Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend - Part I

Memorial Day weekend is a major RVing holiday weekend. I started out trying to make reservations at a campground for Memorial Day weekend two months before the holiday. I started calling the campgrounds in Lancaster, PA. My first call was to Old Mill Stream Campground and when I asked if they had any sites available for that weekend, I was asked if I had made a reservation for one for this year on LAST Memorial Day. I said no and was told, well then there aren't any. Hmm. I asked if there are ever cancellations and was told that there could be and that I should try back every week. I called all of the other campgrounds in Lancaster and the story was the same. I started looking in Connecticut, upstate NY, and Massachusetts. I got the same story from campgrounds there to. This is THE camping weekend of the year - I suppose because it is the first starting off the camping season. Ah well, this was another RVing lesson learned. Memorial Day requires planning well in advance- a year in advance.

When we were at Old Mill Stream Campground on our way to Maryland at the end of April, I asked again at the office if there had been any cancellations for Memorial Day weekend. One of the nice ladies that works there looked at her computer and said... yes! One space opened up due to a cancellation and our Roadtrek was the perfect size for it. I was not sure what that meant so I asked. It was one of the "dreaded" T-spaces and I would be in the T with a long travel trailer. I was a little apprehensive about accepting it but this was truly a take it now or leave it offer. We took it. We were told the site number and on our way out we took a drive to the site to check it out. When we looked it was on the end of a row and that opened possibilities to get in and out easier.

OK - we were set for Memorial Day. Now, as I wrote about in my article about Maryland, we encountered a new problem with the Roadtrek while we were away. The water pump was sucking air and not pumping water from the outside water tank. While there was water in the inside water tank (the 190 has two fresh water tanks), the water worked fine, but once that emptied and the outside water tank had to take over gravity stopped pushing the water through and an air leak in the line was preventing the pump from priming and drawing water up from the tank below. We learned this after we made this Memorial Day reservation. When we got home we called dealer service with hopes that we could come right away to have this fixed. June was the answer for the next available appointment. June. After Memorial Day. Cancel the trip or make due. We decided we could make due. We could either just use the inside tank or we could hook up the water hose every day and use city water (campground water) which does not require the water pump. Fine.

We left on the trip with our inside fresh water tank full and we were off to Lancaster. Yes, we go there frequently. It has been a refuge for me from NY for many, many years. In fact, I recently calculated that it is now 50 years. (I have seen a lot of changes there!)

Of course, a trip off Long Island means a long drive through construction and traffic and a distance that used to take us no more than forty five minutes now takes almost an hour and a half. We got away from New York and into New Jersey. Getting on the NJ Turnpike we encountered a barricade on the Cars Only lanes and was directed onto the truck lanes which, of course, were backed up. The Roadtrek can drive in the Car Only lanes - it is a van and in NY is given passenger car plates. I am not sure why the barricade was down on those lanes as there were cars driving in them - having come on from further exits - and all the way to the merge of both sets of lanes - the car lanes were clear and moving. Unlike the truck lanes that were stop and go.

I wanted to get to the campground as the first stop and while it would have been easier to go to Green Dragon Farmers Market right off the PA Turnpike, we drove on to Old Mill Stream Campground. It was around 2:30 pm. The trip took four and a half hours but we did stop for lunch. We went into the office to check in and pay for the weekend. I don't know if I have ever said this before in an article, but when you go to a campground you pay in full when you arrive.

We were told our space number which we already knew and drove down and around the lanes to get to our space in a direction so that we could back in - we had the left arm of the T looking into the space. The campground was packed with every space full or about to be filled. As we drove through on this Friday afternoon, people were already out in front of their RVs and trailers sitting in groups. As we passed, groups of people either did not look up or they just stared. We got to what we thought we had seen as our space and realized that our space was not on the end of a row, but the next T down from that space. We had misread the space numbers that day when we looked. The motorhome that was to be in the next space was not there. There was a car parked in that space. I backed in - with Meryl's direction and we got out. A gentleman came over to tell us that this was his car and it was only parked there until the campground people were finished working around his site. Not a problem. We smiled and started to test the electricity at our site.

This is when we saw that the large Class A RV in the site above our site had a 120 volt extension cord running from his site into our electric box. We looked to see if we could see him to ask why this was there, but he was nowhere to be found. OK. We are still new to all of this and were not sure of the etiquette. Maybe this was common - or maybe he was just rude. We were not jumping to conclusions and hoped that when we returned that night from our day out, the electric cord would be gone. The 30 amp outlet in our box was there for us to use. I tested the voltage and the voltage was a bit low - 113 volts. This was the lowest voltage that I have tested. Usually it is just above 120 volts and sometimes higher. If there are a lot of campers plugged into the campgrounds electric system and they have appliances and air conditioners running then the overall voltage will drop. I was pretty certain that 113 volts would be fine but we took out our power protector and plugged it in because this also would test the circuit and if the voltage is too low it will not turn on. It clicked on as it should. We put all of the testing equipment away and got in the Roadtrek to go to Green Dragon Farmers Market for the afternoon.

When we returned late that night, the electric cord was still there plugged into our box. We both were annoyed. (At the end of the trip I asked on an RV forum if I was right to be annoyed and most responses said yes. It was suggested that it should be reported to the campground office. And while we had thought of that, we decided not to make waves. It has been our experience in life that the one who complains is the one that is looked down upon by the powers that be rather than the offender. Had it caused us a real problem we would have gone to the office and said something. It was also said to me on the forum that this guy should have come to us and asked. He didn't and we never did see him the whole weekend.)

End of PART I

Next week - Part II

1 comment:

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