Crossing The Border

In less than a week now we hope to cross the border into New York state.

We might make it as per our original schedule.

Our car is back from the Niagara Falls Lincoln dealer. The exhaust gas sensor was the culprit for the engine warning light. The part had to be ordered from the U.S. and it took several days to reach Canada.

Not unlike the replacement awning assembly for our coach.  It needed to be ordered from the U.S. and it is taking several days to reach Canada. Or should I say several weeks?

The good news is that the parts did reach Newmar yesterday and Newmar did ship them out to the dealer same day. The tracking information puts the delivery to our dealer for Monday. That is when the dealer would like us back on site. We will be pulling up our jacks on Monday and heading back to Barrie, Ontario where it is a good deal colder than it is here in the Niagara region. The Barrie forecast is for a high of 4 Celsius, or 39 Fahrenheit on Monday. With snow.

The water service is shutdown at the dealer due to the cold weather so we will have to rely on our tanks for our stay. We did not get a chance to sanitize the fresh water tank after we pulled the coach out of storage so we are going to have to do so before we head up to the dealer.

We are spending the day today getting ready for our border crossing.

We carry the following documentation for the border crossing:

  • Passports
  • Nexus cards
  • Travel insurance certificates and policies
  • Site confirmations for all of our stateside travel
  • Income tax return
  • Investment statements
  • Bank statements
  • Utility bills
  • Inventory of valuables (including sales receipts and serial numbers)
  • Record of travel in the United States for the past five years
  • Papers for Tabby (our golden retriever)

Aside from our Nexus cards, I do not expect to use the documentation for the border crossing. Our experience crossing the border has always been straightforward and we have travelled extensively in the U.S. over the years. But you never know and it is always good to be prepared. We do not have a right to enter the U.S. as we are visitors and we need to have the evidence to prove that we intend to return to Canada and that we have the financial means to support ourselves while in the U.S.

Looking forward to starting our journey south. Hopefully the awning replacement goes well and we can be on our way as planned.

Just in time.

Sherkston Shores

A few photos to share from our time at Sherkston Shores RV Resort.

Some wonderful areas to explore particularly as there is hardly anyone here at this time of year. Most days it seems as though we have the place to ourselves.

Sherkston Shores is located on roughly 560 acres of land along the Lake Erie coast. There are somewhere over 1,700 manufactured homes and several hundred RV sites. During peak season, I would expect 4,000 or 5,000 people.

Since we have been here, perhaps a few dozen people on site. Except for the weekends. It has been busier over the past two weekends.

Most of what you will find at Sherkston Shores are manufactured homes.

Some are very nice with spectacular waterfront views.

Others are nestled high amongst the trees.

While a few have definitely seen better days and call to mind the common definition of a “trailer park”.

Most of the properties were well looked after though. In terms of the RV sites, well, they are almost exclusively 5th wheel trailers.

With several hundred sites, we have only found four Class A motorhomes. All of them a bit older and all of them gas-powered.

Our coach tends to get some attention wherever we travel in Canada. Very different from our travels in the U.S. where it is far more common to see Class A diesel pushers.

All told, this is a much nicer spot to be than at the dealer’s lot waiting for parts. We have some beautiful beachfront walks even if the weather is unseasonably cold. Reminds us that in a few weeks we will be south where it is hopefully much warmer.

Time To Head South

Plus 1.

34 degrees Fahrenheit for our U.S. friends.

That is starting to get cold. Way too cold.

Average temperatures for this area at this time of year? 14 Celsius or 57 Fahrenheit.

Just our luck. We got caught up in an early deep freeze.

We have been running our heat pumps and our in-floor radiant heating system. We have heaters for our tanks and I had them on last night. Although, from what I have read, uninsulated pipes won’t start freezing until the temperatures reach -6 Celsius or 20 Fahrenheit.

The high today is only 7 Celsius or 44 Fahrenheit. And, for the next two weeks, the temperatures will remain well below seasonal values.

The geese have been making their way south.

We’ll need to follow them soon.

We are checking with our dealer on the status of our awning repair later today. Hopefully the parts arrive on time. Looks like we might have an early start to winter in Canada.

On My Own

Guarding the fort for a few days as Lorraine travels across southern Ontario tackling a few tasks that we need to clear off before we head south.

One of them we should have looked after while our youngest son was still at home.

I posted about our experience updating our Nexus records online here. Nexus is a trusted traveller program that we highly value and we wanted to make sure that my change of employment status to retired was registered with them. Lorraine and I went in, updated all of the relevant information required by the two governments, interviewed again with the border officials from both countries and all is well with our Nexus membership.

Our youngest son has to go through the same process only this time at Pearson Airport. Could take the better part of a day I suspect. Pearson is a very, very busy place.

Lorraine will make the three-hour drive out to Toronto, stay overnight with family, and then take Matthew out to get his Nexus records updated tomorrow. Matthew will be joining us in Florida over Christmas and the Nexus card will make his travel a bit easier.

Yours truly gets to safeguard the coach along with our trusty golden retriever.

I have yet to find a better guard dog.

Drive to Sherkston Shores

We left the dealer on Saturday and made our way down to Sherkston Shores. We had originally booked this site for six weeks.

We will wind up staying here for ten or twelve days due to some issues that we had at our dealer.

Last week our timeline for the replacement parts for the damaged forward awning was set to October 26th. Our decision was to sit and wait for the parts to arrive or to head down to Sherkston Shores and circle back.

A bit of an expensive decision. We use toll roads to get down to Sherkston Shores and the downward leg is $80. As we now have to go back and forth to get the awning issue resolved, this will add an extra $160 in tolls. The extra fuel costs to make that trip? About $350. All in our short stay at Sherkston Shores will add an extra $500 in costs. And that was one reason why we debated waiting at the dealer. Unlike a car, travelling even relatively short distances in our coach can be expensive.

But the lure of full hookups and being in a tourist area — Niagra Falls — will make the next week or so more enjoyable than hanging out at the dealer’s parking lot.

Our trip down offered a bit of excitement. Our planned exit was closed due to construction and we almost wound up at the U.S. border.

Aside from that little bit of excitement, the drive was fine. Our toad tracked perfectly and we had no issues navigating our new length. Coach plus car puts us about 60 feet in length.

Here is a video summary of the drive down and a brief overview of Sherkston Shores.