As we meandered our way through the campground, we discussed our usual plan upon arrival at our site. We approached our campsite and Larry got out and walked ahead and into the site, especially looking for nails, screws and any other potential hazards. I saw him reach down and pick up an object. “Found a nail,” he said over the two-way radio, “OK, you can back in now.”
As Rich mentioned in “Something screwy in campgrounds” in his Tour of America blog, “… all the flats we’ve gotten, all of them have been from debris we ran over in campgrounds. We’ve never had a blowout or flat on the road. This is because campgrounds are often full of debris left by previous campers, hidden in the gravel.”
I carefully backed the trailer into the site, unhitched and set up camp.
I have written about the importance of having TPMS, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and recently, why I have two TPMS systems. Another benefit of having TPMS is that tire pressures can be quickly and easily checked even though the tires are covered and have folding chairs and coolers in front of them. It is reassuring to check the tires a day or two after pulling in to make sure they are maintaining the proper pressure. I could also see how the pressure fluctuated depending on the air temperature. Here in the desert the tire pressures increased 2-3 pounds per square inch from morning to noon.
This week at Agua Caliente County Park the wildflowers were blooming and the nails were proliferating, especially in our fire ring.
Nails! So that’s why there are so many nails and screws at campsites. Campers bring in lumber with nails and screws and use it as firewood! And as this lumber is cut or broken to fit the fire ring, nails and screws are set adrift. Those nails and screws that make it into the fire ring don’t always stay there. The base of our ring did not make continuous contact with the ground and I could see nails escaping, some seemed to be actively crawling toward our truck’s bare tires!
One nail came close… and met its master… the heavy duty tire equipped with TPMS.