Friday, March 7, 2014

Meridian, MS

We arrived at Nanabe Creek Campground. We decided to stay for a week so we could catch up on laundry, get our mail forwarded, and take care of some RV maintenance. 

The park was mostly full. There were a lot of permanent residents. We pulled up to a cute office building that was three stories high and looked like a tepee/tree house. The doors were locked though, and it looked abandoned. A host couple came up to us though and checked us in just fine. Her husband filled our propane tank before we pulled into our site. The roads were gravel, but the sites themselves were just dirt and roots. There were so many trees all of over the park. It took us a good ten minutes to maneuver around the trees and back the RV into the site. The park had a very nice set up, but it looked like the owners just stopped keeping up with it. We had to use pliers on the water hookup every time we wanted to use it because the water spigot didn't have a knob. On a positive note, they have amazing WiFi. We were watching Netflix on our Roku, and I was using the laptop at the same time. We didn't have to use our hot spot at all while we were there.

The next morning, we saw a HUGE forty-five foot fifth wheel/toy hauler checking in. The host couple was scratching their heads trying to find a spot for their big rig. I had a feeling they were going to ask us to move because we were in one of the bigger sites. Sure enough, they did. We moved across the street into a back-in. The site was much nicer than the pull through we were just in. We still had to squeeze in between trees, but we had more than enough room. There weren't any tree roots under our RV this time. It wasn't a big deal for us to switch sites, especially after seeing how much better our new site was. There were plug ins for power on both sides. A fellow camper tested the voltage on both and said they were both great. So of course we used the plug in closest to our shore (power) cord. We plugged in; no power. This is a great reason why we got a longer shore cord. When we first bought the RV, our shore cord was ten feet long. We had to get our plug in replaced, so we decided to upgrade the length to fifteen feet. If we hadn't done that, we wouldn't have been able to plug in on the other side of the RV. We realized later that the power source on the side that didn't work on our RV was a plug in for a washing machine and dryer. This is a common mistake in the RV world. The outlets and plugs look identical, but the wiring is completely different. It won't work if you try to plug into one, but some people try to use a washer/dryer male piece for their shore cord. This will fry your entire electric system. 

As a traveler, we are constantly keeping an eye on the weather. The Weather Channel and Al Roker are our best friends. We saw that Meridian was going to get some snow. It was already pretty cold outside. Our heat runs off of propane. We turned on our heat and after about thirty minutes, we realized our heater was kicking out cold air. We just got our propane filled a couple of days before, the indicator says we're full, but our fridge, heat, and stove won't run on it. We asked the host couple about it because they were the last people to touch our propane system. They just shrugged their shoulders, said, "I don't know," recommended a repair place but didn't know the name of it, and walked away. We decided to ask our neighbor about our problem. He told us the guy who fills the propane can be a bit sloppy with it at times. He told us we might have air in our propane tank. So we turned our burners on the stove on for five to ten minutes at a time, and then tried to spark one of them. Nothing happened. We tried to purge the air out like this for days, and we still weren't getting any propane. So we had to improvise. We went to Walmart to look for an electric heater but they were all propane heaters. So we bought a bunch of candles instead and used our roof A/C unit on the heater function. With snow outside, we were able to keep the temperature at sixty-five degrees. The candles really helped. Even though we were using our roof heater, it struggles to stay warm when the outside temperature is below freezing. We learned that this is common and doesn't mean there is anything wrong with our unit.

After the snow had melted and temperatures returned to the sixties, it was time to focus on getting new tires. We went to Southern Tire Mart to get it done. It was thirteen hundred dollars for six tires and the front two are All Terrain tires. It was the first time we brought the RV to a shop to get work done while being on the road. They were able to work on it with the dogs inside their kennels inside the RV. We were both nervous about it at first, but everything worked out. The mechanic who did the work said our tires were in really bad shape. He couldn't believe we never had a blowout or a flat. We got our new tires in the nick of time. 

Feeling positive about our new tires, we went back to Nanabe Creek Campground to tackle our next problem: laundry. We do not have a washer/dryer in our RV and not ever campground has a laundromat. Being on the road, our laundry gets pretty backed up. We had about five loads to do. There were four washers and three dryers. Only one of each worked, but they didn't put any "out of order" signs up. We lost about seven dollars because of it. I personally made "out of order" signs and put them on the machines that didn't work. One of the other campers was venting about there only being one washer and one dryer for an entire park. He said, "At least they finally put a sign up. They've been taking my money for about a month now!" He was very appreciative to learn that I put the signs up. The next day, we saw the host couple with a repair man trying to fix the washers and dryers. I guess the signs got their attention.

We have a mailbox with a UPS store in Wilmington, NC. Instead of having a P.O. Box, we have a street address which comes in handy. Anytime we stay somewhere for a week or longer, we try to get our mail forwarded. It came a couple of days before we were going to leave. Josh ordered a cell phone signal booster and installed it quickly on our RV. We have a small antenna on our roof. We ran the cable in through our kitchen window where it connects to a phone cradle inside. When the phone is in the cradle, the signal booster is applied. It really works too! Josh's phone signal can be white (no 3G), but after putting it in the cradle he has full blue signal (3G). You can buy the Wilson Electronics Sleek Cell Phone Signal Cradle Booster on Amazon -   Even though we still couldn't figure out why our propane wasn't working, we felt accomplished for our problem-solving and teamwork to get everything done. We hit the road in hopes of getting to Louisiana by the night. 

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