Travel Day to the White Mountains of New Hampshire
Twin Mountain, NH - Events of Sunday, July 28 to Monday, July 29, 2013
We had a rare Sunday travel day to the White Mountain region of New Hampshire. It was a drive of about 4 hours to Twin Mountain, NH where we stayed at Twin Mountain RV Park.
Twin Mountain RV Park, which is located behind Twin Mountain Motor Court, has 18 full-hookup, pull-through sites all with 30-amp electric and with free Wi-Fi and free cable. The roads and pads are gravel, and there is grass between the sites, although the grass is a little sparse in some areas. Sites are a little close together, but not awful. Although there are full hookups, guests are asked not to use on-board washers. Our nightly cost for Twin Mountain RV Park was $36.
We pulled into our assigned site, which had somewhat of a downward slope to it. Paul tried leveling with the jacks, but they were extended pretty far, and we still weren't quite level. Paul decided he needed to place some wood under the front tires so we wouldn't have to rely entirely on the jacks to get level.
Paul put some pieces of 2x6 under the front tires and had Margery drive the motor home onto them. Nope, still not close enough. Paul decided to try 4x4 wood blocks under the front tires. The problem with the 4x4s is they are as tall as they are wide, so you can't drive onto them because they will roll. Therefore, Paul put a couple other wood blocks under the jacks so he could raise the front of the motor home high enough to get the front wheels off the ground. He planned to slip a layer of 4x4s under the tires and then lower the tires onto the 4x4s.
As Paul raised the jacks, there was a slight thump as the jacks reached the end of their stroke, then there was a huge crash and jolt as both front jacks slipped off the blocks at the same time. Uh-oh.
In his effort to save some of the pieces of 4x4 for under the tires, Paul skimped on the wood under the jacks. He has used the jacks to raise the tires off the ground a few times before, but he has always been careful to make the stacks of wood under the jacks wider than they are tall so they are nice and stable; but this time, the stacks were too narrow.
Paul was afraid of what he would see when he got out and looked under the motor home. The pads and return springs had come off the jacks, and the shafts of the jacks had driven about 5 inches into the gravel. It was a disturbing sight, but it could have been worse. The jacks looked like they were not bent. Had we had been on pavement, that probably would not have been the case. Even though the jacks were buried in the gravel, it was the relative softness of that gravel that saved the jacks.
After digging down to the end of the shaft and confirming the jacks indeed were okay, the next order of business was to get the jacks to return to the up position - not an easy task with the springs gone. Paul got out a piece of 2x4, put the end under the shaft and stuck a rock under the 2x4 to act as a fulcrum.
To raise the jacks, you must first release the hydraulic pressure. That can be done one of two ways. You can either turn the jacks on and hit the "store" button or you can loosen the bypass valve on the solenoid. Paul chose the latter since he didn't know how long it would take to get the jacks to return manually, and leaving the jacks on too long with the return function activated can burn out a solenoid.
With the relief valve open, the jack went up fairly easily. Paul stood on the end of the 2x4 until it went down to the ground, then he adjusted the fulcrum higher and kept doing that until the jack was all the way up.
With the jack up, all that remained was to put the springs and pad back on. The springs are strong, but the pad can be forced under the end of the jack with a couple of pry bars in the right position. Paul then repeated the process with the second jack, and we were back in business.
At least the jacks were back in business. When Paul went into the motor home to do a final test of the jacks, he noticed the electricity was going off and on every 5 to 15 seconds. Another uh-oh.
Paul checked our surge surpressor/energy management system, and sure enough, it was clicking off and on. There was an error code indicating a bad ground at the pedestal. A check with a test light confirmed our site and the vacant site next to us both had bad grounds. A site across the road, however, tested good.
Margery went to the office, and they said it was okay to move across the road. Another good thing about that was the yappy dog left alone in the rig next to our first site wasn't quite as loud from across the road. We had to listen to its continuous barking the entire 2½ hours Paul was working on the jacks. Once the owners finally came back, the dog shut up. The campground was otherwise nice and quiet. Fortunately, the people with the yappy dog left the following morning. And yet another good thing about moving was the new site didn't have nearly as much slope as the first site. The 2x6s under the front tires were just enough to help the jacks get us level.
Once we got set up, we were surprised to find the Verizon 3G service was fairly strong. In fact, we found out later the Verizon signal is strong all over the area, and in many places it was 4G. That's probably because it's a resort area in summer and a ski area in winter. Another surprise was that lots of small, mom-and-pop motels and many rental cottages and cabins have been able to survive. We didn't see any major hotels or motels in the immediate area, so some of the smaller places have been able to stay open.
Monday's weather report was predicting a 60% chance of rain, so we decided to take that as an excuse to hang around the motor home and relax all day. We never did get much rain, but that didn't matter because we needed time to rest after the hassle following our arrival on Sunday.
By the way, we saw the owner of the campground out checking electrical boxes on Monday. Later in the afternoon, a truck from the electric company showed up and the worker was looking at one of the main electrical panels. We're glad they took our complaint seriously, and we hope the problem is now fixed.
After a day of rest, we headed out on Tuesday to start exploring the area. Stay tuned.