6-7 November 2014; A Trip to Bowling Green for Maintenance and Stone Mountain, GA

First off, sorry for posting the wrong date on my last blog post.  Terri and I both missed the incorrect date posting.  It is corrected now.

Well, we are living in all of our space once again!  We left (grudgingly) our camp site at Camp Carlson at Fort Knox, KY about 11:00 yesterday for an appointment at Camping World in Bowling Green to get the hydraulic line that I had drop shipped from HWH replaced, the system bled, and hopefully to get our living space back.  We left at 11:00 because our appointment was at 2:00, and it is about an hour and a half drive.  I wanted to be there early in case they had a cancellation.   Well, we got there real early!  We forgot that Bowling Green is in the Central Time Zone and Fort Knox is in the Eastern.  Oh well, we spent a couple of hours wandering around the store and bought some much-needed items for the coach.  New door mat, new gas shocks for some of the bay doors (which I installed while we were waiting), some coat hooks, and some more games…can never have enough of those!  There are many high priced items we “want,” but don’t “need” right now.  New back-up camera, TV for the bedroom, outdoor 8X16 mat (actually a need), different chairs for outside, the list goes on.  Anyway, on to the main reason we were here.

They got us into the maintenance bay around 2:10, and we were quite surprised to find out that they only have 1 maintenance technician!  Camping World (so we have been told) started in Bowling Green.  We thought this would be a Mega Store.  In any case, this guy has been working on RV’s for 26 years, and knew his stuff.  He had the line replaced and the system bled and back in shape before I could finish a full walk around the new Cabela’s store that is near the Camping World.

Tech Tip: When we got back, they allowed me into the maintenance area, and I was able to run the slides in and out, and check all of the connections.  This is unusual, because you are normally not allowed in the maintenance area.  This place really is nice.  Everything worked well.  I went back to the service desk and explained that I had a gray tank dump valve replaced in Florida before we left, and it was still leaking.  They said, “No problem!  We will take a look.”  I once again went back to the maintenance area, and helped the tech replace the valve (so I can see how to do it myself next time, and he showed me some tricks to make it easier based on his 26 years of experience).  What a mess!  The tech in Florida apparently just jammed the new valve in, and totally destroyed the rubber gasket that keeps everything from leaking.  The service manager was really ticked off.  He said they have had to repair numerous items from various Florida Camping World locations this year, and they never get their money back.  Here’s the tip…anything you have done a Camping World (for the most part) is guaranteed.  This 1.5 hour repair including parts (at $149 per hour) didn’t cost me a dime.  If you get work done and it is not done right, go to a store and have them fix it.

By the time the gray tank valve was repaired, it was 5:30, and dark.  The wind was blowing about 30 MPH, and I really didn’t want to get on the road.  I talked to the service manager about local parks, and he said, “no problem, just camp in our parking lot.”  I learned that most Camping world stores allow you to dry camp in their lots while you are travelling.  Did not know this.  It was a cold night, so we ran the generator for a while to get warm.  The Camping World had a Gander Mountain attached to it, so I cruised the aisles there for a while.  Gander Mountain and Cabela’s all in one day!  What a treat.  Terri crashed really early (as I will tonight) and we were up, packed up, hooked up and pulling out at about 0900.

Tech Tip/RV Tip: Among the other things I bought at Camping World yesterday was a membership to Passport America (PPA) which is recommended by several folks that are either full time or near full time.  They were having a sale…15 months for a one year reduced price.  Normally PPA is $44 per year.  Right now, through Camping World it is $38 and 15 months.  PPA offers 50% off at participating parks in the PPA system.  That is how we found the place we are at tonight.  You can literally pay for your membership in two or three stays.  We got a book with the membership, and knew about where we wanted to be tonight.  I found Stone Mountain Park in GA.  It is just East of Atlanta.  Normal price for full hook-up is $32 (high for us) and I got a pull through site on the lake for $16!  Over a third of the way to paying for the membership!!

The trip down was uneventful.  That is a good thing!!  Traffic and the roads were not too bad.  We did not want to go through HateLanta (Atlanta), but ended up doing so as my Nagiator (Navigator) noted that she saw the beltway backed up.  So we went right into town and took 85N to the turn off for the Park.  This place is absolutely awesome!  Here is a description:

Owner description: Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most visited attraction, drawing nearly 4 million guests each year. With over 3,200 acres of natural beauty, the Park is a unique and fun destination where families and friends can enjoy the outdoors together, while experiencing an exciting variety of attractions, entertainment and recreation. It’s home to the worlds largest LaserShow Spectacular, tons of attractions, two championship golf courses, a campground and two Marriott hotels.

This is presently the “off-season,” which is the “on-season” for us.  How can this be the off-season?  Trees turning, perfect temperatures, and no crowds!!  I guess this place is impossible to get a reservation at in the summer.  We had our pick when we pulled in.  There are numerous staff personnel, and they are all extremely helpful.  There are miles of hiking trails (some of which we sampled this afternoon,) events, concerts, seasonal shows (their big Christmas season shows kick off tomorrow) and several other things to do.  All of the sites (Over 400 of them!) are nice depending what you want.  Leveling can be a trick depending where you are at, but Our Place did just fine.  Here are some shots of our afternoon:

Our awesome camp site!

Our awesome camp site!

Terri enjoying the view of Stone Mountain from the dock below our camp site (or checking her phone...not quite sure).

Terri enjoying the view of Stone Mountain from the dock below our camp site (or checking her phone…not quite sure).

An old Grist Mill on the property.

An old Grist Mill on the property.

Terri wants this for her front yard.  That's the wonder of this lifestyle...it can be our front yard...today!

Terri wants this for her front yard. That’s the wonder of this lifestyle…it can be our front yard…today!

An awesome covered or lattice) bridge that was built in 1891 over the Oconee River in Athen, GA.  Original cost was $2,470.  I was moved here (60 Miles) at a cost of $18,000.  No info on when it was moved here.

An awesome covered (or lattice) bridge that was built in 1891 over the Oconee River in Athens, GA. Original cost was $2,470. It was moved here (60 Miles) at a cost of $18,000. No info on when it was moved here.

Looking through the lattice.

Looking through the lattice.

Now we are snug as a bug in our fully expandable Coach, getting ready to eat dinner and hit the rack.  We are sooo excited to get to Sumter, SC tomorrow and see Jason, Meghan and Peyton.  We have reservations at the Shaw AFB Fam Camp for the foreseeable future.  Drop by if you are in the area!



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