Time to head for home.
On Thursday, June 17 we said our goodbyes to Kay and Mike. As I pulled out on the highway through Baraboo to begin our 1,800 mile (2,980 km) trip to Picton, Ontario, Martin looked at me.
“This one better not catch fire,” he said.
As we travelled southward through the Wisconsin dairy land, I watched the gas gauge closely. I knew mileage wouldn’t be good in a five to six ton vintage RV, but I wasn’t sure how big the tank was. Even so, the needle showed Empty pretty quickly.
We pulled into a service station for a fill up. The nozzle kicked out at 23 US gallons (87 litres). The gauge needle indicated ¾ full. We found something on the Travco that didn’t work! Our previous C class RV’s gas gauge was inaccurate, so it didn’t bother me. Once I determine the capacity of the tank (I’m guessing 45 US gallons), all I have to do is approximate the gallons to the mile to calculate distance on a fill up.
Closer to the Illinois state line, my gas pedal leg began to tire. I find the gas and brake pedals to be quite stiff on this Travco. I tried setting the cruise control. Mike Cummins mentioned before we left there was a new cruise control system included with the Travco but it hadn’t yet been installed. I need to get it installed. The original cruise control was non-functional. Another minor fix.
I must note I will never complain about the condition of Canadian highways again. We could have churned butter on the interstate through Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. I don’t know how these avenues could be considered passable roads. At a fuel stop in Indiana, I said something about the potholed, cracked cement highway to an attendant.
“We had a car come through here two days ago and the rough road cracked his gas tank,” he replied.
Maybe the jouncing around that addled my brain, but we pulled out without replacing the gas cap. A mile down the road, on the exit ramp to the interstate, I pulled over.
“Martin, get out and check for the gas cap.”
He rolled his eyes in a ‘not again’ look. Last time we went on an extended RV trip, I left a gas cap in Georgia.
Sure enough, it wasn’t there. There was nowhere to turn around, so we left the RV alongside the road and walked the mile back to the gas station where the gas cap sat beside the pump right where I left it. It was dark by the time we got back to the Travco. I secured the cap and we continued our trip.
The rest of our travels were relatively uneventful, including a very smooth and brief importation experience at the US – Canada border. After two days on the road we were getting weary and we had no water on board for showering so we splurged the last night on a comfortable hotel room.
Our last leg of the journey took us through one more major city – Toronto. Cruising east on the 401 highway surrounded by heavy traffic, I noticed a small black car with bright green trim pull up beside us. The driver was smiling and waving madly. In a city of 3.5 million with hundreds of thousands of cars on the move, Martin’s cousin Graham was driving beside us! He was the first one in the family to see the Travco.
We pulled into our driveway mid-afternoon Saturday, June 18. After a cursory examination we discovered a cracked cupboard door and a loose panel near the floor, courtesy of our rough ride across the tri-state area.
We’ve spent the past couple days getting to know our Travco. We have the manuals and service records but we still have a lot of questions to be answered. I will be posting lots of photos and asking questions of the more experienced Travco owners on the Travco forum. Especially regarding the dash controls. There are more buttons and switches than on the Space Shuttle.
Now I understand why we Travco owners are so proud and protective of our RVs. They are a true diamond in the vintage RV world. We can’t wait to go on family adventures with this rig. Lucky Seven is already turning heads. I’m learning to allow for extra travel time because whenever we stop for gas, people ask questions, take photos and request a peek inside. We’re going to make lots of friends and have good times in this RV.
We took Lucky Seven to her first car show June 21. Had around 80 people take photos and tour the interior. Nobody believed it was a 1974 or that most of it was original!
Too many buttons!!
View facing the rear of the Travco. That bathroom is almost as big as the one in my house!
View from back to front of the Travco. The fridge is new, but everything else in view is vintage.