The Hester Family's 1st Year Adventures travel blog

Labor Day weekend is the time for the annual Midsouth Econoline group's yearly get-together at Petit Jean Mountain State Park in Morrilton, Arkansas. We noticed a tire was a little low before leaving the house -- so, we drove out to Duane's workplace (now that he's a mechanic again, all his tools are at work. He noticed that the valve stem on the inside tire on the left rear was damaged. Luckily one of the local tire stores had one of their people at the shop repairing a backhoe tire. The guy helped Duane put in new valve stem. We got a very late start out of Jackson, leaving about 1:00 p.m. It is about a 5-1/2 hour drive and it was very uneventful until we got to the mountain. It is very steep and very curvy. Plus we were pulling our Econoline on a trailer. But, we made it with a little bit of straining. Three miles from the campground, we heard a very loud BOOM. Duane looked out the window and saw a mudflap fly out from under the RV. He had noticed that our muffler was not in the best of shape. So, he thought it had blown out. We got to the campground -- surprising all of our friends because they didn't know that we had bought an RV (with the exception of one person and he actually managed to keep it a secret). We pulled up to our spot to determine the best way to get settled in. Duane looked under the RV and discovered that we hadn't blown the muffler but a tire. Since we have a spare; he wasn't too concerned (other than he knew changing that big tire was not going to be fun).

We decided to pull in forward. The site wasn't that level and we had left Jackson without our chocks. But, we got it level and I went in to start getting things out to fix supper. I went to the back of the rig and suddenly the whole thing shook and went backwards about 2 feet. I knew that Duane had been standing at the back of the RV just seconds before it went boom and went backwards. Luckily, he had just moved. Somehow, the jacks collapsed in the rear. We were extremely nervous that it had broken the hydralic levelers. But we got lucky. It took some time -- but we got them straightened and back up in position. Duane chained the front of the rig to a tree which keep it from moving again. Several others of our group came in about that time -- so, we never did eat dinner. Duane (being the professional truck driver) helped get the latecomers rigs in place (backing up is his specialty) -- given that it was pretty dark by then. We sat up for awhile visiting with everyone. There were about 15 families that had already checked in and set up. Given that we had had a long day we called it a night about 10:00 p.m.

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