An Alberta sunset shot from near our motorhome in Elk Island Retreat RV park. Still lots of snow at the end of April.
I admit it…this whole RV water system, lines and pipes, tubes and pump, and holding tanks…in freezing weather is really freaking me out.
We just picked up our newest acquisition, a used 2005 Travelaire in Salmon Arm, BC, where the dealership was storing it for the winter. When we picked it up, the winterizing had been flushed out and we were able to use the unit as per normal. But we live in Alberta and despite it being the end of April, beginning of May, we still are getting snow and freezing weather.
I realized how cold it had gotten and I began to panic. What if? What if? We have water in all the tanks: the black water, the gray water, and the fresh water tanks. What if? My brain is struggling with just how cold -7 Celsius actually is. I know it is below freezing, but we keep hearing that the magic number or disaster number is -10C. Our unit is in such good condition. Were we newbies stupidly wrecking our unit by inviting frozen lines and cracked holding tanks?
We can legally keep the unit on our street for 72 hours, so we had already decided that we will pull it across our driveway, plug into the house electrical, and run some heaters. That should work, but what if the damage is already done?
I am freaking…and that’s when I look out my kitchen window at the bird bath. I watch as the wind and snow blow around outside causing little tidal waves in the bowl. Waves. Waves? Wait a minute…those are waves. The water in the bird bath has not frozen. Oh, thank God for small miracles.
Tonight, we will take precautions in anticipation of tomorrow night’s -17 Celsius temps.
That and prayer should take us into an Alberta spring and milder temps…FINALLY!
David waits patiently at the registry for our paperwork
So, you are thrilled to have purchased your used RV. Nice, but wait...if you bought that new/old motorhome outside of the province you reside in, you will have to jump through a few hoops if you ever want to have it registered in your home province.
How many hoops?
Well, here is my journal of the many steps I took to get the process started:
Where can an Albertan get an out-of-province inspection done on a motorhome?
I called a local RV dealership here in Edmonton and asked a service agent if I could set up an appointment for an inspection with them. Lawrence at Carefree informed me that they don't do inspections there. But he courteously suggested First Truck at 780-413-9422.
The woman at First Truck asked me if my request was personal or commercial, because no personal inspections are done there. She gave me the number for Buses 'R Us at 780-413-6496. They are located at 16750-121 Avenue. Great, thought I. But no...
I called there and hit another wall. Did our unit have air brakes? Buses 'R Us services only rigs with air brakes. Otherwise, motorhomes must be taken to an automotive outlet like Fountain Tire or Canadian Tire. Sigh...
Okay, I had already done some searching around prior and remembered speaking with a friendly fellow at Fountain Tire in Camrose, AB. Since we are picking up our unit in BC, we will come through Camrose, so a stop at a Fountain Tire there seemed like a good plan.
I called...well, I called the wrong outlet first (the Camrose downtown Fountain Tire does not do inspections). The fellow there gave me the number for the outlet on the highway.
I spoke to Dale who confirmed they do out-of-province inspections for motorhomes, but only the smaller ones. Ours is 25-feet, so it was acceptable. Price $225.00 plus tax. We set an appointment for a few days after we pick up the RV from the dealership, giving us time to get to Camrose. I took an 8 AM appointment since the inspection will take 4-5 hours.
The Fountain Tire in Camrose is located on the highway, near the Tim Horton's at 4720- 36 Street.
What will I need before taking my used RV/motorhome for an out-of-province inspection?
Oh boy, another hoop. The RV owner is responsible for picking up an out-of-province inspection form from any licensing/registry agency. Without one, the automotive outlet cannot perform the inspection. Be sure to have your sale papers and your insurance papers when you go.
We went to our neighborhood registry and discovered there would be no running around looking for a registry in B.C. because we could get, along with our out-of-province inspection form, the in-transit permit, dated for any day we wished, and good for 7 days from that date.
The process was nearly painless and ended up costing a mere $30.90 for both items: the form and the permit.
Next step? A 13-hour Greyhound bus ride to get us to Salmon Arm, coaching for a day and a half on all the features of the Travelaire, then on to Camrose, and then (if we get the red stamp of approval) we can register the rig.
Hoping there won't be any surprise repairs, although I suspect we may be hearing about shocks needing replacement.
This is proving to be a major monetary undertaking, but we strongly believe the freedom will be worth it. Looking forward to seeing how the new solar panels perform.
Entry from Sheree:
We are getting closer to picking up our motorhome in BC this month. Trying to figure out the logistics of getting us there, and then coming back in a single vehicle, the RV.
The plan is a little costly because the only rental we can get that will go one way is a big 16-foot cargo van. Oh, well...
But that leads to the expense of owning a motorhome, so we are trying to keep other costs in line, like storage fees. We want access to our vehicle at all times; we don't want to have to weed it out from amongst hundreds of other rigs in a farmer's field, but neither do we want to pay the high fees to park it in an RV park. So...I decided to place an ad on Kijiji.
I wrote an ad asking for anyone with an RV pad next to their house that they weren't using. And that we would pay rent. We also indicated that we wanted a place to park on the west side of our city since we live on the west side. In only a few hours, we heard from Don.
We visited him on his acreage this afternoon, and we are now set. We will park in a cleared area on his property just down from his house, and come and go as we please. The rent is so low, it is a joy.
It pays to throw your dilemma out there, and see how the world responds. Saved us worry, and a bundle in cash.
Bonus: He gets lots of wildlife near when he lives, deer and eagles. I am looking forward to photographing them.