Monday, April 29, 2013

April 2013 Flood–After AND Introducing….. AND A New Site! Whew….

I think I got that backwards, lets do the introduction first shall we?

Introducing, Shiloh! This cute little thing came from PAWS Chicago on Friday 4/26/13 and looks to be pretending to be a very tiny Husky, she almost gets away with it until you see her eyes.


She is a little shy right now and didn’t eat anything until late Sunday which made us very happy. We were afraid we’d be going to the vet if she continued to refuse eating. She would perk up whenever we ate and she seemed very interested in human food which of course she wasn’t going to get.

Like Loki she doesn’t take off when off leash which is like hitting the doggy lottery. Our neighbors for the weekend have a small dog like Shiloh and that thing barked non-stop (ALL WEEKEND) and when off leash too off like a bolt. We’ll see how Shiloh  does in the next few weeks. As for her name, you’ll need to ask Ronda why…  Disappointed smile


I’ll spare you all from all of the clean up pictures, here is one of them showing the build up of muck, leaves, everybody's mulch and our very heavy stairs that got moved by the water.


Here is the site after we got most of the junk cleaned up. My arms and legs are going to hurt  for a few days after raking all of that gravel and debris! Ronda did a lot of clean up and helped me burn the bulk of the debris, the fire was going most of the weekend!


Oh yes, I almost forgot this part, I had the propane filled Saturday morning. I brought the rig home, got it all situated after moving a LOT of gravel and then Ronda went to turn on the hot water and OOOPPSS Embarrassed smile I forgot to turn the gas back on! Arrrgghhh! Disappointed smile See the compartment at the top of the picture? That’s where the valve is for the propane, let’s see, bring the slide in, bring up the jacks, disconnect water, sewer and electricity OR try and open the compartment door a tad and turn the gas on that way.


I decided, what the heck, I can crawl underneath and…. get real good and stuck! On all fours I was taller than the distance between the supports for the deck and the ground so I had to side crawl through the not dry yet debris under the deck and then try to hold the door open and reach the valve, which seemed to be 1 foot further than I could reach.

Quite the quandary ‘eh? Ronda stood on the deck and held the door open for me and I contorted my right arm and couldn’t reach it. My arm simply didn’t bend the right way to get over the spare tire to get to the valve. So, I decided to FORCE my arm up there, why not right? I was committed and there was no way I was going to now go do it the way I should have from the get go, no way no how buddy, nope!

I jammed my arm up there and got it! I felt the valve with the tips of three fingers and it wouldn’t turn, so I force my fingers in-between the valve openings and twisted counter clockwise and it worked! Now the gas was on but my arm was jammed up there, I forced it up there, I can force it out right? I gave it a big pull and out came my arm, all I got was a scratch and a lot of pain but the gas was on! (EDIT: It’s now Monday 2pm and my arm still hurts).

Not having access to the compartments is one of the reasons for the introduction below, if you’re still here you might as well continue right? Dog face


Re-introducing site 131! We purchased the shed and deck, the previous owner has cleaned out the lot but he still has to empty the shed and pick up his kayaks. The campground owners will have all new gravel poured in time for our move in next week. We’ll take plenty of pictures next and I should have the flag up then as well.

Until then, I have the yard at home to work on! Anybody have an arm, two legs and a back I can borrow? Smile Have a great week!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Note From The Campground Owners

We received confirmation the water has receded enough to move the rig back to our spot this weekend. We haven’t decided on the other spot yet, it entails the purchase of the shed and deck which we can do but that also means we’ll need to be here the next few years to make it worth it.

We’ll see!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Flood 2013 Continued…

Remember Thursday? The Kishwaukee river was cresting over the banks of the campground but had not reached our site yet.


Here it is Saturday morning, AFTER the water started receding about a foot.


All of the junk in the campground, including the muck, a few small decks and a fence ended up in our spot.




We spent Saturday night in the rig and also help Ronda’s parents move into their new house.


We also found a new site we might want to take instead of the one buried in a lake for the next few weeks. It has a large deck, a shed and a large area behind the site where the entire family can hang out for a fire pit. Oh, it also has a flag pole.


The shed has power and might come with 2 kayaks as well.


We like the fire pit area a lot!


There is an RV sitting there now but it’s there because of the flood, it should be removed soon. It needs a lot of raking and new gravel for the driveway.


The playground is right there as well, plus up here we should have better internet access.


We haven’t made a decision yet, they are selling the shed and deck which would be fantastic to have plus it’s in a very shady section of the campground so if it gets hot again like last year the temperature should be much lower here. We’re going to discuss it with the campground owners next weekend.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

FLOOD 2013

So last weekend we pulled the rig out of the swampy mud in the campground storage lot. This morning I get a call from the campground owner asking me to come over and move the rig to high ground. The Kishwaukee River has gone over flood stage in most parts of the river. 

Looking at this picture it looks like the river has some way to go to go into the campground. I was thinking at this point I could have come here tonight, wrong assumption..


Looks safe right? This picture was taken from high ground, soon after I moved the rig river water started getting into the campground. Not here yet but moving slowly.


This is the other end of the campground, or should I say the tent area of the campground, it’s higher than we’re we are but lower than the hill I took the first picture from. Completely flooded and about to crest over into the main campground, our rig is at the low point of that section of the park. So instead of having to crest over as seen in the first picture, all that’s needed is another few inches and it will be running river water into the campground unabated. Once that starts, it will quickly reach our side and it will fill like a bowl.


They called me twice to get me there as soon as possible before the sites on high ground were taken. Thankfully I got there and was able to get onto very high ground, it took over 3 hours to get there. They are slowly getting all of the campers out of the lower area up to this area. Oh, no mouse traps were licked clean or mice trapped, a positive for the day.


Other RV’s weren’t as lucky and were parked either side by side or in front of each other so they have to wait for the other owners to move their rigs.


The Frog pond last year was almost dried out, now it overflows into the playing field.


Down the street, the water level rose over a foot in just over an hour.


This parking lot was full of cars an hour before I took this picture. Now, flooded out.


So there it is, flood 2013. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll know how far into the campground it’s going to get. They are hoping the flood will recede starting on Saturday and by Wednesday we can move the campers back into their spots, it depends on conditions, even if the water is gone, it will need to dry out some before heavy rigs can drive around down there.

We’ll be going back up there Saturday to see how it’s going. I’ll post back about it then. Tomorrow night I see the Blackhawks! Woohoo!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Tragedy

I was at work when the bombs went off. We have a TV in the conference room and one of the guys I work with called us in to see what was happening. Two bombs had gone off and we were seeing the immediate aftermath. There is no getting used to these types of tragedies, our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this senseless cowardly act.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Loki Is Home & The RV Is In The Campground Finally


We received the URN for Loki, a Willow Tree figurine “Angel of Friendship” (she is holding a small dog) plus a Willow Tree “Truly a Friend” keepsake box for her collar. We decided on the picture of Loki looking back at us when we were camping, it just seemed fitting. Dog face Some people might not understand why we are doing all of this for Loki, for two people who couldn’t have kids Loki was more like our kid than just a dog, she is missed big time.


Here is the RV cleaned inside and out, finally and now in our spot at the campground.


We have to make adjustments to the site and if we can’t get the RV another 4 inches higher we’ll need to make a path from the RV steps through the mulch. We’re working on some ideas but here is the whole site, it’s HUGE! More pictures to come when we get the site adjusted.

Oh, one last thing, never power wash with the slide out, you can cause stains on the interior wall above the slide inside. I’ll take pictures next weekend, hopefully I can get the stains out! I knew when I pointed it at the corner some might get in, this one is on me. Sarcastic smile


Saturday, April 13, 2013


$325.00 later the sunken beast is free! Wait, let me back up a bit… you’re reading that $325.00 and saying hey, what about roadside assistance!! You’re getting ahead of the story. Disappointed smile

This is how the RV has looked for the past 4 weeks when the major thaw occurred. The ground is near level on our spot, maybe a list to the right but as you can see we are leaning a great deal to the passenger rear. Listing

Ahhhhh the crux of the matter… buried the depth of the tire sidewall and almost sitting on the rear passenger hydraulic jack. This model sits so low as it is, damn you Monaco!


The front had to sink as well, really? Disappointed smile


I managed to get a board as far under both jacks as possible. The rear passenger side jack punched through the board causing the tire to sink a bit but I had the rig mostly level and ready to give it a try.


Easy peasy pumpkin peasy right? Just drive forward and all is well. I raised the jacks and… it sank even further when we gave it a go. This time, she was in for good, the tires had so much packed in mud in the treads just going into gear it spun the passenger side tire.


I didn’t take any more pictures due to my head exploding.


Ok, we figured unless we could get the rig higher than the ground the rear was sitting on it was going nowhere. We called Collier RV and they suggested a local company that has the equipment to pull 26,000 lbs, the cost would be $325.00 and if the pull turned out to be hard it could go up from there. I should have taken pictures but all that was on my mind was getting out of that God forsaken lot. I let Good Sam lapse so I figured I’d be eating the cost of 3 years worth of road side assistance in one call, simply great, yep.

The company sent a wrecker that can pull 20 tons, hence the cost of the job, send a big wrecker, pay a big bill but this one could pull low enough not to damage the front cap which has a lip that sits several inches below the chassis, yeah Holiday Rambler gave no thought of this design ever getting towed or pulled and neither did I when we bought it.

The guy that arrived was courteous and knew exactly what to do. He kept the big wrecker about 40 feet in front of our rig (yes, pictures would have helped here, I know..) and then he pulled out a long cable and a thickly woven wrap that went around the front axle which was strangely close to the ground as well making his job a little tighter.

He hooked up and I went inside the rig, started her up and he slowly pulled the rig forward. Here is why I and well the wrecker guy as well knew we would never have gotten it out on our own. When there was slack the rig wouldn’t move forward on its own, the tires continued to spin another 20 feet, the wrecker had to pull us clear of our spot completely before the rig gained traction. The drive tires were simply to full of mud to be helpful.

Here she is free at last, I will have been on the road for 25 minutes before I realize I had my Progressive road side assistance phone number on a card in the rig. Light bulb Embarrassed smile


As you can see, the rig continued to sink until it was past our spot. The ground was simply too saturated with water, those wheel indentations are about 3 inches deep, we would have dug a trench and never gotten out. The boards the tires had been sitting on, were now about 8 to 10 inches buried into the mud where the rig pushed them down sitting there. Disappointed smile




I have to send our bill into Progressive to get reimbursed so at this point I’m not sure if we will get reimbursed but I’m crossing my fingers. $325.00 was a lot to shell out.

We have the RV home, it’s filthy with mud the carpet has mouse crap all over… that brings up anudder ting… MICE… we placed 12 traps last weekend and it looks like the smartest mouse on the planet cleaned out most of them before he was caught oooohhhhhhh but that little bastard WAS caught! Rolling on the floor laughing

Tomorrow morning after I can feel my arms again, hey digging mud and flinging boards is hard work! Tomorrow I’m going to power wash the RV rain or shine and we are going to clean the carpet and all cabinets and then bring the rig to the campground and I’ll take more pictures and hopefully post a shorter blog tomorrow night.