Friday, June 29, 2012

Travelin' to Tennessee Day 3

Hi: 103  Low: 66 Fort Payne, AL

We spent the night in Meridian, Mississippi, last night, at the Benchmark Coach and RV Park. It's a good thing they didn't call it a "resort", because it's just an overnight destination. No pool, no frills, free wi-fi, but it didn't work, free cable TV--that did work. :-)

We're twins! Neighbor is a Phaeton at Benchmark
The park is small, 27 pull thru sites, 6 back in sites....It's a nice clean, quiet RV park with VERY level cement pads, and gravel in the front and back of the cement pads for easy in and easy out. The nice field at the back of the park is for pets. This park honors Passport America, but it's not one of the cheaper rates. It was 18.00 plus tax. You HAVE to call ahead of time to make a reservation, and you HAVE to specify on the phone that it is the Passport rate you are requesting. Cash only, no checks or debit cards. Water pressure is VERY high in this park--90 P.S.I, so they state in their guidelines that you need to use a water regulator on your water line in addition to your filter, which you should be doing anyway!

For those people thinking about going full timing or getting underway soon, a water regulator helps maintain a feasible water pressure in parks where it may be too high. We've encountered that several times in our travels. You can seriously damage your plumbing as in EXPLODE YOUR PIPES or BLOW OUT fittings when the park pressure is too high if you don't use a water regulator. The cost of a regulator runs anywhere from 10.00-60.00+, depending on how sophisticated you want your water regulator to be. They sell them at Camping World or online. MOST of the time, campgrounds are on the LOW side of water pressure, but it's better to be safe than sorry! In the two years we have been full timing, the water pressure has been HIGH three times. You can burst your pipes if you have high pressure and your rig is not equipped to handle it. In our case, Tiffin tests their  plumbing systems to be able to handle around 60-65 p.s.i's safely. Sometimes the park will tell you what their water pressure is, a lot of times they don't know what it is. If your shower HURTS when you take one, Sparky says you probably have high water pressure and you should have a water regulator hooked up to your water line!

Benchmark Coach and RV Park is on the outskirts of Meridian, a town of about 39,000. This would probably be an OK stop for checking out the area...But we're moving on....Somewhere in Alabama....Um-m-m, how about Fort Payne, Alabama? A distance of about 240 miles from Meridian.  Sounds good, Eldo! We drove highway 45, then highway I- 20/59, then the 459 bypass around Birmingham, AL, then 59 north to Fort Payne. We got GREAT fuel mileage today, at one point it was so great we had to take a photo, 'cuz that figure didn't stay up long....(See photo at right) Eldy was one happy camper! And the price of diesel fuel was 3.44 a gallon at the Pilot Truck Stop where we fueled up on our way here today, another good trend we like to see, fuel prices heading down.

Wills Creek
We are in the upper northeast corner of the state of Alabama at a Passport America park called Wills Creek RV Park near Fort Payne. For 17.00 a night, (including an extra 2.00 charge for 50 amp) we've got full hookup, cable and free wi-fi if you are within a few sites of the office. It's another small, no frills park as far as no pool, no clubhouse, just come on in and park...just a nice spot for an overnight stop. All gravel sites, fairly level. Office lady was very friendly, with that great southern hospitality Alabama accent. It looks like they are working on developing this into something more. Lots of new trees planted. They have future plans for a pool and more sites. This park DID accept a check for payment for Passport America. Full bars AT & T, mi-fi Verizon card full bars, but we are by the office....Think that about covers this park!

Nearby is a GREAT state park called DeSoto State Park, one of Alabama's top state parks as far as facilities go. The park is located near a canyon called Little River Canyon. We are going to this state park for one night tomorrow night to check out the facilities...FULL hookups at a state park for 28.50 a night! We'll see you there!

P.S. Eldy just happened to click on the "RV Resources" link on our blog (he NEVER does that) and darned if we aren't mentioned as "RVers of the Month" on that website! They quoted our very first blog..boy, have we come a LONG way, baby! On our second rig, past our second year of RVing, fun to go back and take a look at that!  Just for fun, if my family is interested, here's another quick way to the link...


  1. Just today we were taking to the owner of the RV park we are at about water pressure! It was quite high and he advised a regulator, we do have one on the line so we were good to go. Putting an extra filter and the pressure regulator were a couple of Craig's early projects.

  2. Don't forget, there is a TT park in Alabama....northeast corner I believe.

  3. Good advice to all about being sure to have a water regulator. That sure was a very high pressure. Congratulations RVer of the Month. Happy Trails!

  4. Well congratulations. I've never even heard of rvresources. How did they find you guys?

  5. We would also LOVE to get 10 mpg. . .even for a few miles. . .LOL!

    Ah yes. . .water regulator. . .voltage meter. . .and surge protector. . .cheap insurance is what we call them!