By Machelle James
I’m nervous and I’m stalling to write my article. The bank is reviewing our loan at this very moment and I am a bundle of nerves. I am on edge and I find myself stressed out and moody. I don’t like this feeling. I’m normally the happy one, the optimistic one. This feeling of doubt and fear regarding the loan does not bode well with me.
We’ve been down this road at least 7 times and it never gets easier. Banks either like the idea of a campground or they don’t. There is no grey area for campgrounds in the land of commercial loans. This is the biggest hurdle we will have faced since we decided to pursue our campground dreams.
More rocks require special tractor
While I sit/stand/pace here and wait for word from the bank about our loan, I do have construction news to share. First off, our underground guys hit a sweet spot of just dirt for about 100 feet. Then BAM! They hit rock again. Now that we know we have rock on three sides of the property, we have to order a special tractor with a Drum Cutter. We should have this up here in about two weeks. Until then, the crew is working on places that they can find soft dirt to dig the utilities in.
We found buried trash in addition to all of the rocks!
The truth about building underground is you never know what you’re going to find under there. We have found bags and bags of trash that were buried here. I know there were squatters living here before us and all throughout the property. I have been told by the neighbors that this property was a trash pit and dumping ground. Well, it was cleaned up when we moved in and I can see that someone hired a tractor to bury all the trash. It makes me sick that we have to hand pick up mounds and mounds of trash that someone tried to hide. So far we are on bag six of 55-gallon trash bags and we have a lot more to clean up.
Our septic tanks lids getting installed last week! We were SO excited to see the big trucks come rumbling through with the cement lids on board! We took video of how they placed the lids and it was so interesting to watch. The first lid was 14,000 pounds and the others were about 10,000 pounds each! We watched as Calvin, the owner of Perkins Precast, maneuvered the massive concrete lids with a remote boom controller. He is an expert in his field as he had all four lids placed in under two hours. WOW! What a difference it makes with the lids and the risers in place. It finally looks complete and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see it finished!
More issues with placing the service panels and transformers
That same day, AJ, myself and our underground guy, Thomas, met with Danny from Navopache Electric. We needed a plan as to where to place the service panels and the four transformers. Two of the transformers needed to be moved from the original design due to not being able to dig into the hard ground. We thought we found a better location for all four of them together, but it turns out that only two of them could be in that location. We still needed to move two of them to another area as the service panels were too far away.
Navopache Electric will need to be granted a 25-foot easement to the poles as well as a stub out at the front of our property. This means we would need to put up aerial poles across the whole property, with a 35-foot guy-wire attached to each pole. Well that wouldn’t work as RVs or people could run into the wires. So we had to compromise on adding one electrical pole in the back of the property, with one 35-foot guy-wire. Then we will dig underground to lay the remaining electric lines towards the front of the property. Our only choice for this design was to have one of our camping sites hold the transformers and service panels. It will still be hidden away so it won’t be damaged, but it needs to be on a specific camping site in order to supply electricity to the remainder of the campground.
Our RV pedestals and yard hydrants arrived!
On another happy note, we received deliveries of our RV pedestals and our yard hydrants! We are so excited they came in as we knew there is a shortage of supplies in almost every area we need. We ordered frost-free hydrants as well as all-weather, 50-amp pedestals for our campers. A very special friend gifted us custom cornhole boards! Oh, they are so beautiful and she also made two sets for the children! I cannot thank her enough for sharing her talents and generosity with us!
While we work each day knowing things will work out in the end, we just pray our loan will get approved this time. I will keep you all posted on what we find out as we stay busy, keeping our mind focused on other things.
Thank you for following our campground journey, and see you in the trees! And please leave a comment.
AJ, Machelle and Jenna
Read previous articles here.
Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.