Why is the pump running???

We noticed late last season that the water pump would cycle on several times over a short period, for no reason. We kept an eye on this and it was a pretty regular event. It was like there was a small leak somewhere that was allowing the built up pressure to fall, and requiring the pump to come on. I checked all the lines and taps but all were good. After a little internet research, I discovered there is a tiny check valve inside the pump head, which prevent the water that is under presure from draining back into the fresh water tank. When this starts to wear, this is exactly what happens, the water hads back from where it came, and the pump starts up every so often. As this was becoming more regular, it was time to fix.

Individual parts for these Shurflo pumps are readily available, and I was first aiming to just get a new check valve and change it, until in my parts search I discovered a spot that was selling the entire pump head for only about $15 dollars more than what it would cost to get the check valve. So, I ordered the whole head, which would be easier to change.

Three screws hold the pump head, although as is usually the case, getting at these is the hardest part. The water lines need to be disconnected, and I needed to take the pump off the floor to allow it to swivel enough to remove those three simple screws. Off with the old and on with the new, problem solved.

While I was doing this, I took the opportunity to change the water filter. The stock version is pretty basic and not very friendly to clean the filter. I swapped this out with a model that is much easier to clean.

2014 Trip 2: it's a long weekend, that means rain!

McLaren's Campground, St Lawrence Parks - May 2014

Sure enough, nothing but rain leading up to the long weekend as is generally the case. It is sometimes a little odd heading out when the weather is less than great, but this is made easier by the fact that we know we will be snug as a bug, and the whole point is to get away.

We've never been to the St Lawrence Parks group of campgrounds, so we plan to check out the options while we are down there. If it turns out to be a good area, it will be real handy as it is only a little over an hour to get to.

Very overcast with spots of rain, as we are now heading towards the band of weather that is moving east. Nice drive, through some great looking farmland and some great looking farms on them. Some serious dairy and beef operations in this area, one place had a big herd of long horn bulls, all of them just laying around, as cows tend to do in the rain. Pretty impressive looking beasts, those massive curved horns just scream...'don't mess with me'.  Nice looking campground, at least what we can see through the rain. Pretty open, but lots of trees and it seems well laid out. Our site is nice, with a gravel entrance and trailer pad. We are surrounded by lush, well maintained grass. Campground is almost full, and we have seen that some of these site are definitely seasonal, but not in our true definition of what we call seasonal. There are no additional sheds and other such structures, just perhaps a simple deck.

Spotted a rare sight as we drove in...another Alto. We have only ever seen one other in a campground. This one is the bright yellow model, making it doubly noticeable, beyond its distinctive shape. We will no doubt be wandering over there tomorrow.

Drizzling as we got set up. We have 30 amp and water, so they both will be put to full use this weekend. When the weather is crappy and cool, having electricity is more important. It means you do not have to worry about the draining the battery while generating heat, and it gives you the option of both the heat pump and the little oscillating heater. After our dead battery weekend last year, we are now much more aware of our 12 volt consumption. Got the boys settled in, as usual they explored their new home and then relaxed a bit.

2014 Trip 1: our fifth season begins, time sure flys

Cedar Cove, White Lake - May 2014
The much anticipated first trip of the season. We think about getting back out in our Alto most of the long winter. Pulled it out of storage last weekend, and spent the week putting all our gear back into it.

Everything wintered well, although the only thing unexpected would have been mice, but we have never had those guys. The Alto is pretty well sealed, so I suspect it would be challenging for them to get in. The weather recently has been a little iffy. Fortunately we had a few breaks in the cloud and drizzle that allowed us to get backed in and set up no problem.

The boys are with us, Barley and our new guy Riley. We are most curious how Riley reacts to being in the Alto, as he wil be a bundle of energy in a confined space. We are going to be very careful with entering and exiting, as he has proven to be a bit of a door darter. We have even brought his leash with a harness for use on him inside, while we are both outside. This will make it much less stressful for us getting back into the trailer, knowing he is secured inside. 

No rain this evening, but very windy about 30 km winds. This is a great site by the water, but you can really feel the wind off the cold water. Inside, the heat pump easily took the chill off. Nice to have a variety of heat sources, the heat pump being just one of them.  

First pull of the trailer with the new tires on the Santa Fe. Needed to replace the original Bridgestones, after only 65,000 klm. Actually, not even that many klm considering it rides on winters for almost 6 months. Pretty poor longevity.  Settled on a set of Michelin LTX MS2. They got mostly good reviews and should have a treadwear lifespan of 115,000klm. We shall see. So far, so good, they run smooth, little road noise, and seem to track well over the pavement.

Nice evening, not cool at all. The boys were good last night, sleeping up on the bed with us. Sunny morning with a few clouds, but the wind is quite strong and white caps on the water. Sun always helps though. Coffee started the day, then a little reading. Nothing nicer than to just take the time and relax in the morning. The weekdays are busy enough, real important to take advantage of the opportunity to slow down a bit. 

Cleaned and bleached the water system in the morning, one of the startup tasks that should be done every spring. I also cleaned the windows then applied a treatment to all the rubber seals on the Alto, which cleans and keeps the rubber moisturized. Given the number of seals all over the place, it is an important activity to do a couple of times a year. I also checked all the propane connections with leak detector fluid and cleaned the burner areas. Like they do with bar-b-ques little spiders can have a habit of making homes in these parts, so a little extra attention is important.

Barley once again has discovered my clothing bin under the bench, and was well ensconced in there all afternoon. Dale walked around the campground in the afternoon. Being a campground primarily for seasonal trailers

As the wind was howling, we opted for a simple meal inside. I did walk over to the camp store for a couple of ice cream cones for dessert. Watched a couple more episodes of Mad Men, then that was the day. Sky was very clear, and the moon almost full, a nice evening.

Woke up to a beautiful morning, very clear, the wind has calmed down, should be a good day. With the wind calmer this morning, there are zillions of little tiny winged bugs around. Not sure what they are, not mosquitos or black flies,...could be noseeums?  They cover and stick  to everything, and are annoying in their own right. These little guys seem to fly right through our screens so going to look into changing the screen material in the trailer to something with a finer mesh.  

Dale's parents are heading out to visit us this morning and we are going to the park restaurant, Lakeside Grill for Mother's Day breakfast. Afterwards we then started to pack up and headed home. Nice to know the Alto is once again all ready for another season.