Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Getting Ready Again

The New England VROC Maine Ride will be our last trip of the season (unless we change our minds this fall). We'll be heading out Thursday in the van for a weekend of fun and frolic at the Sudbury Inn in Bethel, Maine. In the meantime, we had to get some things done.

I had booked an appointment for yesterday at our local Chrysler dealer to get the oil and filter changed on the van. I also asked to have them check out why the passenger power window wasn't working, what was loose around the tail pipe and why the rear brakes were sticking when the van sat for a few days.

I delivered the van at 9:00 AM and opted to wait. They have good WiFi in the waiting room so I got a couple of days of blogs caught up from the weekend. About 1:00 PM, they had finished all the other jobs and took me in to show me the rear brakes. This van has drums on the rear and they were rusted quite badly. They also showed me that the oil pan was quite corroded as was the hose from the water pump to the heater. I don't like time bombs so I gave the go ahead to fix it all, but this meant I wouldn't be taking the van home today. The courtesy shuttle gave me a lift to the house.

At home, Sandy suggested we had time to get the motorhome out to the dump facility at the water treatment plant in Val Caron before it closed at 3:30. And we did. I dumped the noxious black tank and rinsed the hose with the grey water. I had filled the grey tank at the campground because, if we don't use the shower, this tank doesn't accumulate much. The black tank sensors looked clogged again but there isn't a regular hose fitting at the WTP so I will have to wand the tank later.

From Val Caron, we drove over to Berthiaume Fuels in Chelmsford, the only place in the area that supplies automotive propane. In fact, they have a pump right in the full service lane. They filled the tank to 80%. Now, with empty holding tanks and a load of propane, we headed for home.

On the way home, Kyle called from Royal Tire to say that out new spare tire was in but the rim wouldn't arrive until Thursday. I probably didn't mention the flat tire we had on the van the week before last. The little donut spare was in such raunchy condition that it barely did the job so I ordered a full size tire and rim to replace it. I pointed out that we expected to be on the road early Thursday and needed the tire so he said he would scare up a used rim.

At home, we had a quiet evening of blogging, napping and watching the season finale of Combat Hospital. I hope this Canadian series gets picked up for a second season but we'll have to wait and see what ABC says.

This morning, we got some things done before our 10:00 appointment with Lindsay, our new TDWaterhouse financial planner. Because we had no van, Sandy's father gave us a ride to the bank. The appointment took two hours, largely because Lindsay and I talked politics and the economy. We did decide on a relatively safe place for the RSP funds transferred from Sun Life and for the Tax Free Savings Account investments where Sandy's Canada Pension cheques will go. We made the decisions based on my current pessimism and belief that a second dip in the recession is imminent.

When we were done, I called the dealer and found the van was ready to go. Then I called Harry and he gave us a ride over there to pick it up. Back home, I called Kyle and found the spare tire was ready to go. Over to Royal for the spare, a stop by the bank for some cash and a quick check of the van tire pressures and my outside chores were done.  I didn't get much of the inside work done in the evening but the essential work was finished and w'll be on the road in the morning.

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