We're finally on the move again! Not far, but it's a start. Here is what we've been up to the last couple of weeks!
The rest of our pack up Thursday morning went smoothly and we pulled out of our site at Oceanside RV Resort at 9:00...ahead of schedule! So we arrived at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal in plenty of time for the 11:00 a.m. sailing. We were concerned because it's the start of the long Easter weekend and we had heard from one of the others at Oceanside that he tried to reserve a spot (which we never do) but was told the ferry was fully booked. To our surprise we were only the fifth vehicle in the lot...sweet!
The size of our rig means it must go on the bottom deck of the ferry, I however was able to get on the upper deck in the car. The lower decks are completely enclosed, so you are not allowed to stay in your vehicle and must go up to the passenger decks. Transport Canada no longer allows you to stay in your vehicle because of COVID if you're in an enclosed deck. Since I was on the upper deck, which has openings, I was able to stay in the car, and Steve came up to join me.
We pulled into Fort Camping in Brae Island Regional Park shortly after 1:30...their COVID-19 protocols had us remain in our vehicles and the attendant came out to greet us. We proceeded to site C-25...at the opposite end of the row of pull-throughs that we usually stay. It has been a few years since we have stayed here...mainly because of their policy change where you are only allowed to stay a maximum of 30 days in a calendar year (except for the 6 month winter program...mid October to mid April). It has also become quite pricey to stay since they do not have weekly or monthly rates any more.
Our set up routine went smoothly...so nice to be back here for a short period. It is our preferred RV park in the area because of the walking/biking trails and the proximity to the quaint town of Fort Langley.
Friday (April 2) morning Chris, Angela and Isaac were going to come out for a walk and visit on the trails...unfortunately there are no visitors allowed in the campground due to COVID restrictions. Well, that was the original plan, but the weather did not co-operate...it started to rain! So we went to "plan B" and drove to their place where Chris had backed the cars out of the garage and set up chairs so we could have a physically distanced visit.
We were finally able to delivery Isaac his birthday (from Dec. 2) and Christmas gifts! Birthday gifts first. He loves all things Dinosaur and can actually name them! So that was our theme...Dinosaur coat...
Isaac wanted to play with his Dinosaur puzzle right away!
Then it was time for Christmas presents!
Saturday (April 3) had rain in the forecast again. But we did manage to get out for a 5 km/3 mile walk on the trail on the other side of the river...ahhh...love this area! Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful day.
With nicer weather in the forecast for Sunday (April 4), we decided to go for a walk on Tavistock Trail, here on Brae Island, with Chris, Angela and Isaac. They arrived just after 9:30 and we met them in the trailhead parking lot.
The short walk to Tavistock Point on Brae Island offers scenic views of the surrounding Fraser River and distant Coastal Mountain range. The route is a wide gravel trail that is perfect for families and campers staying at the Fort Camping campsite....Tavistock Point marks the northern tip of Brae Island and on a clear day has scenic views of the Fraser River and both shorelines.
The timing was really good for our walk...the parking lot was almost empty when we started our walk, but full when we got back. Another wonderful visit with Chris, Angela and Isaac!
Monday (April 5) was a beautiful sunny day! Perfect for spending time visiting Chris, Angela and Isaac in their backyard! We headed into Coquitlam at about 10:30...going over the Port Mann Bridge which crosses the Fraser River...
Chris grilled burgers and hot dogs for lunch...
Tuesday (April 6) morning the on-line registration for vaccinations opened, so I registered both Steve and I. It was a very smooth process with no problems considering it was the first day.
I printed off the label to return the Shaw Home Internet equipment back to them...then we walked into town to drop it off at the post office.
They are building a movie set for the second sequel to 'Sonic the Hedgehog'...
Then we walked the river trail before going home.
We were originally booked in here for one week but decided to extend our stay until April 13. The reason is two-fold...Buster had the ABS and check engine lights come on as we were leaving Vancouver Island and is close to needing a routine service, so we might as well take it to Gold Key Isuzu in Langley. Also the weather forecast of lots of snow for the Coquihalla highway and Merritt is not favourable for travel.
After helping Steve take the boat off the truck in preparation for the service appointment on Thursday, I went back on the laptop. I have already received an email saying that I could book my COVID vaccination...wow! that was fast! We will be in Merritt, so I booked an appointment there for April 16. After waiting for Steve's notification to come...after all, I had registered both of us within minutes of each other, I decided to call Interior Health to see why. Well, it turns out I got my appointment so quickly because my personal health card has been flagged with "critically vulnerable". I have no idea why...but I'll take the appointment! Steve will have to wait until his age group comes up.
Wednesday (April 7) was a rainy day...such a change from the sunshine we have had for the past few days! So other than a quick trip into town to purchase truck insurance, it was an inside day...lots of TV watching today! Our only other outing was to drop the truck off at Gold Key in Langley late afternoon for it's service appointment in the morning.
Thursday (April 8)...wow! we've been here a week already! A look at the forecast made us very happy that we had extended our stay here...they had a big dump of snow on the Coquihalla last night! If you watch the TV show "Highway From Hell", that's the highway.
We went for our morning walk on the trail on the other side of the river and then went to pick up the truck. That was pretty much our day.
Friday (April 9) morning I got up to the refrigerator "beeping". That usually means we're out of propane...but we're on AC! The display was flashing "no AC"...huh?! So we switched it over to propane and it said "No Flo". WTH! Steve checked the breakers and none were tripped. Then he checked the propane tank and found that the fridge must have switched over to LP and coincidentally ran out, so he switched to the other tank and got the fridge going.
Steve called Dan from Paul's Mobile RV Service...our "go to guy" when here on the lower mainland (greater Vancouver area). Dan didn't answer, so Steve left a message to call back ASAP. Like a lot of these mobile RV guys, we always seem to have trouble getting call-backs...hope today is not one of those days!
More rain is in the forecast for today but we managed to get out for a walk on Tavistock Trail and only got sprinkled on...phew! But we basically had an inside day.
COVID cases in BC are really on the rise...we are into a third wave. The highly transmittable variants are the cause. Our son, Rob, in Victoria is working from home due to a number of cases at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt (where he is a civilian worker) and Chris and Angela are also working from home due to exposures at Angela's school. I sure hope the vaccine rollout gets ramped up for everyone!
Saturday (April 10) was a sunny, but chilly start to the day. We had our usual morning 5 km/3 mile walk along the river. Rowers out on the river this beautiful sunny morning...
And then Steve got to work on today's chores. He started by cleaning the electrical terminals on the boat loader controller as it was acting weird when we offloaded the boat. Having spent the last 6 months near the ocean the salt air has created lots of rust on some of our stuff :(
With no return call from Dan yesterday Steve decided to call some of the other mobile RV service companies. After calling them all and leaving messages it was obvious none of them do emergency work on weekends!
Steve here: I decided to see if I could find any issues with the AC on the fridge. I did an online search which indicated checking for a blown 5 amp fuse on the control board. After removing a few wires to get the cover off I found a blown 8 amp fuse. Sweet...easy fix right?... but what caused it to blow? Confused though as to why the manual says 5 amp and our board has an 8 amp fuse, I was off to Traveland RV for some fuses. The parts guy at the counter didn't have a clue so I stuck with what the manual said and got a couple of 5 amp fuses.
I installed the fuse but now we have nothing...not even a display on the fridge...WTH! The fuse didn't blow, so I got out my multimeter and confirmed that we had 120V and 12VDC at the control board.
Then I double checked the breakers again as well as the long row of 15 amp fuses as best I could using a flashlight. Most of these were poorly marked but I found one that said "kitchen" so I pulled it out and it was fine. So with breakers, fuses, and power to the board all checking out fine I figured it must be the board. As it was getting late in the day, and no return calls from any of the mobile guys I called Traveland RV to see if they had a control board and they did, so off I went again. I used to sell ignition control boards when I worked at Pacific Controls Ltd, an HVAC wholesaler. We had test equipment for these so I thought Traveland might too, but no, of course not! So when installed and power applied this $334 control board is not returnable...great! I spoke with their mobile tech but he wasn't willing to come out as he was going home soon. Their reviews suck anyway!
Switching out the control boards on the mounting plate...
We called Chris...loaded contents of the fridge into coolers and headed to his place...they have an extra refrigerator in their garage...thank goodness! Thanks Chris! On the way home we home we had dinner at the A and W drive thru...
Sunday (April 11) was another beautiful sunny day, just a little chilly to start. We had our morning walk along the river on the other side of the bridge.
Late afternoon Steve got a call back from TLC RV Services. He said he would rearrange his Monday calls to fit us in tomorrow morning at 9:30. Not long after, we got a call from Dan of Paul's Mobile RV Service. He was pretty booked up but could fit us in later in the day on Monday. Because we have years of experience using Paul's RV we would have preferred to use him but since TLC was already phoning his customers to fit us in, that would be kind of nasty to cancel with him.
Steve described everything he had done. Dan thinks the fuse blew because of a bad element and perhaps when removing the wires to get the control board cover off the 12vdc wire shorted on something blowing one of the 15amp fuses in that long row of fuses. (Sounded to Steve that he'd been there, done that!)
Since we had nothing for dinner tonight, I ordered a pizza for take-out and headed off early to get it. We will warm it up a little later when we're ready to eat. Steve took a couple pictures on our way back through Fort Langley. It's a popular spot to visit especially on weekends. The streets are so busy...no thanks, too busy for us with the current COVID situation!
Monday (April 12)...and another cold, frosty start to the day at 1C/34F....brrrrrr! Ron from TLC RV Services phoned to say he was running late and would be here at 10:30.
Steve finally received the email notification we had been waiting for...he can book his COVID vaccination date! So I went on-line but was having trouble finding a date available in Merritt, so I phoned. Merritt is already completely booked, but he could go the 40 minutes north to Logan Lake and get it there on April 14. I asked if I could get mine with him...no problem, so he cancelled my appointment for April 16 and booked me with Steve. Perfect!
Steve here: When Ron from TLC showed up I described to him what Dan from Paul's RV thought our issue was. After watching him work for a few minutes I wasn't getting a warm fuzzy feeling about his troubleshooting. He kept wanting us to turn the fridge on...it took a couple of times explaining that the fridge has no power and that he should check for a blown fuse. He eventually did and we got power to our fridge display. We tried it first on propane and it worked...yes! He then said turn it on to AC which immediately blew the 8 amp fuse on the new control board. All either one of us had was a 5 amp fuse so that's what was used. Then he starts moving wires around and I see sparks fly from the 12vdc wire! Oh no...my new board! Luckily no fuses appeared to have blown and the propane side still worked. Now he finally decides to check the heating elements with a meter and said they are both good. That's weird! So he pulled the element wires off the board, then connected one of the element wires...fuse didn't blow. When he connected the other element it blew the fuse...Ah...Ha! Of course he didn't have an element.
After phoning around to some of his suppliers he couldn't locate one. He hadn't tried Traveland RV so I suggested trying them. He called but had to leave a message. After waiting for awhile for a call back he gave me the part number of the element and said if I could get one he would come back later. After Ron left we headed to Traveland RV and picked up an element. After another stop...this time at Gold Key to pick up a spare turbo hose for Buster and pay for our service, we continued into Coquitlam to pick up our food from Chris and Angela's.
Once home, Steve sent Ron a text to say we were home. Not hearing back from him, he phoned...should be here around 6, but that came and went. Steve called again...should be 7ish but it was 8:50 p.m. when he finally showed up! Now working in the dark, Ron struggled getting the element out. Steve compared the old one with the new one and noticed the new one was a slightly smaller diameter...geez...wrong one! It was now 9:50 pm. It was decided that Steve would go back to Traveland in the morning when they open at 8:00 a.m. and confirmed with Ron that he would be back here at 8:30 and no later!
We have to leave tomorrow morning as Fort Camping is closing down after their winter season, doing maintenance, and preparing for their summer season. Nothing like being under the wire!
Stay tuned to our next blog update to see how it goes!