Shortly after arriving in Canada we discovered that we didn’t have a good internet connection.
Our Verizon phones which normally have a humongous amount of data were being cut back to 0.5 GB data per day.
The Wifi provided by the RV park only worked near the pool or at the Laundry building.
My T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon hotspots didn’t work at all.
To add insult to injury, we received notice from StarLink that our equipment had arrived just a day or two after leaving Austin. We though maybe we’d have the equipment shipped to us up here, but StarLink requires that the equipment be setup in Austin first before allowing any roaming.
So we spent some of our first day family visiting time finding a Canadian cellular company that could sell us a SIM card with enough data to let me work during the week. We ended up getting a 45 GB SIM from Telus for $75. That’s been working ok for us, but I have to be very careful to do any big downloads while sitting at the pool or laundry, and I’ll need to purchase another one.
That may seem like a lot of data, but consider this:
Xcode has a new beta 4 update, and that is 7 GB
iOS 16 beta 4 is available, and is probably several gigabytes also.
Internet problems aside, we had a wonderful visit with Shelleys sisters Jukie and Vickie and her husband Ron. It was cool enough to sit out on their back patio.
Again, we managed to take no pictures. I’ve added that to my list of to-dos.
Monday morning we got up and took our time enjoying the company, having a nice breakfast, and preparing the rig to cross over into Canada.
I’d made a mistake on the previous day and pushed my office chair up under the desk to hold it in place. However, the roads were so bumpy that (I guess) the chair bouncing and pressing up under the desk ripped the screws out, and the desk crashed onto the floor. So I fixed that before getting underway.
It took us a while to get across the Canadian border. There were a lot of cars queued up. But we got through without any problems.
We settled into the Wildwood RV and Golf Resort where we’ll be staying for the next four weeks. It is very nice here.
We had talked with our family here, and agreed to take a day off to rest and get all setup before getting together.
On Sunday we drove to Grosse Ile, an island right outside Detroit. We have friends that moved there from the RV park, and they offered to let us stay the night with them. They had made arrangements for us to park the rig across the street in a lawyer’s office parking lot.
Somehow I managed to not take any pictures of our visit with Gary and Christa. I’ll see if Shelley has some and post them later.
But we had a very nice visit, and Christa did a lot of cooking for us. It was wonderful.
We spent the day in Indianapolis visiting our friends Wynn and Chris. Wynn was one of our pastor’s at Bethany UMC and recently moved. So we scheduled an extra day in Indianapolis so we could spend time visiting.
Wynn had planned out the day for us, and picked us up and was our tour guide.
She had tickets for us for the Monet exhibit at the art museum.
First we had lunch at one of her favorite restaurants here, where we were introduced to the joy of an Indiana pork tenderloin sandwich. Yummy!
Wynn had tickets for us for the Monet exhibit at the Newfields art museum.
Afterwards we had dinner and then went back to Wynn and Chris’s lovely home and enjoyed spending some time up on their roof deck.
Friday morning we left the Benton KOA and drove north-east about 4 hours to the Indianapolis KOA. We’ll be staying here 2 nights. This will give us a chance to spend time with our friend Wynn that moved here recently.
We went through some construction and traffic going through Indianapolis, but otherwise the drive was just lovely.
We stopped to rest half way. The Rest Areas here are very nice. Kenzie really enjoyed checking it out.
The KOA is very nice. Since we’ll be here two nights, we went ahead and did a full setup on the rig; bringing out the awnings, lowering the deck, and full hookups. Normally if we’re just spending one night we will leave the truck hitched up and just connect shore-power and maybe water.
Today we drove from Arkansas, over to the Mississippi river, then north through Missouri and into Illinois. This was our longest travel day, so we got out fairly early. Normally we’d drive most of the way, then stop for lunch and a nap, and drive the rest of the way in afterwards. Today we opted to drive straight through, arriving about 12:45 early enough to just have lunch and our nap after arriving.
We stayed at the Benton KOA, a very nice RV park. It has a little stream running through it, and lots of trees. It rained most of the afternoon.
At one point we had some thunder and lightning right over us, which upset Kenzie very much. She’s sleeping on the couch next to, still shell-shocked I think.
We’ve ordered a pizza to be delivered, and we’re going to just sit in and continue watching Godless on Netflix tonight.
We’ve been having a bit of trouble with the refrigerator when we travel. It is a standard residential type that runs off 120 vac. When we’re traveling and disconnected from shore power, it uses a 12v pure sine wave converter to keep it running using the battery. Well it turns out that this setup means that there are a bunch of things that can cause the refrigerator the stop working:
The refrigerator circuit breaker can trip. I’ve not seen this happen yet.
The inverter circuit breaker can trip. This happened yesterday.
The inverter on/off switch located inside the RV can be left off. This has happened at least twice on previous trips.
When running on the generator, one of the two generator output circuit breakers can trip. This has happened a few times in the past, and happened again yesterday.
The battery can run dead. In this case the next item will happen also.
The inverter can shut itself off due to some sort of error. When this happens a beeping sound comes from inside a cabinet at the front of the RV near the king pin. The inverter displays a code to indicate what is causing the problem, but of course it isn’t possible to see that code. So I have to stick my head inside the cabinet, and using my phone’s camera, take a picture of the bottom of the inverter to see what the code is. On a previous trip, a low battery condition caused this to happen. I’ve since replaced the two 100 kWh lead-acid batteries with a single 208 kWh Lithium battery. We haven’t seen that problem since.
Also located on the bottom of the inverter where it cannot be seen is a GFI outlet. This was tripped today. I took a picture of the bottom of the inverter to see if there was any code displayed, and noticed the GFI and reset it. It’s somewhat difficult to take a picture of the LED code, as evidenced by the picture posted below which totally missed the LED.
Today we drove from Sulphur Springs to Hazen, Arkansas. We went through some construction that slowed us down a bit, and then some pretty good rain near Little Rock which helped wash a lot of the grunge off the truck.
We stayed overnight at the H&G RV Park which was small but very pretty. We were met at the gate by Paul who directed us to our choice of either of two pull-thru sites. Later we were greeted by Gary the owner, and had a nice chat about their family business and the area.
Our first stop Tuesday afternoon was at Shady Lake RV park in Sulphur Springs, TX.
It was a quaint little RV park. There were no other overnight RVs, so the owner moved our site to the nice spot right next to the lake. It wouldn’t have been very pretty if we’d had to stay in our originally booked site; basic gravel parking lot. But God is smiling on us, as usual.
We had originally planned to make a big trip this summer, starting with the Escapade ’22 in Tennessee, spending a month in Massachusetts, and finally the month of August visiting family in Windsor, Ontario. Covid and a recurrence of Shelley’s breast cancer put an end to those plans.
While we were forced to drop the first two parts, we are in a position now to do the third part and spend the month of August in Windsor.
We needed to get the RV safety inspected and registered, so we took Monday 7/25 to do that. When one lives full-time in an RV, it tends to require a lot of picking up and bolting down before it can head back out onto the road. So we spend the week beforehand doing just that.
We setup a Wyze camera at the site so we could keep an eye on things while we’re gone, and of course the Tesla has built-in security cameras that we can monitor.
Shelley had forgotten to pick up a prescription the day before, so we had to wait for the pharmacy to open and run to get that. While she did that I put all the stuff in our yard into the shed.
So we headed out Tuesday morning about 10:30, a bit later than planned but in no rush anyways.