This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


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!


Sunday 21 March 2021

May the sun shine upon us

Just like nature that is awakening around us as it is sprouting new growth on tree branches and spring flowers poking fresh greens through the earth, I have been bursting with energy. I am so much looking forward to warm days in the garden. Last week I raked up dried leaves and debris the last storm had blown onto our lot and noticed that the first dandelion buds were poking through the grass. Yes, spring is here.


Also, to my sheer amazement, there are a couple of birds busily making a nest inside the little ornament that is adorning Benno’s workshop. It is a cute little travel trailer dangling under the eaves troughs. Now I am curious how many eggs or hatchlings will be raised in there. It will be a bit crammed in there for sure.


It was not just me that got restless looking for something to do outside. Yes, you know who was also itching for something to do outside. With barely enough warmth to melt the frost off the roof of the travel trailer, Benno was up there having a great time installing four solar panels.


There is plenty of real estate up there for lots of those panels, but we are not aiming to do long periods of time to do boondocking. Four panels of 100 Watts each should give us enough juice into our batteries to hold us over for a little while.


What really inspired us to install these solar panels was an ad from "Renogy"advertising set of 2 each 100W - 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panels for a very good price, Amazon sold them too for CDN $ 209.99 each set and shipping was free. We got two sets.

The installation went faster than I expected, but of course Benno had prefabricated brackets to mount the panels onto the roof from aluminum angle material that he had cut, filed smooth and drilled holes through in his heated workshop. These kinds of little tasks he really enjoys doing at his workbench with the TV on in the background.


After the rooftop installation of the panels with the junction boxes, he got to work to wire them up. He ran the cables between the roof and interior liner and by using the ceiling lamp holes to fish the wires through from one side to the other they are hidden. He then led them along the inside corner of a bedroom cabinet into the basement to a breaker and the solar charge controller on to the battery bank. I cannot show you pictures, because the whole indoor installation is invisible and you cannot see any wires inside the travel trailer.


In the meantime we have unplugged our travel trailer from the hydro post to let the solar panels do their job. With so much sunshine upon us for the last couple of weeks, our batteries were also full to the rim even with some parasitic 12V loads staying always on; the solar panels are now shut off at the breaker for the time being. 


The complete solar panel package with 4 Renogy 100W Monocrystalline solar panels, a 30amp solar controller, 2 water tight connection boxes, 8 water tight PG 7 cable glands, a 30amp circuit breaker, some AWG #10 marine wire, a few stainless steel screws, a length of aluminum angle material to make the mounting brackets, plus the free labor of love to do the job, it came to CDN $ 950 well spent.


I know I will unpack my garden ornaments in the next few days and hope there will be frost-free nights coming soon so that I can plant some bulbs.


Benno is awaiting another shipment for a little job he is going to perform on the travel trailer to give the trailer a smoother ride on the road. I let you know what it is in my next post.


Wednesday 3 March 2021

Early Spring, New RV Door Window and German Cooking

Would it be possible that the nesting period here in southern Ontario has already begun? There is a lot of activity going on in all of our nesting boxes and since last week I spotted a redwing back bird coming to feed at the bird-feeder on our deck in the mornings and late afternoons, so perhaps the birds know spring is just around the corner and a few migrating birds have already arrived. Thankfully, except for a few little heaps, all the snow has disappeared here in our area.

Having our travel trailer parked next to the house is rather convenient. We have it electrically heated inside to hold the temperature above the frost temps and sometimes my hubby disappears inside for a while and I then can hear the furnace running in the RV. I guess he thinks of future travel and maybe what else he wants to improve. We discovered that if we want to watch TV in the camper during the day, the light coming through the door window is too bright to see the colors of the TV screen properly. Rather than just installing shades over the window that has been bothersome, we ordered a new window.  


The door window that came with the RV is the standard frosted glass that Benno calls “Toilet Window Glass” and you cannot see out through it nor see who is standing in front at the door. All the other windows at the RV are the tinted glass windows that filter out the hot sun and make it difficult from the outside to see inside meanwhile giving a clear view of the scene outside. The new door window we ordered is also of the tinted glass type and comes with a black horizontal blind, which you can open or close and is embedded inside the frame, so it is flush with the door. We purchased through Amazon Canada and here is the link: RV Replacement Door Window


The whole installation, including removing of the old window, went under one hour I think and was pretty easy to do as to Benno’s judgment. I assisted by holding the frame in place from the outside while Benno popped the glass in from the inside.

I am happy with the improvement and wonder why the manufacturer doesn’t ship the RVs right from the start with those windows or offer them as an option. Here are two YouTube links for the installation in case you are interested. Window Installation and How the installation really went


It has been a week of German food, or comfort food that I prepared in my kitchen and I was wondering if our Canadian/US friends are familiar with those dishes and if not, are interested in trying them. They are not difficult to cook and don’t take long to prepare either.


Here are three typical European dishes and as to personal preference some ingredients can be substituted or omitted. Most times I like to cook for more than two portions and freeze the rest for a lazy day of microwaving or reheating the meal. Therefore it is also more cost-effective. 


Rouladen: Made from thin outside round beef slices and filled with bacon, onion and pickle and simmered together with fresh mushrooms. This recipe is suitable for Instant Pot, Pressure Pot, or Slow Cooker users.


Schnitzel: Cut and butterflied slices of pork loin, breaded in a wash of flour, egg and Italian breadcrumbs, and then panfried.


Spaetzle: Cooked German Egg noodles with fried onions and bacon, topped and baked with Swiss and Parmesan cheese. Of course you can make your own noodles, but I shortcut and purchase them at Walmart.


Hoping to have inspired you to do some creative cooking and I’m willing to share my recipes if you want.