Search This Blog

Friday, May 30, 2014

Scratch This One Off Your List

I looked out of our window this morning at a nearby trailer and saw a man standing in the doorway taking pictures of the Journey.  I originally thought he was taking pictures because he might have thought our Journey was pretty.

Later I realized he was taking pictures to prove there was a motorhome this big in this campground.

I’m not usually one to comment on campgrounds by name, but I have to call this one out.  Statts Mill RV Park in Ripley, WV.  Exit 132 on I-77.

Not big rig or even medium rig friendly.  That entrance problem I had yesterday was bad, but even turning the opposite direction is dangerous, there is a ditch that you have to be careful that your rear wheels don’t drop down into it.  Unless you have a Class B RV or a small trailer, I would not recommend this park because of the difficult, narrow entrance.

No wonder the only RVs in the Park were a few small trailers looking like long term residents.  In fairness to the park, it was clean and neat with some new playground equipment, we didn’t use the bathhouse, but it did look a little run down.

I decided, even though it is a bit of a pain, to remove the tow bar from the Journey to make sure I had enough clearance on the way out.  I brought it inside and laid it on the floor to give it a careful checking over.


The only damage other than the cable hooks was a scrape mark on the bottom of the hitch, a solid block of steel.  A thorough inspection of the tow hitch didn’t reveal any damage or broken welds.


It was a good thing I removed it, because Marti told me after she followed me out that the tail end of the Journey almost dragged again, the exhaust tailpipe missing the ground my mere inches.

We set off to the right this time.  Another mistake.  It was 18 miles of turning, twisty, hilly, narrow country roads.  Marti went on ahead to warn oncoming cars that I was behind her.





To test my driving skills even further, there was a one lane bridge with damaged and bent guard rails from big trucks catching them.  There were jagged edges sticking out several inches just waiting to cut into one of the Journey’s side compartments.

I inched across the bridge, watching the jagged guardrails like a hawk and just cleared them.  No pictures, my hands, eyes and mind were too busy.

Finally we reached the main road, hooked up the Element and were on our way.  We figured, not counting the cost of the damaged hooks and the years taken off my life by driving those back roads, we wasted about $16 worth of diesel fuel. Tonight, after driving 195 miles, we’re overnighting at a Flying J in VA.  Maybe my pulse will return to normal. ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Even with our small trailer that park is on our do not go list. Glad you got out without any more damage. Did you post a review on RV parks review?

  2. I guess what don't kill you makes you a better driver. Now if they have an RV Rodeo you'll be ready.

  3. Each to their own of course. But one of the reasons we have a smaller RV and no tow vehicle is exactly so that we can travel those back roads and find quiet, out of the way spots to overnight.

    West Virginia is supposed to have RV dump stations at their highway rest stops. They list two on the I-77. Might have saved you the trip into the bush!

  4. We are not blacktop boondockers but in this case, I think I would have done exactly the same thing! :) Hope you get a good night's sleep and your blood pressure returns to normal :)

  5. Man oh man! You definitely earned the badge of courage there! You really should post on RV park reviews. Glad you made it out safely :-)

  6. Time to call it quits ... It's getting too dangerous.

  7. I missed the last post about this lovely campground. Will check WV off my list. Do you ever do a Google earth search when you are looking at campgrounds? I recently started doing that and it can help to avoid some things like you went through. Some....but not all. I agree, you should really post it on just to let others know it's not big rig friendly.

  8. WOW...that was a tough situation. Glad you got away unscathed and hopefully the rest of the trip will be uneventful!!

  9. For a quick overnight we prefer the Walmarts, Flying J's or Casinos. Good that you did not do anymore damage.

  10. Oh my! Thanks for the heads up on this campground. Glad you were able to get out of there without any further damage.

  11. If we are going from point A to point B, we won't go to a cg more than 5 miles from the highway. I know the Journey needed to dump but those roads really look scary. Glad you made it out safely.

  12. Geez, what an that I never ever want to go through....Good job...

  13. We hate learning lessons about RV parks. We've been in our share of those we'll never go back to for many reasons. There are many times going up to our little "cabin" that I've driven ahead of Terry. We have 3 miles of a curvy narrow road and many cars come around those corners way too fast. We carry a walkie talkie for that road.

    Hope you've calmed now and the stress has left.

  14. Yup, those are the WVa roads I remember. They are a lot like the roads around the farm only luckily ours have been paved. LOL. Glad you and the Journey got out alive and that you didn't run into any Hatfields, or McCoys.

  15. Sad to say you don't really know a campground till you've driven that last mile, taken that last curve, and setup after arrival.

  16. We stayed at a Passport America park in Maine that we a nightmare. The road in was as you described and nothing worked once we made it.

  17. But Paul, the campground's website makes it look so inviting! The lone review on was such that I wouldn't even have considered it, however. That you got away without further incident.

  18. White knuckle time. Glad you made it there and back without incident. When we get to those kind of places I try to tell myself slow down, pray, watch the mirrors and take it slow, don't panic and go slow and watch the mirrors -- and repeat. 18 miles sounds like an eternity through the sketchy roads and turns and bridges. Glad you navigated it successfully. How long and where will you be in Virginia?

    1. We're just passing through on our way to South Carolina (Columbia area) for a week, then to Myrtle Beach second week. Third week, Disney World with our grandsons, fourth week, back to SC.

  19. Glad you checked the hitch and welds etc. I am a worry wort ya know on things like that!

    Whew on the trip back out and at least you got your holding tanks emptied! LOL

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard