Tagged with " Oliver"
Mar 7, 2009 -

Hookup Location

Over the course of the past six months, I’ve found that there isn’t really a standard for how hookups are located in an RV park beyond them being on the driver’s side of the RV. The best hookups I encountered were at the park in Oliver where I worked. There, it was exactly ten feet from my tank outlet to their intake, meaning that my sewer hose was stretched out completely and at a slight slope, making for easy dumping. The water intake and electrical plug (as well as phone and cable jacks) were in a pedestal next to the sewer outlet and just a couple of feet from the rig, meaning that I was able to cut my water hose down to six feet, necessitating less heat tape.

Here, the hookups are not working for me!

Water and electricity is provided at a pedestal at the back of the site. My 30A cord is almost stretched to the limit and my 25′ water hose was stretched so taut someone took it upon themselves to provide me with an extension! Yes! I came home one night to find that my hose was hooked into an additional 10′ length! I actually kind of resented that because the 25′ length had enough give that it did not risk pulling away from the tap and spewing water everywhere and it did not rest on the ground. Since I’ve had the extension, the hose has frozen a few times in temperatures where it didn’t freeze when it was hanging in the air. But if it makes the ‘extender’ feel better about some ill-perceived threat, well… *shrugs* 🙂

But the real issue here is the sewer placement. This isn’t a universal problem here; some of my neighbours are hooked up perfectly. But the way Miranda needed to be tucked into this site meant that her tank outlet and the sewer  intake are practically right on top of each other, meaning that my hose is way too long. Once a week, I have to go and shake it a bit to drain the grey water out (lesson learned when my shower flooded!) and let me say that draining the black tank is difficult. Thankfully, proper tank maintenance means that I won’t have any long term repercussions, but each time I go to drain and have to flush the tank with several buckets of water I kick myself for not buying a new hose and cutting down the old one!

So, hookups that work for me need to have the electrical plug and water tap near the electrical cord compartment and water intake so that I don’t have to worry about tripping over my cord and hose, but the sewer needs to be about ten feet from the tank outlet. Seems like someone is slowly figuring out how to spot a good site from a bad!

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Black Tank, British Columbia, Campgrounds, Canada, Electricity, Nice Folks, Plumbing, Social, Technical, Travel    3 Comments
Feb 28, 2009 -

Adopting a New Grocery Chain

One of the things I found very difficult in my cross-country RV journey was figuring out which grocery stores to frequent. Grocery prices out here are a lot higher than they were in Gatineau/Ottawa and every grocery store I visited left me feeling rather ill with sticker shock. I learned very quickly that Safeway, a major chain out west, is the worst price offender and I now avoid it at all costs.

Oliver had two supermarkets, Supervalu which was neither super nor offered any value for the dollar, and Buy-Low, a discount store with decent prices (for a small town), if poor selection. It was in my infrequent trips to Penticton that I discovered Save-on-Foods. Their prices were also very high, but if you join their (free) discount club and shop wisely, you can get very, very good deals. Since I moved to south Surrey, I’ve been alternating between the nearest S-o-F and the Super Walmart, which has a huge grocery section. Walmart is the place to go to get basic groceries, but it’s at Save-on-Foods that I find the little luxury items that make grocery shopping so much fun:

Two of my favourite food groups in one (Guinness cheddar!!!)

Two of my favourite food groups in one (Guinness cheddar!!!)

On a recent shopping trip, the cashier took a moment to better explain the rewards program to me and let me know that there is a scanner near the door that prints out personalized coupons. The more you use your card and shop at Save-on-Foods, the better the coupon selector becomes at offering you bonuses you will use. Today, I got a handful of coupons for products I buy almost every week and which were on sale, offering me a double discount!

I like that the discount card can be used at other businesses, like Chevron gas.

Some RVers have written in their own blogs that one of the things they dislike about RVing is having to relearn how to grocery shop at every new town, but I find that half the fun of traveling is scoping out the local grocery store for products you don’t have ‘back home.’

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British Columbia, Cooking, Finances, Homemaking, Personal, Shopping, Travel    8 Comments
Jan 9, 2009 -

Mail Improvements

Until I got here, all the parks I’d stayed at preferred that mail not be sent directly to them (courrier deliveries okay, though). So, I’ve been having my mail sent general delivery. This worked out fine until I got to Oliver. The post office there was really bad. Canada Post’s services are notoriously poor, but these guys were the champions of bad service. They misplaced some of my mail, didn’t lift a finger to find it even though I was able to prove that the mail go to their office, and tried to blame me for the error when the package was finally located. I wound up having my mail forwarded directly to the resort by UPS at 30$ a pop!

At Pacific Border, mail can simply be sent to your attention. There are bins at the front desk where mail is sorted alphabetically and guests can go through the appropriate bin to find mail they’re waiting for. Sure, it’s not the most secure method, but, really, how secure is your mail when it’s sitting in a box on your porch anyway?

I continue to be pleased with the service I’m getting from the clerk at the UPS store in Gatineau where I rented a box. Several weeks ago, I emailed him to ask if some mail I was expecting had arrived and if so to please send me all my mail to Oliver, otherwise I would try again in a week. He replied that the letter hadn’t arrived. Two days later, he sent me another email telling me that he’d spotted my letter and my mail was on its way. This is a busy store so talk about service!

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British Columbia, Canada, Law and Government, Mail, Travel    4 Comments