing the OPEN button. Needless to say, the wood cabinets making a huge cracking noise informed him of his mistake! Not the brightest lawyer in history. He'll probably sue (and win) and claim poor design or inadequate instructions.

FYI - The camp hosts had a nice 1976 AS trailer!

femuse 02-17-2003 05:08 PM


Floyd ? no

Every year, we do a show a bit further south, Grayson County. That's as much as I like to see about the mountains. Nice place to visit. Interesting to tow a trailer on Rte 21 to Elk Creek. Just a few miles of a bad climb. We managed to overheat the truck's transmission. Short - up - and - downs, does not have time to cool down.
We are on more or less flat land, half way between I-81 & I-95, nearly in the middle from Roanoke to Richmond.


59toaster 02-19-2003 03:04 PM


Originally posted by 1985air345
I met a guy at St. George Island (FL) with a new $200,000+ class A SOB that asked where the camp hosts were. He needed a phone to call the dealer. He traded in his Dodge Viper for this new 1.5 bath rig. It seems that he forgot to unlock his slide outs before pushing the OPEN button. Needless to say, the wood cabinets making a huge cracking noise informed him of his mistake! Not the brightest lawyer in history. He'll probably sue (and win) and claim poor design or inadequate instructions.

FYI - The camp hosts had a nice 1976 AS trailer!

Hows the camping down at St George?
Were you staying at the state park on the east side?
My Wife and I every couple years will rent one of the beach houses (infact that's where we went for our Honey moon). That would make an awsome first outing once I get the 59 ready for the road. We have been a little short on cash last couple years so skipped the vacations down there.

Ok my story. It sort of fits the bill as dumb owners cutting corners/doing dumb things.
My family camped about 4 weeks a year when I was younger. We were down in Kissimee (sp) FL and I guess I was about 11. Our rig was a small and VERY light pop up that we pulled with a 73 VW Wagon. No crank up here, you fold the top open and it formed one bunk and then folded out the other bunk and then condit style frame held up the canvas tent. We hung a 4 pole awning off the front of it using the camper to suport the one end.
When we set up the ground was a little soft (sand base) so we were sure to put down some wood blocks as basses for the leveler jacks and bunk poles.
We were in a nice little campground and we had a family in the next site that had a little scamper fiberglass deal. They had kids that were close to the same age as my sister and I so we kind of got to know them the first day.
Well then this unreal storm rolled in. One of the sideways rain, hail and probably some nearby tornado's. We hop into our little camper to wait it out. It get's worse and My mom is ready to go wait this thing out in the car and my dad wouldn't let her do it. The wind was lifting the bunks and we were the ballast holding them down. If She left, the camper would have had the poles that suported the bunks fall out as the wind lifted the bunks. It's raining so hard that it's misting inside the camper through the canvas top.
So were riding this think out and we hear all sorts of banging and noise as stuff is fluing around including lawn chairs. The awning came down and wraped over the front of our camper. Hail beating down....At 11 I figured it's all over and my next stop was the pearly gates.
So at one point I zip down the corner of the inside flap and look out. The people next us are gone...I mean the camper is gone! I could not see it in my limited veiw. I tell dad and he looks out the same corner and yep they are gone. Car is there but not the trailer.
So the storm starts letting up. We hear all this banging that sounds like a person in a box. We can't get out of the camper because of the awning wrapped around the front when it came down. Dad pops the tent loose from the body on the back (actually the front as towed) and I slid out the back on to the tounge to go around the front and pull the awning back so the rest of the family can get out.
So I slide my skinny little self out and low and behold I find the people from the next campsites trailer. It's about 30-40 ft further back then it started into a stand of trees and in a shallow ditch. I also found the banging we were hearing. They can't get out of the camper because of the stand of trees!
Seems these folks didn't bother to put down a footing for the leveler stands. Add torential down pour and people moving around in the camper and they pushed the stands into the ground or the water coming through the site undermind the small surface area of the base. It was flat ground so no percived need to chock the wheels. Tounge jack was wheeled. Good gust of wind and they were off rolling through the camp ground. LOL. The trees that stoped them had also blocked the door from opening. So Dad and me had to go muscle the camper around to get them out. Camper was sitting sideways in the ditch and it took all I had my dad and mom to push it back enough to get the door off a tree so they could get out.
They had a heck of a ride in that runaway trailer. I bet they Chock the wheels and put down a good base for the jack stands these days.

John 02-19-2003 06:53 PM

That was a hell of an experience, one I'm sure your family would never want to experience again:( !

A few years back in early spring, a tornado rolled through Kissimmee and leveled a campground next to the turnpike. I believe 8 were killed. I drove by it a few days later and you could see were it crossed the turnpike and cut a path straight through the forest across from the campground.

We don't get many tornados down here, but early spring is when they usually hit. Cold fronts clashing with the moist topical air.


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