First time out, epic FAIL, expensive too!
Our first time out ever with the new-to-us Surveyor SV303. I did myself no favors and dove in murky water head- first. Even had my wife's parents in tow. Last background detail you need is basically that we amount to five city bears (wife, our kids and the in-laws) and one county bear (me). All my friends thought I was nuts. Ah, come on, how hard can it be!??!
First trip out was to Fish Lake CG in Volo, IL. About 40 minutes away. I figured and joked that if things got bad, I could have us home in an hour. I had no idea what was ahead. The TV and hitch performed just as they were suppose to. The Surveyor 303 did everything it was suppose to. All the gear made me look like I knew what I was doing. Everything was great our first night out, this past Fri, until about 11:30pm. Wife wakes me up because it was raining HARD. The CG had attached a flyer to our check-in papers reminding everyone they are not responsible to power issues. I had reassured her we have a new Surge Guard and would be fine. As the rain came down, she lay there awake sure that we would all be shocked to death. About four hours later, we all awoke to BOOM and the trailer shook. What the heck?!!? I thought we had been hit by a car or maybe the front jack failed and caused the stabilizer jack to fail or...?!!? Headed to the door, a SV303 only has one, bang; wouldn't open! THE AWNING! !#@ Out one of the side emergency exits and around to the other side to see my awning slammed against the side. The main drum and buckled in almost perfect half, failing under the weight of all the water that had accumulated because I failed to put it at a pitch or roll it up before going to bed! The awning and all hardware was destroyed, fabric ripped. Only good thing, the structure and shell of the camper itself were not damaged. Brackets failed but were not torn from their mounts. Pulled everything down as the rain continued. In daylight was able to look everything over. The rain continued and we were home by noon Saturday. Ugh!
If you do the math, our first camping trip was about $1,000.00 per hour! :-)
What do smart people do with their awnings at night?
John (the unpaid kennel help) & crew
2008 Surveyor SV-303
2010 Chevy Express 2500 Explorer Conversion