Thursday, 6 December 2007


The day after we parked the Whale at the end of Dad's yard, about 4 inches of snow fell. That was the first snow of the season, it never melted, and it's been snowing regularly since.

During the following days, Dad built the temporary shelter that will protect the Whale during winter. Dad had already built a similar shelter over he last years for it's Class C.

The shelter is made with a huge plastic tarp (one of those blue tarps) held up by a steel wire strung lenghtwise over the vehicle.

Before he put the tarp on, Dad slightly raised the vehicle in order to relief the suspension and tires.

The Whale has probably never seen so much care taken to get her ready for winter, but Dad likes to "protect it's investment" as he likes to say. The tarp doesn't cost much, the Whale will stay dry and Dad will have the peace of mind.

Winter came quickly this year. Three days ago we had a dump of about 30 cm of snow, we are probably up to 50cm or so right now, and when I took these photos this afternoon the temperature was around -15.

This post is probably the last for 2007. I'll be back next spring, as soon as Dad starts to work on the Whale again.
Thanks to all!

See ya!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Brakes - again!

The brake parts took almost 2 weeks to arrive. Seems like nobody has them anymore, they had to be ordered from the US. Meanwhile, the Travco was parked in Dad's driveway, unable to move since it had no brakes at all. Dad took all the ld brakes line out, rusted or not. He wanted to start from scratch and get new brakes lines everywhere.

Dad repainted the frame with some anti-rust paint, and winterized the vehicle with RV antifreeze, as the temperatures are now well below freezing every night. Some other works have been finalized too:

Air conditionning shroud

Here's how the air conditionning unit looked like:

We took the shroud off a few weeks ago when working on the electrical system. It was in pretty bad shape, with many cracks and missing vents. Dad was thinking of replacing it but since this plastic thing is pretty expensive Dad figured it was worth trying to fix it. New vents and some rivets, and it turned out good enough:

Door stopper

I don't know how to call this thing but it prevents the door from opening wide and hitting the awning pole behind it everytime. A nylon strap and a spring loaded roller, from and old car seat belt, mounted on the top corner of the door. Works really good, so much that Gerry was thinking of installing a similar thing on his own motorhome (forget it buddy, that's for Travcos only!)

Arm rests

Not sure if they could be called "armrests" since you can't really rest your arms on them. They had water damage, so dad took them out and fixed them, with new vinyl and foam.


The brake parts finally arrived:

Nice new parts out of the box!
Nice bill too... Total cost for two rebuilt hydrovacs and a brand new master-cylinder (no rebuilt was available) is $1350. Ouch!
That's the most expensive repair so far on this restoration project, and one Dad never thought he would have to do when he bought the vehicle.
But one can expect such surprises when buying a 32 year-old motorhome. It is a costly one, but it is a safety issue, and on the other hand Dad didn't had to fix the engine, the transmission or other very expensive stuff.

Dad installed the new hydrovacs and pump, and then undertook one of the toughest jobs so far on the motorhome: install new brake lines averywhere. It looks like there's a few kilometers of brake lines in a Travco: two are from the master-cylinder, at the front of the vehicle, to each hydrovacs, wich are located under the vehicle about in the middle. Then front the hydrovacs two more lines are running to the front to what looks like a proportionning valve. From the valve, a line go all the way back to the rear axle, and two more lines run to each front brake calipers.

Ok that's not quite a kilometer of tubing, but quite a lenght anyway. Each piece must be bent, formed and run, and a flared fitting installed on each end. That's a lot of work. Dad has the right tools for the job, and the Service Manual describes the system.

Eventually everything was hooked up, all was left was pouring the brake fluid in and pump the air out. Dad has to do it twice, this brake system needs quite a lot of fluid and after a lot of pumping there was still some air in the system. To help with the bleeding, Dad made himself a pressure bleeder, wich ensured a continuous supply of fluid at the pump under a slight pressure without the need for a helper to pump the pedal. Even then, a second attempt was required, because his first makeshift bleeder wasn't working very well. Here's what it looked like, hooked to the brake pump:

So Dad made a second bleeder wich this time was working perfectly. It can be seen on the next picture. This picture is darker because in the meantime Dad had sprayed the frame with some black antirust paint:

Some more air came out, and even if it can be considered satisfactory, Dad believes there is still probably some air left in the system somewhere, and the brake pedal stil has a slight spingy feel to it. However, the brakes were good and Dad decided to go out for a road test.

I went along for the ride. The brakes behaved perfectly: they are safe and powerful, bringing the 14000lbs Whale quickly to a stop without much effort. If there is some air left in the brake system, it is certainly not a significant issue, and Dad wil look at it next spring, the braking performance being actually very good.

It was my frist ride aboard the Travco. I must say I enjoyed it very much, the ride is much quieter than what I expected (or course it gets noisier with rattles when hitting bad roads). The large windshields and ride height offer a great visibility. Having spent his carreer driving semis and heavier and larger vehicles, Dad sure enjoys driving his motorhome!

Dad let me drive for a few kilometers, and that was very enjoyable. Having never driven such a large vehicle before, I didn't know what to expect, but the Whale is very civilized and fun the drive, the big V8 humming along effortlessly, and boy are those brakes powerful!

This afternoon ride was the last of the season for the Travco. Time has come to put the motorhome in storage for the winter. Dad used to park his smaller Class C at the end of his yard. Backing the Travco at the same spot required more precautions since it is a pretty tight spot. All will be left is to protect the vehicle for the winter, Dad will be working on this over the next few days.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Fall has arrived, winter is approaching fast over here, the camping season is definitely over. The Travco went on its last trip for this year, from Oct 5 to 9 (canadian Thanksgiving weekend). Roger, Dad's cousin, has a wood lot in the Beauce region, about 100km south of Quebec City, and for the second year in a row we went to Roger's lot for our last camping weekend. We were a group of 7 RVs, the same relatives and friends that we usually begin our camping season with. Roger's place is beautiful, especially at this time of the year with the colors.

There are a lot of trails, a little cabin, a cold spring that provides fresh water, an old style outhouse, and of course no electricity. Good time to check the Travco's genset, now that the vehicle's electrcial system has been repaired. The old 6000W Onan fired up right away, and once hooked up to the Travco's 110V system it worked beautifully.

However the genset will eventually require a tuneup, since altough it started easily, the motor initially ran on only one cylinder until it warmed up.

Brakes again!

The Blue Whale made it to Roger's place without a itch, but once it got there, the brake light came on a few times as Dad was maneuvering the motorhome forward and backward to find a level parking spot.

A few days later when leaving, the brake light came back again, this time with a noise similar to an air leak. A quick inspection showed that one of the hydrovacs (brake boosters) had an internal air leak.
Dad managed to drive the Whale back home with reduced braking power.

The Travco's braking system is a bit unusual. As in most hydraulic brake systems, Travcos have a brake pedal actuated master cylinder, and use vacuum boosters to increase the braking power. Since Travcos are quite heavy vehicles, two brakes boosters (called hydrovacs) are used. They are mounted under the vehicle, one powers the front brakes the other is for the rear.

Dad had already replaced a few brake lines last summer after a sudden leak, and was planning to eventually replace all the lines, to make the brakes very safe and dependable. Dad also planned to have both hydrovacs and the master cylinder rebuilt.

Due to the problems encountered during this last trip, Dad decided to go ahead with these repairs right now, before winterizing the coach. Otherwise he will have to wait until next spring. Since the Whale is too large for Dad's garage, he has to work outside, and in the spring the ground takes forever to dry, and spending hours working under the vehicle in these conditions is not very fun.

Both hydrovacs and the master cylinder have been removed, they will be sent for rebuilt at a specialized shop. Dad had to cut many brakes lines since the fittings were impossible to remove, these lines will be replaced anyway.

Mounting point of the master cylinder, inside the left front wheel well:

Other works

Here are some other items added or repaired on the motorhome.
First, Dad made new vents for the roof. There are 3 vents on the roof, one is for the fridge and two are plumbing vents.

The old homemade metal sheet vents were rusted, leaking, and not very good looking.
Dad rebuilt the fridge vent. The cap was still good enough to be reused, but everything else has been rebuilt using alumimium sheet.

Plumbing vents looked pretty bad:

Dad made new ones with stainless steel. This required quite a lot of time because of the roof's curvature, it took Dad a couple trials before he got it right.

Dad used a 6in PVC pipe cap to cover the new stainless vents. Once painted with aluminium paint, they look pretty good.

Couple more things

New tailpipe that exhausts on the side of the motorhome. Previously the tailpipe was completely missing.

Stainless steel strips on the bottom of the mud flaps:

Saturday, 22 September 2007


It all began at the air conditioning unit. We were in for a few surprises on the 110V electrical system.

First, you need to know that Travcos have two rooftop openings, on wich can be installed an air conditioning unit, a fan or a simple vent. Inside the motorhome, located on the ceiling beside each of these openings, is a standard 110V outlet. I figure they are designed to power their respective A/C units.

The Blue Whale is equipped with a simple vent on the rear and a standard RV rooftop A/C unit at the front. It is a 110V-powered Coleman unit. But instead of being plugged into the nearby ceiling 110V outlet, a power cord has been run from the side of the unit, hanged across the ceiling to the cabinets over the table. The cord passes over and behind the cabinet, then in a corner where the plug just hangs there. Nothing really fancy as you may guess...

The A/C was powered by this makeshift cord because there was no power in the nearby ceiling outlet. Instead of trying to figure out why the ceiling oulets had no power and then fix it, the previous owners simply ran this cord behind the cabinets, not without causing some damage to them.

Since the rear outlet wasn't getting any power either while circuit breakers for both outlets were ON, we decided to carry out a little investigation.

First, after taking off the ceiling cover of the A/C, we found a 110V wire who's job is probably to power the A/C unit. This wire wasn't connected to anything, and wasn't powered either, being fed from the same circuit as the nearby ceiling outlet.

These two ceiling outlets were the only two inoperative outlets of the entire motorhome. All other outlets were working fine, as all other 110V appliances: power converter, microwave oven, water heater, 110V lightning, etc.

Another issue: on the circuit breaker panel, located in the wardrobe, is a pair 40A circuit breakers labeled "MAIN", wich should cut the power to the entire motorhome when switched to OFF. Well, switching them off had absolutely no effect, the motorhome was still powered and everything (but the ceiling outlets) still worked! And that's not all: when switching OFF the other circuit breakers (lighning, appliances, water heater), their respective circuit were still getting power! What was going on??

We found the answer quite rapidly. The first thing we did is remove the circuit breaker panel cover. That's where we got our big surprise...:

For those of you who don't know much in residential wiring, I'll give some explanations. But first, don't believe for one minute that the connections we found in this panel were from factory. At some time the Whale's wiring has been messed up by someone who didn't seem to know much about electricity and safety. Here's what we found (click on the picture to enlarge if required): the black wires, joint together with the blue connector, should instead be wired to their respective circuit breakers. Speaking of circuit breakers, if you look closely, you'll see that except the two in the lower right, none of them was actually wired to anything. In fact, all of the motorhome power was wired directly, without the use of the breakers, as they were completely bypassed. There was NO overload protection, and NO way of shutting off power anywhere beside unplugging the entire motorhome! When I think that this vehicle can be plugged into 50Amp outlets, this was rather scary.

This explains why turning OFF a circuit breaker wouldn't shut power to its circuit: power wasn't even even go through the circuit breakers!

The two circuit breakers on wich wires were still connected were, ironically, the only inoperative circuits of the motorhome: the ceiling outlets and A/C power. These circuits were not powered simply because the breaker panel itself had no power: the big black wire on the picture should have fed the panel, instead of powering directly the individual circuits.

So we decided to rewire everything correctly, wich was simple enough. We had a few issues due to the fact that the outlet where the motohome was plugged on Dad's house had a reverse polarity problem (neutral and hot wires reversed), wich was unknowned to us. Such an problem is not a dangerous issue but causes all sorts of problems when it feeds a secondary circuit such as an RV with its own breaker panel. Dad's friend Gerry quickly confirmed the reverse plarity problem with his small electronic tester.

Once we got the motorhome plugged into a good power source and all the circuit breakers wired like they were when the motorhome left the factory, everything was working normally, including the ceiling outlets and the A/C wiring. The "MAIN" circuit breakers were now acting has they should, as all the other breakers.

Dad happily tore the ugly A/C power cord off the cabinets and rewired the A/C unit on the provided line. The A/C now works great. Now we just need to find a new ceiling cover for a good price to replace to old cracked one (unless Dad decides the old one can be fixed!).

I don't have a clue why someone messed the Travco's wiring like that. Maybe someone worked on it for some reason, then couldn't remember how to rewire it, and finally decided to bypass the cricuit breakers entirely. All I can say is nobody was impressed, to say the least.

I agree that the Travco's wiring schematic is somewhat different from a standard home wiring, due to the fact that it uses a 220V breaker box for on a 110V circuit (both sides of the box have to be fed with the same single phase). But that's nothing a DIY electrician can't figure out, especially since the original scematic is available on

This electrical work is probably (and hopefully!) among the last big jobs done on the Blue Whale. After many hard working months, Dad has gone through pretty much everything... Among the things left, are the genset, and the dashboard restoration/repairs. Once this is done, the only remaining things will be some finishing details, add-ons or minor repairs. As usual, your comments are welcome!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Back to work

Parking brake

The Travco's park brake was not working. On a Travco, the park brake hand lever doesn't apply the brakes on the rear wheels of the vehicle, but on an additional smaller brake drum on the driveshaft.

The park bake is actuated by a cable, that Dad cleaned lubed. Then Dad took the drum out, and realised that the brake shoes were completely worn. No big surprise here: this type of park brake is not very powerful, and with the brake not fully engaged one could easily drive off with the park brake on without realizing it. Especially since setting the parking brake doesn't turn any warning light in the dashboard. Obviously, driving with the park brake on results in a quick overheat and wears off the lining rapidly, and after a few times the park brake is completely worn out and will stop working.

Looking for a place to buy new brake shoes, Dad took his cousin Almas' advise and went to a specialized shop, where for a few dollars they completely remanufactured the shoes with new liners. The following picture shows the overhauled shoes, just before putting the drum and the driveshaft back on, held in place with two QuickGrip clamps.

All will be left to do is a road test to check for braking efficiency in case of emergency. Considering the weight of the vehicle (around 14000 lbs) it is hard to believe that such a small brake can stop the Blue Whale within a reasaonnable distance without orverheating.


A few weeks ago Dad took the furnace out to clean and repaint it, and to fix the broken support brackets. There was also an issue where the pilot flame wouldn't stay lit and the main burner wouldn't light. We were told that the problem was probably caused by a faulty "thermocouple", wich is the safety system built into most LP appliances to shut the main gas valve if the pilot flame extinguishes (and the reason why the start button must be held in for a few seconds when lighting the appliance).

So Dad took the furnace out once more. Looking at the thermocouple, it looked like it was kinda loose and not tightened into the correct position. So he tightened it properly, and voilà! the furnace is working like it should: the pilot stay lit, and the main burner kicks in normaly! After numerous starts and shutdowns it was still lightning up perfectly, so the furnace is considered fixed.

Front end alignment

During his trip last week, Dad found that the Travco's sterring lacked a bit of stability. So Dad checked the front wheel alignment. If one knows how to do it properly, there is no need to go to a specialized alignment shop. Dad has done it himself a few times, using his friend Gerry's procedure (Gerry has done it hundreds of times). So he adjusted toe angle, and after a road test he may have to set the caster angle as well.


Dad installed the remaining pieces of carpet, left of the driver's seat.
Next will be the armrests but this will probably be done later with the dashboard.
On the photos you can see the park brake lever discussed above.


Here are a few photos of the rear bedroom. The rear window, wich as you know is not a real window anymore, has been covered with a decorative painting made by Mom. The idea was to cover up the old sealants stains left when the previous owners tried to seal some water leaks, and to cover the holes left by the screws that were holding the ugly cocoplast panel that covered the rear window (see "First Discoveries", posted May 18).

My next post should be about electrical issues, as we have made a few scary discoveries in the Travco 110V electrical system...

Saturday, 1 September 2007


One thing Dad always had problem with when working on a project, is evaluating the time required to complete it:
-It'll take just a couple days...
(Translation: Figure at least a week!)
-I'll be done by the weekend.
(Translation: I mean the weekend in 2 weeks)

That's not because is works slowly. Dad just can't do a hasty or temporary job, or cut corners. So he takes his time to fix things right, right away. Add some serious unexpected issues like the rear brake job et a badly cut finger, and the deadline moves further away. But in the end, his constant under-evaluation of the required time is a good thing: some work took so much time, that if he'd known how much time he was going to spend on it, he would have never began it!

However, during the last days of August, I felt Dad was beginning to get tired of working on the Whale day in and day out. He's been working on this thing since May, every day! He must have climbed inside and got out at least 10000 times. Obviously he didn't expect to completely restore the entire vehicle in a few weeks, but he hoped he could at least go on a short vacation and enjoy the motorhome for a few days. But the summer went by, and the list of things to fix kept getting longer. Then Dad cut his finger, so the Whale spent the summer in the driveway.

September was approaching, with the Labor Day weekend. As I explained earlier, during this long weekend is held our yearly family party. The event takes place in Lac St-Jean, about a 3 hours drive north of Quebec City. My parents usually attend the party with their motorhome, and this year was to be the first year with the Travco. So the last days of August turned into a race against the clock, a real marathon to get the Blue Whale ready for its first significant trip.

Along with the rear brake job, there was a thousand things to fix: the horn, the fuel gauge and the LP gas level gauge were not working, there was still another leak at the water tank, the new seats had to be installed, the interior needed a good cleaning, etc. Dad's friend Gerry came to help. While Dad was at the local auto part stores trying to find the last replacement brake line, he had Gerry put on the rear wheels and properly tighten the wheel bearings. I gave Gerry a hand on this, and I will tell you one thing, this guy knows what he's doing. Gerry's a highly competent mechanic, and it shows! Dad was glad of having him. In the meantime, Mom managed to transform the mess inside the vehicle into a clean and inviting motorhome, and prepared and packed everything for the trip. After a week of hard work, everything was finally ready on Friday night.

The Blue Whale left Quebec City the following morning for the Lac St-Jean region. The following pictures where taken at L'Étape, a rest area about an hour north of Quebec City, along the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve road.

A few hours later, the Travco made it to its destination, without any problem. Dad was happy, all he said is he felt the brakes might need some more bleeding as the brake pedal feels somewhat softer than it used to be, and he will probably check the alignment because he felt the steering was not as stable as it should be. That's it, everything went just fine.

Over the following days Dad and Mom took a few days of well-deserved vacations, they drove to the Charlevoix region, and then back to Quebec City the following weekend. They drove about 800km on the most moutaineous roads Quebec has to offer, and everything went perfectly. The big 440 purred like a big kitten and easily pulled the Whale up the long climbs of Charlevoix. Fuel mileage, grossly calculated over a 300km distance, was 7.5 mpg. Dad expected a bit better but it was a montain road and a windy day, wich certainly didn't help. Nevertheless, this was the first serious road test of the Blue Whale, and a test the Whale passed with flying colors.

Sunday, 26 August 2007


We did it! The new fridge is in! But before I describe the work involved, here's a update on the "medical issue":

The injured finger

The patient is slowly getting better. Dad has to go to the hospital everyday to have is bandage changed, hopefully by a smiling gorgeous nurse. The last stiches have been removed yesterday. Healing is slow due to the fact that the cutting disk not only cut the skin but ground it off , and that skin now has to grow back. To protect his finger and keep his bandage clean while working on the motorhome, Dad made himself a special leather sleeve that he wears over his finger.

Last week's work was mostly on the brake system.

Dad inspected most of the brakes lines as much as he could. In his opinion, all the brake lines will evantually have the be replaced. Some lines that seemed to be in quite good shape turned out rather fragile and easy to break. Since it is obviously a safety issue, this will have to be fixed. Dad will start with the lines that run from the dual brake boosters to the wheels, as these lines are carrying the high pressure of the braking power. The lines running from the brake pump (at the pedal) to the boosters will eventuallybe replaced as well, but since they carry a relatively lower pressure it is not a critical issue for now.

Dad wasn't comfortable with the slight rust that he had found in the rear brake cylinders. So he decided to bite the bullet and replace all four cylinders (there are two cylinders per side). His friend Gerry worked with him, and they completely overhauled the rear brakes assemblies. The brake lines leading to the cylinders did not survived the disassembly and new replacement lines were made. Everything was cleaned, sandblasted and then painted, including the backplates and automatic adjusters. Both brake assemblies were reassembled et pre-adjusted and are now ready the be installed on the coach, this will be done as soon as the weather improves, as it has been raining hard lately. All will be left to do is connecting the brakes lines and bleed the air out.

Meanwhile, after a careful inspection of the overtightened main wheel bearings, Gerry - our official specialist on such matters - recommended a replacement of the outer bearing.

Dad also replaced the busted front brake line:

The round thing that can be seen on the top of this picture is the parking brake of the Travco. It is actually a brake drum installed on the driveshaft, actuated by a cable with a hand lever.

The fridge

The new fridge has finally been installed yesterday. Getting a new fridge was an important issue, and a one of the most expensive of this restoration project (this week's brake job was almost as expensive).

As I have previoulsy explained, this motorhome was built with a 110V only fridge. The point of having a motorhome is being as autonomous as possible and not rely on shore power, so this 110V fridge had to get out. My parents shopped around for a used propane fridge, since the brand new ones were extremely expensive. Used propane fridges are pretty scarce, but they finally found a nice a clean unit for $600, wich is a fair price. It is a 3-way (12V/110V/LP) unit that is almost the exact same size as the original one, wich made the swap easier. The old 110V fridge had already been removed from the coach a few weeks ago.

Converting the motorhome from an electric-only fridge to a gas unit basically involves cutting a ventilation opening and install a grille on the side of the Travco, and run a line from the propane tank.

The first step was to remove the panel from the back wall inside the fridge cabinet. On this panel was an electrical outlet to plug the fridge. Once removed, we can see the outer wall of the Travco, wich is an approximately 3/16in thick fiberglass skin, insulated with sprayed-on urethane foam (the entire motorhome is insulated this way).

With a scraper and a utility knife, the foam insulation is removed where the vent will be installed.

After carefully marked the right position, we used the angle grinder with a thin cutting disk to cut an opening on the side of the Whale. The grinder easily cut the fiberglass skin (almost as easily as it cut Dad's skin...) and in no time we had a nice rectangular opening on the side of the motorhome.

With a few pieces of naturally weather-resistant redwood, Dad made a sturdy frame wich was installed inside the opening, screwed from the outside and sealed with a bead of caulking. Then the plastic frame of the vent was screwed on with stainless steel screws.

A similar opening was cut on the inside panel. The electrical outlet was repositioned higher on the panel.

A black ABS pipe runs vertically inside the fridge cabinet. It is the black water vent pipe, that runs from the black water tank under the floor, up to a vent on the roof. We had to slighly reposition this pipe, since the new fridge went deeper in the cabinet than the old fridge and there was not enough space because of that pipe. We added a couple 45deg elbows and a flexible rubber joint, that was enough to move the pipe a couple inches, wich was all we needed.

The top frame of the cabinet had to be shaved a few millimiters since the new unit was slighly taller that the old one. The plywood floor and the rear panel wre screwed back in place. It is a pretty nice job for a cabinet that won't even be visible!

Then we installed the propane line. We used thick 3/8in copper tubing, and double-flared fittings. There was already a T fitting near the LP tank, so all we had to do is remove a plug and connect our new line. We ran the line through holes in the frame to bring the line on the opposite side of the vehicle (the tank is on the curb side and the fridge is on the driver side). A plastic sleeve around the copper line will protect it from rubbing and abrasion damage.

Now all we had to do is slide the new fridge in place. Both fridge doors were removed to make the unit lighter and smaller, and as the door was opening the wrong way, the hinges had to be removed to reposition them to the other side anyway.

After a few moments of concern on the available cabinet space where the fridge condenser meets the curvature of the top of the motorhome wall, we tried to slide the fridge in. The top was rubbing so we had to shave the top of the cabinet frame a little more with the belt sander, then to our relief the fridge slid perfectly in position.

We wired the 12V power, plugged the 110V and connected the gas fitting. The first test was done using the 110V setting.

After about 45 minutes, even with the doors not yet installed, the freezer inside wall was clearly getting cold. As it was getting late, we decided to call it a day and switched the unit off. Tomorrow Dad will check the LP line for leaks, test the unit on the LP setting, and reinstall the doors in the correct position. Dad is satisfied with the job, wich took longer than anticipated (a full day for the two of us) but went well nevertheless. A good job well done.

Dad has a lot of work for the upcoming week. Next weekend is the first important outing for the Blue Whale. On Labor Day weekend (Sept 1st, 2nd and 3rd), we have our big annual family party. wich is held at my uncle's place in Lac St-Jean, about 300 km from Quebec City. That's a serious trip, the road to get there being pretty montaineous and remote. The first serious challenge for the Blue Whale!