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Sunshine and hot weather was the ticket as a group of 14 rigs made their way to the first stop on our summer rally. It is always fun to share friendship and experiences on a trip to discover more of our beautiful province.
Our first stop was at Hat Creek Ranch, a most interesting place to begin. With the opportunity to take guided tours of the ranch, eat at their homey restaurant, gather together at the covered stage area, and just relax and enjoy the scenery, we were on our way to a good time. A travel contact group was started as we had no idea who would attend until we got there. Group pictures were taken, in spite of the “mozzies” wanting to join us!
Most of us went for breakfast before heading off to Northwood Lodge at Lac La Hache. We parked besides the lovely little tree-lined lake and enjoyed the view of boaters and water birds. Telling jokes and trading RV experiences around a propane fire are de rigueur at these gatherings and something we all anticipate.
Many of the group spent time exploring the region. We took another couple in our Sidekick for a day trip to the top of Mount Timothy with its great view of the area. That evening we all gathered for an excellent dinner on the lodge’s patio overlooking the lake.
By July 6 th the fires in the Cariboo had become more extensive. They seemed to start just behind us as we moved north.
Our next three day stop was at Robert’s Roost in Quesnel. After the very efficient and pleasant Ryan checked us in we set up for our stay. By now the heat and mosquitoes were more prevalent, so air conditioning was a blessing. Some of us describe it as “glamping”, and were happy for it.
Once it cooled off in the evening we got together to schmooze again– -the best part of our rallies. A few of the group ventured to Barkerville while others attended a local art show. Unfortunately Mother Nature struck again in the form of forest fires, and many of our group decided to go home early.
They were unable to return via Highway 97 so went west to Tete Jaune Cache, then south through Kamloops before getting back to the Fraser Valley.
We carried on to Saskatchewan where the smoke from forest fires reached as far as Saskatoon. It was heartbreaking to see the damage and think of all the unfortunate people affected by the fires.
In spite of it all, our fellow campers all declared they had a great time getting to know each other better and experiencing more of our amazing province and people.
We had a “smoking good time!”

Spring is almost here; it’s been a long cold winter in storage; the RVs are restless and calling… It’s time for some TLC before hitting the road.

First: the road insurance. You might need to move your unit off your property to get some of this maintenance done, and you want to make sure you’re roadworthy. Those of us who have ever forgotten this little thing shall remain nameless, but we probably won’t forget it again.

Once you’re properly insured, you need to make sure your unit is still mechanically sound by checking your engine compartment. Top up your oil levels and radiator coolant, refreshing as necessary. Now is the time to put your batteries back in, if you removed them before winter, and check for corrosion on the posts and bulging if they’ve been in your unit. If you’ve had them for more than about eight years, you should consider replacing them soon – they don’t owe you much after that. Check the pressure in your tires; the duals need that extra effort. It’s a good idea to have your brake function checked out, too. And don’t forget about your operating lights.

In your living area, check your batteries for water level, post corrosion, and bulging sides. Are they getting old? Test your propane system: turn on your stove and pay attention to how long it takes for the fuel to get to the burners; you want to make sure the lines are clear. At your tanks, check your levels, your connections and the age of each tank; you want to make sure your propane tanks are still legally fillable. And since insects and spiders love propane, check for nests and other evidence, and make sure to clean them out. Test your fridge, hot water tank and any other appliances for correct operation.

You also need to check your water system. If you have antifreeze in sink traps and water lines, you must flush them out properly. Make sure there’s water in your storage tank (running the pump on a dry tank is a fast way to a shopping trip for a new pump), and carefully test your lines, watching for any leaks from aging sealant or line cracks that may have developed over the winter. Make sure your bypass valves are in the correct position, both at the tank filler line and at the hot water tank. Any pink staining from the antifreeze will wash away as you use your unit.

If you have slides, check them for correct operation. Make sure to check the rubber seals on the outside as well, and replace and repair as needed. If you have an awning, roll it out and back in once or twice to make sure it’s clean and happy.

If you plan to tow a vehicle, hook it up completely and then check all your lights to make sure all the electrical connections are working and all bulbs are intact.

Now you’re ready to gas up, load up, tank up, and do the traveling you’ve been daydreaming about!

 

Published on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 12:49
by Al Chance

After we get set up in an RV site, I like to check around for random bits of garbage, little things that previous campers have left behind, dropped near where they sit or walk by. Things such as cellophane cigarette wrappers, chocolate bar or candy wrappers, bottle caps, pull tabs, cigarette butts or Kleenex. There is almost no limit to what gets left behind.

I do not like the thought of the park operators finding such items after I have left and thinking that I was the one who left the trash behind. A quick look around and a couple of minutes picking things up and putting them in the garbage, or at least in the fire pit so they get burned up, makes me feel better, and I can leave knowing the site was cleaner after us than when we arrived.

I have no doubt the park operators appreciate this small effort, and it could only enhance your reputation and the reputation of any RV club you might belong to.

A good example of this occurred while we were in an RV park recently. On Friday afternoon an RV arrived and parked opposite to where we were parked. On board were four girls in their late teens and the driver, obviously Grampa. A woman, obviously mom, arrived in a car. After getting everything set up, mom and Grampa left by car and the girls were on their own. That afternoon and evening we heard very little from them, so we took very little notice. If they happened to be outside when we were out, or when we went for walks, they would wave and say hi, always very polite.

The next day another car arrived with two more girls, with sleeping bags and other supplies. That evening they all sat at the picnic table having dinner and talking, but never loud enough to bother anyone. Later they sang a few songs and had some laughs but again, never too loud.

When we got up the next morning and looked outside, we had a great laugh. Their camp site was a mess. Everything had just been dropped wherever they happened to be when they were finished with it: pop cans, wrappers, clothes, shoes, all sorts of things. They were lucky it had not rained overnight or the shoes would have been very uncomfortable to have to put on. And to cap it off, the picnic table was covered with birds of every description enjoying a variety of leftovers.

Later that morning the girls became busy packing things up and getting ready to leave. We went for a walk and by the time we got back grampa and mom must have been there as the RV and all the young ladies were gone. What was very noticeable, however, was the condition of the camp site: there was no sign of any leftovers or trash of any kind anywhere, other than a few birds scouting the ground for the odd scrap of anything edible.

These pleasant and thoughtful young women apparently believed, as we do, that your camp site should be left looking as if no one had been there. Very impressive.

by Henry Kozminski

I consider myself quite experienced and knowledgeable about RV’ing but still take every chance to take in as many seminars and RV training I can. For four years I had worked part time for an RV rental company picking up, delivering and checking out new and used RV’s of every type plus

have personally owned 5 different 5th wheels (28 foot to 40 ft) and 2 forty foot diesel pushers. I still continue to have many new learning experiences mostly through my own mishaps. We are snowbirds and live in our RV almost 8 months a year and travel throughout the US and Canada.>

One of the greatest learning experiences I have encountered is the annual RV Owners Lifestyle Seminars held at the Okanagan College in Kelowna BC. My wife Barb and I had attended them two years in a row and I now give a couple of seminars there. It is a wonderful four-day experience that everyone should encounter.

It is held at the college where the Recreation Vehicle Technicians are trained for the RV industry and is held at the end of their class year so the college instructors are still there to instruct us on various topics. It is in an informal classroom setting and you can choose which seminars you wish to attend throughout the day. In the evenings there is usually great entertainment as well as a welcoming wine and cheese session on the arrival day and a banquet before the last day.

We dry camp in the college parking lot with showers etc available nearby. It is a great opportunity to learn from other Rv’ers as well as there is every type of rig and most everyone seems to have a story to tell. Last year we even had some campfires going in the evening.

This year it is being held June 21 – 24th at the Okanagan College, in Kelowna. For more information check out their website at www.okanagan/bc/ca/rvlife

Hopefully, we’ll see you there.

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