In preparation for another exciting season of adventurers in the Scamp, I took it to an RV dump station at a campground yesterday. I needed to flush the lines and water system, removing the RV anti-freeze, then fill the tank with freshwater. It takes a little while to do this.
I had only been there for a couple minutes; I was just getting started when a very large, forty-foot RV pulled up behind the Scamp. It was one of those real fancy ones, built on an over-the-road bus chassis. The kind that starts out at about $450,000.00 and goes up in price from there. He waited behind me for about a minute, maybe less, then impatiently pulled a couple feet closer to me. I suppose he thought that would hurry me up.
After about another minute, he got out of his motor home and approached me. He didn't ask - but told me to move "that trailer" so he could dump his RV tanks. Would anyone like to guess how that went for him?
"Pardon me?" I said, in disbelief at his lack of manners.
He repeated, "Move your trailer; I need to empty my tanks."
I looked right at him, paused, then busted out laughing, "Yeah. I don't think so." Then returned to my work.
"This is an RV service station; it's for RV's, not trailers." He informed me.
With disinterest and without looking at him, I replied, "This isn't just a trailer - it's a Scamp, and a Scamp is an RV." He firmly ordered again that I move my trailer. I stood up, looked at him, and said, "Look, dude, just because you found a bank that would finance you on a motor home you probably can't afford doesn't give you the right to act like a pompous jackass. Now, you're just going to have to wait your turn. That’s how it works for everyone, even you" I returned to my task, and he stood back by his unit and glared at me.
I found it ironic and humorous that he really didn't seem to know much about the RV he was driving. You see, I intentionally pulled in the wrong way so that my water connections would be closest to the hydrant. My waste tank valves were on the other side of the Scamp. I left the bigger side of the island open if anyone else wanted to dump their tanks while I was flushing my water system.
He asked if I was almost done. "Nope, I'm going to be a bit." I then explained, if he was in such a hurry, he could pull up to the other side of the service island as I wasn't using the sewage drain yet.
All he had to do was back up, then pull forward to the other side. (Remember, he pulled in behind me, so he also had his drains on the wrong side.) Instead, he backed up, pulled forward way past the dump station and me, then tried to turn around using the narrow roads of the campground. You should have seen him trying to maneuver that albatross in such a small area. People began gathering to watch! This was first-class entertainment for the other campers.
Finally giving up, he drove around a road or two in the campground until he was positioned to pull straight in alongside the island. I shook my head. After all his effort, he was still facing the wrong way with his tanks on the wrong side!
He got out of his motor home, walked around it, looking down, opening a few lower doors, trying to find his water system service compartment. I could have told him the connections were located on the driver's side, but I felt it was best to just keep quiet at this point. He disappeared on the other side of his unit, then walked back around to the door. I looked at him and smiled. We both knew.
He climbed in, slammed the door, and pulled forward to a large parking area where he could have easily just made a U-turn. Still, for some reason, he decided to do a multi-point turnaround. While he was messing around, a guy driving an older mini-home pulled up to the other side of the dump station.
The mini-home driver got out and started connecting his hose to drain his tanks. Meanwhile, Mr. Big pulled up behind him (now facing the correct direction), got out of his RV, and didn't ask but told the guy to move his camper. The man's response was much less polite than mine!
While the mini-home driver was draining his tank, I pulled forward and made a U-turn in the same spot where Mr. Big could not maneuver a turn just a few minutes before. He watched as I turned around, then I pulled up, facing the right direction to empty my tank on the same side of the island I had just vacated. He did not seem impressed by my display of skillful driving.
The mini home guy finished and removed the hose. He was pretty quick because he wasn't refilling his water tanks. I had my hose already connected to the Scamp and ready to go. I placed the other end of the hose in the drain opening and pulled the valve open to drain my black water tank, then my grey water tank.
The mini-home guy put his hoses away. He nodded my way, "Have a good day, partner," he told me, flipped the bird to Mr. Big, then got in his ride and drove away.
Mr. Big pulled into position. He fumbled with hoses, trying to figure out his system. I rinsed my drain hose, put it back in the storage tube, rinsed my hands, then replaced the water hose in its bracket.
I complimented him, "That's a pretty sharp-looking RV you have there. Did you just get it?" He glared at me and cussed at his RV. His tanks still were not draining, and I could clearly see what he was doing wrong. "You should consider changing the way you treat people. I've owned several big RV's, but I prefer the Scamp. Had you been nice to me, I would have shown you how to drain your system when you first pulled up since you obviously don't know what you're doing."
He told me where to go...and it wasn't to the next campground! I just laughed, "You ought to think about getting something you can handle. Might I suggest a Scamp? They're really nifty!" I sat in my car, turned to grab the seat belt, and saw that he was flipping me the bird.
Well, the mini-home guy flipped him the bird, now he was flipping me the bird....is that like paying it forward in a weird kind of way?
I put the car in gear and waved goodbye, using all five of my fingers, to the big RV guy.
The old adage is still true: You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I can't wait to go camping in the Scamp this weekend; maybe we'll get a site next to the nice man with the big RV.
a broadcaster, pilot, writer, and our Guest Columnist!