Picture was taken at "The Ridge" this spring.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Working at CanAm and the People That I Meet

Where Are We Today
 (click on pic to enlarge)

Working At CanAm RV and the People That I Meet
Even though I officially retired last year, I do work part time at CanAm RV, if you count doing a lot of talking work. What do I really do? We call it "orientation", when a customer comes to take delivery of a trailer that they have purchased, we show them through it and explain how everything works including a hitch demonstration and test drive. Depending on whether it is their first time buying an RV or not, every customer gets an orientation. Whatever time it takes for them to understand all that we show them is the time we spend with them, there is no time limit.


CanAm RV, a very busy place this year.

I have a good basic knowledge of travel trailers and 5th wheel trailers, but there is always something new to learn and that is one of things that I like about this job. Before I do the orientation, I set the trailer up and go through it myself to make sure that I know where everything is and how it operates. Even then there can be something different and the new owner and I are learning something new. When it comes right down to it, there are only so many manufacturers of RV components but many different models of those components. That's where you need to recognize the different ones and familiarize yourself with them.
There is also a difference in the manufacturers of trailers. How they design each model of their trailers and incorporate each component is interesting. Each year new models come out and new technology in construction and the components becomes available. That is what makes this an ever changing aspect to the job of orientation.
Another part of this job is interacting with the techs, the guys that make sure your purchase has been gone over top to bottom and everything is in working order. There are over 30 techs and parts people that are behind the scenes that you never usually see. They have been a valuable source of information to me in explaining how something works in these trailers and also how to fix, repair and do preventive maintenance on our own 5th wheel. I am also able to learn some things that don't necessarily apply to the orientation, but help me understand certain processes, like how a hitch is installed so that the weight is distributed evenly to make the trailer and tow vehicle ride level.

Hitch Set Up in Progress


Water Heater Repair


Brake Job


Cleaning


There are also the gals that clean the inside of the trailer and the guys that wash the outside before you take delivery. As well, there are the service techs that take your calls and set up service for when you need it, the finance gals, the sales reps, receptionist that you see as soon as you walk in the door and all the people behind the scenes that keep a dealership running. There are over 50 people employed at CanAm.
I have often wished that I had gotten into the business at some capacity when I was younger.
The second half of this post is about the people that I have met, without them; I won't be able to do any of this. Since April when we returned from our winter away, I have done somewhere between 25 & 30 orientations and delivered 4 trailers to parks. Some of these customers are first time buyers, never owned, borrowed, pulled or backed up a trailer and there are those who have had more than one and have many years experience RVing.
I have tried to keep a list all of their names, but you know how that can go. I am now trying to take a picture of them with their purchase so I can remember them that is if they want their picture taken.
Here is a list of some them.
The Harris' and their 2010 Cougar.
The Fitzpatrick's' and their Northern Express
Taube/Smith and their 2016 Vista Cruiser
M. Harvey and her 2016 Airstream Sport
Christian and Reiner and their 1984 Airstream
The Saunders' and their 2017 Mobile suite
The Mudrys' from Albert and their 2017Airstream Flying Cloud
G. Cote and his 2017 Airstream Sport from Quebec
S. Elder from Victoria B.C. and her 2017 Alto.
The Boschs' from Tiverton and their 2015 Element
The Busby's' who asked for me to do their orientation. When I asked them how we knew each other, they replied that they follow our blog post and were not far away from us last winter down south. They have a 2005 Carriage.
The Howitt's and their 2018 Grand Design Solitude
The Grey's and their 2018 Airstream Flying Cloud
The Cadue's and their 2011 Heartland North Trail


The Greys

The Cardues

These are a few of the people who have kept me busy two days a week since we have returned this spring. Some of them, that have come from a distance away, stay overnight in the parking lot in their new purchase, we call this CanAm Camping. As I stay overnight also, we have got to know each other better over a glass of wine and traded stories of our experiences. RVer's are a great group of people who are always willing to lend a hand and share experiences. Thank you to all of you that I have had the pleasure to meet through this job and to all the others I have met along the way.

In closing I would be amiss in not thanking Phil, who I report to, and Andy and Kirk Thompson the owners of CanAm for asking, having the faith in my ability and teaching me new things in this industry.
I know this is long winded, so I thank you for following along. If I have mentioned you and you do follow along, please leave a comment or drop us an e-mail. Until the next time, take care and be safe.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Projects

Where Are We Today
"The Ridge"
 (click on pic to enlarge)
PROJECTS
As Chillin with Patsy  has mentioned in her posts, I have had some projects on the go here at
 " The Ridge". The first one didn't work out quite right, so won't go into details, other than to say that the engineering is right but need heavier material.
The second one had to do with our grey water dumping. We dump the grey water over the hill thru a 1/2 inch water hose. This is a slow process and any grease builds up where the hose attaches to the drain pipe of the trailer. I purchased an RV to ABS pipe  adapter at CanAm, then the necessary ABS 1 1/2 inch pipe and fittings to replace the 1/2 inch hose. Put it all together to make an efficient out of the way run to the hill, after a quick test, I am happy with the  results. In the fall when we head south, it is just a quick disconnect, (like taking off the sewer hose) lay the pipe on the ground for the winter and it will be there in the spring for quick hook up.
Coming out of the trailer with the adapter

Pipe run to the hill
The third isn't so much a project but more like maintenance. The rubber roof of the trailer needed to be cleaned and treated, so set about doing the task. First I had to go and fill the water bladder, then hook a hose from the bladder to the  pump and then from the pump to the pressure washer. Sounds complicated doesn't it, but not really.
 Next, get out my collapsing extension ladder that I bought last winter in Quartzsite AZ., transfer some " BEST" Cleaner and Protectant to a spray bottle and get out a mop and sponge. There, I think I'm ready, now to get on the roof and get at it.

Cleaner into a spray bottle
 It's not really a hard task, get the roof wet clearing any loose dirt then apply the "BEST" Cleaner/Protectant, rinse and you have a clean roof, a section at a time. I also cleaned the top of the slides at the same time.
Being a mostly cloudy day and a slight breeze blowing, made it the perfect day for doing this. I was almost done when a big dark cloud let go with rain, it was a scramble to get off the roof and take shelter until it passed. Within a few minutes I was back at and soon finished.

Getting started

Dirty roof

Had to tilt the panels to clean underneath

Clean from front to back

Clean from back to front

Slide tops clean also

 Back down on the ground, I had to set about cleaning off the sides of the trailer as it was all streaked from the run off. With that done, cleaned up and called it quits for the day.


Pat relaxing
First thing the next day, I was back up on the roof cleaning the solar panels. Then clean and wax the air conditioner tops along with the vent covers.
Happy to have that task done, as the weather and my time hasn't always agreed.
One last maintenance task to report on, the controller on our portable solar panel quit working. It is still under warranty, so CanAm RV, where we bought from, got us a replacement. It didn't long to make the switch and the panel is back up and running.

Old controller not working

120 watt portable panels

New controller, 3.6 amps 
charging
New controller saying batteries at 90 % charge


There you have it, those projects that Pat has been talking about. I am going to close for now, but already have my next post brewing in my head. Stay tune, hopefully it will be along soon. Thanks for following along, until the next time, take care and be safe. Love to hear from you, so drop a comment if you wish.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Bet You Thought I Fell Off The Face Of The Earth

Where Are We Today
"The Ridge", Priceville,Ont
 (click on pic to enlarge)



Well, no I didn't, and if you follow Chillin' With Patsy, you would know that I'm still around and kickin'. Being it has been awhile since I wrote anything, I thought that today I had better put something to "blog" and tell you about my day.
I have had a few projects that I have wanted to do for awhile and always something else got in the way, so today I got at some of them.
The first was to install the screen door grill that we had bought last winter at Camping World, when we were south. I tried to install it at that time and found that there was not enough material of the screen door showing to do it, at least, not to my liking so, I decided to wait until we got home. I purchased a aluminum strip from the local automotive store and cut four pieces 1 1/4 inch long X 3/4" X 3/32" and drilled two hole in each. One hole to fasten the piece to the grill and the other to fasten to the screen door.


Screen door grill atttached

Pieces of aluminum fastened to grill and door

The second was to put up a piece of eves trough along one side of the "Bunkie" to catch the rain water for our barrel. Now the piece was found by my brother and sister - in law, at the time they were guessing it was long enough, it is a little short, but will do the job. First I had to cut the hole for the down spout, fasten attachment ring, then fasten the trough to the eves. Next, cut the down spout to the right length and fasten it to the ring. There, that's another one done.


eves trough up ready for the next rain fall

The third was to take apart an old wash stand. When my in-laws bought this property, there was a stainless steel sink fastened to a metal frame with a hand pump attached to it. I never liked the look of the thing and always had it in my mind to take it apart and build something more appealing. Also the hand pump is broken  beyond repair and we have purchased another one to replace it. The sink was tack welded to the metal stand, so not having a grinder, I got out my cold chisel and hammer and went at breaking all those tacks around the sink. With that done, I will now create a new stand to hold the sink and new pump. That's a project for another day, will write about it when I do.

Approximately 30 tacks that had to be broken 

The stand and old pump
The fourth just kind of presented itself to me today. We had another contraption found here on the property, that was some kind of three wheel cart. We used it to move our paddle boat around at one time but when took the paddle boat over to Donna and Gerry's pond, the cart was no longer needed. We have two kayaks, so I thought this might be perfect for taking them down to our pond. After pumping up the tires, I lifted the kayaks onto the cart, fastened a couple of straps to hold them, tied a piece of rope to the front for puling and voila, there you have it. 

Side view

From the front
I'm wore out, time for a snooze, tomorrows another day, so will see what happens. Thanks for following along,  comments are always welcome. Until the next time, take care and be safe.


 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Where Are We Today
" The Ridge "
 (click on pic to enlarge)

Yes we are home and I Know you already know that because you read Pat's post daily.
We are settling in here and gradually setting up a little at a time. I have also decided to make trips back to London to work at CanAm RV a couple of days a week, it is something I enjoy doing.
The real purpose of this post is to share some information of the distance traveled this first winter away. The following info is taken from the dash computer in the truck. It covers the time from when we left here on Oct. 24th 2016 until we returned here on April 8th,2017.

Total Engine Hours 256 hours and 23 minutes.
5429.8 km./9587.6 mi.
3457.7 L /913.4 gal. of fuel
avg. 22.4 L/100 km./10.5 m/gal

One can analyse the numbers any way they want, the reality is, it doesn't really matter, it is what it is and we have enjoyed our time away this past winter. I have no complaints with the performance of the truck whether pulling the trailer or not and we look forward to next winters adventure in the American Southwest.  

   
Our truck and trailer
That's it for now, until the next time, take care and be safe.
 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Valve Replacement

Where Are We Today
Can Am RV
 (click on pic to enlarge)

Although we are back in Ontario, we are not quite home, home being our summer spot "The Ridge" near Durham Ontario. At present we are at CanAm RV, tucked in  at the back of the lot while I do a couple of orientations,  we get a couple of things fixed and do some visiting with family and friends.
Yesterday morning I went about replacing the fill valve on the trailer. It has been giving us trouble over the winter so I asked CanAm to order one before we arrived home so it be here when we arrived. There are actually two valves, one for the fill and supply to the trailer and one for the hot water bypass, both are connected and mounted on a panel.

New assembly with connections numbered

The first thing that I did, was to take the new valve panel and number the nine hose/line connections, second was to number each hose/line to match the number on the panel, I did this as I removed each hose/line one at a time from the old panel. Once all the hose/lines were disconnected, I could then remove the old panel/ valve assembly from the trailer.
Before starting to reassemble, I duplicated the numbers on the new panel to the old panel. This was done for cross  reference  between the two, as you cannot see the back of the panel when you install it and I did not want to cross connect a hose/line.

Two valves with the panel removed

There were four hose/lines that I could pull through the opening and make the connections on the back of the panel. I should mention that all of the connections are screw on, so that made that part easy. Next I fastened the panel assembly in place and proceeded to connect the remaining five hose/lines.

Nice to have a space to work on/from

Working from the front and back side

New panel assembly installed

All done and washing up

Turning on the pump to test for leaks and the correct operation of the valves, I found all to be good and working properly. The whole job took less than an hour to do and I'm a happy camper.
Today we are off to Stratford to visit my parents and then to Tavistock for supper and a visit with my oldest daughter and family. I have one more orientation to do Thursday morning before we head for "The Ridge" Friday morning. It will be good to get set up there and settle in for the summer.
That's about it for now, until the next time, take care and be safe. Feel free to comment if you like.



 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Okay, Okay....I Missed A Day!

Where Are We Today
 (click on pic to enlarge)

Grove Oklahoma
Last night we kept an eye on the weather fronts, especially the ones 90 miles to the south east as a couple of tornadoes touched down. We still had clear skies with an expected cold front coming in around 11 p.m., which it did, bringing an increase in wind speeds to the 20 MPH mark. Needless to say, we had an uneventful night where we were. Morning brought cloudy skies and still the wind, but being move on day, we were soon packed up and on our way by 10 a. m.
It was an easy drive across I-40 thru Oklahoma City to U.S. 69 N to 412 E which becomes a toll road so we got off part way onto Alternate 412 to U.S.59 N to Grove Ok. Before we left this morning, we had called to book into Eagles Landing for two nights. Arriving at 4 p. m. , it wasn't long before we were set up on site 325 and ready for a good days rest.
We had noticed a few days ago, that, the cargo carrier on the back of the trailer, where we carry our generator and our two folding bikes, was sagging. At one of our pit stops today, it looked even worse. The cargo carrying weight is for 250lbs, and the generator and bikes weighed less than 200 lbs. With all the bouncing up and down on some of these roads, the bar was bending. I made this decision to unload the generator and put it in the back of the truck, leaving the bikes on the cargo carrier. In order to get the generator in the back of the truck, I had to remove the wheel kit so it sat low enough and wouldn't get hit by the trailer hitch. Fifteen minutes later, all was well again and we were on our way.
Well that was our day, so until the next time, take care and be safe. Thanks for your comments.


Bend in the bar


Lashing down the bikes


Generator in the back of the truck

All set to go

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Day Four.....Alright, Enough With the Rhymes

Where Are We Today
 (click on pic to enlarge)

El Reno Lucky Strike Casino
After my post last night, we did get some rain thru most of the night with some wind gusts in the 20 MPH range, nothing to get excited about and slept well.
Most of the day was cloudy with blue skies making an appearance around 4 p.m. I headed into town this morning to fuel up the truck and go to the bank, I also wanted to fill one of our propane bottles, but the place in town was closed today. No problem will get it down the road.

El Reno Casino

When I got back we had a late breakfast and then settled into a relaxing day  of reading. Around 3 p.m. we walked over to the casino to try our luck. After spending $41.00 between us and we each had free $10.00 playing cards, we cashed in and received $66.85, so we took our big winning and had supper in the restaurant at the casino and still have enough left for tomorrow night's supper.
Back to the trailer around 5 p.m. we settled in for the night. Hope you had a good day and until the next time, take care and be safe. 

Amazing

Beep Beep

Buy for Now

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

HeHeHe and Today Makes Three

Where Are We Today
El Reno Ok.
 (click on pic to enlarge)

El Reno Ok.
Last night we were in a Texas Travel Center in Amarillo Tx. A nice spot on the east side of Amarillo that allows overnight parking for trucks and RV. There was high wind and rain storm that came thru the west side of Amarillo and the east side caught some of it too.
Picnic area at the Travel Center, Amarillo

 Until ten p.m., we had some gusty winds, up to 50 MPH, then it quieted down, during this time we had pulled in our slides on the windward side of the trailer. Just after one a.m. and about until 2 a.m. the winds picked up again, shifting directions also, so much that I was up to keep watch until they calmed down again. All thru the night I could hear a couple of our solar panels rattling so badly that I thought they might blow right off the roof, fortunately they didn't.

The very back panel, the bolt was gone, not to be found.

The second panel back, the bolt was laying right there.
There were a few of us there for the night



This morning I could see at least two of the bolts that hold the panels in place were missing. Taking a couple from the tilt arms, I climbed onto the roof to replace them. I found one laying right where it fell out but the other one was missing all together, after replacing them, I checked all the others to make sure they were finger tight again, no more rattling.
According to the Weather Network and the staff in the Travel Center, there was a wind and storm warning for today between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. with wind gusts between 60 and 70 MPH for the Amarillo area and less severe to the east. That was all we needed to know, we closed up, lifted the jacks and got out of there. Within in an hour of driving we were into blue skies and mostly a tail wind all the way down the road. Just after 11 a.m. we needed fuel and since we hadn't eaten yet, thought we should get some breakfast. A Flying "J" with a Dennys  happened to be coming up, so in we went.
Us and the truck fed, we headed on down the road to our present location at the Lucky Star Casino in El Reno a little west of Oklahoma City. They have about a dozen sites, first come first served, with full hook ups where you can stay for free for three days, but they do expect you to play some games, we can play a little.

El Reno Casino

Sites right on the edge of the lot

Green open field behind us.

There is some wind here, but gusts up to 35 MPH only and a beautiful day forecast for tomorrow, we can live with that.
Well that's all I have to say today, until the next time take care and be safe.