Friday, July 12, 2024

Generator Service

Back in October or November the generator quit starting, I did not want to put plates on it to take it in so I just left it for the winter, trying it every month to no avail. It cranked enthusiastically but no start. I finally got it started a week or so ago after a long drive and it ran perfectly. It still needed a service so I took it in to the local White's Diesel & Marine on July10. It had not been serviced since 2012. Yes, I know! I started it before I dropped it off and it chugged, rattled and smoked so I shut it off and tried again, It started and ran perfectly! 

I left it with them and after one and a half hours they had it done. Just a regular service, plug, filter(s), oil change and carb adjustments. I paid the $325 Canadian bill and drove away with a perfectly functioning generator! FYI, the last time I had it serviced was in 2012 in Yuma, Arizona on our way into Mexico. They did the exact same service and charged me $180 US twelve years ago. Almost as much (after conversion) as I paid up here. I am happy! The furnace does not work but that is another story. It has eaten circuit boards for years so I may convert it to a "Buddy" propane heater. If it goes bad, you throw it away and buy another!

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Motorhome Test Drive!


Great Test Drive!
Yesterday I had six new tires installed on the motorhome for $1,600 and decided to take it for a drive to 1) burn off some of the five year old fuel in it and 2) see how it runs with the new brakes, tires, transmission service, etc.
I headed south and drove it to Union Bay where I pulled into the beachfront parking area and walked to the little grocery store to buy something to eat. Back in the RV, on a whim, I did something I knew I shouldn't do, I hit the start button on the generator. A couple of months ago it refused to start. I cranked it for several minutes and it didn't even attempt to fire. Two weeks ago when I put insurance on it I tried again, using every trick I knew. Still nothing, crank but no start. I phoned the local generator shop and made an appointment for July 10. He warned me that a no start condition could be quite expensive to fix and to be prepared for the worst.
Well, back to the beach at Union Bay. I hit the start button, it cranked for about two seconds and started! It sounded smooth and strong! I let it idle for a few minutes and feeling very lucky, I turned on the roof air conditioner. I could hear the generator take the load but it handled it easily. I then put a cup of water in the microwave and turned it on as well. No problem, it carried both loads easily and was running smoothly. I headed home and ran the generator and roof air all the way home, about two hours. The generator still needs servicing but at far less cost than it was looking like.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Motorhome TLC

It was time!

The motorhome has been parked for seven years with only one break, the 2019 trip to the Okanagan. Before now it has never had a "real" service, just repairs as needed through our travels. It was running beautifully when it was parked It has had an oil change at least every year, more than required along with whatever inspections they do with oil changes. It also has a transmission service many years ago as a result of a disastrous / comical oil change in southern Mexico. Nothing ever caused any concern. It has 78.000 miles (128,500 kilometres) on it. I put new rear brakes on it the last time I parked it.

Yesterday I took it into Seymour Services, a highly recommend local independent garage. I explained everything to the service manager and told him to pretend it was his own vehicle and do what was required. I knew it was going to be expensive (and it was). I left it in his hands with instructions to call me for authorization on anything extraordinary, and he did so three times.

I picked it up this afternoon and they had done:  Lube & oil, parking brake service, Transmission service (without fluid change - it was still good), new front brakes, brake fluid flush, replace fuel filter, replace air filter, exhaust service (some loose manifold bolts), replace differential oil, installed new wiper blades and carefully inspected everything else. The bill was $3,400 CAN or $2,500 US). Not bad considering all the services it has missed over the years.

I left there and drove to the Onan generator place and made an appointment for service. I was on my way home and on a whim I stopped at the local auto detailing shop. I was going to clean it myself but one side was covered in moss/mold from being parked up against a tall hedge for seven years and it would have been a tough job. They offered to do it properly for $200 less a $25 coupon I found in Norma's papers. While the detail shop manager was inspecting the rig we talked a bit about it and he indicated he was looking for a motorhome! Well! I was looking for a buyer and he said he would take it for a test drive when it goes in tomorrow! I have become 95% sure I want to sell it, The price of gas and the cost of RV parks and travel medical insurance makes the type of travel we loved so much farther out of reach every year. I will be 80 next year so it is probably time to hang up the keys, I will see what he offers and sleep on it. The price of RV's skyrocketed during Covid and is still up there. It is a 2005 that I bought "new" in 2007 in Texas when the Canadian dollar was at par and when I checked what it was worth now, I was shocked! With luck I will not lose all that much for the 17 years I have owned it,

Update(s) to follow.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Proof Of Life!

I'm still here! I haven't posted for a while because I have done nothing travel related but I am well. I just completed another voyage around the Sun and celebrated my 79th birthday a few days ago. My friend Penny invited me down to Victoria where she wined and dined me at an All You Can Eat Sushi restaurant. It was delicious and we both walked away full! Penny's son Mike (and Erynn) also included tickets for a concert by an Eagles Tribute Band that was very good. It was a good birthday! I stayed around Victoria for a few days and then headed home, stopping at my son's place in Shawnigan Lake on the way. His work schedule is crazy and I don't get to see him near often enough! It seems he just started his company and now he is talking about retirement but when I think about it he is almost as old as I was when I retired! Time flies!

I have been looking after my friend (and sometimes house guest) Kelly's cat, Grace. while Kelly went on a cruise. I tried to avoid it but agreed in the end and am so happy I did. She is no trouble and is old enough (10) to just want to hang out with me and chill. I feed her and clean her litter once a day but other than that I don't even know she is around except for when I get up from my TV chair to get a coffee and she is on my lap! Kelly's daughter and my friend Brian dropped in regularly while I was gone and made sure she was not lacking in companionship, food, water and treats! Kelly is back from her cruise and will be taking Grace back home to Nanaimo later today. I will miss the little girl but Kelly has more plans to leave her with me a few times over the summer. Needless to say, Kelly got back before me and the house is totally spotless with new bedding on my bed. She is the ideal house-guest! 

The weather is improving and they have already declared water restrictions. And this is just shortly after having to open the dam because the reservoir was too full! Campbell River does not have a water shortage problem, it has a water delivery problem! New housing is being built at a crazy rate but the water mains have not been updated. On top of this, it is going to be another hot, dry summer with forest fires. maybe a new record for the Province. It will mean lots of staying inside and in my case with the furnace fan running to try to maintain a positive pressure to keep the smoke out. At least some of it!

Anyway, all for now. I hope all my Blogging / RV'ing friends are well, I do enjoy keeping track of everyone as much as possible.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!

A Very Merry Christmas to all my Family and Friends Everywhere!

I am in Victoria at my friend Pennys' place for Christmas. I stopped at my son's for a couple of days on the way down. We are probably going up to Campbell River for New Year's. No big plans, just a quiet celebration. All my best to everyone!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Boy, Do I Feel Dumb!

 At the beginning of the summer I decided to let the motorhome run on solar power so I evidently turned off the "Aux Battery" switch on the control panel which isolated the batteries from all charging systems except solar. The problem is, I totally forgot about this until I started looking into the converter "problem". Turning the "Aux Battery" switch back on sent 14.4 volts charging voltage to the battery. Problem solved and $200 to $300 saved!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Converter Problems

 It appears the electrical converter in the motorhome is shot! The job of the converter is to take the 115 volt AC power coming into the RV and convert it to 12 volts (actually +/-13.5) to charge the batteries. A couple of weeks ago Kelly was staying at the house while I was in Victoria and heard an alarm coming from the inverter in the motorhome. She turned off the howling inverter and called me. When I got home I did a quick check and discovered the batteries were low but being slowly recharged by the solar panels which eventually got them back to 12.2 volts in spite of there being little sunshine.

A couple of days ago I finally got around to checking, (first confirming the rig was plugged in) and discovered the converter was not putting out any charging voltage. The converter is situated behind the breaker panel under the bathroom sink, not an easy spot to work in. There is no rush as I will not be using the motorhome for at least several months so I plugged in a battery charger, recharged the batteries and then exchanged the big charger for a trickle charger / battery maintainer. I will be like Scarlett O'Hara and "worry about this another day" when the weather is a little better and I feel more like contorting my body around the tiny bathroom. New converters cost between $200 and $300 and I imagine they would charge $100 to install one at the shop so If I can do it myself, the savings will pay for a nice dinner out.

Thursday, October 12, 2023


On Friday I had just finished rinsing a few dishes for the dishwasher when I noticed a puddle of water on the floor! I opened the cupboard and saw the drain pipe had come apart and when I touched it I could tell it was broken. Well, I had installed this drain when we had replaced the old enamel sink shortly after we bought the house 34 years ago (my god, how can it be that long!) and the black drain pipes had reached their half-life. I "could" do it myself, I have the required tools and talent but did I really want to? I have little problem getting down on the floor, it's the getting back up part that is the problem and the process would require many trips up and down and out to the workshop and hardware store. The fairly simple job would have left me in a semi-crippled state for a couple of days and wishing I had "farmed it out",

So, that's what I did. I called my plumber. It being a long weekend he could not make it until Tuesday unless I wanted to pay his emergency weekend and after hours rate (which I did not) so I simply started using the laundry room sink until he could get here. Tuesday arrived and the plumber showed up around noon. He advised replacing the whole mess of pipes instead of just the broken ones and I agreed. I also had him replace the ancient hot and cold water shut-offs as one of them was almost impossible to turn and I foresaw disaster in the future. Using the laundry sink I noticed the hot water tap was difficult to shut off completely so I had him replace the washers on those as well. I had originally estimated $150 and with the extra work the bill came to $250 ($200 labour and $50 parts). He was here for just under two hours so I consider that a very good deal.

So that was my (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend adventure!

Monday, October 2, 2023


 Last Sunday was my 60th High School Reunion! The entire Kitsalino High School 1963 grad class is 78 years old (give or take). I picked up Penny, (who was also my high school girlfriend) in Victoria and we went over to Vancouver on the ferry early Sunday Morning and got an early check-in at our hotel in Steveston, The reunion was at the posh Arbutus Club and consisted of a cocktail hour and a wonderful Buffet dinner followed by socializing. It started at 5:00 PM and by 9:30 or 10:00 it was winding down. I had kept contact with a couple of the people over the years and it was great catching up with them and many others but by 10:00 I had stood around and talked long enough and we were both ready to head back to the hotel.

Hotels in Vancouver have become ridiculously priced and we were very lucky to find one for under $500 a night, The Steveston Hotel is a very nice small, newly remodeled hotel in an old suburb of Vancouver very near the water and we found a room there for $230 a night with full breakfast included, a great deal for Vancouver! There are many neat old restaurants in the area and we had decided to stay an extra day. We spent Monday cruising around our old late 50's, early 60's stomping grounds and spent an hour in an old coffee house near the High School. We then drove back to the hotel and walked to a nice Greek restaurant just around the corner and had a very pleasant evening (like being back in high school but with enough money for a nice dinner out)!
Tuesday morning we headed for the ferry but made a detour to Point Roberts, Washington where we both stocked up on Tilamook cheddar cheese and butter (only available in the US). After exploring Point Roberts for a couple of hours, we re-entered Canada and boarded the ferry home. I hung around Penny's for a couple more days, stopped to see Brooks for his birthday, turning down his invitation to accompany him on his birthday adventure of skydiving and drove home on Friday. It was a very busy week and I am now in my "relax at home" mode!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Kia, One Month Later

I have had the 2015 Sorento for one month now. I have not gone far with it other than driving it home from Victoria where I bought it and one trip to Brooks' in Shawnigan lake. It is running perfectly and behaves like a new car. It is getting 8.8 Litres per 100 Kilometers which is 32 miles per Imperial gallon or 24 1/2 miles per American gallon. Everything about the car is great, it is comfortable, easy to get in and out of and drives well. The electric steering takes a bit to get used to and I wish I had a backup camera as the view to the rear is a little lacking so I might add one if I can decide where to mount the screen.

It came with a full tank and I have added one full tank. I have tested it on gravel with a short trip to Brown's Bay and (not that I needed the AWD) I tested it. I have driven hundreds of thousands of kilometres in company 4 wheel drives and the AWD and it's Traction Control is a little different but I will get used to it when we have a little snow.

But so far, so good. No complaints and it is so much easier on the back than the old Mazda!