Casper KOA Journey

Casper KOA Journey

Monday, September 19 Through Tuesday, September 20, 2019

Upon learning that we had a truck camper instead of a motorhome, the desk clerk at the Casper KOA blew a gasket.  Instead of a pull-through long enough to hold truck camper plus towed vehicle, the clerk reassigned us the shortest pull-through spot in the park.  When asked where the Jeep would be parked, the clerk said, “You are going to unhitch it anyways, aren’t you?  You can park your car on the side.”  The new spot is at the end of a row next to garbage cans.  One of three out of thirty pull-throughs next to garbage cans.

Campsite In Evening After Campground Filled Up
Campsite In Evening After Campground Filled Up

When making reservations on the KOA website, truck camper customers who tow vehicles/trailers don’t have a data field to enter towed vehicle/trailer information.  Therefore the park has no idea that their customer won’t fit in the teeny-tiniest spots in the park.

Ask us how we know!  We’ve been assigned pull through spots that the truck with camper plus towed Jeep won’t fit in.  In parks that fill up, that could mean being denied a usable site on arrival.

One potential solution to the KOA website problem is to identify as a motorhome the same length as the truck with mounted camper.  With the motorhome designation, the customer has the option to add a towed vehicle/trailer.  This way, a site that will accommodate the customer’s rig can be assigned.

Linda has had to explain this concept to numerous KOA desk clerks.  Once a clerk understands that the website doesn’t allow truck campers to add in a trailer, nearly all leave the site assignment unchanged.  Not only was this clerk rude but she screwed us on the site assignment.

Each back-in site in the park seems to be pretty much the same size.  If size matters, smaller rigs might benefit by selecting back-ins, a site category that can’t be magically shrunk by desk clerks.

This gets back to an issue that isn’t being addressed.  Truck camper owners are often discriminated by parks who charge the same price for a type of campsite but don’t include site length in the price calculation.  Who minds paying as much for a site as a giant bus when when the sites are the same size?  It isn’t fair to pay the same price for a small site as someone else who receives a much larger site just because their rig is bigger.  Smaller rigs should pay smaller site prices for smaller sites.

The dog policy is an odd aspect to this park.  As described by the desk clerk, dog owners are only allowed to walk their pets from their campsite directly to the dog park and back.  Any dog walking off the allowed path is FORBIDDEN.  This seems a bit unfriendly.

Dog Run Entrance
Dog Run Entrance

The dog run is hidden next to the maintenance building and yard.  It is approximately 20 by 50 feet.  Gravel/sand base.  No plants.  Fake grass on the far end (below camera view).

Inside The Dog Run
Inside The Dog Run

The dog run space, while consistent with other similar campgrounds, feels small.

Bar Nunn's Heritage Park
Bar Nunn’s Heritage Park

From the dog run, a more hospitable place to walk the dogs is visible.  Time to take the dogs on a FORBIDDEN path.

Bar Nunn Park Department Signage For Heritage Park
Bar Nunn Park Department Signage For Heritage Park

At the entrance on the right, the first rule listed from the Bar Nunn Parks Department – NO DOGS!  This is not a dog friendly community.

Back to the campsite.

Some good did come from camping here.  On the wall in the men’s room was a large poster advertising local businesses.

Mobile Repair Technician Advertisement
Mobile Repair Technician Advertisement

I left a message with Bill asking for help fixing our water heater.    Bill responded at the end of his workday.  Fortunately for me, the water heater was already fixed.  I would recommend Bill based solely on the fact that he called back.  You can’t win if you don’t show up.  Bill shows up.

Smith RV Sales & Service Advertisement
Smith RV Sales & Service Advertisement

Hoping that Bill would call, but thinking the odds would be against us based on our recent experience trying to find a mobile RV tech, I wanted to pursue another solution.

I talked Linda into letting me try to fix the water heater by myself.  My idea was to just change the control board.  Smith RV looked like just the place to buy parts.  We drove over to their store and found the parts department.  The parts department guy was super helpful.  He asked a number of good questions.  I made it clear that I had no idea what I was doing.  I just wanted to fix the darn thing.  He didn’t have a control board.  Apparently there has been a rash of control board failures and they were out of stock.  He suggested gently that the more likely and less expensive solution might be a $22 thermal cutoff.   I took his advice and paid for the part.

Old Thermal Cutoff Next To New Installed Thermal Cutoff
Old Thermal Cutoff Next To New Installed Thermal Cutoff

Back at the rig, at the outside water heater access panel, I unplugged the old thermal cutoff and plugged in the new.  Then inside the rig, I flipped on the gas water heater switch.  Outside at the panel, I could hear the gas roaring in the combustion chamber.

HOUSTON!  WE HAVE LIFTOFF.

Immediately I  told Linda the good news.  Time for a happy dance!

More  good news.  The out-of-stock control board would have costs $180 and wouldn’t have fixed the problem.

Smith RV is definitely on my good supplier list.

Morning After: Sunrise Over Dog Park
Morning After: Sunrise Over Dog Park

In the morning, after a good night of sleep, the irritation of getting the worst spot (again!!!) had waned.  Overnight, the park filled up.

Casper KOA Journey At Sunrise - Full Up
Casper KOA Journey At Sunrise – Full Up

At least one Camper, packed in like a sardine, with a larger rig had a place to stay overnight because we took one for the team (again!!!).  I still think we should get a discount.

Linda is still mad that the clerk was mean to her.

Hope to see you on the road ahead!

 

 

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