Holiday weekend means one extra day to enjoy the campground/lake! Last minute we registered for the site Thursday night so that when I got off work Friday at 4 p.m. I would be able to enjoy the evening without having to worry about packing the camper and setting up the site.
By Friday evening McKinney campground was full, however it seemed like everyone trickled in. There was not a huge back-up around 6 p.m. at the gate. I know this because we forgot so many things–hotdogs, HDMI cord, and eggs for breakfast.
Site 17 is a back-in site (considered waterfront) costing 32$ a night. The site is level and private from surrounding sites. The loop that 17 sits in is small, therefore there was minimal traffic throughout the weekend. The path to the water is fairly steep so we did not bring out kayaks this trip. We did swim quite a bit. Once down the path there is a small beach area and directly across the cove in the Glade Marina. It was fun to watch people load and unload boats all weekend. Because of the no-wake zone the water was very calm.
Friday night we experienced the rowdy holiday campers a couple sites down from us. Their music and singing was loud, past the quiet hours. Once inside our camper we couldn’t hear it over our air conditioning so we never complained. The site across from us had some trouble backing up the hill into their campsite and Heather went over to help them when they asked for help. They needed to put some weight on the back of the truck to get it low enough to put the hitch under the camper. Heather simply climbed on the back of the truck to weigh it down. The couple was so sweet and thankful for her help. They brought us flowers on Saturday to thank us.
Saturday was game day for football. My wife is a Tennessee fan and HAD to watch the game. We brought a TV and antenna in hopes of pulling in CBS, however McKinney does not get great cable service. The only stations I could find were QVC type stations. Even our camper TV inside was only scanning a couple stations. This caused Heather to run home and get the HDMI cord so she could stream it from her phone. She also had to download the CBS app. Tennessee did not get off to a good start on the season, being defeated by West Virginia. It was fun to watch the game outside at the campground though.
Sunday we had multiple friends and family visit the site for dinner and swimming. We tried out the pack-n-play in the camper when one friend’s kid needed a nap. It seemed doable for when we have kids ourselves.
Sunday night my wife went to roll the awning in and checked the front side to make sure the hanging flower basket was not in the way. She did not check the back arm of the awning, but wished she had. A guest at our site had used the hose and instead of putting it back where they got it, they hung it on the arm of the awning. When Heather went to pull it in the spray nozzle bent the arm of the awning. We were furious and sick to our stomachs that this happened, but decided to deal with it in the morning.
Monday morning when we woke up, the damage was as bad as we felt last night. We were about a foot short of getting the awning closed and knew we could not drive home that way. On Georgia RV Camping group on Facebook we got Daniel Lightcap’s phone number. We weren’t sure where his business was, but when speaking to him on the phone we learned that he is out of Loganville (no where near McKinney Campground.) He was very nice and walked us through how to pop off the clip on the side using a flat head screwdriver and pull out the pin. This caused the awning arm to collapse as I rolled in the other side. We were then able to zip tie the awning shut and get the camper home. We will have to take it to the dealership soon to have that fixed. Hopefully it will not be too expensive, but we are mentally preparing for the worst.
Due to dealing with the damage and not wanting to end the weekend with such a negative event, Heather drove up to the front office to book the site for Monday night so we could enjoy the whole day (instead of checking out at 3 p.m.). Most of our loop cleared out by check-out time and even a couple campers checked in. Swimming all day and not leaving till after dinner also allowed us to take our time at the dump station since there was not a line.
I’ve mentioned the horrible set-up for the dump station at McKinney Campground before and the amount of time you will spend waiting in line. Prepare for 30 minutes to an hour of your time just waiting. I contacted the Natural Resource Specialist at the Corp of Engineers for Lake Allatoona and this was his response.
“Thank you for your concern regarding the dump station at McKinney Campground. That is a known issue for us right now and we are exploring options to either redesign that dump station or install another dump station within the park. Unfortunately those plans have not yet reached a point where I have a timeline of when they might be started much less completed. I am afraid one of our septic fields is nearing its end of life and that has been the major priority.”
I was happy to know that they are already aware of the issue and have it on the to-do list. Something that the dump stations lack that you find at other campgrounds is the option to connect a back-flush. This system pushes water into your black tank to get it as clean as possible. Without the ability to do this the option is to fill buckets of water, go inside the camper, and dump it down the toilet. We did this TWELVE times Monday evening. After a couple trips to McKinney Campground and waiting in line, our camper hasn’t had a good black tank cleaning so we took advantage of the time to do that. The Resource Specialist mentioned going to Cabela’s to dump the tanks, which is right down the road–however it costs 5$. I’ve already paid for my site, that should include the dumping costs.
Places to Eat, Drink, Have Fun.
We do not usually go out to eat while camping on Lake Allatoona because we are so close to home. However, I did want to put together a list of our favorite restaurants, breweries, vineyards, and fun things to do in close proximity.
Things we learned:
- Always go behind your guests and check to make sure things are in their correct place. Even adults don’t put things back where they got them. We have found that if someone doesn’t own a camper they do not fully understand what it takes to keep them in good shape.
- After almost 20 trips, things are bound to break–yes it is terrible that this could have been prevented, but I feel like we have checked off the flat tire and now the awning issue. It would be great if we could avoid anymore problems.
- If you are in need of a mobile RV repair person, please call Daniel Lightcap! He has great recommendations and we were very thankful for his help Monday.