May 302009

We left the fairgrounds in Sedalia about 10 a.m., followed U.S. Highway 65 north to Interstate 70 and took it east to Columbia, where we unhooked the van and left the bus in the parking lot of the Bass Pro Shop while we found a bank to make a deposit, and then had lunch at Culvers.

If you have never had a Butter Burger at Culver’s you have no idea what you are missing. There are only a couple of Culvers restaurants in Arizona, so we had only been to one since we left Indiana last year and it was long past due. In our opinion, they make the very best fast food burger in the world, hands down.

We had considered spending a couple of nights at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia (listed in our RVers Guide To Fairgrounds Camping), which has 575 RV sites with water, electric, and dump stations for $10 a night. But they had two small RV rallies going on, one a Good Sam and the other a Holiday Rambler event. There were still a lot of RV sites left, but it was early afternoon and we decided to continue on to Mark Twain Lake.

We followed U.S. Highway 63, a good divided four lane highway, north from Columbia to Moberly, and then we took U.S. Highway 24 east. In Paris we were supposed to pick up State Route 154 and follow it to Perry, but somehow we got messed up and missed our turn. Five miles later I spotted Highway U and a sign for Mark Twain State Park, and turned off onto it.

Highway U is not exactly a super highway. It was a very narrow two lane road that climbed up one short hill and then dropped down another, but nine miles later we came to the state park and found State Route 154, which we followed to Perry. From Perry it was only a few miles north to Ray Behrens Campground, a Corps of Engineers campground on the shore of huge Mark Twain Lake.

Most of the sites are electric only, but we knew the campground had a few full hookup sites too. But since we arrived about 4 p.m. on a Friday, we really didn’t expect to find a full hookup site open. As luck would have it, they actually had three full hookup sites available! We chose a nice 50 amp site, got parked and settled in. At $12 a night with either a Golden Access or Golden Age pass from the National Park Service, it’s a heck of a deal.

I would never consider having an RV without an Electrical Management System (EMS) from Progressive Industries. Our EMS has saved our bus several times from bad campground wiring. When I plugged in at the campground, the EMS went through its setup procedure, and then shut down the incoming power because it detected a problem, showing an error code.

When this happens, you can bypass the EMS by flipping a switch on the model we have, and for some people I have known, that is their first response. But to me, that’s a recipe for disaster, sort of like ignoring your antivirus software alert and downloading a suspect e-mail attachment.

I called Daryl Lawrence from Lawrence RV Accessories, who is an EMS dealer, and described the problem. After making a phone call to the manufacturer, Daryl called me back and we deduced the problem was low voltage on one leg of the 50 amp power. We could have moved to one of the other open full hookup sites, but we really don’t need 50 amps to live comfortably. So I put on a 30 amp dog bone adapter, and we were good to go.

Daryl, thanks to you and Progressive Industries for your help and for such a great product. Folks, if you don’t have an EMS system in your RV, go to Daryl’s website and order one right now. You never know, the very next time you plug into a campground outlet may be the time you fry your RV’s electrical system and everything you have plugged in inside of it. Our EMS has saved us from damage more than once, and you’ll find very few companies in this industry that stand behind their products like Progressive Industries does.

Our friends Pam and Smokey Ridgely are workamping nearby at Mark Twain Landing, and we called to let them know we were in the area, and Smokey said they were just going to have dinner at the restaurant at their RV park. Never one to pass up food, I told him to give us a few minutes and we’d join them.

It was great to see our friends again after so long, and the food was as good as the conversation. Pam and Smokey introduced us to the campground’s managers and arranged for us to leave several bundles of sample issues for their guests.

By the time dinner and desert were finished, we were both tired from our long day, and the long week of vending we had just finished, so we said our goodbyes, promised to get together again while we’re here, and headed back to our bus and bed.

Thought For The Day – When you’re finally holding all the cards, why does everyone else decide to play chess?

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Nick Russell

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  2 Responses to “Burgers And Back Roads”

  1. We agree! Our EMS has saved us several times this past year. The biggest problem we had was too much power! The COE parks are upgrading a lot of their parks and their electric is great, just too much. We did the same as you and used only 30 amp. It was fine at night when everyone in the campground turned on all their electric lights etc, but during the day the EMS would shut us down. We don’t have a on/off switch and our EMS is hard wired into our system, so we had to be creative with other options. It’s a difficult for conservation minded people to turn on everything we have to pull the power down enough:-)

    Have fun at Mark Twain Lake. We are looking at that location for a future trip.

  2. Travel safely kids.
    See you in Bowling Green.

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