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Old 04-12-2009, 03:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: White Hall, AR
Posts: 20
First outing - Rockwood 8283SS

Well, we finally were able to make our first camping trip. Well, actually, it isn't over yet. We left, or tried to leave Thursday morning. DH has been nervous about backing up the RV. He can back up a flat bed trailer all day long, but only by looking over his shoulder, not using the mirrors. He started to back out of our 45 degree driveway doing really well. He got a little out of line, but doing pretty good then got too close to my braided oleander so I waved him to stop. He started to pull forward and the RV came out of the hitch! It destroyed the tailgate and jammed, he couldn't pull forward or back and the tailgate wouldn't open. Oh, did I mention he picked up his NEW truck Monday? We finally were able to get the RV and truck separated and he made a quick trip to his uncle's body shop to get the tailgate open and adjusted a little so we could continue. By the time he got home he realized we were so blessed we were in the yard and no one was hurt and was ready to get to the campgrounds. He was able to do a great job getting on the street and we were off. We went to a Corp of Engineer park, Tar Camp, on the Arkansas River just 20 miles from home. He could not back into the spot for love nor money. Finally, a 79 year old full-timer had mercy and slipped the RV right into the parking pad. Mr. Kenneth has been so much help all weekend. Another blessing! That night there were major tornadoes all across Arkansas, including 3 deaths and we drove home about midnight as it neared our area. Next morning we returned and all was well. Mr. Kenneth called us chicken, but what could we say! Friday and Saturday were wonderful, but cold and windy. The girls and their families came Saturday for a shrimp boil and we had enough to share with 3 camp sites, including Mr. Kenneth. We came home this morning for Easter Sunday services and family festivities (in the pouring rain) and will go back later this afternoon. We will be out of the park by 2 p.m. tomorrow. We have gotten so much help, encouragement and suggestions during this test run and have had so much fun in the process. The only real problem, well, except the damaged truck, is we can't get the water heater to run on electricity. I have printed out all the suggestions on the list and we will work on that tomorrow. If that doesn't work, I'll be back!!!! And, about the hitch, he now knows exactly what to look for and knows he will never make THAT mistake again. One of the neighbor campers suggested he put this hitch in the lock position and then spray paint it. Then he could easily see that it was locked.

Danny & Phillis in Arkansas
FR Rockwood 2009 8283SS
2008 Chevy 2500 4 X 4 D/A

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Old 04-12-2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 3,283
Congrats on the outing. You'll get better each time you go. Bummer about the tailgate.
At least you got two things out of the way at once (scratched the new truck and dropped the 5er) and you won't have that to worry about again. That''s good advice about painting the hitch lock once it's locked. They also make a device that prevents dropping the 5er on the bed. It called a bed saver.

As for backing up the Rv that comes with lots of practice. The best way to do that is to find a large field or empty parking lot and set up cones or like and practice all driving maneuvers.

Thank goodness for fellow campers. you'll find someone who is ready to help with any questions/concerns you might have. Aren't campers the best people?

Salem 29RKSS Pushing a 2500 Mega-Cab CTD!
Gotta go campin!
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: White Hall, AR
Posts: 20
Thumbs up

Funny you mention the vacant field! The camp host stopped by to hear the story again about the hitch and mention using a vacant field if there was one near our home. My husband said, OMG! We own 5 acres and 1 acre of that is ... you guessed it, a vacant field. As soon as it dries out from today's rain that is exactly what he is going to do. Thanks for your comments.
Danny & Phillis in Arkansas
FR Rockwood 2009 8283SS
2008 Chevy 2500 4 X 4 D/A

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Old 04-12-2009, 04:10 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Enumclaw, WA
Posts: 2,617
It's all a learning experience, for sure you won't make the same ones again (so I hope) Look at the destroyed tail gate as an oportunity to get one of those cool tube steel gates with the cut down for the 5rs hitch etc etc. It's not bent metal just an oportunity to replace it with a cool accessory! Incidentally it's the same idea with Jeeps; bent metal is just an excuse to replace with something tougher and better looking.

I still remember from when I was a kid, my dad pulling out of our driveway in our 30' motorhome which he had forgotten to unplug inside the garage. The power cord pulled over an entire roll away chest of tools dumping them all over the garage, luckily no damage to the RV or it's power cord, he never made that mistake again. Lots of new ones but not that same one again

Of course I learned a lot along the way from my dad. (I leaned what not to do, LOL)

Next time will go smoother
"I can fix it, and if I can't fix it, I can fix it so no one can fix it!"
Ed & Wendy
2009 Georgetown 378TS | 1998 Jeep Wrangler | 1998 Skeeter ZX202C
Nights camped in 2009: 53 | Nights camped in 2010: 55
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233, 233s, rockwood

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