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Old 03-06-2023, 12:46 PM   #1
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
Posts: 21
Hello to Everyone, I'm Bob

Greetings to all the enthusiastic fiberglass RV folks on the Forum! I recently became the second owner of a 2014 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe. The original owner had it delivered to his home in northern Illinois after purchasing it and rarely used it, and even when he did, he never used the plumbing system. Never. Never filled the water tank. Never used the bathroom or even the kitchen sink. A retired Army sergeant, he was used to roughing it and thought sleeping off the ground with a refrigerator for his beer was stylin!

I still wonder what issues with the plumbing I will find after it gets warm enough to fill the water system and test everything. I purchased the trailer before I even had a vehicle to tow it with. My son towed it home with his Silverado 1500 and stated he didn't know it was back there. I since have purchased a used 2019 Chevrolet Colorado truck to tow the Casita with. Since I got both, I've been really busy outfitting them and customizing to my liking. I still have many Updates and upgrades to do to the Casita, already having done the wheel bearings, new tires and wheels, a power tongue jack, tinting the windows, new blinds, Dri Deck in the shower, repairing the full length mirror, adding a solar charging port and starting a bunch of the projects from the Little House Customs catalog. The Truck is ready, with a newly installed Redarc in dash brake controller, Trailering mirrors from Clearview, spray in bedliner and cargo mat, Hard tri-fold bed cover from Line-X, power tailgate lock and factory driving lights. Any recommendations from members are welcome. I'm trying to be a sponge and absorb it all!

Thank you!
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Old 03-06-2023, 09:03 PM   #2
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Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 3.5L 4door, SB
Colorado
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Welcome to the forum! You may only have problems with rubber seals that dried up, but it is hard to say where. You have to fill the water tank and start testing. If the tires are original, you should replace them before you delve into the water and other systems.
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Old 03-06-2023, 11:30 PM   #3
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
Posts: 21
Thanks, Paul!

I already replaced the tires (new Goodyear Endurance load range D on three new wheels with steel valve stems). Also pulled the bearings and replaced them. Just worried what gremlins I'll find in the plumbing. I did find that the circuit breaker for the electric element in the hot water heater was on, so just ordered a new element along with the tool from LHC. After skinning all of my knuckles trying to get the old element out, I when to the hardware store and purchased a real 6 point 1 1/2" socket, put it on a battery powered impact wrench and it the button. Out in one second! Also replaced the original anode which looked virtually perfect. Was going to change out the plastic water heater door latch with the metal one from LHC and so far have been unable to remove it. After years of using my old trailer, I'm having fun working on the Casita and there sure are enough folks on this forum willing to share their ideas and experiences that are saving me lots of grief! Bob
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Old 03-07-2023, 11:53 AM   #4
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Name: Jerrybob
Trailer: casita
Washington
Posts: 718
I bet your plumbing will be fine......a dried seal could happen but....you won't know until you fill her up. Our Casita story is similar....bought our 2011 SD used in 2013....the guy took delivery of it in Florida.....drove it out here to Washington.....never used it or it's systems. He did use the microwave....but that was it. Evrything workd well in our trailer.....in fact.....it has since 2013. Sounds like you got the tires and wheels under control.......fire up all the systems......take a short test run.....I bet you're gonna be fine......have fun....welcome and congrats. Safe travels.
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Old 03-10-2023, 06:51 PM   #5
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
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Thanks, JerryBob

Thanks for the kind words, sir! Hopefully both our our optimistic outlooks are justified. Working on my antenna project this weekend!
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Old 03-11-2023, 12:10 PM   #6
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Trailer: Casita Liberty Deluxe
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casita help

Bob:

If you have a blow out adapter to hook to your city water inlet and an air compressor, on a nice day try pressurizing it to maybe 40lbs not much more and see if it holds pressure. If it holds then you are good for that part, that would cover all plumbing except the line from tank to pump. This may be easier if you have a water heater bypass, as it will take a bit of air to fill the 6 gallon water heater. If it doesn't hold you may be able to track it down by sound, less messy then finding a water leak.

If you are near Springfield, I had a Casita for 3 years and am familiar with all systems if you need help.
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Old 03-11-2023, 12:38 PM   #7
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Name: Peter
Trailer: Casita
Oregon
Posts: 32
The Sargeant's Spell

Hello Bob;

People find pleasure from different sources, and one source isn't any better than another, but I think that sargeant put a spell on your trailer.

Fortunately the spell can be broken by going out as soon as you can and enjoying a weekend camping. The trailer will be thrilled and do everything you ask of it. If the spell is really powerful you may need to take additional measures like not bringing a big toolbox with you or promising to someone you care about not to work on anything while you're away.

If that does the trick you can carefully proceed with projects but you may need to inoculate yourself from the return of the spell by taking regular breaks without tools, parts, or advice.

The best to you! And welcome.
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Old 03-11-2023, 12:58 PM   #8
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
Posts: 21
Thanks, Martin!

The blow out plug is sheer genius! I'll do that today! Thanks for the tech help offer too. We're a ways apart. but I will keep you offer in mind as I navigate my new toy!
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Old 03-11-2023, 01:01 PM   #9
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
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Great sense of humor, Cottonwood!

You do have the right idea as far as I'm concerned. Less time with tools and more time trekking in the wilderness and gazing at the stars in front of my campfire is exactly what I have in mind!
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Old 03-11-2023, 07:10 PM   #10
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
Posts: 655
Welcome, Bob! Congrats on the Casita. You will love the Chevy Colorado. We spent a whole summer on the road out west and averaged 15 MPG. It is the perfect truck for the Casita. You will not need the extended mirrors. Casita told me when I picked our Casita up, all you needed was a sway bar for towing. Install an AC Softstart. This will let you run your AC using less power.
https://www.softstartrv.com/

https://www.microair.net/collections...-soft-starters

We can run the AC plugged in the outside wall socket at home. My wife uses the Casita as her she shed when we are not camping.
Before, soft start our 3500 WATT generator would trip running the AC.
Now we can use a 2000 WATT dual fuel generator.
https://rvlife.com/softstartrv-air-conditioner/
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Old 03-12-2023, 11:28 PM   #11
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
Posts: 21
Thanks for the input, Jack!

Great information, kind sir!

I kinda jumped the gun on the Clearview mirrors as, like you mentioned, I probably didn't need them towing the Casita. I had ordered the new smaller Gen 2 Clearviews for the truck before I even towed it the first time, as from previous experience with 8-1/2 wide trailers, towing mirrors were really needed. I have now pulled the Casita with them,as well as without them, and the extra 6" of width with them totally retracted is kind of nice, but overkill. For now, I think I'll leave them. But, they weren't necessary.

I've got to ask more about your experience with the Softstart. I actually have a new in the box Softstart from Micro Air I purchased 7 years ago to install on my Airstream motorhome I had at the time. But, before installing it, the original Dometic 13.5 unit died and after getting the replacement for the 20 year old dinosaur, I found that it started and ran fine (on 30amp AC shore power, or with the 7000w generator in the belly of the beast) without the Softstart. So, I never installed it.

I know that the softstart really quiets down the A/C unit and slowly ramps up the power, without a huge current surge, as I helped my son put one on his Mini-Lite trailer. I'm told that the 9200 BTU unit on my Casita came standard with a hard start capacitor installed to allow start ups without a huge electrical surge, So I wondered if that would be adequate?

Whats your opinion on replacing that capacitor with the Softstart? I purchased my Colorado for several reasons. First was easy towing without too much extra equipment (only brake controller/sway control bar) and I wanted to place my Champion 3400w Inverter Dual Fuel Genset in the back of the truck, where I could run it under the tonneau cover at the back of the bed by simply dropping the tailgate, and hooking up to the propane tanks on the front of the trailer to the generator. I originally purchased the generator almost 10 years ago expressly for that purpose with my 2500HD truck and 34' trailer. It performed flawlessly everywhere from sea level, to my favorite campsite at nearly 11000' in Colorado. But, I can't say I ever ran the A/C on the trailer at that altitude. Which was why I was AT that altitude in July. Natures air conditioning!


As an aside, my son used to have the same generator as I have, and after getting the Softstart installed on his 15K A/C unit, he sold his 3400w genny and now uses the little Honda like yours. He now sets the Honda on the ground. My Champion, at over 100 pounds, is best left in the truck.

Thank you again for reaching out! I look forward to your news!
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Old 03-13-2023, 04:04 AM   #12
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
Posts: 655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob in Missouri View Post
Great information, kind sir!

I kinda jumped the gun on the Clearview mirrors as, like you mentioned, I probably didn't need them towing the Casita. I had ordered the new smaller Gen 2 Clearviews for the truck before I even towed it the first time, as from previous experience with 8-1/2 wide trailers, towing mirrors were really needed. I have now pulled the Casita with them,as well as without them, and the extra 6" of width with them totally retracted is kind of nice, but overkill. For now, I think I'll leave them. But, they weren't necessary.

I've got to ask more about your experience with the Softstart. I actually have a new in the box Softstart from Micro Air I purchased 7 years ago to install on my Airstream motorhome I had at the time. But, before installing it, the original Dometic 13.5 unit died and after getting the replacement for the 20 year old dinosaur, I found that it started and ran fine (on 30amp AC shore power, or with the 7000w generator in the belly of the beast) without the Softstart. So, I never installed it.

I know that the softstart really quiets down the A/C unit and slowly ramps up the power, without a huge current surge, as I helped my son put one on his Mini-Lite trailer. I'm told that the 9200 BTU unit on my Casita came standard with a hard start capacitor installed to allow start ups without a huge electrical surge, So I wondered if that would be adequate?

Whats your opinion on replacing that capacitor with the Softstart? I purchased my Colorado for several reasons. First was easy towing without too much extra equipment (only brake controller/sway control bar) and I wanted to place my Champion 3400w Inverter Dual Fuel Genset in the back of the truck, where I could run it under the tonneau cover at the back of the bed by simply dropping the tailgate, and hooking up to the propane tanks on the front of the trailer to the generator. I originally purchased the generator almost 10 years ago expressly for that purpose with my 2500HD truck and 34' trailer. It performed flawlessly everywhere from sea level, to my favorite campsite at nearly 11000' in Colorado. But, I can't say I ever ran the A/C on the trailer at that altitude. Which was why I was AT that altitude in July. Natures air conditioning!


As an aside, my son used to have the same generator as I have, and after getting the Softstart installed on his 15K A/C unit, he sold his 3400w genny and now uses the little Honda like yours. He now sets the Honda on the ground. My Champion, at over 100 pounds, is best left in the truck.

Thank you again for reaching out! I look forward to your news!
You have the same Generator I did. Mine would trip when the AC would come back on - Overload. I have the Duel fuel Champion - 2000 now.
I ran it on a propane tank and my AC worked fine. It will run over 15 hours on one tank. I carried an extra tank in a crate if I needed my Generator. You may want to borrow your son's 2000 and test it.

My daughter put the MicroAir soft start on the Casita. The thump would wake me up when it started. Now all you hear is the fan coming on.
Look up the benefits of using the MicroAir since you already have one versus the Hard Capacitor. They both may be good.

I wonder since you have a smaller AC unit, a soft-start may be overkill.

My AMPs start-up was 52, then dropped to 15 when I installed the MicroAir.
I installed one on my home AC unit last year. AMPs were 125 then dropped to 50. It helps with my home Generator if I need it.

I bought mirrors, too, before I picked up my Casita.
I never had to use them.
I hope this helps. This forum has been great for me too.
Have you downloaded the Casita digital book? It has great information.
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Old 03-13-2023, 08:11 AM   #13
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
Posts: 21
More awesome insight!

Good morning, Jack

I totally agree with your synopsis of the forum. All of the information available here is stunning. As well as the folks kindly sharing their hard won knowledge. I'm really enjoying it. but I'm generally a lurker, not a poster, so I am pushing my limits for sure.

You mentioned the propane tank in the crate. I too, did the same thing. I have 2 20 pound tanks available, anchored in the back of the truck in plastic crates. Once again, I never have an original thought! And, powering my trailer in the now distant past, I too would get about 15 hours on one tank.

My solution with the generator in the past was useful for traveling in the hot summer, when making a roadside stop. I carried (and am now carrying) a 25' RV 30 amp extension cord coiled up on the generator in the back of the truck. Making a stop for lunch or a short snooze, I'd pop the tailgate down, open the propane tank, uncoil the extension cable back to the trailer, then hit the electric start button on the generator and fire it up. By the time I walked to the trailer and climbed in, the generator was ready to power up the A/C and away I went.

I had the opportunity to purchase a 30' foot Airstream motorhome on the real cheap about 7 years ago and thought that after 35 years of towing trailers that it was a great idea. It was not. It rapidly became a money pit and getting only 6.5 MPG wasn't fun either. The motorhome stranded me 3 times, and getting a tow was near impossible. The straw that broke the camels back was having the coach suddenly die on the side of a two lane highway in the middle of nowhere Kansas and sitting partially off the side of the road for 15 hours trying to get a tow. After we finally did, at 3:30AM, the 60 mile tow to a shop that said they could work on it was over $2500. That repair itself ended up being over $4000, more than I'd spent on RV repairs in 35 years of trailering. However, I was able to sell the coach and my tow car for more than I had in them including the repairs. I'm praying that the nice couple who purchased it have better luck than I did, and that all of my repairs resolved all of the problems. I'm really looking forward to a simpler lifestyle, and like one of the posters kindly said, less time fixing and more time enjoying.

And, yes, I did purchase the Casita book in paper, on my first $400 order with LHC. It is way more insightful than the already in-depth Casita manual from the factory. Between the forum and the book, I'm finding enough "stuff" to do to keep me busy!

I have an amprobe, courtesy of my older brother, a retired electrician. That's another test I'll try. I'm an amateur radio operator and found it to be a useful tool.

Thanks again for sharing! Your thoughts are helpful as I journey down this path. My first camp out is only 6 weeks a way and I'm hoping to beat my personal best of over 60 nights out camping this year.
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Old 03-13-2023, 09:05 AM   #14
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
Posts: 655
Bob, WOW on the Airstream! When we were looking years ago, we looked at Class A down to trailers. We got worried about the quality and repairs we read about. My wife found the Lil Snooze, and it is fiberglass but all electric. They went out of business, and we lost our $10K deposit. Two days later, we ordered our Casita. We learned we like having propane and going all-electric would have been a mistake. The maintenance is so nice you can do it yourself.
Funny story. We were in an RV park outside Yellowstone, and a very large Class A parked next to us. The fellow retired owner got out and he looked like he was having trouble with where to put the sewer hose etc. So I went over to help him when I saw him walk out with a couple of jars of pee and looking for a place to pour it.
I found out he retired in GA and decided to buy an RV and go visit his daughter in Seattle. He had never been camping. They sold him this monster of an RV and he got in it and drove across the country. He had no idea how to do anything. I tried to help him but all I knew was my Casita. He said he was stressed because his wife is yelling at him and the lady in the dash does too.
So I walked around the RV park and finally found someone with the same model. He agreed to help the guy out.
When traveling during that summer, with a small camper, saved us when getting an RV reservation. We traveled and at 3 PM I started calling around. The places that were full only had a spot left for a small camper.
Do you have any funny stories?
I wrote this almost 20 years ago.

Our First Camping Trip

Just wanted to tell you about our camping trip last weekend. It was like you say ‘very relaxing & fun’.

It was just Nancy, 2 dogs and yours truly. We brought along the dog cages for 3 reasons.

1. Dogs don't travel well in the car so we put them in the cages.
2. Put the cages on the extra bed & the dogs sleep in there.
3. In case I make Nancy mad at me, I'll be sleeping in the cage.

We got to this wonderful campground. It was in the country in a valley next to a large creek. It had a wonderful waterfall.
We pulled in and a small crowd gathered to watch me put up the trailer. (Since it is the kind that folds up & down they wanted to see it.) I got out & pretended I didn't notice them. I walked back to the back & lifted & pulled to raise the trailer. I pulled my guts out before I realized I hadn't unlatched the hooks yet. (Crowds make me nervous. Nancy pointing at the hooks and saying "shouldn't these be unhooked?” didn't help either.) After I finally got the trailer set up, (The crowd had left after seeing I didn't know what I was doing.) I hooked up the electricity but did not notice the water I was standing in. Nancy asked through the window what that thump was? I told her" nothing" as I picked myself back up. (But the plug stayed plugged in so we had lights) I hooked up the water ok, even though my hands were still shaking. Once inside I setup the walls and made sure everything worked. Nancy asked me "Why is your hair standing up & your shoes are smoking?" I just mumbled a reply.
Later on after walking the creek and sitting by the waterfall, Nancy was able to hold my hand without getting a static shock. We ended up having a nice cool night walk around the campground. Then we retired into the camper for the night.
Then we did what all married couples do on a camping trip.
Just Nancy & Big Daddy &, no kids. We just stared in each other’s eyes and asked, "What do we do now?" So we broke out a movie & made popcorn.
When we went to sleep I was too tired to cut on the heat. Big mistake. About 2:30 AM Nancy punched me and said, “I’m freezing. Is there something wrong with the furnace or did you forget to turn it on? I think she said this. It could of been "Dear I'm a little chilly. Could you find your way over to the thermostat and turn it on please."
Now the next day as we packed to leave I forgot my list on how to put the trailer down. So it only took 3 times to close, open, fix problem, and close the camper before it was good enough to travel. Of course I didn't do a walk around, So Nancy's panties hanging out the window the whole trip back kinda upset Nancy, but I thought the guys (and 3 girls) driving by & waving, smiling, yelling for a phone number was kind of cute.
So it was a very nice trip. We are going away again Thursday night until Sat. We will be staying near Thomas Jefferson's home. Our daughter will be watching the dogs this time so I'll have the cages to myself.

Just another TM owner,
Jack
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Old 03-13-2023, 09:12 AM   #15
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
Posts: 655
Our Second Camping Trip

Well Nancy and I went camping again. We stayed at a place called Misty Mountain. I found it on the Internet. It is located right outside the Skyline Drive here in Virginia. We knew we were going to get in late so we made reservations for a Thursday & Friday.
We loaded up the camper with the usual stuff, you know, blankets, sleeping bags, crackers, drink,
TV with a DVD player (a must have), kitchen sink, bathtub, and anything else we could empty out of the house into the trailer & SUV!
My god! How do people pack for a week? We were going for 2 days. I told the wife, why don’t we hire a moving van & they could deliver the stuff to our campsite. Then my wife informed me the grandbaby (5 months) Ava would be coming with us. I said “good, her first camping trip.” So when we stopped by to pick her up, her mom (our lovely college educated daughter) had packed Ava’s stuff like she was going away to college. (Why does a baby take so much equipment just to live from one poopy diaper to the next?)
So as my wife & her daughter acted like they hadn’t seen each other in years, I carried everything to the pack mule…err, I mean SUV. How I did it to this day I just don’t know. Why the windows didn’t blow out is a mystery to me.
I notified the chatting couple it was getting late & we had to hit the side roads to avoid the state police. (I know we had to be violating several states laws & a few SPCA laws too.)
Grammy sat in the back seat & played with Ava. I was just glad to be moving again without the tires blowing out.
We got to Misty Mountain about 10:30pm. I was tired, the wife was asleep & Ava was pooping for the 3rd time. The manager had a map & a lot number pined next to the office door. I thought wow this place is squared away. After driving up the mountain my thoughts turned sour when I saw the lot. Half the lot was level & the door side of the lot had a slope that worried me.
I stopped & walked the site & my flashlight couldn’t see the bottom. But I brushed bats away from my throat as they came out of the pit towards my flashlight. I hid my fear as I told the wife, “What a nice site. Can’t wait to see the sunrise from here.” She calmly asks “Are you sure we aren’t going to tip over or something?” I just shook my head no, worried my shaking voice would give me away as I drove us towards our death -I mean onto the lot.
I noticed we were next to a fifth wheel trailer. I thought that maybe he’d call 911 for me. I soon found out as I was hooking up & trying to be quiet (which you can’t be late at night), that he would not be calling 911 for me. As I was setting up, they kept flashing their lights off and on real fast like. I found out I could read light language.
It read “you are making too much noise you jerk, and I hope you fall down that abyss you are parked next to!” (Turned out he lived there.)
I had to use the level jacks on the door side of the trailer. They were cranked all the way up & the tire wasn’t touching the ground. (The tire was so high I was worried about an eagle making a nest in the trailer axle. That would be a whole different set of problems.)
As I got my lovely family out of the vehicle & walked them to the trailer, My wife asked “Is this safe and where did these bats come from?”
“Sure it’s safe just keep the baby’s throat covered.” I replied.
She couldn’t see the tears running down my cheeks because I was staying in the dark. (Of course the guy in the fifth wheel didn’t help either by flashing the lights off & on.) When we got in the trailer I immediately jumped into the bed & said “I’m tired, see ya in the morning.” As I covered my body with all the pillows and blankets to help me survive the disaster, I knew what was coming with each step my wife took.
She’d say as she was leaning towards the pit, “I feel like I have an ear infection & my balance is off.”
“Just don’t fall against the door. I’m not sure about the lock.” I mumbled between prayers. Every time I peeped out that night my wife would be sitting up with her feet braced against the wall. (The next morning she stated she kept sliding out of bed.)

At about 4:30 AM the guy in fifth wheel trailer must have had trouble with his truck. He kept gunning his engine real loud and honking his horn. I just ignored him because I was up to the letter “Z” praying to the god “Zeus”. (I was covering all the bases. I didn’t want my lovely wife in eternity with me saying, “I told you so!”)
The next morning the manager allowed us to move to a very nice secluded level lot, which I kissed as soon as I parked the trailer. (I think the nervous twitch & wild look gave me away, because he just looked at me & said, “Here, use lot U13 you’d like that better.” I grabbed the map and ran laughing all the way back to the death trap. (Had to go back and get my vehicle once my wife asked, “Where’s the SUV?”)
Let me tell you fellow campers. There is nothing like a level lot. If I had found a bottle and rubbed it until a Genie popped out and gave me 3 wishes, I would of yelled out “a Level lot” 3 times so fast your head would spin.
(I did keep looking out the window making sure the ground had not moved.)
The rest of the time was very enjoyable. We changed the grandbaby, walked the grandbaby, and changed her some more. We all had a peaceful stay.
As we were leaving I laughed madly to myself as a big diesel was trying to park next to the abyss.
Overall Misty Mountain is a very nice campground. Just ask for a level lot.

Jack & Nancy-Just a couple of TM owners
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Old 03-14-2023, 10:52 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
Posts: 21
My humble attempt at my own story

Jack, I enjoyed your stories!

I believe you may be a better story teller than me! As all campers do, I'm sure we have some to tell! Here's one of mine.

Not to rain on your abyss story. Six weeks after I married my bride, I took her tent camping. She had never tent camped in her life. I had never gone anywhere as a kid on a vacation that didn't involve a tent, 24 hour a day fishing, and mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds. At the ripe old age of 27, I'd tent camped in 49 states, all while traveling on my trusty BMW motorcycle. So, I was a pro. But, it didn't take long to give up the tent. After the first night out with DB (that's Darling Bride!), I awoke to a symphony chorus of "I slept with a rock under me all night". Needless to say, before night #2, I had to move the tent. The second morning, I stared in the face of my young bride, and asked " well, how was sleeping without the rock under you all night?". I was dismayed to hear that she spent the second night trying to sleep with a hole under her.

We never tent camped together again.

Two weeks later, I find myself at an RV dealer on a Saturday morning, looking at pop-up campers to take on our delayed honeymoon trip, as the original plan had been to tent camp. After parting with my hard earned $2420, We picked up a cute little pop-up called a Palomino Shetland. As in small. It was equipped with a 6' square box that had a 48"x72" double bed in the front and a 24" x 72" bed in the back. inside it had a tiny sink with a hand pump connected to a 5 gallon jug under the sink, and waste water simply drained out the side. The only other interior appointments were a tiny "icebox" and a dinette. Zero storage other than under the sink, where the water jug went. After getting it all hitched up to my mighty Chevrolet Chevette ( the RV salesman said it would be "fine"), which normally had a underwhelming amount of power, We wondered if we may have broken it. We soon discovered that with the Shetland in tow, we were racing a glacier, and it was winning. We made it home, where I soon was learning the fine points of trying to back up a very short trailer. Soon, I was unhitching it and pushing it's 680 pound bulk into the driveway with that fancy wheel on the front jack. After being released from the hospital, having undergone double hernia surgery and traction for my cracked vertebrae, We were able to load up the car and trailer and head 700 miles away to Niagara Falls. 5 miles from home, on the first hill on the interstate, the Chevette started running rough and the minuscule power coming from under the hood deserted me in the hour of my need. Soon it was shooting flaming "bullets" out of the exhaust letting the trailer know it's displeasure for being back there. But, after cresting that very steep 2% grade at a speed akin to Chuck Yaegers rocking chair (Seriously, we topped that baby at 5 MPH on the shoulder!), we breathed a sigh of relief and decided to soldier on as we were eternal optimists (often referred to as young and dumb).

It was totally amazing, cruising down the highway with our brand new gypsy caravan, waving to all of the passing bleating goats, er, cars. Looking back from today, I guess the light show emanating from the exhaust was of concern to them, but we thought it was simply folks being friendly to RV'ers, waving and gesticulating as they left us in their dust.

After four hours, 50 miles into the trip, I stared in disbelief at the now absent gas gauge needle. That's when DB pointed out that, indeed the needle was still trapped in the gauge, it was just so far to the left I couldn't see it. After coasting down the first off ramp we spied, I found that scrubbing the 25 MPH speed off the massive Peterbuilt I driving severely taxed the braking system and was was glad that the warp drive was not engaged. I pulled into the nearest Sinclair station, which, for what ever reason, still offered full service. The pump jockey ran out and asked if I'd like a fill up. Then he proceeded to ask me if it was smart to be towing that trailer with a Chevette. I never get any respect. Well, 12.7 gallons of 77 cent a gallon gas later, we hit the up ramp back to the highway, at noon. We got to the top of the ramp in time for dinner, meanwhile creating at least 3 sonic booms. Meanwhile DB is sitting in the front seat looking puzzled ( I'm real good at eliciting that look). See, As the navigator, I'd assigned her the job of keeping the trip log, a job she still does today, because at least she can read her own handwriting... DB says, we're getting less than 5 MPG. Thinking out loud, I said I didn't think it was possible to pour fuel through a 1.6 liter engine that fast, could she check her math. OK, I wasn't thinking, asking a math teacher to check her math... I'm still trying to live that down. It still isn't working.


We managed through the course of the day to travel the crazy distance of 285 miles, in the slow lane, averaging 30MPH. It was a very long day. Spent our first night out setting up the pop up in the rain. Got up the next day, folded a wet pop up, and hit the road. That evening I had to set up in the rain again. On that third day, after again folding up a wet trailer, and on the road again, the ole Chevette seemed to be getting its mojo back, hitting heady speeds of 45 MPH, sometimes with a little help from the wind, downhill, or the bumper of a Kenworth solidly against the trailers bumper. Pulling into the Yogi Bear Jellystone park in Niagara Falls, Canada, We parked at our spot, cooked a dinner over the fire, and felt all was good with the world.

Overnight, Niagara Falls moved. Directly over out little Shetland. Before we knew it we we drowned rats. The NEW improved Canvas replacement, made by of all people, Kimberly Clarke (don't they make paper towels?), of which every stitch of fabric in our trailer was made of, rapidly became the quicker picker upper and redeposited the rain strategically around the interior, keeping us up all night.

The next morning, after completing our nocturnal swimming lessons, we split up to visit the bathhouse and try to get warm and dry. No sooner am I in the shower, unclothed this time, when the worlds most blood curdling scream emanated from the women's side of the bathhouse. I'd know that scream anywhere as generally I caused it. Jumping out of the shower, I quickly donned a pair of shorts and went to see if my damsel in distress needed me, or was already dead. I was greeted at the door by a very small gray doorman with whiskers and a skinny tail, obviously deaf for life. After performing CPR on DB, I was able to resuscitate her and welcome her back into the world. I guess I wasn't thinking clearly when I quipped that the mouse was simply in her shower stall as it was drier than it was outside or in our trailer. That flat spot in my head has never healed.

After returning to our campsite, I suggested that we go for a ride in a warm car and get dried out. DB readily agreed, offering that I could drop her by the "nearest holiday inn".

Yep, you guessed it. The mighty Chevette wouldn't start. Tried it until the battery died, then the campground owner ever came by and tried to jump start it then. All to no avail. Finally we called the local Chevrolet dealership who sent a tow truck, and we waved goodbye to our faithful steed, leaving us alone with our soggy trailer.

Waited the rest of the day, hoping for news on the car, but not a peep. (maybe from the mouse..) Walked a few miles to a local diner for dinner hoping that I could salvage part of the day with my honey. Afterwards, on the walk back, Niagara Falls visited us once again. We spent the rest of the evening in the campground laundry room drying out everything and then putting it into plastic garbage bags from the campground store. Rain stopped on the return to the submarine, er trailer. We called it a night, too tired to do anything but sleep.

Next day, we woke to sunshine, birds singing and warmer temperatures. DB was successful in not finding any furry friends in the bathhouse too. Although she insisted I inspect the bathroom first AND stand guard while she was in there. After calling the Chevrolet dealer to find out that they were just getting around to looking at the car, We walked the campground, played some games, I even broke out my Jarts set. We're lucky to be alive! After a lunch of ice cream from the store, we retreated to our trailer for a bit of marital bliss. Suddenly there was a banging on the door, and we heard the called greeting from campground owners daughter that the Chevrolet dealer called and they asked me to call them back. ( No cell phones back then!). Needless to say, a pop up offers no privacy when someone is right at the door. I called out that I'd be right there.

During the rest of our visit there, Mrs Smurf, I mean DB, wouldn't go near the campground office anymore.

Well, after calling the dealer, I found out that the rudimentary engine computer ( that's what the man called it, really), had caused the fuel system to flood the engine with fuel ( see, I said it couldn't burn it that fast), ruining the catalytic converter and damaging the engine. Lucky for us it was under warranty, so they would replace the computer and the converter, but the engine would need to rebuilt upon returning home. It would be a couple more days for parts to arrive and since it was a warranty repair, the dealership dropped a new Citation by for us to drive.

We visited far and near the next few days, seeing the falls where they normally are, and doing the tourist thing. Car was done on Friday afternoon and we hit the road for home, getting back after returning 15 MPG too. But not before the darn falls chased us all the way home. Three days of sunshine and dry on a 11 day trip. After getting the car engine rebuilt, we traded it off for a Minivan and then the pop up trailer for a 13' hard side Scotty. Never again will I sleep in a tent or a popup, DB was heard to say. But a few years later, when we spent our inaugural night in our new Airstream trailer on the dealers lot in the middle of a monsoon, she found that hard side RV's can leak too. But that's another story...
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Old 03-15-2023, 09:57 AM   #17
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
Posts: 655
Bob that is funny! I remember those popups. Your car reminded me I wanted to buy a Scotty - I loved them, and the salesman told me my 1977 chevy vega would pull it. Lucky for me, I got laid off. Saved my car and my wallet. Your DB must be a strong woman after that trip and not make you invest in holiday inns - LOL
Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2023, 09:44 PM   #18
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Name: zack
Trailer: scamp 13
California
Posts: 350
I liked your post on your long draw bar experiences. Thanks and welcome.
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Old 04-08-2023, 10:24 PM   #19
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Name: Bob
Trailer: Casita
Missouri
Posts: 21
First water test

Greetings, fellow campers !

Well, I got around to testing my never used 9 year old water system , first with air, then with water and surprisingly, all went well. Zero issues! Holds pressure and everything works as intended.

After congratulating myself, I realized that I did not check the city water hook up, so something to do tomorrow!
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