Browsing "Alberta"
Apr 14, 2013 -

Mobile Internet Prices in Canada Are Really Improving!

I’m doing some research this afternoon on a new mobile internet solution for when I get back to Canada.

It looks like there is cell service at my property now, which should simply things.  SaskTel holds a monopoly in Saskatchewan and I don’t want to go with them. So my plan at this point is to drop the RV on my property and then drive to Medicine Hat, the nearest large Albertan city, to buy my mobile internet solution. The big question is, will it work on the SaskTel network? According to the Bell website, it won’t. But I’ve had luck using devices in areas where they’re not supposed to work…

Since I have burned my bridges with Telus, my only other Canada-wide option is Bell. Last I checked, their Turbo Hub offered the best deal at about $75 for 10GB, and $55 for each additional GB. For the same amount of money, Telus offered a mere 5GB. In comparison, I pay Verizon $100 for 12 GB, and $10 for each GB beyond that.

So I just about fainted when I saw the new Bell Turbo Hub rates. Get this, they are BETTER than what I am paying in the US! OMG, my country is moving into the 21st century!

bell rate plans

That graphic shows the Turbo Hub flex plan. Of interest is that your commitment is only $10 a month, versus the $35 I had to pay with Telus. And you can get up to FIFTEEN GB for $105, with each additional GB being only $10!

The Turbo Hub is $300, but only $100 if you commit to two years. Why would I pay $300 up front when my commitment is only $10 a month? I just placed a pretend order to make sure there are no other fees and that the hub really is just $100 with a commitment, and the total they asked me to pay really was just $110 plus tax. And there I was thinking it would be $300 + to get back online in Canada!

I won’t be doing a happy dance until the device works in SK, of course…

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Alberta, Canada, Communications & Electronics, Countries, Internet, Saskatchewan, Technical, Travel    2 Comments
Jun 4, 2012 -

Getting Around Without a Car in Alberta Isn’t Easy!

After searching the car rentals, I decided that I was best off to take the bus to Edmonton. The Greyhound fare was $30, but the hotel here warned me that the only way to get there without walking in unsavoury neighbourhoods is by cab for about $40.

I decided to check out Via Rail and discovered Red Arrow, a charter bus service. It’ll wind up being pricier than doing the Greyhound plus taxi thing, but it sounds like a much nicer experience. I’ll take a taxi to their location and then again in Edmonton from the arrival point to the dealership. This trip is costing me an arm and a leg and I’m kicking myself for making reservations ahead of time. Live and learn.

My insurance company says that if my registration had still been valid on the car, I would have had two weeks to get everything transferred over. But since it’s not, I have till 6PM to make a deal on the car and get to the registry in Edmonton before it closes. If I succeed, and there’s no reason I can’t because I am ready to pay the full $3,0o0 for the truck (although I’m hoping they’ll settled for $2,000…), then I will be spending the night at Donna and Ken‘s in Stettler, tomorrow at my property in Saskatchewan, and Wednesday I will be well on the road back to Quebec a full day earlier than my best case scenario.

Because I’ll be gaining a day, I am considering ordering my towing system parts for me to pick up somewhere along the way in the States, provided I can find a safe place to have them delivered. If I order tonight or first thing in the morning, and have them delivered in the vicinity of Duluth or even Minneapolis, there is a chance we’d arrive at the same time. Any suggestions? Would a post office hold big metal parts sent General Delivery?

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Alberta, Canada, Finances, Shopping, Technical, Towing and Toad, Travel    6 Comments
Apr 14, 2012 -

Wagons East!

I had just switched the last load of laundry to the dryer when Jody and Gary appeared, bearing muffins! Jody usually gives me four or five in a muffin container, but this time she had two dozen fresh baked ones in a huge plastic container. I was a bit at a loss as to where to put it until the muffins were cool enough to transfer to smaller containers. Then it hit me: the oven! 😀

We said our good-byes again and then I moved Miranda onto the street so I could hook up the car. All that went fine except for one not so minor detail: my car turn signals weren’t turning on when I put on the motorhome’s. A visual inspection of the wiring revealed nothing amiss, but I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I looked closer and discovered that someone had, after several attempts, taken a serrated knife and cut the wire clean through, then carefully tucked in the pieces so that the sabotage wouldn’t be readily visible. I know who did this and he was a pain in my side all winter as he kept unplugging the motorhome when it was frigid out. I have no proof that it’s him, but he’s the only one with a grudge against me.

Anyway, I was relieved to find this type of vandalism, my first in three and a half years on the road, and not a broken window, slashed tires, graffiti, etc. I was out of electrical tape, so I ambled over to the home store a couple of blocks away and picked up a roll.

Back at the rig, I took my wire strippers and neatly snipped away the damaged portion of wire. Thankfully, I had a lot extra because he ruined over a foot of the stuff. Then, working one colour at a time, I stripped the two ends of the wire, twisted the copper together, then covered and wrapped the ends with lots of electrical tape. Once all four colours were done, I tested my repair. It worked! I then bundled all the wires together and wrapped the whole thing in a bunch more electrical tape.

The laundry finished just moments after this was done, so I did one last check and pulled away from the apartment complex. There were a number of turns to make to get out to a main road, with both sides of the street packed with cars, so it was a little bit like doing the moho slalom all over again. I needed to make a left hand turn at a T-intersection and had to wait for a car to make its on left turn onto my street. He wound up getting wedged between Miranda and a parked car and honked. I could only pull ahead so much and still be able to make my turn, but thankfully that was enough because I could tell that this person wasn’t backing up without a fight. I had just one more nasty left turn to make, and then I was on the eastbound Transcanada by 11:20 for an easy enough 400KM drive to Swift Current.

I’m glad I didn’t have to go any further today as the drive was windy and therefore exhausting. It doesn’t help that I was already sore from the last two day. I really don’t think I could have driven one more kilometre!

As I am on the road a few days earlier than planned, am finally self-sufficient for power, and am bone deep weary, I will find a place to hunker down tomorrow for a few nights before I make my border crossing attempt. This will give me a chance to see a little bit of rural southern Saskatchewan and to look a little more refreshed when I get to the border. 🙂

The rig hasn’t been plugged in since I took it out Thursday morning and I am sitting at a full charge. I love my solar panel!

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Alberta, Batteries, Boondocking/Dry camping, Canada, Electricity, Maintenance & Repair, Nice Folks, Personal, Saskatchewan, Scary Stuff, Social, Travel    1 Comment