Posted by on September 8, 2020

Evelyn and I had carved out a few days for camping in Killens Pond State Park, a Delaware park not far from our home, from Aug. 30 – Sept. 3.

We arrived in good order, and I backed the RV into site #B-4.  We got out and were welcomed by the unmistakable stench of — how can I put this delicately? — dog poo.  Whether it actually was dog poo we’ll never know, because we did not see a “pile.”  Rather, there was a patch of what apparently had been something liquid on the ground next to our picnic table and that had attracted literally hundreds of swarming flies, ecstatic at having found such a treasure.

A park host, Butch, was there, busily “policing” the site, picking up scraps of paper and other trash.  He volunteered that the occupants of the site immediately before us were “nasty.”  When we had asked him about the odor (before we found the fly-infested patch on the ground) he said he didn’t know where it was coming from, but that it was all over the park.  He left with his bag of trash.  Finding the patch on the ground solved that mystery.  

I walked over to the host site where I thought Butch said he lived, but another fellow, George, answered the door (turned out that there were actually about five host sites in that same loop).  I explained our predicament, and George immediately drove his golf cart to our site, shovel and bucket in hand.  He scraped the patch from the ground and, as soon as he went away, so did the odor and the flies.

However, our scents-abilities were about to be assaulted from another direction, this time our neighbors in B-3 (the only other occupied site in our entire loop, by the way).  Their Class-A RV was an older model that obviously had seen better days.  I was to learn later from its owner, Mark, that he had bought it with the idea of restoring it.  However, we had a more immediate concern: the smell of propane wafting into our site from his.  Not only did it make us nervous wondering if we were all going to be blown to Kingdom come, but Evelyn is severely sensitive to petroleum fumes, which give her migraines.  

She asked someone at that site (Mark was there with his wife and kids) about it, and the wife apologized, explaining (I think this is how it went) that they had swapped out tanks and neglected to turn off the one they thought was empty.  So much for the second scent.

We were still at the campground when our own RV developed an odor we had not encountered before.  The closest I can come to describing it is to say that it reminded me of the smell of hot rubber, although that’s not exactly it either.  As I checked out several areas of the RV, it seemed to be strongest right at the side door where the 12-volt batteries are housed under the steps.  Could they be overheating?  I didn’t know, and still don’t.  The smell is still there, so we’ll ask the service department where we have our work done to check it out.

Another possibility could be the black water holding tank.  When I checked the levels of each of the holding tanks after we got home, the black water tank registered half full, which I don’t understand since I spent a good amount of time at the dump station making sure that the tank was thoroughly cleaned out.

So that’s the story of our week that made scents, two of which were solved, and one of which still needs an answer.  Maybe one of these days, we’ll take a trip where everything goes perfectly.  It’s a goal we still hold before us.

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