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Published: June 12th 2018
We're driving a 2018 Phoenix Cruiser, Model 2552, and towing a trailer with a Kawasaki Vulcan S (650cc) motorcycle and a bunch of gear.
Leaving Tennessee, we spent several days in Elkhart, Indiana, getting the Cruiser all ready for our long trip. We had the oil changed, had it washed and waxed, and had it weighed (an interesting process that gave us the separate weight of all four corners of the camper. After the calculations were complete, we learned that we’re about 1000 pounds under the maximum weight for our E450’s axles and that we have things pretty well balanced. While we were at Phoenix Cruiser, Tom and Doug, one of the craftsmen, took the Cruiser for a drive, looking for one of those mystery rattles you always have. Doug noticed a vibration in the drive shaft at about 40 miles per hour and told Dave Ponsler (Production Manager, I think) that the driveshaft needed to be re-balanced. Dave sent us to a company called MORryde, which makes the driveshafts and much of the metal work for the RV industry. Two of MORRyde’s employees took hours from their day to test-drive and rebalance the drive shaft. Probably warranty work, but that’s good customer service at both companies. (We’re glad we didn’t buy a camper from a dealer.)
So … we finally left Indiana and
Chase is picking up mail, mowing the grass, and generally taking care of our home.
drove through Michigan, visiting the town of Holland on Lake Michigan, where Tom put his feet in the water, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where we camped on Lake Huron. Did you know that “sault” means “rapids”? I didn’t – but now know that it means “St. Mary’s Rapids”. The next day, we crossed the border into Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and entered Canada. We’d tried to be ready, anticipating questions about the food we had aboard, about Maggie, about the contents of the trailer, etc. etc.. Total questions:
· -- Are you bringing any weapons into Canada?
· -- Are you bringing any blueberries into Canada?
· -- Isn’t your dog pretty old to go camping and hiking with you?
Maggie was insulted, but she refrained from biting the Canadian Customs officer, and we proceeded to a casino (to change money) and to a grocery store (to fill up on food, especially things that you can’t bring across the border, like eggs and chicken – and blueberries.) We also refilled the beer and wine stocks …
We’re now traveling along the northern shore of Lake Superior, by surface square footage the largest lake in
Maggie on the Road
We made her a bed under the dinette. She stays there while we're moving and fights with Tom for room when we're stopped.
the world and have reached Thunder Bay (a city of about 100,000 people) on the west shore. We’re camping, mostly, in Ontario provincial parks. We have all tried the water temp here – general agreement that it’s COLD – and that internet access is sketchy. Tomorrow, we head west and finally cross into the central time zone. Lots of progress north, but not much west. Next major city will be Winnepeg, Manitoba.
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