Oh Canada…maybe next time…

Monday 10-8-18

To Canada!! I have to say I was pretty excited to travel through Canada. I have tried to see Niagara Falls a few times but the plans fell through. 

I had arranged to stay at another Harvest Host location that was a farm and winey that had a bunch of activities for the boys to enjoy so we were looking forward to that!

I crossed the boarder with no issues. The traffic was very quick to move, to my surprise! I have my US Passport but for kids you only need a Birth Certificate if you are driving (not flying). Also it is recommended to have a notarized letter from an absent parent stating you have permission to cross the boarder with your children. For detailed & up to date rules please check the US Customs website.

I will offer one tip about crossing the boarder, fill up your gas tank BEFORE you cross! It didn’t even dawn on me to do that and oh man did I pay for it, literally! At almost $5 a gallon it hit me right in the pocketbook!  I needed a 1/2 of tank which is about 30 gallons.

It sure was getting hot in the RV! It was about 85 outside when I filled up gas so once we were done filling up I told the boys I would turn on the Generators and crank the AC units.

Started her up and ….. then it shut off. Now our generator has been pretty reliable. Had her serviced, new spark plugs, oil change and new filters and after a quick adjustment to the ideal it ran perfectly. But now nothing. It was not even turning over. I pulled over at the rest stop and tried to tinker with it and the couple who was parked next to me also looked at it. I figured it was the fuse since it wasn’t turning over. The fuses inside the RV were good but I couldn’t tell if the 5v glass fuse was ok that was on the generator. We hung out at the rest stop for a bit and then I got on the road again heading to a Walmart close to our Harvest Host location. I had also found a shop near there that could service the generator.

We arrived at the Walmart and surprisingly there was only about 8 cars in the parking lot. Very odd! Once we got to the doors we found them locked. It was only a bit after 5pm so I was stumped. We wondered over to the Starbucks which seamed to be open and we were promptly greeted with “Happy Thanksgiving!”

The boys looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders and laughed a “Happy Thanksgiving” back at them The guy was quite kind and asked if we enjoyed our dinner and I explained we were from the US and had no idea it was Thanksgiving! He was surprised and happy we were visiting. We chatted a bit about our adventuring plans while my drink was made.

On the way back to the RV I noticed there was an open Dominos Pizza behind the Starbucks. With no working generator we were stuck eating PBJ or cereal but GF pizza just sounded nice!


The next morning I called the auto shop and he said to come down and he could squeeze me in.

Took it in and found the fuse was blown. But the new one that was put in blew right away too, so it was a grounding issue. About 3 hours latter he had an answer for me: The transformer was melted and there was a non functioning rectifier. My generator was really broke and it was not an easy fix,

I was planing on boon docking through Harvest Host locations though Canada and NY so that wasn’t going to fly, plus the 90 degree heat wasn’t going to be doable without AC.

They guy called for parts and pricing but told me he knew I could save 40-50% on parts if I just crossed the boarder. He gave me a full write up (with photos!) and the parts number so I could easily get the work done. Thankfully I’m on my way to my sisters and her husband is a mechanic so he can help me.

If your in Ontario, Canada and find yourself in need of a repair shop I highly recommend Trinity Automotive. They were kind, professional, worked hard to figure out what was wrong and didn’t try to take advantage of me just to make a sale. It took the guys 3 hours to figure out what was wrong and they only charged me for one hour because that’s what I was quoted!