Welcome to our travels and adventures

Welcome to our travels and adventures

Nothing is as easy as it seems!

After saying farewell to our traveling buddies, Barb & I smoke into the toilet replacement. Yes, that’s correct, we decided to replace rather than repair it!

Now that it is out of the box and sort of in place, we see that the water line did not line up so we had to buy more parts to rebuild it! Next, the flange bolts did not line up either! The floor flange should be adjustable but after ten years of service, it was not very cooperative but we got it to move enough to install the new toilet! So, the toilet is bolted down and the water is connected and all seems to be good! Wrong, there is water seeping out between the floor and the new toilet! The floor gasket must not be sealing 100%, we need a thicker floor gasket. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, Camping World did not have a thicker gasket so we’re off to Home Depot!

I have this ability to look lost and when we stood in the plumbing isle at Home Depot and could not find rubber floor gaskets, only the wax ones, a sales associate approached and asked how he could help. After explaining the floor gasket problem, he suggested we use a floor flange extender! Wow, how easy is this? It worked perfectly, a little caulking to seal between the two flanges and the toilet gasket now seals!

After lunch, we finally get back on the road after 2PM. Our campground check in rule is that we do not want to check in after 3 PM and pay for a full day so our plan is to stay at the WalMart in Sarnia!

The border crossing was uneventful and soon we are at WalMart, settling in for the night. We’re on our way to Goderich by 9AM Sunday morning and arrive at the campground before noon! After setting up, Larry & Judy invite us over for dinner which is perfect after a couple of days of travel!

The Return Trip

Friday morning was our departure day. We thought that a later departure would be better as 800 rigs lining up for the dump stations could take awhile! There was a lot of rig activity early but there was still many left when we were ready to pull out. We get to the dump stations (there were 9), and no line up so all was good!

We returned to the WalMart in Sturgis to do some last minute ‘shopping’ and lunch. On the way, John had to slam on his brakes to avoid a collision with a train crossing arm and lost his brakes on the truck! John finds a brake repair tech to look at his truck down the road from WalMart. The repairs took a couple of hours so while John waited for his truck, the rest of us worried through our lunch! They had to replace some steel brakes lines and then we were all back on the road again, heading to Camping World.

During our trip to the Maritimes, our toilet was not operating like it should so we ordered a part from Camping World before we went to Goshen. When we picked up the part, I realized that it would not completely resolve our toilet problems. Adding the additional parts, our parts bill would be more than a new toilet! It would be an easier job too, change one toilet for another instead of removing the old toilet, replacing the affected parts and re-installing the old toilet! Humm, let’s take the night to think about it, AND, the repair time would not cut into our Mexican Train time! In the morning, we asked John & Di and Ray & Donna to carry on without us as we could be awhile with repairs.

The Escapade at Goshen

Saturday, we went shopping to Menard’s for a $10 solar rope light – a good plan but that rope light cost us $120! There were too many other deals that we couldn’t pass up! The afternoon found us at Jack & Barb’s friend’s house in Lagrange.

Sunday was the first busy day of the Rally with visiting the Chapter Row, Opening Ceremonies and the Ice Cream social. The evening provided us with excellent stage show entertainment.

The remainder of the days saw us going to many seminars and demonstrations. Barb did some line dancing and we both learned more about boondocking, RV preventative maintenance, Geocaching, and passing the RV Boot Camp. Even with all this activity, Barb found time to learn a new craft – wood carving. I went but nobody would let me use anything sharp so I just watched and chatted with the instructor!
One of the seminar/demonstration that we went to that was very important was the Fire Safety session. The instructor was a retired fire fighter who knew how to get his point across and identified issues that we all take to causally! Yes, he was selling fire equipment but his information and the fire extinguisher demonstration was far too important to dismiss!
Our evenings were either chatting with our posse or playing Mexican Train. The rally provided a room for games and cards but they close the doors at 9PM! That’s way to early for us, we just get started and had to close down the game – boo! We moved us all into our rig and with lawn chairs, we crowd around the table and still had fun!

Our First Caravan

We left Owen Sound mid day so we would not arrive at the WalMart in Sarnia too early. The ride down was a casual meander except for some construction along the way.

On Thursday, we met up with John & Di, Ray & Donna and Jack and Barb at the Duty Free shop at the border and started our journey. After an easy border crossing, we all caught up and wandered down to the WalMart in Sturgis, Michigan for the night. After shopping and dinner, 8 of us crowded around our table for a rousing game of Mexican Train, a few wobbly pops, lots of laughs and good times!

In the morning, Ray & Donna's fridge was not working and had to move all their food. So, the four guys huddled around to diagnose the problem - scary scene! We thought it could be a bad battery, poor connections, blown fuses or no charge voltage from the tow vehicle! Hummmm….. let’s go and get to the campground in Goshen, get connected and see if the battery charges from the converter!

The ride from Sturgis to the campground took us through Amish country! We had to be watchful of horse and buggies on the roads. The Amish farms are immaculately clean and well maintained. You get a sense of a peaceful and calm atmosphere as you pass by the farms. We arrive early, get parked and set up and the converter is charging so it looks like the problem was loose connections on the battery and no charge voltage from the tow vehicle.

The rest of the day, we get acquainted with the campground and the layout of the Rally, register for the rally and volunteer activities. We met up with our friends from Georgia and Hastings, Ont. The Plantation in Alabama hosted a pot luck dinner and we were able to speak to many new friends that we made when we were there in 2009.