Friday, June 21, 2013 (Travel to Northern Lights RV Park, Dawson Creek, BC)

We woke to beautiful blue sky this why couldn't the weather have been like this the whole time we were here, then maybe we would have been able to get out for an ATV ride!

We had another RV issue pop up yesterday afternoon while Steve was doing his usual black water tank flushing in preparation for leaving tomorrow.  He dumped the tank and let it rinse for 10 minutes then closed it, letting the water fill the tank for 8 minutes.  The problem arose when he went to open the gate valve to empty the water...nothing came out!  Oh great...what next?!!  Over our three years of full timing in the Montana, we have never had a clogging issue because we have heard horror stories and have been very diligent in using plenty of water and flushing the tank regularly.  So we just couldn't believe that it was plugged! The tank sensor that has always worked properly indicated a 2/3 full tank.

This morning, the tank sensors still indicated that the tank was  two-thirds full...we had hoped by leaving the valve open, it might empty through the night.  It didn't look like it, so after packing and getting hitched up, we tried rocking the trailer back and forth to see if we could dislodge the luck.  Then we thought we would drive over the pothole-y campground road to the municipal sani-dump just down the road and try again...still no luck.  Well, hopefully the drive to Dawson Creek will slosh things around enough in there to clear the problem.

It was shortly after 10:00 by the time we finally hit the road...completing the 'Tumbler Ridge loop' by taking highway 52 north to re-connect with highway 97.  Not far out of town we came across a wind farm...

Then some road construction...they are replacing the bridge here...

Quite a narrow windy spot to navigate through...

Beautiful countryside...
A pit stop...

The Kiskatinaw River...

Dawson Creek in the distance...

It was just before noon when we arrived at Northern Lights RV Park, on the highway just west of Dawson Creek.  There were already two rigs in front of us checking in...yikes, hope they have a spot for us!  Apparently this is the meeting place for RV caravans to Alaska. Annette welcomed us and yes, they could accommodate us for a night or two...whew!   We explained the situation with our black water tank...we'd like to try dumping before we set up and if it's a no-go, then we'll have to find an RV service place.  She was extremely friendly and recommended a company just down the road should we need them.  She also told us to come back to the office to use their phone rather than incur long distance charges by using our cell...nice!

Tammy led us to our site...usually Annette's husband, Mike, directs guest to their sites in his side-by-side quad, but he was already busy taking care of the two rigs in front of us.  Once at our site, we immediately got the sewer hose out and gave it another try...nothing...sheesh!  So we put the hose away, locked up the truck and walked back over to the office.

Now this is where we cannot say enough about Annette, she went way above and beyond in helping us!  She called Boe's RV Service...a small local company that usually goes out of their way to accommodate tourists.  After a brief conversation, she explained that the wife of one of the owners had terminal cancer and had just taken a turn for the worse, so they were short staffed and really couldn't help us.  This is where Annette really took charge and started trying other RV service companies in the area...okay, there was only one other and they were less than accommodating, especially when they learned what our problem was.  That's when she, Pam and Mike really started racking their brain trying to find other options in the area...and Annette initiated numerous calls then would pass the phone to Steve.  At one point, we thought we were going to have to drive to Grand Prairie, hour and a half east but they wouldn't be able to accommodate us until late next week.  Everyone Steve spoke to said we are booked until July 15th, the 27th, even into August! Sheesh...doesn't anybody in the north accommodate tourists? Through her phone calls, Annette managed to get the phone number of a mobile RV person...but she had been unable to reach him.  In the meantime, she discovered that a dealership in Fort St. John now had a mechanic that did RV service.  The earliest they could take us would be next she booked us.  If we could find somewhere else earlier, great...but at least we have that set.  After another unsuccessful attempt of contacting the mobile fellow, we decided to go back to our site and get set up...Steve and Annette had spent almost an hour and a half making calls!

We had just gotten leveled, unhitched and I had put the sliders out when Annette came zipping up in their side by side quad.  Apparently Boe's RV had called back...they had re-arranged their work, bumping a local repair, so they could take us right away.  So we quickly packed up and headed was after 3:00 by this time.

Steve was met by the owner Gerry Boe, another very friendly and accommodating far, we are really impressed with the friendly people of Dawson Creek!  Steve explained our situation and that he thought it was likely the gate valve not opening or the pull cable is broken even though the handle was still very stiff to operate.  They directed us to back into a spot and the mechanic started to take a look at it.  Dale dropped the under belly and confirmed that the gate valve cable and lever were still working properly so he'll have to open up the gate valve assembly and drain the tank to have a better look.  Steve explained to him that the tank had been dumped and there was about 8 minutes worth of water in we had used it this morning.

They decided to open the tank to let it drain , so Steve had to move the fifth-wheel over to another spot.  When the mechanic loosened the valve assembly, he discovered the tank was mostly empty!  Obviously it had drained overnight but Steve hadn't thought it had because the sensor lights were still indicating it was two-thirds full...actually, it had moved to full briefly.  Now, we don't normally rely on the sensor lights but because Steve can usually get the sensor light level down after flushing, he was "believing" them.  I guess he should have closed the valve and tried adding water to check it again...a lesson learned. 

Everything was put back together again and Steve went in to pay...we had been there for almost two hours and were only charged for a one hour of, a nice surprise and more than reasonable.  Thanks, Boe's RV Service! 

It was going onto 5:00 by the time we were pulling into site 30 back at Northern Lights RV Park. Needless to say, by the time we got all set up, it was going on well after 6:30.  We were sitting outside in the shade with chicken cooking on the barbeque when neighbours that had just pulled in as we were leaving to go to Boe's RV dropped over to see how we made out.  Cathy and Phillip are from Texas and on their way up to Alaska.  We had a bit of a chat with them and made arrangements to get together tomorrow evening since they are here for two nights as well.

We plan on playing tourist tomorrow by seeing all there is to see in Dawson Creek and then head to Hudson's Hope on Sunday.  The weather today was fabulous...a warm 25C/77F degrees...and the forecast is for more of the same over the next few days...nice!


  1. Oh those tank sensor can be so evil;o(( We never trust ours!! Glad it was nothing major:o)

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