Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Prince Edward Island and car trouble

I have to go see more place and meet more people, the fire has been rekindled! I don't think I'll name the rig after Don Quixote's horse though. That's a bit over the top for me.

Trouble they say comes in 3's. I hope the latest one is the last.

About a month ago in Vermont the rig started to idle strangely and the local Ford dealer found a vacuum hose with a hole in it. 1 Day out of action and $300.

Last week in St John NB the rig sprang a leak in the radiator and the local Ford dealer replaced the radiator and a hose. 1 day out of action and $1000

We moved to Prince Edward Isle (PEI) and along the route found that the braking system in the Fiesta had been causing the brakes to drag. (Thru my own stupidity). Now we have very little braking and have to pump the brakes to get anything. The Ford dealer MAY be able to get to it today, but probably not. Another 3 days out of action and the bill is likely to be astronomic.


Luckily we set aside a large fund for maintenance when we set up for full timing thinking that an old RV might need lots of attention. The only real maintenance spending we did last year was 2 new tires for the rig so we are still (so far) within our budget. We'll have to top up that particular bucket over the winter when we're not moving about.

This mobile life is great IF YOU'RE MOBILE! If the rig breaks you can still use the car. If the car breaks then what?? Well renting a car is always an option and at least you can still run around and see/do things. So now we have a Dodge Grand Caravan for 3 days while we see the island. Not a bad driver, certainly shifts smoother than the Fiesta which this coming winter will be getting it's FOURTH transmission (Still under warranty) in 4 years. Did I ever tell you DON'T EVER BUY A FORD FIESTA!!

Rented wheels so we can keep rolling.
We had hoped to ride the ferry to the island and drive over the “Confederation Bridge” on the way back. Various sources say that it's cheaper that way as the ferry is free going to the island and you only have to pay on the way back on the bridge.
The Confederation Bridge
Balderdash!! Both the ferry and the bridge tolls are paid on the way off the island only so it doesn't matter which way round you do it.

Barbara wanted to ride the ferry, but one ship was out of service and RV's were being given last priority behind commercial vehicles so we decided to drive the bridge both ways. Still a pleasant enough experience.

We've heard a lot about PEI from fellow RV'ers and we're full of hopes. First stop was North Cape which is the northern most point of PEI, probably the furthest North we'll go on this particular journey and the closest to the UK we'll get for a while yet.

The North Cape

Quiet Little Fishing Villages
Lighthouses are big here and there are a bunch of real ones. Many more bunches of fakes ones too. I'm kind of collecting lighthouse pictures right now with a view to painting some. Every art gallery I see lately has lighthouse paintings for sale so there has to be a market.

Ann of Green Gables the famous children's book was set in PEI and written by a lady who grew up here. Visiting the house is almost compulsory and it's a National Park. Job done. It was OK but I thought a bit overblown.

A reproduction of the Green Gables House
(Original burned down)
The rest of the island is very pretty with nice ocean views and lots of seafood places to eat. We racked up 400 miles in the rental car, after all if we're paying for it we should use it. We've been all over the island and pretty much exhausted things to see.

We've eaten all the local seafood which is excellent! PEI mussels fresh from the "Farm" were really delicious and apparently 70% of all the mussels enjoyed in North America come from right here.

We're getting “Hitch Itch” again, time to move on the Nova Scotia I think.

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