Sunday, July 15, 2007

Settled in for a bit

We are at the Lake Tahoe KOA, a few miles south of the lake on US50 (map). Well, actually, at the moment I am sitting on the beach at Camp Richardson, right on the lake, paying $10 for WiFi -- we're under the trees at the KOA and can't get on line.

Speaking of the KOA, regular readers will know that this is a rare event for us. In three years, we have stayed at a KOA only twice before: once to visit San Antonio, and once in Abilene when we were desperate for electricity to run the air conditioning.

Generally I try to stay out of KOA's as a matter of policy, even on the rare occasion when we've already decided to stay in a commercial park. That's because KOA has been leading the charge among all private park operators to "shut down" roadside parking opportunities such as Wal-Mart. This park in particular also has overt religious messages on its web page and inside its office/store, which is a real turn-off for us (irrespective of which religion's messages are being promulgated).

In this case, we ended up here by a process of elimination. We wanted to "camp" with our friend and her pre-teen daughters (who call us aunt and uncle). Mom's non-negotiable requirement was a cabin, preferably with a private bathroom. Our non-negotiables are unchanging: the pets have to be welcome, and our rig needs to fit in the campground.

We looked at Camp Richardson and Zephyr Cove as great spots with camping and cabins, but the "no pets" rule meant we could not stay there. And there is a wonderful city park campground in South Lake Tahoe, but the one cabin there has no bathroom, and it was too close to the ice rink (don't ask). When we looked at all the options, only the KOA had space available, pets allowed, and a cabin available with a private bath. So we took it, and are just toughing it out.

Among the more annoying KOA policies are an extra charge for pets, and fee-for-use WiFi that doesn't reach into the actual camp sites.

In other news, on our way to the KOA from Stateline, we passed a NAPA that had our air filter in stock, and we replaced the air filter right in the parking lot. Unfortunately, it did not in any way mitigate our black smoke/low power problem. So I have posted a general plea for help on the bus boards. I hope I will get some good suggestions there. (Incidentally, one of our readers here suggested one or more dragging brakes, but our in-wheel temperature sensors would have alerted us to that already.)

Also on our way out of South Lake Tahoe, we had to make a routine stop at the California agricultural inspection station, where we were forced to eat all the Rainier cherries we had brought from Washington on the spot. (The inspection station on 395 was closed, as usual, when we passed through on Thursday.)

Today we all drove down here to Camp Richardson, sans Opal, and have had a great day relaxing on the beach, and tooling around the lake in a rented speedboat, complete with towable inner-tube setup. We'll have dinner in the little lake-front restaurant here before heading back to kamp.

I'll likely not be posting here much until we are out of the KOA and back on-line, sometime after Thursday.


  1. Sean,

    If it is not an air restriction try replacing your primary and secondary fuel filters. I have found that in 2 stroke Detroit engines it is typically fuel or air restriction condition that cuases the symptoms you have written about.

  2. I agree with you 100% on KOA. Don't like their on non campground parking. We won't stay at a KOA unless we absolutely have to. Twice in the last four years.

    Happy travels


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