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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trailer maintenance and land search


May 10

Yes, another long gap between updates. Not sure it will get better. We have no internet service at this campground so I have to go to one of our son's houses to post. We have moved from the Westerner Campground to the Lions Campground in Red Deer. Both are City owned and each are nice. We find the Lions is closer to the kid's houses so pickup and drop off of Grandkiddo's is easier……and we doing lots of that!

Our new site at the Lions Campground in Red Deer. There was a huge windstorm last year that blew down a lot of the large poplar trees. The yellow tape is where they dug out the old roots and laid some sod this spring.



So Spring is now in full swing around here. River ice jams have cleared and even the snow runoff has subsided. We've had quite a swing in temperatures with highs of over 25C (close to 80F) and crazy low temps, like today (May 10), with rain and a daytime high of 5C (about 38F).

Red Deer River clear of ice and water levels are down to normal spring level.

Red Deer River taken at the end of April. All the snow and ice are gone now.

We've been out looking at small properties for sale. As long as you leave your check book at home it doesn't cost anything to look, right? So we checked out a couple of places at nearby lakes. Buffalo Lake is about 45 minutes East of Red Deer. Nice drive out there, but we didn't see much we liked.

Farmers moving equipment. You just have to be patient to pass. They're way bigger than I am!

Seeding crops is well under way now.

Buffalo Lake taken May 5. Still lots of ice to melt.

Buffalo Lake is a typical prairie lake. Shallow, large surface area and very little natural streams to feed it. They keep this lake artificially higher by channeling water from a nearby river. Gull Lake is the same.

The geese are anxious to see some more open water.

Next stop was Gull Lake. It is about 30 minutes North of Red Deer. We've looked there many times but property is just too expensive for us. We had thought maybe an RV site to buy where we could park for the summer months. There are some RV resorts out there but there is just nothing that really grabs us. They are all condo board operated and something about those that waves a yellow flag at me. I'm sure they are fine……but we'll keep looking. Not sure we want to be tied to just one place for six months a year. At least not just now. It's a good time to look around before the leaves

We've done some maintenance on the trailer. First was trying to do something about the terrible oxidation on the rear cap. The front is fine as it was re-painted under warranty by the previous owner. The back has never been touched. I did some research and checked into some options. The local RV dealer would repaint it for about $2500! Yikes! I looked into various products that claimed to be just what I needed. After talking to a guy at a specialty autobody shop he sold me Presta Compound. $40 for a big bottle. I started out using an orbital buffer with wool pads. It worked but I found good old hand scrubbing worked just as well. The net result? Well, I saved myself over $2400!! It took several hours of hard work but honestly it was worth it. Not sure if there is a UV blocker I can use to prevent the oxidation from returning but I think if I keep ahead of it and use a good wax I can keep it looking pretty good.

Before

Before

After

Nice and shiny!

We are planning a long trip this Fall and Winter. Travel to the East Coast of Canada and down to Florida and back to Alberta through the Midwest States. A long way to tow the trailer so having the axle bearing re-packed and brakes checked seemed like a good idea. I know RV Dealers can do the work but for a few dollars more I took the trailer to Fleet Brake that specialize in heavy truck and trailer suspension and brake work. They also do a lot of RV's and I've had them do work for me in the past. They re-packed the axle bearings and replaced the seals, cleaned and checked the brakes, and inspected and greased the suspension. There is less than 25% wear on the brakes, and just a tiny bit of play in a couple of suspension items. We're good to go and it makes me feel better having things well checked and serviced before hitting the road. Total bill….$480. High, but the peace of mind is free!

We have a Motor League membership (AAA, or AMA in Alberta) and with that they offer a discounted price on an annual Canadian National Park Pass. They sell it for $120 and if you buy it from the Government at the Park Gates it is $136.50. A decent saving, so if you are looking for a National Park Pass this year, check with your Motor Association first.



We have more birthdays to celebrate in May , and of course Mother's Day is this Sunday so lots of family stuff to do. I'll try to update more often. Now that the nicer weather has arrived I hope to get out on some local trails and see some sights.
......and that was Our View From Here.

17 comments:

  1. Nice to get your rear cap all shiny again. I use Meguires Ultimate liquid polish a few times a year to hold the shine on our coach now 20 years old, easy on and easy off.

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    1. Good tip George. I'll check that product. I've been using Nu-Finish as a wax and have been happy with it.

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  2. You did a fantastic job on the trailer cap. Elbow grease with a good cleaning product (like George mentions) is worth it in many cases.
    Good to get the brakes and bearings looked after too, sounds like a great trip.

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    1. Also keep in mind, our location, in case you need a stopover. At least until we leave at the end of October!

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    2. Definitely want to protect our investments! Sure don't want a bearing failure on a busy Interstate.

      Thanks for the offer but we'll be taking the north route from Thunder Bay to Ottawa. Maybe next time :-).

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  3. Nice to hear from you guys again. Looks like a great campground you're at for a bit. Great job on making the 5th wheel look new. On your parks pass, does it cover entrance fees? Reduced camping fees? Seems it would be a good deal, and if you can afford fuel (haha) a great way to go. Love our pass here in the states. Hi Cheryl!

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    1. I should have explained better. The Canadian Park Pass gets you free entry to all National Parks and Historic Sites in Canada (with a couple of exceptions). We hope to use it a lot this summer. It does not cover camping fees.

      The $75 American National Park Pass was great! We bought one last year and definitely got our moneys worth.
      Cheryl says 'Hi back!'

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  4. The rear cap looks great! We also have a Forest River unit and hubby is constantly on the front and rear cap to keep the oxidization at bay.

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    1. I wish there was some sort of UV protector you could apply that would prevent the oxidation. Apparently there isn't one, but I'm going to keep looking!

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  5. Nice job bringing back the shine! We are heading east soon too so hopefully our paths will cross.

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    1. We'll keep following your blog to see where and when you will be out there. You will be ahead of us so we'll let you 'break trail'!

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  6. Great job on buffing out the oxidation! Keep in touch this winter, we are headed to the east coast and Florida as well.

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    1. I'll keep an eye on your blog to follow your travels for sure.

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  7. Hello, thought I'd pop over and check out your blog. Glad I did. We're dealing with some oxidation too. I'm taking note of that product and we'll give it a go later this year. Nice blog!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! Hope you enjoy it. I blame it all on Dianne! :-)
      There seems to be a lot of choices out there on how to fight the oxidation. The Presta stuff seems to be working out well.

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  8. Nice job on hand buffing! We are finding a similar problem on one side of our rig and I am pretty happy with McGuires Cleaner wax and they have Oxidation remover as well. Can be found at any Canadian Tire between 17 & $22/ bottle. Different aisle from auto polish.

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    1. I hear some good things about the Mcguires products. I'll check those out.

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