Browsing "Towing and Toad"
Nov 5, 2012 -

Not Begrudging a Rude Awakening

When the phone rang at 8:30 this morning, I knew it had to be the shop calling to let me know my base plate is in. It is! They wanted to install it on Thursday.

I called the Ready Brake folks (they’re great!) to confirm that my tow bar was shipped on the first as promised. It was, it has cleared customs no man’s land, is in Buffalo, and will be here Wednesday!

So if family stuff hadn’t been going on this weekend, I could have gone ahead and done the installation Thursday and left Friday. But I do want to make these two last family dinners, so I called the shop back and asked to move the appointment to Monday first thing. The best they could do is first thing Tuesday, which is fine, two days ahead of the previously set date, and a couple of days before the no street parking because of winter ordinance comes into effect. It’s also not a moment too soon as the weather has turned and the nights here are COLD!

So if all that goes smoothly, I’m pulling out on Wednesday the 14th, just under six months since my arrival!

I found both a dump station and propane right on the way to the shop, so I’ll go take care of those matters on Tuesday before going to pick up the truck and get the final adjustments made with the rig on site. As for gas, I’m only putting in enough to get across the border!

So, I have to be ready to pull out by mid-day Tuesday. I’ll park on the street Tuesday night and pull out Wednesday morning, probably a little later than I would have liked to let some of the morning traffic pass.

The border crossing will help me set my destination for Wednesday night. If I breeze through, then I might make a huge push and get to Pennsylvania. But I will more likely just go to Saratoga, even though that’s barely any distance, just to lessen the stress of driving my new rig for the first time.

I am concerned about potential hurricane devastation along my route, but a check of the roads indicates a clear path, even on the New York Thruway. As long as the weather holds, I should be fine. Thankfully, I’ll have a nice big buffer of time in case my plans get waylaid.

My biggest regret about this summer is that I didn’t get to go to Toronto. I would have liked to have gone east, too, but that was really a dream. At least, I got to see my family and friends from Toronto, so there’s that. No sense looking back. I am now looking ahead to that magical beloved moment when I cross the Mason-Dixon line and, just like that, spring will return to my world. It’ll be my fourth time and I bet it won’t get old any time soon!

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Canada, Itineraries, Preparations for Departure, Quebec, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel, Weather    5 Comments
Oct 31, 2012 -

Truck Mystery Noise Diagnosis!

I took the truck out after a big rainfall this afternoon and, just like after taking the truck out during rainfalls twice, The Noise came back.

I immediately drove to the garage, left the truck running, and went in to ask if a mechanic would be available. Sure, in a few minutes. Less than three minutes later, the same guy who worked on the truck previously came out. I told him the sound is very loud inside but you can barely hear it outside.

He got in the truck and then asked me to come in to confirm that we were hearing the same thing. I said yes. He burst out laughing.

He asked, “What’s the first thing you do when it’s raining and you get in the truck?”

I replied, “I turn on my blower to defog the windows.”

He nodded, turned off the blower, and the noise stopped. “You have leaves in your blower. Your manual will tell you how to get to it to clean it out. You don’t want to pay me $100 to do that.”

LEAVES. I have been stressed out because of LEAVES.

He added, “The guy in Gatineau with the worst case scenario is a jerk. You have a gorgeous truck with low mileage that has obviously been babied and which is going to give you years of trouble free use. One alarmist, and you don’t trust a truck that got you across the continent without any trouble. Relax and enjoy it!”

And so I shall endeavour to do!

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Maintenance & Repair, Technical, Towing and Toad    6 Comments
Oct 30, 2012 -

Why I’m Still in Quebec

It’s been quiet around here this past month because I’ve been too stressed to do anything beyond working, sleeping, and eating as my truck needs work to be able to tow it behind the rig so that I can get out of here before the weather turns. Needless to say, the window of opportunity is closing very fast.

The problem is that I’m about $4,500 short in my budget this summer because of the accident since I had to return to Alberta to get the truck. Maxing out credit cards and emptying the emergency fund wouldn’t close this gap or eliminate the stress.

I was patient with the third party adjuster, waiting until September to ask how the claim was going. I agreed to settle for $3,400 with payment to be made by October 1st. That deadline came and went without any further news, beyond my representative being in touch to let me know he was pushing for me.

October 18th came around and by this point I’ll admit I had cracked. I was terribly sick the Monday and Tuesday of that week. It was probably just a little stomach bug that compounded because of the sleepless nights brought on by stress.

At 3:07PM on the 18th, I sent my representative an email with the subject, “Final request for settlement.” I then reiterated my position, where things stand, what additional costs will be added up if I don’t get a cheque immediately, that I regret not having a lawyer speak for me from the start, and that the insurance company is mistaken in their belief that I won’t sue.

At 13:17, my representative let me know that he sent my email on to the third party insurer.

At 3:20, the third party insurers let my representative know that they were cutting me a cheque for $3,400 immediately. So that’s what it takes to get things moving with a U.S. insurance company.

It’s now the 30th and the cheque has arrived in Montreal!!!!!!! I will be picking it up tomorrow morning and it will take a full week to clear, although I will have access to part of the funds.

Last week, when I took my truck out for a test drive, I stopped at a nearby RV dealership to ask if they could install the base plate on my truck. Yes. And they felt that even if there was a delay with getting the part, they could get me on the road by November 14th at the latest. So I called back today to get the ball rolling. I’ll know tomorrow when the base plate will be incoming so we can set an appointment.

Now, the big hiccup is my tow bar. After doing a lot of research, I have decided on a Ready Brute Elite tow bar as it has a braking system integrated into it, which will save me nearly $1,000. It’s a well rated and proven system that is perfect for a manual Ford Ranger. The only hiccup is that I need to get it here from the States and I can’t order it till my cheque clears. Moreover, there is a part of it that needs to be installed by professionals. The dealership said they would be willing to install that part if the bar arrives in time.

So I am going to schedule my appointment at the last possible second and will be ready to pull out the day after. They dealership says that I would have to bring my truck in first thing, then pick it up in the afternoon with the motorhome. So I would leave the dealership with my vehicles properly hooked up together, park overnight on the street, and head south the next morning.

My deadline for the appointment is the 14th because as of the night of the 15th, I can’t park on the street anymore. My mother’s driveway isn’t big enough for my rig, my truck, and her SUV, so I have to be gone. Can all of this be done in just two weeks? I’ve seen bigger miracles…

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Insurance, Law and Government, Technical, Towing and Toad    4 Comments