Thursday, August 17, 2017

Airstream Terraport - Jackson Center, Ohio - June 2017

We were on our way to join the WBCCI Southeast Camping Unit's Caravan to the Wally Byam International Rally. The rally this year was in Escanaba, Michigan.

Traffic around Cincinnati is always slow and difficult. This particular trip may set the record for the longest and worst trip through the city.

Construction on the bridge heading into Cincinnati

First, we have to say a loud "whew!" We came close to being the victim of two accidents while on I-75. Both times the driver was holding and talking on his or her cellphone when each decided to move into our lane.

How can you miss our truck when we are pulling Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer? We have a huge footprint on the road. I'm not sure that one of the cell phone talkers ever realized that he was within millimeters of causing a wreck on the Interstate.

We ended up pulling into the next rest area to walk around Rosie to make sure there weren't any new scrapes or dings on her. That was a welcomed stop as we needed a place to calm down.

While parked at the rest area, we started thinking that the Airstream factory was only a couple of hours up the road. We set our GPS for Jackson Center and decided to camp in the Terraport.

After backing into the Airstream Terraport site we picked for the night, we thought it would be a good idea to walk off some nervous energy. Besides, Suzy, our Yorkie, needed a walk. We were no more than 50 feet from Rosie when we heard a familiar voice shout out, "I know you!"

Always great to run into some good friends at the Airstream factory

That was true. A couple from our WBCCI Southeastern Camping Unit was also Camping in the Terraport. We really needed to see friendly faces to take our minds off the narrow escapes around Cincinnati.

We were in Jackson Center only a month or so ago, and our review of the park hasn't changed. This is a great place to talk with other Airstream owners and to share tips about Airstreaming. You also can learn about some great parks to add to your "must see one day" list.

One more thing is that you will occasionally see prototypes of future models while there. Did we see something? Maybe. Airstream doesn't appear to be very good at hiding company projects. We will watch the WBCCI's Blue Beret magazine to see if what we stumbled on actually makes it to production.

Haven't seen this prototype before!

The Nest?

View of the factory

Factory sign

Airstream Factory Service Center

View behind the service center


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Singing Hills RV Park and Campground - Cave City, Kentucky

Driving through rain storms goes with the RV lifestyle. There are days when we end up having to pull Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, through seasonal showers to get to our next adventure. Then there are days when you end up in the middle of a full-fledged scary downpour and thunderstorm.

That was the situation while we were heading up I-65 to join our WBCCI unit's caravan to the Wally Byam Caravan Club's 2017 International Rally in Escanaba, Michigan. We were in the middle of a "slow down to 40" and "run the emergency flashers" type of storm when we spotted the Singing Hills RV Park and Campground on our AllStays app. The park was close to the Interstate and the reviews were positive. That became our goal for the day.

Singing Hills RV Park

The rain stopped as we arrived and that made it easier to park Rosie in our site. About ten minutes later, the park's owner drove down to our site to check on us and to make sure everything was OK. That was unusual because we rarely see campground staff members after checking in. We ended up dealing with the owners several more times that day and we were impressed with how courteous and professional they were.

View from our campsite

Rosie in the Singing Hills RV Park

This campground is just outside Mammoth Cave and I guess the park is a favorite for people wanting to visit that national park, but wanting to camp somewhere with utilities. We passed another RV park closer to the Interstate with a huge cartoon character trying to guide us to that park. While the cartoon park may have been fine, we really enjoyed camping in the Singing Hills RV Park.

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • This is a small park with less than 40 sites.
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 electrical service.
  • Our site had water and sewer connections.
  • The park provided decent WiFi service.
  • AT&T placed a good 4G signal over the park for voice and data.
  • The bathhouse was clean and well maintained.
  • Our site was gravel.
  • Our site was a pull thru.
  • Our site was level.
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBC, NBC and PBS stations using Rosie's antenna.
  • There was a nice catch-and-release fishing pond in this park.
  • This was a pet friendly park.
  • We camped in this park during June 2017.
There were several very nice trees around this clean and well-kept park. We were impressed with both the park and the owners, who went out of their way to be helpful.

Photo from earlier that day as we were leaving Fort Rosie,
where we store our Airstream trailer. This is the first time our new
truck will be towing Rosie.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Texas T Campground - Cornersville, Tennessee

We figured that we could make it home from Ohio in one day, but that would have us arriving after midnight. That idea wasn't too appealing, so we started looking for a campsite near the Interstate and south of Nashville. We found the Texas T Campground on our AllStays app and a quick phone call confirmed that there was room for Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.

Rosie parked in the Texas T Campground

This is a relatively small Mom-and-Pop campground. It was easy to tell that the family cared about their park and were trying to take care of it. The park was very neat, clean and well-groomed.

Our site was a pull-thru as were most sites in this park. We also had full connections, including cable TV.

The antennas outside the office caught my attention. They had the look of ham radio antennas. That was confirmed by talking to the owners. I enjoyed talking to the owner about amateur radio.

Here is some specific information about this park:
  • There were a couple of camping loops in this park.
  • Our site was gravel and level.
  • Our site had 30 amp electrical service.
  • Our site had water, sewer and cable TV connections.
  • There was a dump station in this park.
  • AT&T placed a good 4G voice and data signal over this park.
  • The park provided a WiFi signal over the park that varied in usability with the number of people using it.
  • We didn't see too much from Rosie's TV antenna. We were thankful for the park's cable TV connection.
  • This was a pet friendly park.
  • We camped in this park during May 2017.
This turned out to be a nice little park to spend the night along I-65. We were glad we stopped here.

View behind the Texas T Campground

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Airstream Terraport - Airstream Factory, Jackson Center, Ohio (May 2017)

It seems that we head to Jackson Center, Ohio once our repair list get long enough. Jackson Center is where the Airstream factory and service center is located for Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.

Rosie being towed into a service bay

We ended our Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) Springtime in Kentucky Caravan about four hours away from Jackson Center, so it seemed like a good time to schedule a visit to the service center. The problem was that we would arrive on Friday and our service appointment was on Monday. How is that a problem?

There normally isn't too many things to do over the weekend in Jackson Center. But this weekend was different in that the Dayton Hamfest was taking place and it was only 45 minutes away.

The Dayton Hamfest is the largest gathering of Amateur Radio enthusiasts in the world. More than 30,000 hams were descending on Dayton that weekend and that had to be a sight worth seeing.

Becky wanted to stay in Rosie and work on some watercolor paintings. That left me to head down the Interstate to Dayton for the Hamfest.

Becky with her original watercolor painting from the Springtime in Kentucky WBCCI  Caravan

I've been to big Hamfests before in Atlanta, Huntsville and Orlando. These don't compare to Dayton. I was very glad that things worked out so that I could experience the Dayton Hamfest.

Monday rolled around and Rosie was moved to the service bay. Our list wasn't too long, but it took two days to put Rosie back into tip-top shape.

Rosie in Airstream's service bay

We left Rosie at Airstream's Terraport on Wednesday for a quick trip to Cleveland. This gave us an opportunity to visit Cleveland's world-class art museum plus for me to drop by the Cleveland Clinic for my annual checkup. We enjoyed the museum and the reports from the tests ran at the Clinic were good.

Driving into Cleveland

The Art Museum

Here are some specifics about this campground:
  • There are four camping loops in the Terraport. Each is named after an Airstream model.
  • There are eight back-in sites in each loop.
  • Each site is paved.
  • The sites have 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical connections. Actually, two sites share the same power connection box so one trailer has the 30 amp feed and the other has the 50 amp service. The people who parked next to us needed the 30 amp feed and didn't have a 50-to-30 converter cable. We had a converter cable so we moved over to the 50 amp power service and let our camping neighbors use the 30 amp plug. It is always a good idea to travel with some conversion cables because you never know when you will need them.
  • Each site has water and sewer connections. Our sewer connection was slightly uphill behind Rosie. It took every extension we had to reach the sewer. It was a challenge to confuse gravity by lifting segments of the sewer hose when we dumped Rosie's tanks.
  • There is a dump station at this park. The trailer parked next to us had to use it since they didn't have a sewer hose long enough to use the connection at their campsite. We gave up on trying to use the sewer connection at our site and used the dump station when we left the Terraport.
  • AT&T placed a weak voice and data signal over our site. Campers with other cell providers said their service was also weak to nonexistent.
  • I think we have learned where to park in order to use the Wi-Fi provided for the service customers. While it isn't the fastest connection to the Internet, it was adequate for our needs.
  • We were able to receive TV signals from ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC and PBS. We saw digital signals from Antenna, Bounce, Comet, GET-TV, GRIT, ME-TV, MY-TV and one station that aired Ohio high school sports games all day and night.
  • This is a pet friendly park.
Once our repairs and our visit to Cleveland were completed, it was time to turn Rosie south and head home.

The sign greeting us when we returned from Cleveland -- The Terraport was CLOSED for Alumapalooza

Friday, August 4, 2017

Renfro Valley RV Park - Mt Vernon, Kentucky (May 2017)

Renfro Valley was known as a venue for country music performers that predates the Grand Ole Opry. The area continues to have occasional music shows, but not at the caliber of its Nashville upstart.
Adjacent to the music venue is the Renfro Valley RV Park. It has more than 100 campsites, but not all of these sites appear to be functional.

Parking in Renfro Valley

Spaces are on the "tight" side!

Airstream trailers parked in the Renfro Valley RV Park

Many of the sites around us appeared to be for trailers around Rosie's size. Rosie is our 25 foot Airstream trailer. While we saw some larger trailers in the park, they were tight fits.

To be fair, there were two "branches" of this park with separate entrances from the road. The larger rigs were in the other campground, which had only 50 amp power connectors. The area we parked Rosie in had smaller sites and 30 amp hookups.

We figured that our site had a "weak" 30 amp circuit breaker because it tripped a time or two when we felt our power load wasn't in the "close to 30 amps" range. This appeared to be a common problem as several campers mentioned that they were surprised that they tripped their site's circuit breaker.

We were given a paper tag with our registration information when we checked in and we were told to tape it to the window next to Rosie's door. We noticed that campground staff members went around the park several times each day checking the window stickers. I guess "stealth" camping is a problem in this campground.

Here is some specific information about this park:
  • Our site was gravel and we had to use our leveling tools.
  • There were a couple of camping loops in our campground area. We camped in the first loop along a small stream.
  • Our site had only 30 amp electrical service. We wondered if we really had a 25 amp breaker instead of 30 because of how easily it tripped.
  • Our site had water and sewer connections.
  • The park had a dump station. It didn't appear to be used nor maintained.
  • The bathhouse was clean and maintained.
  • The park offered WiFi that was usable.
  • AT&T provided good 4G voice and data signals over the park.
  • The park provided cable TV hookups. That was good since we could only see one station using Rosie's antenna.
  • This was a pet-friendly park.
There were very few shade trees in this park and it was very dusty.

One of the issues with short campsites surfaced as we were getting ready to leave. It was impossible to hook Rosie to our truck without the truck blocking part of the road. That problem was compounded by neighbors also hooking up to leave. In other words, you need to be patient when you plan to leave because your neighbors may have a longer hookup procedure than you and block the exit road until they leave.

Shaker Village near Renfro Valley

The Shakers Village

Shakers Village

In the "meeting house" at the Shakers Village

Steve was able to visit his sister, who was in Wilmore, Ky

Spending some time with the people on our WBCCI Caravan

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Levi Jackson Wilderness State Park - Kentucky (2017)

We found ourselves camping at Levi Jackson Wilderness State Park for the third time in the past three years. It seems that this park is in a very convenient location along the routes we tend to frequently travel with Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.

Levi Jackson State Park

Our view of this park remains consistent over our multiple visits. It appears to be a local favorite that attracts many families from the region.

The park has a recreation center that helps keep the kids busy. There are hiking trails, a swimming pool, a tree-top zip line experience and a grist mill in this park. In addition, the mini golf course and the basketball court always seem to be popular places for families to congregate.

Rosie parked at Levi Jackson

Here is some specific information about this park:
  • There appears to be three main camping loops in this park. We camped in the first loop, which is nearer to a stream.
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service.
  • Our site had a water connection with good pressure.
  • Our site did not have a sewer connection. There are some sites in this park with sewer connections.
  • We found only one dump station in the park. It is at the end of the second loop and not easy to access.
  • The park has several bathhouses. The restroom and showers nearest Rosie were clean and well-maintained.
  • A negative about the bathhouse is that the showers are controlled by a push button. That means you have no control over water temperature and you only get 12 to 15 seconds per push. This is very inconvenient!
  • The park offered WiFi for a fee. When we logged in, the service said we were eligible for two weeks of free access. We are unsure if this was a fluke or something everyone always sees in this park.
  • AT&T provided a marginal 4G voice and data signal over the park.
  • As before, we could not see any television signals while using Rosie's TV antenna.
  • This was a pet-friendly park.
One of the things we noticed every time we camped in this park is the number of children playing and riding their bikes. This appears to be a very family-friendly park and one that attracts young families. That is a positive thing in our opinion.

We ate at the original KFC while camping in Levi Jackson

It still tastes the same!

Col. Sanders posing (sort of) for a picture

We visited Cumberland Falls while camping at Levi Jackson

The falls

Riding a train to an old mining village

On the train

Suzy enjoys her train ride

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Paintsville Lake State Park - Kentucky

Paintsville is located on the eastern side of Kentucky. It is in the heart of Kentucky's coal mining area and the heart of the state's bluegrass music region. It is also surrounded by mountains and that meant that we had to navigate Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, through some hilly roads with sharp curves to get to this park.

Paintsville Lake State Park

The campground

Paintsville Lake State Park is, as you have already guessed, on Paintsville Lake. The lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and it seemed to be popular with boaters.

Speaking of the lake, it was gorgeous. It seemed to be a well-known fishing spot based of the number of people trying their luck while we were there.

Paintsville Lake

Rosie in the campground

This is a relatively small campground with fewer than 50 campsites. You feel as though you are in a valley because you see mountains when you look around, but the star attraction in this campground is the lake.

Here is some specific information about this park:
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service.
  • Our site had a water connection with good pressure.
  • Our site had a sewer connection.
  • There is one bathhouse serving the campground and a restroom outside the camping area for the day visitors. The campground bathhouse was clean and well-maintained.
  • Our campsite was gravel and we had to use our leveling tools to correct a slight lean.
  • The park had pay-per-day WiFi. We paid and the service was adequate.
  • AT&T placed a weak 4G voice and data signal over the park.
  • This was a pet-friendly park.
  • We were unable to see any TV signals from Rosie's antenna. Make sure you bring some DVDs if you want any video entertainment.
Paintsville is about 30 miles from where Becky's father lives and he was able to drop by for a visit. It was wonderful having him and his wife see us in Rosie.

Becky's father and his wife visit us in Rosie

We were pleasantly surprised to see how nice this park was and we would return to it if in the area.

We stopped for a ski lift on the way

Airstream trailers in a parking lot

Visiting L:oretta Lynn's Birth Place

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kentucky Horse Park - Lexington, Kentucky

We had heard over the years from several fellow campers that the Kentucky Horse Park was a very nice place to stay. You can add our voices to that chorus. This IS a nice park.

Kentucky Horse Park Campground

First, the sites are very nice and large. There is a respectable distance between your rig and your neighbor's. We had a pleasant view of a wooded area behind Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.

Second, this is a huge park. There are 260 campsite in this park.

Third, our site was paved with asphalt. That helped make it nice to get in and out of Rosie when it rained while we were there.

These three factors help contribute to this being a very nice campground.

The campground

Rosie's site at the Horse Park

The power connection was immediately behind most camping sites. The one on our site was heavily dented and that indicated to me that too many trailers had backed into it over the years. We needed to pay close attention to where Rosie's bumper was while parking her. We didn't want to scar Rosie's backside by hitting the power box.

It didn't take long to discover why this is called a Horse Park. We were amazed at how many people brought their horses there. There are more than 1,400 stalls to house horses in the park and we watched several horse competitions while camping there.

Becky meets a horse

A horse with rider at the park

This was a wonderful park to walk around in. The roads were paved and there were many large and beautiful trees in the park.

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • There are multiple camping loops in this park. It appeared that no one loop was better than the others.
  • Our site had 10, 30 and 50 amp power service. We noticed that the voltage was slightly high at 129 volts.
  • Our site had around 45 psi water pressure.
  • Our site did not include a sewer connection.
  • We found two bathhouses in this park. There may have been more. The bathhouse we saw was clean and warm.
  • There was a small laundry facility in the bathhouse nearest the camp store.
  • Our site was paved, but not level.
  • The park had WiFi. We were unable to successfully log in and use it.
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G voice and data signal over this park.
  • This is a very pet friendly park. "Pets" at this park include horses.
  • We saw signals from many TV stations using Rosie's antenna. Networks included ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS. Digital channels included Antenna-TV, CW, ME-TV, MY and ION.
We were surprised when we first arrived at this park. It seemed as if there were Aristream trailers everywhere you looked. It turned out that the Kentucky WBCCI Unit was having a rally in the park. The people in that group were very friendly and welcomed us to the park.

The "Derby" Hat

Derby Day at Keeneland


Suzy needs a drink

The buffet

Drive Thru Betting on Derby Day

Man-of-War's Monument

Inside Kentucky's State Capital