Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend Local Camping Trip To Lehman’s RV Resort

We decided to take a risk and go to an RV Park in Marengo, IL called Lehman’s Lakeside RV Resort. I say take a risk because some of the reviews of this park were pretty negative. Also, they are expensive to the tune of $43.00 a night making this the most expensive place we have been to.

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Campground office, bathrooms and showers, very clean and well taken care of.

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I think this was the original office, I forgot to ask.

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The gaming room, we didn’t go in.

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We took a ride to the park before bringing the RV there to see how it looks. The park has a section near a small lake near I-90 for the yearly residents. The “B” section is where people stay monthly and like many parks open yearly some of the people who stay permanently or monthly don’t take care of their lot(s) very well, which some of the reviews complained about. This shouldn’t ruin your stay in my view if the place is clean overall and quiet.

 

Park Map

While verifying our reservation the owner offered to take us around the park in her golf cart. My observation of the park while being shown it is it’s not worth $43.00 a night but we wanted to check the place out so we left after talking to the owner for a little while longer. She was very nice by the way and I could tell she cared about the place.

One of my concerns about the place was the roads and pull through sites. We thought we were in the “B” section in site 1B but we were in the pull through section in site 18A.  There are a lot of pot holes and the exit from the sites has an incline that would cause our rig to drag the rear end and I told the owner this. In fact I could see that other rigs had dragged as well because of the gouges left behind. I should have taken pictures of some of the things I had issues with but what mattered to us was clean power, water, sewer and cable.

Here you can see the incline that 90% of newer rigs would have no issue with, but older rigs that sit low will have an issue.

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Here is our site, # 18A. The grass is cut, not mulched so the pad was covered with grass clippings as was the grass around the rig. A small complaint but considering the cost I was expecting better maintained sites.

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The sewer opening was nearly 30ft away from the back of the rig making dumping the tanks an up hill battle since the site was on an incline. This also made leveling the rig very interesting.

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Some of the permanent rigs had home made rooms built onto the rig, not very well maintained but it is what it is, the people are quiet and friendly and that’s what is important. If we stay here again, we are going to ask to be put under these trees since the shade is so nice. They told us 36ft wouldn’t fit but we looked at a few of the sites and our rig would easily fit.

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The main complaints from other people who camped here are, too expensive, smelly water, poor cable reception and poorly maintained lake and lots.

Here are my thoughts, yes the water has that well water smell, people who have had well water for their homes or have been to RV parks with well water know this smell and it’s no big deal. I am a picky SOB and the water was fine. Poor cable reception, this is true, the cable reception is bad, in fact we chose to use our antenna even though we could barely get any stations in. The lake looked fine to me, in fact you could see straight to the bottom. The lake and ponds were all very clear however there is an abundance of seaweed on them but this is normal. They also aerate the lake to keep the oxygen up.

I do agree that for what's offered the price is too high. If I’m going to ask $43.00 per night I’d make sure the park “looked” better, get the permanent residents to pick up more, trim the grass around the campers and also paint the wood they surround their 5th wheels and travel trailers with to protect the pipes from weather. It doesn’t take much to make the curb appeal look better. I’d also make sure the cable connection doesn’t work like a bad antenna and I would make sure there is more channels than people can get off of their antenna’s.

Overall we liked the park, the owner is nice, the people working there are friendly and it’s large enough to get good exercise walking. I just don’t think we can justify spending that much per night. Sugar Shores is about the same distance away but is much nicer and it’s $12.00 per night cheaper. The price difference for one day pays for the firewood for 2 nights!

Ok, time to discuss the RV! I last saw the RV when we picked it up from Collier 3 weeks earlier. I left the mouse traps there but they hadn’t been touched all winter so I planned on taking them out when we picked up the rig. So imagine my surprise when we picked up the rig and all 4 traps had a mouse in it!?!? What are the odds??

I got the rig ready, turned on the power, fired up the genny and started the engine and everything did what it was supposed to do. How cool is that? Smile with tongue out  I am amazed at how new tires can change the way a vehicle drives but these new tires are so smooth and QUIET. I had to say that in caps because the difference is that drastic!

I drove to the RV Park and got the rig hooked up and after getting the rig leveled on the incline I put the slide out, mistake on my part as it rewarded me with a few clunks. I should have put the slide out first then leveled the coach. Once hooked up I turned on the water and found the fancy schmancy water regulator is no longer regulating water so I turned down the water at the outside faucet and everything is fine. I also found out our internal cable connection is bad, I had to run the cable connection direct through a window to find out it wasn’t worth the effort but it was good to find this out for future reference.

We had 2 days of no issues with the RV aside from the regulator and cable TV and considering how things started last year, we are happy!

While we were there I met a guy who has a mobile RV detailing business, how cool is that?? He also does RV upgrades and worked at Holiday Rambler for 7 years. So he is going to give me a quote for the carpet and some other things we need to get done.

Sorry for the long winded post! Have a great week everybody!

13 comments:

Sue and Doug said...

I always thought you were suppose to level first then put the slides out?..or am I mistaken?

Erik's RV Blog * said...

Sue and Doug - Leveling the rig can distort the chassis so I was told unless I was on a bad site to put the slide out first.

You may actually be right but Holiday Rambler has sent me two different responses from two different techs, one saynig to level first, the other saying to level after. So I'm not sure now.. doh.

Judy and Emma said...

Seems pretty pricey to me too, but I suppose that's because you are in the Chicago-land area?

I've always leveled first and then deployed the slides. It's worked for me, but your experience may vary. :)

Alan and Marilyn McMillan said...

We too always level first, then put out the slides.

Erik's RV Blog * said...

Judy and Emma - The average in the area is around $30.00 to $33.00 per night.

Alan and Marilyn - I think you and Judy and Emma are right but I'll be darned if I can remember if I leveled first last year or after... My memory stinks...

Teri said...

The RV parks around here, in the Four Corners area are expensive, between $30 and $45 a night. The State and County parks start at $20 or more and don't have electricity. I'm planning on doing some weekend camping away from my workamping site. You are off to a pretty good start, I hope you guys have a good camping season.

Anonymous said...

We have a 2002 Monaco Monarch and it says we need to put the slides out before leveling.

Bruce (& Val)

Erik's RV Blog * said...

Teri - Have fun Teri!

Bruce & Val - I hear ya! I am almost sure our dealer said slide first but HR has given two different answers. Doh. Next trip I'll do the slide first and see if I get the same clunks that I heard. If I do then I may need to have the mechanism checked.

I'm going to contact Monaco and ask them.

JOJO said...

At least it all went well. For your first trip out and all the hassel you had with repairs.

That is expensive but anymore today most are.
Just great to get away.

Erik's RV Blog * said...

JoJo - Agreed! We had a good time, like each first trip there was thunderstorms which we love and this one didn't dissapoint! :)

Anonymous said...

Just so you know our bedroom slide clunks when it reaches full extension and our living room slide doesn't, so go figure. Haven't used it this year yet so who knows what kind of sounds things will be making on our first outing. We have the manual and a video we got with the unit and both say slides out then level for our Monaco. With the reputation of RV manufacturers I wouldn't have been surprised if the manual and video contradicted each other.

Bruce (& Val)

Big Matt said...

Man, I wish we could build add on rooms like that next to our RVs here at Island Cove, I'd have me a nice extended room next to the camper that I could heat :).

Diana said...

Wow the price for that park for the night was steep. Even for up north! I'd stick with the cheaper one and enjoy a few nights but I know it's nice to have a change now and then.
I'm so glad to hear that you and Ronda got away for the weekend Erik, I'm envious!! Love Di ♥