Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Seamless Border Crossing

Sunday afternoon - in front of our home
By late morning, Sunday past, I had completed my work to ready the 5th wheel, motorcycle swivel wheel and do all my other important checks.  Jeanette was busy with completing the final cleaning in the house before we moved the house fridge goods to the fiver.
8:00 am Monday morning @ the Aldergrove Border Crossing
There were three semi trailer trucks ahead of us at the US point of entry.  By 8:07 am, it was our turn.  The border guard was a seasoned, friendly and engaging fella.  He asked where we were headed and when we mentioned spending some time in the San Diego County area, he offered up one restaurant he thought we would enjoy.  He grew up there.  Nice guy.  Where we were going was his only question.  He returned our NEXUS cards and we were rolling.  Our NEXUS cards got us through the border (as is most often the case) with only one or two questions.  Very quick

We're next up to cross into the US of A
Traffic was quite light on the Guide Meridian Highway to Bellingham, WA.  Twenty minutes later, we were southbound on I-5.
Guide Meridian Road from the border station to I-5
It has been frosty, these past few mornings, and as I compose this blog, this Tuesday morning, it is -5 Celsius here in central Oregon.
Snow geese are walking on the ice.
Leaving our home at 7:45 am, crossing the border at 8:00 am (or thereabouts) had us in Seattle, WA  at 10:15 am. Rush hour was over by then and we sailed through the eight lane freeway without having to slow down or stop.  Yeah to that!
Seattle was coated with either pollution of marine fog.  It looked more like pollution to us though.
I-5, through Tacoma, Olympia and Vancouver, Washington, was smooth going.  We chose to fuel up shortly before rolling into Oregon and we found diesel at $2.90/gallon at a Pacific Pride truck stop.  That was the best diesel price anywhere.  What is ironic about this is that we could not see a diesel price before we drove in.  The price was not advertised. Bonus!
Rolling through Portland, Oregon @ 1:15 pm.
Portland traffic was heavier than Seattle but it moved well.  A few slow downs were due to some heavy transport trucks who had difficulty climbing a couple of the hills leading south out of the downtown core. With heavy loads, I guess ramping up to speed proved difficult.  A few minutes later, we had passed by and we were back to a steady 58 mph.
Traffic in Portland, Oregon
By 3:40 pm, we were driving in to our overnight spot; the River Life RV Resort.  I had read another blogger write up about their thoughts when they stayed here.  We chose to check it out.  It is now under new ownership.  A church group purchased this place several months back and is spending some hard cash to spiffy it up.  It is a nice location, along the Willamette River, and the resort facilities are nice too.  There is a nice resort style Inn on the river's edge.
The long pull throughs worked well for us - without having to unhitch.
Due to construction, the directions to the RV spots were a bit problematic but we managed to get in to our pull through OK.
Our overnight spot along the Willamette River, Harrisburg, Oregon.
Harrisburg, Oregon is about 20 miles north (and slightly west) from Eugene.  It is off I-5 - about 10-12 minute drive in the countryside.  As Passport America members, this RV spot was a great deal at $14.95 for the night.
Pool and hot tub overlooking the Willamette River.
An RVer we spoke with, who has stayed here before, felt good about the new owners pouring some needed cash into this place.  We first heard about the new owners from him.  He is from Amarillo, Texas, and has stayed in this RV park several times in the past.  A new building (I believe it will be a church) is in the early phase of development.

Final word on this RV spot?  We would come back again.  Price is right and it is quiet. I heard the faint sound of a train, last evening, but it was negligible.

Problem: About 10 miles before arriving at the River Life RV Resort, the ABS light appeared on the dash in our truck.  Hmmmm, what's with that?  The brakes worked well so no concern about not being able to stop.  I tested them on a straight stretch of road.

Once we were set up with power and the heat was warming us up nicely, I read our truck manual to learn that the ABS light alone does not mean one has a serious brake issue.  It could be a sensor that has gone faulty.  That sensor is attached to the rear differential.  If the ABS and a flashing red dash light (brake) appear together, that is a problem.

I was on a Ford users site last evening and read several comments about the ABS dash light.  It appears that this is common enough.  However, with our next drive having us cross from southern Oregon into northern California through 7 high mountain hills and valleys - through the Syskiou mountain range, I err on the side of caution.  Shortly after posting this blog, I will call the local Ford dealer, near here, to get our truck in for inspection and necessary repair, if required.

So....that's what's up from here.  It was -6 overnight.  This morning, I found the plug in for our truck's block heater and plugged it to power.  It should help fire up the diesel a bit better.

So, we may have to spend one more night here at River Life or, if the truck issue is a quick fix, we could find ourselves at the Seven Feathers RV Resort.  We'll see what transpires.

That's it from here in central Oregon.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. We had that same ABS issue with our coach on a Ford chassis a few years ago. It was a very easy inexpensive fix, hopefully that will be your solution too.

  2. We're sitting at the Ford dealer and our truck is now being inspected. Of note, after unhitching from the 5th wheel, we braked at the stop sign to exit the park. The ABS dash light went off. We chose to follow through with an inspection.

  3. Like you said better to err on the side of caution.
    It could be that the truck is feeling the extra weight of the trailer is not allowing the brakes to stop quick enough and that is why it is giving you an alert.
    I would like to change our trailer over to Disc brakes which would give us better stopping power.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. Here's hoping it was an easy, inexpensive and quick fix!

  5. glad you landed safely at your first stop..just read your other post with regards to the ABS light..nice that it was a relatively easy fix!

  6. It's always a nice feeling to sail through customs with no problems or delays.

    Getting thru Seattle like that is a real bonus. Sure looks like a nice RV Park you've found. I've made a note of that in case we're ever in the area.

    Hope your ABS light is not a big issue.