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Something screwy in campgrounds

Long-time blog readers will recall last summer’s debacle when a wheel came off the trailer. The whole episiode started in Grand Teton National Park, when we pulled into our campsite and ran over a 2″ drywall screw. This caused a flat that resulted in the tire needing replacement, and subsequent disasters caused by a mechanic over-torquing the wheel.

A few months before that, we got a nail in a tire, either in or near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We were able to patch that one. A month after the Grand Tetons, we ran over a nail in a campground in Gunnison Colorado.

My point is that of all the flats we’ve gotten, all of them have been from debris we ran over in campgrounds. We’ve never had a blowout or flat on the road. This is because campgrounds are often full of debris left by previous campers, hidden in the gravel. Many people use utility trailers to haul their toys, like ATVs and motorcycles, and those utility trailers are the same ones they use to haul a load of trash to the local dump. So screws and nails end up falling out in the campgrounds.

Here’s what I have found in our campsite this past three weeks (click to enlarge):

Tuson debris.jpg

Obviously the items I’m concerned about are the screws. So far I’ve found two, including once again a drywall screw. It’s just a matter of luck that we haven’t hit more of them in our travels. They seem to be in every campground, even the state and national park sites.

Campground owners could reduce this problem by periodically cleaning each site with a magnetic sweeper, but I’m sure most of them don’t feel they have the time to do this. Too bad. I don’t know that there’s much we as campers can do about it, but it does underscore the importance of checking your tires for proper inflation every time you leave a campsite.

Tetons nail.jpg

2 Responses to “Something screwy in campgrounds”

  1. Tim Says:

    Rich,

    Get two of those powerful magnets and mount one under the front bumper of the truck, and the other magnet under the rear bumper of the trailer.

    This way as you pull in or back in, you’ll be covered.

    Just don’t park the truck right behind the trailer when in a camp ground. You may never get them apart….

  2. Tim H Says:

    Hey Rich-
    Make sure to keep that fuse – from the pic it still looks good! :)

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