This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Friday 25 November 2016

The big difference 10 inches make

Last week the temperatures down here in southern Ontario reached a whopping 20C/68F for a couple of days.  For the middle of November that is truly a gift and everyone who could used the opportunity to spend some time outdoors.  I packed away the garden ornaments and furniture, raked leaves and waked the dogs.  Benno thought that was a good time to mount our bicycles to the back of the trailer particularly because we had received the ordered bicycle cover in the mail a little while ago.  The baskets for the dogs had to come off and the saddles too.  It took a bit of fiddling and by removing the two outside pedals to prevent chafing, the cover fit nicely.  However, fastening the cover with just the one string provided underneath would not do.  During our boating years we had fabricated several covers for all sorts of items out of canvas and Benno had become an expert in fastening grommets into the seams for tying them up.  Luckily we still had a box of spare grommets and the tools to do this task and that came in handy now.   He did a neat job and with some sturdy string (yes, leftover from the boating stuff) this bicycle cover is now a perfect fit that won’t come loose while we are towing the camper.  We were quite happy with this arrangement until we read Rick’s blog of “It’s about time” where he is describing his project of adding extra tail lights to his 5th wheel to be better seen when his bikes are mounted at the rear of his rig.

That made us think of our situation and by looking at the finished job of the bicycle carrier with the covered bikes on them; we realized that we might have a problem there.  You could barely see the lights and license plate from the back and because of this a County Mountie or State Trooper having a bad day could maybe give us a ticket for obstructing the view to the tail lights and license plate part wise.  Of course there is also the possibility that the driver of a following vehicle doesn’t pay close attention to our signaling and braking lights and we might be in trouble.
So off came the bikes and the carrier.  Benno thought by raising the bumper hitch adapter by 10 inches could solve the problem. 
Paul, a friend living in the neighborhood is a retired welder who had his own business; we gave him the job of making this hitch a bit taller to mount on the bumper of our travel trailer.  Paul had done other welding jobs for us and always produced super good-looking items.  When he came back with the finished welding job of the raised hitch it looked like it was factory fabricated or better.  What a fantastic good looking hitch mount.  Thank you, Paul. All that was needed now was for Benno to put a couple of coats of paint on to protect the metal and we are good to go. 

I include pictures of before and after.

Did I mention we are happy campers?  Well, soon I hope. It’ll be only a matter of a few weeks when we are actually going to be on the way.


looking at the grommets


so much better, but not quite

In addition, Benno shortened the factory-installed ladder, 
which obstructed the view of the taillights.

Monday 7 November 2016

He did it!

Benno could not hold off anymore and got our power dolly "Parkit 360" out of the crawlspace of our house. Reading up on fellow RV travel blogs and seeing that everyone is heading south right now makes us very travel itchy.
“I better do it now and not when we have some snow on the ground,” Benno said. The weather forecast indicated that there could be some snow in the coming weekend in Northern Ontario. Hmm, but we live in Southern Ontario, Canada’s most southern point right across from Detroit, Michigan and might not see any snow for many weeks to come. Haha, there was no holding back of my hubby. It was the starting gun to get off the couch and turn the White Hawk 24 travel trailer around on its resting place next to the house. When it’s done, the truck can be hooked up in a flash and we can be on the road south in minutes.

We store the power dolly during the summer down in our crawl space under the house.

We purchased the “Parkit 360” power dolly in 2014 to be able to maneuver the trailer in tight spaces. The dolly is using the trailer’s 12 Volt battery power.

Here the Parkit 360 power dolly is hooked up

A very tight turn, no problem

The trailer is almost in position

It steers with ease

No muscle spasm to move 5210 lbs.

The Parkit 360 power dolly accepts the shaft of the trailer's power jack
and swivels around it for steering control
the switch close to the handle is for reverse & forward

The black & red cables from the power dolly
are hooked to the trailer's group 24
12 Volt AGM battery

Our “Parkit 360” model can move a 10.000 Ibs trailer. In our case, the “White Hawk 24 RKS” weight empty is 5,210 lbs., this is very well in the capacity of the power dolly.
The dolly could almost turn a trailer on a dime. It is a very good engineered unit and made right here in Ontario in Carleton Place, a town close to the city of Ottawa.

The trailer is ready to be hooked-up

The way we are parking our trailer during the summer months here next to the house, the hitch coupler is facing the garage. 180 degree to the picture above, the RAM truck could not accomplish this, only if it could fly back out straight up in the air, but with the “Parkit 360” it’s an easy task.