Sunday, June 28, 2009

7th Annual Vancouver Firefighter's Bikers for Burns Ride


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Originally uploaded by istargazer.
My wife and I took part in the 7th Annual Vancouver Firefighter's Bikers for Burns ride today. It started in Vancouver at the Flying Swan Cafe and followed a route that included going over the new Golden Ears Bridge and continuing on to Harrison Hot Springs where there was a motorcycle stunt show to end the day. There were over 270 motorcycles and it was a great ride. What was really cool was that we got a police escort all the way to Maple Ridge. We got waved through intersections and the VPD even did rolling road blocks for us on Highway 1! On top of that I won a t-shirt and a hat registration prize!

The only damper to the day was the discovery that I had lost one of my SD cards. It had pictures from the first half of the day including pics of the Burgman and the Vancouver Police Motorcycles. I do have some video footage that I'll upload soon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Barker VIP 3000 Electric Tongue Jack Installed

From RV Mods and Accessories
An electric tongue jack seems to be a very popular modification especially with the larger trailers. The idea of cranking the jack up and down didn't appeal to me and after doing it the first day we towed the trailer I could say that I had "been there, done that." The Barker 3000 offers a 3000 lb lifting capacity as well as a built-in LED light (for hooking up at night) and a bubble level. I have to tell you, being able to lift and drop the trailer with the tip of my finger is a true pleasure.

A few additional pictures are available here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Digital Programmable Thermostat Installed in RV

From RV Mods and Accessories
When I found out that it was possible to install a regular household thermostat into the RV travel trailer, I knew it would be one of the first mods I would attempt. At first I didn't want to get a programmable model, but the selection available at RONA was very slim. The non-programmable ones were actually more expensive than the programmable ones. This particular one was one of the cheaper ones but it has a bonus of having a humidity display as well as separate temperature and programming displays. In fact, it's much fancier than the digital programmable one I installed in my home 9 years ago!

Full details of the install in our travel trailer is posted here: Tango Hotel Mod: Digital Programmable Thermostat

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tango Hotel: Tango 289BH RV Travel Trailer


I finally had our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali setup for towing and got some time on Friday to pull home our new 30-foot travel trailer--which I nicknamed "Tango Hotel." The original plan was to keep it for one night and bring it back the next day, but our schedule was so busy that instead of rushing the next day, we decided to keep the trailer for the rest of the week. It actually worked out well because we were able to sleep in the trailer for two nights. It allowed us to get familiar with how everything worked in the trailer and start to setup everything the way that we wanted. I got a chance to complete some modifications and one of the first things I did was replace the old fashioned RV thermostat with a modern digital programmable thermostat.

I've got a few more mods that I want to do before we live for our first trip next week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller Installed: 20700 km

Our RV dealer initially installed the Tekonsha P3 brake controller under the dash to the right of the steering wheel but there's not much clearance there in our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali. With it angled up and my seat moved back a little, there was just enough room so my leg wouldn't rub against it. But I didn't like it. If there unforeseen forward movement, the Tekonsha would be firmly embedded in my shin. Besides, I couldn't see the display nor could I easily reach the manual control on the bottom of the P3. On top of that, they used the permanent bracket mount. There is no switched power in the Denali. Everything is on all the time. Even though the P3 has a built-in power-save mode, after the battery troubles I had on the Denali, I didn't want to risk it. So I removed the permanent bracket and installed the second bracket provided by Tekonsha to the left of the parking brake release and solved all my problems. It is now easy to see, easy to access, and easy to remove. Since Tekonsha provides a carrying case for the P3, why not use it?

One of the neat features of the P3 is that you can change the LCD screen colours to match your vehicles interior. Too bad the Denali has old-school green dials in the dash.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reese Weight Distributing Hitch with Trunnion Bars and Dual Cam Sway Control

I had a weight distributing hitch installed on our travel trailer today. It looks like a fairly simple setup to use. I'm anxious to try it out but our schedule is so busy right now that we'll need to wait a few more days.

In the meantime, we've bought a few things to equip the trailer including some wheel chocks and a power tongue jack that I'll need to install. I have a list of other things I want to get, but with prices in Canada about double the price it is in the US, it's hard to make purchases.

We've planned our second camping trip for south of the border so that we can pick up things that we need.

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Wiki @ Stargazer's Garage

The Wiki @ Stargazer's Garage

I created a wiki to better organize the information posted on our blog. It is an archive of the specifications and modifications of the different vehicles that have occupied Stargazer's Garage as well as the experiences of ownership. I think it will be easier to have everything like mods, links, and resources all in one location rather than in separate blog posts all over the place.

I'll still be posting my most immediate updates on Twitter and I'll use the blog to give more detailed information. The wiki will be used as an archive to gather all the info from the blog posts.

Archives / Past Journeys

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