Friday, March 22, 2019

Escapade 2019

Pima County Fairgrounds, Tucson, AZ 3-16 to 3-21-19

At last we are on our way to the 2019 edition of the Escapees Escapades. We have heard so much about this from other Escapee members that we thought we should check one out. But you know, we are a little apprehensive about camping in very close proximity to 800 or 900 hundred other rigs for 5 days.

The literature Escapade sends you advises that you disconnect your towed vehicle prior to entering the fairgrounds. Well we can follow directions, so we did. And we found that the Explorer had a dead battery. So we had to jump start it from Miss Moseys batteries before we could drive on in to the fairgrounds.Sonny's Dead Battery

After that, getting to the fairgrounds and to our campsite for the week was uneventful. But the dead battery really was dead which allowed us to meet our “good” neighbors, Scott, Tammy and faithful companion Bullet,  the next morning when we had to ask for a jump start from his jeep so we could go to Walmart and buy a new battery.

Parking “Rally Style”. The lower right corner is the display of a local RV dealer. We were amazed at how many RVs were sold during the 5 days of Escapade. Miss Mosey is kinda lost there in the middle.

Escapade Rigs

Since we were parked “Rally Style” ( which means just enough room to put your slides out and leave a little walking room between rvs) we set up our Genturi to direct our generator exhaust up above the other rvs and not blow it at our neighbors. Scott and Tammy did the same. Unfortunately our “Bad” neighbors did not do this. Even though the weather was quite comfortable, perfect open window weather, our “Bad” neighbors chose to stay inside their rv all the time and run their generator. This meant every time we opened our door, we got a face full of diesel exhaust fumes. So we had to keep all the windows on that side and the entry door closed. But with the ceiling exhaust fans going we could draw in enough air from the other side to keep the inside temperatures at a manageable level.

Quiet hours were from 10pm to 7am, meaning no generator use during that period. One night our “Bad” neighbor chose to ignore the 10pm deadline. I figured I’d give him an additional 15 minutes before I knocked on his door and gently reminded him about quiet hours. Before I could get my outside shoes on I heard a loud pounding coming from their rv and someone yelling at them to turn off their “D@#m generator”. Wow! Someone else was peeved at them too!

After that, they got pretty good at obeying the 10pm deadline, but every morning they would jump the gun on the end of quiet time by 5 or 10 minutes. I guess they showed us!

This kind of behavior is why we prefer to camp with friends or boondock off by ourselves. More and more campers are ignoring common courtesy towards their fellow campers.

But on to the main reason we came to Escapade. There were a number of seminars being offered that we were interested in. When we saw the schedules for the seminars, that’s when we realized that there was no way we could attend all that interested us. If you are a couple, split up they say. That way you can cover twice the territory, they say. Well that’s all fine and good, but if there are 3 or even 4 interesting seminars being held at the same time, you are out of luck. The seminars start at 8AM and are over by 4PM. If they would continue the seminars later in the day, they could duplicate some of the more interesting ones. That would allow those of us who couldn't attend the earlier sessions to attend later ones. Maybe that is the organizers plan to get you to attend next years Escapade.

Several of the sessions were  nothing but sales pitches for cleaners or car wash products or certain brands of electronic gadgets. We had hoped for more unbiased informational seminars, but I guess those folks have to make money some way.

Some of the sessions, however, were quite informative, such as those about insurance, domiciles, solar, water management, lithium vs. lead acid batteries, going paperless and new CPR.

Ex 1  Ex 2Ex 5Ex 9Ex 10

And some were solely focused on selling stuff.

Ex 3Ex 4Ex 8

Of course all seminars and activities must end by 4PM or else they would interfere with Happy Hour. We understand the need for a Happy Hour to exchange information and socialize, but at 4PM a lot of folks are still out exploring, shopping or just being active. It’s like cutting the afternoon off in the middle. But it works for a lot of folks and has its place.

And of course one of the favorite things Escapees like to do is eat. So here we are bellying up to the food table.

Food rush

We came prepared and brought our own chairs. (By the way, that plate is for two)

Own chairs

As far as Escapade goes, we know a lot of work goes into it. But primarily it seems to be a vehicle for paying money to hang out with your buddies. Some folks seem to thrive on going to rallies just for that purpose. We have to admit we did enjoy meeting up with old friends and making new friends while we were there.

Oh and we almost forgot to mention. Probably the most important reason we attended was to take part in the Smart Weigh Program. We got the 4 corners of Miss Mosey weighed and her height measured as well. And we found we were running too much air pressure in the rear and not quite enough in the front.

And a huge shout out to Hendersen’s LineUp of Grants Pass, Oregon. They exchanged some incorrect motion control units for us that we had purchased a year ago from another dealer. If you are ever planning on going to Oregon, make an appointment with them to have your suspension upgraded. You’ll not regret it.

So would we attend another Escapade? Let’s just say been there, done that. There’s a lot of other places in North America we have yet to discover.

Next up, we try another rally, but in a much smaller setting.

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