We arrived home from the East Coast on Saturday August 27th. My mom had to go back to work on the Monday so not returning home wasn’t an option. I mean… I could have sent her home on a plane but that seemed a bit rude. Also, I felt I had enough time lugging Peanut around and it was time to park her.
Between August 28th and September 18th I kept myself mildly busy… fixed the downspout on the eave which took the water away from the basement and had the tap leaking in the basement replaced. Had an Antique “sale” on Saturday the 11th… made $25 (WOO! … not). Hit a few shops in Belleville and Peterborough and visited a couple Antique stores.
I spent an entire week prepping for my moms 65th Birthday Party which was on Saturday September 18th which was super fun. Decorated like crazy in a black, gold, silver and white theme. We had a ton of Chinese food, two cakes and presents. Only gained a couple pounds that night. Was definitely worth it!
On Sunday morning I woke up and realized I wasn’t ready… I wasn’t ready to be done with my East Coast vacation. I still had so much more I wanted to do. So I did something totally crazy, I cleaned the house, did laundry, dropped a ton of groceries off at my dads, visited my mom and said “I’m heading to PEI, New Brunswick and Quebec to finish the trip we started”. I asked if she thought I was crazy and she said “yes, but crazy could be a lot of fun”. That evening I went home and packed. The next morning off I went.
So here I am. Sitting in bed in Prince Edward Island having arrived Tuesday September 21st. I drove from Havelock to Fredericton New Brunswick in 11 hours. That was a pretty long stretch of driving. I was pooped when I arrived at the Radisson Kingswood and could not wait to lay in bed and veg. A quick stop for some dinner and I was toast. And once again Chaya and J made excellent travel companions. They are quite the hit when they are in the stroller LOL.
We checked out around 9:15am. Since I’d never been to St. John that was going to be the first part of the journey. We drove 1.15 hours from Fredericton getting us there as the stores were starting to open up. We drove a bunch of the streets to take in some sights. Landed on King Street where there is a gallery called Handworks (12 King Street). They have beautiful handmade paintings, pottery, crafts and jewelry made by local artisans. I would recommend you stop in if you are in St. John. We stopped in at the park for the dogs to run around before heading out to grab some breakfast. And as we drove off I decided to jump off the beaten path and take a random road which did not disappoint. We ended up finding a small beach with amazing views. And man was the air SO fresh.
After my mini tour of St. John I headed back to Prince Edward Island. I was through the check point in under 10 minutes and had my umpteenth covid test (Negative). By mid afternoon I was all settled in and relaxing. I did nothing Tuesday and Wednesday since I needed to recover from the long drive.
Thursday I decided to go for a drive to Murray River where there is a cute little property for sale that I really wanted to check out. The drive was about 1 hour and 15 minutes and although it was beautiful, the location was just to far from anything a tourist might want to do. So I decided to head into Charlottetown to grab a couple items and get myself some lunch before returning home.
Friday my uncle and I decided to take a drive to Stanley Bridge to check out another property that peaked my interest. This one is a 6 unit motel that is right on the water. I have ALWAYS wanted to have my own BNB/INN or motel and the price of this little guy is amazing. Unfortunately I just can’t swing the financials now, but I know what I want for the future. While in Stanley we stopped in at a cute little barn with antiques (insanely over priced btw) so we left empty handed. Drove into Charlottetown to book an oil change since I’m now on my second LONG trip east and the car is the most important part of making this happen.
Saturday (today) I decided to stay close to home since it was close to the pups lunch time and I still had to cook their food. My Uncle David had mentioned that there are heritage homes in the Victoria region of the island and so I took a short 15 minute drive to Victoria PEI. Wow, what a charming heritage site. Every house is a century plus home. Some are shops, some restaurants, several galleries, a book store and community centre. It is definitely a place I would visit again and so should you. I walked all 3 of the streets and down by the water. It was the perfect mini journey.
On the way home I stopped to take a picture of the Canoe Cove School which was established in 1820 (just a couple hundred years old NBD…)
That sums up this part of the Journey. My next adventure will take me through the Acadian Peninsula which is super exciting! And after that to Quebec (Bonaventure, New Carlisle, Gaspe and the Gaspe Peninsula). This is what I am most excited for as I have never been to any of these areas. I will be visiting my grandparents places of birth in Quebec which is very thrilling. I cannot wait!
After a quick two day visit with my cousins in New Brunswick we were off to Nova Scotia. The trip would take approximately 3.5 hours. About 30 minutes into the drive we hit a bump that was so deep that the trailer nearly rolled (THANKFULLY IT DID NOT) however, when we got to the park there was a surprise.
Nova Scotia is beautiful. There is so much nature all around you. You can drive for miles in the trees. My GPS took me on the coastal route which was lovely. Small towns and communities on the waters edge. So idilic. About 2 hours in to the drive I was in Hurricane Henrys rain. It was coming down decently but it did not make me nervous. I could still see clearly.
I checked in to Oakhill Pines Campground in Oakhill, Nova Scotia at about 2:30pm. They gave me a map to my site and off I went. I chose to check in on a Monday knowing there would be less people at the park since I’m new to backing in. I followed the little streets to site #77 and pulled up in front of it. I got out, assessed the space – trees on the left, slight downward slope on a cliff (NO PRESSURE HAHA) oh and rain. I got back in the car, lined the trailer up, had a mini panic attack, straightened myself out and backed in to the spot on the first try perfectly. Under 5 minutes. Miracles do happen.
I proceed to put the chocks under the tires, jacks down and hook up the hydro. Remember that surprise I mentioned well here is it… I opened the door to the trailer and stepped inside to find water all over the place. What the heck? I sealed the crap out of Peanut before leaving. So I looked around to see where it came from. Low and behold as I looked up at the roof vent I could see light coming in. As it turns out when I hit that massive hole the trailer shifted so much that it shattered the old dried out rim to the ceiling vent causing the vent to pop open while driving. And of course I can’t see the roof of the trailer while I’m driving so the hurricane rain got in. I quickly wiped it up while the dogs were asleep in the car before we got settled.
About an hour after getting everything in and dry my mom and aunt checked into their little cabin just a few trailers over. My mom thought the reviews were not great at the hotel she booked so she opted to cancel the hotel and check into a tiny cabin with a toilet, sink and beds… and of course the hurricane rain. You could say they were roughing it a bit haha!
That evening we drove to Bridgewater to pick up some dinner at 27 South – excellent food! We stopped at the Giant Tiger and local dollar store before heading back to the trailer park to eat. Although Peanut is only 9 feet long the 3 of us fit at the table and ate. Snug but comfy.
It continued to rain long into the night. At around 12:09am I woke up from the wind, trees and rain coming down loud and hard. As I lay there I could hear a tree snap and come down very close by. I looked outside but couldn’t see anything. Peanut was ok. A minute later my neighbours in their little pop up trailer came out clearly distraught. The next morning I asked the husband if they were ok. He mentioned that the tree came down and sliced the canvas on the one end of the pop up trailer. What a terrible experience to have. They had to duct tape their canvas back together in the pouring rain. Thankfully no one was hurt.
Tuesday morning the sun had come out. It had been forecasted to be rain the whole day so this was very welcome. The worst part of my campsite was that is was all dirt and mud, no grass anywhere and with the slope it meant that all the water drains through my spot. I had to clean Peanut several times a day. I also had to wear my crappy flip flops around because I was covered in mud and dirt anytime I stepped outside. It really did not make for a fun experience. But thankfully this day was sunny!
We decided to head to Annapolis Royal to walk the town. On our way in we saw a sign for a German Bakery so of course we had to give it a shot.
Right across the street was Fort Anne. There was a century old cemetery, a fort, canons, a monument and paths around the water. We walked a small path which led us back to the sidewalk into to town. What a beautiful place. The houses are all century old, full of vibrant colours and the landscaping was just charming. Not to mention the view of the water. No stress while you stand their taking in the sights and fresh air.
We popped into a couple cute shops. At one I bought a cute handmade owl to hang at my house as a souvenir. And my Aunt Brenda got us a cute Nova Scotia magnet as a souvenir as well.
From Annapolis Royal we headed to Annapolis Valley. We did this part of our trip driving. It was as beautiful as all the other towns we’d gone through. This route took us back towards the campground. We stopped for dinner on the way back. We decided to eat in the cabin this time as it was a little roomier. We had hoped that with all the heat this day that it would also be a bit cooler than the trailer – it wasn’t. Since Chaya and J have had to come everywhere with us (in the dog stroller) everyday they were pretty tired and they both fell asleep together in the dog bed on the porch (holding paws).
As we sit on the porch I had this feeling that I should start walking back to the trailer. As I did the rain began to pour and suddenly I was sprinting (along with the other people in the park) back to the trailer. I had opened the vent and windows to let the heat escape when we got back just before eating. I got there just in time to close up before it was so heavy I couldn’t leave the trailer for 10 minutes. This rain also helped to cool everything off and luckily this was it for rain for the remainder of the trip.
We called it a night around 830pm. We had a long warm day and our bellies were full. It was time to make the bed and put on a movie before falling asleep. I opted to bring my laptop and purchase a portable CD drive for the trip. It only cost about $25 which is pretty cheap. I also packed about 30 DVDs to choose from to bring on the trip for rainy days in case we were trapped indoors. I used it a few nights in a row at the park. I had a pretty sweet set up. I wouldn’t make it through a single movie the entire trip without passing out.
Wednesday was going to be the hottest day of the entire trip so we decided to head out super early. Our first stop was Peggy’s Cove. It was about an hour and a quarter from the campground. We decided to do it first since it was the furthest away. We wanted to beat the heat and avoid the crowds.
Peggy’s Cove is just breathtaking. Myself and my Aunt had never been before. I would highly recommend anyone going to Nova Scotia take the time to visit this landmark. It is worth it. You can climb the rocks up to the light house. The view from every direction is spectacular and to hear the waves crashing into the rocks was so relaxing. Chaya and J came up onto the rocks as well. They were both super relaxed as they sat in the stroller taking in the sights and smells.
Chaya wouldn’t be queen without her crown LOL
As it warmed up and the people started to show up by the car load we decided it was time to head to the one place I had been planning to visit since I first learned of it, Lunenburg. We stopped in at a cute little Antique store along the way. I purchased a cute vintage Necktie holder – another fun souvenir.
Lunenburg is a UNESCO Heritage site. All of the homes (almost all) are designated heritage and must be preserved in their original state. The weather now was almost 40 degrees with the humidex and getting hotter.
Every house in Lunenburg is full of colour – like a rainbow. Beautiful wood work, gingerbread cutouts, wrap around porches, breathtaking views of the water. The streets reminded me a bit of Newfoundland – extreme hills that are somewhat intimidating lined with adorable boutique shops and restaurants. We got the Bluenose as we strolled by the water edge. There is nothing more that we wanted but to see every single house and not miss a thing because they were each so unique. We walked for about 45 minutes before we were just to hot to continue on. We hopped in the car and proceeded to drive every single street to see every single house we could before heading to Mahone Bay.
A handful of Lunenburg houses
Since our day in Lunenburg was just too hot to be outside I’ve decided that I will have to take another trip to Lunenburg another year in the cooler weather – I’m thinking a fall trip where I can be outside and walk each street to fully experience this town.
Final stop on the trip was Mahone Bay. Another town full of heritage homes on water. The one thing that is unique about Mahone Bay is that there are 3 churches in a row and when you cross the Bay and look at the town they are beautifully displayed across the water.
We drove the streets and decided to go to a little restaurant called Rebeccas for dinner pick up before heading back to the park and calling it a night. When we pulled into the parking lot across from Rebeccas my mom began to shout “unlock the doors” she suddenly leapt out of the car. What a small world, that Francis and my mom would be at the same place at the exact same time. While they visited my aunt and I went into the little store next to the restaurant while we waited for the food to be ready. A few minutes later we were on our way back to the campground to eat and relax.
Dinner was delish! I had Smoked bacon Mac and cheese. And a bite of my moms homemade fish cakes. We called it a night around 9pm when it had finally cooled down enough to go inside. I waIked over to Peanut and noticed how cute the area was all lit up.
I prepped the bed and put on a movie and fell asleep. Thursday would be day one of a 3 day journey home.
Thursday, I was up around 530am. I got showered and ready and started to pack up and hitch up Peanut. We began the journey with a quick stop by the main road that leads to the Confederation Bridge so my aunt could head home. We said our goodbyes and off we went in two different directions. My mom and I headed back to my cousins in New Brunswick for the night before heading to Quebec. We had an exceptionally yummy dinner at my Aunt Gisele and Uncle Donalds house (whom had also not seen for 14 years).
At 7am we were packed up, cleaned up and on the road for our 9.5 hour drive to Drummondville where we would spend the night at the Comfort Inn and eat St. Hubert – yummy! It became clear very early on that Chaya and J were more than happy to stay anywhere comfortably. They really like to vacation 🙂
Saturday was our last day on the road. We had 6.5 hour drive left before getting home. We left at 6:15am and arrived at 12:45pm. Plenty of time to unpack, tarp Peanut, and settle the dogs in. They were both VERY happy to be home.
This was certainly a vacation to remember. A lot of firsts; First time pulling a trailer, first time traveling alone, first time in Nova Scotia and first time traveling with dogs. I learned that I am and will always be a glamper – rainy campgrounds, running to the bathrooms and showers and being in mud is NOT my thing. Also – IT COST WAY TO MUCH TO PULL A TRAILER — 3 times more in gas than just driving. What would usually cost around $450 in gas (round trip) cost almost $1300…
Peanut was a bucket list item. I can happily say that I got to experience owning, renovating, traveling with and staying in a tiny vintage trailer. And I am happy I did. What comes next for Peanut — I’m not 100% sure. Maybe a cute bunky? Maybe I sell her? She didn’t make it out unscathed from this trip. The vent has to be replaced and the back aluminum wall has separated from the trim which means she needs more work… and money. For now she is on her parking pad hanging out tarped. And I am OKAY with that too.
It’s about the memories you make and I made a bunch on this vacation. Thank you for following along. Until next time!
I had 7 full days on the Island which meant plenty of time to relax and do some day trips. The Island is small… to put it into context you can go from one point (extreme East) to the other (northwest) in under 4 hours. But instead of doing it all at once we picked going to the extreme east to Souris, PEI since none of us had been before. We were not disappointed. The beach was gorgeous and had a small boardwalk to walk along. There were some little shops to visit and there was a bakery (didn’t make my top 5). As it turns out we decided to try a bakery in each new location we went to. Luckily I lost 4 pounds on the trip because that was way more dessert than any one person should ever eat. We went to Montague, St. Peters Bay and passed through Morell heading home.
St. Peters Bay
Our next little adventure took me back to North Rustico – which I think is the cutest little town. So I did not mind. We hit the bakery since we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed and did a little walk around the water. We visited The Dunes which is a specialty store it has some unique items, some mass produced and some handmade. The gardens on the grounds are also quite stunning. A good place to check out when you’re on the island.
And finally we went to the extreme Northwest of the Island to Tignish. On the way we stopped for a quick look at a local antique shop. The start of the drive was pretty boring – no water views just trees for miles. Finally we found the coastal route and jumped on it. We did a tiny tour of this little fishing town before hitting the bakery and heading home.
On Saturday the 21st I took off from the Island with Peanut and the pups and headed to Dieppe, New Brunswick where I would stay with my cousin Denis, his gorgeous wife Lindsay and their adorable son Connell. I had a great visit with my Cousin Chantal and her son Damian and ate some super yummy food from Mansu BBQ and Sunday I spent the day with my cousins and had a tasty home cooked Chicken dinner. I was a little spoiled.
Thank you for following along. Part 3 of the East Coast trip takes us to Nova Scotia. It was absolutely beautiful. Peggy’s Cove is breathtaking – a must visit if you’re heading East.
At 7:08am Friday August 13th the car was packed, the dogs were loaded and mom and I were on our way with Peanut in tow. The excitement was high but I made sure to have a good night sleep so I could drive the distance. GPS had our journey for this day pegged at 8 hours and 34 minutes. This of course did not include the gas, food and pee break stops. We left Havelock and headed east towards Belleville… This was an eye opening stretch which freaked me TFO (pardon my language but I was having a small panic attack) and I say this because I watched the gas meter drop SOOO FAST – 1/4 tank gone in less than 40 minutes which was about 75km. OMG we contemplated turning around unhitching and driving sans Peanut. But we kept going. I’ve always wanted to do this and a little extra gas money (OR DOUBLE AS IT TURNS OUT) will not stop us.
Since we didn’t know how far gas stations were going to be between towns and with the rate we were burning through the fuel we decided not to go under half a tank. So about every 2 hours we were filling up. This additional time cost us about 1.5 hours extra hours to the trip.
Day one I drove roughly 10 hours and boy was I pooped. And since it was 42 degrees with the humidex we opted to stay the night in a hotel since there was still 8 hours left to drive the next day. First official stop: Riviere-Du-Loup, Hotel Universal. Honestly we’ve stayed there every single trip for years. Tons of restaurants, parking, gas and super comfy beds. We pulled in at about 5:30pm. Unpacked, put the dogs in the room and headed down to the restaurant for some take out. We quickly ate and ended up going to bed since we were so tired. Unfortunately for me Little Man J had slept too much in the car and was up the entire night. But we got up, ready and out at 6:18am Saturday morning for the next leg.
Day 2 – started off with some cooler weather which was refreshing. We left Riviere-Du-Loup and headed in to Edmunston New Brunswick. One thing we both forgot was the number of hills and mountains throughout this province… ugh that gas meter once again was taking a beating. Anyone who has never pulled a trailer should just automatically double their fuel budget. No regrets. Just some shock.
We made it to the Confederation Bridge around 3:30pm ADT. Once we got over the bridge we went to the Covid Screening Check in – the best part about pulling the trailer was that the line we were sent to only had one trailer ahead of us so we were through (after filling in a screening report and me getting my 100th covid rapid test) in less than 15 minutes. If I was positive I would receive a call within two hours from the test. No call = negative. I was good to go. 40 minutes later we were at my Aunt Brenda and Uncle David’s place where Peanut is parked taking in the incredible view. You really cannot beat this view.
Sunday we took it easy. We were a little burnt out from the 18 hour trip. All we did all day was a short trip to get gas, lottery tickets and hit a drug store. This was a day to relax and recover.
Monday Monday (La la lalalala) – Refreshed from a solid night sleep we opted to touring the eastern side of PEI which we have never done. We started in Vernon Bridge which has a property I’ve been following that I’m obsessed with called Honeysuckle Cottages. A century home property with 3 separate dwellings to rent out. Perfectly manicured gardens, right by the water and so beautifully appointed. What an idillic place. Dream!
Second stop of the day was in Murray Harbour, The Clow House. This property was for sale many years ago. It is a heritage designated property that was in disrepair and we had high hopes that someone purchased it and fixed it up… sadly that was not the case. Hopefully someone will turn this massive home into the mansion it likely once was.
Our next stop was Montague. A small town on the Island. We came into town and drove the main strip to see what it had to offer. We ended up grabbing some breakfast and planning out our next destination. Off to Souris on the Atlantic Ocean.
What a beautiful place to be. Breathtaking views all around. I’ll be honest I am more in the moment and do forget to take pictures or I just choose not to take them. I almost didn’t get any shots. But we ended up at a local shop on the water and so I walked to the fence line and took a few shots.
We drove down the little streets lining the waters edge on the way to the local bakery. All homemade no mass production baked goods. The best kind! Pretty sure we’re going to gain a few pounds. But well worth it.
Our last leg of the journey was through St. Peters Bay, Morell and Tracadie. St. Peters Bay was lovely. Small and quaint with some little local vendor shops of homemade goods. Chocolates, crafts, ice cream, art and jewellery. A nice way to end the day.
The journey will continue – where? Haven’t decided yet. I’m just going to pick a place on the map and go towards it. My favorite kind of road trip.
Holy Moly I am so excited that there are only two work days left and then I am FREE!!!!
Peanut is almost fully loaded and ready to go. Clothing, food and dog beds is all that is left to pack. Thursday evening after work I will be doing laundry and a final check that I am not missing anything. I will also safety the tires (air pressure) and hook the car up so there’s nothing to do Friday morning except to load in my moms stuff.
The packing has begun:
As some of you know Little Man J has been in and out of the vets for just over a month now. Today we saw the eye specialist and it was determined that he has some mild glaucoma on top of his cataracts. Thankfully this can be managed with eye drops twice a day for the remainder of his little life. He is also on pain meds for his arthritis. At nearly 19 (maybe already 19) years old his old man-ness is catching up. But he is still a happy little man.
All that is left to do now if finish work… Go home… Do laundry… Pack and HIT THE ROAD!!!
Next update will be from the road folks! Thanks for following along.
Saturday my mom and I went to the Dollarama to get the oven mitts and pot holders that I needed for Peanut – and today I hung them up using sticker back hooks so to not add anymore holes in the walls.
Sunday I spent 2.5 hours with the dog just hanging out in Peanut. It went really well. All they did was sleep the entire time. I guess that’s what happens with nearly 100 year old dogs lol. We had some fun taking silly pics while I listened to the bluetooth speaker. While we sat I took note of some small projects that I still have to complete before we go.
Most importantly – add a window covering to the door window. It was weird sitting there knowing anyone could just come over and stare at me while I sleep … So I grabbed some leftover fabric and cut a piece to fit the window and used extra velcro to keep it in place. It’s not the fanciest but it sure does offer a ton of privacy. I also added a tieback so I can roll it up during the day time.
For our overnight adventure I didn’t bring to much out. Water for us all, housecoat (since fall has apparently arrived…), flip flops, house key, flashlight and socks. Of course the dog beds and blankets are here and I’ve put down a dog pad just in case there are accidents. Overall this is a pretty cozy little set up.
It’s weird knowing you’ll be sleeping outside of your house – knowing that it’s RIGHT THERE… and has all the amenities (bathroom, kitchen, tv) but it’s kind of fun. Hopefully we make it through the night. Little man J hasn’t been feeling well this past month. He is about 18/19 years old and his health is deteriorating a bit. Loss of appetite, arthritis, abnormal bowel movements.. he’s having a hard go at it. We were originally going to sleep in Peanut Saturday and Sunday but it would have been too hard on he and I. So we stayed inside and he finally ate at 11:30pm after over 24 hours of not eating. But today (Sunday) he seems to be doing ok – two full meals.
Part 2 – The sleepover
We got into Peanut around 9:30pm to settle in. Originally Chaya was on the floor in her bed … but she just sat there staring at me so I caved and put her on the bed. About 5 minutes later she settled and passed out. Wee Man J was in his own bed tucked into the top right corner of my bed. He was out cold. No mishaps, hunger or anxiety for the two dogs. It was great. Around 10:15pm I was ready to sleep. I fell asleep ok but realized that I was a bit hot. It had been so cool out this weekend that I opted to wear pants and a t-shirt to sleep in… big mistake with a comforter and sheet – it was too warm even with the fan.
Eventually I balanced out the hot/cold and fell back asleep… only to wake up realizing that the bed was JUST TOO SMALL for one Human and two dogs. I couldn’t turn over without pillows falling down or elbowing J in the head. Lesson learned dogs on the floor from now on. After having a restless sleep I was woken just before 6am by the trains rolling into town. So I gave up, went inside with the pups, fed Chaya and went upstairs to sleep (from 630am – 8am).
I’m going to consider this a mini win. I was more worried about the dogs not liking being in such tight quarters but they killed it. I however didn’t get much sleep – but I had fun being in the trailer.
Here is a mini update of what I’ve done this week:
My mom and I will be leaving Ontario Friday August 13th and arriving in Prince Edward Island on the 14th where I will spend 5-6 days with my family. After that I will head over to New Brunswick on my solo leg of the journey where I will stay with my Moncton Family for a few days before heading in to Nova Scotia.
From there I have booked myself into the Oakhill Pines Campground in Oakhill, Nova Scotia for 4 days in August. This will be my first official trailer park stay since I’ve purchased Peanut. From here my mom and my aunt will be coming in to Bridgewater Nova Scotia and staying in a hotel to celebrate their 65th birthdays sightseeing Lunenburg, Annapolis Royal, Halifax, Peggy’s Cove and other touristy areas with me.
I have applied for the East Coast passes in New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia. For anyone unfamiliar with the Atlantic bubble when covid came about the Eastern Canadian Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland) closed the provinces off to the rest of Canada and the world to keep the covid numbers lower. Those provinces are slowly opening up but to keep track of everyone coming in you are required to fill out applications to get permission to travel in. It was about a 25 minute process as you need to fill them out for each time you travel into each provinces so all in all I filled out 5 applications.
The progress continues in and outside of Peanut. I did some more caulking on the exterior of the trailer filling some small holes to make sure water doesn’t get in. She will have some paint touch ups done this coming weekend as well. I’ve also purchased 3 LED puck lights to add to the bathroom, kitchen and dining area for times I am not hooked up to electricity. Those will be installed this weekend. They have over 100 hour life span and run off of AA batteries.
On the inside I have been busy slowly moving items in. Dishes, food, bedding and bathroom necessities. I still have the fridge to load, kitchen utensils, electronics, clothing and other smalls (that I am still using daily) to move in the day before we take off.
As I take medication daily I wanted to condense all the bottles and purchased this little blue case that can hold multiple pills and in larger amounts:
I’ve created a road safety kit which includes: pylons, bungee cords, tire pressure gauge, tire pressure pump, first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, connector cable grease, tool kit and work gloves.
I’ve added storage everywhere that I can for clothing, shoes and dog items (leads, leashes, poop bags) that are light weight and won’t add much to the gross trailer weight.
Since I was a little worried the fridge would’t stay closed while traveling I’ve added a piece of heavy duty velcro to the fridge to keep it closed. I used a small scrap of fabric to cover the outside of the velcro to make it look a little nicer.
On the passenger side of the trailer the window was missing the latch and when you drive the window slides open which causes issues when you are pulling it. So I removed the latch from the kitchen window since it is a tight fit window and the rock guard covers it. Moved it over and now the window will stay closed.
I started writing this 4 days ago but it has been one heck of a busy week. This weekend I will do a test run and sleep in Peanut with the pups to see how everything goes. I will continue to keep you all up to date. Photos of the dry-run sleep over coming next week – let’s hope this goes well.
Late Friday I drove Peanut to the Welders property for him to assess the scope of work. His name is Dwayne and he owns D&L Custom Fabrication and Mobile Welding Located in Marmora, Ontario. I did a quick google map view to see what kind of ride we would be in for. Dirt roads, narrowing roads, one lane roads, uneven terrain and big ass potholes – this was the ride of my life and my first “long” trip with Peanut. If the aluminium piece holding the frame together could make it through all that then maybe it would have been ok… but who wants to take that chance? NOT ME!
Since the street is a dead end road and I accidentally missed his driveway I had to do a U-turn – not so easy with a trailer but I found the next driveway and started to work on backing Peanut up (forward, back, forward, back … you know how it goes). I had sent Dwayne a quick text saying I’d be a few minutes later as I missed the driveway and he said “I’ll be there in a minute with my 4 wheel to help turn you around”. He came down a minute later and saw me working on turning around and said “did you know there’s a roundabout 100 meters up the road?” HAHAHAHA of course there is. So I went right up to the roundabout. Turned left into his very long very uneven (in the sticks) driveway and there we were. Another 10 minutes later she was backed into his workshop.
He said “you can pick the trailer up Sunday” which was exciting. I did not expect him to work on it over the weekend as he is a Monday to Friday 9-5 business. But he did and Sunday she was done and now classified as ROADWORTHY (Happy Dance). He welded two plates on to the steal frame one on the front and one on the back. He said Peanut has some good years ahead of her and if anything else was to come up he would be more than happy to work on her again. We discussed undercoating which would be the next task to complete. This will help preserve the steal.
At a cost of $140 and a 6 pack of beer Peanut was done.
I got a lot more experience driving with the trailer this weekend which was great. I am slowly understanding the steering while backing into the driveways. It only took me 12 minutes to get the trailer down the driveway Sunday vs 40 minutes the first time – mind you I didn’t park Peanut on her pad as it was late and I still had a 2 hour drive ahead of me. So I went “straight” back. There was a lot more forward, back, forward, back that took place – my neighbours are getting use to it and ignore me now HA!
I invested in some trailer tow mirrors that would help me to see to the end of the trailer which would be beneficial for backing up and driving down the highways. Well… turns out they are pieces of garbage… the clips do not stay tight and the shimmy of the car had them falling off as well as the actual mirror moving from where it was positioned. So they were super useless. Those will likely be going back since I’m not paying for crap.
All in all it was a great weekend! Peanut is good to go. I have some minor things to work on still. I want to add some shoe storage so that I don’t have to worry about them sitting on the ground in the dogs space. I also want to adjust the tires and get the little covers for the tire air pieces (which had come off). I also want to cap off the secondary line to the propane tank as I do not need more than one not having a furnace to run.
Right now the only little … not so little… thing holding us back from a trip is that the trailer parks are not allowing people to stay short term and they do not have public restroom and showers open. This is an issue as Peanut only has a porta-potty for emergencies. I don’t know about you but not showering is a no-go situation. You can only sponge bath so many times before you feel you need a real shower. Upside is I do have family in the East Coast and if Peanut comes for a trip there is places for her to stay and showers that can be had. Downside… we might not make it to Nova Scotia. But that just means 2022 road trip (if Covid will EVER GO AWAY).
I’m continuing to stay positive. I will be going to PEI and New Brunswick (with or without Peanut) in August dependent on park restrictions and availability. With Peanut would definitely be a lot more fun.
Stay tuned for more updates in the weeks to come. 28 – 30 more days left until vacation!
Recently I brought Peanut to get her roof sealed and have the tires checked out at Deejay’s Trailers. This past Friday the store called and said she was ready to be picked up and asked if I knew that the trailer frame was cracked? You can imagine my surprise as I said “no” (M if you told me I could have just forgotten) Since I was only about 30 minutes away from the store I asked if I could swing by so they could show me the crack. Just behind the passenger side tire is an aluminum piece holding the steal frame together. Making the trailer not roadworthy. The crack is a complete break and would need to be welded back together.
After sending pictures to my cousin Travis in the East coast to get his view on the damage he stated that it should be fixable by a welder. Here is a look at the damage:
Just this morning I spoke to a local welder named Dwayne and asked if he could assess the damage and let me know if it could be fixed. My fingers are crossed it won’t cost an absolute fortune. There is absolutely nothing that I have wanted more for over 5 years than to have a vintage trailer and take her on a trip to the east coast – the idea that I might not get to SUCKS. He said it could be fixed and agreed to do the work so this coming Saturday July 17 after I take wee man J to the vets for some tests I will be taking Peanut to the welding shop 20 minutes out of town.
Road trip in t-minus 34 days and counting.
On a positive note – I had the chance to work on backing Peanut down the driveway and getting her on her parking pad. It took me about 30 minutes to get her down the driveway and placed as I am just learning the angles. And another 10 minutes to try and get her unhooked. Unfortunately the driveway slopes and made it impossible to remove the hitch normally so I simply levelled out the car and trailer, removed the pin from the hitches arm and slowly drove forward removing the entire hitch arm from the rear of the car (if that makes any sense). It worked perfectly. Here she is in her own spot:
It’s is hard to imagine not being able to take my road trip in my camper so I’ve been checking out other options like trailer rentals, purchasing a newer trailer, Airbnb and hotels just in case it comes out bad news. The upside to having my own trailer is besides the cost of site rentals everything is free. Have you seen the price to rent a trailer by night??? I can stay in a 5 star hotel in most cases. For 3 weeks one person wanted $5500. I don’t know about you but that is astronomical. I’m sure there are pet friendly hotels and airbnbs but I hate knowing that if there were accidents (and there will be – the dogs are basically 100 years old in human years) that it would be an additional cost and that we’ve potentially damaged someone else’s property.
For now I will stay positive. Peanut will get welded back together and she will be mobile once again. I will then spend every weekend until my trip practicing backing in to spots so I am more comfortable steering with a trailer.
In another couple of weeks there will hopefully be another Peanut update (one that reads – Peanut is roadworthy).
The moment I have been waiting for is coming up! The East coast bubble has opened up which means in 39 days I can go to Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and hopefully Nova Scotia. I will be done work and have a couple days to clean the house, do laundry and pack up my life (and the dogs) into a 9′ x 6.5′ trailer. I can’t wait!
I practiced backing up to the hitch (can’t lie I have a backup camera – so much easier) the hardest part was once it was lined up and you put the car into park the car would fall forward… happened about 8 times before I went back far enough without hitting the car / hitch together. I consider that a win! And I disconnected and hooked up the trailer myself. Mind you I did have a seasoned transport driver and family member Richard do a safety check on my work before heading out.
In preparation for such a long journey I’ve brought Peanut to Deejays Trailers in Havelock Ontario to have her roof sealed (there was a water leak happening the last month each time it rained), to have the brakes and bearings safetied, gas line checked (since I removed the furnace myself) and to replace a bulb in the back marker light. I decided to go the route of having professionals do this work since I have no knowledge or time to do the work myself. And I want to feel perfectly safe on my very first solo trip.
Last weekend I resealed the back window as there was a small leak it was an easy enough fix. $7.99 tube of the correct caulking did the trick and I already had the caulking gun.
I should mention that Peanut’s parking pad was complete a few weeks ago and has been settling. Once the work is complete in a couple weeks she will have her own space in the yard to land on. This was a cost of $2500. I did this for two reasons; because I couldn’t access the garage on the right as she has to be tucked up very close to it and it helped to eliminate a large section grass which is one step closer to a drought tolerant yard.
Since I had not driven the trailer around in almost a year I felt it was important to do some research on the tires. Did you know that the tires have a total weight capacity on them? I didn’t – but I do now. Did you know that you should calculate your tire pressure weight? This ensures that the tires have the correct amount of air in them. Too much or too little can cause big issues down the road. I have two tires on a one axle rig – each tire holds 50psi/1360 pounds. Here is how you get the correct PSI for your tires:
Tire weight capacity: 1360 x 2 = 2720lbs
My trailer weight: 1800lbs
PSI rating on the tire: 50psi
1800lbs divided by 2720 tire weight = 0.66 x 100 = 66%
now multiply 50psi x 66% = 33psi
33lbs is the total psi that should be in each tire to carry the 1800lb trailer.
I am having a great time learning new things that will help me along the way; including how to avoid and/or correct a trailer swaying. I will travel with a tire pressure kit/pump and small tool kit so I can make any adjustments while I’m on the open road. There is also a fire extinguisher onboard for safety. And I’ve ordered trailer tow mirrors so I can see safely down either side of the trailer while I’m driving. One thing that will take some getting use to is not using my rearview mirror.
In the next couple of weeks I will have a Peanut update and some new pictures of some small projects I’ve done in preparation for the trip. Thank you for following along!