What is so important about…Parker B5J1ADG47C?
Well you are soon going to find out!
Two days ago Richard decided he would take Newman to the Flying J truck stop in town and dump the grey and black tanks, as well as fill up the diesel tank. After filling up and dumping Richard was then headed over to Petro Canada in town to fill up Newman’s propane tank. All of this advance preparation was for our departure out West, which we had scheduled for this morning. Unfortunately as soon as Richard started Newman up in our driveway and pulled up the jacks, the air bags didn’t inflate, which meant that Newman was riding very low and basically was riding without any suspension. Richard tried everything to see what was wrong with the air bags, but nothing worked. Richard knew this was not something he could fix on his own, so he drove Newman at 10km/hr to Zanchin Truck & Trailer to hopefully have their mechanic diagnose the problem. I had gone to St. Catherines to pick up some bathroom tile for our master bathroom renovation - which has not been started yet, as we are still missing shower doors and subway tiles which I ordered in March 2021 from Bath Depot. I was receiving texts from Richard keeping me apprised of the situation at Zanchin’s, but it definitely wasn’t looking good for a diagnosis of the problem. Since I was on my way home from St. Catherine’s I took the Bowen Road cutoff on the QEW and stopped in to see Richard at Zanchin‘s. By the time I arrived at Zanchin’s, the mechanic had determined that the solenoid valve had an air leak so the valve wasn’t inflating the air bags properly. Wow! That sure was not good news!
So now the fun begins. Newman is an American made RV - a 2005 Newmar DutchStar. The likelihood of finding the part we needed in Canada was very slim, which meant we didn’t know how long our trip would need to be delayed. The whole reason why we were leaving on October 14th was we wanted to leave earlier than last year to avoid bad weather in the Prairies and driving through the mountain passes of B.C.
Richard immediately called St. Stephen (of course), who started calling around Atlantic Canada to try and find the part. Richard working against time decided to call Midtown RV in Penticton who had replaced Newman’s windshield wiper mechanism last fall on our trip out west. Since Midtown is a big Newmar dealer, they were more likely to have the part in stock, or know where to find it. After speaking with the parts manager, Terry at Midtown Richard was feeling pretty glum about our chances of leaving on our trip. We were told that Spartan (based in Michigan) who is the manufacturer of Newman’s chassis, could get the part to us in 5-7 days and the part would be $700US before shipping costs. If we wanted to wait for the part to be manufactured Parker could custom make it for us in 5-6 weeks, for a lower price. Terry suggested that we just ‘GOOGLE’ the part number and see what comes up.
Sure enough, we both sat at our dining room table and started googling and we found Radwell, a parts re-seller based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, who had the part listed on their website. The only issue was Radwell was now closed for the evening leaving us both in suspense as to when we could get this issue resolved. I’m a big believer in fate and I told Richard since this was not something we could control, we should best not worry about it, but just sit tight until the morning when Radwell would open and he could call them.
Yesterday morning at 8am Richard was on the telephone to Radwell as I was driving to my surgeon‘s office in Niagara Falls, to have my final check up on my broken femur. After going first to the Niagara Falls hospital X-rays and waiting for my appointment with Dr le Roux, I was given the fantastic news that I am fully healed and I don’t need to see him again! Woohoo! June 20th, 2020 - October 13th, 2021…that sure was a long ordeal of healing!
Thankfully he was a great surgeon despite his brusque bed side manner!
How’s that for some metal? I counted 11 screws and of course the titanium plate. At least it doesn’t set off the metal detectors at the airport!
But I digress…Richard was able to get through to a very helpful person at Radwell and she advised him that yes indeed they did have the part in stock, but unfortunately it was at their New Jersey office. Richard’s heart sunk when he heard that news, but she quickly told him that they had 24 hour shipping on parts through UPS. Richard immediately ordered the part and was given a tracking number later in the morning so that he could track the part as it was flown from New Jersey (overnight) by UPS to Hamilton airport.
The mechanic at Zanchin’s was able to manually re-inflate the airbags so that Richard could bring Newman home as we were still in the middle of loading him for our trip. We spent most of yesterday and part of today loading up Newman. Our refrigerator at home is completely empty and cleaned out and the refrigerator in Newman, as well as the freezer is stocked full to capacity. All of our clothes and shoes are in Newman and I have just my toiletries, vitamins and workout gear to load once Newman comes back home fully repaired. We dropped Newman off again today at Zanchin’s as I went to a quick dental appointment in town. The nice thing about living in a small town is everything is close by and there is no traffic, so it takes 5-7 minutes to get anywhere you want to go!
We are hoping that Zanchin’s will have the part installed tomorrow morning and we can still head out on our trip, hopefully by noon. If we leave by noon we should be able to make it to North Bay and you guessed it….a Walmart parking lot! We’re full with water, propane and diesel so now its just a matter of hooking up Jerry the Jeep and away we go.
In the meantime, my little blue car as Richard calls it (BMW Z4) is sleeping in the garage tucked in for the winter with his trickle charger on.
The rest of the garage is full of bathroom renovation material! That bathroom renovation will be a spring project once we are home.
So fingers crossed we can leave tomorrow and not delay any further as we have reservations at campgrounds out West that we really don’t want to reduce our stay at. We know that the U.S./Canada border is going to open sometime in November as well and that’s giving us some ideas of what we might do starting in January or February 2022. A cross country trip from Fanny Bay to Florida! Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted as we originally bought Newman to be able to explore all of the places we’ve dreamed of going by car, but are better to see during a pandemic in our own little ‘bubble’ called Newman!
It sure is amazing that a small part can hold up our trip, but this delay has probably worked in our favour as it was snowing in Saskatchewan today and -11C in Swift Current this morning. We definitely don’t want a repeat of bad weather out West for our drive, leaving approximately 3 weeks early. Sometimes fate deals you a hand you have to live with!
I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging every day or every few days but I hope you enjoy our journey, trials and tribulations as we again drive across the country with Newman and Jerry!