I had hoped to get some writing done yesterday, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I spent most of the day making phone calls, answering e-mails, and trying to help a couple of our readers with issues that were causing them problems. I must be the RV world’s answer to Dear Abby! 🙂
I had several e-mails from people asking about our upcoming Gypsy Journal rally in Celina, Ohio the last week of September. Most wanted to know if they would have electrical hookups, and if so, if it would be at least 30 amps. There are a limited number of 30 amp hookups at the fairgrounds, and many 20 amp sites, so everybody should have electricity. But, as to who gets what, we give first preference to folks with medical issues that require more power if they inform us before the rally so we can plan ahead, and whatever is left over goes to whoever gets there first.
Then I gave a couple some input on an RV purchase. They have a half ton short bed pickup that they love, and are looking at a 39 foot fifth wheel trailer with three slides. The salesman told them that they would need to go to a larger truck, because theirs was not rated for a trailer that heavy. They were concerned that he was just trying to switch them to a smaller trailer, for whatever reason, and asked my advice. I told them that while many salesmen will tell you whatever it takes to make the sale, this guy sounded like a straight shooter, and yes, they they needed to go to a bigger truck, even though they hate to part with the one they have now.
I also tried to help a gentleman work out a problem he was having with his Silverleaf VMSpc engine monitoring system, which he runs on an Acer notebook. He reported that the system works fine at the start of a day, but after just two or three hours it becomes slow to respond, and keeps getting worse. After an exchange of e-mails trying to diagnose the problem, he mentioned that he does not run his inverter during the day when driving. Ah ha…. That told me a lot. I called my buddy Greg White to confirm my suspicions, and Greg agreed that the Acer’s battery was probably running down as he used it going down the highway, and it was cutting back on power, resulting in the problems the Silverleaf was experiencing. Greg suggested he get a cheap 75 watt portable inverter that plugs into a cigarette lighter to power the Acer, and I forwarded that info on.
The other problem was pretty easy to resolve, at least from my end. A couple wrote that they are doing their first workamping job, at a campground which has a brand new owner this summer. The said they had agreed to work 20 hours each in exchange for a full hookup 50 amp site, use of all of the RV park’s amenities, free use of the laundry, and a couple of other perks. The letter that the owner sent them spelled all of that out, and also said that they would get an hourly wage for any hours worked over the agreed upon 20 hours each.
They said when they arrived, the promised 50 amp site was not available, and they were asked to take a 30 amp site, with no cable TV, which they agreed to. They also said the laundry only has one washer and dryer, and that the washer has been broken since they arrived July 1st. They said that the other workamper couple that was supposed to share the job left the day they arrived (they were hired to replace another couple who had left without notice), and that they have been working over 40 hours each since they arrived. As for the other amenities they had access to, they include a fishing lake that is almost dry and a mosquito breeding ground, a game room with two broken video games, and a lounge with a large screen TV, but no windows or air conditioning, making it too hot to use.
According to them, the owner instructed them to never tell anyone who called that he was there, so they have been fielding calls from suppliers wanting to be paid. The final straw was when they went to the bank yesterday to cash their checks, and were told that there were no funds in the account. The owner assured them that it was a “temporary setback.” They told him things needed to change and that they needed to go back to all of the original terms of their employment, and he got mad and told them to grow up, then went into his house and slammed the door. They said they now understand why the previous two couples left, and asked me what I would do in their situation.
I wrote back to tell them I’d have been gone long before I ever sent that e-mail. That’s why they have wheels under their house! They made an agreement and have kept up their end, and the owner has not honored his end, and obviously has no idea of how to run a business or how to treat his employees. There are plenty of wonderful campground owners out there who welcome workampers and treat them honestly and with respect. Why deal with a jerk?
Today will be a road trip day for us. My cousin Terry Cook, whose driveway we park in when we visit Traverse City, Michigan for Miss Terry’s annual oncologist checkup, has been diagnosed with cancer, and it has spread pretty fast. So we are going to drive up to see him and spend a little time together. It’s going to be a hard trip for me emotionally, we grew up together, and Terry has always been like a kid brother to me. I know that as we get older, life changes, but it still sucks. 🙁
Thought For The Day – I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.