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Old 03-30-2014, 11:31 PM   #1
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Reflections of our First Pop Up Camping Trip

Well, we went on our first camping trip this weekend and for the most part, it was a success. Our kids had a blast and we made it safely towing the camper to the campground and back home...

Our trip started Friday morning as we loaded up and headed to Branson MO to the Silver Dollar City Wilderness Campground (a very nice campground by the way)! Our plan was to attend Young Christians Weekend at SDC. As we got closer to our destination, I kept checking the radar on my phone and saw we were going to get deluged with rain...so I told the family we need to hurry and try to get camp all set up before the rain hits...I thought, "No Problem..." we would just pull in unhook and level and then hit the power winch and raise the roof on the camper and be all set up before the rain would hit....

Well, unfortunately, my battery was dead....for some reason, my shiny new Palomino Traverse Sequoia was is not charging the battery...from neither shore power or the Tow Vehicle.... I was able to raise the roof about 5" before it ran our of power...so I thought, no big deal...just get the hand crank and start cranking... Ah...not so easy....I had put the hand crank under the front mattress and could barely fit my arm underneath to find it... Ended up having my wife and I stand on both sides and lift as much as we could while our skinny little 8yo stuck her arm in there and found it...

So after that hurdle was crossed...we started cranking...and cranking...and cranking...and it started raining and raining and cranking...luckily my tow vehicle has a lift up rear door, so we were able to stand under it and stay somewhat dry...

Long story short...we finally got it cranked up moving at approximately 1 cm per minute...even got the awning unrolled for the first time and set up, which helped with the rain.... and in the mean time, our neighbor "Paul" in his 36' Travel Trailer with triple slide-outs came over and we made a new friend...he tried to help us, but to no avail...

Anyway, after getting all set up...power hooked up...water hooked up...sink drain hooked up and the cassette toilet all filled up and ready for action, we set out to go to SDC for a friday night concert....that is a whole story in itself, but we survived the night and made it back to our camper and turned oh the heat and heated mattresses (VERY NICE BY THE WAY) and had a nice cozy cold night in our first trip to the campground!

Saturday morning, we got up and hooked up the electric griddle ( I know...not really roughing it, but it sure was easier) and fried bacon and pancakes...then headed out for another fun filled day at SDC...Finally make it back to camp for the evening and hooked up the BBQ grill...I could not get it to work...I had just tested it the week before....I spent 15 minutes cussing and screaming (in my head) til I finally realized that the gas line had a shut off valve on it that you could not see when it was turned upside down....problem solved...grilled chicken .... everyone was happy! Our friendly neighbor "Paul" and his girlfriend came over to our campsite and we proceeded to sit around the fire til after 11pm while his daughter and our kids played and played and ended up with kid from all over the campground playing together...really neat experience! They loved it...

To top off the evening...we found out our new friend makes his own Moonshine and he even gave us a jar! Very smooth! We finally called it a night...

Sunday morning was "Go Home" day...we got up and ate some wonderful Cinnamon Rolls from SDC, showered and started breaking down camp...all we could think about was how much fun it would be cranking down the roof until Paul showed up with a power drill and we were able to get the right socket on it and that roof was down in about 15 seconds!!!!

Everything else was all packed up and home we went....

Lessons Learned:

Bring a drill just in case
Bring jumper cables....all I needed to do was hook up jumper cables wire connections going to the winch and it would have worked just fine (which is what I did when we got home and I needed to unload everything).
Get to know your neighbors...you never know when they may be able to help you...or you help them!

I am looking forward to our next trip...not sure when it will be yet, but I will be more prepared!!! Of course, I still need to figure out while my battery does not charge...may be the first warranty service call....
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:11 AM   #2
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That is memories right there.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:56 AM   #3
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Definitely a fun memory to reflect back upon. Great to hear everyone had a fun time! Way to go, in handling the first time challenges!

Could the problem have been an in-line fuse? I carry a box of various fuses that my trailer uses "just in case". So glad as they have come to my rescue a couple times for the trailer as well as the truck.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:38 AM   #4
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X2 on having spare fuses on hand.
Even with things not going as planned it sounds like you had a good time.

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Old 03-31-2014, 04:38 AM   #5
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With memories like those you could write a book.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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Seeing children out playing at a campground is one of my favorite parts about camping, no video games, no computers, the kids are out side. I have found most campers are happy people, and happy to help their neighbor, we all had to start some place. Glad to hear you had fun, remember it's not about how far you go it's about getting away.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:35 PM   #7
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A picture of our campsite!

This is our camper all set up on our site....my wife thought we were among giants as were were surrounded by huge travel trailers and motor homes...
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:49 PM   #8
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Makes me miss our pop-up, had some great trips. While in Florida had the guy next door in a Class A giving it the once over one morning, he could not believe how much was packed into a high wall pop-up. Or that we had a king size bed...still miss that bed.

Had the fuse problem and did the hand crank thing. at least was dry when I had to do it. Learned to carry extra fuses a drill for all kinds of things.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maccve View Post
This is our camper all set up on our site....my wife thought we were among giants as were were surrounded by huge travel trailers and motor homes...
It's not how big your camper is. It's all about how much fun you have. Once when we had our popup a huge Motorhome backed into the site next to us. The guy spent about 15 minutes getting his satellite receiver aimed and went inside. That's the last we saw of him until Sunday morning when he came out to retrieve the Sat receiver. I guess to them that was camping .
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiscampsin View Post
It's not how big your camper is. It's all about how much fun you have. Once when we had our popup a huge Motorhome backed into the site next to us. The guy spent about 15 minutes getting his satellite receiver aimed and went inside. That's the last we saw of him until Sunday morning when he came out to retrieve the Sat receiver. I guess to them that was camping .
I don't know how people can go camping and watch t.v. ( satellite). Just read wiscampsin's quote. That a shame.

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