This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD

THIS WAS OUR 2013 JAYCO FLIGHT SWIFT 198RD, PARKED AT THE TOMBSTONE TERRITORIES RV PARK IN ARIZONA



Wednesday, 18 November 2020

No November blues but there is not much going on

It is already the middle of November and if it were a normal year we would be planning our trip south by now or perhaps we would already be underway. When I started this blog several years ago my intention was to capture our travels with pictures of our trips, destinations and interesting places we visited. Since this is not happening right now and most of my travels are done between our house and the grocery stores in town, how about I take you along my stroll along the Lakeshore Drive to the Hillman Marsh and to the end of our cul-de-sac street to the cornfield that has been harvested today. 

 

In previous posts I mentioned the location of our house to be near Lake Erie. Here are a couple of aerial views of our house showing the proximity to the lake taken about a month ago. There is a little public beach visible at the top left of the first photo and about the top middle of the next photo where kids like to play in the summertime and I find interesting pieces of driftwood. The town has just recently added a lot of large boulders at the corner of Fox Run Road and Lakeshore Drive next to the beach to prevent erosion from Northeasterly winds. 

 





Walking along Lakeshore Drive toward the Hillman Marsh I took these photos of the lake. 

 







These beach photos are of the public beach at the Hillman Marsh that is about a 15-minute walk from our house or half an hour if I take the dogs as we make frequent stops along the way!!

 





This aerial view was taken about a month ago of our house and the cornfield at the end of our street. The next aerial view Benno took today and you can see me standing patiently at the end of the road waiting to take pictures of the harvest that was in progress today. (Our aerial pictures are taken with a DJI Mavic Mini drone that Benno got last Christmas. You don’t need a pilot license to fly this drone because it weighs less than 250 grams. For anything above this weight class, a drone pilot license is required here in Canada to fly drones). The driver of the corn combine waved to me while he was passing with this huge machine. They are done with this field but a few others are still waiting to be harvested.










Most trees in our area have now shed their leaves and Benno and I have made a couple of trips to the local Leaf and Yard Depot site to drop off leaves from our property. We have a sweeper that we tow behind our John Deere lawn mower to gather the leaves and it is fairly easy but I had to use additional bags for the amount of leaves to add to the already full utility trailer to haul it all away to be composted.

 


In other news, our two Dachshunds were very sick for a few days and required a trip to the veterinarian to get shots and medication. I suspect, or I am almost certain, that the culprit of their diarrhea and vomiting were the dried chicken breast pieces I fed them as a treat and had purchased at Food Basic. After calling customer support I was told they were imported from China (but not posted on the bag and no complete barcode to show origin) I will not purchase those again. The good new is, they are now doing fine and today played a game of tug-of-war with Elsa’s squeaky toy that Reggy likes to snatch away from her.

 


Thanks for dropping by again.


Friday, 30 October 2020

So many nice additions to our travel trailer

Here is my promised blog update about the modifications on our new travel trailer that we thought were important to us. Of course everyone has a different view of what makes your travels great. Driving to a nice area with lots to see and explore is on top of our list as well as warm or nice weather conditions, but we also like our creature comforts and that is what we, or mostly Benno, were working on in the past weeks. For a link to the products just click the highlighted words.


To start off, a new mattress was required. The trailer came with a new FIRM mattress, I mean extreme firm like 2x4 wooden studs, the mattress was made in the USA with 2 rounded corners at the foot end, nice looking but boy we slept one night on it to try it out and were almost looking for a chiropractor next morning. Benno and I are side sleepers and we found something more suitable and softer for our needs. I advertised the mattress on the local Marketplace and it quickly found a new owner.

 


Meanwhile Benno crawled around in the basement storage compartment where he installed two additional group 31 AGM batteries side by side additionally to the outside tongue group 27 AGM battery and he wired up an extra disconnect battery switch that he had purchased for those batteries. This gives us a bigger battery bank with more stored amp power for our convenience and for the times we are boon docking. To be able to monitor our state of charge of this battery bank he fitted a digital voltmeter onto the panel next to the entrance door and while he was at it, he also mounted a 120 V AC meter above the existing 12 V DC meter. This way we can view the hooked up electrical power coming in from a power post, which can be inconsistent at some RV Resorts.

 



For our water hook up we supplement the system with an extra filter housing with a water filter stand to house a carbon filter to improve the water quality wherever we are. I don’t like the taste of chlorinated water and it is terrible for making good coffee or tea.

A funny thing happened though. We were testing our water system and water heater plumbing, bleeding the lines of air, testing bathroom shower and vanity etc. of the new camper and there the water was coming out fine, but somehow we could not get any water, hot or cold coming out of the kitchen faucet. We pulled out all drawers to view and follow the water piping, looking for a missed shut off cock or so. Benno went even underneath the trailer with a flashlight to see if somehow there could be a problem. I took a mirror and looked behind the gas furnace where the blue and red PEX water tubing from the kitchen faucet disappeared “Nada – Nada” no luck, no water hot or cold. Benno went to his shop to get more tools; we had a serious problem here, no water at the kitchen sink. I was just looking at the faucet and my eyes were resting on the faucet lever and I noticed that the lever body was curved on the bottom, a hot flash shot through my brain like don’t tell me we have to pull that damned thing and then turn it!! I did it and “voila” we had water. Shit, Benno and I smirked and he said: “Don’t mention this in your blog, or everybody thinks we are too stupid to operate a kitchen faucet!”

 


There was nothing wrong with the company installed roof vents, but we decided to cover them with vent hoods so they can stay open in the rain and upgrade the electrical Heng vent fan in the bathroom with the Heng Vortex II Fan unit, which runs on three different speeds and will also reverse airflow if wanted. The install went fairly easy, however I overheard several not so nice expletives from Benno, when some tiny factory supplied screw kept slipping off his screwdriver and repeatedly fell to the floor until Benno finally got fed up and used a different screw from his own supply.

 



Free Wifi is offered in most RV parks and if there are repeater towers throughout the park you can get it inside your RV. However, if you are surrounded by tall RVs, or if you don’t have a line of sight, the reception might not be good. A Wifi extender mounted onto the roof of your RV will amplify the incoming signal and you’d be amazed at the bars on your device. It has its own router and you need to set it up which is outlined in the easy to follow instructions. In the inside of your RV you need to find a suitable spot where to mount the router and connect the wires with the outside antenna. We’ve had good experience with all of the Wifi extenders on our previous RVs and got one for our new travel trailer. This one is the newest model from (here is the Canadian link to Wifi-Camp-Pro2) version 2. (USA link: Wifi-Camp-Pro2) the TSM-B1&TSM1 stainless mount: Accessories & Blue Sea Cable Clam Of course it works also wherever free wifi is offered and you get a good signal even when sitting in a parking lot. The antenna folds down when you travel.

 






Our new travel trailer came with a flat screen TV as most RVs do. What good is it if you hardly get any channels? The Jayco trailers were equipped with the crank up Winegard antennas and we were very happy with them. When we turned on our TV at this new travel trailer we only got a handful, if at all, stations after running a scan. How disappointing. The on the rooftop mounted Winegard Air360 sat next to the air-conditioning unit and it is very low. The decision was made to order a Winegard Wingman type antenna and to remove the one that came with the camper. Easy said but more problematic to do. The roof mounted Winegard Air 360 had to go as it was plugging up the roof Real Estate and we needed room for the new Winegard Sensar IV wingman antenna, because when cranked down it needs a 4-foot space lengthwise. Removing the Air 360 was a bitch, it was screwed and glued down with tons of Dicor. To remove Dicor it is advised to do it above 80F and to use a heat gun. Right, coming Sunday is the 1st November and we are up in Canada. Benno made the decision to use the Dremel Multi Max oscillating tool to slice the Air 360 off right above the mounting ring. With some shims and the heat gun he managed to lift a small section of the still left mounting ring from the roof membrane without damaging the membrane. The Dremel Multi Max tool then cut that section of the mounting ring out, which gave enough space to install the new Winegard wingman antenna. If and when it warms up again Benno will remove the rest of that mounting ring. My poor hubby was all frozen from being up there on the rooftop in the wind and cold temps. But the best news of all is, that after completing a new scan we had 50, (that is FIFTY!) HDTV channels broadcasting at that time and most of them with an excellent picture quality. I think this new antenna was a truly good investment!

 









And finally I would like to ask my fellow RVers if you have made any changes to your RV entrance door locks. We had added a deadbolt on our Jayco travel trailer, but those will not fit our present travel trailer door. As you know almost every RV can be opened with the so-called master key, (if there is an "M" punched next to your door's key hole) carried by all RV dealers and their salesmen and who knows who else. Any suggestions?

 

 There might be a few more personal additions to our RV, like the mirror I wanted next to the entrance and I'll post them once a while.



Thanks for dropping by again.



Thursday, 15 October 2020

Comfort Food For A Rainy October Day

We knew of the change in weather for days thanks to the forecasts in the media, so Benno made the best of the terrific weather we have had since bringing our new camper home to accomplish outdoor chores such as installing the vent covers on the roof.  He is right in his element, as he loves adding and installing things to make life more comfortable and easier in and on our new home on wheels. The more technical the challenge is for an installation, the more enthusiastic he is to get to work. There are always add-ons on a new travel trailer and the dealers make extra money by pointing out various things of must haves that don’t come with the original package. I’ll be making an extra post with those items.

 


Today it is raining quite a lot here in our area and the temperature has been marching steadily downward since this morning with a threat of frost tonight. The drumming rain on the windows made me want soup for lunch. A quick look into our fridge to see what I could drum up and I had the idea to cook us a potato, ham and vegetable soup, refined with a healthy shot of whipping cream and a heaping spoon of sour cream for good measure.  No calories were counted and we both enjoyed this steaming bowl of soup accompanied with a slice of toasted Sourdough bread.

 


Lunch was a success but I was not done yet in the kitchen. After doing the dishes I got to work for our afternoon dessert that we have with our coffees. It is a German thing or practice to have an afternoon sweet snack of cake, cookies or some other baked goody around 03.00PM and Benno and I are fans of this tradition. My thought was that I should try to make some apple fritters. Yesterday I had made us each a German type apple pancake for lunch and there were four Granny Smith apples leftover that I wanted to use up. The recipe I found on the Internet sounded good to me so I followed the instructions.

 





Benno had been complaining that his long time favorite apple fritters from Tim Horton were now a disappointment since they didn’t contain any apples in them anymore. Let me tell you the fritters I produced sure made up for the absence of apples from Tim’s. So I guess when I make them again I will either increase the amount of batter or use one less apple :-). However, they were delicious! And, the accompanying freshly ground coffee was a hit also from our new Braun Coffeemaker we just purchased. We had a Melitta coffeemaker before that always annoyed me when it dripped coffee from the filter onto the hot plate when the carafe was removed. Both coffeemakers produce excellent coffee for either just one cup or a whole pot full.

 


Sadly, I think yesterday the last flock of migrating birds left our area for warmer climates down south. Lets hope we will do the same next year.

 


Thanks for stopping by and please stay tuned for the travel trailer add-ons and installations. 

 

Monday, 5 October 2020

Are we being optimistic, or what?

If you are wondering what we have been up to in the last few weeks, well actually a lot happened.



We sold our tractor for almost the same money we paid for it. In case you are speculating why we sold it so soon, the reason is the job was done, we accomplished what we had planned on doing at our own pace without being rushed, which would not have happened had we rented a tractor for grading and the movement of all that topsoil (30 ton). When we finalized the deal last week Tuesday in McGregor, which is not far from Windsor and while in the area, we dropped into Leisure Trailer Sales in Tecumseh on our way home to just have a look for fun at their inventory of new travel trailers. We should not have done this, because you know where this is going, aren’t you. It’s like looking at a new car or truck although you are not shopping for one and once you fall in love with a new model, you just got to have it.  So, of course as you have guessed it, we now are owners of a new travel trailer.







Leisure Trailer Sales had a “Grand Design Imagine 2600 RB” travel trailer that caught our eyes. Once we told the salesman that we had a very nice Jayco travel trailer at home that had received lots of TLC from us, they wanted to see it. The next day, Wednesday, we towed our 24ft Jayco White Hawk RKS to Leisure Trailer’s parking lot for an evaluation and it not only passed with flying colors, but I think the sales manager has already a potential customer for it lined up as he said he liked our trailer. (Here is a link to a YouTube clip of an Imagine 2600RB with a different interior layout) (YouTube)

 


















I know we won’t be traveling south this winter, but my hope is that we will be able to take a leisure trip with this new travel trailer here in Canada next summer. In the meantime we can personalize it as we always do. However, this time there is less to do than what we had been changing or adding to our previous trailers. I guess the fun part is of figuring out where to store everything in this new configuration.

 

Benno will be busy and mess with installing vent hoods; water purification filters, adding a couple of new AGM batteries, a voltmeter, hooks, towel bars and some minor things etc.

 

And on Saturday as I was driving into Leamington, I saw those awesome balloons and kites. It was called: Kites and Lights with a special night light show to be viewed from your own car. I didn't have my cameras with zoom with me so these photos will have to do as they were taken with my iPhone.




Thank you for dropping in and everyone have a great day!