Summer trip Day 1 – Departure day
Packing for a 75 day RV trip presents many problems, what to bring or what do we need vs what we can’t live without.

just about all loaded up…..

Surprisingly, it went much smoother than I expected. I guess time will be the real deciding factor if we realize we left something home we really needed.
When planning this trip I decided that we would leave later in the day and just do a simple 80 mile drive across the border. That way we could get a good nights sleep before we drove to our first real stop.

To save money we (I really should take the blame) decided we would stop at a Thousand Trails park. We bought a membership earlier this year and had not ever used it. So now was the perfect time. Knowing it was a holiday weekend, we booked early. I also assumed since we were arriving on a Wednesday, we would be well ahead of the Memorial Day campers. Boy was I wrong.

We arrived at the campground around 4:15pm. The staff was so friendly. They had our reservations all ready for our two sites. Did I mention that my mother-in-law is following along on this 75 day adventure?

Back to the check in…. There was only one real issue to deal with or so I thought. The campground was all out of not only 50amp sites but FHU sites.

All they had was 30 amp water and electric. For one night we could handle it. So we hopped in the golf cart to check out the sites. We traveled up and down and deeper into the woods until finally arriving at our sites. It’s was like they carved them into a hillside between tons of trees. I thought to myself, ” this is what I get for trying to save a few dollars”. After checking out the site I asked what I thought was a simple question.” How do I get the RV out of here?”. The campground attendant who escorted us to the site was puzzled as well. Remember we have a 43 ft Class A an it has a rather large turning radius. We both surveyed the site again and agreed the only viable exit would be to back the RV up about 75 ft and use the entrance road. Ok, doable. My wife and I are a good team when it comes to parking our Rv.

We went back to the Rv’s with a new found resolve and started up the hill to our wooden campsite. As we descended down the last hill nearing the turn my wife started waving her hands for me to stop. Now these roads were anything but flat and now we were encountering some major holes. I had to navigator these holes while making a tight right turn. I was up for the challenge. Little did I know how bad it looked from my wife’s viewpoint. At one point it felt like the RV started to tip over on its side, I wondered out loud if it would stop before completely falling over. But we made it through that right turn and I was able to easily slip between the trees. Home free right? Not so fast… I tried to level the coach. Excessive slope warning! . I tried again. I even called for tech support in case of user error. Do dice. This spot was not going to allow me to level the coach. The slope from front to back was so bad , We could have run soapbox car races inside the RV. We could deal with it for one night right? Yes we could…except for the fact that my mother in laws site was so tight that she could not open her slide without hitting trees on both sides.

that welcoming Yellow sign.. Yes!!

So what now? Thank goodness for smart phones. I picked up my iPhone and opened the KOA app. We hoped and prayed there would be a campground close by with availability. Yes! A KOA only 60 miles away. Called them from within the app and they had two spots for the night next to each other. We closed up the RV, backed up 75 feet( that was no small feat) and headed back to the highway. A little over an hour later we saw the beautiful welcoming yellow sign that signaled we were at a KOA


We pulled into the Travelers Rest KOA. Easy after hours checkin took about 5 minutes. We backed in our plush creek side oasis of a site and settled in. After seeing this place we immediately wished we had more time to stay here and enjoy the campgrounds.

time to play…..

The kids ran right to the playground and we figured out a dinner plan. As we settled into bed for what would surely be a good nights sleep, we both smiled and realized we will be back here soon.

what an incredible site…

Special Thanks to  Travelers Rest KOA and it’s host family The Tubbs for saving the start of our journey.

Soulful RV Family

Our thoughts on Thousand Trails….

We certainly do not blame Thousand Trails Carolina Landings campground for this mishap. The management there did everything in their power to accommodate our needs. The campground was very nice and we look forward to camping there in the future.  TT is a “first come, first serve” campground membership. Next time we will just arrive even earlier to get the type of sites we require.

Day 1 of our epic 75 day Summer RV trip…a perfect start or so we thought…..
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4 thoughts on “Day 1 of our epic 75 day Summer RV trip…a perfect start or so we thought…..

  • May 28, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Keith and Tia,
    We’ve also run into the same issues with 1000 Trails campgrounds. We’ve had our membership since 2014 and we have it in 2 zones, SW and SE. of the 5 campgrounds we camped in only one came close to having a rating greater than 6 of 10. That was the Yosemite Lakes campground near Yosemite.
    We probably won’t renew our membership after this year for a couple of reasons. Our experience at the campgrounds hasn’t been as enjoyable as we have had at KOA, and all their campgrounds, with the exception of Las Vegas and Yosemite Lakes are far away from the local areas that we would visit. Even the Las Vegas campground is on the seedy side of town.
    We end up using Escapees and Passport America more than 1000 Trails.
    Hope that we see you on the road someday.
    Toni & Sally Bright

    • May 30, 2016 at 11:55 am

      We have been feeling the same way. I pushed for the membership after hearing rave reviews from FtF members. And I certainly can see how it can save full timers a ton of money. But since we are not full timing, I’m not sure if it’s going to be as good a value. Now, we do travel to Orlando and Disney a few times a year. I’m be heard nothing but good things about TT- Orlando. So we will give it a few more try’s before we make a final decision to sell or keep it

      Thx again
      Keith and Tia sims

  • May 28, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Wow, what a difficult start…hopefully you got all the ‘oops’ out of the way in the first night, it’s always something, isn’t it? I remember vividly when we arrived after dark at a campground with our tent. We went for what seemed like miles up a narrow gravel road full of bumps and ruts, I thought, we will get to the campground and it’s going to be an empty field…but it was FULL of campers of all sizes, tents, etc. We had to set up the tent in the dark, our lantern battery died, it was just one of the most difficult and ‘un-fun’ time camping ever…but we made it. I’m glad to see you are such troopers:)

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