Saturday, July 15, 2017

Working at CanAm and the People That I Meet

Where Are We Today
 (click on pic to enlarge)

Working At CanAm RV and the People That I Meet
Even though I officially retired last year, I do work part time at CanAm RV, if you count doing a lot of talking work. What do I really do? We call it "orientation", when a customer comes to take delivery of a trailer that they have purchased, we show them through it and explain how everything works including a hitch demonstration and test drive. Depending on whether it is their first time buying an RV or not, every customer gets an orientation. Whatever time it takes for them to understand all that we show them is the time we spend with them, there is no time limit.

CanAm RV, a very busy place this year.

I have a good basic knowledge of travel trailers and 5th wheel trailers, but there is always something new to learn and that is one of things that I like about this job. Before I do the orientation, I set the trailer up and go through it myself to make sure that I know where everything is and how it operates. Even then there can be something different and the new owner and I are learning something new. When it comes right down to it, there are only so many manufacturers of RV components but many different models of those components. That's where you need to recognize the different ones and familiarize yourself with them.
There is also a difference in the manufacturers of trailers. How they design each model of their trailers and incorporate each component is interesting. Each year new models come out and new technology in construction and the components becomes available. That is what makes this an ever changing aspect to the job of orientation.
Another part of this job is interacting with the techs, the guys that make sure your purchase has been gone over top to bottom and everything is in working order. There are over 30 techs and parts people that are behind the scenes that you never usually see. They have been a valuable source of information to me in explaining how something works in these trailers and also how to fix, repair and do preventive maintenance on our own 5th wheel. I am also able to learn some things that don't necessarily apply to the orientation, but help me understand certain processes, like how a hitch is installed so that the weight is distributed evenly to make the trailer and tow vehicle ride level.

Hitch Set Up in Progress

Water Heater Repair

Brake Job


There are also the gals that clean the inside of the trailer and the guys that wash the outside before you take delivery. As well, there are the service techs that take your calls and set up service for when you need it, the finance gals, the sales reps, receptionist that you see as soon as you walk in the door and all the people behind the scenes that keep a dealership running. There are over 50 people employed at CanAm.
I have often wished that I had gotten into the business at some capacity when I was younger.
The second half of this post is about the people that I have met, without them; I won't be able to do any of this. Since April when we returned from our winter away, I have done somewhere between 25 & 30 orientations and delivered 4 trailers to parks. Some of these customers are first time buyers, never owned, borrowed, pulled or backed up a trailer and there are those who have had more than one and have many years experience RVing.
I have tried to keep a list all of their names, but you know how that can go. I am now trying to take a picture of them with their purchase so I can remember them that is if they want their picture taken.
Here is a list of some them.
The Harris' and their 2010 Cougar.
The Fitzpatrick's' and their Northern Express
Taube/Smith and their 2016 Vista Cruiser
M. Harvey and her 2016 Airstream Sport
Christian and Reiner and their 1984 Airstream
The Saunders' and their 2017 Mobile suite
The Mudrys' from Albert and their 2017Airstream Flying Cloud
G. Cote and his 2017 Airstream Sport from Quebec
S. Elder from Victoria B.C. and her 2017 Alto.
The Boschs' from Tiverton and their 2015 Element
The Busby's' who asked for me to do their orientation. When I asked them how we knew each other, they replied that they follow our blog post and were not far away from us last winter down south. They have a 2005 Carriage.
The Howitt's and their 2018 Grand Design Solitude
The Grey's and their 2018 Airstream Flying Cloud
The Cadue's and their 2011 Heartland North Trail

The Greys

The Cardues

These are a few of the people who have kept me busy two days a week since we have returned this spring. Some of them, that have come from a distance away, stay overnight in the parking lot in their new purchase, we call this CanAm Camping. As I stay overnight also, we have got to know each other better over a glass of wine and traded stories of our experiences. RVer's are a great group of people who are always willing to lend a hand and share experiences. Thank you to all of you that I have had the pleasure to meet through this job and to all the others I have met along the way.

In closing I would be amiss in not thanking Phil, who I report to, and Andy and Kirk Thompson the owners of CanAm for asking, having the faith in my ability and teaching me new things in this industry.
I know this is long winded, so I thank you for following along. If I have mentioned you and you do follow along, please leave a comment or drop us an e-mail. Until the next time, take care and be safe.

Monday, July 3, 2017


Where Are We Today
"The Ridge"
 (click on pic to enlarge)
As Chillin with Patsy  has mentioned in her posts, I have had some projects on the go here at
 " The Ridge". The first one didn't work out quite right, so won't go into details, other than to say that the engineering is right but need heavier material.
The second one had to do with our grey water dumping. We dump the grey water over the hill thru a 1/2 inch water hose. This is a slow process and any grease builds up where the hose attaches to the drain pipe of the trailer. I purchased an RV to ABS pipe  adapter at CanAm, then the necessary ABS 1 1/2 inch pipe and fittings to replace the 1/2 inch hose. Put it all together to make an efficient out of the way run to the hill, after a quick test, I am happy with the  results. In the fall when we head south, it is just a quick disconnect, (like taking off the sewer hose) lay the pipe on the ground for the winter and it will be there in the spring for quick hook up.
Coming out of the trailer with the adapter

Pipe run to the hill
The third isn't so much a project but more like maintenance. The rubber roof of the trailer needed to be cleaned and treated, so set about doing the task. First I had to go and fill the water bladder, then hook a hose from the bladder to the  pump and then from the pump to the pressure washer. Sounds complicated doesn't it, but not really.
 Next, get out my collapsing extension ladder that I bought last winter in Quartzsite AZ., transfer some " BEST" Cleaner and Protectant to a spray bottle and get out a mop and sponge. There, I think I'm ready, now to get on the roof and get at it.

Cleaner into a spray bottle
 It's not really a hard task, get the roof wet clearing any loose dirt then apply the "BEST" Cleaner/Protectant, rinse and you have a clean roof, a section at a time. I also cleaned the top of the slides at the same time.
Being a mostly cloudy day and a slight breeze blowing, made it the perfect day for doing this. I was almost done when a big dark cloud let go with rain, it was a scramble to get off the roof and take shelter until it passed. Within a few minutes I was back at and soon finished.

Getting started

Dirty roof

Had to tilt the panels to clean underneath

Clean from front to back

Clean from back to front

Slide tops clean also

 Back down on the ground, I had to set about cleaning off the sides of the trailer as it was all streaked from the run off. With that done, cleaned up and called it quits for the day.

Pat relaxing
First thing the next day, I was back up on the roof cleaning the solar panels. Then clean and wax the air conditioner tops along with the vent covers.
Happy to have that task done, as the weather and my time hasn't always agreed.
One last maintenance task to report on, the controller on our portable solar panel quit working. It is still under warranty, so CanAm RV, where we bought from, got us a replacement. It didn't long to make the switch and the panel is back up and running.

Old controller not working

120 watt portable panels

New controller, 3.6 amps 
New controller saying batteries at 90 % charge

There you have it, those projects that Pat has been talking about. I am going to close for now, but already have my next post brewing in my head. Stay tune, hopefully it will be along soon. Thanks for following along, until the next time, take care and be safe. Love to hear from you, so drop a comment if you wish.