Bull Run Regional Park, Va – Our Maiden Voyage

by Greg Zimmerman
Published: Updated:

After buying and outfitting our 2009 Casita Spirit Deluxe (new to us) camper, it was time for the first camping trip.  My wife, Delicia, was deployed overseas for a year so I was doing all of this by myself with our 2 boys.

Bull Run Regional Park is located off I-66 in Centerville, VA 30 miles West of Washington, D.C.   It’s a huge 1,500 acre park with a campground, shooting range (more on that later), and large open fields for events.

I booked a 30 amp full hook up site for 1 night.  I spent the extra money because I was terrified of dumping the sewage (the black tank) for the first time if something went catastrophically wrong.

The site was a gravel pull off on the side of the road so parking was easy.  It wasn’t level so I played around with my new bright orange lego-like leveling blocks until the camper was level side to side.  The stabilizer jacks were too short in the rear to touch the ground, so I used a pair of blocks back there too.  Having a hi-lift axle and upgrading to 15″ wheels didn’t help.

Tip:  Instead of using the metal rod Casita issues for prying on the stabilizer legs, lower the front jack 10 turns from level, drop the legs and raise the jack 10 turns.  That will pre-load the legs without having to use the metal rod.

I set up the power with my new surge protector and water hose with a pressure reducer and water filter.  Proud of my work, I looked around and realized just how small our Casita was compared to the neighborhood.

I mentioned earlier that there was a shooting range.  I love guns and shooting, but not listening to others do it while I’m trying to enjoy nature and relax.  What sounded like the Battle of the Bulge continued until 5pm when all went thankfully quiet.

A warm fire and dinner on the grill rounded out the early evening. Once it was dark, Jack and Zachary got into a light saber flash light battle that I’m sure was more exciting when you’re 7 and 5 years old.  They do love Star Wars.


Our Casita has the bunk bed option instead of the side dinette, so the boys tucked in for the night and we all slept well on our first RV night of camping.

The next morning after breakfast and coffee, I decided to tackle the sewer tank chore.  I filled the black tank with as much water as it would hold, cringed, and opened the drain valve.  Glug, Glug, Glug and the mission accomplished!  Disaster was avoided.

On the way out of the campground, we stopped by the propane fill station to top off the tanks.  The prices were high, but that was better than dragging the camper around the D.C. metro area looking for a propane station.

Our first camping experience was a success and we couldn’t wait for another trip.

1 comment

Levi August 14, 2018 - 2:06 pm

That was a great story love the honesty about the black water tank. I was the same way .Remember telling my wife that night before going to bed .Honey I want to get up early in the morning so we can go dump the tanks before people get there and watch me ” I was really nervous to. .


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