Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Trip to Buffalo New York (Grand Island) – Stuck in the mud!

June 01 - 03, 2017: 

We had just a little bit of an adventure on our stay over on the way from NJ to Buffalo NY (Grand Island). We always stay over at one stop on our travel from NJ to NY as it’s about a 400 mile trip. This time we tried a new campground called the Fire Fox located near Lisle NY.  It’s a rustic place a few miles off I-81 with a small golf course attached.  It is just an OK place, but we managed to get stuck in the mud for the first time!

This is the sign we saw coming in, so we turned in here.  Little did we know that we needed go farther up the road to the office first.

We arrived very low on fuel so we really didn’t want to make any wrong turns.  We were down to just 20 miles left according to the trucks computer.  As we approach the campground on this very narrow country road called Rabbit Path Road we see the sign for the entrance.  So we slowly pull in looking for the office so we can check in.

We drive all of the way to the back of the campground and never found an office or camp host.  So we had to call the campground for instructions.  They informed us that the office is located in the bar/restaurant/golf pro shop a little ways up the road past where we went in.  Wonderfull!

We leave the campground and go farther up the road and find the office place which had very limited parking for an RV. We had to park in the back of the place and we blocked part of Rabbit Path Road!  The thing with this campground is that it has mostly seasonal rentals with not much if any transient traffic like us.  Still would think that they would have an area to park an RV and signs to the office.  I guess I think way too much for this part of the world.

So we get checked in and off we go to our “pull through” site. It has rained a lot here so the ground is very soft with loads of standing water on our site.  Also, it is not evident how we are to pull into this site.  Water is on one side and the electric is on the other side.  To actually pull through into this site we will need to pull through a wet grassy area first to get lined up to the site.  It didn’t help that the site was basically a grass/stone/mud area that had not had anyone on it for some time. We parked and got out and looked the situation over and decided to call the office again and now ask how was the best way to enter the site.  The office sent out a person who was not really familiar with the sites except to say that it was designated a pull through.  

The office person left and I decided we should go get gas with the 5th wheel and just go somewhere else for the night. We left with intentions of traveling on to another campground after getting fuel. We went a short 3-4 miles into the town of Lisle NY to find a diesel station that we could get into and out of with the 5th wheel attached.  We weren’t able to find a station that was set up for a truck and trailer so we pulled into a bank parking lot and unhitched the 5th wheel. I then could take the truck to get fuel.  We were planning to get the fuel and go on up the road to another campground but by the time we rehitched and were ready it was already 5:30.  We decided to make the best of the Fire Fox and set up there in some way.

We got back to the Fire Fox site and we studied the it again to find the best way to get into it.  The best way to pull in was to cut through a grass area off of the road and then straight into what looked to us like a site.  We made a quick run at the site and the trailer sunk to the axle on one side.  I couldn’t move the trailer either forward or backward!  We were, however, far enough into the site to call it a day and just set up.  I figured that maybe after a couple of dry days I could get the trailer out.

Welcome to our muddy site. The electric is on the
right behind the flag and the water is on the left.

We stayed here at the Fire Fox for 2 nights before moving on to Grand Island New York about 225 miles away.  On our non-travel day we went into town and picked up some essentials like water and some vegetables for dinner.  I also did a little maintenance on the dining room slide. Patty had noticed that a screw was coming out of the slide floor when she was putting the slide out.  I did a little investigation and found that the screw was now missing and the entire floor near the window was loose and you can see daylight out through it if I stood on it!  Not a good thing at all!  I couldn’t get to the front corner area where the screw fell out but I could get to most of the rest of the floor.  I had some 1.5 inch wood screws that I used to secure the floor to the wall.  Now the floor is very tight, probably better than it was new! 

Anyway, it was just a no big plans sort of usual hang out day for us.

Now we are ready to head out on a bright and warm day with the 5th wheel still stuck in the mud.  I first decided to use the hydraulic leveler jacks and raise the side stuck in the mud. After we got it raised I put some old lumber we found lying around under the wheels.  After putting the truck back down and retracting the levelers I was ready to give it a try. I put the truck into 4 wheel drive and started to pull slowly. After a few inches all of the truck tires were spinning and not going anywhere.  I tried to rock the trailer back and forth with no luck.  I got out again to take a look and found that lumber had snapped and the trailer had just sank back to where it was!

So on to the next and ultimately successful method of extracting the trailer from the mud.  

Patty was ready to give up and call a towing service to come and get us out.  I wasn’t out of tricks just yet.  I had a couple of things to try before throwing in the towel.  It was very apparent that we needed to get the trailer wheels up and out of the mud if I wanted to move it.  We have 2 sets of jack pads, 18 in all, that we carry.  I again jacked up the trailer as far as I could on the mud side. After getting it raised as far as was possible with the jacks I placed more wood under the tires in the hole and then built a small raised pathway with the jack pads.  

Now back into the truck to try again.  This time we had success!  Even with having success, I still had to rock the trailer back and forth to get it out!  The whole effort took us about an hour and a half, it seemed like a lot longer though!
If that had not worked I was going to put our patio rug down under the truck to get more traction.  The deep mud was a big problem but the truck was sitting on slippery boulder surfaces where I wasn’t getting any traction.  That operation would have probably destroyed our patio mat so that was going to be the last resort before calling a towing service. Anyway, we got out and were on the road by noon.

These picture really don't do justice to how deep the mud ruts are.

Patty removing the jack pads buried in the mud.
Then we had to wash all of them off!

We arrived at our reserved site at the Cinderella Motel & Campground on Grand Island around 5pm.  We got the site we reserved last year, site A. Site A has a lot going for it. It is the very first site in the campground so it has bunches of room on the utility side of the 5th wheel.  We can also get satellite TV in this location. It is also closest to the office where the wifi is located. All of the sites here are back in but site A is located just off of the motel parking lot so it is super easy to back into.  This will be our first time in this site for the 4 times we have been at this campground.

We will be here in Grand Island for 13 days to see friends and to hopefully see some family.  We are also planning to see a ZZ Top concert while here.  The family relations have been strained the past few months stemming from Patty’s Dad passing away back in January.  It’s been les than 3 years that Patty also lost her Mother.  Anyway, there will be more on Buffalo in the next post.

Stay Tuned!

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