our Travels In A Mark II TARDIS -2023 Adventure Break Down

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Submitted by John Brook

In 2021 the wife and I decided we would get a caravan ( travel trailer) to take us on our journeys to Renaissance Faires. We purchased a 27-foot Salem Cruise Lite which we dubbed the Mark II TARDIS.

Here is the log of our trek to 1540 Scotland and Queensferry Renaissance Festival in the Mark II Tardis

Wednesday 15 March 2023:  

1400: provisioned TARDIS and headed to Big Cabin Oklahoma

1715: arrived at our base for the week at Big Cabin RV Park. I highly recommend these people. They are friendly and helpful. Their pads are level and well maintained, with hook up to power, water, and sewer, each pad also has a picnic table. well-lit and surprisingly quiet considering it is between the toll road, train track, and Hwy 69.

1730:  encountered the first problem – stabilizers won’t extend,

1740:  problem solved set up stowed away and on the way to the site to meet up with the boss and the rest of her minions. Helped finish setting up basic faire

1830:  work on faire finished for day, crew at dinner excitement building

2000:  back to base camp wind switching to north and increasing speed.

Thursday 16 March 2023:       

0500:  wide awake and hurting… weather about to change

0630:  checked in on Facebook and totally freaked out by a new post by my friend Luther Flanagan who rang down the curtain and joined the choir invisible on 14 August 2022.

0730: heading out to locate sustenance

0830: breakfast eaten and on to site to finish setting up signs and tents in preparation for Friday’s influx of vendors and entertainment. Upon arrival noticed royal pavilion had a section of wall that had come unhooked in the early morning winds. By the time the rest of crew arrived winds had picked up and  pavilion was starting to pull up from soft earth around pond.  Decision to strike tent and reset on Friday resulted in mad scramble to move things stored inside collapsed pavilion to dry storage, pack  tent for protection from incoming rain.

1300: everything secured bit of lunch eaten and back to base camp

1700:  pancake dinner by the Lions club appearance to support community and let folks know about our Faire

2100:  back at base camp rain seems to be over with but wind has shifted to north and temps are dropping. While we can feel the wind trailer is warm and secure. Hot shower and sleep.

 Friday 17 March 2023:            

0400:  awake and achy. TARDIS has no water, cold and miserable outside – will track down cause when sun come up.

0530:   Heater has stopped blowing warm air and temp inside dropping rapidly. Sunrise is now not an option. Warm coat out to gas bottles. Wind is biting, fingers don’t want to work. Open gas storage, shut off empty bottle, opened fresh bottle, beat feet back inside.

0545: with heat problems solved time to work on water.       

0630:  problem located,  park system frozen up called office left message

0730:  breakfast at Hi-Way Café with a friend before heading to site to finish setting up and start checking in vendors.

1300:  mostly done, check with Big Cabin confirmed  water back on.

1700: day finished, dinner with crew at Big Cabin Woodshed before calling it a day. Decided to check full service truck stop for tools/ accessories we might need. Good thing found small adjustable spanner( generically called Crescent wrench) that also reverses to allow use as a pipe wrench. Picked one up which was a good decision.

1830:   back to base camp tested hydrant and rehooked water. Now for a cup of Earl Gray

2030:  shutting down for night big day tomorrow

Saturday 18 March 2023:       

0530: up and preparing for opening day of the Queensferry Renaissance Festival.

0800: on site tending last minute details and preparing for hopefully a good crowd it is cold and windy, finally get to use the wool cloak

1000: gates open there are a few brave souls Coming out to see what its all about.

Travels in a Mark II

1800:  first day on the books crowd bigger than expected. The weather may have helped some of the vendors since people were coming in their tents to get out of the wind.

1900:  those of us in the not responsible group( not on the Board of Directors) are at the Woodshed having dinner and talking about the day.

2100: back to base relaxing to music before lights out.

Sunday 19 March 2023:        

0600: awake, seems chilly.  Out of propane in both tanks. Start looking for refill station near me. Every one of them within a fifty mile radius is closed on Sunday. Oh and water frozen again.

0700: found two locations that list exchange tanks – call one at Loves get transferred to department and hung up on TWICE! 

0730: dressed for Faire, located propane at Truck stop.  Approximately $100 later I’m now the proud owner of a third tank I can exchange.

0745: tank changed heat back on  headed to  morning meeting.

1000: we begin again warmer and less wind today

1800: faire is over for another year!

1930:  once again at Woodshed for final dinner  we were told to get a table for 14 ended up taking over most of the restaurant!  Staff handled crowd well and efficiently.

2130: back at base camp. Preliminary organization for tomorrow’s departure and off to bed.

Monday 20 March 2023:

0700: latest I’ve slept in all week! Water frozen again but since we have space till Wednesday no worries.

0830: warm enough outside the water is working again. Located  no ethanol fuel for truck,  wife stowing gear while I go top off tank.

1000: Grey water tank full, black water tank pressure rinse hooked up, black water tank draining/rinsing

1015: shut off rinse water and finished draining black water tank and closed valve. Open grey water valve and drain tank shut off city water and drain lines.

1100: all tanks/lines drained, all valves closed, hoses disconnected and stowed. Ready to hook up and leave.

1200: hooked up, lights and rearview camera tested, everything secured and discovering the one question more important than life the universe and everything. Why is it as soon as you clean and disconnect the black water system do you have to go pee?

1430: back to storage and, after  several attempts, TARDIS is secure until next time.


What I learned :

You need a basic tool kit like a deadblow hammer, screwdrivers, and adjustable spanner.

You will want a brass Y adapter for your water connection. ( I got mine at Tractor supply w/two quick connects)

You should fill freshwater tank even if hooking to city water.

If possible have a spare tank of propane. If not make sure to refill empties before Sunday ( Saturday in some cases.

Most importantly you need a companion who can deal with you when you get frustrated.

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