The Long Weekend

This is home for the Thanksgiving weekend. Not exactly as per plan.

No status on our timeline. The parts have been ordered but we do not know when they will arrive. Obviously not today. Hopefully sometime next week.

Here are a couple of shots of our current site. We are nestled amongst the trees with a large, open area that, for most of our time here, has been ours alone.

There have been a few coaches that have set up beside us for an overnight stay here and there. Four coaches over three nights. Otherwise, it has been a very private spot at the Hitch House.

Here is a shot of the baseplate on our Lincoln.

We were supposed to be here for two days to have this base plate installed for our Blue Ox tow bar system. We will have spent at least three or perhaps four weeks before resuming our journey due to a series of unexpected issues which you can read about here.

The base plate on our car is discrete. From a few feet away you would hardly know that it is there.

We have a Blue Ox Patriot II as our supplemental braking system.

To legally tow a vehicle behind a motorhome, in any State or Province, the following is required: a base plate bracket to connect to a tow bar, a tow bar with safety cables, a supplemental braking system, a break away system and the ability to display stop, turn and running lights on the towed vehicle.

Plateau XLMB

As we enter our third week at the dealer, we have seen quite a few coaches coming and going. Most for service although a fair number of newly sold coaches.

We have had a few neighbours during our stay. They spend a night in their new coach and then head out.

We, on the other hand, are starting to become permanent fixtures. We now know most of the staff here on a first name basis. They all seem to know us.

Our newest neighbour is the proud owner of a Pleasure-Way Plateau XLMB. They received their coach yesterday and they are parked beside us for a night or two.

The Plateau XLMB is a 22-foot coach built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. It would be far too small for me for extended travelling but a perfect size for touring. It is a coach that can go anywhere.

No slide-outs but a very clever use of space.

The interior features a queen-sized Murphy bed and a good sized washroom. Pleasure-Way is a Canadian company that stands behind their product with an excellent 5-year comprehensive warranty.

Starting at roughly $150,000 Canadian, it looks like a compelling option in this segment of the RV market.

I went through Pleasure-Way’s video tour and I was quite impressed with the builder and the attention to detail. And our new neighbours seem very happy with their new coach.

Passing The Time Away

We won’t be leaving the dealer any time soon. We are going to be spending Canadian Thanksgiving at The Hitch House.

We have been here for two weeks and it looks very much like it will be at least three weeks before we are back on our way.

Everything is fine though. We are pretty much living as we expected in retirement. We love our coach. It really is a beautiful space for the two of us and for Tabby. We have a nice site at the dealer. It is quiet and private. The only inconvenience is that we need to dump tanks every five to six days. That requires us to pack up the coach, drive about 20 kms, empty our tanks and then return and set up the coach again.

And there is a lot going on in our lives so no shortage of things to do.

This past weekend I did sound for a live event in Guelph, Ontario. I also recorded the event. The picture above was a shot of Lorraine helping me at the sound console. Lorraine was prompting me through the cue sheet. At that moment in time, I was asking her what was going to happen next in the program. We had four bands, an MC, a guest speaker and multimedia running throughout the evening. Lots of inputs to manage. At times there were over 20 people on stage and upwards of 32 active inputs.

Kept me on my toes.

It all went so well. Late night though. We left the dealer at 9am. Arrived at the sound rental site at 11am. Packed vehicles with lots of gear and did our load-in and setup. Surprisingly, I was able to get ready for sound checks by 2:30pm. Worked through the various bands — I was handling front of house, monitors and event recording — until 6pm. Event started at 7pm. Finished at 10pm. Tear down took a couple of hours.

We did not get back to the hotel until close to 1 am. I then did an audio engineering seminar the following afternoon for 3 hours, teaching a team of 6 audio engineers about mixing for live streaming and how to operate a specific model of digital console. Then straight back to the dealer.

Pretty full week-end.

I’m now spending my days and evenings working up the tracks from Saturday’s event in my mobile Pro Tools rig. I suspect that you would not see too many of these setups in a motorcoach.

So much capability in a rig of this size. Fully featured console, accurate monitoring through the Genelecs and some high-end headphones and, of course, the Pro Tools platform.

Roughly two and a half hours of recording to edit and mix. Might take me a couple of weeks all in to get a release candidate out to the artists for sign-off.

The event was shot on video and the video production company will need the two track mix to finish their post production work. I gave them a guide track of the house mix during the event. Once they have the completed mix, they can align the finished mix with the guide track.

It is fine with me that we will be here for another week or two. I have lots to keep me busy.

As long as we are good to go across the border on November 1st.

It is starting to get cold now.

My primary objective in retirement is never to be cold again.

Still Here

This is a screenshot from my Lincoln app off my iPhone. The app has a cool tracking feature where you can geolocate the car. Handy if you trying to figure out where your car might be.

The blue spot is where our coach has been parked for almost two weeks now.

The yellow spot is where the car had been sitting for most of that time.

We did get it back on Friday. I suspected it was ready to be delivered when the app told me that my car was moving. I followed the test drive in near real time.

Baseplate for the tow bar successfully installed.

Braking system for the car successfully installed.

New oil pan successfully installed.

New chrome grill plate successfully installed.

Progress.

We were away for the weekend. Action packed and I’ll definitely need a few days to recover from it all. It was wonderful to come back to our coach even if we are still stranded at the dealer.

Today we will be looking to get some kind of timeline for when we can be on our way.

From what I know at this point, the coach will need the parts to replace the awning, time in the paint bay, and some testing and fine-tuning to make sure all is well with the equipment.

I spoke with the service manager on Friday and he believes that there is some kind of firmware bug in the awning system.

We have four weeks remaining before we cross the border.

Hopefully this all gets resolved before then.

Oh and our hot water and hydronic heat continues to work.

Thankful for the small things in life.

10 Days And Counting

We’ve called to let them know that we are still planning to use our site at Sherkston Shores. We’ll just be two weeks or more late arriving.

We were supposed to be at our staging site for our trip south in the Fort Erie area last Thursday. When we actually get to our staging site is anyone’s guess.

Some progress though. My car should be back today. The dealer assures me that all is fine with the car. And I hope that is the case.

I have an app on my iPhone that talks to my car. The car has its own modem and sends out messages about how it is feeling. And the car has been telling me that it has not been feeling all that well lately.

Multiple Vehicle Health Alerts were issued for the car. Not unusual I suppose. Losing all of the engine oil due to a punctured oil pan is bound to make any vehicle a tad unwell.

Everything is apparently back in order with the car. I’ll find out later today.

The site we have is very nice. Quiet, private and well landscaped so we really are not suffering here at all.

Which is a good thing. Newmar, Girard (manufacturer of the awning) and the dealer are still working out what to do with the unintended exodus of the awning while the coach was in motion.

It looks like they will replace everything. That might take another week by the time the parts arrive and the dealer gets the new parts installed.

Thank heavens the awning did not extend while we were driving the coach. That would not have been a good thing.