Day 6 – October 29, 2017
Day 6 was a short three-and-a-half-hour ride from Charleston, SC (actually it was a town outside Charleston) to the Jacksonville North KOA in Kingsland Georgia. The first hour and a half was back roads. GPS was a little off but we figured it out and got to 95 without major catastrophe. Before leaving we met a very friendly gentleman from Pennsylvania who was parked next door to us in a 45-foot fifth wheel. He and his wife had sold their home and all of their belongings and were on their way to Florida. He also shared some of the problems that he had with his unit and his former unit.
We stopped at the Georgia welcome center for a break. What a spectacular place. Georgia clearly knows how to welcome people and promote the state. We were also shocked that it was freezing! The winds had kicked up and it clearly had to be in the 40’s. That was totally unexpected. I quickly donned my sweatshirt and wore it for the remainder of the ride.
Inside the Georgia Welcome Center
About two hours into the trip I realized that I had neglected to plug in the signal lights while talking to our new friend while setting up. Lesson: conversation and set up do not mix. One at a time. I also noticed that the bed liner of my truck had detached toward the tailgate and was flopping about. This is a direct result of the dealer cutting through two sections out of my bed liner in order to bolt the hitch to the bed of the truck. I expressed concern at the time and was told that was the way they did it. I later found out I was the only one I knew with an installation like this. Clearly the wind during driving had gotten under the lip of the portion that was cut away near the hitch and the force had made the ,ineer separate in sections where it was loosely attached. I stopped on the highway and plug in the lights and continued on.
We arrived at the campground and made our way to a nice spacious site with a special patio. While I was setting up Eileen was walking Murphy which is a necessity each time we land because his neurosis and anxiety does not allow him to be in the vicinity of any of the various sounds involved in setting up. When I joined the conversation, I found out that these nice people from New Jersey were stuck in the campground. They had been stuck on 95 two evenings before when their engine was overheating. The worst part is that their engine had just recently been replaced at the cost of thousands of dollars. We heard a litany of things that had happened to them in the twelve years they had owned the unit including filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Wow. Almost everyone we speak to has a story or two to tell about poor craftmanship and worse customer service. It does not bode well for the next two to three years.
I guess you either have to accept the reality that things are going to happen and go with the flow as part of the process, or get out of the game. Those who know me well know that I am not exactly a go with the process kind of guy. I want everyone to handle things the way I would handle them – straight on and full speed. That attitude was both a help and hinderance in my former job. I did not accept anything less than what my students and teachers needed to be successful. I did not sit and wait too patiently. I tried to be professional and respectful the majority of the time, and I was, but when that failed I could be difficult. Some would use a different adjective that begins with an A. I will have to adjust I guess – somewhat.
I spent some time drilling in strategic spots along the bed liner and screwing it down to the truck bed. I am glad I decided to bring an assortment of hardware along with my tools for moments like this.
It did make us feel a little better that our problems so far were not preventing us from moving forward and making our way. These poor people were stuck and eating up time from a vacation and their fun plans. We were able to pack up the next day and move on to our next destination. It’s all relative. (Don’t mention that to those who need to fix out slide outs. If you talk to them, we are desperate!)