Levi Jackson State Park 042916 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2016, 12:35 PM   #1
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Levi Jackson State Park 042916

We're doin' it! Maiden adventure in Ziggy. Details later.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:14 PM   #2
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We will be camping in Levi Jackson in August in the Silver Cloud. I am glad the AC is working, unlike the furnace!

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Old 04-30-2016, 07:44 PM   #3
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Hi Cindy!

Laura (my Laura) and I met Laura (Bill's Laura) and Bill on FGRV.com. We are newbies with our Casita and they are newbies with their Scamp. They told us about Camper Appreciation Weekend here at Levi Jackson State Park. So, we decided come. Their Scamp & Jeep are parked right across the drive from us.

Great meeting them. Nice to have some FG Egg company!

Despite some rain today, we have had a great time!

Dean

P.S. - Cindy, looking forward to meeting you at Eggs A La Bourbon Rally in June. I want to see your BF Silver Cloud!
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:31 PM   #4
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KY parks are the greatest! We have stayed at Jenny Wiley, Pennyrile, and Blue Licks (My ancestor was in the battle there, so they gave us a personal tour of the museum.). Our vacation will be in KY this summer, ending up at Levi Jackson.

Looking forward to our Bourbon rally (first time we are hosting), except we discovered that I have to teach the next week, so we have to leave earlier than planned.

See you then. Our Silver Cloud will not be done, but then, is any fiberglass camper ever done?

CindyL
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:34 PM   #5
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Those are some sticky tires! It's amazing how you got the rig parked on that vertical surface!
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:05 AM   #6
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I just spent the best part of an hour typing a detailed review only to have the system loose the entire post. It'll have to wait until I calm down and retype it later...
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:08 AM   #7
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The lesson I learn from this is if you're going to type something long and involved, complete your typing and editing on your word processor and they copy it over to the forum because the system will time-out before you can finish a long dissertation. Blah!
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:09 AM   #8
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The lesson I learn from this is if you're going to type something long and involved, complete your typing and editing on your word processor and they copy it over to the forum because the system will time-out before you can finish a long dissertation. Blah!
Or you can occasionally highlight what you have written and hit the contr + s keys thereby doing a type of interim save. If you time out and loose contact all you have to do is go back in and hit ctrl + v keys to paste in the saved version.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:32 PM   #9
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Levi Jackson State Park-042916

Well, we returned from our maiden adventuring camping in Ziggy and we had a blast. However, our adventure was not without trials and that’s what we were looking for on this first shake-down event.We planned on leaving the house between five and six o’clock because this was the end of the month and Laura would most likely be a little late getting home.

As circumstances evolved, I was able to take the afternoon off work to attempt complete some last minute repairs that included installing a door lock to prevent the camper door from popping open in transit; a problem that had been persistent throughout the trip to bring Ziggy home as well as our “around the block” trip to verify everything was ready. Turns out the install on the door lock was much more problematic and something that I thought would take less than an hour ended up taking almost 2.5 hours.As a result, I was behind schedule on the repairs but Laura was ahead of scheduled because instead of getting off work late, she was able to get out early.

I had intentions of repairing the grey water gate shutoff of the drain line but I managed to snap all four bolts off the mounting plate and the seals were in pieces. This was going to take a rebuild kit or complete replacement and I was just finishing my analysis when Laura arrived home early.We decided to go without, which meant we would be doing something very close to “boon-docking,” though not in the technical sense since we would still have shore power.We just wouldn’t be able to hook up the camp water supply.No biggie…we thought.We still have our three-gallon water tank that I had modded up from a portable cooler that would function as our boon-docking water supply if we ever decided that we wanted to actually try roughing it in the very real sense.

I filled the Thetford Curve Cassette Toilet water tank as well as the fresh water tank mentioned above and we began packing the rest of our gear. The weatherman was NOT being nice to us but we were so very excited about our trip that we were undaunted and determined to go ahead anyway.Craaaazy.

We loaded all of our gear into the Jeep and hooked to the Scamp and we were ready, managing to get out of the house at 4:20 pm for the 1.5-hour trip to Levi Jackson State Park. This was camper appreciation weekend hosted at Levi Jackson park so we targeted this weekend as our first ever test for Ziggy.On this weekend you buy one night and get the second night free…and I love free stuff.

We arrived just after 6:00 pm having made good time traveling down KY Hwy 25 South to London and through to the park. As we were checking in, the receptionist invited us the community dinner of BBQ/hotdogs as part of the community appreciation event.We politely declined, choosing instead to relax and enjoy our first camping experience and the “set-up” experience.

Driving through the various parts of the park to locate our reserved spot, we waved to our newest friends, Dean & Laura (his Laura, not mine) and they’re dog, Gibbs as we pulled in. We noticed that we did manage to lose a “Bearing Buddy” somehow but I’ll never know how that happened.The wheel temperature was fine, cool to the touch, and the wheel was greased, everywhere, so we continued onto our destination.Dean & Laura (his Laura, not mine) stopped by to say hello formally but knew we’d need some set-up time and discretely disappeared while we settled in.

Our first time setting up went without issue and we finished in just under an hour, when Laura (mine, not Dean’s) asked me about plans for dinner about 7:00 pm…uhmmm, “We were supposed to eat on the road because we would be arriving too late to cook.” Well, you know that the best laid plans, etc…I volunteered to walk back to the community center to see if’n there was any BBQ left from the sponsored event.I wish I could remember the name of the cooking group that was contracted to provide the BBQ because there was still plenty left over and it was quite good; and I don’t even like BBQ, but this was pretty good.Cole slaw and baked beans complimented the menu and we had a lite dinner on the house.

The weather was beginning to look a little rough as the clouds began to roll in but we took advantage of the opportunity get in a quick walk around the park just to check things out and we walked past by Dean & Laura’s (his Laura, not mine) spot directly across the road from us. (We decided that since we have four dogs and Dean & Laura (his Lau…oh, never mind) have their own dog, Gibbs, that we wouldn’t temp fate by trying to camp directly next to them and have our dogs barking at their dog all day and night.)We stopped by to make formal introductions and visited for a little bit, comparing notes and sharing our excitement about being out for our first camping adventure.We spent some time looking at each other’s camper and comparing features or the lack thereof, and with promises of getting together as weather permitted we headed back to our temporary home.As the sprinkling started, we decided that an early bed time might be in order following the excitement of the day so we closed up for the night.

Our first night may not be the worst night of sleep that I’ve ever experienced, but it ranks right up near the top of the list of epic failures. I suffer from severe leg cramps and forgot my medication for combating this issue, combined with the physical challenges of crawling all over Ziggy earlier in the day as well as during the set-up and I think that exacerbated my condition to provide me with some major league muscular assaults that kept me up a lot that night.

Morning arrived so I attacked breakfast with a vengeance reserved for the frustration of my leg cramps from the previous night. However, I also managed to forget the bacon as well as the syrup.Breakfast was simply Scrambled Eggs and that was pretty good.I headed up to the camp store to buy some ice and found that in addition to spare tent stakes and various other supplies that they also stocked syrup and I bought some of that too, hoping to save breakfast for the next morning.

The weather looked to be slightly promising so after cleaning up the camp site and storing away the night time bedding, we opted for an extended hike around the park. Dean and Gibbs joined us and we circumnavigated the park as our own dog pack might…tiny dogs, but a pack, non the less.I will add at this point that Levi Jackson Park appeared to be quite tidy and well managed.The saw three different bath houses and lots of folks getting out following their breakfasts with kids on bicycles as well as adults taking advantage of the break in the forecasted poor weather.I would note that the further you progressed toward the back of the camp, farther away from the camp store, the less trafficked things seem to be and slightly quieter, so I filed that away for future trips.We met a charming young lady out for a walk as she exited an obvious trail and asked about her the trail destination and condition, upon which she reported that she worked for the camp and chose to spend her off time there as well walking for exercise.I take that as quite a testimony for an employee to return to work for fun.

We were driven back to camp by impending showers and found ourselves faced with the idea of spending an inordinate amount of time indoors when we expected to be hiking and walking the dogs. Well, we brought a computer with DVD player so after lunch we watched a movie and listened to the pelting of rain drops on the fiber glass shell of our Scamp.The weather broke up again that afternoon and the evening began to look promising so we headed out for another walk looking for some firewood from the camp store.We returned to our camp site with our kindling and dreams of firing up the Cobb Grill for dinner.

I laid the wood for a camp fire hoping to get some classic wood smoke going for the evening after dinner and fired the Cobb to get dinner started. Dean & Laura showed with snacks we shared over a drink while we waited for sunset. It never occurred to Laura and I that we'd need to have supplies for socializing and that was quickly added to the shopping list for future events. Dinner was ready after about 45 minutes of warming, cooking and socializing and our Grilled Pork Chops we pretty good.I believe that I’ve been using the grill sleeve that intended for grilling larger items like roast or whole chicken so I’ve been attempting to grill my steaks or pork chops too far away from the fire and that has provided a slow roasted cooking time that also removed the meat away from the charcoal and prevented the meat from obtaining the charred grill taste. I’m looking forward to using the Cobb again to test my theory by removing the extender ring and cooking closer to the fire.The baked potatoes were too firm to eat and the steamed broccoli was perfect.

As we were finishing dinner and washing dishes, we settled in front of the fire pit provided to each camp space and stared intently into the fire ember to contemplate the day as well as revel in our camping experiences so far. The rain started to spit and we were chased inside before the fire was anywhere close to half burned.The night looked like it was going to be rough and the wind began to kick up with some real showers pounding Ziggy.The dogs were not amused.Later that night, the roof vent began leaking in earnest and we attempted to create a water dam to direct the water away from the bed into a bucket.That worked for a few hours but by 3:00 am we were losing the fight and gave up completely.We discussed the fact the temperatures we very moderate and with two adults and four dogs inside Ziggy, we never needed to turn the heat on, despite getting wet.We finally accepted the rain and our lot and fell asleep being completely exhausted.

The next morning, we had wet bedding and soggy sleeping clothes but we were amazingly pleased with having weathered the storm. The sky looked to be clearing and with huge holes of brilliant blue spreading across the sky we began breaking camp. We were packed by 9:00 am and ready to head for home.I had joked the previous afternoon that we were enjoying some pretty good camping and Laura mentioned that it could be worse. As we were packing, I mentioned that it had indeed become worse, but I marveled that in the face of our adversity, we still had a great time. We visited briefly to say goodbye to Dean and headed out of camp to bright sunshine and the promise of beautiful day. As we passed out of the camping section of the park we noted that the day time parking lots were completely under water, having flooded from the atypical rainstorm from last night. The picturesque little stream that you drive over as entering the park had swollen to a major waterway and was threatening the lower portion of the park system. We traveled West on KY Hwy 80 into Somerset, KY where we planned to pick up KY Hwy 27 North headed for home and we were smiling almost a big and bright as the morning sun which greeted us. We had met the challenge of some rough times and survived a pretty serious rain storm. We had also found a great place to camp and met some wonderful new friends, and that’s why we all do this isn’t it? Let’s go camping!!!

Conclusions:

Levi Jackson State Park: This park will remain one of our favorites for a very long time.Maybe it’s because it’s our first camping spot, or because we survived.No matter, we’ll be back.Very nice.

Shady Boy Awning: Both Friday and Saturday provided a pretty comprehensive test of this budget awning and our Shady Boy passed with flying colors. Light weight, easy to deploy, and steady in pretty tough weather; we choose Shady Boy Awning for our Scamp.We thought about taking it down a time or two but decided to ride it out and see how it’d handle the storm and gusting winds.The Shady Boy is tops on our list of quality equipment!

Thetford Curve Cassette Toilet: This piece of equipment saved the day! Well, to be honest, it saved the night because early on in the modification process we removed the porcelain toilet that came in our Scamp and opted for the Thetford Curve.It was our plan to use the camp ground bath house whenever the weather and conditions made it possible but that the Curve would be used in the night, a lot.We used it because of the raining windy conditions and it performed perfectly.I know that the real test of the Thetford Curve will be proven over time verifying durability and functionality, but we’re really pleased with the Curve during this maiden adventure.I emptied it into the provided septic tank at our assigned spot and rinsed it clean and emptied it again, making it ready for the next adventure.This is a great product and worked very well in our tight space.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
Hi Cindy!

Laura (my Laura) and I met Laura (Bill's Laura) and Bill on FGRV.com. We are newbies with our Casita and they are newbies with their Scamp. They told us about Camper Appreciation Weekend here at Levi Jackson State Park. So, we decided come. Their Scamp & Jeep are parked right across the drive from us.

Great meeting them. Nice to have some FG Egg company!

Despite some rain today, we have had a great time!

Dean

P.S. - Cindy, looking forward to meeting you at Eggs A La Bourbon Rally in June. I want to see your BF Silver Cloud!
This is Dean and Laura's Casita from our front window. Hey, friends across the road!
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:24 PM   #11
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Hi Bill and Laura,

Great write-up! The two of you have done a great job fixing up Ziggy. I bet a new vent cover is high on the list! Those thunderstorms just kept moving through Saturday night!

BTW, love that Cobb Grill.

Thank you for inviting us to Camper Appreciation Weekend at Levi Jackson State Park. We had a great weekend despite some storms and rains.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 05-03-2016, 04:53 AM   #12
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It sounds like a great time! We will be camping in Levi Jackson in July.

Looking forward to our Bardstown trip too. Kevin is a bit worried about backing into the spot we chose. We reserved before we knew we would have a Silver Cloud .

We survived a lulu of a KY storm when we camped at Blue Licks a few years ago. It took down a tree and left the campground without water. Happily, being a resort park, we just ate in their restaurant. They were SO friendly; my ancestor was in the battle there, so we got our private tour of the museum even though it was closed due to flooding.

We used a screenhouse right outside the door instead of an awning. Kevin developed a way of covering it with tarps, and it survived that storm dry, so we weren't traipsing through mud.

Great description.

CindyL
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:28 AM   #13
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Bill, great write up on early camping experiences. Had to laugh a bit as it reminded me of when I started out.....just no leaks.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:17 AM   #14
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Thanks for sharing, Bill! I have enjoyed all your posts on your long journey from first trailer to first camp out. I admire your really positive outlook, which is the most important attribute of a traveler.

It's funny, but the most lasting memories of childhood camping with my family are all of problems overcome, and the associations are happy ones. Like the time the rear axle on our station wagon seized and we got to ride in a tow truck and spend two days exploring a tiny one-garage town somewhere in the Midwest (garage owner let us pitch our tent behind the station). Or the time our whole campground was evacuated during a tropical storm in Louisiana and we had to pack up a soggy tent and move into a motel at 2am. Like when our Boy Scout troop got flooded out and the town public works department let us stay in the vehicle storage yard, so I spent the night in the bucket of a front-end loader.

Let the adventures roll, and may dry beds prevail!
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