Trials and Tribulations – and wimping out

November 14, 2018

We’ve been using the “Find a Park” site to try to hit all the National Park Properties that interest us in any given state https://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm? This is how we picked up on Arkansas Post. We wanted to camp near the site to reduce drive time so we chose an Army Corps of Engineer Campground just a few minutes away. Our site was up high and right on the Missouri River so we had an awesome view. Unfortunately this is when the snow rolled in. Yes, an inch of SNOW in southeast Arkansas in mid-November. The locals said – “never happens”. We are seriously weather jinxed. We woke to heavy gray skies and snow blowing horizontally past our windows. Little snow dervishes were dancing across the choppy waters of the Arkansas River. It was actually pretty cool right up until we had to go outside; then, not so much.

When we returned to our campground after touring the National Park site we noticed it was downright chilly in the house. We always lower the heat to 50 or 60 when we leave so as not to waste electricity but it was definitely below that. Then we realized we had no power. Our eyes swung over to that cable crew working their way down the road with their cool mini ditch digger laying cable. Yup, they must have hit the power line. They obviously had no idea how to get power back so John trotted off and checked our Progressive Industries Power Manager on the electric posts in the other side of the campground across the road. Those seemed to work so we moved. Then the EMS said it was fluctuating high power so it wouldn’t let the surges through to the motor home and we were back to no power. John trotted off to check post after post and got the same reading. We figured it was a campground-wide problem because of the power line being cut. We could have kicked on our propane heater, inverter and used the generator as needed to recharge the batteries but it was windy and cold even though the snow had stopped and we planned to leave in the morning anyhow so we decided to bug out and hope for better camping conditions. I’d like to point out here that we were Boy Scout Leaders for over 18 years. We’ve camped in tents in every weather condition you can imagine; ice, snow, wind, rain, extreme heat… I was even in a tent in a hurricane with my family when I was younger. We’ve both had basic survival training and could have built a little shelter, buried ourselves in leaves and survived the night. Having the RV would have been luxury compared to that. Yes, we could have toughed it out. But WE DIDN’T WANT TO. So, we wimped out.

We called Cane River State Park and the helpful camp host set us up with a site for the night, told us where to find it in the dark, made a point of selecting one that would be easy to get into, and trotted out in the snow to hook our tag up on it and set the reserved sign. AWESOME! John was beat by the time we got there but it looked like a beautiful park with nice, fairly level, paved sites. He plugged the EMS in and got the same error. Argggg! We finally, for probably the first time in over five years, plugged directly into the power post and dove for our now warm beds.

I’m going to put a plug in here for Progressive Industries. We bought that EMS/power manager before we picked up the rig. John religiously plugs it into the post then plugs the RV into the EMS. We’ve done this for over 5 years. Two of those years were full time and the other three were at least a few months of camping each year. We figure that system has protected our house for well over 1000 days & nights.

We were hoping there was some sort of a magic reset button or something that would bring our little EMS buddy back online so John called Progressive Industries and explained what happened: snow, power line cut, high voltage readings and told them when we purchased. They had him take pics of the plug and such and submit it as a warranty claim online (lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship). They emailed back the next day and said our new, totally free EMS is on the way. Apparently water got in through the plug and caused it to act erratically. We don’t know if the cold, snow, and/or jolt of the power line being cut added to the issue but our unit was clean and free of damage or burn marks so they are simply replacing it.

Excellent customer service!

Disclaimer – we don’t work for or have any affiliation with Progressive Industries. We just use their product. We won’t get any money or other benefit if you see this post and go out and buy one. If you don’t use a power manager, I suggest you get one. Ours has saved us from reverse polarity, high voltage, low voltage, etc. on numerous occasions. These can all damage your internal electrical systems. Some of the damage (like low voltage) isn’t readily noticed as it weakens the appliances and electronics rather than frying them outright so they fail at a later date and usually long before their normal lifetime would have ended if they hadn’t suffered that condition.

One additional note – those pesky ads on this blog ARE NOT OURS. Word Press sticks them on there and we have to pay to get them removed. It will probably happen eventually, we just haven’t committed the funds yet. If we ever “monetize” our blog, we’ll put a post in there loud and clear so you know we did it and how it works.

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