Saturday, June 23, 2012


As mentioned last time, when we got back to our campsite on Sunday we found all of our hookup equipment missing. That included: a pressure reducer for the water, a high-end filter, 25 feet of food-quality hose with a quick-connect at the end, a circuit analyzer and surge protector, and a 26-foot power cord. That adds up to several hundred dollars worth of equipment without which we cannot hook in to campground water and power.

Gene went to the office to tell what happened, hoping that the maintenance crew picked it up and put it somewhere. The day crew was already gone, but the night crew looked around and found nothing. Having paid for a site with facilities, we found ourselves dry camping on a hot night. Hoping to run the air conditioner, Gene attempted to start the generator, but with no success.

We carry some spare equipment buried in storage. There we had a spare hose and a 25-foot extension for the 30-amp power cord. However, being an extension, it does not have the proper plug at the motorhome end. Gene went back to the camp store and bought what he thought was the right adapter to make it work, but it was the wrong "sex." We needed a male plug to female twist-lock connector and what he found was a female socket to a male twist-lock, so back to the store it went.

Tired and disgusted, we opened all the windows, turned on the roof vent, and went to bed. It eventually cooled down enough to get some sleep. In the morning we went back to the office. The owner of the campground was most upset about the situation, and did everything she could to help us. One of the campers, when checking out the previous morning, had said that we hadn't been there all night and apparently abandoned our gear. Firstly, we had been there, we just got in very late and left again early. And who would just abandon a complete and extensive setup? The owner could determine who the campers were, but was unable to contact them. Rightly or wrongly, that put suspicion of them in our minds, but there wasn't anything we could do about it.

After checking around some more, it became apparent that the equipment had simply been stolen. We were at the beginning of a trip, so the next task was to replace as much of it as we could. Besides the hose and power cord, we had a spare pressure reducer and we were able to buy a quick-disconnect for the hose. We went to the camp store and bought another water filter, not the same as we had, but it will do the job. The owner sold it to us for her cost, which was very kind of her. So now we could connect to water.

We spent some time on the phone trying to find an adapter so that we could plug in the power cord. We thought we had tracked one down to a local Home Depot. But first the owner showed us the catalog she orders her merchandise from. Gene found a power cord that looked like it should work, and another 30-amp surge suppressor with circuit analyzer. It would take two days to get it, but we could have it drop-shipped to Gene's son in Vermont. The owner was willing to only charge us her cost, and when she ordered it and explained the situation, the supplier added in an additional discount. So the bill came to a little over $250, which qualified for free shipping. Everyone (except the thieves, of course) was sympathetic and willing to do anything they could to make things easier for us. We topped up our propane tank at the campground and headed out.

The trip to Home Depot turned out to be a dud. We called a couple of RV dealers from a list the campground gave us and found one that thought they might have the adapter. It was a long ways away, but we had no other leads so off we went. They did, indeed, have the right adapter, so we were basically back in business except for a surge suppressor. After buying the adapter, I mentioned that it was too bad we didn't have time to hang around and have the service people look at the generator. The sales clerk said why not ask? so we found the service manager and told him the situation with the generator. He said he would look at it, and crawled under the motorhome and fiddled with it for a while. He said there was nothing wrong with the generator, it just wasn't getting enough fuel (propane in our case). He turned on the vent for the propane tank and got air. It turns out the person who filled our propane at the campground hadn't bled the air off as he pumped in the gas.

While he was working, I tried out the new adapter and found that it would work except there was a plastic ring for attaching the adapter to a fitting that prevented the socket from fully engaging our fitting. While the propane tank was venting, the service manager and another worker cut off the ring for me which allowed the fitting to work.

They vented excess air out of the propane tank for almost two hours, and still didn't get it all. But it got low enough that the generator started and ran for seven minutes before we cut it off, satisfied. When we were ready to head for our next campground, now able to hook in normally, the service manager didn't charge us anything, saying that they really didn't do anything.

So we headed across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to spend the night in Kiptopeake State Park on the bottom of the Eastern Shore. We had lost a day of our trip, but we had met a lot of sympathetic and friendly people. Still, despite have done so many times in the past with no problems, we won't be leaving any equipment at the site if we leave for the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment