Dallas Part I: Trade Days USA
After our one-week stay at Rainbow Plantation near Mobile, AL, we continued on our westward trek with a one-night stop at Lakeside RV Park in Livingston, LA. We stayed at this campground our first year of full-timing.
Lakeside RV is a Passport America campground. The Passport America discount doesn't apply to pull-through sites, so we unhooked the toad and took a back-in. The photo below shows our site at Lakeside RV.
Lakeside RV is a very nice campground with full hook-ups, trash pick up at your site, and fairly widely-spaced, paved sites. Some of the sites are right on the lake.
About the only thing negative about Lakeside RV is the traffic noise. The campground is far enough from the interstate to eliminate noise from that source, but the road that runs past the campground has quite a bit of truck traffic during the day. Sleep was no problem, however; because traffic appreciably diminishes by early evening.
From Lakeside RV, it was on to Ajax Country RV Livin' in Marthaville, LA. The folks at Ajax are very friendly and accommodating (they even pruned the small tree at our site so we wouldn't drag against the branches when we pulled out), and the campground is a member of Passport America. The campground is a little older, but it seems to be well cared for. They have full hook-ups and some sites have 50 amp power. Roads are gravel and sites are grass with a little gravel. Ajax has mostly extra-long pull-through sites with some back-ins. The photo below shows our site at Ajax.
We opted for a 50 amp site because it was close to 90 degrees the day we were there. Running the air cooled us off and diminished the saw mill noise from across the street.
The saw mill wasn't operating by the time we left around 9:00 AM the next morning. It was Friday and maybe they only work a four-day week. We were heading toward our next stop at Hickory Creek Corps of Engineers Campground in Lewisville, TX just north of Dallas.
Shortly after we got on the interstate, a car sped passed us. After it got well ahead of us, the driver pulled off onto the shoulder, got out of his car and began gesturing toward us. We knew he was trying to tell us something was wrong, so Paul immediately began to check the rear view monitor and the mirrors. He saw that the steps were out, so we pulled onto the shoulder.
The steps have an interlock so they retract automatically if the key is in the ignition and the door is closed. However, when we raised the jacks, the steps were still extended and touched the ground when the motor home dropped down. This caused the steps to bind and to not retract as they should when the door was closed right before we departed a few minutes later. When we pulled over on the interstate and opened the door, the steps were free and retracted as they should, so all was well. We're very grateful to the fellow who pointed out our problem. Had we hit a dip in the road, the steps could have dragged on the pavement and could have been torn off or severely damaged.
The rest of our trip was uneventful - at least until we arrived at Hickory Creek. When we tried to unhook the toad, the battery was dead. You're supposed to pull a fuse to prevent the battery from being discharged while towing. Paul installed a switch under the dash to make things easier so he wouldn't have to open the hood every time to pull the fuse, but he forgot to turn the switch off again after running the engine of the Vue that morning. Running the engine for three minutes is a required procedure for towing the Vue. We are very thankful to the camp host who brought her car over so we could jump the battery and get the car started. We let the engine run while we completed our set up, and the battery recovered and was fine afterward.
The photo below shows our site at Hickory Creek.
And the next photo is the view of the lake from our door.
The first thing we noticed when we initially got to our site was how windy it was. The wind was coming across the lake and hitting the motor home broadside so hard the motor home would shake even with the jacks down. When we took a walk later on, we discovered we had just about the most windy site in the campground. Our site faced a fairly wide part of the lake, which also happened to be the same direction the wind was coming from, so we were completely unprotected.
Fortunately, the wind was hitting our passenger side. Both our slides are on the driver's side, and if the wind is coming from that side, it gets up under the slide toppers and causes them to billow and flap risking damage.
The wind died down to a stiff breeze at night so we were able to sleep, but it picked up again the next morning. Although the wind built up again the next day, it wasn't as severe as the day before.
Our stay in the Dallas area happened to coincide with Trade Days USA held one weekend a month at Texas Motor Speedway, which is north of Ft. Worth. We always like a good flea market even though as full-timers we don't usually buy much. The Speedway was only about half an hour away so we headed there on Saturday.
Unfortunately, it was a cloudy, windy morning and the market didn't have a very good turnout of vendors or customers. But we were curious so we decided to go anyway. The next photo shows some of the vendors close to where we parked.
The market had a lot of the usual flea market stuff, but there was also a lot of merchandise that had a western flare that we had never seen before - like the decorative longhorn steer head on the table in the next photo of wrought-iron lawn art.
There were also these rocking horses (the dark one on the left is a bull)...
...these Texas-themed storage bins...
...and these bird houses made from cowboy boots.
Margery particularly liked these children's chairs and rockers by fatratfamily.com.
Even though there wasn't a big turn out of vendors, we still got to see a lot of interesting things. We stopped at Walmart to restock some groceries on the way back to the motor home and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. We'll be out and about again soon because we still have a lot to see in the short time we will be in Dallas.