Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, December 04, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Saturday, November 06, 2010
I am the acting coordinator of History Services at Marrickville Council and we are running a special 'Remembrance Day' event in November. I sumbled across your ANZAC day presentation and would love to show it at our small event.
PO Box 79 Marrickville NSW 1475
It has been 3 years since I first posted this video clip to be played at a school Remembrance Day assembly and I had no idea that it would continue to hold interest after all this time. I was truly honored to know that they wanted to use it and I will be thinking of all the men and women around the world who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
My wife and I spent our wedding anniversary this year on the road in Montana. It wasn't as romantic at that sounds because we had a breakdown on the highway that morning and it was an overall stressful day. We decided to celebrate properly once we got back to Vancouver. There were very many restaurants to choose from and with lots of recommendations from friends it was a difficult choice to make. We finally decided on going to the Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown and this post on Kwong Eats shows exactly the things that I myself would order. My mouth is watering already!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
It all worked out well, though, and despite all that, we're really happy with our 2010 Keystone Premier 31BH and I'm quite impressed with the way our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali performed during the entire trip. Also, I can forget the ProPride 3P hitch: it was great and I was really, REALLY happy we had it especially when we hit the 50 mph wind gusts in the Dakotas.
I'm uploading some of the pictures I took along the way to my Picasa album. I'll also post up some thoughts of our RV adventures here when I can....
Most of the pictures were taken with my cellphone, an LG EVE GW620. It also performed reasonably well, and I love the Android phone, but it's been less than reliable for me and is AGAIN currently out for repairs. At least it lasted through our trip!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I'm getting more used to the new towing setup now and found that it towed even better than before. The biggest difference was that I inflated the rear tires on our 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali to the maximum 44 psi as shown on the sidewall and I raised the weight distribution bars on our ProPride 3P hitch to 8 inches. It felt very smooth and the forward/back tugging sensation that I felt on our last trip had disappeared. I think it has to be due to loading the RV differently with more balanced weight than to the change in tire pressure. I least I hope so because....
There was one problem with setting the tires to 44 psi. When we were about an hour away from our destination, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on the Denali warned me to check the rear tire pressures. I guess they were approaching 50 psi. Now, that's understandable because the psi naturally rises when the tires are driven on. However, it was a relatively cool evening that night. I'm worried that extended driving on hot pavement in the intense summer heat in the east would cause the tire pressures to rise even more and even though I know I didn't inflate the tires more than the max, I'm just not comfortable ignoring the warning messages.
On our trip home, I lowered the tires to 40 psi, but the TPMS still gave out a warning part way through our drive. I'll probably set it closer to the 32 psi recommendation and leave it like that.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
The cheapest were around $700 and the most expensive with OEM performance were over $1000. Concerned about towing our RV half-way across the country and through the Rockies, I opted for a slotted performance rotor and got a final quote for $1200. They also mentioned that they noticed that the front shocks were leaking but that might be covered under warranty and recommended I check to see if I was still covered. I was scheduled to get the work done later that evening but they called to tell me they couldn't get the right rotor in time.
Because of what they said about the front shocks, I made an appointment with my GM dealership to get it checked out this morning. When I found out from them that my vehicle was no longer under warranty, I called the independent shop back to ask them for a quote. They told me that a lot of labor was involved and it would cost between $800-1000. Yikes!
Even before they looked at the shocks, the service advisor told me that very often the shocks "sweat" and that makes it look like they're leaking but it's not really a problem. And that's what it turned out to be. They told me they would clean it up and then check on them again at the next service. Good news!
The other bit of good news was that they said that the front brake pads needed to be replaced, but the rotors could be machined. They gave me an option of going with OEM parts or a cheaper (noiser) alternative. I went with OEM and it cost me ONLY $400! Incredible! With a little bit of luck with parts unavailabilty, I was able to save over $600--not including the another $1000 that the other shop would have charged me!
The one bummer was....
The dealer performed a GM recall notice on our heated washer fluid. It had already been recalled once for a fix, but I guess the fix wasn't reliable so they decided to disable the entire system all together and send customers a cheque in the mail for loosing that particular feature on their vehicles. It's a bummer because I really liked the heated washer fluid and never had a problem with it.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
The hardware on each of the new jacks definitely look beefier than the originals. It was interesting that all four were not replaced with the same brand. The ones in the rear were branded Husky (as shown in the picture). But even though the hardware looks the same, the ones in the front had no name. The only conclusion I can make is that they are NOT Husky stabilizer jacks.
When I went online to research the problem, I found that other people at RV.net had the same problem and that this was a known issue. The good news was that Thetford was aware of the problem and their customer service department was doing an excellent job taking care of it....
When I dropped the RV off at our dealership to look after some other warranty items, they could not replicate the leak. So I called Thetford's 1-800 number today, gave them the serial number on the Aqua Magic V toilet as well as the VIN number on our Keystone and they told me they would send the part out to me right away. Now, that's great customer service. Since we'll be on the road for 3 weeks, if the leak develops while we are away, I'll be able to replace the part myself.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
You can find more information about geocaching here: Geocaching.com
Saturday, May 29, 2010
My previous complaint about it being tedious to raise and lower the WD bars with a ratchet socket has been nullified after I realized that I had a speed wrench (like the one used for the stabilizer jacks) that I could use. It's much stronger than the one for the stabilizer jacks so there's no worry about breaking it and it makes the process of raising or lowering the WD bars a breeze and it takes no time at all.
The more I use the ProPride 3P the more I appreciate the whole system.
My only problem now is that I have to remove the hitch so that our dealer will be able to fix the defective stabilizer jacks. They can't move the trailer with the ProPride hitch in place.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Today I tried one more time and with the help of telephone support I was able to do a factory reset by pressing the VOL Down, Menu, and Camera buttons at the same time while the phone was on. I thought I had tried that already, but this time it worked and I got full function on the phone again....
I have to thank William at Wireless Wave who seemed really to care about helping and directed me to the correct solution. Also, telephone support was really quick and efficient and I had no wait time despite the recorded message warning me that there may be at least a 15 minute delay.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
- It's definitely easy to hook up with no effort--the Denali's backup camera makes it simple. But it's time consuming having to raise and lower the WD bars with a socket wrench whenever I want to hitch and unhitch. My cordless drill doesn't have enough torque to turn the adjustment screw, otherwise I would use it.
- After hooking up and adjusting the weight distribution bars, the trailer was nose-high. I wasn't able to fix it right away, but after we got to the KOA I was able lower the hitch bar one more notch to the lowest setting to get it down a bit more. It's still a little high, but only by about an inch or so.
- I wasn't sure at first how high to bring up the WD bars. I started at 7" but after checking at the scales, I raised it up to 8". It seemed to tow OK on the I-5 southbound at 65 mph but when turned off on Hwy 20 and cruised at about 55 mph I noticed some forward and back tugging. I wasn't sure what was causing that feeling until I checked into the campground. The ranger pointed out right away that I was nose-high and asked if I was getting that that forward/back motion. He said that being nose high would cause it. I learned something new!
- Coming home, with the WD bars still adjusted at 8" but the hitch bar lower, the forward/back motion was less but still there. While we were stopped at Camping World, I adjusted it down to 6.5" to see what would happen. That eliminated the forward/back tugging, but it made the front of the Denali too light and steering was compromised. I made another adjustment to 7.25" and that made it more stable. I think next time I'll try it at 7.5"
Luckily, it didn't take us too long to get on the road and even with taking our time to stop at a weigh scale, Hagen's of Blaine to pick up a couple of items, and a rest stop to make some minor adjustments, we were able to get to the campsite by about 3pm.
We decided to go to this KOA for our shakedown trip even though it's farther away from home because we came here lots last summer and are very familiar with the facilities. Getting a pull through site made things that much easier. We found that we actually like the pull through sites a little bit better because they back onto the very large open field where the kids can play while we watch them.
Overall, it was a good weekend. Too short, but it was still nice to be able to sit around and not do too much on Sunday. The weather was a bonus, too. The wind was cool but it only rained Saturday night while we slept and the sun came out after that.
Distance Traveled: 300 km ( 186 miles)
Concrete / Grandy Creek KOA
Site #104, pull through, full hookup, fire pit, picnic table, playground, swimming pool, giant bouncy pillow
Nights stayed: 2
More pictures on Picasa.
Here are some things we learned during this trip...
- Con: The warning in the outside stove top owner's manual about not using over-sized pots and pans was true, We bought a double-burner griddle from Costco that we thought would be very handy. But because it was too big to fit properly, it caused a little bit of the plastic label on the stove to bubble up from excessive heat.
- Pro: The burners on the outside stove are extremely wind resistant. When kept on high, the flame would not blow out even in strong gusty wind without the wind shields in place.
- Con: The toilet leaks at the top of the connection when you try to fill the bowl with fresh water. There is no leaking when you flush. We'll need to ask the dealer to check it out.
- Con: The storage bag for the air mattress in our sofa bed is torn at 3 of the anchor points. We'll ask the dealer to order a new one for us.
- Con: One of the wood stoppers that prevents the trundle bed from coming out completely came off. I could probably hammer this back in place when I get some time.
- Pro: The outside kitchen is very easy to use and setup.
- Con: When turned to MAX cold, the outside fridge will start to freeze canned pop solid in about 24 hours. By the way, frozen cans of pop explode violently but are relatively easy to clean up.
- Con: The 3-step ladder bought from Costco was too short for me to see what was on top of the slide out roof.
- Pro: Lynx levelers are truly multi-purpose. I was able to stack 5 of them together, put them on the wide top platform on the step ladder and see above the slide out roof. That made spraying off the pine needles and other debris really easy when we were packing up.
- Con: Stabilizer jacks cannot be repaired. The nut that prevents the entire bar from coming out is loose. The dealer already said that they would replace all four, but I wanted to see if I could do something first.
- Pro: The Lynx levelers saved the day again at the end of the trip when I we were back in Canada. We made arrangements to park our TT on a farm for storage, but when I tried to back TT into a dirt area so that I could turn it around. Because the ground was moist from rain, the tires sunk and I got stuck. With a little bit of digging, I was able to lay down a track of the Lynx levelers in front of each tire and drive away. Whew! The Lynx Levelers have been a great investment!
- Pro: We tried out a couple of fire logs to see how they would work. We like to cook over the fire so we don't normally use manufactured fire logs but we thought it would be nice in the evening when we're sitting outside. Saturday night, since we cooked on the grill, I used up a 15+ year old Dura-Log that took a little extra effort to light, but worked. I was most impressed the next day with a new "Green" fire log we bought from the Real Canadian Superstore that was made out of coffee grinds. It's a 2-3 hour log that was easy to light and burned very robustly with no effort. It cost only $4 and I simply put it on the fire after we had finished cooking dinner and marshmallows.
- Pro: The cheap sewer hose holder I made to fit on top of the bumper worked great.
- Con: The propane tank regulator makes a high pitched whine when propane is being used.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
FYI, latest TSBs for the 2004 R32 from the NHTSA.
Since my 50k miles scheduled maintenance was more than a year ago, I took my R in today expecting to have the “60k miles” service done, despite only having 54k miles on the odometer. To my surprise the dealership told me all I needed was a “55k miles” service which was simply an oil change. I was surprised because according to the information on VWoA there is no “55k miles” service for the 2004 R32 – it goes from 50k directly to 60k. Odd.
Type rest of the post here.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
|From Bullet Mods and Accessories|
I did a lot of research over the past year about different kinds of hitches and although we never had a problem with our Reese HP Dual Cam system, the thought of towing a 35' trailer very near our limits across the Prairies this summer made it easier for us to upgrade. We the same trip a couple of years ago on the tail of some severe thunderstorms and I know how strong the winds can get.
After reading information and comments from owners and non-owners of variety of hitches including the Equal-i-zer, Dual Cam, PullRite, Hensley Arrow, and ProPride 3P, I decided the ProPride 3P Hitch was the best one for us. I'm really glad I did, too, because customer service has been top notch and beyond what can usually be expected from "average" companies.
I completed the install of the ProPride myself. It was fairly straightforward. I didn't bother to take any pictures of my progress because I found that Restcure.ca is a great resource with an excellent Flickr gallery of pictures of the install. It helped me get prepared for what to expect.
We're heading out for our maiden voyage in the Keystone Premier this week so I'll be able to post some impressions after we get back.
Friday, May 14, 2010
UPDATE: 14 May 2010
The hitch is now on the West Coast!
View ProPride 3P Hitch Journey in a larger map
Can you tell I'm excited?
Past journey as of 12 May 2010
View ProPride 3P Hitch Journey in a larger map
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Thursday, May 06, 2010
|From Bullet Mods and Accessories|
During the off-season I used the Lynx Levelers under the trailer tires to keep them off the frozen pavement. As it turns out, we had one of our warmest winters on record. So in March when we took the RV out on the first trip of the year, I noticed that the levelers bent out of shape from the weight of the tires on the soft asphalt....
...Even though it was just cosmetic and they worked just as well under the stabilizer jacks, I still thought about buying a new set. I was pleasantly surprised when at the end of the weekend, the bent levelers had all come out straight again--just like new. Impressive!
Another thing I was happy about was the performance of the Lynx Stop 'N Chocks. I had sold my BAL Deluxe Wheel Chocks because the Keystone Premier has extra wide axles so they would not work any more. I bought the Lynx chocks because they connect with the levelers and provide safety even when the tires are raised. I discovered that even without the BAL chocks the trailer was very stable and had very little movement.
One last thing about Christmas in May: This week Tri-Lynx sent me a box of additional levelers and chocks as well as a few other products shown above and wrote a very nice letter in appreciation of my business. Now that's really impressive!
Monday, May 03, 2010
|From Bullet Mods and Accessories|
...when it rained, we could see that it really worked. It's cheap, too, so as homage to the little red-neck inside of me, I promptly placed four brand new bamboo clothes pins on our 2010 Keystone Premier 31BHPR.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
|From The Bullet|
It's going to take some time to get used the new layout and figuring out exactly where we should put everything but there was one pleasant surprise: the laundry chute. At first, we didn't think it would be good for anything but when I put our laundry hampers in place, we realized that it would work out quite well. In the Tango we had to take up floor space for it. In the Bullet, it is conveniently out of the way.
|From The Bullet|
|From The Bullet|
One thing I was disappointed in was the plastic toilet. The one in the Tango was porcelain. I suppose we have to make some sacrifices to reduce weight.
Monday, April 26, 2010
|From Keystone Premier 31BHPR|
We finally got a chance to see our 2010 Keystone Premier 31BHPR on the weekend. It had arrived at the dealership earlier in the week. We had placed a deposit on it back in February when we saw it at the Earlybird RV show in Abbotsford but what was originally supposed to be a 2 week wait ended up being much longer.
It was nice seeing it in person again and it reconfirmed that this was the right RV for us.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
|From RV Mods and Accessories|
Restcure.ca has a great explanation of how a torque multiplier works as well as some very helpful pictures and information about the ProPride hitch. So I went out and bought the torque multiplier today which was on sale for only $70 (regularly $110).
The 2010 Keystone Premier 31BHPR travel trailer we ordered waaay back in February should finally be arriving soon. Apparently, on top of all the other reasons for delay that we heard through other owners (slight specification change and high demand), according to our salesman, the factory had trouble finding enough drivers to deliver the trailer up north. We are now "at the top of the list" so hopefully it will be here soon.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Despite having one of the warmest winters in history this year, spring time temperatures have still been in the single digits. This past week we even had some wet snow. That's meant I've had to keep the winter tires on our GMC Yukon XL Denali a lot longer than normal.
The forecast has finally changed and I took the opportunity today to switch back to the 20" chrome.
Let's hope the weather stays warm!
Monday, March 15, 2010
I've read comments on the forums and there have been a couple of rumors why there might be a delay. One reason is the incredible popularity of the unit and the large number of recent orders. Another is that Keystone RV made some design changes and they were incorporating them into the new RVs.
Whatever is causing the delay, we've taken advantage by removing almost all of our gear from the Tango. It took us three trips of filling our Denali XL up to the roof to do it. It's surprising how much was packed in there. Now with the campsite already booked for our first trip of the season, we'll probably need to de-winterize the Tango and pack it with the bare minimum to take it out.
Stay tuned for more.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
We saw the Keystone Premier 31BHPR in early February at the Early-bird RV Show in Abbotsford. We fell in love with the floor plan and decided to trade in our old travel trailer after only having it for less than a year. With the good weather we've been having and spring break only a couple of weeks away, I'm starting to go a little stir crazy trying to find as much information and pictures about the Premier to carry me through until when it arrives. This video gives a little glimpse at the new trailer.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
I posted some general specifications and floor plan:
Premier Ultra-Lite 31BHPR RV Travel Trailer
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Archives / Past Journeys
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- ProPride 3P Hitch: Second Impressions
- LG Eve GW620R Android - Factory Reset
- ProPride 3P Hitch: Impressions
- Keystone Premier 31BHPR: Shakedown Trip
- VW R32: Service Action 60A7
- ProPride 3P Hitch Installed
- ProPride 3P Hitch Is On The Way
- Keystone RV: How To Winterize Your RVs water syste...
- Keystone RV: Proper Lug Nut Torque - Requirements ...
- Keystone RV: Override Your Slide Out Mechanism
- A Song For My Wife On Mother's Day
- Lynx Levelers: Christmas in May
- RV Mod: Bamboo Gutter Extensions
- The Bullet and Tango Hotel
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