This week, I decided to go in the opposite direction and headed East along Hwy 71 towards La Grange. This is a small country town with a population of about 5000 people located on the banks of the Colorado River. The City does not have any special attractions and the only reason that I chose it was that it is only 70 miles from my house. Again, what I am trying to do is to iron the bugs out of our setting up and the opposite, breaking down the trailer and getting it ready for travel plus gaining experience in towing the rig and it is always nice to explore new places.
The name of this Park is Colorado Landing RV and Mobile Home Park and was easy to get to. The Park itself has a large population in a separate area of Mobile Homes and semi permanent RV’s while the travelling RV’s are all congregated around the Office area. It was not overly full and I was able to pull into my designated spot.
It had taken me about an hour and a half to reach my destination along a road that is signposted for 75 mph for most of the way after getting out of Austin. Of course, that was not my speed although I did get up to 65 before I realized it in a couple of spots. I prefer to travel between 50-60 as much as possible although that too is dictated by the hills and grades.
I walked the dogs and we discovered a bit about the park layout. They have a very nice dog run which we tried out or rather the dogs did. Me, I just sat on the bench and watched. There is a small herd of deer that graze in the park in the evenings who appear to be well used to being the stars of the show. The rest of the evening was uneventful although I did have problems with the sound on the TV until I realized that the hand held control also had a button that controlled the sound. Stupid me. Pulling down the Murphy bed was simple enough but actually making the bed with sheets and covers was a big challenge as the head of the bed is recessed back into the end of the trailer and is totally unapproachable from either side. Not a very good design and again, the only way into the bed was from the end or foot area. What I ended up doing was to lay out the covers as far as I could and then crawl up onto the lower end to extend the covers to the upper end. Not a good arrangement at all. Have you ever tried moving a sheet or blanket when you are physically kneeling on part of it?
The second day brought a different problem. I had managed to rearrange a Doctors appointment from Wednesday back to Tuesday early, prior to leaving and thought that I had eliminated the need to drive back to Austin. However, I had forgotten to pack my electric razor and in fact, had left my entire personal bag of goodies behind which also contained a couple of medications that I take on a daily basis. So, there was nothing else for it but to bite the bullet and return back home to grab these items and a couple of other things that I thought would be useful. Without the trailer, the 70 mile trip only took an hour or so on the legally posted 75 mph road. BTW, even though I was driving at 75 mph, there were cars and even tractor trailers flying by me as though I was crawling along. We made it home, checked the ponds even though I knew my neighbor had already done so for the morning, grabbed the stuff and a couple of other things which included two new collars with their names and phone number on them that I had ordered for the guys and hit the road back to La Grange. When we got back as it was another of those typical miserably hot Texas days, we spent our time writing this blog and working on the pictures. True to form, the deer came out in the evening to graze and survey the humans that were watching them. This is a big herd of probably 30 or so deer including a couple of little ones.
One of the things that I notice about camping out in an RV is the amount of physical labor that is involved. Apart from the attention that is required in just driving the rig on the highway, which by itself can be tiring over a long drive because of the concentration and attention required, there are all of the things that you have to do once you have arrived at your destination. First, you may have to back your rig into your designated spot in the RV park if they did not have any pull through spots available. If you are alone, that means getting out of the truck a couple of times to make sure the rig is where you want it to be. If you have a pull through, you still have to get out to make sure it is in the best spot before parking it. If the site is not level, the process of jacking up the trailer by running the trailer wheels onto leveling blocks may be necessary Then comes the business of unhitching the unit from the truck which is no mean feat and takes some time and quite a bit of physical labor. Hooking into the power supply, the water supply and the septic hook up completes the operation.
The same thing is true when it is time to leave, only in reverse. If you are alone, even with the help of the onboard backup system, you still have to get out a couple of times to align the ball to the hitch. Once that it done, the rest of the breakdown goes fairly easily just as long as the truck is in good alignment with the trailer. If not, fighting the tension bars can be quite difficult. So, maybe I have found another way to keep fit as we travel the open road.
Day 3 was spent mostly inside the trailer as the temperature rose to 99 degrees. I had no desire to get out and about and was quite content to stay inside and work on this blog. Of course, we had the occasional trip outside for the dogs but other than that, indoors in the A/C which works pretty well. My neighbors on the SW side have packed up and moved out and they did it so quietly and quickly that I was not even aware they had gone until later. My neighbors on the NE side are an older couple in a small E-Pro camper. I have only seen them once when they came out to take their small dog for a walk. The park has emptied out by quite a bit as the RV’ers move on to their next location.
At the same time that my neighbors pulled out, a 5th wheel unit pulled in two spots over. Obviously, the owner was very experienced as he had it set up in probably 15 minutes. It take’s me at least 30 minutes but I don’t have the advantage of a 5th wheel release. His was a very big rig probably all of 40 feet long. He had the truck unhooked in less than 5 minutes and had power legs on all 4 corners to stabilize and level the unit. Then he lowered the tailgate and lo and behold, he had an enclosed little patio area complete with deck chairs. I was just in awe of his setup and immediately said to myself that will be my next RV down the road.
Day 4. Today is my last day at this park and it has been very enjoyable. The park is well maintained and very clean although not overly busy. Maybe that is due to the Covid-19 virus with not so many people on the road. Yesterday, I went for a drive around the small township of La Grange just to explore. It is a typical small Texas town with a Main Street and not much else except houses and there are quite a few of them. It is surrounded by lots of wide open spaces as many Texas small towns are.
We, me and the dogs that is, had a leisurely breakfast and read our emails. I noticed that our neighbor with the big rig had fired up his barbecue and cooked a hearty breakfast for himself and his wife. As I am not much of a meat eater I was not really that envious of the meal but sure did appreciate how they really enjoyed their life on the road.
The neighbor with small E-Pro camper hitched it up to his SUV and they were quickly out of there. We followed suit about an hour later and headed our way back to Austin arriving back home around 1:30 pm after an uneventful drive back. My truck really made hard work of hauling the trailer which got me thinking that I might need to step up to a 250 model. Maybe a good used model with low mileage. Something else to think about.