This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Happenings at our place

Yes, I know another blog post is overdue so here it is. While the spring weather has been rather disappointing here in our part of the province with abnormal cold days and several frosty nights, we went ahead and tried to do all the things we had planned anyway. Every year at springtime I look forward to the blossoming of my Azaleas and just about every year, just as the shrub is in full bloom, we get some heavy rain ruining the blossoms. However, for a few days the red blooms looked good until the rain came down. 


The Hummingbirds, Finches, and Orioles arrived about mid April and I spotted a Brown Thrasher in the yard among the Robins. I put out the usual sugar feeders and some grape jelly for the Orioles, but what I hadn’t counted on was that other birds, like the House Sparrows and Wrens, all like the jelly too, and they are fighting over it!  


It was in our plan to do something with our driveway this year. For the most part is was covered with gravel up to the concrete pad that is to the side of our house. I have been struggling keeping the weeds at bay that sprout out of it no matter what I do. Also at the side where the travel trailer is parked, we have a bit of a retaining wall made from 4x4” pressure treated wood that developed a bit of a slant. With the purchase of longer travel trailers over the years the space between the RV and the garage has become pretty tight to maneuver our truck. So a few weeks ago we took out the first two of the ornamental shrubs that were next to the concrete pad so we could widen the pad for easier access to the garage. I had to relocate a bunch of spring flowers too and saved some of the good dirt from the flowerbed.

Next Benno went and dug up a section of the drainage pipe from the RV pad so it could be extended since our present trailer has the drainage outlet further back. Also the post for the electrical hookup and water faucet were dismantled and Benno will construct a new one.


We had hired Ciliska Contractor, a local company close by. We know their quality work because they did our seeping tiles and sump years ago and other jobs on and off for us, who sent a crew to start working on the driveway. They removed the clear stone gravel, brought more sand and a different type of gravel was installed to compact and prepare the ground. Then the area was graded with the help of a laser level that sat on a tripod so the lane will be slightly sloped for water runoff. The retaining wall that was made from pressure treated 4x4 wood got ripped out and for several hours Benno painstakingly pulled out the long rebar rods with a vise grip that were holding the old layers of 4x4 wood together. The whole driveway and RV parking spot were then covered with wire mesh inside of the concrete forming. In the existing concrete pad there were holes drilled into its sides for the insertion of rods to bond the new and the old slabs and to insure they sat at the same level. 


In-between we had a weekend and then the concrete trucks were booked out so we had to wait another day. Finally the concrete was poured. It took 18 cubic yards to fill the new addition.


For a final photo of the driveway you have to wait a couple of weeks, I guess. And you know I just realized that we could now easily park a 52 foot Tiffin Class A motorhome in front of our place. 

Now that's a thought ;-)


Wednesday, 21 April 2021

That was a short spring/summer

We woke up to 5inches/12cm of fresh snow this morning. April fools has long gone, so it was not funny. Although the sight outside was kind of pretty especially later on when the sun came out, I feared for the fate of my flowers and if they survived. I also felt sad for all the birds. 

Already weeks ago I used up the rest of the birdseeds so I had none left. My offerings of breadcrumbs, crushed nuts, a slice of hard-boiled egg and various scraps were mostly ignored except for a raucous grackle that must have been very hungry. All this snow covering the ground I suspect was not a good thing for the robins that usually hop around on our grass looking for earthworms. Well, such is nature and life.


Upon further inspection of the garden later on I found the daffodils, tulips and bunches of grape hyacinth almost laying flat pressed down from the heavy pile of snow on top. I had to help the tender and fragile stems coming upright by removing heavy clumps of snow. Both the flowers and I are now feeling so much better!

First sight in the morning showed the little camper/birdhouse totally covered in snow with the entrance hole snowed shut. I took a photo of it and an hour later I witnessed the bird mama, who had spent the night in there perhaps warming a few chicks, poking her head through the snow covered opening. That was so cute. 

By the looks of the weather forecast for next week, I guess we’ll be in shorts and t-shirts. Crazy April.


Thanks for stopping by again. 

Monday, 19 April 2021

Enjoying the outdoors

Just so that you all know, we are fine and are hanging around the house most of the time. Benno had his Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 shot a few weeks ago and I followed with my vaccination a week ago from the same manufacturer, but at a different location. Getting the appointments took a little effort because as soon as the available spots were posted on the Internet site, they were filled almost immediately and required inputting the same info all over again to find another timeslot.


With more imposed restrictions here in Ontario there is not much we can do or are allowed to do but at least we are able to enjoy our own properties. Here in the country it almost feels unchanged and normal and many folks come here to walk around the Hillman Marsh trails and surrounding area. There is a large wetland here at Lake Erie and wildlife is abundant especially migrating birds stop here first before flying further north. If I would just make the effort to take my camera with me when I drive into town for grocery shopping, I could show you deer crossing the road, wild turkeys feeding on the farmers’ fields and turtles heading for the water’s edge. Well, maybe I will remember in the future. 


Yesterday morning we took our dogs and went out into our neighborhood for a little outing and I did bring a camera. All these photos were taken a very short distance from where we live.  If you click on the Hillman Marsh link you find nice pictures.

There were several Muskrats in the area and I tried to get a shot of one close enough for my camera.

The Caldwell First Nation, previously known as the Chippewas of Point Pelee, own an 80-hectare property at the shores of Lake Erie in Leamington. This building is adjacent to the Hillman Marsh.
I spotted my first butterfly this year and believe it is a cabbage butterfly. Had to wait for it to settle to capture it on camera.

As per Ontario, the Wheatley harbour is home to the largest freshwater commercial fishing fleet in the world with approximately 45 fishing tugs. It is about 5 minutes from where we live.

Although the weather has been nice for the most part, a few cold nights are still in the forecast so I have to keep an eye on the few flower bulbs I already planted and hope the frost will not penetrate very deep. I joined in by cutting our grass as lawnmowers were purring at about every property in the neighborhood this past weekend. Benno thought that perhaps our self-propelled 21” Husqvarna lawnmower with Honda engine, which we use for the areas where the 42” John Deere lawn tractor doesn’t fit, might need an oil change after he checked the oil and found it to be very black. That chore had never occurred to me and we have used the mower for 9 years with filling it only with gasoline. Good grief, I had no idea, it starts always at the first pull with no complains though. Turned out we didn’t have the required oil and with nowadays restrictions, I placed an order for a Castrol 10W30 synthetic oil at Canadian Tire and made a curbside pickup. The salesgirl that came out to bring me my order said she was only allowed to place the bottle on the ground in the parking lot and not into my truck. I shake my head at rules and reason, but whatever.


The tulip bulbs I had planted last fall at the sloped flowerbed behind the garage all came up and produced nice flowers. However, it seems a critter, perhaps a raccoon or rabbit took a taste test at one of them and destroyed the bud and most of the stem. Too bad, but perhaps the bulb will survive for next year’s blooming. 


Before I close this post, Benno reminded me that at my last blog posting I never showed a picture of the 2000-Watt pure sine wave inverter from Renogy that goes with the solar panel installation. That is because at the time the unit was overdue in its delivery. I had inquired where the shipment went because it was showing out for delivery for several days but the delivery company had no record of it. After my complaint Amazon shipped out another inverter because it was determent that the unit was lost in transit and could not be found. Turned out both the original and the new order arrived within a day of each other. Of course we returned the new order back to Amazon. Great service I have to say.  

I hope everyone is doing ok and please don’t give up on my blog as I try to do more regular updates even if nothing exciting is happening. 

Monday, 29 March 2021

E-Z Flex Suspension Kit for Double Eye Springs

In January of 2019, while we were on our way to a campground in Yuma, Arizona, we had a breakdown by the roadside.  At the time we traveled with a 2016 Jayco 24RKS and it happed right after we left a gas station and had pulled back onto the Interstate 8 from the on-ramp. You can read about it (here). That was a shock and expensive lesson to us.

We now own a 2020 Imagine 2600RB by Grand Design that has not yet had the opportunity to do any extensive travel. However, while we are still at home dreaming of taking this new travel trailer to distant horizons, we are outfitting it with little upgrades and Benno’s latest job is what I am posting about today.


We have not forgotten the incident at Gila Bend on Interstate 8 where we sat with broken springs for more than 12 hours unable to move until roadside repairs were done on the spot. So maybe call it preventative maintenance or an upgrade, Benno did some work on the suspension of our present trailer. It’s not a big deal, but he replaced all leaf spring shoulder shackle bolts with new bolts, which incorporate grease nipples. They are now called wet bolts. By doing this, it was also a good time to update the bolt plastic bushings. He removed them and exchanged them for bronze bushings instead. 


In the spring of 2019, during our return trip from out west, we had visited the Jayco Plant Service Center in Indiana and told them of our problem with the broken springs. Jayco sent us to the frame and axle supplier Lippert, who’s Service Center was close by. They inspected the axles and it was decided that they would fit new axles, springs and associated parts free of charge to us. Lippert indicated that the metal supplier had delivered at one time wrong axle tubing. He had shipped soft tubing, which caused them a big problem. While working on our trailer, the boys at Lippert gave us instead of the 3000 lbs. axles, the 4400 lbs. axles, bigger springs, larger brakes and heavy-duty shackle links, wet shoulder shackle bolts and bronze bushings. Of course we were extremely happy with this kind of upgrade.


Our new Grand Design Imagine 2600RB came already with the 4400 lbs. axles, but the shackle links, bolts and bushings were of the standard type that is supplied by the trailer manufacturer.  Benno decided to update the suspension himself with heavy-duty shackle links, wet shoulder shackle bolts, bronze bushings and even the fancy E-Z Flex Equalizer between both axles.  He had watched the service crew at the Lippert Service Center and thought he could do the exchange here at home.  The suspension kit was purchased through Amazon.


Perhaps future rides through some of the bumpy Interstates will not cause any more cracked mirrors or fallen objects as they did in our previous trailer. We are looking forward to be testing it out.


In the meantime I am delighted to see spring flowers emerging and the Periwinkle is starting to bloom.

                                              Happy Easter everyone!