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Old 07-15-2015, 10:55 AM   #15
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When I'm approached for $$$$ I laugh and state 'I'm just delivering the MH, I don't own it!'. The usual answer is 'Oh' and they walk away.

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Old 07-15-2015, 12:19 PM   #16
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We live close to Wichita Falls and I can tell you it's a great town with lots of great people. I'm so sorry you had this experience, but as someone said, you find the derelict in every town!!! I hope you will consider coming back someday. And if your ever head south on 287 toward Fort Worth out of WF and pass Sunset, give us a yell!!

Happy travels!!

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Old 07-15-2015, 12:34 PM   #17
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Thanks for the feedback guys!

Had it just been the second incident in the parking lot in broad daylight we would have listened to his sob story then told him sorry, can't help. But following me deep into a dark RV park with no one else outside, blocking me in, then jumping out of the car with intent put me on high alert and I was definitely forceful in my reaction to him. I felt like I had the upper hand regardless of his intents. I was up high in a dark, locked RV looking down on him, I could clearly see his hands and he had no idea what I had in mine.

My kids wouldn't sleep up front that night, so they slept in back with my wife and I got the pull-out! I've learned RV'ing requires lots of sacrifice by Dad!

We were definitely disappointed in the reaction of the PD, especially since my wife is a prosecutor and appreciates every contact the police make with a person when they finally do commit a crime and she's trying to build a case. Furthermore, a traffic stop on someone panhandling often reveals drugs or warrants.

We are seeing lots of issues in this state with synthetic marijuana, and people often react violently if they've been using and are told no, so it doesn't hurt to be careful.

Thanks again, I've been lurking here a while and appreciate all the good friendly information.

Edit: Forgot to mention, when I went the next morning to put my money in the box, there was a handwritten note from the city(?) warning about a guy coming into the park looking for money, and filling the pay box up with trash, presumably so he could get the cash out of the box easier. The note said to call the police if you saw him. Same guy maybe?
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:05 PM   #18
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At least here in So Cal, I've 'known' a number of law enforcement types. As much as you can know one if you aren't one. My impression was that, at least in the area I retired from, different police departments had different levels of dealing with this kind of thing. One community was very proactive. An adjacent community, not so much. (Both were summarized as hassling people needlessly because no real crime occurred and the officers were bored. Or so said an officer from San Diego that I knew.) Both were above average socioeconomic communities. I would have thought that an ADA would have a pretty good idea of what the expected police response would have been in this situation. And how to describe it to get a response. Not to mention at least a modicum of professional courtesy on the part of WF police department. Can tell you this. Over the years, I've had people approach me for handouts in all different kind of situations. (No one would describe me, even at 62, as looking like an easy target.) I try to be polite but very firm in that they best keep moving right along. As I get older, I realize I am likely to be viewed as easier prey. I always pay close attention to my surroundings. There's crazies out there. One thing most of my cop associates seemed to agree on, is if something happens, be the first to call the police. (Note how this ADA was documenting what was happening.). My wife knows that if a situation starts to go bad, she is to video the whole thing on her magic little phone - while she is moving quickly to a safe place!
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:48 PM   #19
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My reaction would have been the same if my wife and children were with me. I think you acted appropriately in these situations. I will personally take chances, but not with my family along.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:28 PM   #20
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man there is no safe place anywhere near wichita falls off 281.
the truck stops have full time lot ,lizards with enforcers, plus folks lookig to liberate you from your property.

its really to bad as the city has some neat sights

we have had nothing but "alert" stops when we had to spend time there on the way to Albuquerque
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:50 AM   #21
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:52 PM   #22
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We bought our 40-foot motorhome in 2003--our first RV of any sort. Flew to Oregon to pick it up and drive it back to Texas--our first RV trip of any sort. We stayed in campgrounds the first two nights, but on the third night decided to try staying in a rest area in Arizona.

My better half, Carey, wrote an account of the adventure:

I pulled in between a pickup/travel-trailer rig and a Penske rental truck with what appeared to be a Peugeot in tow.

We left the motorhome running for a few minutes to stabilize temperatures and hopped out to survey the place on foot. But we hardly made it two paces out the door however before being ambushed with a call of "wow, nice bus!" from the window of the Penske. Pausing to acknowledge the compliment, I was soon drawn into what turned into quite a saga with the couple in the Penske. It turns out that the woman had multiple sclerosis, but despite being initially described as "in a wheelchair" had a lifelong dream to see the inside of such a "bus." After a little discussion, it turned out that she could get around on crutches with a little assistance, so I told her that we'd let her have a look when we got back from walking around the park. Her companion was apparently dead tired from driving and had fallen asleep rather awkwardly in his seat during this exchange.

So I caught up with Debbie and we strolled around this rather nice rest area, enjoying the spectacularly dark and clear view of the stars above the desert. Very cool. All the while, my subconscious was speculating about just how much gas money these bedraggled folks in the Penske were likely to ask for, since I could (literally) smell it coming. And sure enough, upon returning to our parking spot, the woman called me over and told me their story...

As luck would have it, her name was Carrie, which instantly gave us something in common despite the misspelling. They were moving from Big Bear, California, to somewhere in Oklahoma, which she later pointed out with glee on my road atlas as the town of Shawnee. They were very tired and running low on money, so if we could spare a buck or two for gas, that would be great.

She went on to say that she had been one of the first "Make a Wish" awardees back in 1990 or so, and had enjoyed a trip to Disneyland. Debbie wondered (though not out loud) what a terminally-ill person was doing still alive over a decade later, but we decided there must have been a dramatic medical breakthrough somewhere along the way and let that pass.

Anyway, we were apparently now in a position to make another of Carrie's wishes come true, so I helped her out of the Penske and over to our "bus," and let her companion continue to enjoy some sleep behind the wheel while safely parked instead of while trying to drive. Figuring that we don't pay a fortune for liability insurance for nothing, I helped Carrie clamber on one crutch and one good leg up the steps and into our bus. Naturally, she was delighted with what she saw, even in its relatively cramped "non slid out" configuration. She plopped down on the couch, and described how she had once had a motor home too, albeit a much older and smaller one. They had apparently been living in a nice doublewide in Big Bear, but had somehow traded that for two singlewides in Oklahoma, one of which was destined to provide rental income, a financial rebalancing that both Carrie and I seemed somewhat uncertain of.

Anyway, their immediate problem was they needed some rest, some gas, and some guidance. Someone had told them to take I-17 from Phoenix up to Flagstaff, then go across I-40, but they were rightly concerned that the weather was probably lousy along that route, and were wondering if we could suggest another. Which is when I pulled out the atlas and we started looking. The other alternative was to stay south on I-10 for a while and cut up later, but that would add distance and therefore require even more gas money. After much consternation, I think she decided they would go ahead and brave the Flagstaff route, I contributed $5 toward the cause, and helped her back to the Penske where Swift was still dozing.

Unfortunately, in settling back into her truck seat, she inadvertently put her bad leg through the top of a styrofoam ice chest on the floor, which she tearfully described as having been "brand new." Always the handy fellow, I snatched up the wounded lid and promised to have it back in a moment, knowing that a little duct tape from our coach would be just the ticket (and it was even matching white).

Upon being presented with the repaired lid, Carrie was overwhelmingly grateful, and proceeded to dig out a Diet Coke. Tragically however, there had apparently not been any ice in the chest, so the beverage was warm, and well, did we happen to have any ice?

Heck, we certainly should, I thought, remembering how I had earlier turned on the ice maker in the coach to try it out. Snatching the proffered cup, I returned to the coach and filled it up with perfect ice cubes, made with purified water from our onboard Reverse Osmosis system.

This was getting absurd by this point and Debbie was highly amused at my antics, but I found it pretty cool to have everything we needed to help someone out and just couldn't resist. Maybe it was some old Boy Scout training kicking in too. In any case, Carrie was delighted to have the ice for her Coke, and I was glad to have helped make a few more of her dreams come true.

We had covered 550 miles today and were pretty worn out ourselves, so we hit the sack and tried to get some sleep. It was pretty noisy right by the highway there, so it wasn't the best rest of our lives, but being able to brush our teeth and lounge in a queen-size bed definitely beat sleeping in the driver's seat of a Penske rental truck.

When we awoke in the morning, both the travel-trailer and Penske/Peugeot were gone, replaced by a different travel-trailer and an old Ford LTD packed with what looked like about 10 people. An interesting way to travel, for sure.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:12 PM   #23
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I had a bumper end cap and one of my amber clearance light lenses stolen at a rest stop in El Paso. I think they tried to get the hose but it had crawled up into the bumper some. I heard them get the end cap but by the time I got my pants on and outside, they were gone. I looked everything over a couple of times... and found screws stood up under a tire. I think I had been targeted for a bad day the next morning when I had to stop and change a tire. I checked everything before I left and was very conscious of anyone following me for too long. Maybe they saw me find the screws, and knew I wasn't going to be an easy mark, and went on... I don't know. I decided from that instance that I would never again travel unarmed. Unfortunately, there are some bad folks out there. The screws are something I'll probably never see again, but you can bet I'll always look.

It's no worse in Whisky Ta Falls than anywhere else...
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:31 PM   #24
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There was a post somewhere about hitch pins being partly removed at a rest stop. The criminals then just followed the MH till the pins dropped out and they MH driver stopped to see why the car had come loose and were robbed.
Back in '04 I was taking my MH back to the Spartan factory for a major change. I stopped in a Wyoming truck lot (no services just a pull over spot). Talked with the DW on my cell phone but the signal faded out. Started the gen and was nuking a singed sparrow for dinner when someone tried the door. I ALWAYS travel with the door locked.
Went up front and found a man with a Spanish accent, I opened the small side window and he asked how far it was to the border. Told him I didn't know but I'd get a map out. As I turned I noticed that his truck was blocking me in and a second man was digging under the seat.
At that point I let them know I was not going to be a victim and by the time I got back to the front they were gone.
I drove another 100 miles to a nice, safe, Wal*Mart parking lot!
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:41 PM   #25
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Wow, these stories are eye opening. Guess I will be more careful in the future. Don't carry but maybe some pepper spray is in order to keep in the coach.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:09 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by sv20 View Post
We recently returned from our third or fourth RV trip. We are fairly new to RV'ing, so I am interested what you more experienced guys have to say about the situation we found ourselves in, and to inform you that Wichita Falls may not be an ideal place to stay.

The first night we got off late and pulled into Wichita River Bend RV Park in Wichita Falls, TX around 10:30pm. It's a city owned park, with a $17/night honor box for electric. There were several nice RV's camping, and we slid our 40' Monaco Diplomat and toad between two and shut down for the night.

As soon as I had the brakes set, a car that I had noticed behind us as we came into the park pulled directly in front of the RV, blocking our exit. A man jumped out and started to approach the entrance door. My wife locked it and he approached the driver window.

I told my young children (6 and 3) to stay back, and cracked the window and asked the guy what the hell he wanted. My wife was already on with 911 giving a description and license plate (she is an assistant DA and wanted recorded proof of the situation should things escalate). The guy obviously didn't expect to find a pissed off armed 35-year old behind the wheel, and after he stammered something about needing directions to Dallas, I warned him to get lost or else. He beat it, but none of us slept well, and I stayed up a few hours in case the scumbag returned. No police officer ever came into the park.

We had a great vacation and coming home days later we found ourselves needing lunch in Wichita Falls. We were all no longer amped up over our little scare, and besides, lightning never strikes twice in the same spot (town), right?

We pulled in to a Home Depot parking lot adjacent to a Cane's Chicken, a few miles from the park we had stayed at. After we returned to the RV, I told my wife I was going to check the RV and toad while she got the kids settled.

As I descended the steps, I saw a man approaching us. I kid you not, it was the SAME druggie scumbag! He obviously didn't remember me, but we remembered him. He even had on the same clothes! Same exact routine as before, me with my right hand on the butt of my holstered gun, him then realizing he picked the wrong target and hemming and hawing about needing directions to Dallas before making an expeditious escape.

My wife called the police on the non-emergency line and told them the whole story how this guy not once, but twice, approached us in a threatening way on the two times we were in their fair city. She even snapped a photo of him to share with them.

The dispatcher said there had been no actual crime committed, so thanks for calling but not much we can do for you. I have no idea what this guy's intentions were, but I have no doubt directions to Dallas wasn't what he was looking for, and it seems that he may prey on RV'ers.

I needed to purchase $150 worth of diesel, but we decided Wichita Falls wasn't the place to do it, so we moved on out to a smaller town to spend our money, and I guess in the future there won't be any city parks or Walmart boondocking for us.


When I hear these stories... arrrggg. I worked in a PD for many years and even retired there. My thing is this. Always have them take a report (event) even if it's just to mention it in their system and get the report for later use. He didn't break any laws but its for your own use later, just in case. It also saves a lot of researching. But don't let this incident shut you out of returning to the camp grounds.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by vettenuts View Post
Wow, these stories are eye opening. Guess I will be more careful in the future. Don't carry but maybe some pepper spray is in order to keep in the coach.
I never carry including pepper spray. However I do carry those cans of "12 foot wasp" spray cans. I've read that they are hell if you get hit in your face. I can just imagine.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:17 PM   #28
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I really appreciate the information and warning keep on packing and God bless

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