Monday, September 14, 2015

When choosing an RV park...

I have no been at the current RV park for a full day (technically), but I have spent the past 13 hours away working at a clients site. I've learned that it really pays to pay attention to transit directions, and make sure that your Transit app, or Google maps are not also showing you "walking" distances...

The nearest bus stop is 4km away. The park is nice, but it is not for people who do not have addition means of transportation outside of their RV's...

I'll update more in a review after I have completed my stay here.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Campground Review - Burnaby Caribou RV Park

I stayed at the Burnaby Caribou RV Park from March until June of 2015. Below is my review of my experiences there.


BCRV is within a very easy walking distance to the SkyTrain, and Costco is even closer. The park is relatively quiet. When I was first looking for potential parks to stay at, the Google reviews did concern me. There is a train line right next to the park, and Gaglardi Way is on yet another side. The Google reviews all scream about how terrible the place is, and how unfriendly the staff are. I decided to choose this park as it gave me a central location to my clients, and as I was alone, I could deal with some extra noise.

When I got to the park, I signed in, and got my site. I was quite close to the main building, which I what I requested in regards to internet access. This placed me very close to the main entrance.

The results?

I heard the train twice in the time I was there. That was because some idiot was on/too near the tracks, and the train was forced to sound the horn. As I understand it now having been there, the bad reviews come from tent campers. The tent camping section is literally in the corner of trains and highway. Folks, this park is called "Burnaby Caribou RV Park" for a reason. Seriously, who tent camps inside a city?

There is a river walk right behind the park, and I have to say that even though it took longer, I walked it to the main stores I went to. It is such an amazing and peaceful walk. On that note, the closest store is a Mac's convenience store at the Production Way SkyTrain station. Lougheed Mall is down the way, about a five minute drive, or a really nice 30 minute walk. The nearest liquor stores, and grocery stores are also near the mall, so you'll be walking if you don't also have an additional car.


There are two providers at BCRV. There is the seemingly standard to RV parks, TengoInternet, and ShawOpen.

ShawOpen is only available if you are an existing Shaw customer (or know someone who can add your devices onto their account). Being a guy who has worked well over a decade in IT (Information Technology), I know the distances of WiFi. The ShawOpen is restricted here, in order to keep you inside the main building. I could occasionally get it to connect inside my RV, but the amount of metal would kill the connection eventually. Even outside the RV, the ShawOpen connection was spotty, and I was no more than 50 feet from the AP (Access Point).

As I work remotely, being forced to go inside the lounge where other people are while working with a client who can hear these people turn up the TV, and talking is really unacceptable.

TengoInternet is the "free" internet. By "free", I mean they give you a total of four hours per day. That's not even four consecutive hours. That's two hours per eight. Tengo also monitors how much you use and restricts you accordingly, not by username, but your MAC Address. Unless you know how to spoof your MAC, you are S.O.L...

Enjoy Netflix? TengoInternet thinks you are a major douchebag. Tengo allows a whopping 1.5mb down, and 0.5mb up. Want to upload photos from your trip to Facebook? hahahahaha. Nope. Well, maybe... If you want to upload them over several hours. It's just above a dial up connection when anyone else is connected.... Seriously.

TengoInternet does partner with another company called Boingo. For about $10/month you can get relatively unrestricted access to the internet. Your upload is still severely restricted, but you can at least watch Netflix without too many problems.

Skype is really the luck of the draw, as is Netflix. You are sharing the entire bandwidth with everyone else in the park that is connecting. The more people, the slower it is. Getting into June, watching Netflix was no longer an option. In fact, logging onto Facebook was almost impossible.

The Amenities:

BCRV is really clean. The main bathroom's are coded, so you need to know the passcode to get in. It's also closed for an hour every day while it's cleaned. The showers are not coin operated, and the hot water lasts a long time (depending on the time of day naturally). The best pressure is the showers closest to the inside wall.

The laundromat is super clean, and costs about as much as any laundromat would.

The games room is comprised of two pinball machines, and a couple driving arcade games. All but one side of the driving arcade were broken when I went in.

The exercise room is rather basic, but provides what a person would require to maintain a daily ritual.

The playground is simple, and geared more toward young children. My two year old daughter loved it, and I spent a lot of time climbing through tubes to go down a slide for her.

The pool and jacuzzi are both indoors, and very clean. The pool is warmed, but still cool. Both are tested daily.

The Staff:

When I first got to BCRV, the staff were not very warm, nor were they cold. I would say they were indifferent. It was slightly off-putting considering that they are in the hospitality business. They do warm up however, and you can actually enjoy talking to them. It's a mostly family run business, and they really only get involved in your affairs if there are complaints.

Basically, be respectful, pay your dues, and all will be good.

One caveat to this is one guy there... I never learned his name as I chose to avoid him as much as possible. I learned that people call him the "Bylaw Nazi". He will not open the lounge a single second before 8am, and I personally witnessed him read the riot act to a couple kids under 10 for riding their bikes on the sidewalk next to the main building.

At the time, I was a smoker, and I was smoking on the deck, which is open to the air. I spent 15 minutes of my life listening about how because the deck had walls on two sides, Burnaby Bylaws prohibit smoking up there, and how much money it would cost if Bylaw happened through.

Otherwise, the staff are pretty cool. Just avoid doing anything other than standing and breathing when the Bylaw Nazi is near.

The Cost:

For my 24' RV, I paid a touch over $400 every two weeks. There are much larger units there, and I believe they pay around $1000 per month. There are no reservations, as people can choose to stay longer if they like, and just pay. It is a first come, first serve park. Call the day you're planning on getting there.

Your fee covers 60 kilowatts per week of power, water, and sewer. The propane truck comes by every Wednesday. There is an additional cost for cable, but I don't watch actual TV, so I have no idea it's cost. For the propane, they're usually pretty good. One week, I think I had a new guy filling. Propane tanks should never be filled past 80%, and I vented for four days as the guy filled to 100%... which I had to pay for.


It looks like someone made it in the free-est web editor they could find, and then hired someone who didn't know what the internet was, to build it. This could just be me though. I build websites for fun, and I'm a webhost.


I would and will most certainly stay at this park again. Yes, I certainly recommend the park to others. My only big beef is really the internet. However, my career is deeply connected to a stable internet connection, and your experience may vary.

Settled into the new RV park

As a side note, I located my key! I must have forgotten I took it off and placed it in the RV, "just in case".

So I have a couple weeks worth of work to do with a client in Abbotsford, BC, and as such I pulled the RV out, and I"m now settled into an RV park as close as I could get to the city. I have to verify the distances with transit now as it didn't appear to be too far, but the people here are uncertain where the bus stop is.

I plan on taking a walk tonight to see where it is. Just Skyping with my wife first. Two things to note about this park, the WiFi is great and unrestricted, and I can hear the buzz of the TransCanada highway since it's really not that far away.

Pricing-wise, this place is a lot more expensive than the last park I was at in Burnaby. Costing me $500 for two weeks.

Getting here was easy enough, and only just under 10km away from where I was storing the RV. First thing I noticed was the tiny house, and I'm parked next to it. The owner came home as I was finishing setting up, and gave me a tour.

Really nice guy in his 20's. He and his wife recently moved it here. The inside is beautiful, and well planned out. I'm still a fan of a Gable roof for the bedroom, and this doesn't have that. I don't have pictures to share as that may have been creepy.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


So I have been doing my best to explain to people about our plans to move into a fifth wheel and full time. When the typical person thinks about any sort of RV, they think more or less back to their childhood, and the crappy, and cramped campers of the time, and just cannot imagine anyone wanting to live like that.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Uh Oh.... Can't find my ignition key

So I was scrolling Facebook, and someone posted a picture of the two keys that used to be used for vehicles back in the day. My RV being from the 70's, I have those. So, I was going to post a picture of them.

I look up and grab the keys to the RV, I have all of them on one keychain... except the door and ignition keys. They are missing. I have no idea where they could be. They were (stupidly) the only set I have, and I hadn't had a chance to get spares cut. This is bad. I have to get the RV out of storage in two weeks because I need it for some work I am doing on the mainland.

Anyone know how easy it is to replace the ignition? If I can't find the keys, I need to replace them.

And starting to panic....

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Beautiful Fifth Wheel, amusing video.

I like to look at what's out there occasionally, and watch videos on them to see the interior, and not just a floor plan.

I have not had a chance to bring the RV over yet, partially finances, but also the fact that I need it for the last two weeks of September on the mainland. One of my clients is a high security facility, and I cannot work remotely doing the work they require.

I can't wait until I can get the RV completed, and sell it then buy a nice new fifth wheel for the family. If you recall from this post, My wife and I had gone out and looked at RV's to see what would work for us as a family, and we fell in love with the 2015 Elkridge 37 ULTA by Heartland RV. It was outside of our price range at that time, and currently it's still outside the price range. That doesn't mean we can't dream, and plan.

My wife was mentioning that she saw the interior of the 2016 Elkridge, and it was amazing. I haven't found it just yet (I have only found a 2015 and a half), but I found the advertisement from Heartland about them. It's a good ad, but there is one spot that makes you stop and ask yourself if the guy actually just said that... Especially when 2015 seems to be the year that people are getting offended about absolutely everything.

Have a look below, can you catch what I'm talking about?

Personally, I don't care. I think the thought is that when it comes to interior design, women do better than men do. Yes, there are some great male interior designers out there, but honestly... There are sometimes that a woman's touch is better. Heck, the colour pallet in my RV was chosen by my wife.

At the end of September, I'll finally have the RV over here, and finally be able to start working on it. Looking forward to that. There's even some shops around town that deal with RV Solar that I can build up the electrical with when I get to that point. Looking forward to that for sure!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Approval from landlord to move RV

Had a chat via text with my landlord yesterday to make sure that he would be okay with me bringing the RV over, and thankfully he is.

I've also chatted with the neighbours downstairs to make sure they're okay with it and they are. Now it's just a matter of where I'll put the RV in order to complete my renovations. There's a spot that looks to be perfect in size on the side of the driveway, but the only issue is the slope. I think that in order to put the RV there, I'll need to build some higher level blocks. I need the RV relatively level in order to get everything taken care of, and while it is here being worked on, it's going to double as my office.

It's nearly impossible to work at home, not just because my daughter wants me to be with her playing every moment, but the adults in the house are struggling with the idea that someone can actually be at home, and still working. It makes it tough for sure.

I've paid up the storage until next month, and I'm hoping to get the RV over here perhaps this weekend. We'll see how the budget handles it, as getting across on the ferry is pricey for an RV, and then there's the whole needing to get there first.

The RV is stored a little over three hours transit ride away from the ferry (roughly a 45 minute drive), and I might have someone that can help with the driving, but he has a vehicle stored away as well, and that still means transit travel.

We'll see how the whole thing works out. I may just need to make an entire day out of getting there.

I'm pretty excited to get going on the reno's again. Those counters sitting here have been bugging me since they should be in the RV!

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