Bad Weather and Overnight RV Stops, things that can happen.
On the Road experiences can get dangerous
As an RV owner, you must be prepared for a lot of different situations that can arise, some of which are just entertaining, but some of which can be dangerous.
Recently, my wife and I were returning from a couple of weeks visiting family in Virginia and the weather turned bad on us.
Driving Habits, better safe than dangerous.
We had been driving for about five hours when we finally got to our overnight campground.
i just don’t drive much longer than four to five hours a day in my motorhome, even under good traffic and weather conditions.
And honestly, in my opinion, it’s just too hard to maintain a high level of concentration and properly control a big RV on state and interstate highways, for such a long period of time.
OK, I know that professional truck drives are allowed to drive for longer periods, but I won’t go into that subject, here. I’ll just say that if you drive on interstate highways very much, in any kind of vehicle, you are going to see Big Rig truckers driving dangerously more often than you might think.
So, it makes you wonder just how safe it is being around them.
Water standing in the campsite
Water at our Camper entrance
A planned Overnight Layover was just ahead
Anyway, I had preplanned my trip home from Virginia to Florida with a layover at a campground that is roughly at my halfway point.
The campground is right off of Interstate-95 in Yemassee South Carolina, and is called The Oaks at Point South.
I have used this campground several times a year for over a decade and even though it is small, it is easy to get in and out of.
The sites are all 50-Amp with full hookup, they have cable TV, the bathrooms are always clean (even if dated) and all of the sites are pull-through sites.
All of these things make it a great campground for anyone who needs a place to stop overnight for a rest before continuing their travels either North or South.
I highly recommend this campground, just for these reasons.
But, as I said, this is an old campground that is maintained and cleaned often and well.
But again,, it is an old campground that could use some major upgrades that could make it more desirable than just an overnight layover.
The Road got dangerous to be on, fast!
Well, back to my trip.
I won’t discuss my trip planning here, but suffice it to say that I have made this trip several times a year for over a dozen years.
And, I have used very popular mapping and trip-planning package available to determine the best and fastest routes to use with my motorhome.
When coming from Virginia, I eventually pop out onto I-95 at Florence South Carolina and from there I have one more stretch of around 140-miles before I get to my planned layover at this campground I tend to favor.
I had intentionally delayed my departure from Virginia until a weekday. This is always part of my planning, to be on the road when the traffic is most likely to be at it’s lightest.
And usually, on a weekday, the roadways in the US will have much lighter traffic than on a weekend, so I plan my trips accordingly.
The Crazy Drivers on Interstates
Well, it only took my driving the first ten miles on I-95 to realize that I had not planned well. I-95 was loaded with traffic, and many of the drivers had gone into what I call the “suicidal driving” mode.
I know you have seen them. They rarely drive on interstate highways, except holidays or vacations, and when they see both lanes slow down and they are forced to sit for a minute or so before they go forward a few feet, they start to panic.
And, yes, the new digital warning signs over the interstate highways are a great thing for travelers, but for these people that don’t travel often, their insanity tends to increase and they tend to take bigger chances as they attempt to make up for lost time.
Me? I do what experience has taught me. I get into the right lane and I accept the upcoming delays as a way of life for RV travelers, and I creep along with the truck drivers, who tend to do the same.
Meanwhile, these, what I can now call “crazies’ are hopping from the right lane to the left, and then back and then back, constantly hoping to get into the fastest lane of traffic. They may not realize it, but they are attempting to commit “traffic suicide”.
So, I smile to myself and I make little personal bets with myself, as a form of entertainment, about which of the ‘suicidal rabbits” I will see sitting on the side of the highway later with a bent fender or a cop writing them a ticket. It’s just a thing I do.
The experienced RV driver
Me? I do what experience has taught me. I get into the right lane and I accept the upcoming delays as a way of life for RV travelers.
Even the campground streets were full of water
Finally, in the Campground, but Surprise!
Anyway, my normal 2-1/2 hour drive on I-95 to my campground, eventually turned into 4-1/2 hours before I was able to get off of the road.
Did I mention the rain? (Sic)
Oh yeah, for this whole time on the road, we drove through one deluge, of blowing rain, after the other, which of course had contributed to the number of vehicles parked on the side of the road and to the slower driving speeds.
So, although we were several hours late, we finally pulled into the campground. I expected to pull in and find the campground office closed due to the time, but there was one girl there.
I mentioned the time and she told me that “the Boss” had told her to stay over for a couple of hours because there were several camper with reservations,like myself, who had not showed up yet.
So, smiling, I asked her; OK, what site do I go to?” She smiled back and said; “Sir, pull in wherever you want that’s open. I thought a moment and responded with; “Why? I’ve been stopping here for years, and you always assign sites to campers with reservations.”.
Then, she handed me my paperwork, smiled at me again and responded with; “All of them have standing water, so it’s up to you which one you want to stay in.”
That gave me an uneasy feeling, but both my wife and I were so tired, I didn’t argue and we pulled into the first street we came to.
And after a sloppy drive through standing water we ended up driving up and down several other streets before we found one that looked like it had the least about of standing water.
Rather than continue with descriptions of the water in the campsites and in the streets themselves, I have attached some pictures of the site itself and the adjacent street.
Again, we were so tired, we just (very carefully) hooked up AC power and cable TV. We spend an uneasy night of blowing rains beating on our roof and the sounds of creaking trees being shook by the winds.
PVC Trench Coat for RAIN
A not so bad ending for a bad trip.
The good thing was; When we finally gave up and got out of bed and prepared to pull to, most of the water had soaked into the ground, and it was easier (and safer) for us to unhook.
The bad thing was, the dirt and gravel streets were rough and even though the overall standing water levels were lower, they had numerous large potholes with standing water.
Will I use the campground again? Well, probably because it's just so convenient along that part of the North-South Corridor to and from Florida that we are almost forced to stay there.
by Don Bobbitt, January, 2016
The water at my hitch to my Toad was deep too.
© 2016 Don Bobbitt