Maiden Voyage — is it a voyage if it’s a travel trailer?



This was #33 at DeGray Lake Resort State Park, Arkansas, Thursday, October 5, until Monday morning, October 9, 2017.

Wed the 4th, I left home in the country in northern, central Mississippi, pulling my travel trailer, aka Violet, to Fort Pickens, Florida, and then on to the Seafood Festival in Destin, Florida, I thought. I stopped 100 miles south in the capital, Jackson, met my daughter Melissa at Chili’s for supper and boondocked in the Office Depot parking lot. In the meantime that evening someone messaged me and asked if I had seen the forecasts about Hurricane Nate. In my busy packing and loading, I had not checked the weather that day. Oops! So, I started looking for alternatives in the opposite directions, because I WAS going camping somewhere. The next morning (Thursday the 5th) I picked up my girlfriend Bren, and we headed for Arkansas.

Side note…when I called Arkansas Park Reservations that morning, Degray Lake State Park had an opening for that night and Sat and Sunday nights but not Friday. While I was still on the phone figuring out what to do, a cancellation came in for Friday night. So I’m thanking God cause He does things like that!

We pulled in after dark and 2 very nice guys parked with their wives right across from us, came over immediately to see if we’d like help backing in. I’m new at backing and really appreciated their directions, esp in the dark!

The first night, I woke about 3am to find the toilet full and running over with fresh water from either a leak or I think maybe the flushing mechanism was stuck open just a little. It only got part of the bathroom floor wet and could have been much worse. The next morning I dumped the tank and the rest of the time we used the clean water tank instead of staying hooked to the water all the time. I put water in the clean water tank twice and sprayed myself really good both times. ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR FILLING IT WITHOUT SPRAYING SELF?? I tried it with and without a funnel and later bought a funnel with a flexible tube which I haven’t tried yet.

I don’t care how LIGHT my Aerolite is supposed to be, cranking it up off the hitch is CHALLENGING at 67yo. So, I think an electric hitch is on my wish list. lol

We drank coffee outside in the morning coolness,

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cooked hot dogs on a fire in the grill one night (after starting it in the fire pit and being told a burn ban had been declared that day).

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Explored Hot Springs one day.



Ate at a wonderful buffet in Arkadelphia, Arkansas at the Western Sizzlin’. Ate great seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf in Hot Springs and fed the geese. The restaurant at the lodge at the park where we camped had great food and great views of the lake.

On Saturday, we managed to watch college football on our cell phones by opening my AT&T IPhone 7 hotspot and logging in with my home Direct TV provider. Neat!

Monday we headed back to Jackson, and I dropped off my girlfriend. I boondocked in the Office Depot parking lot with plans to drive the 100 miles home Tuesday morning. I decided not to turn on the generator, so I opened windows and tried to sleep without my CPAP machine. They were emptying dumpsters later, and I was hot, so about 3 am I decided to start the generator. I got it started with no problem, plugged in the heavy-duty extension cord and took the other end back to the camper elec cord/plug and couldn’t find the yellow adapter I had taken off at the campsite. So, I turned off the generator and packed up to go on home. I drove 3 exits north, bought gas at a truck stop, decided to sleep at a closed Texaco across the street, slept in the pickup with the camper locked, woke up the next morning and they were open, got out to get coffee and locked my keys in the truck. The REALLY stupid thing, and I can only laugh at myself, is that I bought a combination lock box but hadn’t yet fixed it with extra keys and hung it outside. I sat on the curb in the rain, to wait for a Geico roadside assistance guy. The picture below is the Geico roadside assistance guy opening the lock. I was thankful, but it took 80 minutes waiting because they sent someone from across town instead of from the little town were I was. Ugh!Wedge and Balloon But, I got home safely about noon.

And, the trip was WONDERFUL!! For video, my YouTube channel is

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