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Old 01-10-2023, 08:28 PM   #1
jgilliam1955
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Smile First lesson in camping.

I had a new 2018 King in 2005. My first trailer and camper. Loved this trailer. Our dealer was great. My first winter, I winterized it wrong. I printed out the wrong internet directions.
We did not go camping again until the first week in June. I did not check everything in the trailer before we left. Two states later pulled into our campground and turned on the water, and all our water lines had leaks. Even the outside hot and cold facet looked like a horse pissing.
We packed up and sadly went back home—one of many lessons learned over the years.
Our dealer fixed everything thing for free. Thank goodness!
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Old 01-10-2023, 08:31 PM   #2
jgilliam1955
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Written in 2005
Just wanted to tell you about our camping trip last weekend. It was like you say ‘very relaxing & fun’.

It was just Nancy, 2 dogs and yours truly. We brought along the dog cages for 3 reasons.

1. Dogs don't travel well in the car so we put them in the cages.
2. Put the cages on the extra bed & the dogs sleep in there.
3. In case I make Nancy mad at me, I'll be sleeping in the cage.

We got to this wonderful campground. It was in the country in a valley next to a large creek. It had a wonderful waterfall.
We pulled in and a small crowd gathered to watch me put up the trailer. (Since it is the kind that folds up & down they wanted to see it.) I got out & pretended I didn't notice them. I walked back to the back & lifted & pulled to raise the trailer. I pulled my guts out before I realized I hadn't unlatched the hooks yet. (Crowds make me nervous. Nancy pointing at the hooks and saying "shouldn't these be unhooked?” didn't help either.) After I finally got the trailer set up, (The crowd had left after seeing I didn't know what I was doing.) I hooked up the electricity but did not notice the water I was standing in. Nancy asked through the window what that thump was? I told her" nothing" as I picked myself back up. (But the plug stayed plugged in so we had lights) I hooked up the water ok, even though my hands were still shaking. Once inside I setup the walls and made sure everything worked. Nancy asked me "Why is your hair standing up & your shoes are smoking?" I just mumbled a reply.
Later on after walking the creek and sitting by the waterfall, Nancy was able to hold my hand without getting a static shock. We ended up having a nice cool night walk around the campground. Then we retired into the camper for the night.
Then we did what all married couples do on a camping trip.
Just Nancy & Big Daddy &, no kids. We just stared in each other’s eyes and asked, "What do we do now?" So we broke out a movie & made popcorn.
When we went to sleep I was too tired to cut on the heat. Big mistake. About 2:30 AM Nancy punched me and said, “I’m freezing. Is there something wrong with the furnace or did you forget to turn it on? I think she said this. It could of been "Dear I'm a little chilly. Could you find your way over to the thermostat and turn it on please."
Now the next day as we packed to leave I forgot my list on how to put the trailer down. So it only took 3 times to close, open, fix problem, and close the camper before it was good enough to travel. Of course I didn't do a walk around, So Nancy's panties hanging out the window the whole trip back kinda upset Nancy, but I thought the guys (and 3 girls) driving by & waving, smiling, yelling for a phone number was kind of cute.
So it was a very nice trip. We are going away again Thursday night until Sat. We will be staying near Thomas Jefferson's home. Our daughter will be watching the dogs this time so I'll have the cages to myself.

Just another TM owner,
Jack
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Old 01-10-2023, 08:32 PM   #3
jgilliam1955
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Our Second Camping Trip

Well Nancy and I went camping again. We stayed at a place called Misty Mountain. I found it on the Internet. It is located right outside the Skyline Drive here in Virginia. We knew we were going to get in late so we made reservations for a Thursday & Friday.
We loaded up the camper with the usual stuff, you know, blankets, sleeping bags, crackers, drink,
TV with a DVD player (a must have), kitchen sink, bathtub, and anything else we could empty out of the house into the trailer & SUV!
My god! How do people pack for a week? We were going for 2 days. I told the wife, why don’t we hire a moving van & they could deliver the stuff to our campsite. Then my wife informed me the grandbaby (5 months) Ava would be coming with us. I said “good, her first camping trip.” So when we stopped by to pick her up, her mom (our lovely college educated daughter) had packed Ava’s stuff like she was going away to college. (Why does a baby take so much equipment just to live from one poopy diaper to the next?)
So as my wife & her daughter acted like they hadn’t seen each other in years, I carried everything to the pack mule…err, I mean SUV. How I did it to this day I just don’t know. Why the windows didn’t blow out is a mystery to me.
I notified the chatting couple it was getting late & we had to hit the side roads to avoid the state police. (I know we had to be violating several states laws & a few SPCA laws too.)
Grammy sat in the back seat & played with Ava. I was just glad to be moving again without the tires blowing out.
We got to Misty Mountain about 10:30pm. I was tired, the wife was asleep & Ava was pooping for the 3rd time. The manager had a map & a lot number pined next to the office door. I thought wow this place is squared away. After driving up the mountain my thoughts turned sour when I saw the lot. Half the lot was level & the door side of the lot had a slope that worried me.
I stopped & walked the site & my flashlight couldn’t see the bottom. But I brushed bats away from my throat as they came out of the pit towards my flashlight. I hid my fear as I told the wife, “What a nice site. Can’t wait to see the sunrise from here.” She calmly asks “Are you sure we aren’t going to tip over or something?” I just shook my head no, worried my shaking voice would give me away as I drove us towards our death -I mean onto the lot.
I noticed we were next to a fifth wheel trailer. I thought that maybe he’d call 911 for me. I soon found out as I was hooking up & trying to be quiet (which you can’t be late at night), that he would not be calling 911 for me. As I was setting up, they kept flashing their lights off and on real fast like. I found out I could read light language.
It read “you are making too much noise you jerk, and I hope you fall down that abyss you are parked next to!” (Turned out he lived there.)
I had to use the level jacks on the door side of the trailer. They were cranked all the way up & the tire wasn’t touching the ground. (The tire was so high I was worried about an eagle making a nest in the trailer axle. That would be a whole different set of problems.)
As I got my lovely family out of the vehicle & walked them to the trailer, My wife asked “Is this safe and where did these bats come from?”
“Sure it’s safe just keep the baby’s throat covered.” I replied.
She couldn’t see the tears running down my cheeks because I was staying in the dark. (Of course the guy in the fifth wheel didn’t help either by flashing the lights off & on.) When we got in the trailer I immediately jumped into the bed & said “I’m tired, see ya in the morning.” As I covered my body with all the pillows and blankets to help me survive the disaster, I knew what was coming with each step my wife took.
She’d say as she was leaning towards the pit, “I feel like I have an ear infection & my balance is off.”
“Just don’t fall against the door. I’m not sure about the lock.” I mumbled between prayers. Every time I peeped out that night my wife would be sitting up with her feet braced against the wall. (The next morning she stated she kept sliding out of bed.)

At about 4:30 AM the guy in fifth wheel trailer must have had trouble with his truck. He kept gunning his engine real loud and honking his horn. I just ignored him because I was up to the letter “Z” praying to the god “Zeus”. (I was covering all the bases. I didn’t want my lovely wife in eternity with me saying, “I told you so!”)
The next morning the manager allowed us to move to a very nice secluded level lot, which I kissed as soon as I parked the trailer. (I think the nervous twitch & wild look gave me away, because he just looked at me & said, “Here, use lot U13 you’d like that better.” I grabbed the map and ran laughing all the way back to the death trap. (Had to go back and get my vehicle once my wife asked, “Where’s the SUV?”)
Let me tell you fellow campers. There is nothing like a level lot. If I had found a bottle and rubbed it until a Genie popped out and gave me 3 wishes, I would of yelled out “a Level lot” 3 times so fast your head would spin.
(I did keep looking out the window making sure the ground had not moved.)
The rest of the time was very enjoyable. We changed the grandbaby, walked the grandbaby, and changed her some more. We all had a peaceful stay.
As we were leaving I laughed madly to myself as a big diesel was trying to park next to the abyss.
Overall Misty Mountain is a very nice campground. Just ask for a level lot.

Jack & Nancy-Just a couple of TM owners
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Old 01-17-2023, 03:12 PM   #4
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First trip many years ago with the first camper of our own, which was a Coleman pop-up. I had already read about the most common mistakes to avoid. Don't forget the key and don't forget to swing the tongue jack up into the stowed position, etc. etc.

So what did I do? Went and forgot the key to the short door panel opening that swings down and becomes the step. We were around 50-60 miles from home, so we debated me running back and getting the key. But nahhh, we decided to stick it out and just climb over the panel for the weekend. Luckily we had some items that served as sturdy stools. Always stored camper keys inside our tow vehicle from then on.

Something also later learned about that same door panel, you had to lock it every time before towing. Not just close it and turn the handle. It would bounce loose and come open every trip unless you locked the handle with key.
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Old 01-17-2023, 07:01 PM   #5
jgilliam1955
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldstick View Post
First trip many years ago with the first camper of our own, which was a Coleman pop-up. I had already read about the most common mistakes to avoid. Don't forget the key and don't forget to swing the tongue jack up into the stowed position, etc. etc.

So what did I do? Went and forgot the key to the short door panel opening that swings down and becomes the step. We were around 50-60 miles from home, so we debated me running back and getting the key. But nahhh, we decided to stick it out and just climb over the panel for the weekend. Luckily we had some items that served as sturdy stools. Always stored camper keys inside our tow vehicle from then on.

Something also later learned about that same door panel, you had to lock it every time before towing. Not just close it and turn the handle. It would bounce loose and come open every trip unless you locked the handle with key.
So true about the keys. My wife asked me hundreds of questions before we leave. It keeps me in check.
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:31 PM   #6
larsdennert
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How did Coleman get away with building a trailer that requires a key to get out effectively? I have a hitch lock on the trailer tongue. All the other keys are on the same ring. Tough to leave without them.
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Old 01-24-2023, 08:24 PM   #7
larsdennert
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Default My dear friend Adam's first trip.

I'll tell you this story of my friend Adam who's first trip with his TrailManor was quite eventful. We were part a 4Wheeling club and often went camping and rock crawling. His rig was a Toyota FJ40 on 35" tires with crawler cases and locking diffs. My tow rig was a 4Runner on 33"s with a 4" lift locking diffs and plenty of armour. It was that kind of club.

After our last trip to Moab, Adam had enough and wanted air conditioning. He bought a built FJ Cruiser and our story picks up on our first trip thereafter to the Calico area of California. For us a trip to Calico meant we could bring our Trail Manor, drive it some bad wash board roads to our camping spot and drop it when exploring. Nicer than a tent for sure. Adam was due in later and the club of about a dozen vehicles trickled in.

Late in the evening Adam wasn't there yet but we got a frantic call from him. "I'm stuck on the road and have trailer." How could he be stuck? Since when does he have a trailer? He just bought it... It's an ordinary dirt road. Adam has been on the worst trails in Moab and everything in between. We all mounted up and went off to look for Adam.

We finally found him. Not on the dirt road but on a 4 Wheeling trail called Phillips. Though not the worst of trails, it still requires a low range transfer case and airing down tires to traverse. Lots of large stair step ledges, narrow sections with shear drop-offs and a sprinkling of large boulders and sand. We finally found him half way up this trail hopelessly beached and trailer in tow. His new FJ had a fabulous Nav system that lead him to camp the short way but not the easy way. (I think this is the lesson) Late at night in the darkness, the desert looks the same but he knew I was at camp with my TM so it had to be passable. It wasn't.

We all stood there in disbelief. First that he had gotten so far. Second that we had no idea how to get him out. Knowing the trail, we were sure there was no way to continue on. There were spots so narrow and bad that the TM would never fit. Our only option was to turn around, but how? Not even a vehicle could turn around much less one towing. The dozen of us there resolved that we were going to turn the trailer around by itself. We removed and dismantled all the parts now hanging from the bottom of the trailer such as stabilizer jacks, spare tire and storage compartment. After about an hour of this we unhooked, heaved and hoed for a couple more hours lifting the tongue and dragging the stuck trailer 180 degrees by hand in a space not meant for a trailer much less turning one around. Thereafter I stumbled to the bottom of the trail exhausted and now 3am. From there I backed up my 4Runner all the way up the trail. We hooked up the stricken TM and I proceeded down the trail as gingerly as possible and back to camp the "easy" way.

We all fell to bed and slept soundly. In the frenzy of rescue, few pictures were taken but I will share the ones I have including inside shot of me towing it down the easy part of the trail. Adam's first trailer adventure was not his last. He had a few more. My good friend is gone now but not forgotten. That day he already suffered the early stages of ALS; taken away from us in his 40s. His TM lives on. My niece bought it from him when he was wheelchair bound. He had the best sense of humor. Even from a wheelchair he would joke with random kids in the grocery store "The parachute didn't open!"
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:51 AM   #8
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I remember you posting this story and photos many years ago, and I still think of it when we're approaching anything remotely like it. I still try to stick to washboarded dirt roads as my limit. Amazing how you rescued him -- removing the jacks alone takes some muscle. Those are large bolts, and there are 16 of them!

ALS is just such an awful disease.....so sad to hear he had to deal with it.

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