It was a quiet, wet and rainy week in Memphis. The weather systems in the “mid-south” are very wicked, the barometer rises and falls significantly in short periods of time. We both had migraines for the first time together, awwwwh, taking us down for two days. We did not venture out much, other than a quick run in the evening for groceries or for a dinner. Our concerns of safety continued when we witnessed an arrest of someone just outside the RV park entry on the Germantown Parkway. Looked like a routine traffic stop, but it was just one more thing in this area that led to making sure we kept the door locked.
Since arriving at the RV park, we have had on and off power issues. Jason has a battery backup power supply in his “office” and it would keep activating throughout the day correcting for low power. Then on Thursday, it all just came to an end, no more power from the RV park power source. Jason flagged down a park employee spreading gravel with an end loader, he made a call and within ten minutes another employee was on site and changed out the breaker. No more problems after that. Very impressed with the maintenance staff’s response. In general the sites are OK. They are just so close together and the space in-between is very soft and mucky, especially after several days of rain.
We are by no means Elvis fans, but we thought we would at least try to check out the Graceland area. Unfortunately, you cannot see anything from the road and every “modern” travel blog for Memphis says to stay away from this and from Beale street. In the Graceland area there are a lot of bars on the windows and it is a really rundown area. The Graceland complex is huge. It also seems apparently new, which would explain the $40-$180 per person price tag on tour tickets. It was cool driving by his jet that is parked along the road (an added on cost to tour of course.) So we opted not to tour any of Graceland at those costs.
Germantown, Tennessee, located Southeast of the Agricenter RV Park and is like a Woodbury, MN, with its huge $300K brick homes, Whole Foods store, niche little shops and strip malls. We found a great new mediterranean style chain restaurant, Takitizi’s. So good in fact we went there three times and bought some of their sauces, wonderful tomato chutney for pork and a horseradish cream sauce for beef. Barb had their lamb gyros and the meat was fresh grill lamb, not the processed pressed meat like you usually see in a gyro. Their “feasts” are an extremely flavorful plate full of salad with some meat and these sauces.
As we continue the “ascent” to Wisconsin we made some changes in our travel this week to avoid the Winter Weather Advisory that was crossing our path. We had planned to head to Chicago area, but decided to instead get to St. Louis. Finding an open campground actually was more difficult than we anticipated. Even though the overnight low temperatures here are now averaging above freezing most campgrounds are not opening for another week or two yet. The St. Louis West KOA on Historic Route 66 park is open year round at some of their sites. The campground is pretty busy, it is at least half-full for the weekend. It is nice to be back into the woods, seeing trees when you look outside and not your neighbor’s rig on top of you. We have a fire ring and picnic table!
Getting here was a lot of “fun” though coming up through Arkansas on I-55. It is the worse quality interstate that we have had on the entire trip. In some places the on/off ramps are 50′ of pavement from the main lane to a frontage road, the potholes were huge but the worse was a five to ten-mile section where the concrete joints had buckled every 20 feet. This was causing a galloping sort of feeling with the rig hopping along as we went shaking everything out of the cupboards. When we made a stop Barb found the cats had made their way out of the bedroom, the doors must have popped open letting them free into the living area. They feel safe on the back of the sofa, behind the axles of the trailer where the bouncing is the worse. We had provided them food for the travel and unfortunately this just meant these queasy kitties were tossing their cookies in six different places leaving us with some fun messes to clean up. In addition to this, we had a small utility basket full of random things like screws, batteries, tape and pens that fell on the floor. We didn’t know that a bunch of batteries were wedged way under a slide. One was even smooshed and dragged across the vinyl floor leaving a huge mark and stretched, sure that will become a future nightmare as that spot fails prematurely. So that was an extra hour of “fun” when we arrived here.
Then, we had water system related issues when we got here as well. We had filled our fresh water tank because we had planned for no water hookups this far North and figured we would use up the tank first. Well, back in Memphis we had our “basement” flooded because the darn “leakproof” Anderson Kantleak(tm) city water fitting was leaking to the point water was running out under our rig along the landing jacks. Now we could not get the water pump to stop pumping, which has been a progressively worsening problem since we bought the rig. The water pump would just run intermittently. Jason had narrowed down the problem to a four-way valve that Keystone uses for the city pressure fill (no gravity fill on the fresh water) the pump and the city source. You have to turn this four-way valve to whatever mode you are trying to use your water system in. The o-ring has failed inside the Anderson Kantleak valve which would have allowed water to whoosh around the four-way valve, it was not properly diverting the water to the correct source. This started as a pumping having to re-prime every hour or so, then every so many minutes to then every few seconds. Water was leaking back into the tank from the city water side around the o-ring and then the pump would have to re-prime itself. There are two RV dealers within two miles of our campground and one is a Keystone dealer. On a late Saturday afternoon, the parts manager at Byerly RV was very helpful. He got us the part on the spot and is submitting a warranty claim to Keystone on our behalf so he can refund us the $90 for the part from our warranty. Haven’t seen all of that unfold yet, but it sounds like an awesome customer service oriented response for people who are not even their “customers.”
We are continuing to monitor the Northern weather and are being flexible in when we will leave here for the North. Our goal is still to be home for Easter. The City of River Falls has already given us the approval to stay there long-term from April to June. So we are set on a place once we do return for the first half of the summer, then we head West for a month and a half. Now, we will see if God gives us the weather to make that happen.
|Campground||Agricenter RV Park
7777 Walnut Grove Rd.
Memphis, TN 38120
|Nights Stayed||14: March 3-17, 2018|
|Parking Site||Site 140
Watched one guy getting arrested just outside the Northeast entry to the RV park. Constant police presence in the area.
The sites are really really tight. One site pulls in to the South and the next the North, so you end up door to door with your neighbor instead of the traditional doors all facing the same way. All sites are water, electric and sewer. No picnic tables. All gravel and for the most part it is very muddy when it rains. The Agricenter is a busy complex with over 4000 acres, yet the RV park you are on top of each other. Location is in the middle of the Memphis metro and for the most part it is very quiet despite 6 lanes of traffic on the East and North side that you do not hear.
There are tons of events that host at this site. Rodeos, trade shows, hot tub shows and other "public" events bring people to the park. The Show Place is on site, but that is on the far Northeast end of the park. The Expo Center is mid-way to the Northwest of the RV park. So if you don't want to be near that, make sure to get a site on the West end of the RV park.
|WELS Churches||Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
5415 Raleigh Lagrange Rd
Memphis, TN 38134
Services on Sunday morning at 10:15AM
Mid-week lenten services with supper at 6:15PM and service at 7PM
|Remember for Next Time||Camping World of Memphis is not in Memphis and is south about 20 minutes over in Mississippi. Not an original Camping World store, but it is well done, helpful staff and you can fill with expensive propane.
Avoid Back Yard Burgers just down from Camping World, that was horrible. One of our few 1 star ratings on Google maps.
Germantown is like "Woodbury, MN" and is only about 5 minutes south. There is a tourist area we didn't explore.
Super Target, Super Walmart and Kroger are about 1 mile North of Agricenter. Kroger in Germantown next to Marcos Pizza and Taziki Cafe.
|AT&T Coverage||4G LTE very good, low latency - there is a tower right on the park property with many sectors, so you could end up in a sector that is heavy. They were working on the tower while we were here and we had some complete short outages.|
|Verizon Coverage||4G LTE good|
|WiFi Coverage||Yes, they are using a mesh network and it doesn't work. Overloaded or too much interference. Typical RV park WiFi. It is free, you get the access information at the check in.|
|Anytime Fitness||Anytime Fitness has one site open about 10 minutes Northeast of the RV park and one showing as closed to the Southeast. The NE gym is pretty good, clean and a good selection of different equipment.|
|Mail Services||Can receive packages at main address. Must have the phone number and the name in the address.
You can have packages delivered to the main address. The office is not well equipped though to manage those, so be careful. The is a Whole Foods 5 minutes to the South, I don't know if they have an Amazon locker but if they do I would use that if you can for your Amazon items.