And my machine, she’s a dud, out stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey….
The last week of our month-long camping trip with our camper taught us a few lessons. We had a string of 3-night stays in Destin, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Williamsburg, Virginia. Of the three we enjoyed Williamsburg the most. The reasons were that we actually spent four nights there, so it felt like enough time to absorb the place, plus Colonial Williamsburg is very dog-friendly. We couldn’t bring Sansa into the buildings themselves, but walking around the area she came with us.
The lesson was that we needed to spend more nights at each location. In the future, we will visit fewer places but stay at least 4 nights before moving on, unless we are actively just trying to get somewhere. Williamsburg will be a staple for our trips between New Hampshire and Florida.
We spent one night at Assateague Island National Seashore Campground. I had booked two, but my husband and son were not crazy about dry camping. They like the comforts of home, even though I played a bunch of games of Uno with my son.
We planned to be home a day early and left Maryland planning to stop overnight in upstate New York. Unfortunately, that day was a perfect storm of issues. We were driving on I287 in New Jersey. The temperature outside was over 90°F, but in the truck it was showing close to 100°F. We were in stop-and-go traffic for about 45 minutes when the truck lost all power. Marc restarted it at first but then it died again. We had enough momentum to coast over to the breakdown lane.
We knew we needed a tow. I used our Good Sam membership and had a truck coming to take us to a Chevrolet dealership nearby that said they could look at the truck the next day. We asked about the camper. We couldn’t stay in it at the dealership, but they would let us store it there while we waited for the truck to be repaired. I booked a hotel room not far away.
This dog adapts to anything, I swear.
It turned out to be the high-pressure fuel pump. The dealership thought they could get a part Monday, so we stayed two more days at the hotel. Monday came and they said they didn’t know when the part would be in. The other dealership they thought had it had sold the part on Friday. We couldn’t keep staying. At that point, we were spending a ridiculous amount of money to stay in New Jersey. We took a rental car and drove home, leaving the camper and truck behind.
The next afternoon they called to tell us the truck was fixed.
So, that Saturday we went back down to New Jersey to retrieve the truck and the camper.
The second lesson learned – when it’s stop-and-go traffic, get off the highway. When the tow truck driver was driving me to the hotel with the dog (I went with the camper, and Marc & Danny went with the truck) I saw a few parking lots where people were sitting with their campers. He said it was against the law in that town for them to camp there, so they were just sitting there until the traffic cleared up. We will also avoid the metro-NYC area and any other very busy cities with traffic issues. Getting to and from New England, we’ll take I84 across New York to I81 and then head south. We can cross over to I95 near Richmond.
We’re planning our fall trip, which is to Florida for a wedding near Disney World. We will take 4 days to drive there so we’re not pressing too hard. I adjusted dates in a couple of locations so we’re there longer and I’m debating canceling going to the Keys completely so we won’t do as much traveling.
Overall, though, we had a great time and the trip was a success. I loved watching baseball games sitting outside our camper with a fire going. I could live life on the road for months at a time. I’m not sure the rest of the family feels the same way, although Marc was very interested in talking to the campground hosts at Assateague. I think maybe when he retires for good he’ll think about doing something like that.