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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Welcome to the family…

Day 1 road trip to Ottawa (Buckingham, Quebec actually, but who knows where Buckingham is?)

This is George…no, its Richard and George!

I’m sure if you’ve followed our blog before you’re wondering why the heck did we ever purchase such a small little trailer? Well, let me tell you.

After arriving home from our Viking Neptune 2022/2023, 138 day World Cruise in May 2023, we found ourselves wondering where do we go next? If you followed us in 2020/2021, you will know we had a Class A Motorhome called ‘Newman‘ and ‘Jerry’ the Jeep was our tow car. Since selling Newman last July, we’ve been thinking of how we could still travel in North America, but not have to purchase another tow vehicle, or a large pick up truck to tow a trailer.

I started researching small travel trailers unbeknownst to Richard in May and June when he was off travelling the world doing his trip directing. I shelved the idea of buying a travel trailer for awhile until Richard was finally home from his travels in July and we started talking about “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pick up and go and have our own bed, food and toilet/shower, wherever we wanted to go?” I resumed my online search for a small ‘couple’s travel trailer while Richard spoke to his mechanic and researched whether our 2009 Sante Fe would be able to tow a small travel trailer.

Once our mechanic in Fort Erie gave us the green light, we started looking for a couples trailer in earnest. We spent an hour driving over to Sicard’s RV in Smithville to see what new, small travel trailers looked like inside vs what they looked like in photos online. We were not impressed. New travel trailers seemed to have a lot of particle board, only 2 burner stoves, bunk beds, no oven and only one sink in the entire trailer! After our visit to Sicard’s we made a list of must haves in our travel trailer: a separate shower stall - not a wet shower, 2 kitchen sinks, an oven, a microwave a refrigerator with a freezer, a nice interior wooden finish and a separate bed, instead of converting the dinette to a bed.

I was looking on Kijiji for quite a few days and I finally found a 2018 Vista Cruiser by Gulfstream being offered for sale 45 minutes up the road from us in Vineland, Ontario by a couple who had purchased the trailer brand new and only used it three times to camp in Algonquin Park. The couple were looking to retire soon and purchase something bigger to do more travelling once they did retire.

We saw George on the holiday Monday in August and we really thought that George was the perfect little couples trailer for us! I went to golf the Tuesday after we had seen George and Richard texted me on the golf course to say that he had purchased George and that George was being delivered by the owners that same evening! How exciting!!!

Its small inside, but mighty, and at only 2500 lbs dry weight, is easily towable by our Hyundai Sante Fe.

For Richard to be happy towing George he had to have a brake controller installed in the Sante Fe with a 7 pin plug; a weight distribution system installed on the hitch of George, as well as an anti sway bar. Luckily from our experiences with owning Newman our Class A motorhome, we knew where to go to have these systems installed locally, so over the past 3 weeks, Richard has been busy arranging appointments and taking either the Sante Fe or both the Sante Fe and George to get installations done.

So back to our first road trip with George! We have a very busy Fall season coming up with more travel for both of us, some together and some apart, so we needed to find a one week window for a road trip. Luckily we found this window leading up to the long weekend of Labour Day and of course our first destination had to be to visit family in Ottawa!

I once again renewed my subscription to ‘RV Trip Wizard‘ the route planning tool that I love and used extensively when we had Newman and travelled the circumference of North America in 2021. I love being able to plan a trip using this amazing tool and having the entire route of our trip laid out before we leave home.

When we last went to Ottawa with Newman our RV, the border was closed between Canada and the U.S.A. so we had to drive through Toronto, the 4th largest city in North America…but not this time!

Our route to and from Ottawa (Buckingham, Quebec).

Luckily we still had all of our camping gear leftover from Newman in our basement, so after washing off a few things, and adding not much new stuff, we spent the past week or so loading George up with what we needed to bring with us on the trip.

I had a morning appointment today, and Richard finished loading up George while I was gone. We had a quick sandwich at home and then we jumped in the Sante Fe, and headed over the U.S. border, via the Nexus lane into Buffalo, New York.

Approaching Rochester today.

I planned our route today to be able to stop at our favourite place to shop for groceries. We came across the border without produce, meat or vegetables since we are not allowed to bring those into the U.S.

George and our Sante Fe fit perfectly in 2 parking spots. How easy is that to go into a mall parking lot?

Yeah! Trader Joe’s.

I fit right in with my Buffalo Bills sweatshirt in New York!

After loading up George’s refrigerator and freezer in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s we had about a 45 minute drive from Pittsford, New York to our RV park for the night.

Backed into our spot at South Shore RV Park at Sodus Point, New York.

The South Shore of Lake Ontario at Sodus Point, New York, and no neighbours behind us! Do I know how to choose RV spots or what? A lot better than the time we were parked underneath a highway overpass in Santa Barbra, California for the night!

A perfect spot to blog! And look at that view we have!

Our first dinner in George! Chicken and leek pies from our butcher in Ridgeway, Ontario and a Trader Joe‘s salad kit. The oven in George works perfectly with no ‘hot spots’ and 425F seemed to be 425F which is great!

Wow! What a beautiful sky we can see from our back window in George!

So far everything in George works and we are very cosily settled in for the evening with the temperatures going down to 11C (52F)! We borrowed some DVD’s from the library and we have our tv ready to play a DVD this evening as we enjoy listening to the 37km/hour wind gust outside.

Tomorrow I will fill you in on why we came to Sodus Point, New York. It was not a random place I chose on RV Trip Wizard. Stay tuned for another blog about our adventures in George who so far has been a great addition to the family!

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1 Comment

Steve Brown
Steve Brown
Oct 22, 2023

What a read, enjoying your travels and George seems to be the perfect fit. Getting to play new courses and seeing new sights. Well done and brilliantly exciting. Looking forward to the next blog, Alaska with woolly jumpers. Then Florida, I think I have that correct. Keep well, stay safe and I know you’re having fun 🤩👍❤️

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