Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Life in the Campground

As we settled in for our first night in the new motorhome, we realized how tired we were.  We had gotten up early that morning, driven three hours to the dealer, and spent the day taking delivery of the coach and picking up our daughter at the airport before we headed out to Stone Mountain.

As you've heard before - or experienced yourself - people in campgrounds are the friendliest people in the world.  I think it's got a lot to do with the fact that they generally fall into two "happy" categories:  they're either on vacation or they're retired.

Right after pulling in and setting up the rig, I took out the folding chairs and set them up in the campsite. We had a great view of a lake, a fire pit, a grill and a picnic table.  The campground itself was full, with a lot of activity - fires, people watching football, and couples taking walks along the road between the campers.  We loved it.  Several people stopped by, having seen the temporary tag on the back of our coach.  "Beautiful!", "Nice rig!", and "We just love it" were some of the comments we heard.  Given that we had just taken delivery that day, it was great to hear all of the compliments.

We spent the first night in our Dutch Star simply amazed at how fun it was to do all of the same things we do at home, but doing them in the center of a campground.   There was plenty of room to do everything, and with all of the modern conveniences.  Glamping at its best.

The next morning, I stepped outside and took a short walk. Two RVs away from ours, another camper and I struck up a conversation.  Joe was friendly and had been RVing for some time with his wife Missy.  We talked quite a bit and ended up discovering that we all play Hand and Foot, a card game that we have played for many years.  Later that day, both of them came over and visited for a while.  We had already made friends.

That same day, we met a family from Atlanta that had a Mountain Aire and were parked a few spaces away.  We ended up talking with them for a long time, and they came in to look at our new home on wheels.  Ezell, Barbara and their daughter Leslie were some of the nicest people we've met, and we hope to see them again in our travels.

Saturday afternoon, we were sitting outside enjoying the lake and a fire when a coach pulled into a spot next to ours.  We had been told by the dealer that customers of theirs would be coming in, so we introduced ourselves to Bill and Joyce.  They had been traveling a while and were on their way back to Florida.  Joyce showed us some modifications they did and Bill gave me a lot of great advice about some things we could do with our coach.  Shortly after they first pulled up, Bill was fiddling with his plumbing (thankfully, it was the potable water) when it slipped out of his hand.  Water sprayed me from my shoes to my chest - and I was standing about 15 feet away.  Everyone had a good laugh as Bill told us that it was a good way to meet new people.

We watched a bit of football that night on our outdoor TV.  Bill, the man at the site across from ours, and some camp hosts all stopped by to talk about the game.  After the sun went down, my wife, daughter and I sat around our campfire.  We laughed, roasted marshmallows and made smores. And we talked.  Gotta' love it.

The next morning, Joyce walked over and gave us some of her homemade fudge.  It was nice of her, and it kind of put the exclamation point on the campground hospitality.  Thinking of that, I stepped outside and was surprised to see that many - a lot - of the RVs were gone!  For the rest of the morning, people kept pulling out until there were only about a dozen rigs left in our portion of the campground.  We went out for a breakfast buffet in the park, and returned to our site for a quiet afternoon in and around our motorhome.

Early Monday morning, my wife and daughter took the truck and left for Florida.  When I got up a couple of hours later, even my neighbors had already pulled out.  I packed everything up and headed out towards our dealer so they could work a small punch list.

As I slowly drove out of the empty campground, I looked out the window and remembered all of the people that were there Friday night.  All of those people having a great time, enjoying the outdoors and sitting around their campfires.

We'll be back.  Let the adventure begin.


  1. Congrats to you and your wife Mike on your new coach. I can't wait till we can full time as we have seen mostly the same thing in the campgrounds. I am keeping an eye out for what Newmar and Freightliner do on the DS. We want to eventually get one and are interested in the 4041 floor plan but are not leaving out other floor plans. We currently have a 2011 Ventana 3962 and love it but want to take that step up to a DS for the larger motor and better suspension. Happy Travels and who knows, maybe see you down the road. Rick and Jenn

  2. Hi Mike -

    Hope all went well at the dealership. We had a great time at Stone Mountain and making new friends! As you mentioned and it is so true, campground folks are so friendly!

    We were one of the early birds Sunday Morning, up at 4 AM, tanks dumped, slides in and down the road by 5:00 AM attaching our toad before leaving the park. Target arrival time based on our GPS back to Cincinnati was 1:30 PM. The Thanksgiving Holiday Travelers heading north above Knoxville, TN made the I-75 North bound two lane highway very slow. Being in an RV in slow moving or no moving traffic was not bad at all. Missy made some sandwiches & soft drinks, we had the IPod hooked up to the coach radio playing our favorite Christmas tunes as my daughter, Stephanie and I sang along and my son TJ was playing computer games at the dinette. It sure beat being stuck in a car or minivan as we used to travel before the motorhome! Made it home by 4:30 - 5 PM.

    We decided that with the winter season coming to SW Ohio, and our Georgetown 340 TS not having heated holding tanks and water lines, this coming weekend we will put our rig up for the season; drain the water lines, pump in some RV antifreeze, park & cover our RV in our rented storage lot about 3 miles away from the house.

    With such a wonderful season of vacation travel, weekend trips and making new friends along the way, I am sad to see this time come to a close.

    Once the holidays are over: however, Missy will start planning for our next big summer adventure out west to Utah & Arizona to visit several National Parks and where she went to college at NAU, as my son TJ will be making his way to college next fall. He is still looking at his options at this time but I am sure a decision will be made by then and we will be visiting him with the RV wherever he decides to go away to college!

    We will keep practicing our H&F card gaming, just in case our travel paths cross again in the future! Mike, looking forward to your future posts.

    Joe & Missy
    Cincinnati OH