This trip is the shakedown. It’s the trip to work out all the kinks, learn all about Perl and hopefully have some fun along the way. Boy are we having a shakedown! There are so many things to learn. So many pieces that go together to make it all work like a well oiled machine.
We pull into our second campground just as it’s getting dark. As I previously mentioned, I’m really trying to avoid doing this. That’s strike two and we’re down and OUT. This is the spot that I have to fit my rig into.
In all actuality, it wouldn’t be so bad if it was light out, there wasn’t a BIG tree in the middle and the street I have to maneuver in wasn’t so narrow. And to add to the misery, there are cars, fences and things I need to try NOT to hit on every side of me. Do you see the right side of Perl? That’s the neighbors fence. You see the tree on the left? It has a branch extending out to the right that I must dodge as well. Add to that, I’m new to this RV driving thing. Oh, and did I mention that I need to BACK into this spot in order to access the necessary hook ups?
Ok, so here it goes. I have all the cars, fences, trees, patio furniture, etc in my site as best I can. I proceed forward, I’m not backing Perl up in the dark, that can wait for the morning. I almost make it but that darn tree is in the way. I back up again and cut it a little more to the right. Okay, I got it, moving forward, I’m doing good………….and then crunch, crack. Oh no, what was that? Immediately I stop and then back up.
I hit what seems to be the bumper of the neighbors car. You know, the one with the white fence you can see in the picture? His car was moved over and almost aligned with that fence. UGH! The neighbors come outside and I go out to assess the damage . It doesn’t look like there’s much damage to the car. But Perl, poor, poor Perl. She looks so bruised and battered. I’m beside myself with grief.
There’s nothing else for me to do but carry on. I would like to sit and cry but I put on my big girl panties. The neighbor moves his car and I finish pulling in. I’ll deal with it in the morning. I find myself saying that a lot lately! I hook into electric but I cannot hook up the sewer or water. I get everybody situated and off to bed we go.
In the morning I’m able to make the kids some breakfast thanks to the propane stop before we headed to Tampa. We mosey around, trying to get things together and feel like humans once again. I vacuum the floors as best I can. There’s is dried up mud here and there after our swamp adventure. I finally go outside to take a look at the damage in the daylight. I brace myself. This is what I find.
I contemplate about what to do. Should I call the insurance? Should I pay for the neighbors damages out of pocket? I just insured less than a month ago. Will they drop me? Such a quandary I’ve put myself into. One thing is for sure. There are three things that I will never do again. It’s not worth the headache and heartache.
- I will NEVER pull into a campground in the dark ever again. I’d rather stay over in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
- I will never pull into a site that I don’t feel comfortable maneuvering into.
- I will shorten my travel days to no more than 4 – 5 hours.
The neighbors come over and want to know what the next course of action is. I can’t blame them, I want to know too. I go back inside and look through the campground information. I see some ads for mobile RV repair. I decide it won’t hurt to get an estimate. I start dialing. The first guy I get doesn’t come out and look at cars, only RV’s. I try the next number, same story. But, this guy refers me to his friend. I call the number and bingo, I have a beacon of hope. He promises to show up in about an hour.
Two hours go by and no one comes. I’m starting to get concerned. The kids are getting tired of waiting. My youngest is wanting to go to the beach. I feel like such a failure. I beat myself up a little bit with the what if’s. If only I hadn’t attempted to pull into this site! If only I had arrived in the daylight! If, if, if, forget about it. This is getting me nowhere. I call Joe and ask if he’s still going to be able to make it today. He’s on his way, phew.
Another hour passes and finally he arrives. I show him the neighbors car. He doesn’t seem to be too concerned. Today however, we notice that the tail light is cracked, previously we thought I had only made contact with his bumper. Joe seems to think he can get the lens cover. He tells the owners that he can do it in their driveway. He hands both of us a card and they look satisfied. It seems the most it will cost me is ~$300. Ok, great!
Now for poor Perl. The situation is a bit more dire. The bay door is opening fine, but it looks ugly. I cannot believe she was handed to me in mint condition and I’ve bruised her already. He thinks he can do a little bit to remedy the problem but unless I bring her to the shop, I’m going to have a sub-par repair. That’s okay, I can deal with it until I head back home in May.
Joe leaves and I prepare to move Perl. I contacted the RV park office and requested another site. I’m not backing her up into this spot, even in the daylight, no way. I pull in slide one, then slide two, finally I pull in slide three. Uh-oh, this isn’t good. It won’t come in all the way. I have to move today. My tanks are full, I cannot access the sewer nor the water. I have no fresh water in my tanks. No water = no showers. No water = no flushing of the toilets. And I cannot move this full-figured lady with a slide out.
Immediately I grab my phone and call Joe again. “Joe, can you come back out and help me, my slide isn’t coming in”? He replies, “I’m at the gas station filling up, I’ll be back over in a few”. Whew, thank goodness. He shows up and helps me trouble shoot the situation. We need to get into the bay where the controls are for the slides. However, the ONE bay door we need to open will not. The key won’t turn in the lock. I don’t understand. I just had ALL the bay doors open when we packed her up. I checked each and every compartment. We’re forced to pry the door open with a wrench. Can this day get any worse? Be careful what you wish for.
Part II to follow………..
The Campground = Terra Ceia Village RV Resort, 9603 Bayshore Rd, Palmetto, FL 34221. http://www.rvonthego.com/florida/terra-ceia-rv-resort/
Cost = $186 for 7 nights w/ Travel Trails membership (this is for a standard site only)
My Rating = Avoid site F7 at all costs! This is a nice clean park with some permanent homes as well as RV sites for short or long term stays.
Some of the amenities include:
- laundry facility
- planned activities
- billiard room
I would stay here again.