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Old 04-21-2021, 11:14 AM   #1
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A first in 10 years, I kissed a tree

We were at Fort Myers Beach RV Resort for the weekend visiting my sister who was in town from Pennsylvania.

When I made the reservation through Thousand Trails, I then called the park to ensure I would fit. They said they had 1 or 2 spots that a 44' trailer would fit in and it would be tight but doable. In a call 2 days before my reservation and again at check-in, the manager jawed at me for being too big for her park.

They had sit escorts, but they weren't a whole lot of help in the site that was described as a "pull-in". Which meant there was electrical posts in the way of pulling through. I've done other pull-in back out spots, a little stressful but if I can get in it, I can get out of it.

Couple a tight spot with on and off torrential down pours and you have a recipe for me kissing a tree on the way out.

First, the kiss:


We were in a classic Florida storm where there were bands of downpours:
https://i.imgur.com/nEcaFAy.mp4

And then lulls. There was literally 2-3" of standing rain at many spots:


Unfortunately, we didn't get it out in time and the rain picked back up. My wife wasn't where I thought she was and I WAS watching the tree. Classic move, I wasn't looking up enough to see the tree came towards the camper.

I pulled off of the tree and it looked bad while it happened with bark falling quite a bit. Even once off, it didn't look great. I worried the roller tube was bent:


We headed across the state to John Prince Park Campground in Lake Worth, FL. Putting the slide out was promising, the tube rolled just fine:
https://i.imgur.com/deHZKDz.mp4

Up on the roof showed a small tear.


Completely forgetting I actually have awning repair tape, I grabbed one of my rolls of Gorilla tape and covered it inside and out. You can also see the bent gutter.


At least our spot today is beautiful. Nice view of the lake and it's a huge spot.
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:42 AM   #2
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Looks like you survived relatively unscathed for the most part!


Do you think you can massage the gutter back into shape? I'd go up there with a crescent wrench and give it a try at least.


Good luck!! Hopefully you can get it back in shape, nothing more than a "character mark".
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Old 04-21-2021, 12:39 PM   #3
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I know Fort Myers beach rv resort all to well . nice people stay there . The park is old , the electric boxes they put in by the road have to go, along with many trees . seems the park should have been pretty empty now and i would think they had plenty of other sites that would have suited you better . Rebecca the manager is new this yr. the old manager was great but couldn't get encore to get anything done . The electric service is outdated and sites face each other . I stay at their sister park Gulf Air for the winters . a bit more room but all back in .
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Old 04-21-2021, 12:43 PM   #4
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Well that stinks but... it could have been worse.

It's a shame the campground owners aren't more knowledgeable. You'd think they would be, it's their job!

We've been in a few campgrounds where the owners thought a site big enough for a 17' TT with no slides would accommodate a 36' 5th wheel with three.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BriaBeck View Post
Looks like you survived relatively unscathed for the most part!


Do you think you can massage the gutter back into shape? I'd go up there with a crescent wrench and give it a try at least.


Good luck!! Hopefully you can get it back in shape, nothing more than a "character mark".
I think I'm going to try. I went up on the roof with nothing in hand just to survey the damage. I could have my wife throw the tape up but didn't want to see her try tossing a screw driver and I was being lazy with the ladder.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:00 PM   #6
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I know Fort Myers beach rv resort all to well . nice people stay there . The park is old , the electric boxes they put in by the road have to go, along with many trees . seems the park should have been pretty empty now and i would think they had plenty of other sites that would have suited you better . Rebecca the manager is new this yr. the old manager was great but couldn't get encore to get anything done . The electric service is outdated and sites face each other . I stay at their sister park Gulf Air for the winters . a bit more room but all back in .
She said she's also the manager over at Gulf Air. They out and out cancelled my reservation on me and told me my rig was too big for the park.

I don't mind back-in spots. I just needed a place to stay to visit with my sister and wanted to be cheap using my Thousand Trails membership (Gulf Air is $0/night and Fort Myers Beach was $20/night).

They said there were a few other spots that we would fit. I didn't have any issue getting in but didn't really think out getting out. We didn't have a front-side neighbor, fortunately. That has to be miserable unless you really know and like them.

And yeah, the maintenance guy escorts got me in but left me all crooked. Wife and I straightened it up after they left.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:03 PM   #7
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Well that stinks but... it could have been worse.

It's a shame the campground owners aren't more knowledgeable. You'd think they would be, it's their job!

We've been in a few campgrounds where the owners thought a site big enough for a 17' TT with no slides would accommodate a 36' 5th wheel with three.
Yeah, could have been way worse. I was remarkably calm about it, "{curse word}, I hit the tree." Wife had already been at her limit and needed a few minute break by that point (which is how I saw we were in the tree), so I had some cooling down time. We got off the tree, reset our position in the site, and backed out decently well. Did a little post mortem to figure out what was different about the first and last attempts and saw where we could do better.

I think they did as good as they could without turning me away entirely. I really think that even 40' at this park is pushing it and cannot fathom what it's like in peak winter season.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:19 PM   #8
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Man, that's a lot of stress! Glad it wasn't terrible after all. Starting to love my 20 footer more and more. (just need 5 more feet!). But I don't full time like you do.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:29 PM   #9
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Man, that's a lot of stress! Glad it wasn't terrible after all. Starting to love my 20 footer more and more. (just need 5 more feet!). But I don't full time like you do.



I think I read that he stopped full timing it.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:40 PM   #10
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They have a very low threshold for the RESORT description! I avoid that chain if at all possible. We arrive in the North Ft Myers in January and by April 1st it’s clearing out.
Most Florida CGs are OLD and built for a 28’ with no slides.
May - October sites are plentiful and cheap in South Florida, winter rates are high and no space available. It was the same this year- full and no Canadians! Only going to get worse then open a bit in5 years.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:45 PM   #11
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AAAH!

I had sold my trailer and at the last minute the buyer wanted me to bring it to my home and hook up to shore power. DW and I hurried to storage lot to P/U. A truck pulled in where I had planned to circle out. So w/ DW watching, I pulled out and caught the awning on the opposite side, crushing awning. I had to let air out of opposite side tires to be able to unhitch and pull the other way. Little error cost us $1K in sales price. Lesson- slow down, GOAL-get out and look. I have pulled trailers for 25 years w/o a scratch and had class C license in past. AHHHH!
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:24 PM   #12
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ah but a mere flesh wound.
I did something similar backing my 38 ft toyhauler in a spot.
had I pulled up my big boy pants and asked the lady who parked her van to move it out of my way I would not have scraped the fender on my 2 week old F250.


I attempted to back in around that van 5 times and finally got it on the 6th. then she came out and said did you want me to mover the van?


Gorilla Tape wouldn't have fixed my repair though


you did well - the gutter is an easy repositioning as well by the looks of it.
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:27 PM   #13
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Kissing trees?

You know Earth Day isn't until tomorrow right?
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:29 PM   #14
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Ouch! Glad it wasn't worse. I can't imagine how you both felt.
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:51 PM   #15
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I kissed one a tree at a spot in Walker MN while trying to leave a campground that told me I had a pull through spot. I made a left to get on the loop to get out of the campground but had to avoid a car parked in a no parking zone. The very back 4 feet of the camper caught a big oak tree. It ripped the roof, and bent 2 of the panels on the top corner of the trailer. I was still a newbee and was wondering why I had to keep giving the truck more gas to get around that corner.

I think the repair bill for that one was a little over 11k. I haven't gotten another one yet.
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Old 04-21-2021, 05:03 PM   #16
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Glad it wasn't a total disaster.

We almost kissed a tree with our roof. We pulled into the site just fine, but to get out we would have scraped a tree limb to get out and the pathway out had a tree limb that would have finished off the roof. We're under 11' tall, so we don't need a lot of clearance.
Went to the office to tell them of their 'limb' problem and they said "We thought rvers liked trees". Told the obviously clueless person that we love trees, but not when they are so low that they take off air conditioners. I think they'd just bought the rv park.

Ended up backing up and winding our way through a couple of sites to get out undamaged.
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Old 04-22-2021, 05:55 AM   #17
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Did the same thing after leaving a site. Cut the corner a bit sharp putting an oak limb up against the gutter about half way back on the fifth wheel. Luckily I was applying the brake about the same time contact was made. Smashed the gutter and tore a small spot on the roof.
I used a a wood dowel and rubber mallet to reform the gutter. It worked fairly well, standing on the ground looking up at it you had to look hard to see where the repair was made.
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:05 AM   #18
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If we're backing in a tight site or one where my truck is angled to the right so I can't see much of anything behind me on the left-

WE SWAP PLACES. Rita drives and I walk along side giving her
directions. SPECIFIC directions. I can run around checking all
sides and behind if necessary then tell her come on back and how and when to turn etc.
It works well and we never end up mad at each other.
Plus if the site is a lake in a monsoon I'm the one getting wet or freezing my a.. off.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:09 AM   #19
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I think I read that he stopped full timing it.
Yup. That is in his signature:


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Old 04-22-2021, 01:08 PM   #20
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Took you 10 years. That might be a record (kidding-not trying to start a contest on who went the longest if ever). We took only 2 years in a 43' motorhome, but haven't done it again in many years and several different RVs. Thanks for the photos.
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