Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Bye, Bye Colorado River, Hello Lake Conroe and Leveling Problems

Weather--high 70, sunny, low 48                        Site G-71

After three weeks at Colorado River Thousand Trails Park, here's our take on it.... 

1. It's very peaceful and quiet...it seems to attract more retirees than families, probably because the amenities are very limited and more dated than many RV parks. There's not as much to do for families in the area. It's distant from any major town/shopping centers as well. But--we still enjoyed it very much.

2. There are herds of deer that wander the fields every day in the early morning and at dusk. They don't bother campers or intrude on the visitors, and they aren't fed by the campers, so they do their thing and you can just enjoy them when you encounter them. They are wary, but not afraid of you. We saw a couple of 8 pointer bucks while we were there!

3. The painted churches in the area are a must see. So beautiful and one friend said they reminded her of churches in Europe. They should as the Czech and German immigrants are the designers of these beautiful churches. (See January 19, 2021 post)

4. There is a shooting club nearby that practices on the weekends. Don't worry about that...you can safely hike the nature trail. It's a bunch of dudes who are interested in historical guns before 1916 (?), guy from the office explained, so the firepower is not to be nervous about. Sparky thought they were hunting very close by, but nope! Just target shooting on state inspected premises. Sparky walked the nature trail twice a day. You can get almost three miles in if you walk the entire perimeter and then in and out of the roads in the different sections. LOTS of bluebirds and warblers on the back side of the trail.

5. There are other interests in the area. There's the Stanzel Model Aircraft museum, the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, the Texas Polka Museum, and the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center.

6. Eating places? Not too many that we tried while we were here. Whataburger (in Columbus) has good burgers, Schobel's Restaurant (in Columbus) has good home cooked food, and we also tried Becky's in Columbus once. We didn't go back because staff was not wearing masks. Nice breakfast, though. Here are a couple more places that the locals recommend: Oakridge Smokehouse (how come we didn't try THAT one? wonders Eldo), the Red Vault Bistro (how come we didn't try THAT one, wonders Sparky). We did not discover these names until we came across a local brochure and we were at the end of our stay. NEXT time, says Sparky. OH! And there are THREE wineries here in the area. (Next time for SURE! says Sparky.) 

And off we went, back to Lake Conroe, TX, to the Thousand Trails park there, our second stay for the winter season. Our old site was open, but we found one closer to the pickle ball courts and laundry, so here we are for another three weeks. Sparky's grandson and daughter are 40 minutes away, so a chance to visit once again. AND--there's a new laundry house close by our site--TWENTY washing machines. When you don't have a washer/dryer onboard, that's great news!

So we drive in and check in at the gate house. They weren't able to tell us which sites were open, so we had to drive around looking for an open site with the big rig in tow. We chose G-71 and THOUGHT it looked level. Here's the site right next to us as an example. Looks pretty level, right? uh, NOPE! 

Not only was there a slope downhill, but a slope from side to side. You couldn't really tell by looking at it, but the automatic levelers knew it from attempt #1. On the first try, the center stabilizers would not engage and the red light came on, telling us there was a fault in the leveling system, meaning, try again, folks! We have a system of using nice thick wood blocks under the jacks and varying how many we put under the front jacks and then the center and rear jacks, and usually it works very well with one or two blocks under each jack. 

You have to access how far the jacks will be extending to decide how many blocks to set under each jack. There are no set numbers here, you just eyeball it and with each site experience, you learn what works and what doesn't.

Attempt #2, retract all the jacks and try again. This time we moved some blocks around and BOTH tires on the left side of the coach were raised off the ground. That is not something you want. You want as much ground contact as possible with chocked wheels and tire contact. It's dangerous to have any tires off the ground, certainly not two of them, so we had two options at this point: 1. find another site, or 2. move the rig on the site one way or another, side to side or forward or backwards so it's sitting on a more level part of the site. So we retract the jacks again, hook up the fifth wheel, back in and out a couple of times, and Eldy maneuvers the rig closer to the other side of the site.

Attempt #3, third time's the charm! It worked. By moving the rig just a little bit more side to side and hugging the site a little further away from the electric pedestal and water hookups, we took out the variable of the sloping lean on one side, and were able to level ourselves with just one tire slightly off the ground. Not perfect, but we wedged wood and lodged the tire so it was secure in place. The leveling test is --open the bathroom door (which is in the middle of the rig) and see if it swings open all the way (you're not as level as you wanted to be) or it opens and stays right where you opened it (You did it! You're level!) Whew! that only took about an hour. 

What was comforting to us is a big class A motorhome came in after us this afternoon right next door and had the very same problem with a tire off the ground despite trying their leveling system twice. Lake Conroe has a lot of sites that appear level, but fool you when you get situated into the site. 

We are happy to be back here and near civilization and shopping. (That means Sparky will be heading to Hobby Lobby or Michaels or Joanns soon, explains Eldo.) "Uh, honey, could you drive me to Hobby Lobby this afternoon?" sweetly asks Sparky.... (See, I told you!) Sparky is crafting for Valentine's Day and Easter now....a sample...tea origami pouches with honey crystals and tea. 

And some cute felt Easter egg ornaments.

That's it for now....settling in and ready for whatever comes our way...                                      
                                            See you later!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome as usual. We will be on the Texas Coast, Corpus and Galveston, for a couple weeks, then 5 state parks near Austin, New Braunfels, and Dallas in March.