This space looks roomy enough, and seriously once you are in the site it is very roomy! But do you see those trees on the right side of the image? We almost had the small one permanently imprinted on the bumper of CC. If you don’t know, the name of our rig is Casa del Camino or CC which means “Road House” or “House of the Journey” and a perfect name for our rig. We will blog about how CC got her name later this fall.
This week we have been at Traverse City State Park. We love this park! The location is wonderful if you want to walk across the street and play in Traverse Bay. If you want to bike, the TART Trail is right behind the campground. If you want to take a long walk, there is plenty to walk to including mini golf and zip-lining. But that is another blog post, look for it later this week.
Back to parking CC. We are not experts by any means. We purchased CC in August 2017 and have backed her in to a site at least 25 times plus every time we park her in the storage lot. We are newbies. But we have back up assist on the truck and Brian is pretty darned talented. However, we have plenty to blog about over the next year about our biggest mishaps like the time we almost dumped CC in to the lake and the time we almost let her roll down the hill. We are experts at mishaps that is for sure.
We do have a system for the process of backing up. It begins with me (Michelle) getting out of the truck with my cell phone and calling Brian on the phone. We have learned calling on the phone is better than hand signals that he may or may not see or yelling at each other so the whole campground can hear us. Then there are the cats who love to lurk out of the windows while we tried giving directions while yelling, “watch out for Lola” or “Pepe is going to jump out of the window!”
I assess the site situation and if it looks complicated I have Brian join me for the assessment. Sometimes I look at the site and have no clue how we will get in to it so the brainstorm helps us both. The complicated part of my job is watching both sides of the trailer and in a sharp turn watching both sides of the truck. Here is a case in point as we watched another couple back in!
What you need to notice is how narrow the road is at this park. It is literally no wider than our 8 foot trailer. Our trailer is only 30′ long but with the truck and the fact that we are new at this, sometimes it is overwhelming. On days like this one, I can’t believe that we both want a bigger rig. For our retirement RV we want a class A and will tow a car. That will be interesting. 🙂
We have watched a lot of people get very creative as they parked their rigs in this state park. We have also watched a lot of bystanders help and in here it was welcomed by the driver. What’s deceptive is that the sites are large enough but the road is narrow, the sites are close together, and trees are plentiful.
On this particular day my biggest problems were: (1) We had been driving for 7 hours and we were both crabby and hungry which is never a good combination when you need to calmly communicate with your partner. (2) I was behind the rig and there was a small tree that neither one of us could see behind the truck and when Brian made the sharp turn I told him to make, that small tree almost took out our back truck bumper. Thankfully he saw it at the last minute. (3) When I felt things were good in the back I walked around to the front to watch Brian brush the front bumper with another tree. Thankfully it was a small brush and didn’t leave a mark. (4) Finally, there were the bystander helpers. Yes, we needed them. Yes, they empathized because they both had the same troubles. But when you don’t know who to listen to, sometimes helpers can be stressful.
I talked to two other wives after this backing up ordeal and the consensus among us was that backing up is always hard and there is always an argument. The Communication professional in me hates that idea so we will continue to improve our communication and our system. It is all about learning and growing – and not denting the rig. Thankfully we did not end up with a dent this time around.