Texas Boomer Slightly Embellished RV'n Tales
The Tale of The Rolling RV - Submitted by Sandy Creekmore
In the Fall of 1996, we headed from our home in Ohio to the Great Smokey Mountains and camped at the Crazy Horse RV Park just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was our first trip in our brand new 30 ft Jayco 5th wheel with one slide pulled by our brand new Dodge 3500 V10 truck!
We spent a wonderful week seeing all the sights of the mountains and enjoyed our stay at the beautiful RV park. Our site was located among the trees right in front of a creek. We fed the ducks, took long walks around the park and really enjoyed being in our new camper!
In all our 30 plus years of camping, we can count on both hands the number of times that it DIDN'T rain on a planned camping trip.....and this trip was no different! The night before we were to head back to Ohio, it poured down rain for several hours. The next morning we got up ready to set about breaking camp. We went through the checklist of things to do before we could head out. I put everything away on the inside of the camper and Rusty did his list of chores outside.
Unfortunately, we were VERY GREEN! We had not yet learned the fine art of RVing that only comes through "trial and error" lessons! Rusty pulled the chocks up from in front and behind the wheels of the camper and threw them in the back of the truck. NOTE: In Rusty's version of this story, I was the one who pulled the chocks out! I guided him as he backed the truck up to the trailer and began to hitch up. For some unknown reason, the camper didn't hitch right the first time and when Rusty tried to "bump" the hitch, the jolt caused the trailer to rock. It still did not snap properly and slipped out of the jaws of the hitch!. The 4" blocks of wood that the landing legs were sitting on were not on solid ground, but sitting in a sea of mud from the rain! The blocks slipped and the camper began to roll backward....and there were NO CHOCKS on the wheels to keep it from rolling backwards!
I let out a scream and tried to stop the camper! It was rolling backwards....headed straight for the creek behind it with at least a 4 ft drop! I ran to the back of the camper and was trying to stop this 10,000 pound camper from rolling backwards.....screaming at the top of my lungs for Rusty to DO SOMETHING!
In all the excitement, Rusty jumped out of the truck after realizing that it WAS NOT HITCHED! He ran to the back of the trailer, which by now had somehow miraculously stopped on it's own before plunging into the creek! The landing legs were still on the 4" blocks, but they were almost sideways slipping fast in the mud!
Just about this time, we looked up to see the truck take off across the lane, across the field heading straight for the side of a pop-up camper! Rusty THOUGHT he put the truck in "park", but in his hurry to get back to the trailer, he only put it in "neutral"!!!! It was sitting on a slight slope downward which was all it took to make it head out on it's own!
In a flash, Rusty took off to catch the truck before it hit the pop-up camper two sites in front of him! Thankfully, the door was open and he was able to get it and put the brakes on! The moral of the story is............always leave the chocks in front and behind the RV wheels while you are hitching up! This was the FIRST of many lessons learned!
Stereo - Submitted by Steve Simmons
Way back when, does anyone know when that is? Anyway, in the early 70’s we had a Cabover Camper, they are now called Slide-In’s, not to be confused with slide-outs. Slide-outs are pieces of RV’s that, … slide-out, … but then some Slide-In’s have slide-outs now too. Sorry, I headed to the left there, …. Now I am back.
We would go camping every month. I worked shift work, remember that, work hours before all these Flextime hours got started. I had 4 full days off, so we would load up the kids and off we would go.
Well, one time I wanted to add a stereo to our Cabover Camper, with speakers and all. So I did just that. I installed the thing. Sounded good. Now we could camp in class.
On some of our trips, the kids would ride in the bed over the cab. They would be asleep before we were on the road very long. The problem we ran into was, the kids liked the music really loud. We would have no idea of the volume until pulling into our favorite campgrounds.
We would drive up to the little booth at the entrance, and the Host would stick their head out the window, and you would tell them what you were looking for in the way of a campsite. One day, a bad rainy day, we pulled up to the little Host Booth, the kids had the window open on the right side of the camper, the stereo was blaring, and we were setting in the truck, with the window part way down, yelling at the Host what our wishes were, and the Host was yelling back what they had available. After not being able to communicate with the Park Host at all, I got out of the truck to go inside the camper and turn the stereo off. The door to the camper was locked, so I had to run back to the drivers side door, shut the truck off, remove the keys, return to door of the camper to unlock the thing, and finally make it to the stereo to turn it off. WOW, it was loud. I closed the window, went to the booth, soaking wet, deaf in one ear, to finish our request with the campground Host.
After that day, a switch was installed in the cab of the truck. It controlled the POWER to the stereo in the Cabover. That way I could TURN OFF some of that CLASS I just had to have.
PS …… we ended up having a great weekend. And by the second day, I would not have had it any other way.
Father In Laws death wish ! - Submitted by Marc and Marcia Budge
Years ago, the whole tribe of IN LAW’s & their cousins gathered around a horseshoe shaped campground on a HOT July weekend at a Kansas lake, Here were six rigs in the semi circle. Motorhomes, Travel Trailers etc.
All the “Clampett's” had arrived. And having strategically parked our rig as far away as I could get it from all these great loving wonderful people, adults, kids, and dogs, etc. I felt as safe as possible!! In the center area were picnic tables, a large open area where you could run and jump and sit and tell all the tales of the past and discuss each others attributes. Being the loving caring spouse that I am, and in need of a fresh refreshment I strolled to the 5’r to refill my Texas Tumbler with something cold and wet. When I stepped back out, here comes a GOLF BALL flying like a Scud Missile towards the 5’r. LQQking out across the way I see the duffer, aka Father In-Law, with the missile launcher in full upright extended launch position. And then the dreaded sound of a direct hit. Instant defensive tactical thoughts of revenge and I’m headed to eliminate the problem.
They all say that LQQK’s alone should have been enough to cause death. Then I realized it was a ‘practice ball’ and no damage was caused. But I’ll tell you this friends and neighbors, NOBODY will use the 5’r as a back stop again………. till the next story.
Locked out! - Submitted by Ken Wilson
This was our first long trip in our 31’ Minnie Winnie. We had done this RVing thing for a number of years with both trailer and motorhomes. Somewhere along I-10 between Junction and El Paso (for those that have not traveled that section of road, it is along way without much scenery), I decided that the copilot needed to take the wheel for a spell and pulled into a rest stop.
Since it was warm and we were just switching drivers, I left the engine running and bailed out the door and headed to the other side. Since this is a class C, Susan decided it was easier to get out and come around rather than climbing over the engine cover. Naturally she shut her door as well to keep all that nice cool air in the coach. When I went to open the passenger door, I tugged and it did not open. I immediately hollered to open my door and ask what dope locked it any way. Well her door was locked as well. Naturally the only set of keys out were in the ignition and the engine was running. The other set of keys were safely tucked away in the cabinet by the side door which was also locked.
Trying to figure out what happened, how did we manage to get both doors locked when neither of us would admit to this deed, there stood our loveable miniature schnauzer with his feet on the armrest. He was barking and wagging. Naturally he got down and would not go near the armrest and step on the lock button again. We searched for a way to get inside; all doors and windows well secured. Emergency Road Service was not available as the cell phone was safely locked inside as well.
My quick thinking wife decided that we needed to intimidate the dog a bit. She dashed over to the nearest large burley truck driver that she saw and told him on the problem and ask if would intimidate the dog and see if he would get back up there and hit a door lock. He came up and banged on the window and hollered at the dog. Teddy went ballistic to protect his home. I was on the opposite side with my hand on the door handle. As soon as it went click we were back in.
As soon as we got to a place large enough for an RV dealer, I tried to find keys. I could find the blanks and could not get them cut. This issue was put on the back burner for a few days. We were in near Santa Fe, NM and had both decided to take the dog for a walk after supper. Susan asked if I had the keys, I patted my pocket and confirmed that I did and she set the door to lock behind her as we left. When we got back, I reached into my pocket to get the keys and unlock the coach. I had keys all right, the keys to the dinghy, not the motorhome and our lock-picking dog was with us. Luckily, I had my wallet and Susan’s cell phone was in the car. We called ERS and a locksmith was there in 20 minutes to let us in.
The very first thing we did the next morning was to find a locksmith to cut two extra sets of keys for the motorhome. We have since hidden a set with the coach and a set in the dinghy. Locked out….never again!
We can tell about a “Vacation from hell” next time.
I was caught with my extension cord out! - Submitted by Ed Bowen
About ten years ago, Sharon and I were very new to the RV scene. We had tented for years but finally bought our first RV, a pop-up. We were hooked on camping and were camping with a group from upstate New York that we had not been able to match until we met the Texas Boomers.
Anyway, it was the last campout of the season at Old Forge, New York. You have to realize it is the 2nd weekend in October and Fall is well on its way to Winter in northern New York. We all got there Friday afternoon at dusk and quickly got set up. The pop-up had no heat and we were a bit chilly in the 45 degree temperature that night.
Saturday dawned bright and crisp. We all went into Old Forge and enjoyed the area. (It is very quaint, by the way.) That night, the wind came up and it got colder and colder. I had a small utility heater in the camper so I plugged it in. There are very strict rules in the northeast about using AC or electric heater in the RV parks because most of them are under powered. Every time the electric heater turned on, our patio lights dimmed and everyone around the campfire started ragging us about being illegal and they would have to set their refrigerators to gas to protect the state power grid. Much chastised, I went to the camper to turn the heater off.
Actually, I ran an extension cord from the electric heater out the back side of the camper to the campsite next to me and plugged it into that outlet. Because that outlet was on a different circuit, the lights didn’t dim when the heater cycled. We wondered off to bed about 11 and slept fairly warm most of the night even though it was snowing outside the camper.
The next morning we were awaken by most of the other campers laughing outside our camper. The extension cord had gotten a bit warm during the night and melted the snow about one inch either side of the cord from our camper to the other outlet box. The cord was not damaged and in fact, I still have it. However, I ended up warmer than that cord. I was busted!
Golden Shower ! - Submitted by Sandy Creekmore
It could ONLY happen to us and I just have to share this with you! It was a FIRST for me and I can only hope it will NEVER happen again in my lifetime!
On the trip home from Labor Day Rally in Burleson, somewhere between Waco and College Station, Rusty managed to get behind a truck pulling a load of horses! It's a two lane road and, of course, there's no way to pass it safely. Doesn't this sound all too familiar!!
All of a sudden we see something coming out of the back of the truck..we first thought the driver had blown a tire, but then we noticed that it was "steaming" as it hit the hot pavement!
In those few split seconds I wondered..."what in the world is this"...but when the LIQUID SUBSTANCE hit the windshield, Rusty started laughing.....