Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Operating an RV park: Store updates and a noise ordinance!

By Machelle James
Here we are, one week from Memorial Day weekend, and our store is finally coming together. We just passed drywall inspection and that means AJ can install the metal roofing that we are using as siding. We are using the roofing material on the lower half of the walls and thin rough-cut wood panels for the upper.

Store ceiling

The handrails are being made right now and they should be ready for installation in a couple of days.

Over the last few days we have been running fiber optic through the conduit lines to help improve our Wi-Fi signals in the park. So far, so good, as they are working fast and even better than before. The real test will be when we are sold out to see how much the speed bogs down.

Machelle vs. jake brakes—Machelle wins!

I have to report a bit of good news about our highway noise. I sent out an email to our County Supervisors, our Sheriff’s Department, and ADOT about the big rigs using their engine brakes at all hours of the day and night. It was truly affecting my sleep as well our guests’ sleep and their peaceful camping experience.

What happened next was surreal! Within 48 hours I had received numerous emails from several county departments about the rules regarding engine braking in our town.

It seems that a “No Engine Braking Ordinance” was passed in 2010 for our area. Unfortunately, the ball was dropped somewhere and the signs were never ordered. Therefore, the law was unenforceable and not even our own Sheriff’s Department knew about the ordinance.

I have to say that I am so pleased that someone took my concerns seriously and followed through! I found out that, in fact, we do have an ordinance to prevent the big rigs using their “jake brakes” to slow themselves down. The other part of this good news is that it will be going into effect before Memorial Day weekend! I am very thankful and delighted that we won’t have to hear that for much longer.

Store is getting loaded with inventory, including ice!

While I sit here and enter inventory and SKU’s for the store, I couldn’t be more pleased. The Pepsi refrigerator will be here on Tuesday and the inventory will be here on Friday morning. Our ice freezer and ice bags will be here any day. We patiently wait, as we know our campers are anxiously awaiting this perk. They all want ice for their ice chests!

What a crazy day Friday will be. We have 25 arrivals at the park that day alone, and then filling up the refrigerator with beverages! I hope we can get it all done in time for Memorial Day weekend—we are so close!

As I finish up this week’s article, we wish you a blessed Memorial Day, in honoring those who have passed before us. We give our Thanks to them and their families.

Thank You for following our Campground Journey and See You in the Trees! And please leave a message!

AJ, Machelle and Jenna

Read previous articles here.

Machelle James and her husband, AJ, built, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them at their website, or on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park, or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.


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Neal Davis (@guest_184134)
1 year ago

The store ceiling is beautiful! Congratulations on achieving your dream! Looking forward to staying with you one day. Meanwhile, best wishes!

Roadflier (@guest_183405)
1 year ago

Pick up a ice machine if possible and bag your own ice, its a gold mine.

Machelle James (@guest_183477)
1 year ago
Reply to  Roadflier

We have thought about that too! It may happen if we have any issues with the ice delivery up here. We are going to try this with Reddy Ice and see how it works out. If it doesn’t, we have options!

Dale e Rose (@guest_183257)
1 year ago

I understand your dislike for the idiots who use their engine braking in towns, as I think that the drivers should not use them in many areas. But, the laws against them are not legally enforceable, because the engine brakes are factory installed, and are DOT legal, and the local laws can’t override a federal law. This has gone through the courts. If the owner of the truck has modified the exhaust system and it makes more noise than stock, then they can be ticketed for excessive noise and the truck can be placed out of service by the DOT, until it’s compliant with federal regulations.

Machelle James (@guest_183480)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dale e Rose

Hi Dale- Well, you have to try. Arizona is pretty good at working with ADOT on new laws. I have the ordinance and it is pretty clear that ADOT approved this ordinance with Navajo County. I’ll let the courts handle it. ANYTHING to slow down the speeding, the proper way and not use jb unless an emergency. Otherwise, it will turn into a speeding issue and then I can fight to lower it through town. It is 45 mph, which means 55.. You know what that’s like!

Cecilia (@guest_183219)
1 year ago

It only took 12 years for the law to get enforced. Crazy!

Machelle James (@guest_183221)
1 year ago
Reply to  Cecilia

YEP..AND, word got out and i’m getting trucker threats! For real! It’s crazy- just slow down and you wont need them!

Tony Rose (@guest_183188)
1 year ago

So great to hear the updates. You guys work so hard. We won’t make it there this year but plan on spending a lot of time there next year. We are making this year our last time to visit our kids. It will be their turn from this point on.

Machelle James (@guest_183214)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Rose

HI Tony! Thank you for your kind words! We can’t wait for you to come up and see the place! Bring the grandkids and come play in the trees!!

Ron (@guest_183001)
1 year ago

Best of luck and keep the updates coming.

Machelle James (@guest_183062)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

Thanks Ron! I’ll write as long as I can!!

TexasScout (@guest_182947)
1 year ago

Don’t even think that some ol’ sign is going to stop a trucker from saving his brake pads. By the time you report it, he’s 10 miles down the road. It’s the same here in South Texas.

Machelle James (@guest_183061)
1 year ago
Reply to  TexasScout

Well TexasScout.. I am an Optimist! Our Sheriff’s Department will be waiting at the bottom on the hill from where they are. Now of course, get a few tickets out there and they start talking on their radios to each other to slow down.. I’ll definitely keep you posted!!

Stephen Malochleb (@guest_182922)
1 year ago

Congrats on the finishing touches. My previous seasonal campground before we decided to travel again would invite the entire campground to gather around the flagpole for a little ceremony . Any of veterans in the crowd were recognized for their service. Later we started adding to that, police officers and fire personnel. Yes Memorial Day is the beginning of summer but we should also remember why we can camp and party. To remember those that have given their all for our freedom. I hope you can find just that moment too to bring everyone together if even for a moment of silence. Thank you, God Bless… Semper Fi

Machelle James (@guest_183056)
1 year ago

Hi Stephen! That is a great idea and I am sure we will implement a ceremony as well. Thank you for your idea as we will move forward with it!

Ed D. (@guest_182902)
1 year ago

Good morning Machelle and family!
It is 6:41 am here and the start of another beautiful day on the lake. As I always do, I opened my RV Travel email and searched for your update. Hard to believe that you guys have come so far, so quickly. But you have and now you get to reap the rewards and benefits of all your hard labor.
Glad to hear you were able to get the Town to enforce the Jake Brake Ordinance. That sound is among the most annoying there is. I’ll bet the rest of the Town will appreciate that as well. I can’t wait to see the photos of the store when it is finished and fully stocked. Please make sure you post them for all of us to see.
Memorial Day weekend, should be one of the busiest you will have during the year. People still love to celebrate the beginning of Camping Season. Keep up the good work and I will look forward to reading some more in 2 weeks. Enjoy the Holiday and we will “see you in the trees”!

Machelle James (@guest_183057)
1 year ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Hi Ed! I can’t tell you how stressful this part is! Working all day, everyday on the store is necessary to get open in time. Thankfully I have friends that will be recruited to help me set the store up in a day! I’ll have photos FOR SURE for my next article.
Enjoy your kick off to summer and stay tuned!

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