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Old 07-10-2016, 02:05 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
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1st Big Trip, 1st Big Issues!

My wife, two young children, and dog set out for our 1st big trip in our renovated '79 AS Excella from Michigan to Banff. I've always heard from other RV'ers that something ALWAYS breaks on one of these trips no matter what kind of gear you have, and boy did we experience that! We are about 1/2 way through our trip and here's what's broken or happened so far:

Aside from all that stuff, there have been some fun and redeaming moments so far as well:
  • Our 2 year old son made his 1st camp friend
  • We helped a guy who's car broke down with his wife and 5 kids on the side of the highway
  • Picked up two college-age hitchhikers going from Quebec to BC, made some new friends there
  • Campground turned out to be WAY nicer than we thought (check out The Lodge at Panther River)
  • Saw a bunch of wild life (goats, elk, deer, horses) up close and in the wild
  • My fix for my broken hitch held up for the entire trip despite the worst public roads in Saskatchewan
  • Stayed up 'til the wee hours of the night talking conspiracy theories with our camping neighbor
  • The wife and I are getting along great despite some trying moments

And to think, we are only half way through the trip! Let's see what else there is in store for us.

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Old 07-10-2016, 02:09 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
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Typical.... sounds like a great time!
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:28 PM   #3
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
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It sounds like our kinda of trip. Safe travels
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:32 PM   #4
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1992 29' Excella
Van By The River , Georgia
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I'm sure you're hoping the worst is over and it probably is. However, any long trip will likely result in some unexpected situations. Part of the "fun" of traveling is finding ways to be resourceful and stay on track. That may involve a trip or two to the RV center, the auto repair shop, or a hardware store or two or three!

See Ya Down the Road!
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:38 PM   #5
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Boats and trailers have at least one thing in common, things break even when sitting still. It takes constant PM to keep them both in 100% safe and mobile condition.
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:49 PM   #6
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2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
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1st Big Trip, 1st Big Issues!

I have experienced all issues related to things not working except the composting toilet. A valve on our normal toilet broke near Lackawanna in the winter. The adjusting screw on my Eaz lift came loose and I tightened every thing up before it did any damage. I ran out of diesel up by The Pas in northern Manitoba and had to be towed to a dealer for a fuel system bleed. (Never run out of Diesel). The high water pressure at a campground in Red Deer burst my plumbing system. I fixed the water pump with a repair kit from Dick Gores RV near Savanna. When my roadside wing window shattered near Niagra Falls, I just kept going to CanAm RV in in London since he had one in stock.
It's all just part of camping and travelling.

I bet that you are having a lot of fun. Take lots of photos. Just think of the great stories for the future campfires. Jim
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Old 07-10-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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A broken window is devastating.

It seems like you have your priorities in the right place though.

Lady friend decided to bring one more dress after I was ready to leave and had battened down the hatches. She forced the lock and broke it.

Andy at Inland RV (951) 734-8130 sent me a kit to repair it. Wasn't cheap but way cheaper than the unavailable lock, if you could find it. AND way easier than putting in a modern style.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:28 AM   #8
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1972 31' Sovereign
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felton , California
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That's gotta be a powerful station wagon! what does your rig weigh in at when fully loaded with the family and camping gear etc?
I love talking conspiracy theories btw how's the composting toilet ? I want to swap mine and need a small one as a very tight space in my 72 Sov land yacht
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Old 07-11-2016, 07:39 AM   #9
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickclifford View Post
That's gotta be a powerful station wagon! what does your rig weigh in at when fully loaded with the family and camping gear etc?
I love talking conspiracy theories btw how's the composting toilet ? I want to swap mine and need a small one as a very tight space in my 72 Sov land yacht

Powerful wagon indeed! It's a Mercedes R320 Diesel. Hitch setup from CanAm RV (class 3 hitch installation, weight distribution and sway bars). Lots of hills and dirt roads; no problems yet! Not sure on the weight. My guess: heavy

The compositing toilet has been really, really great. My two year old son thinks all the levers and "buttons" on it are awesome is quite content to sit on it for 20 minutes at a time, which is helpful because we're in the middle of potty training with him.

I haven't noticed any odor from the compost itself, aside from the occasional wiff of coffee grounds (we add those to the compost). We have to empty the liquid container about every week or so, and empty the compost about once a month depending on use. It's great not to have to deal with sewage!
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:36 AM   #10
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2014 28' International
Blacksburg , Virginia
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run out of

>"We ran out of gas in the middle of backwoods Minnesota with no cell phone signal " <

Its killer not having propane to run hot water heater and stove. Yeah I like to keep one tank full all the time.

That's pretty wild that their are still hitchhikers. I remember my parents telling me about hitchhiking back from college, in the early 60's.

I'd ask about the conspiracy theory discussion, but I think we might get tossed off here if we did ! LOL
Love to talk about stuff like that and listen especially,. That was a cool pic you posted , where was it, or did I miss the location,
Have safe travels !
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:36 AM   #11
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1978 31' Sovereign
Cold Lake , Alberta
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When are you planning to be in Banff, and for how long? I'm setting off on the 22nd to that area, would love to swap stories!
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:53 PM   #12
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I couldn't take all that excitement, I hope it goes smoother for you...
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:56 AM   #13
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyvekcat View Post
>That was a cool pic you posted , where was it, or did I miss the location
That picture was somewhere on the side of the road in Saskatchewan in an abandoned town called Mantario. Miles and miles of canola fields on either side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeyman View Post
When are you planning to be in Banff, and for how long? I'm setting off on the 22nd to that area, would love to swap stories!
It looks like we're going to miss you by that time! If you ever travel through Charlevoix, Michigan hit us up! Lots of stories to tell and would love to hear your's too.
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Old 07-12-2016, 12:42 PM   #14
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Cool

I wish I was traveling across western Canada or Western U.S. . Instead I am stuck here working for the 'man'.

Safe Travels and Blue skies,
Have a good one !
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