Saturday, September 28, 2019

Princeton Jet Rally and winter is just around the corner

As I mentioned in my last entry, I had finished the install of our new inverter. I am happy to say that after using it for a few days here in Princeton, it seems to be working quite well. We have been camped out at the Princeton Airport while attending the fall jet rally. The inverter has been performing quite well. It will allow us to use most of our 120 volt appliances while operating solely on battery power.  Of course we still need to use the generator to recharge the batteries but I am hoping to resolve that issue soon.
My goal is to add about 1600 watts of solar panels to the trailer along with 4 new lithium technology batteries. This should allow us to operate almost completely green. The only time we might need to run the generator is in the event of several days of overcast skies. I am hoping to order these items in the next day or two and will install them during our winter travels.
I should add that the weather here in Princeton over the last couple of days has been very unseasonable. We arrived in Princeton on Monday and spent the first couple of nights at Rivers Edge Campground. This is a nice small campground right on the Similkameen river. The weather for these couple of days was quite pleasant albeit a bit windy at times. On Wednesday we moved up to the airport and set up at our usual spot near the runway. I got everything ready for the rally which starts on Thursday. Later in the day on Wednesday several others arrived as well.
Thursday, the weather started changing. We got a fair bit of flying in but through the day, the temperature started dropping and the wind came up. Thursday night was a bit chilly and this continued into Friday. The sun did come out for a while and a number of pilots did get some flying in but in the evening the temperature dropped again and the wind continued to blow.

Friday night got quite cold and rainy and by Saturday morning was down to only +5C or so. Also on the nearby hills was some of that white stuff! I don't think I have seen snow on the local hills in September here in a long time. I can't wait til we head south!
Not much flying happened on Saturday as it was cold and windy most of the day. Around 4 though the wind dropped off for a bit so I dragged the Elan out and put in a flight. One benefit with jet turbines is that in the cold moist air, they develop quite a bit more power than they do in warmer drier air. The plane flew great. Shortly afterward though, the wind came back and things got cold again.

This was the 20th anniversary of this event and as a celebration we did a pig roast and pot luck supper. Delicious!

We plan to stay here through tomorrow and head back to Kamloops on Monday. We have a couple of appointments in town to take care of before we can head south.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Time for another catch up

The last 2 weeks have been, depending on your point of view, either pretty quiet or kinda busy.
After packing up at Sandy Point we headed back to Kamloops and the Silver Sage RV park. We have 2 weeks here where I have some planned work to do on the trailer. I am starting to get things in order for our mid October departure for points south. We also needed to access our seacan to recover a few items we had stored away.

One of the things I needed to do was give it a much needed bath. It hadn't been washed since we picked it up in Edmonton back in June and was pretty dirty. That took about 2 hours but the truck got a wash too.
Last Sunday, we headed to Vernon for a couple of days, leaving the trailer in Kamloops. Chris was flying down to Nanaimo with her Mom and Sister to visit her niece for a week. We stayed with Chris's parents Monday and Tuesday then took Chris and her mom to airport in Kelowna. After that I made my way back to Kamloops and the waiting trailer.
One of the key items I had on my list was the installation of a skid plate under the frame at the rear. Reading some of the Grand Design forums on-line, some owners have managed to snag the bottom lip of the rear wall on either the ground or an object and actually wound up ripping the entire back wall loose! I didn't want that happening to us especially as we do go off road a bit when down south. One preventative solution is to attach a steel plate between the rear two frame cross members and extend it to just behind the back wall. Hopefully that should provide enough protection so that if the bottom does drag it won't cause any serious damage. Dragos Spring & Welding in Kamloops did the work and by the look of it did a good clean job.

Here is a before picture showing that it would be quite easy to snag the back end.

And the after photo

They also reinforced those little triangular bumpers as well
The other major project I needed to complete was finishing up my inverter install. The inverter is the device that gives us 110 volt power to run things like the TV, microwave, coffee maker, etc. when we don't have a shore power connection. The inverter converts our 12 volt battery power to the 110 volt AC power.
To connect it up I had to splice in and extend some of the power wires from the midships compartment to the front where the inverter is as well as make up some new heavy battery cables. All told that took about 2 full days with me scrunched into some pretty small spaces at times. At some point in the future I want to move all that gear into the midships area so I also spent some time tidying up the rats nest of wires that Grand Design left in there to make more room for that.
But it is all done for now and seems to be working well. We will know for sure later this week when we are camped at the Princeton airport for the Fall Jet Rally.
I also had a few other small projects that I was able to take care of as well.
Sunday morning I packed up the trailer and headed for Kelowna to pick Chris up at the airport. After that we carried on to Princeton where we will spend a few nights at Rivers Edge Campground before heading up to the airport on Wednesday.

One other thing I did was to add my 2017 travel log and mapping to this blog. If you are reading this via a subscribed email, you can access the log entries and mapping on the blog site,

Saturday, September 7, 2019

More fun fly's

After our return from Anacortes on Tuesday, Aug 27, we made our way to Vernon and the Vernon RC Aeromodellers Larry Christensen Memorial Fun Fly. This event has been running for almost 20 years, always around the Labour Day long weekend. Like some others in the area, it started as a weekend event and has evolved into an almost week long event. We had arrived a bit later in the day so set up basic camp Tuesday evening and left the rest for Wednesday.
I got my airplane put together and one flight in but for the most part we just kicked back, relaxed and visited with other modelling friends also camped at the field.

My 1/3 scale (12' wingspan) Piper Super Cub

Thursday we had to make a trip to Kamloops as we had a couple of meetings to attend and some chores to do in town. One of the meetings was at the Royal Bank as we had applied for a US VISA card. We wanted a VISA as we have on occasion, while in the states, wanted to shop at Costco and other than cash, they only take VISA. We had made the application in Vernon but this process also involves an interview with a client adviser. Vernon didn't have one available so we had booked an appointment with one in Kamloops. We had thought the interview would only take 20 minutes or so but it wound up taking almost 2 hours! Part of this however was due to some computer issues that the RBC adviser was having. Finally around 3PM we were done. As neither of us had had lunch yet, we stopped on the way out of town for a nice Japanese meal at Sushi Valley in Valleyview.
Thursday was Chris's Moms birthday but since we weren't in Vernon, Friday afternoon we had them, our friend Laura from Kelowna, and my Mom over for dinner. We were also joined by friends and fellow flyer Bob Scheer and his wife Wilma.
Saturday, brought more flying and in the afternoon and evening a fairly impressive thunderstorm which fortunately passed us by off to the East.

A lineup of e-Flight Carbon Cubs

Darren Muntaks P-38 Lightning

Darren's Apache? turbine powered helicopter

Sunday was pretty much the same but as we were leaving Monday morning, in the afternoon I started pulling stuff apart and packing up. One project I did get accomplished was the physical install of the new inverter we had picked up down south. I hope to get it fully hooked up when we have a couple of weeks of downtime in Kamloops after the SLAM Fall Classic which we headed to on Monday.
We were on the road heading to Salmon Arm by 9AM or so. Sandy Point at Salmon Arm is only about a 45 minute drive so we arrived in good time. We got signed in and parked in our new spot for this trip in fairly short order. We have been coming here for this and the spring event for the last 15 years or so and over the last number of years, Sandy Point has been increasing the percentage of seasonal sites they have. It seems, no sooner do we find a site we like, within a year or two, they convert it to a seasonal. Since we bought the Cameo a few years back, we have also been restricted to only certain sites that can take larger rigs. This year was even worse as our previous favorite site was again turned into a seasonal. We had scoped out an alternate with the idea of a bigger trailer and this fall we managed to shoehorn the new rig into it. I'm not sure they would have allowed it during the summer as we do hang over the road a wee bit and over the back border a foot or two but this time of year things are a bit more relaxed.
One thing about Sandy Point is they do not allow dogs! So, unfortunately while we are here, we have to take Maya to a sitter for the week. We have found a lady in Chase that looks after her. She has 2 small dogs of her own and although she works during the day, the dogs have the run of the house and even a doggie door to get out into the back yard.
Monday afternoon, our friends Paul and Joan from Eatonville, Wa arrived. They had the site right behind us booked. Once again, I got the airplanes put together and the flying commenced.

Our site, #194

The weather all week has been just about perfect. We did have a storm come through Thursday night that brought thunder, lightning, wind and rain. The lightning show was one of the most spectacular I have seen in a long, long time! I had gone down to the beach to watch it when the wind came up. I wound up helping the Salmon Arm club hold down and dismantle their big tarp sun and rain shelter to stop it blowing away. All the while while lightning was arcing all around us. I have to admit, I was feeling a bit nervous hanging onto that steel framework.
Lots more flying over the last couple of days but tonight I get to take everything apart once again and get ready to head back to Kamloops.

Coulson Flying Tankers Hawaii Mars Martin Mars flying boat

AT-802F Air Tractor 'Fire Boss' fire fighter

Just part of the beach lineup

Just around 8:30 tonight as I write this, another major thunderstorm is right over our heads! We are seeing lightning every few seconds with some within a quarter mile of us. Flash to thunder of only a second or 2. At least it is raining pretty good so hopefully that will keep the fires at bay. This is some of the most intense lightning I can recall in a long, long time.

This is the current weather radar of the storm at 9PM. We are right smack dab in the middle.