This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Wednesday 25 August 2021

Hot days and a new Rearview Camera

On previous journeys there were times we wished we had a rearview camera on our travel trailers and we said we should get one. Last week we did and of course Benno was enthusiastic to install it on our Grand Design, Imagine travel trailer. While he did that we experienced probably the hottest days here in Ontario this summer. Thank goodness for air-conditioning!

Our trailer came “preprep” for a Furrion rearview camera with a bracket mounted outside on the top rear wall just below a marker light. We had decided to purchase a Haloview MC7108 7” 720P HD Digital Wireless Backup Camera System, with a 7” LCD Reversing Monitor and a IP69K waterproof rearview camera built in DVR kit instead of the Furrion Camera System. The Haloview Camera was a pile of money less. From reviews on YouTube we learned the Haloview has a SD card (SD stands for Secure Digital) for movie storage and playback. Like the Furrion Camera it came with a 7inch monitor of extreme quality. On the dollar and cents subject the 7-inch Furrion is here in Canadian $967 incl. taxes and the equivalent Haloview system comes to $377 CDN incl. taxes at Amazon Canada. Quite a stiff difference of 500 dollars, hard to swallow.


To make the installation of a rearview camera simple, the manufacturer decided to preprep the Furrion camera power supply into the exterior light system, meaning that in order for the camera to operate we would have to turn on the headlights in our truck because the camera power supply wire is wired to the trailer marker lights (isn’t that stupid). If we were traveling at night (which we try to avoid) it would make sense. However having the headlights on while pulling the travel trailer during the daylight didn’t appeal to us, so Benno rewired the travel trailer’s rearview camera so that the camera gets its power supply from the trailer’s 12V battery bank. The battery is being charged anyway while we are driving by the tow vehicle.


There is not much room between the headliner and the roof to fish or pull new cables. By opening up the ceiling liner in the bathroom with a 2½-inch hole saw very close to the outside position of the camera, Benno managed to have access to the cables. Into the cover plate of the hole he decided to install a neat little switch with a LED light to be able to switch the camera on and off. The LED light indicates when the camera would be on. It is easy to notice so we won’t forget to turn the camera off when we are parked.


When it came to the installation of the camera on the outside of the top rear wall, we discovered that the pre installed Furrion mounting bracket already had cracked screw holes. I guess the guys at the factory working with power drivers don’t always know when to stop or set the torque right. Anyway, we didn’t need that bracket as it turned out. Also Benno moved the middle one of the three marker lights a little further down so the camera sits above it and its antenna sticks above the roofline for a better signal transmission rather than underneath it. Actually the marker light housing lucky wise covered the mounting and wire holes of the old camera position nicely.


The 7” monitor comes with two different brackets for mounting in the truck. We used the circular one as it afforded us to angle it for optimal viewing. The 12V power supply for the monitor comes from the plug in the Cigarette lighter outlet.

I like to point out YouTube has a fair amount of rear camera installation movies on hand, which can be a fantastic help to any one who is planning to install a Furrion or Haloview rear camera system on his Travel Trailer, Fifth Wheel or motorhome.


What did I do in the meantime? Looking after the lawn in the blazing heat ;-)


Thanks for dropping by again and I hope everyone was able to stay cool and enjoyed our Canadian summer.


Saturday 21 August 2021

Nasty Door Stopper needed a Fix

So we are banned again from traveling across the border into the USA for another month. That makes us wondering if and when we are allowed to make our own decisions of where to spend the next winter season with our travel trailer away from the cold and snow. Meanwhile as I am looking at our travel trailer, I noticed a couple of wasps disappearing around the awning motor housing. 


Of course the inside of the motor housing for the awning presents a perfect spot to build a nest or two. Even a spider had found this a suitable cubbyhole to lay a bunch of eggs. Well, we opened the housing up and they were all evicted in short order.


Our travel trailer has two sliding doors. The one separating the bedroom to the main cabin we leave pretty well open all the time and it is being secured with a strap. The other one at the bathroom is being closed when in use. It happened that we either forgot to attach the strap, which fastens to a button on the door or we didn’t push the straps button perfectly, so that it popped open during our travel. This happened already when we picked the trailer up from the dealer in October last year, that the bedroom door got loose and hung in a terrible position when we arrived at home. The issue was and is that with the momentum of movement the unsecured door slammed shut with so much force that the stopper on the top sheared right off. You see that the boys at Grand Design just put a simple long wood screw into the sliding channel to stop the door. Well it snapped and didn’t stop our door and apparently neither of the other doors of the “Imagine Grand Design” owners as per the Forum on the Internet. They wrote: “With no restraint at the bottom of the sliding doors they break the holding strap loose and slide back and forth during travel.” This can’t be good, as it becomes a loose cannon.


The question posed was what to do about that? Benno’s immediate remedy was to use a ¼” aluminum rod cut to size, that he pushed into two predrilled holes across through the channel and the face board prevented them from falling out. He did this to both doors. That turned out to be a great fix. The next problem was how to tackle the door from any sliding during travel in the first place. He came up with his own solution of securing the door on the bottom to the wall during travel with a brass rod and wing nut as shown with the following photos of his invention. We will remove these rods when we are parked at the RV Park. The material to fabricate the discs, brass rod, screws, washers and wing nuts he already had on hand. My talented husband had fun making these and I think those will work fine.


I noticed while driving by the harbor here in our neighborhood that the recently finished Coast Guard vessel bound for Shediac Bay in New Brunswick is about ready to depart for her home port shortly and another sister vessel is already in the process of being readied for painting at the Hike Metal Products Ltd. Company.

And across the road from us a lone Cormorant is looking for dinner. 

I hope everyone is staying cool these days as we are in the middle of a heat wave down here in Ontario. Thanks for dropping by and look for my next update of the installation of the rearview camera for the travel trailer.


Sunday 15 August 2021

A little improvement we think

Have you ever wondered where the birds disappear to when it rains? I know. They are hiding under our gazebo, that’s where. 

Our vacation trip was wonderful. We are really happy with this travel trailer and towing it felt also much better (or really we didn’t feel it at all) than our previous campers. Benno actually let me behind the wheel and I am looking forward to relieving him on future travels as well. There was one thing though that we both thought was in need of improvement. It was that tiny sink in the bathroom. 


While actually living in the camper we got to experience every aspect of the trailer. It turned out that when washing up at the sink in the bathroom especially in the morning trying to splash some cold water in your face to wake up, we pretty much put the whole vanity top under water as the little sink bowl didn’t cut it. So the first thing Benno did when we got back and had unpacked the trailer was to dismantle the sink and to have a look what we could do.


To cover the hole that was left in the vanity top after removing the s/s sink
Benno plugged it with a perfect cut piece of plywood

Before you knew it, we were at the local Rona store (owned by Lowes) shopping for a sink and new faucet to fit the new configuration. I believe what we found was a washbowl style vessel, a real looker that works out beautifully for us, now we are both happy about the change. I can’t wait to take off again and to see how it works out. And oh, I forgot, we purchased a cloth-drying collapsible stand that fits beautifully into the shower compartment. There we could hang rain soaked items or other laundry if needed.


While towing the new 26ft Grand Design trailer it came to our mind that it would be nice to have a rear camera on the back of the trailer to see what is behind us in the blind spot. The trailer came with a prewired mount for a rear camera, we are now debating the purchase of a camera or not. Will it be the Furrion camera, because the prewired mount for that product is fitted at the Grand Design factory, or do we purchase the Haloview MC 7108, which has better reviews and cost less money?  


Thanks for dropping in again and stay tuned to find out.


Thursday 12 August 2021

Eventually we had to go home

Our time at the RV Resort was up. Benno has a routine he follows to hook up or unhook the RV and pack everything away. I make sure inside the travel trailer everything is also packed for the road should we encounter potholes or wobbly roads. The day started to be overcast and rain was predicted for the afternoon. Although I hoped that we might outran the dark clouds, but it turned out that was not to be.

Nevertheless, the views were still spectacular driving through New Brunswick and Quebec. A few hours in we encountered a little rain but nothing too heavy. It spit off and on in the afternoon. By the time we were ready to settle for the night the sky had cleared. We parked at a very large parking lot of a Walmart Supercenter in Drummondville, Quebec. It turned out to be a popular overnight stay for other RVers to spend the night. At one end of the parking lot people sat in their chairs outside of their RVs watching the activities. We decided to park on the opposite side all by ourselves which didn’t last too long as new RV arrivals joined us in short order we counted 13 RVers. The stay was quiet and pleasant.


The drive through Quebec was a bit stressful this time. Benno had preprogrammed our GPS computer to take us home, which was a different route we had taken driving to New Brunswick. This route took us through parts of Montreal with lots of traffic lights and construction. 


The 401 highway turned out to be just like when we left – too busy for our liking and knowing what would await us driving through Toronto, we opted to spend another night on some parking lot and tackle Toronto in the early morning hours. Once I started to look for a Walmart, I could not locate any in the vicinity of the highway. That was frustrating and we debated of where to go. As we neared Bowmansville in Ontario I found a Walmart listing and quickly programmed it in. The funny thing was, as we arrived at the location our Garmin computer said it would be, there was no Walmart. 


Frustrated we had to find our way back to the highway but Benno said, “Why don’t we check out the marina here in town? Maybe we can park there.” We knew that friends of ours have stored their sailboat in that marina when they moved to Nova Scotia two years ago. We found the marina quickly but there was no place to park for the night. We had to drive into the marina property to be able to turn around with our camper. At the very end of the road we discovered our friend’s boat “Monica” stored up on the ground. I took quickly a couple of photos of her. We then searched again for a Walmart and found out that a new Walmart had been built not far from the wrong address our computer had given us.


In no time at all we arrived at that new Walmart and its big parking lot. Relieved we parked there for the night. I sent the photo I had taken of Monica via Messenger to our friends telling them that we had just been there.  Five minutes later I get a message back saying: “When? We were there. We are here for a few days, we are staying at a Motel nearby, we are working on the boat.” Now, isn’t that a coincidence?


Of course I asked our friends to come and see us and we had a great visit. That was a wonderful ending to our vacation trip. Next morning at 04.30 AM we got out of bed, had a quick breakfast and by 05.00 AM we hit the highway 401, sailed thru the top of Toronto in one hour all fine to the west end past the airport, while the opposite lanes into Toronto looked like a parking lot. The rest of the trip was easy and by lunchtime we drove on to our driveway.


Thanks for dropping by again and wait to find out what we did when we got back home…