Sunday, July 31, 2016


A friend asked me this morning about the comparison of the cost and convenience of an rv versus traveling and staying strictly in motels.  She knows we have chosen rv life, but wondered if it was the right choice for her.  She asked me for my input.

I told her it was a long and complicated process to make the choice so I would do a blog post  to help her, and hopefully others make the decision as to what was best for them because no two families are alike.

My husband and I have camped all our lives so we automatically lean toward camping, but there is a lot more to consider in making the big choice. I’ll break it down by categories to hopefully make it simpler for her and you.  Please remember these are my opinions based on my own experiences.


With traveling via car or airplane and staying at motels you have really no expenses in the beginning in the initial investment stage.  All the cost on that comes later in ongoing costs.

As far as an rv there are all sorts of upfront costs depending on what type of rv you go with and your transportation once you get your camp set-up.

Gary and I have camped in just about every type of equipment and conditions imaginable.  From simply throwing a blanket on the ground to staying in a friends motorhome for a long weekend.  So we have some experience in this territory. 
We have personally owned a pop-up (tent trailer), a bumper pull and three different fifth wheels.

For ease in pulling the pop-up and the fifth wheels win hands down.  Gary drove the motor home and my father’s cab over pick-up truck camper and said he preferred driving our pick-up with the fifth wheel over both those units.

Another consideration with those two styles of rvs is ground transportation after you set camp.  Both the motor home and cab over, unless you have a towed vehicle, require you to completely break camp to go anywhere.

You can go, as woman said she does with her motorhome, rent a car at the location for ground transport.  She says that is actually cheaper than towing a travel vehicle and maintaining it.  But that is a subject for another time.

What type of rv you purchase and what you want in it will definitely make a difference in how much you pay for the unit naturally.  Just like purchasing a car or truck with or without luxury features.

You also need to look at the cost of new vs used.  When looking at a travel trailer or motorhome the argument on this is pretty much the same as when trying to decide on new vs used on any vehicle or appliance.  All the same arguments apply.

There is one thing to consider with used rvs that I have never had to consider when purchasing a car.  I have never been to a parking lot that has said you can’t park your car here because it is too old.  I have been to campgrounds that have age limits on rvs. 

Generally it is if the rv is older than 10 years old they aren’t allowed.  Although at these same campgrounds I have never been asked for proof of age of my rv. It is just something you need to be aware of if you are looking at older rvs.

So you decide the type of rv you want, what luxuries you want (washer, dryer, automatic levelers, slide toppers, awnings, etc), ground transportation and if it is a towed vehicle the costs of the equipment to tow it and then you start considering other things. On the upfront costs of the rv vs motels route.

You also need to seriously look at your tow vehicle for trailers of all sorts.  Do your research, know your vehicles TRUE pulling and STOPPING power.  Don’t take the word of the salesman at either the car/truck or rv dealership.  Remember they make their living by selling you the most expensive unit they can, whether your vehicle can really handle that big rig or not. Do your research away from the sellers.

Time after time we have seen and talked to people who have been told their half ton pickup will pull a huge fifth wheel with no trouble and they have ended up with all sorts of vehicle trouble, or worse, wrecks because of it. 

You need to take into consideration not only the weight of the empty trailer, but the weight of everything you put in it.  Be aware a simple gallon of water weights 8.4 pounds so if you fill a 30 gallon tank you are adding over 250 pounds to that trailer not only to pull, but to STOP in traffic, going downhill in the rain….

Do your homework on this for certain before putting a large rig on a truck.  Our fifth wheel is a 37 ft.  Montana with an aluminum frame.  We pull it with a one ton diesel dually Chevy Silverado and there was recently an event that our trailer brake assist failed and we came within inches of rear ending a vehicle in what would have normally been a very reasonable stopping distance.  Trailers PUSH hard when going downhill and they pull hard going uphill. Trust me we stopped and fixed that problem immediately.

If your vehicle won’t handle it and doesn’t have a tow package on it I highly recommend a different vehicle or a smaller trailer.  By the way, we personally prefer a dually for a tow vehicle because it, to us, gives more stabilization by having those extra wheels on the ground.


Just like your car you have to have insurance on your rv. This can be as simple or as complicated as you deem necessary.  We have our fifth wheel insured in conjunction with our pick-up and therefore it is a lower rate and has the same coverage as the truck does. 
However, you need to be aware that if you are doing full time rving some companies will not cover your rv in this manner. Make sure you are carrying the proper insurance.

In our home state of Oklahoma, because we still own our sticks and bricks home our homeowners insurance covers the contents of our rv for theft, fire, storm etc, just like our house is covered.

Individual states and companies will vary, so be sure and check the costs of this and add that into your equation.

We also have AAA rv insurance coverage. Do not be tempted to think just because you have AAA your trailer and tow vehicle are both covered, because at least with the Oklahoma policies your card MUST say you have rv coverage on the front of it to even get a flat changed on your tow vehicle if your trailer is hooked up to it.


RV’s have to be tagged separately and if your state requires excise tax or other transfer of ownership taxes that needs to be added into your equation as well.  When we purchased our current fifth wheel I was able to find an pretty good estimate online as to what those costs would be before I ever purchased the fiver.


Yes, accessories, now there are a few for a motel stay that if you don’t already have you might need to consider.

Luggage something to consider. Yes, you can motel stay using Wal-Mart sacks, but is that is asking for loss of important items to happen and if you are flying they won’t let you check those.  Spring for good quality luggage if you are going to travel a lot, especially if that travel includes flying.

You can often find good luggage at thrift stores for far cheaper than retail.  Check zippers and clasps thoroughly if you are doing this. 

You might also want to consider an ice chest for picnics and snacks on the road.  If you go with an ice chest you have two options to consider.  Electric or normal ice chests.  

Our experience with the electric was it didn’t keep things as cool as we liked (generally only about 5-10 degrees below the current ambient temperature in your vehicle (including when your car is locked in the sun meaning it will drain your car battery and only cool it to around 100 or more degrees in a locked car in August and it will, on occasion, blow the fuses of your vehicle.

If you do the regular type, then you have the cost of ice for it.  There are of course all sorts of ways to cut that cost both in motel camping and rving.  Another post for certain.

Believe it or not you MAY in some instances want an overnight bag each in a camper as well.  On more than one trip in the past we have traveled to a location, to park our rv in the motel’s major parking/storage lot and stay in the motel.  Generally this was done for business travel, and we could have done it with Wal-Mart bags, but we choose to take overnight bags.  We own some nice collapsible ones that take almost no space to store in the camper for such use.  We have also used those bags for taking laundry to the laundromat. There may also be occasions that you will have to stay in a motel or a friend’s house while rv repairs are being done.

The rv has its own set of accessories.  Some are necessary, some are simply nice to have.

Necessary: pots, pans, plates bowls and other meal preparation items.  You can either outfit your camper with items for your camper kitchen from your sticks and bricks home, from thrift stores, or all brand new.  How you do it will affect your upfront total as well.

Then of course there are your linens, be aware some rvs have “short” beds.  This is generally due to how slides must come in on the unit.  A regular mattress will not work on these beds, but regular sheets will.  The beds are the same width as standard mattresses, but are shorter by x amount of inches. 

Our bed is a queen short.   I use regular queen sheets on it and just tuck the extra length under the mattress.

If one of your family members is taller in stature and you fall in love with a short bed camper you can, once you are set-up pull the mattress down at the foot of the bed slightly and add a few inches to the length because you don’t generally sleep with your head right smack up against the wall.  It does get to be a bit of a hassle doing this every time you set up or tear down and does narrow your walkway at the foot of the bed, but if that is the only deciding factor on the purchase then don’t let it stop you. Me, I don’t have that problem, I am only 5’1”.

Set-up accessories: leveler blocks/boards, chocks, sewer hose, sewer connector, sewer hose support (can simply be a sloped board), drinking water hose (one actually made to use for drinking water), separate water hose to use for sewer clean out, water regulator and I am certain there are more I am forgetting.

Pets: if your pet is traveling with you campgrounds require that you keep them on a 6 ft. leash, in a crate, tied out on a 6 ft leash, or in pet fencing at all times when outdoors.  If you do not already have these that cost will need to be added.  Of course for strictly auto travel you will need a leash anyway and possibly a crate.

Unnecessary, but nice to have for various reasons: wheel covers (these extend the life of your tires), ground cloth/rug to put in front of your steps to help prevent tracking ground debris into the camper, outdoor table cloths, table cloth clips, lawn chairs, lawn tables, a sunshade or screen porch/canopy, tiki torches, awning lights the list goes on and on.

Rv maintenance, tires, greasing the wheel bearings, and other things quite similar to that of an auto, only they often cost a little more to pay to have or you can do them yourself.

Then of course there is the extra tag to purchase every year and in some states an rv is tagged as a luxury item and therefore costs more.

Fuel, the more you drag/carry the lower your fuel will drop.  Usually by ¼ to ½ if you are pulling a big rig.

So after reading all the upfront and maintenance costs you might wonder why in the world anyone would think rving would be better.  Let’s look at that.

Nightly rates: Unless you want to stay in the roach and bedbug motel you are looking at a minimum of roughly $70 per night.  Even with loyalty cards that can be a major chunk of money.  5 nights at such a motel is $350 plus taxes and you have to eat at least 2 of your meals out daily (many hotels have a free breakfast of sorts).

Many campgrounds have weekly and monthly rates and many that same $350 will buy you a month’s stay that includes water, electric, sewer and sometimes wi-fi (albeit slow) and limited cable tv. 

We camp at many places for $9 to $10 a night, and many times free.  The highest we have ever paid was $69 per night, that was at Walt Disney World’s Ft. Wilderness and includes all sorts of free entertainment, transportation and atmosphere you won’t get staying elsewhere.  Their value resorts average $100 to $150 a night on season, so even there you save around half by camping.

With just this factor you can quickly see that if you camp much at all you will save a lot of money and that doesn’t include the free movies, ice cream and other goodies that camping fee often includes.

Then there is the matter of hygiene.  I personally like KNOWING who slept in my bed last and when the sheets were last changed.  That there are no bed bugs in the bed and furniture. 

No grungy fungi hiding in my shower and when the toilet was last scrubbed, but that is just me.

I also like knowing my dishes, pots and pans are truly clean. So health consequences and peace of mind you will have to put the value on yourself.

If you want to take your pet with you most campgrounds now not only allow you to bring your animals, as long as you obey the rules, but have dog run areas as well without an extra fee for Phydeaux.  Hotels often have pet friendly rooms, but also charge extra per pet.

As they sang in the musical Oliver, “Food, glorious food!” If you can cook it at home you can cook it in a camper.  You can even get full size residential appliances if you want to pay the price and haul that extra weight around.  We find the small appliances that come with the camper work just fine for us.

I do however carry a crockpot, a toaster oven and a Griddler with me for convenience in cooking.  We like to explore every new area we visit and it is so handy to throw dinner in the crockpot before we leave and come back for dinner.

We do try new places as we go.  In fact we have been on the lookout for the places featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to try the ones that looked yummy to us on the show.  But for the most part a quick fixed meal at the camper is tasty and far cheaper than a constant diet of fast food and questionable restaurants.

Discounts, just like hotels campgrounds often have discounts for area attractions so they break pretty even right there.

Ambience at a campground is extremely different.  If you enjoy bird watching, deer, the smell of a campfire, sometimes hearing a campfire singalong these are things you will miss motel staying.

If you prefer nightclubs, shows, movies and that sort of thing you can still go to them from the campground, it is just a little more of a commute.

Let’s talk storage.  You are soooooo limited on what you can take with you when traveling via motels.  Just what will fit in your car/truck.  You have many times that amount of space in your rv, but you need to remember extra weight puts extra strain on your tow vehicle and will affect your fuel mileage.  But it is nice to have spare underwear when you need it.

Speaking of fuel economy.  Plan on your fuel usage to go up when rving.  Our diesel dually fuel usage when pulling the fifth wheel is about 6 mpg less than without it.

Fueling up also has its own set of concerns.  Not all fuel stations are rv friendly.  I cannot tell you how many rvs I have seen with the tell tale crease from the ballards (those yellow pillars at the gas pumps) because the driver over estimated his safe distance.

You also need to plan your exit route as well.  Big rigs don’t jump fast out into traffic.  Traffic lights are your friend!

Unfortunately the trend in many fuel stations now is to have all sorts of curbs surrounding the station to help slow down the number of drive-offs they have.  This trend also makes it close to impossible to purchase fuel at these stations when traveling with an rv.  There are several ways around this problem, but you need to know it exists.

All in all if you are planning on a lot of traveling then I highly recommend an rv, if you are only going out for 2 weeks a year, well... we did it, but then we love camping.
I hope this helps all of you make the decision. 

Jan who is really enjoying rv life in and away from OK


Oh my, what to say about this beautiful place.  It is the second largest canyon in the United States, just not nearly as advertised as the Grand Canyon.  

Located not far from Amarillo we decided to take a day trip to view the canyon and to check out the campgrounds at the base of the canyon.

Unlike the Grand Canyon the campgrounds are easily accessed by car.  There are sites for tent campers, motor homes and everything between.  The number is of course limited and they are pretty basic sites.  I am sorry I forgot to check the rates, but it is a state park so that will give you a rough idea of the cost.

There are a few bits of information I would like to share with you before I start describing the canyon and its beauty.
1.     Pack lots of water, a picnic lunch and lots of water would be even better.  There are several day use areas that would be wonderful to just sit and enjoy the scenery while you ate a snack or a meal.
2.     Take sun and heat protection with you and use it! The canyon is unbelievably hot as you start walking its basin and there are a lot of wonderful hiking trails to enjoy.   However, we did see signs that said that if you did not have a hat, sunblocker, lots of water and it was over 80 degrees to NOT take that hiking trail. 
3.     Speaking of hiking trails, wear sturdy walking shoes that will provide you protection against long cactus spines and will support your ankles well.

4.     Take cash with you so when you stumble across the snow cone vendor you can enjoy one of their delicious cooling treats.
5.     Pack your camera, there are many wonderful sites to see.
6.     Allow plenty of time, this is not a place you want to rush.
7.     And finally if you have a fear of driving on high two lane roads without guard rails, let someone else drive when you are within the first two miles of the top.  After that first/last two miles the roads are fine, but to someone with a fear of heights there is one 1 ½ mile segment that could be pretty scary for them.

Our first stop was after the “scary part” and well worth the effort to get down the road.  It was the visitor center.  The panoramic view there was spectacular.

Inside the visitor center there were large windows, complete with a free viewing telescope so even the most timid of visitors could enjoy the view from the safety of the room.

There was a book signing going on there while we were there, but for the life of me I cannot remember the author’s name.  I apologize. 

There were also some nice displays about the native inhabitants, the flora and fauna of the area and of course a gift shop.  We stayed there, enjoying the view and the air conditioning for a while before venturing off to see what else we could find.

Up the hill from the visitor center there was a hiking trail that I ventured down for a bit, but the heat soon drove me back to the pick-up.

Everywhere we went the colors were astounding.  I was fascinated by the sheer beauty of the layers upon layers of history showing in the rocks and walls of the canyon. 

Multiple resting places are provided throughout the canyon, some took advantage of the natural materials provided by the canyon.

As we drove through one of the many campground/day use areas we came across our first view of the fully bearded wild turkeys for the day.  They didn’t seem the least bit concerned we were in their area.  I guess they know they are protected in the park.

At one point we started to hike down the path to the Lighthouse formation, but we soon figured out why they had the signs up about water, temperatures and such and after maybe a quarter mile of hiking.  We wisely turned back after taking a photo of one formation that the handout suggested looked like a Native American wrapped in a blanket, you decide if it does:

and purchased snow cones from the convenient seller at this point (the only one we saw by the way). 

We hesitated at the price of $3 for a small one, but decided we deserved the treat for all the walking we had been doing.  It was the best $6 we spent that day.  

They were not your typical flimsy paper cone cup that tradition snow cones come in it was a 20 oz Styrofoam cup and very well made.  For another dollar we could have gotten a 32 oz cup.  But 20 was plenty refreshing for us.  By the way, this vendor only takes cash because of the fact there is little to no cell or internet connection in the canyon.

I watched as the young woman constructed our treats.  A cherry one for Gary and a vanilla one for me.  She filled the cups with finely crushed (almost to a slush consistency) ice  that she shaved only after you placed your order. 

Then a good layer of flavoring was added and she tapped the cup on the counter, stirred a short while then added more ice, more flavoring repeat until the cup was heaping full.  This was served with a spoon. Oh so good. 

We set enjoying the scenery, eating our snow cones and observing extremely hot looking people returning from their hike.  Even young, fit 20 somethings were showing the strains of that near 100 degree day.

As we drove through the park looking at all the beautiful formations and colors we both agreed in a way this was better than the Grand Canyon because all we had ever done there was camp at the top and stare at the beauty of it from the guard rails.  I love the Grand Canyon, and I love the Badlands, this place is like a combination of the two.

There are not only many colors and formations to see there are also caves, most of which you are allowed to hike to.  This one caught our eye. We loved the way it continues the stripe all the way through the cave.  You can judge how big the cave is by the other guests that climbed up there ahead of us (actually by this point I was tuckered out, and staying in the truck while Gary took the rest of the photos, in fact he took most of the photos that day.

If we had wanted to we could have stayed and gone to the outdoor play “Texas” in the outdoor amphitheater that evening, but we were too tired. 

If we had chosen to we could have parked at the top and road a shuttle up and down the road for the play so you don’t have to do the scary road in the dark.  By the way the entrance road and the exit road are the same road.

All in all we are really glad we went.  I think you would be glad to go as well.

Jan who loves visiting God’s masterpieces in nature in and away from OK

Friday, July 1, 2016


Be prepared for a lot of photos on this post folks.  We loved this museum.  There was nothing fancy about it.  A series of metal buildings with wonderful old campers and motorcycles in it.  It was a bit warm on the hot summer day we choose to visit, but they had large fans all throughout the museum to help make the building a decent temperature, warm but not stifling.

I can’t begin to show you everything in the museum, but I can give you an idea of the variety of things, and the history to be learned there. 

First of all you need to go to Jack’s rv dealership at 4341 Canyon Expressway, Amarillo, TX, the museum is on their back lot, and in case I forgot to mention it is FREE, my favorite price.

First you need to find a place to park, no easy feat to begin with.  They have a tiny parking lot that is generally pretty full, but street parking on the service road in front of the dealership is allowed.

You let the greeter at the front desk know you are there to view the museum and they escort you to the museum, give you brief instructions on how to get back to the showroom and then they leave you to spend as little or a much time as you want exploring the museum.  We spent about two hours going through it and would have probably spent more if the temperatures had been cooler.

We really enjoyed the layout of the museum with the oldest rigs being at the entrance and the newer ones at the exit. 

We also enjoyed the fact that there were bits of ephemera appropriate to each time period around those units. 

Even better there was good clear signage and lots of it.

The very first thing that we saw as we entered was a Harley Davidson Motorcycle all decked out to go to war.  I had no idea that Harley’s were the bikes used in WWII and there were units that in fact used the Harley’s exclusively.  I found this very interesting.   Gary was aware they had been in the war, but not that they were THE bike of the war.

Of course this wasn’t the only motorcycle or dirt bike in the museum.  You saw them everywhere you looked, displayed in unusual ways. On shelves,

Hanging from the ceiling

Even in the back of an El Camino

They are everywhere and various brands of various eras are represented.

But this is an RV Museum, so what about them.  Well they are of course the main focal point of the museum.  There are tent trailers (as pictured above), a camper shell, bumper pull trailers (including air stream), a Woodstock “Jesus” bus and actual motor homes with some claim to fame to their existence.  But alas, no fifth wheels.

The first bumper pull on display was a 1941 Westcraft. I particularly liked this one.  It showed how much things have changed.  First of all it was short.  You can tell that from the photo.  I am only 5’1” tall and you can see how in comparison to me the thing was far tinier than its descendants of today.

It was also a very heavy trailer by today’s standards. Regular household furniture in it, wood paneling and a chamber pot.  This unit was really up town,

As I mentioned before I particularly liked the signage and period items by each rv.  As you go through the museum pay close attention to the prices mentioned in the signage of the individual units.  From around $100 in the 1930’s to today’s “Oh my Gosh” prices the rv industry really has gone forward with leaps and bounds. 

Seeing so much of the camping gear of my lifetime brought back a lot of memories. 
My brother had one of the little trikes like the green one in the photo, only his was blue.  I am sure it probably came the hand me town trail through my older cousins (Mom was the baby of 10 kids) because Jerry was born in 1956.

I have camped all of my life so the Pepsi coolers, old Coleman lanterns, campfire toasters and much more were all familiar to me.

Look closely as you go through as to how the various camper are stocked.  The 1941 Westcraft had an old Bing Crosby multi-record 33 1/3 album in it.

I mentioned rvs earlier with claims to fame.  One is this beauty.  Recognize it? It was the rv used by the oh so helpful Gornike family in the movie RV starring Robin Williams.

I could go on and on, but why spoil the fun of the museum for you.  If you like camping this free rv museum is very interesting.  It was our first rv museum to visit, but I am certain we will visit more in the future. 

Jan who hopes you enjoy the photos in OK


When we left Red Oaks Campground at Okmulgee State Park our plan was to drive up to the Boiling Springs StatePark to camp for about a week while we did things in that area.

Well you know good old Murphy from Murphy's Law, he’s always got to put his thumb in it.  We headed out highway 412 and were doing pretty good.  A little over an hour into the trip we decided to get fuel, have a light lunch and then move on down the road.

We had actually got away from camp right on schedule, in fact a little early, the truck was running well and Betty Claire, the fifth wheel,  was following like the good girl she is.

Fuel on the turnpike was actually less expensive than we had seen it at other exits, and while we weren’t low we decided to go ahead and top off the tank since the diesel pumps were easy access there at the McDonald’s. 

I went inside to pay while Gary moved the truck, then joined me for lunch.  We didn’t know Murphy was waiting outside, until we went to leave.  

The truck would not start! It would crank, but not catch.  It was over 100 degrees there on that asphalt as Gary checked various things out to no avail.

A wonderful woman came up and asked us if we would like a ride to town to get out of the heat, and even gave us her mechanics name.  Gary and I thanked her but declined her generous offer.  We knew if we had to we could boondock there in the parking spot we were parked in and that our son could drive up from Tulsa the next day (He was in El Paso at that point, flying home that evening) if we needed him to.

Gary started researching on the internet for possible causes and fixes.  We both suspected the fuel filter, because he had just changed it out a few days before and had more trouble doing so then usual.

Several different forums talked about the bleeder adjustment on fuel filters causing similar problems.  Since Gary had never replaced the bleeder adjustment screw he bet that was the culprit.

Digging around in his tool box he found first his duct tape.  Too thick, then he found a roll of plumbers tape.  Pulled the screw like adjuster out, wrapped the threads and re-inserted it. Drained the air and then tried to start the truck again.

Jackpot! Now to get an actual new part because who knew how long the plumbers tape would last.

We drove into Stillwater, OK looking for a dealership because the forums had mentioned this was a dealership only item.

Would you believe we ended up stopping at an Autozone to ask them where a Chevy dealership was because the gps kept trying to send us to Minnesota? We would have loved to gone to Minnesota, but didn't have a way at that point, or the time.

Luckily the cashier at Autozone told us exactly how to get there.  We  went straight over to the location, which had such a full parking lot we had to park on the shoulder of the service road. 

We were not about to turn the motor off because we weren’t certain we could get it started again. While I sat in the truck Gary walked at a quick pace, nearly running to try to get to the parts department before they closed. He was THREE MINUTES late.  The people were still there, but would not even talk to him about the part.   Told him to come back at 8 am. Gee I guess they wanted to go home to their families or something.

Okay, now what?  We needed to find a place to park the camper for the night.  Sitting there on the side of the road, motor running Gary did a web search for nearby campgrounds.  The closer to the dealership the better, just in case we couldn’t get the truck started again.

He found Cedar Crest Campground near Lake McMurty who said she had a couple of sites available, but both were reserved for future dates and we could only stay two nights on one of them. 

Following her instructions we found the campground, pulled into the pull thru she directed us to and set up quickly.

Cedar Crest is what we call a parking lot type of campground.  No trees, gravel drives, everything is pull thru.  Full hook-ups, no tv but did have internet. Nightly rate $25.  Higher than we like to pay, but heck we were in a pinch, and it did have 50 amp, sewer and internet.  So we took it. 

We know as we get out of the central US we will be paying higher nightly rates, so we take all the COE $10 we can right now to save our camping budget for those much higher priced campgrounds in the future.  Only no COE in this area.

The next morning we called the parts department as soon as it opened to find out they did not have the part in stock and they wouldn’t have it until Friday.  This was Wednesday.

The camp hostess talked to us before she had to leave on personal business for three days and indicated that the site we were in wasn’t actually suppose to be occupied until August 1.  That the person had pre-paid because this small campground is usually full with workers and college students year round. However, since it had been reserved and pre-paid that if the student showed up we would have to vacate it.

That they had weekly ($150) and monthly rates, sorry forgot the monthly rate.  Then she left for three days, this was before we found out we would have to wait for 3 days for the part.

So now we had a pickle to munch on.  Do we stay in the site until she got back so we could pay her, since she was due back Friday night or Saturday morning.  Move our camper if the college student that had pre-paid for the site showed up.  Or try to find another campground and hope that the truck would start and run during the moving.

We decided to wait it out and hope the student didn’t show up.  Luckily he didn’t.
Once the hostess returned to the site she okayed us to stay for the few days that would make our stay a full week and gave us the weekly discount.  We really appreciated that!

When the part finally came in it was only $13 and it took Gary less than 5 minutes to do the replacement.  Works like a charm. 

Now a little more about the campground itself.  While the pads are sparse gravel and there are no good shade trees it is a decent campground, clean and quiet.  They have a two washer, two dryer laundry room.  $1 per load each unit, washers run 37 minutes dryers 45.  They are pretty strict about not leaving your laundry in there longer.  Which helps keep the washers or dryers being tied up for extreme long periods of time.

There are a few cabins to rent, but again I didn’t check the price because it wasn’t applicable to us. 

This is Tornado Alley folks so the campground has two storm shelters that hold 9 people.  There are other storm shelters nearby in town.

Gary and I will admit we had thought we might have to be two of the nine in the shelter nearest us one night.  A storm full of torrential rain and high straight winds rolled through shaking the trailer, that was parked between two larger units, severely.  It was not a fun time, but it was over as soon as it started.

Being the Pollyanna that I am after the storm was over I was thankful for it because it not only washed a lot of dust off the camper and truck, it proved there was at this point no leaks due to the scuff from the dealership.

The bathroom and laundry room are metal portable buildings with log cabin facades on the front of them, not much safer in a heavy storm than a camper would be.
While there are no picnic or patio areas at the sites there is a nice picnic area set up near the pond, which apparently you can fish in as well based on what we saw while there.

All and all it is a clean basic campground with a friendly hostess.  Although we had permission to do a flyover filming we never got around to it because of wind and rain.

Not knowing whether or not the truck would start we did not do much touring around Stillwater.  Gary went to college there at Oklahoma State University, but really had no interest in seeing what changes had happened to the campus since he attended before enlisting and then going to Viet Nam.

When we checked the AAA and online sources for tourism information everything was OSU sports orientated.  We are not sports fans so none of it interested us.

We spent the week scanning photos, re-organizing the stuff we had just loaded into the camper from the farm and once we got the truck part doing our shopping for perishables at Wal-Mart.

By the time it was time for us to leave we had canceled our plans to go to Boiling Springs and decided to go up to the Great Salt Flats in northern Oklahoma, until…we found there were no campsites available there because of the holiday coming up.
Guess we'll go there later in our travels.

We decided to go a completely different direction…Amarillo, Texas.  While we had camp there numerous times before we had always been in transit due to work related appointments.  We could get into the campground we had used several times before for a week.  So time to go tour Amarillo.

Because the gravel is sparse at the campground and we had rain on and off all the time we were at Cedar Crest we were sitting in a mud hole.

Despite how they look it is very easy to get a one ton dually stuck in the mud if you don’t take precautions.

Luckily we’ve been down this path before so when it came time to leave we lined up Legos, as we call the leveler blocks, behind the tires of the truck before backing it up.  While the Legos did sink down in the mud, the truck was on firm enough support that we were able to move on with no problem at all.

Jan who says “Next stop Texas”