John and Kay decided to stay another day so we could continue our 'catch up'! They departed on Saturday but we thought we would stay another day due to the forecasted weather along our route. Well, it didn't matter, we got lots of rain anyway. We pushed through to the east side of St Louis Missouri so we would not have to deal with their rush hour! We picked a WalMart in Vandalia Illiniois and it was really noisy. Not too much sleep but sleep none the less! The next day (Monday, Apr 26th) we arrived at Mansfield Ohio for the night. So far the drive was good with not too much traffic. As we were leaving the WalMart in Mansfield, we could hear a squealing sound emanating from the trailer wheels! The noise had stopped by the time we pulled up to the stop light so we carried on. At our first rest area stop I felt the hub to find it incredibly hot and it was the same hub that we had the brake problems coming down. What in the world is happening now? Did the RV rip off guy screw something up? We were in the boonies and decided we would get it checked in Pennsylvania!
We arrive at the campground which is under new management and needs a lot of work! We settle on a site (not a lot to choose from that we could easily fit into) and unhook to set up. The ground is so uneven that we could not detach the truck and broke the hitch release handle trying. Finally, we pulled the pins on the 5th wheel head and raised the trailer up on the landing gear to get the trailer off the truck. Once clear, we could manually level the hitch head and pull the broken release handle to drop the head back onto the truck! Wow, what else can go wrong? Well, let me tell you – we woke up Wednesday morning to snow flurries!! Yikes! Snow flurries!
On Wednesday, Barb & I toured around the area including the Kinzua Dam and reservoir and the towns of Warren and Sheffield (Sheffield took 2 minutes). On our way to Warren, we found an RV place (Hoffman Coaches customizes the large bus type RVs) and he agreed to look at our problems when we pass by with the trailer on Thursday. We left him our hitch head so he could do some welding to repair the release handle.
Thursday morning the the water had frozen and we were lucky we had some in our fresh tank! After thawing out the water hose so I could roll it up and broke camp, we head over to Hoffman Coaches for repairs. He did an excellent job on the release handle. Now for the brake! The bolts that hold the assembly onto he axle would not come off easily so he decided to cut hem with a torch! The brake assembly was seized up tight and would not release! It's a good thing we planned to fix that wheel when we got back and had a new brake assembly with us! All in all, we were in and out in 90 minutes and excellent service at a fair price. I would recommend Hoffman Coaches to anyone!
We arrived at Terri and Mark's cabin and set up the trailer in the farmers field at the end of their road. Wow, when thanking him, he stated that we had a need and he had the space! We had a great time visiting and chatting with them. We decided to stay in the rig Sunday night and the farmer said we had to be out by labor day! So.... plans always don't quite work out – we woke up Monday morning to rain and had to put the dish away and connect the truck in the rain! Yuck!
As we approach the border, we were a little anxious as we had spent more than our allowable but the border was not busy and the guard waved us on after we had admitted our over spending! Whew.... that was a lot easier than expected! We arrived at our 'spring time' campground and are ready for what life brings us here in Canada. It is a culture shock to come back. Our dollars might be the same but our costs in Ontario are tripled! It is great though to be back home with family and friends.
This blog will not be updated regularly since we don't travel as much while at 'home'. Keep well and maybe we'll see you down the road.