Friday, May 4 to Friday, May 11, 2018 (Fort Camping, Brae Island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

It's Friday, May 4th...and time to move out to our favourite "home" RV park! Since we were moving, we took the opportunity to book the trailer in for a brake and bearings check at Vancouver Axle and Frame. Steve had tried booking a service at Traveland RV, but unless you bought an RV from them they won't help you. They were already booking into July. We had the same issue with Fraserway RV in Kamloops a few years ago.

We said goodbye to Peace Arch shortly after 9...arriving just before 10 for our appointment. After unhitching the trailer...and were told it would be a couple of hours before it would be ready, so we headed off into Langley. Steve wanted to get his haircut...and I wanted to get new runners. Both locations were close to each other, so after parking the truck, I walked over to the New Balance store while Steve went to see if he could get a haircut. He was unsuccessful...too long of a wait...but I came out with new runners.

What to do next? We ended up going into Willowbrook Mall, having lunch and walking the mall for a little exercise. Although we hadn't heard back from Van Axle, it was after 1:00 so we figured the truck must be ready by we headed back.

Well, it wasn't a matter of fact, they had just started working on it! Are we naive to expect that when we make an appointment for 10:00, we expect them to start working on it at 10:00, or at least shortly thereafter? Sheesh! It was evident that it wouldn't be ready for another hour or 2, so what shall we do now? We decided that we would go to Fort Camping and check in...that way when we return with the trailer in tow, we can just go right in.

Today Fort Camping  is reopening after their winter season. They were closed between seasons a little longer than usual for maintenance...falling over 100 trees. There was a line up of RV's checking in, so I got out and walked up to the gatehouse. I was greeted by Dawn, we completed the other words, I paid the remainder of our bill (you have to pay 50% when making the reservation), and then we were on our way in. We parked in our usual (and favourite) site, C1, and went for a walk around part of the campground.

As we were leaving, a fellow stopped us...he said "I know you! I follow your blog!" (we also had a brief chat with him when we returned with our trailer). Sorry we didn't manage to get together for a visit before you left, Lloyd. Perhaps our paths will cross again!

When we got back to Vancouver Axle, the trailer still wasn't ready, so we waited...and waited. It was after 4:00 by the time we were hitching back up. We're not overly impressed with Vancouver Axle and Frame this time...not only did they take all day to do a 2 hour job, but they also gouged us a whopping $709, and no parts were involved! We've never paid over $300 for this service anywhere before. We won't be going back there again!

It was well after 7:00 by the time we were mostly set up and able to sit outside for a drink...cheers! So glad to be here! Not having a monthly rate anymore, it is more expensive than Peace Arch...$240/week plus tax (for 30 amp service/$270 for 50 amp)...but for us it's worth it, being able to walk into town and/or walk/ride our bicycles on the trails.
Saturday was a beautiful day! Steve put the final touches on our camp by putting out the mat and the sunshade, along with the rope and solar lights.

I had a few things to pick up at the market for dinner tonight and Steve needed beer, so, taking our backpacks along, we walked into town. Our first stop was at the BC Liquor Store...Steve is all set up carrying his 24-pack of beer along with a bottle of red wine. (Man...did that pack ever get heavy after a few blocks! Steve)
The next stop was at Lee's Market...where Steve left me and carried on home. I picked up the things I needed and with my backpack full, I headed home.

Our son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Angela, arrived shortly after 2:30. We sat and visited for a bit and then decided to take a walk to Tavistock Point...
The Fraser River is a tidal river so at low tide you can walk out to those pylons behind us.
With the recent rains, warmer temps and a higher than normal snow pack the river is very high.
Another mansion under construction...
After a great walk, we "resumed position" back in our chairs with adult beverages until it was time to prepare dinner. Grilled steak, mushrooms, baked potatoes, and Caesar salad...all enjoyed outside on the picnic table...
Then Steve brought out the Campfire-in-a-Can...

It was going on 10:00 when Chris and Angela called it a night...after a wonderful afternoon and evening! So great seeing you both....

Sunday...and more visiting with family. This time we were meeting Steve's cousins for lunch.

We met them at the Cactus Club Cafe in Coquitlam...and enjoyed a great couple of hours catching up. Left to right around the table...Grant, Glenna, me, Steve, Rob, Esther, Paul, Bev, Nicole and Cheryl...
Back home, we off-loaded the boat in preparation for taking the truck to Bernhausen Diesel tomorrow to take another crack at our squealing issue...and then relaxed in the shade for the rest of the afternoon.

(Over to Steve)
I was up and out shortly after 8:00 Monday morning, taking the truck to its 8:30 appointment.
After our appointment last fall for a test on the dyno machine I got to thinking about the test that was done. They had only had the dyno for about a week and were obviously new to it and still learning. They had programmed the test weight of the truck without the trailer in tow which is about 16,000 lbs, when our actual towing weight is 34,300 lbs. There had been some improvement from their previous service in that the truck only squeals intermittently when towing where before it didn't matter if you were towing or not.

This got off to a bad start. Their compressor was down which meant they couldn't use any air tools including the dyno machine. It wasn't until 11:30 before they had the air back online. I was told they had enough time to get the truck onto the dyno machine rollers and strapped down before breaking for lunch. 

After lunch I hopped into the passenger seat and joined the tech as they started the test at a programmed weight of 36,000 lbs. The tech revved the truck at least a couple of dozen times up to 120 kph then backing off engaging the exhaust brake all to no squealing! So the next step was to tilt the cab and look for a soot trail that would indicate a leak from the exhaust side but none was found. So that's that, you can't fix what you can't find or duplicate so we have to live with it until whatever is causing this gets worse. Geez...will it ever end! 
I had also booked a coolant flush, so that now required more waiting for the truck to cool down so they placed a fan beside the engine. After draining the system the tech hooked up an air line to a vacuum system on the coolant reservoir that drained any remnants of coolant and collapses the rubber hoses and checks for leaks. 
When paying my bill the "new" office staff unaware of my history were charging me for the dyno test. After explaining about the incorrect weight setting on the previous test last fall they took it off my bill. My blood pressure then returned to normal :)

While Steve was gone, I had a work day...washing all walls and cabinets in the trailer. More things crossed off my "to do list"...yay!

After a walk to the post office in town mid afternoon, I was sitting relaxing in the shade when Steve finally got was after 4:00!

Tuesday morning we were doing our resistance exercises when Steve let out a bit of a groan. He had "tweaked" his back and it was so close to going totally out...something that hasn't happened for a very long time! Needless to say, that was the end of his exercising for today. He gingerly walked to get some ibuprofen and then sat in his chair.

By late morning, he was moving around better, so we drove into Langley so Steve could try again for that haircut he was after. While he was doing that, I wandered around the newly remodelled Safeway.

Next stop was at Home Depot...for some screws Steve needed for some maintenance inside the trailer. We left there not only with the screws but a small Ryobi battery operated leaf blower...something he thought would work great on the trailer roof  and outside mat rather than a broom. After a quick charge it worked great getting rid if all the pine needles under the solar panels and solar wiring and gutters.

After lunch, I went for a walk into town (gotta get those Fitbit steps in!) while Steve worked on a few maintenance issues inside the trailer. I took a picture of some folks in dragon boat training...
The Fraser River is getting really high with all of the spring runoff...actually a lot of communities in the interior of BC are faced with historic flooding. So thing it will be wildfires! Hopefully not! It was so bad last year!

It was a hot muggy day...rain is in the forecast for the next couple of days...and sure enough, we heard the light pitter-patter start just after dinner.

And sure enough, it rained most of Wednesday morning...allowing us to have a very lazy morning (as if we need an excuse...ha!). By late morning it had stopped so we decided to get out for a walk. We headed out on one of our favourite walks...crossing the bridge and following the path along the south side of the Fraser River.

Someone has been busy!
The beavers have been busy. Hard to make out but in the distance centre left is the beaver lodge...

Salmon River outfall entering the Fraser River...

On the way back we stopped for a coffee at a little cafe just off the path. (Note, we don't normally include photos of coffee, water etc, just beer and wine :)
Crossing back across the bridge...looking to the west....
Looking to the east...looks like more rain is coming our way!
The cutest little church on the north side of the river. We have seen the river high enough in the past to partially flood this field.
Sure enough, a light sprinkle started as we got back into the campground...almost home! Shortly after getting safely inside, the rain really started coming down again. Good timing...we managed to get our 3 mile walk in before the monsoons hit!

By late afternoon, the rain subsided and Steve went out to off-load our bicycles. He put air in the tires and I washed all of the dust off of them. The front tire on Steve's bike wouldn't pump up...hmmm...looks like we will have to find a bicycle repair place tomorrow!

While outside working on the bikes, the sun actually came out! So we got to end the day sitting out enjoying a little sunshine!

Thursday morning Steve looked into bicycle repair places and found one not too far away, so we headed offf to Velocity Bicycles to have his tire repaired. It was a quick trip, only taking about 10 minutes...and $10...for the repair.

On the way home, he dropped me off in town so I could do a little more wandering around. By the time I got home, Steve had put the wheel back on his bike and was well on his way washing the truck. The gravel roads in the campground have created so much dust at times there was no point in washing anything but with the recent rains we should be good for a few days. Nothing has been washed since our visit to Yuma.
We even got out for a bit of a bike ride along the trail on the other side of the river. We didn't ride all that far, though, before turning back...can't do too much at once, this is our first time back on the bikes since last fall!
This couple from Germany parked nearby to do their laundry. We talked with them a couple of days later and they said they have over the years travelled from South America to Alaska and are now heading to eastern Canada, so we may see them again.
Friday morning we puttered around doing this and's amazing how time can slip by! Next thing we knew it was time to walk into town and meet a former coworker of Steve's and her husband. Also retired now Tracey worked in the Vancouver office of Pacific Controls Ltd, while Steve worked in the Victoria office. Steve figures it has been at least 10 years since he last saw her...I met her and her husband, Collin at a Christmas Party before that!

We enjoyed catching up over lunch at The Fort Pub...Steve, me, Tracey and Collin...
....and then walked back to our place and continued our visit...
They also love to camp and Tracey says she has followed our blog from day one. Although Steve and Tracey have known each other for many years it was always over the phone or brief visits when Steve went to the head office, so it was nice for him (us) to get some one on one time and get to know them better. We enjoyed an hour or so of chatting and then they had to head off. It was wonderful getting together with you both! We'll have to make it a habit whenever we're back in the area and perhaps our paths will cross camping somewhere...


  1. Wow! You said we were busy? You guys have accomplished lots. Keep those bikes handy, we'll use them when we see you in Alberta. No squeal from the truck,c'mon. Frustrating!! Water levels in BC are scary this year, it was so much lower when we visited there. Love that Unimog btw!! Play safe.

    1. We’ve contemplated getting rid of our bikes as we only seem to ride them when we’re back in Fort Langley, but have decided to keep them for now. There may be an evacuation alert given this week at Fort Camping due to high water, so we may have to leave Victoria early to pick up the trailer and go who knows where!

  2. Van axle is very expensive, they have charged my shop for work that was way overpriced for what they did. They lost our business and looks like yours too now. Doubt they will change. Hopefully you will have no issues. Cheers.

    1. Good to know Claude. I’ve since called the owner and he agrees a mistake was made and they would issue a credit on my return. Whew!