It was a cold (-5C/23F) morning when we headed out in our rental car for North Vancouver...but the sky was clear and the sun was shining. Beautiful! As we expected, the morning rush hour was in full force...just don't know how people cope with this every day. It took us one hour and ten minutes to drive the 44 kms/27 miles to our destination.
After we were finished, we started back...time to find a gas station. Very odd...and I don't know if this is the 'new norm' with car rental agencies...but they gave us an SUV (Ford Flex) with only a quarter of a tank of gas. Last time our rental from Enterprise, it was a half tank. What happened to the days where the tank was full and you had to return it full or pay their re-fueling charge.
We stopped at Canadian Tire to pick up RV antifreeze for the trailer...Steve plans on winterizing it Thursday morning before we head to the Island. We fueled the car up at Costco and then went inside and had lunch...nothing like Costco hot-dogs!
When we got gas, we only wanted to fill it to just over a quarter tank...so Steve sat in the car watching the gauge. It was very slow to respond so we ended up putting over a half tank in...sheesh! Since we had lots of fuel...it was a gorgeous day...and we don't get a chance to just explore around the area, we decided to drive out to Mission, cross the Fraser River there and return through Fort Langley...a nice afternoon drive!
After stopping at home to drop off our purchases today, we headed out to Crescent Beach in the sunshine...and snow...
Wednesday morning we woke up to -8C/17.6F...and no water. We had filled the fresh water tank and disconnected all of the water lines to the trailer, so we knew that wasn't the issue. The water tank had been 2/3 full last night and now it registered empty! The water pump was making that out of water sound. Steve's first thought was that the tank had cracked or the drain hose had. He bundled up and headed outside to check things out...but there was no sign of water having leaked out of the tank. He decided to investigate this later when it was a little warmer. In the meantime he hooked the trailer up to the city water to see if we could at least get the dishes done and have navy showers. Thankfully that worked okay with no evidence of water leaks anywhere.
After breakfast Steve headed outside to see if he could figure out what happened. First he moved the lever from the normal city water hookup position to tank fill position. Nothing was happening, so he opened up the side wall to get access to all the plumbing and water pump. He used my hair dryer on the water lines and connections that he could reach as well as the water pump to see if that would help...nope. Our Montana has the Arctic package so this shouldn't be happening! It seems that because the water tank is at the rear of the trailer that the water line from the tank or maybe even the bottom of the tank is frozen. So he figured he would remove another wall in the basement to place a heater but there was far too much wiring in the way so that wasn't an option. There's no such thing as a tidy job in the RV industry if it's out of sight! The only other thing he could think of to try was removing the two wooden vents on the stairs to our bed/bathroom area and place a heater in front.
With that done he was going to leave everything for a few hours to see if there was any success in thawing and inspect for leaks. Around 3 p.m. with no signs of anything leaking and the water pump still sounding laboured Steve ran a hose to the rear of the trailer to the other water fill. It wasn't long before the water started spewing out of the fill spout...so we did have 2/3 of a tank after all! The tank continued to read empty. This gauge and the battery one, are the only gauges that have remained accurate. The tank gauge eventually read full. We tried the pump again...without success.
We have the electric fireplace and a heater running...as well as the furnace has also been on full time. It has been cycling off for 2 minutes then on for 10 continuously just trying to maintain the temperature at 20C/68F. Perhaps part of our problem was setting the night time temperature for 13C/55F, we are now leaving it at 20C....which is a little warm for sleeping!
I have an appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon for a shot in my knee on Friday so we're suppose to go to the Island tomorrow, but it looks like Steve will have to stay behind until the weather warms up on Monday when the temp is forecast to go up to 6C/43F. Overnight lows for the next 3 nights are forecast to be -10C/14F, -11C/12F and -5C/23F. He can't winterize the rig until everything thaws and hopefully we don't have any damage.
This has been very rare extreme weather for this area of the coast. It figures it's the only time since we hit the road in 2010 that we decided to delay going south so we could hang with family for Christmas.....and this happens!